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Necromancy is Magic

By ImDoingMyPart
Created: 24th January 2023 12:58:28 AM
7th February 2023 08:37:51 AM

  1. This story is from a pastebin from 2014
  2.  
  3.  
  4. >Day you never even bothered counting in Equestria.
  5. >You've been coerced by Princess Purple and the peanut gallery into exploring the Everfree Forest for reasons that you could not be arsed to remember.
  6. >You've been walking with them for about an hour now and haven't found whatever it is you're looking for.
  7. >Twilight calls for everyone to take a break as she goes some scrolls.
  8. >"We have so much ground to cover, and we've barely made a dent in it! We need to find this castle as fast possible!"
  9. "Gee gang, then why don't we split up? I'll go with Rarity, Applejack, and Fluttershy, while you go with Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie!"
  10. >Fred would be proud.
  11. >Twilight looks up from her map at you.
  12. >"I dunno Anon, the Everfree is dangerous, and-"
  13. "What's that? It will literally get this done twice as fast? You also think I'm incredibly handsome and a genius? Well thanks Twilight, even if I already knew all of that!"
  14. >Purple Smart frowns in annoyance, but ultimately gives in.
  15. >"Fine, we'll go in groups if one of us finds the castle then either me or Rarity will..."
  16. >You stopped paying attention and started wondering if Pinkie Pie could somehow hook you up with some Scooby Snacks.
  17. >You don't actually know what they taste like, or what they're made out of, but holy shit do you want one right now.
  18. >"... and whatever you do, DON'T touch it, Ok?"
  19. >Huh? Twilight seemed to aim that last bit specifically at you.
  20. "Find the castle, Rarity does the thing, don't touch anything."
  21. >She smiles, pleased that you "payed attention."
  22. >"Good, we'll back here in a few hours, good luck everypony!"
  23. >Twilight heads forward once more while you set off in a random direction.
  24. >There's silence amongst the four of you as you blithely walk forward.
  25.  
  26. >3 hours have passed and still no sign of any goddamned castle.
  27. >Luckily it wasn't a particularly hot or humid day, so you weren't drenched in sweat, but a shower was starting to sound nice.
  28. >Rarity and Applejack have taken to bickering over
  29. >Rarity and Applejack have taken to bickering over various trivial things.
  30. >Luckily Fluttershy keeps them from getting too worked up, but it's obvious they're starting to tire.
  31. >"Oooohh, I hate this stupid forest, it's dark depressing and horrible to look out."
  32. >"Rarity, could ya quit yer complaining? It's not helpin anypony and nopony likes a whiner."
  33. >"Oh, oh no no no, that's whining. THIS IS WHI-"
  34. "I found a rock."
  35. >You cut Rarity's regularly scheduled reference short as you examine the rock in front of you.
  36. >Rarity rolls her eyes.
  37. >"And? There are plenty of rocks in this forest darling"
  38. "I doubt there are many that are perfectly rectangular and have an identical looking one a few yards away."
  39. >Rarity's eyes light up.
  40. >"You mean we've found the-"
  41. "Probably, we still need to find the actual thing though."
  42. >Fluttershy finally walks forwards slightly, reminding you that she's still there.
  43. >"Should we signal Twilight?"
  44. "No, we should find the dang thing first, then Rarity can do her thing, Twilight can come and not touch the thing, and I can go home and do the thing where I take a shower and be lazy."
  45. >Applejack is watching the conversation with a confused expression.
  46. >"What the hay are ya'll talking about?"
  47. >You sigh, goddamn redneck ponies, not being edumucated.
  48. "This rock isn't a rock Applejack, it's a brick, and what are bricks used for?"
  49. >Still confused.
  50. >"Building."
  51. "And what building would be in the Everfree forest?"
  52. >It finally dawns on her.
  53. >"The castle! Ya think that's a brick to the castle!"
  54. >You nod.
  55. "Most likely, now lets go follow the stone-brick road before I remember I hate walking in forests."
  56. >You start walking before any of the three pastel ponies could respond to what you just said.
  57.  
  58. >It isn't too long before the three of you are at the foot of an impressive castle!
  59. >Impressive in how large it is.
  60. >And impressive in how run down it is.
  61. >It looks like the Everfree is trying to slowly destroy all evidence of the offending structure
  62. >You watch as Rarity essentially fires up a flare from her horn.
  63. >Looking in the sky, you see another flare appear in the sky some amount of miles away.
  64. >Rarity pulls out a small blanket and sits down.
  65. >Applejack sits down under a tree and pulls her hat over her eyes as she rests.
  66. >Fluttershy is in a tree talking to some birds, which you stopped finding weird a while ago.
  67. >You pace around for a few minutes, but feel too restless to simply wait around.
  68. >You look at the crumbling entrance to the decrepit structure.
  69. "I'm gonna go inside, be back in a bit."
  70. >It takes a moment for what you said to register with the ponies.
  71. >When it does, Applejack immediately gets up.
  72. >"And what the hay Anonymous? We're supposed to just wait for Twilight!"
  73. >You continue to walk inside, not caring in the slightest about the orange pony's warning.
  74. "Don't worry, I'm just gonna look around, I'm not gonna touch anything."
  75. >"Anonymous! I'm serious, don't-"
  76. >You start to skip inside.
  77. "Lalala, I can't hear you! I'm gonna explore the castle now, ok thank you bye-bye!"
  78. >You enter what must have once been a once grand foyer.
  79. >The ponies are still trying to tell you to get out, but you ignore them.
  80. >It's apparent they aren't going to go in themselves so you don't really care.
  81. >You start heading dan the right corridor, looking all around you at the rubble and ruined statues.
  82. >You've explored a decent amount of the castle, but have found nothing of interest.
  83. >You're about to leave when you notice a completely intact door next to a stairwell.
  84. >Aside from being totally unharmed, it's also untouched by any of the plant life surrounding it.
  85. >The molds and vine seem to be growing around the door.
  86. >Curious, you walk over to the door and try the knob, finding it to work perfectly and for it to be unlocked.
  87. >The next step seems so obvious you hardly bother narrating it to yourself.
  88. >You open the door.
  89. >You see a staircase leading down, with torches placed intermittently along the way.
  90. >You briefly wonder how the torches are still lit after all this time, but it disappears, quickly replaced by a desire to find out what's down the stairwell.
  91. >You enter the doorway, instinctively closing the door behind you.
  92. >You walk down the staircase carefully taking one step at a time, not wanting to trip in the low light.
  93. >You reach the bottom of the stair case to see another door.
  94. >Opening it reveals a much larger room than you would have anticipated.
  95. >It looks like a mix between a broom closet and a voodoo supply room.
  96. >Lots of cupboards, baskets, and boxes, but also a set of rusty knives hanging up on the wall, weird writing on the walls, and a large circular depression in the middle of the room.
  97. >You walk inside, looking around at all the things in the room, wondering how this sole place remained untouched.
  98. >Suddenly, you hear a massive roar from outside the building!
  99. >Surprised, and scared, you fall over as you hear another tremendous roar!
  100. >You put your hands out in front of you, doing your best to protect your gorgeous face!
  101. >You land on the ground with a thud, your heart pounding in your ears, but mostly unscathed save for a couple scrapes and cuts on your hands.
  102. >You reach up, using the top of whatever was above you to help hoist yourself up.
  103. >You get a hold of your surroundings once more, seeing that nothing has actually changed.
  104. >Looking down to what you put your hand on, you see it appears to be an unmarked leather-bound book on top of some kind of pedestal.
  105. >Curiosity fills you once more, and causes you to temporarily forget about the roaring that occurred mere moments ago.
  106. >Opening the book, you see nothing but weird scribbles and diagrams.
  107. >You leaf through the book, but the whole thing is just indecipherable scribbles and weird drawings.
  108. >You close the book with annoyed huff and slam it down on the pedestal with your injured hand, leaving some of your blood on it.
  109. >You're about to leave the room and the book behind, when something compels you to stay.
  110. >Looking back at the book you see no sign of your blood, but you do see something on the book that wasn't there before.
  111. >A title.
  112. >It's fairly easy to miss though, it's on the front in back lettering.
  113. >The Necronomicon, Pony Edition.
  114. >The Necronomicon.
  115. >That sounds really familiar.
  116. >Hmmmm.
  117. >HMMMMMMMMMM
  118. >Nope, you've got nothing.
  119. >Still curious though, you pick up the book once more.
  120. >To your great surprise though, the book is almost entirely blank.
  121. >There's only a few drawings and scribbles left in the book.
  122. >One of these diagrams in particular catches your eye.
  123. >It shows a depression just like the one in front of you with lines and circles drawn in a pattern in and around it.
  124. >It then shows a pony with a necklace or locket drop it into the depression and then...
  125. >The drawings stop there.
  126. >You hear another roar, but it doesn't startle you at all, you're too focused on this book.
  127. >For some reason you really feel compelled to act out the drawings you see in front of you.
  128. >You know,
  129. >You don't know HOW, but you know,
  130. >That this room as the supplies you need.
  131. >...
  132.  
  133. >You're not sure how much time has passed, not much, probably only a few minutes.
  134. >The lines and what-not are set-up exactly like they are in the book.
  135. >You don't have a necklace, but you do have a pocket watch, you know it'll work.
  136. >Work for what, you aren't sure, but it will work.
  137. >You stand in front of the circle, the pocket watch gripped in your hand, breathing heavily.
  138. "Klaatu"
  139. >Not sure where the words are coming from, but they're coming.
  140. "Barada"
  141. >The air starts to swish around you and the pocket watch is lifted from your hand is now floating in the center of the circle.
  142. "Nikto"
  143. >The blood from your cuts and scrapes starts to stream out of our body and starts to swirl around your pocket watch.
  144. "Equus"
  145. >Everything seems to freeze.
  146. >Your blood, the pocket watch, the air.
  147. >For just a split second.
  148. >Then it resumes.
  149. >And you black out.
  150.  
  151.  
  152. >You gasp and sit straight up.
  153. >What the fuck just happened!
  154. >What in the world possessed you to do that?
  155. >You try and get to your feet, but quickly fall down.
  156. >Holy crap you're feeling woozy.
  157. >Legs are like jelly.
  158. >You look around the room once more, trying to gather your bearings.
  159. >Everything was as you left it, except your pocket watch is no longer in that depression, in it's place is a...
  160. >A pony.
  161. >A weird looking one though, even by Equestria's standards.
  162. >The pony was an alabaster white, but with black hairs thrown seemingly at random across her body.
  163. >Her mane, if you can even really call it that is hanging loosely on either side of her head, the same white as her body although without the black strands.
  164. >She has two dark green eyes, that stare at you blankly.
  165. "Um, hello?"
  166. >"Hello."
  167. >Her response was emotionless, almost as if she was just saying the word instead of responding to you.
  168. "Who are you? How did you get here?"
  169. >"I am yours. You summoned me here."
  170. >Her lack of any kind of emotion in her voice is starting to creep you out.
  171. >Her dull eyes too, they're just staring at you.
  172. "What do you mean you're mine? And how did I summon you here!"
  173. >You manage to pull yourself onto your side and pushing yourself upright so you're not just lying down.
  174. >"I mean that I am yours, you are my master. You summoned me by performing the ritual described in The Book."
  175. >You ignore the last part and fixate on what she just said.
  176. "I'm your master?"
  177. >"Yes."
  178. "So you're my slave?"
  179. >"Yes."
  180. "So you'll do anything I tell you to?"
  181. >"That is the role of a slave."
  182. "If you'll really do anything I say... then bark like a dog!"
  183. >"Arf, Arf, Arf!"
  184. >You shudder, she actually perfectly imitated what a dog sounds like.
  185. >You hadn't been expecting that.
  186. >Ok, you have a slave now, but... how?
  187. >She said that you had summoned her through that weird ritual you did.
  188. >You remember your pocket watch, and all the blood that you had lost in said ritual!
  189. >Where the heck had that all gone!
  190. >You raise a hand for inspection and see all the skin had healed over perfectly, not a mark to be seen.
  191. >Another quick inspection shows the same is true of your other hand.
  192. >Ok, so your minor wounds are all healed up, but what about the pocket watch?
  193. >Did the ritual use it to summon this pony?
  194. >You look around the room, but see no hint of your pocket watch.
  195. >You're about to ask your slave to help look for it, when you feel it in your pocket.
  196. >Reaching a hand inside, you do in fact dig out your pocket watch.
  197. >You look it over, opening and closing it.
  198. >No floating, and no blood on it.
  199. >Still the same.
  200. >You look over to your new slave to see she hasn't moved.
  201. >Hmm, you need a better name for her than That Pony, or Slave.
  202. "Uh, what's your name?"
  203. >"Whatever you wish it to be. I am yours completely."
  204. >Ugh, you can't be assed to be creative right now.
  205. "Ok, if you could name yourself, then what it be?"
  206. >This actually makes her pause.
  207. >She doesn't move, but you swear she looks at you more intensely somehow.
  208. >However, the moment quickly passes.
  209. >"Ariel."
  210. "Ok then Ariel, could you help me up? I'm not able to stand on my own right now and will need your assistance to do so."
  211. >"Yes, Master. Of course."
  212. >Ariel quickly trots to you.
  213. >You put out a hand for her to help you up.
  214. >She puts her head directly under it and lifts straight up.
  215. >You have to hold on tight as you're quickly brought to your feet.
  216. >Holy crap she is strong!
  217. >She just lifted all of you with just head and didn't bat an eye!
  218. >You take a moment to stabilize yourself on her back.
  219. >Your eyes fall on the pedestal you found that book, only to find it empty.
  220. >Where is that book?
  221. >You really want to see it again, at the very least to figure out what the heck is going on with it.
  222. >As you think that, you feel a weight in your hands.
  223. >You look down and see you're holding the book!
  224. >Bringing it up to your face for closer inspection reveals that it is indeed, The Necronomicon, Pony Edition.
  225. >You have no fucking idea, how that got into your hand.
  226. >You decide not to question it for now, you have enough questions as is.
  227. >Guess you'll just take it with you for now.
  228. >You just need to get out of this castle, and back to the girls, you can figure out what to do from there.
  229. "Come on Ariel, lets get going, I need to get to the main entrance of the castle."
  230. >"As you wish Master."
  231. >How long had you been out for?
  232. >10 minutes?
  233. >An hour?
  234. >Two hours?
  235. >You had no way of knowing.
  236. >Actually, maybe Ariel knows.
  237. "Ariel, do you know, how long I was unconscious for?"
  238. >"No, Master."
  239. >Fuck.
  240. >Oh well, hopefully the girls aren't too worried.
  241. >You eventually reach the front entrance with Ariels help.
  242. >You almost do a double take.
  243. >The place looks even worse than before, like some giant rhinoceros viscously skull-fucked the entire area.
  244. >Worse than that, no signs of your friends.
  245. >That's not good.
  246. >You're not sure how to get back to Ponyville from here.
  247. "Ariel, do you know where Ponyville is?"
  248. >"No, Master."
  249. >Urrrgh.
  250. >You do know some parts of the Everfree, if you could get to somewhere you recognize you could definitely get you and Ariel out of the accursed place.
  251. >There is one obvious landmark that Ariel might actually know.
  252. "Ariel, do you know where the old Princess' castle is?"
  253. >"What do you mean, old, Master?"
  254. >You're not sure if she actually sounded curious or it was just your imagination.
  255. "The one here in the Everfree forest."
  256. >Ariel looks at the surroundings for a moment.
  257. >"Yes, Master, I know where the 'old' Princess' castle is."
  258. "Great, take me there then please."
  259. >Ariel looks at you oddly again.
  260. >"Master, it would be much faster if you rode me instead of having me assist you in walking."
  261. >Buh
  262. "You want me to ride you?"
  263. >"I want nothing, Master. I am simply stating a fact."
  264. >Weird, but, you're still pretty out of it and you're getting kind of tired.
  265. >Why not?
  266. "Ok then, um, could you lower yourself so I can get on easy?"
  267. >"Of course, Master."
  268. >Ariel crouches down quite suddenly, almost making you fall in the process.
  269. >You swing a leg over and situate yourself in the middle of your pony's back.
  270. "Ok, um, stand and take me to the Princess' old castle."
  271. >"Yes, Master."
  272. >Ariel stands, and you almost fall off her back, forcing you to grab ahold of her neck.
  273. >You've hardly had a second to steady yourself before Ariel shoots off.
  274. >Holy shit she can run!
  275. >She's running like a pony possessed, and isn't stopping!
  276. >The ride is quite bumpy and definitely uncomfortable.
  277. >You hold onto her neck for dear life, not wanting to fall off.
  278. >You close your eyes and just wait.
  279.  
  280. >It takes you a moment to realize you're not moving anymore.
  281. >You open your eyes and sit up from your hunched position on Ariel's back.
  282. >In front of you is the dilapidated old castle where Twalot and co fought off Mightmare Noon.
  283. >Looking behind you see that Ariel had more else forged a new trail from the other castle in a straight line to where you are now.
  284. >You make out multiple broken branches and torn bushes.
  285. >You down at Ariel.
  286. >Damn, she was not kidding about being fast.
  287. >There were no breaks on the Ariel train.
  288. >Looking back at all the torn branches and thorny bushes, you realize that Ariel must've run straight through them.
  289. "Ariel, are you Ok?"
  290. >There's a pause again.
  291. >"Please define 'Ok,' Master."
  292. "Uh, are you hurt at all? I imagine running straight through a bunch of branches and bushes was a little painful."
  293. >Another small pause.
  294. >"Then yes, Master, I am 'Ok.' ... Thank you for caring."
  295. >What a weird mare.
  296. >You look around once more, and are able to identify the path that you take to get here from Ponyville.
  297. >You point out the path to Ariel.
  298. "Follow that path until it takes us out of the forest, and do it a little slower this time."
  299. >"Yes, Master."
  300. >She's such a conversationalist.
  301. >Ariel quickly starts down the path.
  302. >She was still going quite quick, but at least you didn't have to hold on so tightly.
  303. >You think on that for a moment, you were gripping her pretty dang tight on the way to the Old Castle, how was she able to breath?
  304. >On top of that, you realize that you haven't actually heard her breath period.
  305. >Even when she was going full throttle she was as silent as a mouse.
  306. "Ariel?"
  307. >"Yes Master?"
  308. >She doesn't slow down as she responds.
  309. "Are you... breathing?"
  310. >God you feel stupid for asking a question like that.
  311. >"No, Master."
  312. >...
  313. >Say wha?
  314. "Wha- why!"
  315. >"Because I do not need to, Master."
  316. "And why is that!"
  317. >You're getting a little freaked out now.
  318. >"Because I am not alive, Master. I have no need to breathe. If you wish it, I could pretend to breathe, but it would not serve any purpose other than for appearance."
  319. >That's... a lot to take in.
  320. >Your new "friend" was some kind of zombie pony!
  321. >How did this happen!
  322. >...
  323. >You remember Ariel saying that you had summoned her with the ritual from that book.
  324. >You feel it's weight in your hand once more, and you suddenly realize that you there was a good chance you might have dropped it!
  325. >Luck was on your side this time though.
  326. >You grip Ariel tighter with just your knees and bring up the book so you can see it again.
  327. >The Necronomicon, Pony edition.
  328. >You open it to the page with the ritual, and to your surprise, you can read it now!
  329. >It wasn't scribbles, it was actually written in English!
  330. >Not the weird pony way of writing, or anything like that just plain old English!
  331. >You start to read as Ariel's hooves' clip clop over the bridge.
  332. -The Binding Ritual.
  333. -This is the beginning ritual that all aspiring users of the book perform.
  334. -The user bind's themselves to an item of personal value creating the beginnings of a phylactery, and thus beginning The Performer's way on becoming oˆ¨¥oˆ¨¬˚∆∫
  335. >That bit turns into scribbles, but there's some more that you can read a little ways down that isn't just how to perform the ritual.
  336. -Once the ritual is performed correctly, a minion shall be summoned and subsequently bound to The Performer. This minion shall be capable of conscious thought, although intelligence varies from summoning to summoning. The minion is typically a Skeleton or Zombie, although accounts of other appearances are not unheard of.
  337. -This minion is typically used as The Performer's "right-hand man" and shall be of great use due to their intelligence.
  338. -One thing to note is that as part of the binding it is necessary to force the minion to value The Performer's life above all others, and will disobey commands if it believes The Performer's life is in great danger.
  339. >That's all you can make out.
  340. >The rest is either scribbles or instructions on how to perform the ritual.
  341. >Ok, that's a lot to take in.
  342. >So Ariel is bound to you, which explains why you suddenly have a slave.
  343. >Apparently you've also bound yourself to your pocket-watch and have started turning into a "phylactery" whatever the hell that is.
  344. >You sigh.
  345. >So you basically just created an undead servant.
  346. >Isn't there a name for that type of thing?
  347. >Come on, what is it, you're sure you know it!
  348. >...
  349. >Necromancy!
  350. >That's it!
  351. >You performed Necromancy!
  352. >And you got it from the... Necronomicon.
  353. >It suddenly dawns on you on what you've discovered.
  354. >You've found a book on how to do undead magicky magic things!
  355. >You're first instinct is to find PurpleSmart and quite literally rub the book in her face while showing off Ariel.
  356. >You can't do magic she said.
  357. >You're not a pony she said!
  358. >Well you'll show her!
  359. >You'll be the best goddamn Necromancy guy ever!
  360. >You'll get a dark a cloak, and a bloodstained knife, and a tragic backstory, and you will be the edgiest!
  361. >Heh.
  362. >Fantasies aside, you are definitely interested in learning more of what your new favorite book has to offer, but flaunting it might not be the best idea.
  363. >The ponies could barely handle some goddamn goose bump stories, and Twilight swore up and down she would laser you if you ever told anyone about the various Creepypastas you for some reason have memorized.
  364. >You're so wrapped up in thought it takes you a moment to realize that Ariel has stopped moving and you're now a few feet outside the Everfree.
  365. >Sweet, you could go to your house right now, but you should probably go find the girls.
  366. >It's already been at least an hour or two since you woke up, who knows how long it's been total.
  367. >First off though, the ponies probably shouldn't see you riding Ariel like this.
  368. >You brought up you riding them once jokingly and nearly got slapped.
  369. >Apparently riding another pony is totally against the cultural norm and super freaky deaky kinky.
  370. >Naturally you still teased them about it, but actually riding into town is probably not a good idea.
  371. "Ariel, could you lower yourself to the ground? I want to walk the rest of the way to Ponyville."
  372. >"Of course, Master."
  373. >Ariel lowers herself and you stand up.
  374. >You find that you can stand on your own now, but you don't think you'll be running a marathon anytime soon.
  375. >Hmm, also, you feel like taking a couple preemptive measures against ponies finding out Ariel is a zambo.
  376. "Ariel, could you pretend to breathe while you're in public, or when people other than me can see you? I don't want anyone else to find out you're undead, so do your best to pretend to be alive I guess."
  377. >"Yes, Master."
  378. "Also, while in public or when other people can see you, don't call me Master. It would create too many questions, do as I say still, just uh, no Master and Slave stuff, K?"
  379. >"Yes, Master."
  380. >Hmm, you'll probably think of some other stuff later, but this should be enough for now.
  381. "Come on, lets go say high to my friends."
  382.  
  383. >The walk to Ponyville is uneventful.
  384. >Too uneventful.
  385. >There's normally some ponies milling about doing who knows what, but today the area was empty.
  386. >Even once you got into town there wasn't a pony in sight.
  387. >Confused, you head to the center of town.
  388. >The only thing you can think of is that there might be some kind of meeting going on.
  389. >Seems you were right, as you approach the area you can make out Mayor Mare talking on a mic.
  390. >You make it into hearing range just in time to hear the end of her speech.
  391. >"-and I am sad to say the 7 days have passed. It is with a heavy heart and a sad face that I announce our beloved Anonymous to be dead. Anypony who wants to say a few words, please come up and do so."
  392. >Holy shit are they holding a funeral for you?
  393. >Ignore the fact you that you may or may not have been unconscious for seven days, you are actually attending your own funeral!
  394. >Oh my god you need to think of something to do.
  395. >You must troll every single one of these ponies!
  396. >The only question, how do you go about it.
  397. >With Ariel, there's a lot of horrifying tricks you could pull off, but unfortunately you don't want anybody to find she's a zombie pony, so you guess you'll have to leave her out of this.
  398. >Hmm, none of the ponies are really paying attention around them, they're all fixated on Twilight who's talking about how good of a friend you are on stage.
  399. >You look around and notice a bag of flour just lying on the ground next to a building.
  400. >How utterly convenient.
  401. >You rip it open and apply it liberally to all visible parts of your body, which is mainly your hands and face, but you make sure to get your shins and some of your arm as well.
  402. "Ariel how do I look?"
  403. >"Like you've applied flour or some kind of white make-up to all parts of your body, Master."
  404. >Real creative this one.
  405. "I didn't miss any bits?"
  406. >"No, Master."
  407. "Ok good, just wait here while I go scare twiglit shitless."
  408. >You get onto all fours so that you're about the same height as a pony and start crawling around the edges of the crowd.
  409. >Holy crap these ponies are oblivious!
  410. >You've now managed to get behind the stage.
  411. >Before you can enact the next part of your plan, Pinkie walks around the corner and looks you dead in the eyes!
  412. >She opens her mouth, but before she can say or yell anything, you rush over to her and clamp your hand over it.
  413. "Shhh, doing prank, spooking ponies."
  414. >Pinkie nods and you take her hand off her muzzle.
  415. >She does pull you into a tight hug before letting you get back to your mischief though.
  416. "You never saw me."
  417. >She nods again and starts walking off in some random direction whistling some tune.
  418. >Ok, now where is it...
  419. >Aha!
  420. >You open the secret door in the back of the stage and crawl under.
  421. >The mare had this installed for some kind of magic show a while ago, now it's time to make use of it.
  422. >The trapdoor that leads onto the stage should be right behind Spergle and the rest of your friends.
  423. You put a box under the trapdoor so that you can step up and onto the stage.
  424. >You noiselessly open the trapdoor and then start to rise onto the stage.
  425. >You slowly rise onto the stage as if floating upwards.
  426. >Once you're completely on the stage you just wait for the ponies to notice you.
  427. >It starts with one pony, then a nudge later another notices.
  428. >Soon enough the whole crowd is now staring, not at Twilight, but at you.
  429. >Even Applejack and Fluttershy and the lot have turned around.
  430. >Twilight however is still completely clueless and reading her speech.
  431. >You cough a little to get her attention.
  432. >She doesn't notice.
  433. >You cough louder.
  434. >"And we all miss him dearly-"
  435. >COUGH COUGH COUGH
  436. >"Ok who is that, what could be so important that-"
  437. >She turns around and immediately stares at you wide-eyed.
  438. >You grin widely at her.
  439. "Hey Twilight, what's up."
  440. >Her scream was probably heard in manehatten.
  441. "Well geez, I know you don't think I'm gorgeous, but that's still rude."
  442. >She's just staring at you wide-eyed.
  443. "Anyway what are ya'll doing up here? I couldn't really make out what you were saying, mind if I just read the papers?"
  444. >She doesn't respond so you just walk over and pick them up.
  445. "Bla bla bla friendship, bla bla blaaaaa. Hey I'm in here!"
  446. >Twilight's face goes pale.
  447. "Are you all throwing a party for me? You shouldn't have. Still do it though. Cause you totally should. Anyway, let me see what you wrote about me."
  448. >"A-Anon I'm not sure if that's the-'
  449. "I'm kind and caring? Oh shucks you know how to make a guy blush Twilight. What's this about being missed though? I'm not going anywhere. Eternal rest? I know I'm lazy but that's still a bit harsh."
  450. >Rarity who has just been staring at you this whole time finally pipes up.
  451. >"B-B-But, you're dead! The castle all but collapsed and it's been over a week!"
  452. >You pause theatrically and look at her.
  453. "A week? No, that can't be right I-I just got back into town today. We found the castle and all came back to Ponyville."
  454. >Applejacks turn now.
  455. >"Anon, we found that castle a week ago and... ya didn't make it back out."
  456. "Pfft, well obviously I did. Look at me, I'm alive and healthy!"
  457. >"Anon, have ya looked at yerself?"
  458. "You have looked at YOURself?"
  459. >"Anon seriously!"
  460. "Ugh, no I haven't."
  461. >Twilight says nothing, but conjures up a mirror for you.
  462. >You look into it and gasp, pretending to be horrified!
  463. "OH MY GOD!"
  464. >You sink to your knees.
  465. "I'm...
  466. >You sink further and cradle your head in your arms.
  467. "I'M..."
  468. >Twilight moves forward, reaching forward with a hoof to comfort you.
  469. >You explode up, a pair of sunglasses now on your face!
  470. "I'M A GOOFY GOOBER!"
  471. >You rub your hands free of flour on Twilight's shocked face.
  472. "YOU'RE A GOOFY GOOBER!"
  473. >You swear you hear someone say rock in background.
  474. >You walk over to Rarity who's fainted and use her mane to wipe your face clean.
  475. "WE'RE ALL GOOFY GOOBERS!"
  476. >You then grab the microphone and rock your goddamn heart out.
  477. >You sit panting on the stage floor after your wonderful performance, the crowd of ponies thoroughly impressed at your mad skills.
  478. >You also make a mental note to thank Pinkie for being a total bro and hooking you up with a guitar.
  479. >Twilight is still sitting behind you in utter shock.
  480. "Did you like my performance Twittle?"
  481. >"What, the actual BUCK ANON? WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!"
  482. >You calmly lean against the podium.
  483. "Turns out I'm not, good news for all!"
  484. >"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN THIS WHOLE WEEK!"
  485. "Riding the hasslelhoff."
  486. >"Anon..."
  487. "Figuring at how gay wanting to bone Hideyoshi is."
  488. >"ANON!"
  489. "Sheesh, to be honest, I was unconscious the whole time. I just woke up today."
  490. >Pretty in Purple calms down considerably now that you've stopped messing around, although she still has an eyebrow raised.
  491. >"You were unconscious for a week?"
  492. "Yup."
  493. >"And you're completely fine?"
  494. "Fit as a fiddle."
  495. >"No dehydration or death from starvation?"
  496. "Well, um, actually... no."
  497. >Eyebrow raising intensifies.
  498. >You realize how weird that actually is.
  499. >You were out for a full week, but you weren't dehydrated or starving when you woke up.
  500. >Maybe Ariel found a way to feed you?
  501. >You'll have to ask her about it.
  502. >In the meanwhile you'll make up something a little more not weird to appease twilight.
  503. "Ok fine, I wasn't really unconscious, but I was trapped in the castle."
  504. >This finally catches her attention.
  505. "I was exploring this basement area and I heard some roaring noises. Whatever it was managed to cave in the only entrance, I've just been struggling to get out since. The basement must have been for a kitchen because there was still running water and some only slightly stale food."
  506. >It's not too far from the truth.
  507. >You did hear roaring.
  508. >Twilight's look of annoyance immediately turns into one of pity after hearing your sob story.
  509. >"Oh Anon, I'm so sorry to hear that. How did you manage to get out?"
  510. >OH, this actually works perfectly for you.
  511. "A pony that happened by helped me out."
  512. >Twilight is going through a multitude of faces today.
  513. >Normally she's just angry or annoyed around you.
  514. >Right now she's surprised.
  515. >"Really? A pony just happened by an ancient castle in the Everfree? Do you know where she is? I'd like to meet her!"
  516. "Sure, right follow me."
  517. >You don't know where the other 5 of Twilight's only forms of social interaction went, but they weren't with you so you didn't care.
  518. >You lead Twilight back to Ariel who is standing in the exact same spot you left her.
  519. >You doubt she moved an inch.
  520. "Twilight, this is Ariel, the pony who saved me from that basement. Ariel, this is Twilight."
  521. >Hopefully Ariel can take a hint.
  522. >Twilight extends a hoof in greeting.
  523. >"Nice to meet you Ariel, I'm Twilight Sparkle, Anon here tells me that you saved him from the Everfree. I can't thank you enough for saving one of my... friends, and I hope he wasn't too much trouble."
  524. >Ariel doesn't shake Twilight's hoof, and remains silent.
  525. >Twilight awkwardly lowers her hoof, and as she does so Ariel starts to speak.
  526. >"No, he wasn't a burden at all. He hardly weighs much and I'm quite strong."
  527. >Twilight starts to laughing, despite Ariel's deadpan tone of voice.
  528. >"Ahahaha *snort*, that was a good one! Honestly though, I can't thank you enough for what you did."
  529. >"No, thanks are necessary."
  530. >"I insist, really. My friend Pinkie Pie is already planning on throwing a party for Anonymous now that he's back, I'd be delighted if you could join us!"
  531. >Ariel falls silent once more, but she glances at you subtly.
  532. >It takes only a split second to realize she wants your approval.
  533. >Twilight isn't paying attention to you so you just nod.
  534. >Ariels reply once you do so is instantaneous.
  535. >"I will go to the party."
  536. >Twilight either doesn't notice Ariel's monotone or doesn't care.
  537. >"Wonderful! The party is tonight at 6!"
  538. >With that, Twilight trots off, pleased to have persuaded yet another pony to be social.
  539. >You check the big ass town clock and see you've got a few hours to kill.
  540. "Ok Ariel, come with me. We're gonna head over to my place and figure out some stuff."
  541. >"Ok."
  542. >You're about 3/4 of the way to your house which means your good and outside the town.
  543. >After living with Sparkles for a while and dealing with all the crazy shit that goes on in that town you opted to have your house far away from it.
  544. >"Master?"
  545. >???
  546. >This is the first time Ariel's spoken without some sort of prompting.
  547. >You're definitely curious.
  548. "Yes Ariel?"
  549. >"Did my actions please you back in the town?"
  550. >Huh?
  551. "What do you mean?"
  552. >"You did not give me orders on what to do in such a situation. I had to act in what I assumed were what you wanted. I am eternally sorry if I have displeased you and will accept whatever punishment you deem worthy."
  553. >You think you here... resignation in her voice?
  554. >Kind of like how the kid sounds when he's caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
  555. >You know that sound well because that kid was often you.
  556. "No, Ariel you uh, you did well. No punishments necessary."
  557. >Ariel doesn't say anything.
  558. >You glance back at her, but her expressionless face is the same as ever.
  559. >Neither of you speak more on the way to your house.
  560. >Once you've arrived you fall down on your couch and stare at your ceiling.
  561. >You've gotta come up with some kind of explanation as to why Ariel is gonna be staying with you.
  562. >More importantly though, you want to find out how you survived a month without food.
  563. "Ariel?"
  564. >"Yes, Master?"
  565. >You had her come in, but from where you hear her voice it doesn't sound like she's moved from the doorway.
  566. "Did you feed me while I was unconscious in that basement?"
  567. >"No, Master. Would you like me to in the future?"
  568. "Heh, sure. In the future make sure I'm properly fed and taken care of when I'm unconscious."
  569. >"Yes, master."
  570. >...
  571. "Do you know why I didn't need to eat anything Ariel?"
  572. >"No, Master."
  573. >Mmm, you weren't really expecting more than that, but it was worth a shot.
  574. >Maybe the necronomicon has some answers?
  575. >Crap where did you even put that book!
  576. >Before your worry turns into panic you feel the now familiar weight of the leather-bound book in your hand.
  577. >Had you been carrying it this whole time and just forgot?
  578. >Whatever, at least you still have it.
  579. >You sit upright and open the book.
  580. >A lot of the pages are blank still, and most of them are still scribbles.
  581. >One page in particular catches your eye however. Why it does, you aren't sure. But it does.
  582. >It's towards the back of the book and seems to be sort of like a dictionary entry.
  583. >You start to read it.
  584.  
  585. -Phylactery, rank 1
  586. -A rank one phylactery is made during the Binding Ritual.
  587. -A rank one phylactery will allow the person bonded to it to go larger amounts of time without need for sustenance. Some say that it lets The Owner go longer without air, but this is not verified.
  588. -IMPORTANT: The Owner of a rank one Phylactery will not resurrect from it as it does not-
  589. >The text blurs out once more into scribbles.
  590. >Whatever, that's pretty damn neat!
  591. >Your pocket watch now gave you super powers!
  592. >Pretty crappy super powers.
  593. >But super powers none the less!
  594. >You reach into your pocket and pull out the watch running your thumb over it.
  595. >It does feel different.
  596. >More... weighty?
  597. >But not in a literal term.
  598. >It's hard to describe.
  599. >You return your phyl-something-or-other back to your pocket.
  600. >Time to read up more on how to be a wicked undead magic man!
  601. >Hey, you can read this page!
  602. >Oh man this is gonna be-
  603. >"Master, there is a pony approaching your home."
  604. >What?
  605. >You sit up and peer out the window just in time to see a blond tail before there's a knock on your door.
  606. "Oh uh, Ariel sit down on the couch then.."
  607. >"Ok."
  608. >As Ariel makes herself look a little less awkward you open the door.
  609. "Hello?"
  610. >As soon as the door is open your surprise guest jumps up to give you a big hug!
  611. >You stagger back slightly and look down at the pony hugging you.
  612. >Oh it's Derpy!
  613. "Hey Derpy!"
  614. >Derpy pulls back from the hug with a wide grin plastered on her face.
  615. >"Hiya Nonny! I didn't get a chance to talk to you at the meeting so I thought I'd come by now!"
  616. "Awesome, you know I'm always happy to see my best bud."
  617. >Derpy continues to smile brightly, but then stops and frowns at you.
  618. >"Where were you Nonny? I was really worried about you!"
  619. >You lean against the doorframe and try not to laugh.
  620. >Derpy looks completely adorable when upset.
  621. >She's even pouting.
  622. "I just got a bit lost in the Everfree, but I'm Ok now!"
  623. >Derpy's been a total bro ever since you got here, the last thing you wanna do is upset her.
  624. >She's still pouting.
  625. >It's really cute and it's starting to make you feel guilty.
  626. "Hey, how about we have lunch together at the park tomorrow? It'll be nice to catch up and I'll even bring some muffins."
  627. >Derpy's frowny face disappears at the promise of her favorite baked confection and she smiles happily once more.
  628. >"Ok, Nonny! I guess I'll see you at Pinkie's party later!"
  629. >Shit, you almost forgot about that.
  630. "Yeah, for sure."
  631. >With one last hug Derpy leaves and you close the door.
  632. >Damn, how did you forget to say hi to Derpy?
  633. >Oh well, best not to dwell on it.
  634. >You've still got about two hours to kill.
  635. >You move away from the door and sit down on the couch next to Ariel.
  636. >Time to be a badass wizard.
  637. >You look around for the book, only to find it still in your hand.
  638. >Did you talk to Derpy that whole time while holding it?
  639. >Whatever, time to magic the crap out of something!
  640. >You open it and flip it over to the page you saw earlier.
  641. >Upon closer inspection you see that a lot of it is actually still scribbles.
  642. >What you are able to make out is the instructions to a ritual.
  643. >It doesn't actually need too much.
  644. >Just say some spoopy words, cut yourself a little like an emo bitch, and hold out your pocket watch.
  645. >Isn't your watch already a phylbactery?
  646. >Is this gonna make it even cooler?
  647. >Like be red and black and super edgy?
  648. >Whatever, you'll give it a shot.
  649. >You grab a knife from your kitchen and give yourself a small cut along the line of your palm.
  650. >It stings but doesn't hurt too much.
  651. >You sit your ass back down on the couch, noticing that Ariel is just watching you as impassively as always.
  652. >You pull out your pocket watch and grip it in your bloody palm as you chant the weird sounding words.
  653. >As you chant your blood is flowing from your palm and circling around your hand.
  654. >Amazingly, it doesn't hurt as the blood flows out of your hand.
  655. >It's like watching a water tap, it just keeps coming out.
  656. >After that you feel a tug.
  657. >But not a physical one.
  658. >Ariel was still just sitting still.
  659. >It was like your insides had been caught with a fishing hook and someone was tugging.
  660. >You feel it again.
  661. >It's not pleasant.
  662. >The blood has now formed a second ring around your hand.
  663. >The tug happens again, harder.
  664. >Fuck this hurts!
  665. >There's another tug, and whatever it was pulling at comes loose.
  666. >And holy shit does it hurt.
  667. >Your whole body is in pain.
  668. >Beyond what you could ever imagine.
  669. >You barely notice the blood and some small glowing thing enter the pocket watch in your now limp hand.
  670. >Once they're inside your hand starts to hurt, along with your whole body.
  671. >You don't even realize you're falling off the couch until Ariel catches you.
  672. >You feel the blackness of unconsciousness in your mind and let it overtake you, the pain being to much to bare.
  673. >Water.
  674. >That's the first thing you recognize as you start to come to your senses.
  675. >You open your eyes.
  676. >Looking to your side you see that Ariel is there with a cup of water and some vegetables.
  677. >Sitting you up you notice that it's also gotten darker.
  678. >Figuring out what happened with that ritual is definitely on the list of things that need to happen, but first of...
  679. "How long was I out for?"
  680. >"3 hours and 23 minutes, Master."
  681. >Shit, you're late for the party!
  682. >You quickly stand and up run to your dresser.
  683. >And promptly trip on the blanket that had been covering you.
  684. >You fall down and bang your head on the floor, but it doesn't hurt too much.
  685. >You scramble back up and make it to the dresser, grabbing your usual suit, tie, and pants.
  686. >You run over to the door and are halfway through before you realize that Ariel isn't with you.
  687. >She's still next to the couch, but her head is bowed down like a sad puppy.
  688. "Ariel what are you waiting for? We gotta go, we're late!"
  689. >"I'm awaiting my punishment, Master."
  690. >Again with this?
  691. "Punishment? For what?"
  692. >She bows her head further, practically going Eeyore on you.
  693. >"For injuring you, Master. I placed the blanket on you while you were unconscious and it caused you to fall."
  694. >Wha-seriously?
  695. "Your punishment is to think about what you've done, now lets go!"
  696. >It takes her a second, but Ariel follows suit and the two of you quickly make your way to the party.
  697. >Which you're assuming is at Sugar Cube Corner.
  698. >You're gonna feel dumb if it isn't.
  699. >After a short trip you've arrived at Sugar Cube Corner where the party is in full swing.
  700. >Maybe no one will notice you were late.
  701. >You're able to take exactly one step inside before Pink Pie appears in front of you.
  702. >"Anon where have you been! You already missed the cupcake pie!"
  703. "I was... reading a book and lost track of time."
  704. >"Wow,that must have been a very good book! I don't read too often, except for cookbooks, I read those a lot! Not all the time though, otherwise I wouldn't be able to spend time with my friends or have parties! Hey speaking of friends is Ariel here? Twilight told me all about her and said she was gonna come to the party and I can't wait to make a new friend!"
  705. >One day you'll get used to Ponk talking a mile a minute. One day.
  706. >Maybe.
  707. "Yeah, Ariel is right behind me, as soon as you let me in you can say hi."
  708. >"Sure thing Anonymonymous!"
  709. >Pinkie hopped to the side allowing you to fully enter the bakery turned party place.
  710. >As soon as Pinku had line of sight on Ariel she sproinged (and that is the technical term) in front of her and started the introductory spiel
  711. >'Hi I'm Panky Po, welcome to ponvill, lets be friends'
  712. >You're intrigued to hear Ariel's response.
  713. >"Hello, Pinkie Pie. I am Ariel."
  714. >Pinkie smiles and laughs and then goes on, but you tune it out.
  715. >Well she's still speaking in a monotone, which you're starting to get used to, but other than that no one should suspect that she's unalive.
  716. "Hey Pinkie do you mind if I get back Ariel from you? I'm gonna show her around."
  717. >"Of course Anon! The drinks are to the right and the sugary delights are right next to them!"
  718. >While Pinkaruni let you know the locations of the Ariel made her way over to your side.
  719. >Glancing at her you notice that she's pretending to breathe like you told her to.
  720. >Good thing she remembered that 'cause you certainly didn't.
  721. >Ok what to do...
  722. >Derpy!
  723. >She's probably wondering where you are.
  724. >You can't see her just looking over the crowd, but there's a lot of ponies so that isn't saying much.
  725. >You decide to make your way to the snacks and just hope to bump into her along the way.
  726. >As you're making your way with along with Ariel close behind a voice calls out to you.
  727. >"Anon! Anon! Anon!"
  728. >Who is it this time?
  729. "Oh hey Applebloom, what's up?"
  730. >"Anon what's a Goofeygoober?"
  731. >lolwut
  732. "Say again?"
  733. >"A Goofeygoober! That thing ya sang about your funeral!"
  734. >"A Goofeygoober! That thing ya sang about at your funeral!"
  735. >Oh boy.
  736. "A Goofeygoober is something you that you have to discover for yourself, no one person can answer it for you for the true answer lies within you."
  737. >Applebloom frowns at you.
  738. >"That's a load bullshit Anon!"
  739. "Hey! Language! If the other ponies find out I taught you those words they'll yell at me more."
  740. >This lightens the frown off her face and makes her laugh a little.
  741. >"Hey Anon, uh, who's the pony standin' next to ya?"
  742. >You look over to Ariel to see if she reacted at all, but she's just dully staring at AB.
  743. "This is my new friend Ariel, the pony that saved me from the castle in the Everfree. Ariel, Applebloom. Applebloom, Ariel."
  744. >Applebloom trots over to Ariel and sticks a hoof out.
  745. >"Nice ta meet ya Ariel!"
  746. >Both you and Applebloom wait for Ariel to respond, but she just continues to stare at Applebloom, who quickly puts her hoof down.
  747. >Damage control go.
  748. "Sorry, she's really shy."
  749. >AB was clearly a little embarrassed.
  750. >"Oh, no problem uh, I think I hear the other crusaders callin' for me, gotta now bye!"
  751. >And just like that she's gone.
  752. >Ok you need to talk with Ariel about this now.
  753. >You hurriedly make your way past the rest of the ponies, giving out a hello and hey there when ponies see you before you make it to the corner of the bakery, the farthest away you're going to get from the crowd.
  754. "Ok, Ariel what's going on."
  755. >"A party."
  756. >No shit sherlock.
  757. "I mean with Applebloom, why'd you just stare at her?"
  758. >"There was no need to respond."
  759. "Urgh."
  760. >You sigh and look at the ground.
  761. >Ok, you're able to tell Ariel isn't social, but you didn't think you'd have to spell everything out for her.
  762. >"Are you angry at me?"
  763. >You look back up to Ariel to see her head slightly tilted.
  764. >Her voice wasn't a monotone that time either.
  765. >You don't know what it was though, curiousness? Confusion? Fear maybe?
  766. >Whatever, right now you need to make sure Ariel at least knows some basic etiquette.
  767.  
  768. >It takes you another second to realize you haven't answered her.
  769. "No, not angry. Just a little frustrated."
  770. >She doesn't respond, but does move her head back to it's usual position.
  771. >You speak in a low voice so that none of the ponies can hear you.
  772. "Ok new orders, first off, start blinking every few seconds, second, if a pony sticks there hoof out to you like Applebloom did, then gently shake it up and down a couple of times, third, when a pony says, 'nice to meet you' say, 'nice to meet you too,'... and finally, if I tap my foot three times consecutively, then press into my side and act shy, Ok?"
  773. I'm a lazy bugger who doesn't feel like detailing everything out, and I'm sure that'd also be boring to read, suffice to say Ariel now has some very common courtesy
  774. >"Ok"
  775. >Took her a moment there.
  776. >You're probably going to have to teach her a good amount more on how to behave in public, but for now you just hope that this is enough to get through the party.
  777. >As you scan over the room one more time you see Derpy grabbing a drink.
  778. >Awesome, you can go say hi now.
  779. >A glance behind you confirms that Ariel is still closely following you as go to Derpy.
  780. "Hey Derpy!"
  781. >"Nonny!"
  782. >You know it's gonna happen, but her hug still surprises you a bit.
  783. >It's took a while to get used to how touchy feely ponies are.
  784. >"You're late! I thought you weren't gonna come!"
  785. >One of Derpy's eyes droops down to her drink as she picks it back up.
  786. >Still a bit unsettling.
  787. "Why wouldn't I come, Pinkie Pie parties are the best, even if you're an hour late."
  788. >"1 hour and 34 minutes to be exact!"
  789. >You're not sure where Pinkie came from, nor do you know her destination as she skips away.
  790. "How does she do that?"
  791. >"Twilight tried to figure out once and went crazy."
  792. "Yeah sounds about right."
  793. >You start pouring yourself a drink as Derpy talks.
  794. >"So Nonny I heard the pony who saved you from that castle is gonna be here, do you know where she is?"
  795. >You gesture over to Ariel as you take a sip of the punch.
  796. >You're curious to see how Ariel does.
  797. >"Hiya, my name is Derpy! Thanks a lot for saving Nonny, I don't know what I would've done if he'd gotten trapped in that castle!"
  798. >"Hello. I am Ariel. You are welcome."
  799. >Well... it's a start at least.
  800. >You can see that Derpy is unsure, exactly how to respond to Ariel's blunt answer, so you decide to butt in.
  801. >You walk in between Derpy and Ariel and tap your foot three times as subtly as you could manage.
  802. >Right on cue, Ariel presses herself into you and avoids eye contact with Derpy.
  803. >You're 100% certain that didn't look stupid as hell.
  804. "Sorry, I should've mentioned that Ariel is really shy."
  805. >It's hard to tell if Derpy is buying it.
  806. >One of her eyes is loosely on you while the other tracks a deflating balloon.
  807. >"Oh well you should've said something Anon! I didn't mean to intimidate her!"
  808. >Ruse successful, initiate plan change the subject.
  809. "Haha, my bad. Anyway, did you tried the cupcake pie? Pinkie said it was really good."
  810. >"Anon are you feeling Ok?"
  811. "What do you mean? I'm doing fine yeah."
  812. >"It's just uh, well I didn't really notice it before you stepped in the light, but you're looking kinda pale."
  813. >Oh god you thought she'd figured out there for a second
  814. >You look at your hand and see that you're definitely a few shades below your normal complexion, but it's nothing too abnormal.
  815. >You're surprised you aren't MORE pale being trapped without sunlight for that long now that you think about it.
  816. >Whatever, maybe one of your new super powers is you don't lose tans as fast.
  817. >Jersey boys be jelly.
  818. "Oh don't worry about that, it's a human thing. We need sunlight to stay tan and I wasn't really getting too much of that deep underground."
  819. >"Oh, well I guess you should make sure to spend lots of time outside then!"
  820. "Yeah, I just need to trust in those glorious rays to give me back my tan."
  821. >"Say Nonny-"
  822. "You just really need to believe in the sun."
  823. >"Nonny?"
  824. "You just need to-"
  825. >You inhale deeply and spread your arms wide, doing your best to project a majestic aura.
  826. "PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE LIGHT!"
  827. >Maybe yelling that was a bad idea.
  828. >All of the ponies are staring at you now.
  829. "Is my idea for a new saying on we should all trust our kind and benevolent ruler. Praise Celestia, glory be unto her."
  830. >You hear clapping.
  831. >They're clapping.
  832. >They totally believe you.
  833. >All of the ponies are clapping.
  834. >You're hearing them start to say 'put your faith in the light' to each other.
  835. >It's taking every ounce of willpower you have not to just clutch your stomach and laugh.
  836. >The party started to dwindle down after that.
  837. >You don't stick around too long to socialize though, you really don't want to run into Rarity.
  838. >She's your worst social nightmare right now and you're a little tired of covering for Ariel.
  839. >You've just arrived at your house and are saying your last goodbyes to Derpi.
  840. "It's been great talking to you Derps, but I'm feeling tired and my bed is looking real comfy about now."
  841. >"Ok Nonny, just one last thing. I have a day off next week, I was wondering if you wanted to go on a picnic!"
  842. >It's not exactly like you have a busy schedule.
  843. "Sounds good, can we go over details later though? I'm pretty damn drowsy."
  844. >"Sure thing Nonny! Later!"
  845. >With a final parting hug and a happy smile Derpy flew off.
  846. >You lock the door behind you once Ariel got in and flop down on your couch.
  847. >Ariel is just standing at the doorway again.
  848. "Ariel why are you just standing at the doorway?"
  849. >"You haven't told me to move anywhere, do anything, or given me permission to be anywhere else, Master."
  850. >Huh.
  851. "Well uh, you have permission to be anywhere in the house you want."
  852. >"Thank you, Master."
  853. >You wait for Ariel to move, but she remains in the doorway.
  854. "You um, have permission to move now Ariel."
  855. >"Thank you, Master."
  856. >She's still just standing there.
  857. >Staring at you with those deep green eyes.
  858. "Uhm, why aren't you moving?"
  859. >"I am fine where I am, Master. Does my being here displease you? If so I will move immediately."
  860. "No, I did say you could be where you want to in the house. I just uh, didn't expect you to like the doorway so much."
  861. >She doesn't respond to that.
  862. >You close your eyes and stretch back over the couch, the desire to sleep starting to get to you.
  863. >"I'm not displeasing you, am I, Master?"
  864. >You crack an eye and look back to Ariel, but she still hasn't moved.
  865. "No. You're not displeasing me."
  866. >There's a pause.
  867. >"...Ok, Master."
  868. >You stop stretching and grab a book off your coffee table.
  869. >You don't quite feel like going to sleep yet.
  870. >Book in hand, you curl into the corner of the couch and start to read.
  871. >You've been reading for a good while when you hear the telltale creak of your floorboards being stepped on.
  872. >You look back to Ariel to see her walking over to you.
  873. >In a few short steps she's set herself next to you.
  874. >Almost uncomfortably close, leaving practically no room between the two of you.
  875. >You look at her questioningly, but she says nothing.
  876. >You decide to take the opportunity to examine her better.
  877. >Her coat is actually extreme well kept.
  878. >Better than you would've thought for an undead pony, you can't see a single hair out of line.
  879. >Except for those random black hairs.
  880. >They're so out of place.
  881. >It almost looks like you could just flick them away.
  882. >You reach a hand towards Ariel, pausing before actually touching her to see her reaction.
  883. >Still nothing.
  884. >You're beginning to wonder if she knows how to make a face other than this one.
  885. >You place your hand on her back.
  886. >Soft.
  887. >That's the first thing that hits you.
  888. >You hadn't noticed it when you were riding her, but her fur is incredibly soft.
  889. >You notice one of the offending black hairs near your hand and move your hand over it.
  890. >It's coarse.
  891. >More so than her coat anyway.
  892. >You look closer and see that it isn't actually hair, it's string.
  893. >Wait a sec, so all those hairs are actually
  894. "Stitches?"
  895. >"Yes, Master."
  896. >You hadn't really intended to say that out loud.
  897. >Oh well, doesn't really matter.
  898. "Why do you have so many stitches?"
  899. >"To keep this body together, Master."
  900. >Interesting wording there.
  901. >You decide not to question her on it though.
  902. >That's a lot of stitches however.
  903. >More than you care to count.
  904. "How many stitches do you have?"
  905. >"I don't know, Master."
  906. >Don't really know what to do with that answer.
  907. >"Would you like me to count them, Master?"
  908. "No, no."
  909. >Don't really think you want that answer.
  910. >You move your hand up her back and over her neck, making your way to her mane.
  911. >Ariel remained like a statue.
  912. >You run your hand through her mane.
  913. >It's as silky and soft as the rest of her.
  914. "How do you keep yourself so clean?"
  915. >Another idle thought, but you realize it also has some merit to it.
  916. >Even when she barreled through the Everfree Ariel didn't have so much as a spec of a dirt on her.
  917. >"I don't, Master. You do."
  918. "Come again?"
  919. >"You've been keeping me clean via magic ever since my summoning, Master."
  920. >Oh.
  921. >Well that's pretty neat.
  922. >You remove your hand from Ariel's mane and lean back to look at her in full again.
  923. >Her eyes catch your attention once more.
  924. "You have such nice eyes."
  925. >"Thank you, Master. These eyes are one of the few remaining parts of my original form."
  926. >saywutnow
  927. "What?"
  928. >"These eyes are one of the few remaining parts of my original form!"
  929. >She said it louder that time.
  930. >You're still too blown back by that statement to be amused at her social ineptness.
  931. "No, I heard you. You don't have to speak so loudly. I meant, could you elaborate on that?"
  932. >"Certainly, Master."
  933. >"Shortly after I died, the first pony I called Master summoned me, he was a very different Master from the others. He was obsessed with preserving my original body. He failed however, and was unable to stop my original body from failing. As my original body was becoming inoperable my first Master killed another pony and made her body my own. He kept a few things though. Among them, my eyes."
  934. >So Ariel's a frankenstein.
  935. >Cool?
  936. >"My first Master was killed not too long after I had been transferred to the new body. Without a Master I become inanimate, so I waited."
  937. >"Eventually I was dug from my grave and a new Master summoned me. He was my Master for many years before he died and passed me on to another Old Master."
  938. >"This cycle continued for many, many Old Masters. My body always being replaced and swapped and switched around, but the eyes always stayed. Eventually one Old Master brought me to this body you see before you. He explained that I was never to let this body fail. He used many magical incantations to help preserve this body. Once that Old Master passed me on his command died, but none of my other Old Masters changed this body, only renewing it."
  939. >Wow.
  940. >That's a lot to take in.
  941. >You look at Ariel who's facial expression is the same as when you first met her.
  942. >No wonder Ariel's so stoic, she's been at this for longer than you could imagine by the sound of that!
  943. >Being passed around like a household object for who knows how long!
  944. >Well you're gonna be different!
  945. >You're gonna treat Ariel better!
  946. >You can't contain yourself and move forward and throw your arms around Ariel in a hug!
  947. >She's not warm, like a normal person or pony, she's more just room temperature.
  948. >You try not to let it deter as you hug her.
  949. >"Master... what are you doing?"
  950. "Hugging you."
  951. >"...Why?"
  952. "To make you feel better. You told a sad story, so I'm trying to help you feel better."
  953. >"Thank you, Master.”
  954. >A few seconds pass and you feel Ariel put her hoofs around you to return the hug.
  955. >The two of you stay like that for a long time.
  956. >You can't tell how much time passed, but you don't really care.
  957. "Is this helping Ariel?"
  958. >"Help what, Master?"
  959. "Helping you feel better. Are you feeling better?"
  960. >"..."
  961. >Ariel isn't saying anything.
  962. >It was pretty silly of you to think lifetimes of servitude could be helped with just-
  963. >"Yes, Master. Thank you, Master."
  964. >Oh.
  965. "That's good."
  966. >She doesn't respond, but instead just holds you tighter.
  967. >You rest your head against Ariel as the hug continues.
  968. >You're getting sleepy, but don't have any desire to break off the embrace.
  969. >Ariel seems comfortable as is as well.
  970. >Ariel's coat is really soft.
  971. >Soft... smooth...
  972. >...
  973. >Sunlight.
  974. >Birds chirping.
  975. >As you awaken you remember the events from last night.
  976. >You also quickly realize that said events have yet to stop.
  977. >You must've fallen asleep on Ariel.
  978. >You're about to get up and start your day, when you realize you don't have to.
  979. >You don't have anything planned for today, and while you'll need to get your life back together, find work, be social, etc, right now you can just continue the quality time with Ariel.
  980. >*Knock* *Knock* *Knock*
  981. >"Nonny, you there?"
  982. >Orrr, you would've.
  983. "Yeah! One moment Derpy!"
  984. "Be right back Ariel, just gotta talk to Derpy real fast."
  985. >As you stand up you check to see if Ariel's made any changes to her landscape of an expression.
  986. >... Is she smiling?
  987. >"Ok, Master."
  988. >Ariel's response snaps you back to reality and you take the few quick strides to the door.
  989. >Open it up and
  990. "Hey Derpy, long time no see."
  991. >Derpy doesn't your amazing joke with a laugh, but does give you a quick hello hug.
  992. >"Hey Nonny, just stopping by with your mail. Also, about that picnic next week. Is Thursday afternoon good for you?"
  993. "Yeah, sounds great."
  994. >Derpy drops off a load of letters as well as a couple of packages.
  995. >You say your goodbyes and haul the stuff just inside for later.
  996. >You sigh and look over to Ariel who is staring at you.
  997. >She’s definitely smiling.
  998. >It’s a very small smile, almost imperceptible, but it’s there.
  999. >You walk back to the couch and sit down next to Ariel, looking at her intently.
  1000. >Yup, she’s still smiling.
  1001. “You’re smiling.”
  1002. >You’re so stunned by this that you feel like pointing it out, in case it’s just some weird optical illusion.
  1003. >Ariel’s face quickly goes back to neutral.
  1004. >”I’m sorry, Master. I did not mean to displease you.”
  1005. >Wuh, really?
  1006. >How poorly was she treated that smiling was considered bad.
  1007. “Would you stop assuming you’ve displeased me? If you ever actually displease me, then I’ll tell you. I just thought you had a nice smile so I pointed it out.”
  1008. >Ariel stares at you before smiling again, as if a switch had been flicked.
  1009. >Nice.
  1010. >Since you’re properly awake now you might as well plan out your day.
  1011. >You check your pocket watch to see that it’s 9:47.
  1012. >There’s still a lot of ponies you haven’t said hi to yet, and you should probably find Rarity at some point and apologize for making her faint.
  1013. >As much as you don’t need to eat it’d still be a good idea to stock up on foods for when you do or if you have guests.
  1014. >You find one of your hands idly playing with Ariel’s mane as you make your mental to-do list.
  1015. >Finding out what you did to your watch last night would be nice.
  1016. >That could probably be done now, but you don’t feel like flipping the Necronomicon.
  1017. >As you think of the of the book you feel the ever familiar weight in your free hand.
  1018. >Ok what the fuck.
  1019. >You hold the damned thing up so you can see it.
  1020. >There it is.
  1021. >You know you weren’t holding it a moment ago.
  1022. >Is it magic?
  1023. >… Ok that’s a dumb question, “is it magically made to just appear when needed?”
  1024. >That would actually be pretty useful.
  1025. >You wouldn’t have to worry about losing it which is a thing you would probably do.
  1026. >Well cool book magic aside, is there anything you need to do today?
  1027. >Hmmm.
  1028. >Clothes for Ariel!
  1029. >It’d be hella awkward if anybody found out she has all those stitches.
  1030. >That’s enough of a list for the day.
  1031. >You’re tempted to have Ariel just wait here for you so nobody notices the stitches, but you’ve already grown quite used to Ariel’s company.
  1032. >No one noticed last night at the party, you’ll be fine.
  1033. >You’re sure of it.
  1034. >100%, zero things could go wrong.
  1035. >Yup.
  1036. >You stand up stretch and set down the Necronomicon, making a mental note to try and make it appear for you later today.
  1037. “Alright Ariel, it’s a beautiful day, full of opportunity!”
  1038. >You start to go for the door and Ariel deftly makes her way after you.
  1039. >First stop is the market!
  1040. >For which you should probably have your wallet.
  1041. >You should also check what you actually need to buy.
  1042. “One moment Ariel, gotta nab my money holder.”
  1043. >You jog back into your house and take your wallet off your dresser.
  1044. >It’s less of a wallet and more of a nice sack, but old habits die hard.
  1045. >After that you rifle through your cupboards and peek into your icebox.
  1046. >Yup, just about everything’s gone bad.
  1047. >Well that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
  1048. >You tuck the nice little money sack into a pocket and run back outside.
  1049. >Ariel’s still waiting for you.
  1050. “Ok, lets go for realsies now.”
  1051. >“Ok, Master.”
  1052. >Her tone of voice isn’t quite so drab now either!
  1053. >Today is starting out quite nicely!
  1054. >The walk to town is uneventful.
  1055. >You notice it’s a bit chilly, but it’s not too bad.
  1056. >If it gets worse you might have to go back to your house and grab a coat.
  1057. >You’re at the market now and it’s pretty busy.
  1058. >You don’t shop too often so it’s always like navigating a small maze when you go here between all the ponies, carts, and stalls.
  1059. >You see Applejack has a pretty short line so you decide to grab some delicious apple and apple related byproducts and catch up with a friend all in one.
  1060. >“Welcome to the Sweet Apple Acres Apple Stand! What can I do ya for?”
  1061. "About tree fiddy."
  1062. >Your completely original response is enough to snap Applebutt out of her sales talk induced trance.
  1063. >"Anon! I didn't see ya at the party last night, where the heck were ya!"
  1064. "Sorry about that, I got there late and had to leave early."
  1065. >Applejack frowns at you.
  1066. >"Listen Anon, just cause ya were stuck under a rock for a month isn't any reason ta be a stranger. Me and the girls are still your friends, don't forget that!"
  1067. "Aww, you're too cute AJ. I'll make sure to be less of a stranger. Starting right now however, I'd like to be less of a stranger to some quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™."
  1068. >Applejack chuckles and starts bagging some quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ for you.
  1069. >"Sure thing Anon, how many quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ do you want?"
  1070. "Four or five should be enough quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ for me."
  1071. >"Sure thing Anon, I'll even throw in a couple quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ on the house."
  1072. >"Thanks Applejack! That sure is a lot of quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ to eat all by myself though!"
  1073. >"Well ya see Anon, Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ are great for sharing with friends, family, and everyone! That'll be 6 bits!"
  1074. >You grab a few of the silly mario coins from your wallet.
  1075. "Wow! You mean I get that many quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ for so cheap as well?"
  1076. >"Ya sure do Anon! Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ are not only sweet, delicious, and nutritious, they're also easily affordable!"
  1077. >You give Applejack the coins and take the bag of quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ in exchange.
  1078. "Well gee willickers Applejack, I can't see any reason NOT to buy some quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™ today!"
  1079. >"I can't either Anon! Have a good day now!"
  1080. "You too Applejack, owner and producer of quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™!”
  1081. >You wave goodbye and start making your way to the other grocers.
  1082. >You’re mildly surprised to hear Ariel speak up as you get in line for some fresh veggies.
  1083. >”Are you… feeling Ok?”
  1084. >You turn your head back to see Ariel staring at you rather intently.
  1085. “Perfectly, why do you ask?”
  1086. >”You appeared to be acting strangely while buying from Applejack.”
  1087. >What nonsense, you acted perfectly normal, and you tell Ariel as much.
  1088. >“...Ok.”
  1089. >Ariel can be so silly sometimes.
  1090. >You've gotten a good amount of food to restock your ghetto-fridge.
  1091. >Ariel's helping you hold some of it which is nice.
  1092. >Rarity is next up on the list of things to do, and after that you'll apologize to her.
  1093. >Heh.
  1094. >You got her a little gift as well to help this go smoothly.
  1095. >Rarity's weird circus-esque store stands out like a black man in an asian club.
  1096. >You open the door, enjoying the little ding the bell makes as you do so.
  1097. "Rarara, you here?"
  1098. >You hear some noises from upstairs.
  1099. >"Anon? Is that you?"
  1100. >You step inside the door fully and set down your groceries on the floor.
  1101. "Yeah it's me! Can you come down for a moment? I wanna talk!"
  1102. >Rarity comes down the stairs looking a as prim and proper as ever.
  1103. >"What do you wish to speak about Darling?"
  1104. >You hold out the little bouquet of flowers you got for the marshmallow pone.
  1105. "Just wanted to say sorry for making you faint when I pulled that prank coming back into town. I got you these pretty flowers too!"
  1106. >Rarity looks at you sternly.
  1107. >"That was NOT very nice Anonymous."
  1108. "I'm sowwy."
  1109. >You put on your best pouty face to help persuade her.
  1110. >Shit it's not working!
  1111. >You scramble over to Ariel and put your face against hers, side by side.
  1112. "Ariel, pout and look cute."
  1113. >You can't really tell from where you are, but you're pretty sure Ariel is assisting you in your plea now.
  1114. >You hold out the flowers once more.
  1115. "Pwease forgive me?"
  1116. >Rarity's brow is quivering.
  1117. >You're breaking her you can feel it!
  1118. >"Guh! Fine, yes Anon, I forgive you."
  1119. >Rarararaaarara magics the flowers out of your hand.
  1120. >You do your best Homer impression as you throw your hands above your head in success!
  1121. "Woohoo!"
  1122. >While Radaradarada finds a vase for her new flowers you peek down at Ariel to see she's still pouting.
  1123. "Ariel, stop pouting now."
  1124. >"Did you say something Darling?"
  1125. >oshit
  1126. "I said if you take really good care of those flowers they might start sprouting."
  1127. >"Oh, indeed they might."
  1128. >Smooth as fuck.
  1129. >There's a pause as neither you or Rarity no what to talk about.
  1130. "Well I think we'll be going now. Ariel and I still have to find some clothes for her."
  1131. >"Clothes? Darling, you should know this is the one shop stop for any and all top quality apparel you could ever need!"
  1132. >Craps, you shouldn't have mentioned the clothes.
  1133. "It's not that I doubt your skills or anything Rarity, it's just that... uhm..."
  1134. >"Just what, Anon?"
  1135. "You're just a little too above what I can afford at the moment."
  1136. >"What?"
  1137. "It's just that I'm running a little low on bits, and I know you usually make high quality stuff, and I just can't afford that right now."
  1138. >"Well, I do certainly make the highest quality wears."
  1139. "Yeah, I shouldn't have mentioned it, sorry Rars."
  1140. >Rarity looks at you sternly again.
  1141. >"But that doesn't mean I won't help out a friend in need."
  1142. >You were already grabbing the handle to her door.
  1143. "Huh?"
  1144. >"I'll make Ariel's clothes, and we can come to an agreement on a lower price than I usually charge."
  1145. "Look, Rarity, I can't afford you're stuff, even with a lowered price I really am just running too low."
  1146. >Rarity looks a little astonished before regaining her composure.
  1147. >"Then you can simply pay me when you do have the bits to, regardless I'm still making these clothes, like it or not."
  1148. >This fuckin Mareshmellow.
  1149. "Ok Rarara you win. I'll pay you back for the clothes once I'm able."
  1150. >Rarity smiles and then turns around to start getting materials.
  1151. >"So what is it that you want Ariel dear?"
  1152. "Uh, nothing fancy. Just some everyday wear that'll cover her up."
  1153. >Rarity glances back at you as she grabs her stuffs.
  1154. >"I don't mean to be rude Anon, but I'd rather here it from Ariel herself."
  1155. "Ariel's really shy, that's why I do the talking. We already discussed what she wanted."
  1156. >"I deal with Fluttershy on a daily basis Darling, I'm sure between the two of we can coax out a simple response."
  1157. >Rarity freezes the various threads and fabrics behind and her walks to Ariel.
  1158. >"Now Deary, what do want?"
  1159. >Ariel looks to you almost instantly.
  1160. >Crap, hopefully Ariel will take the hint.
  1161. "Come on Ariel, just tell Rarity what you want."
  1162. >Ariel looks back to Rarity and takes a moment.
  1163. >"I want, just some casual, everyday wear, to cover me up."
  1164. >Phew.
  1165. >"And a pretty dress."
  1166. >Sayhuhnow?
  1167. >Rarity gives Ariel another charming grin before getting back to her work.
  1168. >"See Ariel, that wasn't so hard!"
  1169. >Ariel doesn't respond.
  1170. >You can see that Rarity is starting to get into the flow of her work, she's even humming that tune.
  1171. >"You two can go now, I'll have your orders done by the end of the week."
  1172. >You pick your groceries back up and begin leaving.
  1173. "Thanks a bunches for this Raridoodle!"
  1174. >"Think nothing of it Darling!"
  1175. >What a kind and GENEROUS mare.
  1176. >That was two stops in one so you now have a lot of unexpected time on your hands.
  1177. >You decide to have a nice stroll in the park.
  1178. >As you're walking along you notice it's just the two of you there, so you decide to strike up a conversation with Ariel.
  1179. "A pretty dress, huh?"
  1180. >"Please elaborate on what you mean by that, Master."
  1181. "You want a pretty dress?"
  1182. >"...Yes, Master. Does this displease you?"
  1183. "No, it was just a bit unexpected."
  1184. >Silence.
  1185. "Why do you want a dress?"
  1186. >"... I want to... look... pretty."
  1187. >Sounded as if she had trouble getting that out.
  1188. >Also
  1189. >omgsocute
  1190. "Aww, you can be so adorable sometimes Ariel."
  1191. >You put your hand in her mane and ruffle it up a bit, even though it just fell back into place.
  1192. "Well listen here Ariel, you're already pretty. You don't need no dresses or make ups to make ya look pretty, capiche?"
  1193. >"...Yes, Master."
  1194. >Looking down you see she's smiling again.
  1195. >Ariel why you gotta do this to me!
  1196. >You decide to spend the rest of the walk in silence and just enjoy the crisp cool air.
  1197. >"We are being followed."
  1198. >Hmm?
  1199. "Oh?"
  1200. >"Three small ponies are currently following us at a standard distance of 10-20 yards. They should not be able to make out what we say at this volume."
  1201. >That's certainly specific, you stretch and steal a glance back, but you don't see anything.
  1202. >You shove your hand in your pockets and keep walking.
  1203. >Ariel wouldn't lie to you and you have no doubt that you're being followed, you just wish you see who it was.
  1204. >Your Pocket Watch starts to heat up next to your hand.
  1205. >Da faq?
  1206. >Before you can further question what's going on there, you become able to sense three other lives behind you.
  1207. >You freeze where you're standing.
  1208. >This is totally fucking weird.
  1209. >You pull out your Pocket Watch and look at it.
  1210. >It still feels warm in your hand.
  1211. >You click it open to see
  1212. >The time.
  1213. >Don't know what you were expecting there.
  1214. >You watch the second hand tick past.
  1215. >You swear it's louder.
  1216. >Heavier, somehow.
  1217. >You shake your head.
  1218. >How your Watch sounds is easily the stupidest thing you could choose to focus on at the moment.
  1219. >You can still sense the three ponies behind you.
  1220. >You can't tell they're ponies though.
  1221. >You would have no idea if Ariel hadn't told you.
  1222. >The feeling is so weird.
  1223. >You became instantly not only more aware of you are, but where these three other things are.
  1224. >And that's the word you would use to describe them.
  1225. >"things."
  1226. >It's not a third eye, or enhanced vision or something like that.
  1227. >It's almost as if you can smell them, although even that doesn't explain it well.
  1228. >Focusing less on how you're detecting the three, you focus more on what exactly it is you're sensing.
  1229. >You don't have any kind of visual representation, so it's pretty difficult.
  1230. >Energy, is the first word that comes to mind.
  1231. >Some, odd, condensed, but wispy energy.
  1232. >Trying to describe this is starting to give you a headache.
  1233. >You realize you've been standing in the cold staring at your Watch for a little over 3 minutes now.
  1234. >You turn around.
  1235. >Best to just get this encounter out of the way now.
  1236. "We know you're following us, come out now and no one has to be hurt, if you do not I will not hesitate to make you just another sad letter home."
  1237. >Will they get that?
  1238. >Do ponies have wars?
  1239. >It doesn't appear to matter.
  1240. >Some rustling and mumbled mumbles later and you're looking at three very embarrassed Cutie Mark Crusaders.
  1241. >You're tripping out pretty hard right now, and you're struggling not to let it show.
  1242. >You're not only able to see the three fillies in front of you, but you can still detect their 'energy' as well.
  1243. >They're talking.
  1244. >Been talking*, you need to start paying attention.
  1245. >"-And we're really sorry Anon, please don't tell anyone!"
  1246. >You're still having trouble keeping track of what they're saying and you can only hope you don't look like too much of a stoner.
  1247. >You drop your Pocket Watch back in your pocket
  1248. >And almost do a double take.
  1249. >You can't detect them anymore.
  1250. >The feeling is gone.
  1251. >Sweetie Bell, you think it was Sweetie Bell at least, is still waiting for a response.
  1252. "Uh yeah, just don't do it again or I'll shank ur nan outside a Tesco."
  1253. >You're too out of it to even come up with a good response.
  1254. >You just go with some stupid meme out of autopilot.
  1255. >One of the little pastel cuties says something then they scamper off.
  1256. >You decide to head home.
  1257. >"Are you feeling Ok, Master?"
  1258. >Ariel's question comes about halfway through the journey to your house.
  1259. >You've calmed down now, but you're still quite shaken.
  1260. "Yeah, yeah."
  1261. >"...Ok, Master."
  1262. >...
  1263. "No."
  1264. >Ariel looks at you.
  1265. >You're too disturbed to give a full analysis on her facial features.
  1266. >"Ok, Master."
  1267. >You don't say anything, but Ariel walks closer to you, offering some silent support.
  1268. >The gesture is much appreciated.
  1269. >Once home you flop down on the couch, leaving your groceries at the door.
  1270. >You really need to put them away though.
  1271. >You're about to stand up when you see Ariel standing in the doorway.
  1272. "Ariel, put away the groceries for me."
  1273. >"Yes, Master. Where do you wish them to go?"
  1274. "In the cupboards where there's space. The perishables go in the icebox."
  1275. >"Ok, Master."
  1276. >Ariel begins the process of carrying over the bags and emptying them leaving you to relax.
  1277. >You're still timid about touching your Pocket Watch again, but you decide to risk it.
  1278. >The now cold metal makes contact with your shaking finger.
  1279. >Nothing happens.
  1280. >You pull out the Pocket Watch in full and examine it.
  1281. >It still looks the same.
  1282. >Made of silver with gold leafing.
  1283. >Does it have super powers too now?
  1284. >Man you really need to figure this out!
  1285. >Oh doy, you're wondering how you're Watch got these spooky powers and you literally have access to the book that caused it.
  1286. >Now you just need the actual- and there it is.
  1287. >The Necronomicon definitely has some funky magic involving it just appearing when you need it, but hell if you're gonna question it too much.
  1288. >There's no table of contents so you just start to flip through the book and hope to find what you need to know.
  1289. >It's worked in the past and you've got plenty of time.
  1290. >You find a passage you can read that talks more about Phylacteries
  1291. -Never lose your phylactery. This is the most important thing. If you lose your phylactery, you lose yourself. It does not matter what you must do, but never can you ever lose this item.
  1292. -The phylactery holds all that is important and everything you need to survive.
  1293. -Every ritual you perform will slowly empower your phylactery until it is fully realized.
  1294. -It is not recommended to leave a phylactery unfulfilled for long. It can be a difficult process to finish, but one well worth it.
  1295. >Real neato, but that doesn't tell you why you started going on a next level drug trip.
  1296. >You find a separate excerpt detailing what the rituals you've been performing actually do.
  1297. >This should be useful.
  1298. -The First Ritual
  1299. >You skip over that, you already got the gist of that, you care more about what the second one's done.
  1300. -The Second Ritual
  1301. -This is where it starts getting more exciting.
  1302. -We're talking about powers, ACTUAL MAGICAL POWERS!
  1303. -Earth ponies can't do magic, but I'm gonna show them.
  1304. -Every single one of them!
  1305. >This bit looked to be crossed out, but it didn't really work too well.
  1306. >Interdasting.
  1307. -Once you've successfully performed the second ritual you'll have access to a small amount of magical powers.
  1308. -The first of these being the ability to sense Souls.
  1309. -By focusing your thoughts and desire you will be able to detect the souls, and thereby the location, of anything with a soul.
  1310. -Which happens to be anything worth caring about.
  1311. -A word of caution: The first few uses of this power maybe disorientating, but you shall grow used to it. Be it threw necessity or desire.
  1312. >So that's what it was.
  1313. >So you were basically looking at Sweetie Bell's soul.
  1314. >That's some goddamn Grim Reaper business right there.
  1315. >The book said powers though.
  1316. >Emphasis on that "s."
  1317. >What else can you do?
  1318. -The other power you should now have access to is the ability to incite fear in others.
  1319. -By honing in on the desire to cause discomfort or fear you should now be able to project this feeling in an aura around you.
  1320. -Keep in mind that at this level this aura will not be very strong, do NOT rely on.
  1321. -As with the previous power you will experience feelings of disorientation and/or discomfort.
  1322. -Something that may help you with the use of these powers is the use of your phylactery as a focus.
  1323. >An aura of fear?
  1324. >Sounds damn neat.
  1325. >Book says it ain't too strong yet though.
  1326. >You'll have to test it out later.
  1327. >At least you know what you did and how to do it now.
  1328. >As you flip through the old tome some more you find instructions labeled "The Third Ritual".
  1329. >Hmmm.
  1330. >Nah.
  1331. >Although you're definitely curious this is enough power for you right now.
  1332. > Also that last one hurt like a wench and you're a wuss.
  1333. >You set the Necronomicon down and turn around to check on Ariel's progress with the groceries.
  1334. >Oh hey she's done.
  1335. >She's set up the tasty red treats you got from Applbutt in a nice wooden bowl and is staring at them intently.
  1336. "Do you want one Ariel?"
  1337. >Ariel quickly changes her position to face you.
  1338. >"No, Master."
  1339. >That was really quick actually.
  1340. >Like blink you miss it quick.
  1341. >It reminds you of how easily Ariel was able to carry you through the Everfree even through all the foliage.
  1342. "Ariel, how strong are you?"
  1343. >"However strong you need me to be, Master."
  1344. >Cute.
  1345. "Actually though, how strong are you?"
  1346. >"Please do not take offense, Master, but you do not appear to understand. The same spell which binds me to you also grants me strength as well as other means to help complete and fill out your every order, command, and desire."
  1347. >Oh.
  1348. "I assume there are limits though, right?"
  1349. >"Yes, Master."
  1350. "Like what?"
  1351. >"I would have some difficulty lifting the town of Ponyville."
  1352. >Pbffffft
  1353. >WAT
  1354. >Your face goes appropriately slack jaw to the statement.
  1355. >"That was a joke, Master."
  1356. >Oh.
  1357. >Wait wut
  1358. >Did Ariel actually just pull one on you?
  1359. "Wait so..."
  1360. >"I am sorry, Master. In actuality I am quite strong although I do not know my limits. I apologize again for the previous joke."
  1361. >You go from stupid-faced to grinning like a buffoon like the flip of a dime.
  1362. >You hop over the couch and pull Ariel into a hug, messing up her hair as you do so even though it just falls back into place.
  1363. "Oh don't apologize for that, jokes are good! That was good!"
  1364. >You lean back to see Ariel has a nice little grin to match yours.
  1365. >Awww.
  1366. >Too cute sometimes.
  1367. >Too socially awkward other times.
  1368. >There's a knock on the door.
  1369. >Shitcuntfuckhellbitch
  1370. >Again?
  1371. >Why!
  1372. >Second time in the same day cute time starring none other than "Ariel the Undead Pony" have been interrupted by a knock on the door.
  1373. >Whoever this is better have a good reason for being here right now 'cause you have half a mind to shank a bitch.
  1374. >"Knock Knock"
  1375. >Open up the door it's Fluttershy.
  1376. >With the nonstop goddamnit it's really hard to be angry at Fluttershy.
  1377. "Hey Fluttershy what's up?"
  1378. >"Hello Anon, I wanted to stop by for a little chat since it's been so long. I brought tea and cookies as well!"
  1379. >Oh sweet.
  1380. >Not counting your leave of absence it had been at least a week without you and Flutterbutt having one of your talks.
  1381. >You step aside and motion for ButterPone in.
  1382. "Awesome! You can put the cookies on the dining-table, I'll go put some water on for the tea. Make yourself at home"
  1383. >"Thank you Anon."
  1384. >SoftSilent trots on in and puts her stuff down in one of the few spots not taken by random dust covered junk.
  1385. >You should make an effort to clean the place up.
  1386. >Living in it is at least getting rid of some of the dust, but it's still everywhere.
  1387. >Or get Ariel to do it.
  1388. >"Oh um, Hello, I don't think we've met before. What's your name?"
  1389. >"I am Ariel."
  1390. >Oh right Fluttershy hasn't met Ariel.
  1391. "Oh yeah, sorry not for mentioning this Fluttershy, but Ariel is the pony who saved me from the castle and as thanks I'm giving her lodging. Excuse her if she doesn't talk too much she's even shyer than you are.”
  1392. >The lie has become second nature at this point.
  1393. >"Oh! Um, I mean, how nice of you."
  1394. >Fluttershy is hiding something.
  1395. >She's doing the hiding something smile.
  1396. >Whatever, it's probably none of your business.
  1397. >You walk to the kitchen and pour water in the kettle.
  1398. >While that boils you sit down opposite Flutternut.
  1399. "So what've you been up to?"
  1400. >"Wel..."
  1401. >You make small talk until the whistle of the kettle interrupts you.
  1402. "One moment Flutters, I'll go take care of that."
  1403. >"No problem Anon.”
  1404.  
  1405.  
  1406. >As you take the kettle off the flame you glance back at Flutterbutter.
  1407. >She's been fidgeting in her seat since you've been talking.
  1408. >What's got her so uncomfortable?
  1409. >A quick survey of your house reveals nothing out of the ordinary.
  1410. >Oh except Ariel.
  1411. >Who's just been standing a few feet away this whole time looking on silently.
  1412. >You've already gotten so used to Ariel's passive presence that it took you a moment there.
  1413. >You'll fix that once you bring the tea back.
  1414. >You drop the cute little butterfly shaped bags into the mugs you prepared and walk back to your spot in front of Fluttershy.
  1415. “One for you and one for me.”
  1416. >”Thank you ver much.”
  1417. >Fluttershy sneaks a look at Ariel while sipping from her cup.
  1418. >Time to be smooth.
  1419. “Hey Ariel why don’t you come sit down too? I promise Fluttershy won’t bite.”
  1420. >“Ok.”
  1421. >God you are the master of social nuances.
  1422. >Ariel methodically makes her way to the table and takes the seat at your side.
  1423. >Then scooches the chair closer to you.
  1424. >And closer.
  1425. >A little more still.
  1426. >Done yet Ariel?
  1427. >No not quite.
  1428. >The chairs can’t get any closer now.
  1429. >Ariel almost appears annoyed by the fact.
  1430. >Fluttershy’s watching with the most neutral expression you’ve seen on someone who isn’t a politician.
  1431. >“So um, Ariel how long are you planning to stay?”
  1432. >“Until Anonymous tells me to leave.”
  1433. “HAhaha.”
  1434. >That laugh wasn’t forced at all what are you talking about.
  1435. >Fluttershy looking at you like wtf.
  1436. >Ariel staring at you as per norm.
  1437. “That’s just a little joke we have going on. Really we’re not too sure how long Ariel will be staying, but it’s definitely going to be a for long while.”
  1438. >“Oh, Ok.”
  1439. >There’s a pregnant pause that you do your best to ignore while munching on a cookie.
  1440. >“Do you have any hobbies Ariel?”
  1441. >“Yes.”
  1442. >Well this is news to you.
  1443. >“Um, may I ask what they are?”
  1444. >“Yes.”
  1445. >Fluttershy waits for Ariel to speak until she realizes how literally your undead assistant took the question.
  1446. >“Uh, what are they?”
  1447. >“My hobbies are: watching, listening, hearing, memorization, and gardening.”
  1448. >You’re tempted to interrupt, but you’re curious as to how this conversation will play out.
  1449. >Also, gardening?
  1450. >“Gardening?”
  1451. >Even Fluttershy is surprised at this.
  1452. >“Yes, Gardening.”
  1453. “Elaborate please? What do you like about gardening?”
  1454. >Ariel looks to you now.
  1455. >“I enjoy growing, cutting, and regrowing various plants and flora.”
  1456. >Of course.
  1457. “Awesome! Speaking of plants, Fluttershy did you manage to…”
  1458. >You steer the conversation away from Ariel to the best of your abilities, although Fluttershy does her best to include her every now and then.
  1459. >As you talk to YellowMellow you remember the second power the book said you could use.
  1460. >Aura of Fear.
  1461. >Using Fluttershy as your guinea pig isn’t the nicest, smartest, or friendliest thing to do, but she’ll never know, right?
  1462. >Well hopefully this doesn’t make as you drunk as the Soul Vision did.
  1463. >Ok, Fluttershy, become scared!
  1464. >“But I found out I was still out of tomatoes so I had to…”
  1465. >The friendly Fluttershy is unaffected!
  1466. >Shiza! Are you not focusing hard enough?
  1467. >You lack discipline!
  1468. >What are you doing wrong?
  1469. >You just have to “hone in on your desire to cause fear” right?
  1470. >Well you want Fluttershy to be scared!
  1471. >… Still nothing.
  1472. >”Anon, are you Ok?”
  1473. “Hm? Yeah, just spaced out a little, that’s all.”
  1474. >”Oh alright. Anyways, I was at the tomato vender when…”
  1475. >You don’t bother trying any more with the Fear Aura.
  1476. >It was a stupid thing to try on someone like Fluttershy anyways.
  1477. >Better to just enjoy the company.
  1478. >…
  1479. >“Well Anon, I should get going. Angel and the rest of the animals need their food.”
  1480. >Your friend stands up and starts for the door.
  1481. “Alright Fluttershy, it was great seeing you again.”
  1482. >”You too Anon, shall I come by again next week?”
  1483. “Definitely, just don’t come by Thursday, I’ve got plans that day.”
  1484. >”Ok. Goodbye Anon, bye Ariel.”
  1485. “See ya.”
  1486. >Aaaaand she’s gone.
  1487. >”That pony lied to you, Master.”
  1488. >You fall into your couch and yawn.
  1489. “Yup.”
  1490. >You flip over so you’re looking at Ariel now.
  1491. “So you like gardening?”
  1492. >”Yes, Master.”
  1493. “Would you like it if I got you a garden?”
  1494. >”…Yes, Master.”
  1495. “Mmm.”
  1496. >You motion for Ariel to sit down next to you.
  1497. >Once she’s done so, you note that she’s once again quite close to you.
  1498. >You rest a hand in Ariel’s mane, playing with it idly.
  1499. “What would you like to plant in this garden?
  1500. >”Flowers.”
  1501. “Flowers, eh? I can make that happen.”
  1502. >It’s getting late and it’s around the time you would normally eat dinner.
  1503. >But for now at least, you’re content just sitting with Ariel at your side.
  1504.  
  1505. >An hour has passed and there haven't been any knocks on the door.
  1506. >The curse has been lifted.
  1507. >While you've been sitting with Ariel not being lazy and not going out and re-establishing your life you popped open the Necronomicon and have been reading up on what you need to do for the third ritual.
  1508. >It's looking this is where they start upping the ante.
  1509. >To complete the third ritual you need to make a ritual sacrifice of a small animal with a "lesser" soul.
  1510. >Something like a mouse or a bat.
  1511. >That shouldn't be too hard; Whitetail Woods is filled with little critters.
  1512. >There's the usual incantations and bloodletting, but this time you also have to create a special circle to do the whole thing in as well.
  1513. >One of the excerpts from the Book of Magic catches your eye.
  1514. -This is it.
  1515. -This is the point of no return.
  1516. -After this I, and anyone else who does this will be less pony than not.
  1517. -3/5 of my soul will be, locked and stored inside this amulet.
  1518. -I've done the calculations, 5 is the necessary amount of rituals. Any less and the user will die from the ritual.
  1519. -Any more and the user will …¬˜¬
  1520. >It trails off into symbols there, but continues on shortly after.
  1521. -Do this ritual, and only you'll only be 2/5s a pony.
  1522. -Coming this far hasn't been as difficult.
  1523. -Cross this line and you lock yourself into the embrace of the undead forever.
  1524. >NOnononono.
  1525. >Hold up, rewind, go back a moment.
  1526. >Did you read that right?
  1527. >Did that thing say 3/5 of his soul?
  1528. >No hold up, that would mean, he already gave up 2/5s of his soul.
  1529. >Which means that.
  1530. >Oh fuckfuckfuckfuck.
  1531. >You drop the dark book and stare at your arm.
  1532. >That paleness wasn't there when you woke up at the castle.
  1533. >Was it just you needing some of the sun's rays?
  1534. >Or was it a side effect of having a couple chunks of your soul ripped out?!
  1535. >Shit your freaking right the fuck out.
  1536. >This was supposed to just be a cool way to do magic, not something that eats your goddamn soul!
  1537.  
  1538.  
  1539. >You pull out your Pocket Watch.
  1540. >You weren't imagining it, it IS heavier.
  1541. >Heavy with the weight of your fucking soul!
  1542. >You don't do it wittingly but that mental switch gets flicked and you're able to sense the souls around you.
  1543. >There's Ariel who's right next to you, there's you, and just a little bit, there's your watch.
  1544. >And there's little souls outside your house just under your window.
  1545. >You recognize them.
  1546. >It feels so weird but you recognize the souls outside your house.
  1547. >Goddamnit this isn't what you need to deal with right now!
  1548. >You drop the Watch in your pocket back where it belongs and switch off the Soul Sense.
  1549. >Ariel just follows as you go to the door.
  1550. >You open it quietly and do your best not to make too much noise walking around the corner.
  1551. >Applebloom, Sweetiebelle, and Scootaloo are huddled under your window whispering fervently.
  1552. "This is the second time I've caught you three stalking me, your explanation better be good."
  1553. >Your voice is gruff and accusatory.
  1554. >You've most certainly been in better moods.
  1555. >"Oh um we were trying, to, uh-"
  1556. >"-To get home! We were exploring but we got lost and winded up at your house! We were under the window because, um-"
  1557. >"-Because we couldn't find your door!"
  1558. >Applebloom and Sweetiebelle give Scootadoodle a hard look.
  1559. >It doesn’t matter, the lie was immediate when they started stammering.
  1560. >You don’t care to find out there true intentions, you’re too busy dealing with your own problems.
  1561. “You all well know the path back to town and I suggest you take it now before I get cross.”
  1562. >”Ok, but Anon-“
  1563. >You don’t want to hear it.
  1564. >You really, just have zero interest in whatever the adolescent is about to say.
  1565. >All you want is for them to leave.
  1566. “I said, to go!”
  1567. >The young fillies turn tail and bolt.
  1568. >”Those fillies lied to you-“
  1569. “I’m aware!”
  1570. >Your shout fills the empty night.
  1571. >Fuck, you didn’t mean to yell.
  1572. >Ariel doesn’t say anything, but her blank face is practically a rebuke by itself right now.
  1573. >You deflate slightly and the evening air chills you.
  1574. “Shit, I didn’t mean to yell Ariel.”
  1575. >”It is Ok, Master.”
  1576. >Ariel makes it sound like it is even with that monotone.
  1577. >It isn’t, but it makes you wonder how many times she’s said that before.
  1578. >The two of you walk back inside.
  1579. >You go to the couch and pop open the Necronomicon again.
  1580. >You read through earlier passages about the beginning rituals you performed.
  1581. >They’re much clearer now with very few symbols.
  1582. >It’s written right there on the instructions of the first ritual, “Part of your soul will be taken into the phylactery…”
  1583. >Ugh.
  1584. >You’re calmer now.
  1585. >Where’s Ariel? You want to talk to her.
  1586. >She’s still in the doorway, watching you.
  1587. “Ariel could you come here? I want to talk.”
  1588. >”Yes, I can come over there, Master.”
  1589. >Ugh, fucking…
  1590. >Does she really not understand what you mean by that?
  1591. >No, that can’t be it.
  1592. >Ariel’s proven herself to be smart, is she just antagonizing you?
  1593. >Is she able to antagonize you?
  1594. >Are you overthinking it?
  1595. >The night is turning into a bad one and it’s only just started.
  1596. >If Ariel is antagonizing you, then you’ll just let her be.
  1597. “When you’re ready, I would like for you to come over here so we can talk, Ok?”
  1598. >”Ok, Master.”
  1599. >Ariel continues to stare at you.
  1600. >You get a glass of water and nab a book off your shelf.
  1601. >Ariel hasn’t moved and you get the feeling she isn’t for a while.
  1602. >If she does.
  1603. >The night goes long and Ariel is still unmoved.
  1604. >Sleep overtakes you and your worries are temporarily put to rest.
  1605.  
  1606. >Light.
  1607. >The fucking sun is beaming right down on you like an asshole again.
  1608. >You hope it isn’t too late in the day, you had things you wanted to do.
  1609. >You sit up and rub the sleep from your eyes.
  1610. >And now you get to hear the wonderful sound of glass breaking.
  1611. >You open your eyes and look at the floor to see the cup of water you had last night is now in pieces on the floor.
  1612. >Ugh.
  1613. >Why does this have to happen so early in the day?
  1614. “Ariel, clean up the-“
  1615. >You realize she’s still in the doorway and memories of the last night
  1616. >Crap, is she still pissed at you?
  1617. >Whatever, you’ll just clean it up on your own.
  1618. >No point in being lazy anyway.
  1619. >You get up off the couch and-
  1620. “AGH, SON OF A SEA BISCUIT!”
  1621. >Some piece of shit piece of glass made it all the way over to where you stood up and is now embedded in your foot!
  1622. >You sit up properly on the arm rest of your chair and examine your wound.
  1623. >Fucking hell, it’s not a small piece either.
  1624. >It’s put one hell of a cut in your sole.
  1625. >Ugh you’re gonna have to do the retarded one foot jump over to your bathroom.
  1626. >Ok here we go.
  1627. >One, two, three- Ariel?
  1628. >You hadn’t noticed your undead servant move to you, but she’s now examining your foot very intensely.
  1629. “Ariel, what’re you- HELL IN A BASKET!”
  1630. >She just used her teeth to take out the shard of glass!
  1631. >You grit your teeth and squint your eyes as the throbbing pain subsides slightly.
  1632. >You look back to Ariel to see she’s managed to find your medical supplies which consists of rubbing alcohol, some cotton balls, and bandages of every size.
  1633. >She’s already doused a cotton ball with the rubbing alcohol and is moving it to the- PAIN!
  1634. >You hiss through your teeth ass the alcohol covered swab comes into contact with the cut.
  1635. >Once Ariel is done disinfecting the cut with that she gives you a moment to catch your breath.
  1636. >You take deep breaths and focus on Ariel once more to see that she was actually just searching for the Ace Bandage that was amidst your stock.
  1637. >Without wasting another moment Ariel wraps up your foot nice and snug.
  1638. >You continue your deep breathing while Ariel cleans up and the pain starts to subside.
  1639. >Ariel walks back to her spot in the doorway without a word.
  1640. “Ariel, uh, what was all that about?”
  1641. >”Whenever you are injured or your existence is threatened I must assist in any way I can. If you sustain an injury and wish to take care of it yourself you can order me to let you do so, but if your existence I will do anything to protect it, including disobeying orders.”
  1642. “Oh.”
  1643. >You kinda sorta remember the Necronomicon saying something about that come to think of it.
  1644. >Maybe you can take this moment to apologize to Ariel more about last night!
  1645. “Listen Ariel, I just want to apologize some more about snapping at you last night. I was freaking out and you just happened to receive the brunt of all of it.
  1646. >Ariel stares at you.
  1647. >Doesn’t seem like she’s gonna respond.
  1648. >Ugh, well you better clean up the rest of that cup
  1649. >”Master, do not worry about it. It is fine.”
  1650. >That’s what she said last night too though.
  1651. >Is she really Ok with it?
  1652. >Ugh, how come having a slave is making life harder?
  1653. >The South would be proud.
  1654. >Well you can mope about Ariel later, you’re there’s something for you to do today and sitting around like this isn’t gonna help.
  1655. >You stand up, making sure to keep as much wait off your right foot as possible and hobble over to the kitchen to grab a broom and dustpan.
  1656. >A few minutes and some awkward limping later and all the glass you could find is now safely in the trash bin.
  1657. >Okay what do you need to today?
  1658. >Finding work would be a good start.
  1659. >While you’re out and about you figure you could test out your powers, even though the knowledge of what you gave up to get them makes you a bit queasy.
  1660. >Talking to Sparkle and trying to get a better understanding about this Necromancy stuff would be helpful, but you’ll need to be subtle about it.
  1661. >The bookworm would probably freak harder than you did if she found out you had taken out almost half your soul and shoved it in your watch.
  1662. >Ok, day plan is set, time to get a move on.
  1663. >You walk to the door
  1664. >And curse yourself for forgetting about your foot.
  1665. >Still hurts like a bitch.
  1666. >Another thing to do: Get a crutch.
  1667. >You relay the day plan to Ariel while you finish hobbling over to the doorway.
  1668. “Remind me if I forget any of that, K?”
  1669. >”Yes, Master. I will.”
  1670. >Great.
  1671. >You open the door and despair as you see the winding path to town.
  1672. >Guh, that’s gonna be such a pain to traverse with this stupid gash in your foot.
  1673. >You’re 10 minutes in and you’ve barely made any progress.
  1674. >You should’ve just broken a chair or something and used that as a crutch.
  1675. >And Ariel’s there just following you at the same fat privileged pace.
  1676. >…Oh goddamn you’re retarded.
  1677. “Ariel, could you let me lean on you as we walk around?”
  1678. >”Yes, Master.”
  1679. >She doesn’t move.
  1680. “Ariel, let me lean on you as we walk around.”
  1681. >”Yes, Master.”
  1682. >This time she takes the few steps needed to be right by your side.
  1683. >With Ariel’s support you’re able to start going much faster and with a lot less stress on your foot.
  1684. >It also helps that Ariel’s strong enough to completely hold all of your weight so you can just completely lean on her.
  1685. >Ty based undead servant.
  1686. >Progress to the town is much faster with Ariel’s help.
  1687. >You would just ride her there, but you don’t want some random pony to see you and mess things up [spoiler]double entendre fully intended[/spoiler].
  1688. >Getting that crutch is definitely number one on the list of things to do.
  1689. >The hospital should be able to supply you with one; although you doubt they’ll have one big enough.
  1690. >Definitely worth asking at the very least.
  1691. >You get your fair shares of awkward stares from ponies as you limp by with Ariel’s help.
  1692. >”Anonymous? Is something wrong?”
  1693. >You look up from the ground and see Flitter looking at you quizzically.
  1694. “Hey Flitter. I’m alright, just cut up my foot a bit; Ariel is helping me to the hospital so I can borrow a crutch.”
  1695. >You show off your shoeless-bandaged-up foot.
  1696. >”A bit? Anon if you can’t even get to the hospital by yourself then I think it’s cut up more than a bit.”
  1697. “Hey I could totally get their by myself! It’d just take like 5 times as long.”
  1698. >”Anon you’re not disproving my point.”
  1699. “Ok fine my foot’s more than a little messed up, but I’ll be fine. A week or two and I’ll be right as rain.”
  1700. >You start walking towards the hospital once more hoping Flitter would let it drop, but she starts walking with you.
  1701. >”It shouldn’t take a week for that Anon, just ask one of the nurses to patch it up.”
  1702. >You wave your free hand dismissively.
  1703. “It’s just a bad cut, I’m not doubled over in pain or anything; I’ll be fine without any magic.”
  1704. >Also you didn’t want to spend what few bits you had on something so trivial, but Flitter doesn’t need to know that.
  1705. >Flitter rolls her eyes at you pouts a little.
  1706. >”You can be such a stubborn moron sometimes Anon.”
  1707. “No I can’t.”
  1708. >Your pegasus friend gives you a tired look to which you just smile innocently.
  1709. >”Whatever. It’s good to see you again though Anon, I worried about you ya know? You could’ve stopped by my place to say hi at the very least.”
  1710. >You actually had meant to try and find Flitter yesterday, but events conspired against you.
  1711. “Yeah, yeah, it’s good to see you too.”
  1712. >The remainder of the walk was just small talk about what Flitter had been up to while you were “away”.
  1713. “And on that day I learned why mixing Chinese and Mexican food is NOT a good idea.”
  1714. >”That sounds horrible!”
  1715. “Eh, I got better. Anyway, I got stuff that needs doing after I get this crutch, but I’m down to catch lunch with you later.”
  1716. >”I’d love too, but I promised my sister I’d help her out with a bet she made.”
  1717. >Damn, you were hoping you could catch up with Flitter a bit more.
  1718. >Oh well.
  1719. “Alright, see you later then.”
  1720. >”Later Anon!”
  1721. >You feel the gust of wind on your back as Flitter takes off behind you.
  1722. >Ariel assists you over to the nurse on desk duty.
  1723. >”Anonymous, it’s quite rare to see you here, what’s the problem?”
  1724. “I cut up foot on some broken glass and need a crutch so that Ariel doesn’t have to act as one.”
  1725. >The white earth pony leans over the desk to take a look at your wrapped up foot.
  1726. >”Alright, well we’ll still need to do a standard examination. Follow me please.”
  1727. >You wish you could remember this ponies name, but you so rarely need to visit here that you never bothered to really make an effort to remember.
  1728. >The nurse leads you and Ariel to a room down the hall and has you sit on a bed.
  1729. >”I’m going to have to undo the bandage so I can get a good look at the cut, Ok?”
  1730. “Sure, no problem.”
  1731. >You rest your foot on a stool Whatsername pulls into place for and then she undoes the wrap Ariel put on your foot.
  1732. >Nurse Earthpony looks at your foot and prods it a little to see how much it hurt.
  1733. >”The cut is a little deeper than I expected, but it doesn’t reach your bones which is good. It’s also not bleeding much at all, which is thanks to the bandage you had on. All in all I’d say you got off lightly. If you keep it bandaged and make sure it doesn’t get infected it’ll be gone in a week, maybe 2.”
  1734. >Nothing you didn’t know, but it’s nice to see that Ariel’s medical skills were up to hospital standards.
  1735. >”I’m perfectly happy to loan you one of our crutches while you recover, but I could also notify one of our Unicorns and we could heal it up completely now for a small fee.”
  1736. “I would prefer to just use a crutch.”
  1737. >The white pone shrugs indifferently.
  1738. >”Please wait just a moment then, I’ll go get you a crutch.”
  1739. >Nurse Stilldon’tknowhername is true to her word and comes back with a crutch for you in almost no time at all.
  1740. >As the helpful nurse hands you your new walking aid you note something a little surprising about it.
  1741. “This is actually in my size!”
  1742. >”Yes, all official hospitals are required to have medical equipment fit for most races. I had to blow the dust off it, but this is one of the crutches we would use for a minotaur.”
  1743. “Neat.”
  1744. >You stand up and test your crutch a bit by walking a circle in the room.
  1745. >It’s faster than leaning on Ariel was and easier to use as well.
  1746. “Thanks a bunch, if there’s nothing else then I’ll be on my way.”
  1747. >”Once I rebandage your foot I just need you to a sign a form for the use of the crutch and you’ll be free to go.”
  1748. >Nurse PinkHair patches up your foot with a fresh bandage and leads you to the front desk.
  1749. >Once their your new favorite nurse has you sign the previously mentioned form and you make your for the door.
  1750. “Thanks a lot, uh”
  1751. >”Redheart.”
  1752. “Thanks a lot Redheart!”
  1753. >A final wave goodbye and you and Ariel are out the hospital doors.
  1754. >That went about as well as you could have expected.”
  1755. >You start walking towards the center of town as you ponder on what you can do for work.
  1756. >Before your leave of absence you mainly just did odd jobs, but you did do a fair amount of work at Sugar Cube Corner acting as a janitor/waiter/general assistant.
  1757. >That’s as good a place to check as any you suppose.
  1758. >The marketplace is nearby however and you could ask around there first.
  1759. >Ok, market first, then Cupcake Corner.
  1760. >The marketplace is in full swing as ponies buy what they need.
  1761. >…
  1762. >Ugh, none of the ponies have jobs for you.
  1763. >Even the ponies you worked reliably with have already found replacements for you.
  1764. >You pull out your pocket watch and check the time.
  1765. >It still feels heavy in your hand as you click it open.
  1766. >Heavy with two fifths of your fucking soul.
  1767. >It’s 10 past 12.
  1768. >You drop the watch back in your pocket and lean back in the bench you’re sitting in.
  1769. >You survey the area in front of you doing one last check of ponies that you haven’t asked yet.
  1770. >Your eyes fall on one of the few stalls without any line.
  1771. >Roseluck sits behind it with a pretty bored expression.
  1772. >You doubt Roseluck has any work for you, but you get take the opportunity to score some brownie points with Ariel.
  1773. >You have Ariel help you up so you can grab your crutch and go to Roseluck’s stand
  1774. “Hey Roseluck.”
  1775. >Flowerbutt’s eyes lift from whatever book she was reading.
  1776. >”Hey Anonymous. I don’t suppose you would be here to buy some flowers would you?”
  1777. “Partly. Before that though I was wondering if you have any work that needs doing.”
  1778. >Roseluck contemplates this for a few moments looking thoughtful.
  1779. >”Well, hmm. I don’t have any work per say, but you could do me a favor and some bits could fall your way.”
  1780. >Sounds fun.
  1781. “Oh?”
  1782. >”I have this hard to grow ‘flower’ that a lot of people don’t like the look of. If you could grow it in secret for me and once it’s matured drop it off at a predetermined location, you might find a bag full of bits on your way home.”
  1783. >Is she wanting you to grow pony weed?
  1784. “I assume I make sure Twilight doesn’t know about it.”
  1785. >Roseluck grins nervously as she glances around.
  1786. >”Yeah she really hates how that flower looks. You down or not?”
  1787. >So this is illegal and it’ll annoy Twilight if she founds out you’re doing it.
  1788. >Sounds like the fun has been [spoiler]bubbled.[/spoiler]
  1789. “Yeah sure. Do I have to pick this up now or can it wait?”
  1790. >Roseluck calms down a lot once you make your statement.
  1791. >”I’ve got time. Come back here once it gets a little later and I’ll have the flower and an arrangement of others to hide it ready for you.”
  1792. “Epic. See ya later then.”
  1793. >”Bye Anon!”
  1794. >Looks like you’ve got some time to kill.
  1795. >You should still probably look for work, but you’re not really feeling that right now.
  1796. >Instead you decide to go pay Twiglit a visit in her giant friendship castle and talk about dark magic [spoiler]attacks[/spoiler]
  1797.  
  1798. “Pielight! Sparkadark! I wanna talk to you!”
  1799. >You figured out very quickly the easiest way to find Guylight was to just shout as loud as you can and wait for her to come to you.
  1800. >Sure enough the Purple Menace comes trotting down some stairs looking peeved.
  1801. >”Anon I’ve told you not to just shout for me whenever you come over!”
  1802. “Eh, I forgot. Regardless though, now that you’re here we can have a nice friendly chat.”
  1803. >”Fine, what is it Anon.”
  1804. >You walk over to a nearby couch and sit down, making sure Ariel settled in next to you.
  1805. “I wanted to talk about magic.”
  1806. >Purple Nurple appears pleasantly surprised this another talk about the existence of buttplugs going by the look on her face.
  1807. >Princess Friendship brings a chair across from you and sits herself down.
  1808. >”Certainly Anon, what do you want to know?”
  1809. “I’m kinda curious about how it works exactly. I mean how do you control it, or do one spell instead of another?”
  1810. >Twilight is definitely pleased as a charlie in a chocolate factory to hear you having actual questions about something she enjoys.
  1811. >”Well it’s a little hard to explain if you’ve never done magic before-,”
  1812. “Which I most definitely have not.”
  1813. >”-But I’ll do my best. …”
  1814. >…
  1815. >Do your best my ass you’ve probably prepared this lecture three times over.
  1816. >Oh hold up this bit sounds useful.
  1817. >”-Once the spell I’m going to use is decided I summon up the magical energy and start controlling it to do what I want.”
  1818. “Ok, but how do you control it?”
  1819. >”For Unicorns, magic is tightly woven into them, and their horns let them control it. Actually controlling it is just a matter of focus and knowing what you want to do with it.”
  1820. >No easy shortcuts then.
  1821. >You’ll just have to practice like the book told you to.
  1822.  
  1823. “Interesting. So setting aside the topic of how to control it, one of the common ideas from my world was there being different schools of magic. Like one school would focus on harnessing the power of the elements while others focused on transforming coal into diamonds. Is there something similar in Equestria?”
  1824. >It’s almost annoying you how happy Twilight is to talk about all this.
  1825. >”Actually yes, there are many different schools. …”
  1826. >Many has turned out to be a very big understatement.
  1827. >Now that Twoodeloo has finished with her great statement you do notice one she forgot to mention.
  1828. >Particularly the one you’re learning.
  1829. “You forgot one.”
  1830. >Twilights self pleased face goes to ticked in a second.
  1831. >”I did? I’ve memorized that list 10 times over, I’m sure I didn’t miss any!”
  1832. >Ok, time to play it cool.
  1833. >You must drop no hints you’re dancing with whatever the pony equivalent of the devil is.
  1834. “You did, I read it in this old book. It was called something really weird like, “Nackomancy, or Neckodancy or something like that.”
  1835. >Twilight looks at you carefully.
  1836. >”Do you mean Ne-Ne-Necromancy?”
  1837. >Stutter much Flutterlight?
  1838. >Regardless you do your best to look like you’ve suddenly recalled it.
  1839. “Yeah that was it!”
  1840. >MagicButt gulps and looks around nervously before settling her gaze on you once more.
  1841. >”Ne-*gulpx2 combo*-Necromancy is a really, really, REALLY, old school of magic that was banned from Equestria. It was a dark magic that was corrupt and evil. Princess Celestia personally helped hunt down all the practitioners of it along with their vile creations and even burned all books containing mention of it! Knowledge of Necromancy is a tightly kept secret that only a select few know about. When my friends and I defeated Nightmare Moon and we found out I’m the Element of Magi the Princess told me about it and gave me access to the books about it on the grounds I never let anyone know of it’s existence!”
  1842.  
  1843. >Damn.
  1844. >That plot exposition.
  1845. >Also, mental note, Ariel needs to be kept secret from Celestia at all costs.
  1846. >You don’t know if Sunbutt would be able to sniff Ariel out for what she is just by meeting her, but you don’t want to take the chance.
  1847. >Shouldn’t be too hard, you’ve only ever spoken to the monarch like 3 times.
  1848. “Wow that’s pretty heavy.”
  1849. >”Yes, it is Anon. I think you’ll also now see why I need you to bring me this book you read so that I can turn it into The Princess. We can’t let the general populace know about this!”
  1850. >Crap.
  1851. >You’ve bullshit your way through tough situations before, time do it again.
  1852. >Just lie to her face.
  1853. >Lie hard.
  1854. “I can’t really recall-“
  1855. >”Focus Anon, please! This is very serious!”
  1856. >Crap Sparkle is getting uppity.
  1857. >Lie hard two, Lie harder.
  1858. ”Ok Ok! Lemme think. … It was.. in the Castle!”
  1859. >”The castle?”
  1860. “Yeah! The one in the Everfree where I was trapped, I found it there!”
  1861. >Twilight stands up with that determined look that you used to see on white girls when they hear Starbuck is about to close.
  1862. >”We need to go back there and find that book! I’ll go gather the girls, meet us down at the entrance in half an hour!”
  1863. >Girls means Applejack.
  1864. >Applejack means lies get torn apart.
  1865. “That’s a bad idea!”
  1866. >Twilight pauses already halfway out the door.
  1867. >She looks at you confused.
  1868. >”Why is that Anon?”
  1869. “Uh, they might ask about what’s inside the book or what we’re doing, and we can’t let them know about Necromancy!”
  1870. >”Hmm, good point. Ok, we can go their now then just the two of us, lets go!”
  1871. >Crap you’re letting yourself get swept along.
  1872. “I have some stuff I need to do first, but I can meet you down at the entrance in hour or so.”
  1873. >”Ok, but be quick, this is super important!”
  1874. >She dashes out.
  1875. >Phew… that went a little better than expected.
  1876. >Honestly you thought that-
  1877. >”OH! And, your maref- Er I mean, Ariel can come too I guess, because she did just hear everything. If of course you’re Ok with that Ariel.”
  1878. >Ariel looks to you.
  1879. >The turn of her head makes you realize you’re hand has been on her head playing with her hair this whole time.
  1880. >You nod and move your hand to your lap.
  1881. >Ariel looks back to Twilight.
  1882. >”I will go.”
  1883. >Twilight gives her a quick smile and darts out the door once more.
  1884. >Once you’re sure she’s gone you slump into your seat even more and sigh.
  1885. >You look at Ariel, wanting to find some comfort in her permanently stoic expression only to find her staring at the door Twilight just left and looking…
  1886. >Angry?
  1887. >It’s hard to tell, but you’ve been with Ariel enough now to tell the difference between her normal face and her partial expressions.
  1888. >Her lips are curved ever so slightly into a frown, her brow is furrowed just the smallest amount and her eyes seemed to hold the tiniest spark of contempt.
  1889. “You alright Ariel?”
  1890. >She looks to you and her visage turns back to normal in an instant.
  1891. >”Yes.”
  1892. “You sure? You looked a little… off center.”
  1893. >Ariel doesn’t respond immediately and you take the time during the silence to sit up right.
  1894. >”The knowledge that Twilight Sparkle imparted affected me slightly. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
  1895. >Damnit Ariel, really?
  1896. >You scooch a little closer to her on the couch and pull her into a hug.
  1897. “It’s Ok for things to affect you. Now, if you want to, tell me what you were thinking about.”
  1898. >After a minute or so Ariel starts returning the hug and rests her head on your shoulder as you talk.
  1899. >”I remember Celestia coming to kill me.”
  1900. >… Oh boy.
  1901. >You try to lean back from the embrace to look at Ariel, but she just squeezes you tighter.
  1902. >You wrap your arms back around her and lean in once more.
  1903. “That’s… pretty heavy. Do you want to talk about it?”
  1904. >It takes some time for Ariel to respond.
  1905. >”Yes.”
  1906. >You stroke Ariel’s mane as you hold her close.
  1907. “Tell me all about it then.”
  1908. >”I… I am not sure exactly how long it happened. My memories between now and then are hazy. But I was with a previous master. She was flustered and was having me gathering all of her possessions and put them in a box while he consulted a map. She didn’t tell me what was happening, she just told me to start packing. After 13 minutes we were about to leave. The previous master told me what route we were taking and to wear. She had her boxed possessions on a wagon and was prepared to leave when Celestia came.”
  1909. >Ariel pauses again.
  1910. >You aren’t sure what for, but you do your best to comfort her.
  1911. >”Celestia crashed through the entrance with a light brighter than I have ever seen silhouetting her. She spoke with such anger and vehemence that the words seemed to hiss through the air. ‘Glimmer! I gave you a chance to redeem yourself as you are my student, but it has come to my attention that you are planning not only to refuse this offer, but to attempt escape of Equestria to the Gryphon Kingdom!’
  1912. >Ariel didn’t try to imitate Celestia’s voice at all, but the words still forced a shiver down your spine, as if the seething anger from so along ago was still alive in just those words.
  1913. >”My previous master pleaded for forgiveness and understanding of Celestia, but she did not listen. ‘Glimmer you know this crime to be heinous and other ponies have been sentenced to far worse, but you… Not only do you refuse my generous offer, but you attempt to betray me!’ I sensed the house being surrounded by other ponies in armor, likely the royal guard, at this point. Celestia continued her speech, now marching into the previous master’s abode. ‘I took you under my wing and cared for you as my own! I TRUSTED you! And you respond by twisting a knife in my back.’ At this point Celestia was in front of my previous master who was groveling on the floor begging, while I stood in a corner of the house. Celestia lowered her horn to my previous master, ‘Do you have any last words.’ My previous master stopped her begging and stood up on unsteady feet. ‘Y-Yes, I do,’ she said. She then looked to me, ‘Goodbye, Corinth.’ Celestia’s eyes hardened as she glanced at me. Celestia then killed my previous master.”
  1914. >Ariel hasn’t moved from your arms and you’re still holding you.
  1915. >Celestia is quickly making headway to being number 1 on your Worst Princess list.
  1916. >”After killing my master Celestia walked to me with a look of disgust. I had no orders on what to do in this situation, so I simply stood still. Celestia looked upon me with disgust. She didn’t give me a speech, instead just saying, ‘Vile abomination’ under her breath. Her horn began to glow, but before she could cast her spell, I punched her.”
  1917. >Ariel is even more badass than you thought!
  1918. >She fucking sucker punched a princess!
  1919. >”After catching Celestia off guard I ran through the wall while she was stunned and started running. She and her guard chased after me, but I was faster. Except for one pegasus who managed to keep up with me after the others were long gone. I stopped and the pegasus landed in front of me. No words were exchanged. The pegasus took the first swing, launching herself with her wings and coming at me with a kick. I took the hit and grabbed The Pegasus’ leg in-between my jaws and crushed it. The Pegasus cried out and dropped to the ground. I stood over it and stared at her as she nurtured her leg. I needed to kill her. Survival was the only directive remaining and she was a direct opposition to that. There wasn’t even a choice to be made, it was obvious what to do. I needed to crush her skull in and continue running. Instead… I knocked her out. A swift blow to the head and she was out. After that I turned and continued running. I didn’t stop for a long time. At some point I climbed a mountain, found a cave. And waited. I remained there until you summoned me.”
  1920. >Hot damn, Ariel’s fucking hardcore!
  1921. >That point aside, this is obviously something that’s bothering Ariel pretty greatly.
  1922. >The fact that she even admitted to having a problem is proof of that.
  1923. >A thought pops up.
  1924. “Are you scared, Ariel?”
  1925. >”… Could you please rephrase that question?”
  1926. >Heh.
  1927. “Are you afraid of Celestia coming to get you again?”
  1928. >She just holds you tighter.
  1929. >You don’t know what to say.
  1930. >You can’t exactly stop the princess from taking her, and your enjoyment of these powers is quickly to a halt.
  1931. >”One more thing.”
  1932. “Yeah what is it Ariel?”
  1933. >Ariel pulls back to whisper in your ear.
  1934. >”There is a small dragon spying on us.”
  1935.  
  1936. >Oh fuck what?
  1937. >Shit Spike must’ve been listening in on the two of you.
  1938. >Ok be calm, you need to handle this carefully.
  1939. >You make sure to keep your voice low as you slip your hand into your pocket and grasp your Pocket Watch.
  1940. “Keep talking in a lower voice so that the dragon can’t hear you.”
  1941. >Ariel immediately starts babbling about something in a much more silent tone.
  1942. >You concentrate for a moment with your phylactery in hand and you’re suddenly able to sense Spike’s soul at the top of the stairs the Purple Menace came down.
  1943. >Ok, what do you do?
  1944. >As far as you know Spike shouldn’t suspect you know about him.
  1945. >Maybe a simple plan will work.
  1946. >You make sure to raise your voice slightly so that the Spike will definitely be able to hear you.
  1947. “Ok, I’ll try and get a glass of water for you.”
  1948. >Ariel takes the cue and stops speaking.
  1949. >You stand up and look down a nearby corridor.
  1950. “SPIKE? Where are you, I need some help!”
  1951. >You hear a small thump from the top of the stairs before getting a response.
  1952. >”Be right there!”
  1953. >The little Spyro wannabe hops down the stairs and comes to a stop before you.
  1954. >”What do you need?”
  1955. >You pick him up and toss him onto the couch Ariel is at in one fluid motion.
  1956. >”WAAGH!”
  1957. “Ariel pin him.”
  1958. >Ariel acts swiftly and throws herself across the crouch to get Spike stuck under her hooves.
  1959. >Spike claws against her, but it doesn’t loosen her hold on him.
  1960. >You walk to the chair Twilight had been using and pull it up so that it’s right in front of Spike.
  1961. >You sit down and stare hard at Twilight’s number 1 assistant.
  1962. “How much did you hear?”
  1963. >Spike has stopped trying to escape and is now sweating bullets.
  1964. >”H-Hear what?”
  1965. “Don’t bullshit me Spike I know you were listening in at the stop of the stairs. How much did you hear?”
  1966. >”H-Hardly a th-thing! Honest I couldn’t make out a word!”
  1967.  
  1968. >You don’t have a lot of time to grind answers out of Spike and you also need to make sure he doesn’t go tattling to you and Ariel’s One Way to Ticket to the Sun.
  1969. >Your frustration only gets worse as you stare at Spike with your Pocket Watch still firmly in your grip.
  1970. >As you squeeze the watch you start to feel the weirdest thing.
  1971. >You feel your anger start to seep out around you, no longer contained to just your body.
  1972. >Spike starts to squirm even more.
  1973. “I’ll ask one last time Spike. What did you hear me and Ariel talk about?”
  1974. >His eyes switch nervously between the two of you before he breaks.
  1975. >”I-I- I heard something about Celestia, and running, and the Gryphon Kingdom, and, and- WAAAHHH!”
  1976. >The baby dragon bursts into tears and your heart goes soft a little.
  1977. >Your anger seems to return back into your body and you slump in your chair slightly.
  1978. >You sigh.
  1979. >This has gotten more than a little out of hand.
  1980. “Ariel, let him go.”
  1981. >Ariel does as you ask and goes to your side.
  1982. >Spike just sits and cries for a little while.
  1983. >Once he’s done he just goes into the fetal position on the couch and starts whimpering.
  1984. “I’m sorry Spike, I didn’t mean to scare you that bad, but Ariel and I were talking about very important secret things.”
  1985. >Spike whimpers, but you don’t get anything in the ways of an actual response.
  1986. “Ariel used to live in the Gryphon Kingdom and escaped to come here to Equestria. The problem is she’s not supposed to be here and if anybody knew about this she could be forced to go back!”
  1987. >Spike’s whimpers slow to a halt and he peeks up at you.
  1988. >”Really?”
  1989. >”Really. If Princess Celestia or Princess Twilight were to find out about my story then I would be forced back to the Gryphon Kingdom where I would be sent to jail for treason. Please do not force me to go back Spike!”
  1990. >Spike isn’t the only one staring at Ariel in shock.
  1991. >You were about to continue the lie when Ariel just went for it!
  1992. >That was the most emotional you’ve ever even heard her speak!
  1993. >Spike sits up and rubs his eyes.
  1994. >”I don’t want you to go to jail Ariel!”
  1995. “Me either Spike, which is why we both need you to not tell anyone about this! Can we count on you?”
  1996. >Spike stands up straight and gives you a salute.
  1997. >”You can count on me Ariel and Anon! These lips are sealed!”
  1998. “I’m glad to hear it Spike.”
  1999. >”Thank you very much Spike. This means a lot to me.”
  2000. >You have to do your best to not gawk at Ariel as she speaks unsolicited for the second time in as many minutes.
  2001. >You slip your watch back in your pocket and stand up.
  2002. “We have to go now, but we’ll come by sometime soon and go out for treats at Sugar Cube Corner as thanks, Ok?”
  2003. >Spike nods viciously at the promise of sweets.
  2004. >”I’m looking forward to it! And sorry for listening in on you Anon…”
  2005. >As you leave you turn around so you can give Spike a reassuring smile.
  2006. “Don’t worry about it Spike, just don’t do it again, and don’t tell anyone about it, Ok?”
  2007. >”Gotcha!”
  2008. >And with that, you’re out the door.
  2009. >HOLEE FUCKIN’ SHIT
  2010. >That actually worked!
  2011. >Ok, Twilight is expecting you at the Everfree soon.
  2012. >You've gotta go see if Roseluck has the pony weed ready now because if not you'll have to pick it up tomorrow.
  2013. >As you walk back to the marketplace you note Ariel is sticking a little closer to you than before.
  2014. >Which means she's almost touching you.
  2015. >You decide not to comment and give her mane a quick pet, which makes her look at you wondering if you had an order, but you just give your cute companion a quick smile before going back to paying attention to walking.
  2016. >The marketplace is still pretty busy.
  2017. >Roseluck actually has a small line this time and you have to wait impatiently to talk to her.
  2018. >Eventually Flowerbutt sends off the guy in front of you with a bouquet and a smile before giving you a surprised look.
  2019. >"Back so soon? Are you dipping out?"
  2020. "Nah nothing like that. It's just that my day took a sudden turn of events and I was hoping I could pick up my order now."
  2021. >Rosey lowers her voice ever slightly so that the drum of the market buzzes out the details for any would be listeners.
  2022. >"I could give it to you now, but I'd prefer to wait a little later."
  2023. "Either it's now or the next time I have a break in the next few days."
  2024. >Which pretty much means tomorrow, but Roseluck doesn't need to know that.
  2025. >She looks around and bites the inside of her cheek a little before responding.
  2026. >"Alright, I'll give you the arrangement now then, cough up a few bits so it looks normal."
  2027. >You reach into your bag and pull out a couple of the shiny coins and place them in front of Roseluck.
  2028. >Roseluck pockets them and then goes around the stand putting together a huge assortment of flowers and other plants.
  2029. >She sets the large quant it of plants on top of a wooden tray.
  2030. >"Your 'actual' order is to the left of the rose, don't look for it now, just get this back to your home and hide it some place safe. It'll be good if you can actually decorate a little with these so it doesn't look like you bought a bunch of flora for no reason, got it?"
  2031. >You nod and pick up the tray.
  2032. >You can barely see through the all the fauna.
  2033. >It's gonna be a pain getting back home like this.
  2034. >Oh wait
  2035. "Ariel, please carry this for me."
  2036. >"Ok."
  2037. >Ariel turns around and you rest the tray on her back.
  2038. "Are you going to be able to carry this back to the house without dropping it?"
  2039. >It looks a little ridiculous seeing all the plant life on Ariel's back.
  2040. >She's like a Venusaur.
  2041. >"Yes."
  2042. "Great, lets get going then. Later Rose."
  2043. >"See ya Anon! Get back safely and quickly!"
  2044. >You worry that Ariel might drop the package despite her assurance to the contrary as you navigate back to the house, but the tray hardly wobbles as Ariel plods along next to you.
  2045. >You're just starting to get to the exit of Ponyville when you hear a shout from your right.
  2046. >"Scootaloo! Git back here!"
  2047. >You turn your head to see Scootaloo quickly coming down the road, and right into Ariel.
  2048. >You blink and you hear the crash before you see it.
  2049. >When you open them again you see, instead of a mess of plants and flowers with Ariel on the floor next to them, Scootaloo already sporting a new bruise and her scooter bent ever slightly lying next to her.
  2050. >Did Ariel really just face tank a filly coming down a hill on her scooter without even flinching?
  2051. >Fuck she's hardcore!
  2052. >You walk over to the orange filly and crouch down.
  2053. "You alright Scootaloo? Nothing broken?"
  2054. >Scoots hops onto her hooves and starts checking out her scooter before responding.
  2055. >"Yeah yeah, I'm fine. Sorry for running into you mister."
  2056. >Did she even register who you actually are?
  2057. >Before you can say anything else Applebloom and Sweetie Bell come running down the road, screeching to a stop before you.
  2058. >"Anon?! Did Scootaloo run into ya? She's real sorry if she did!"
  2059. >Scoots does a double take when she realizes who you are.
  2060. >"Ohmygosh, I really didn't mean to upset you again Anon- er Mr.Anon, I promise!"
  2061. >Looks like they're still a little spooked about when you yelled at them.
  2062. >You stand up and ruffle the young pegasus' mane.
  2063. "Really, it's fine. No one's hurt minus that bruise you'll be sporting and nothing got broken. While we're apologizing though I've been meaning to find you girls and say sorry for yelling at you so harshly yesterday. I was just tired and cranky."
  2064. >You'd been meaning to do no such thing, but the little tykes don't need to know that.
  2065. >Sweetie Butt speaks up this time.
  2066. >"We're sorry for spying on you too!"
  2067. "All is forgiven then. We'll be on our way and you three can go back to whatever mischief you were up too."
  2068. >Scootaloo, seemingly happy that her scooter isn't banged up too bad jumps on it and starts skating off.
  2069. >"Later Anon! Catch me if you can Applebloom!"
  2070. >Applebloom smiles slightly and charges off.
  2071. >"Bye Anon! Now get back here Scootaloo!"
  2072. >Sweetie Bell gives you one last winning smile before setting off at a more leisurely pace.
  2073. >"See ya Anon!"
  2074. "Goodbye girls!"
  2075. >Well that was a nice little encounter.
  2076. >You'd best be on your way though.
  2077. >You make it to your house without incident hurry Ariel in.
  2078. >You don't have time to properly hide the pony drugs so you just put the whole tray in your room on top of your bed.
  2079. >There aren't any windows in your room so it should be hidden well enough for now.
  2080. >Almost ready to leave now you go to your book case and grab a book that looks big enough to be a medieval tome.
  2081. >Sorry, "A History of Flapjacks".
  2082. >The book was actually a pretty good read.
  2083. >You hastily set up a small fire in your fire place and toss the book inside.
  2084. >You let it smolder inside for a minute or so before pulling it out with some tongs and putting it out.
  2085. >You examine the burned book carefully.
  2086. >Completely destroyed, no evidence that it once told the tale of a delicious breakfast food.
  2087. >You find your duffel bag and toss the charred book inside it.
  2088. >You also throw in a bottle of water and some veggies from your fridge.
  2089. >Are you good to go now?
  2090. >The bag is halfway zipped up before you realize the smell of the book is fairly pungent.
  2091. >You run to the assortment of plants and find some rosemary and lavender in the bunch.
  2092. >You grab a few stems and leaves and rub them all over the book, leaving them inside the back just in case.
  2093. >The smell isn't too noticeable once the bag is zipped up.
  2094. >Ariel is as ready to go as always, so it's time to go continue lying to a princess.
  2095. >Lying to a princess 3, revenge of the liar.
  2096. (I didn’t forget Anon had a crutch when writing the last bit or two, I promise. Any actions or situations that occurred where the crutch should’ve been an issue he was silently assisted by jesus. )
  2097.  
  2098. >You’re out the door now and heading to the Everfree entrance.
  2099. >You’d carry the duffel yourself, but it’s a pain to do while still using the crutch so Ariel is carrying it instead.
  2100. >You don’t say anything to Ariel on the trip over, you’re too busy coming up with potential bullshit to spew out to DurpleMart.
  2101. >Twilight doesn’t notice you walking up.
  2102. >She’s too busy pacing in a circle.
  2103. “Twilight we’re here!”
  2104. >PurplePonyPrincess looks up from the grass and gives you a wane smile.
  2105. >”I was worried you were going to be late! Lets get going.”
  2106. >You check the time on your watch.
  2107. >You’re starting to get used to the extra weight and heavier ticks.
  2108. >Right on time actually.
  2109. >You pocket it again and start heading forward.
  2110. “Lets a go.”
  2111. >Twilight doesn’t say much as she leads the way.
  2112. >Only occasionally stopping to look at a map and mutter.
  2113. >Your crew of a 2/5 dead human, a cute zombie, and a lawful good unicorn come upon the broken down castle.
  2114. >All that’s left is for a pack of goblins to show up so you can roll for initiative.
  2115.  
  2116. >”Ok Anon, lead me to the book so I can destroy it.”
  2117. >You’re prepared for this one.
  2118. “Sorry Purple, I don’t remember where it is, lets split up and-“
  2119. >The ghost of freddy possesses you temporarily.
  2120. “Search for clues.”
  2121. >You feel dirty and used.
  2122. >Twiloo frowns.
  2123. >”Alright, I guess it can’t be helped if you don’t remember. This place isn’t too big so I’ll cover the west side, you scour the east, and Ariel can cover everything in-between.”
  2124. “Sounds dandy, but I’d prefer to stick together with Ariel. Don’t want her uh, getting lost or hurt. Or any other generic bad scenarios come to think of it.”
  2125. >Twilight puts on this weird ass smile that she normally wears when she has too poop real bad and you’re purposely engaging her in social activities while systematically making sure to cut off all possible excuses to leave.
  2126. >Good times.
  2127. >”Oh uh, of course, my bad for trying to split you two up I guess, haha!”
  2128. >Weirdo.
  2129. “Yeah, I’ll yell if I find the book.”
  2130. >”Same here, later!”
  2131. >Twilight zooms off to the left side of the castle and flies in through hole in the wall.
  2132. >Ok, no time to waste.
  2133. >You’re lucky as it is Twilight put you on the side of the castle with the chamber.
  2134. “Ariel take me to the room where we first as fast as you safely can.”
  2135. >You don’t wanna waste time hobbling down those stairs with a crutch.
  2136. “Yes, Master.”
  2137. >Ariel lowers herself to the ground slightly and you climb on.
  2138. >In no time you’re back down in the room where this whole adventure started.
  2139. >The archaic rune you drew onto the ground is still there too.
  2140. “Ariel if that mark is messed up will you be unbound from me, or be otherwise affected?”
  2141. >”No, Master.”
  2142. “Great, start doing what you can to obscure it then. Cover it with sand, rub it away, whatever works.”
  2143. >”Ok, Master.”
  2144. >You don’t want to the chance that Twilight would recognize that symbol.
  2145. >Ariel starts kicking up dust and you go to the stand where you originally found the Ponynomicon.
  2146. >Thinking of the book brings a familiar weight to your hand.
  2147. >Not now, book, you’re not needed right now.
  2148. “Ariel toss the duffel over here.”
  2149. >Your servant doesn’t stop in her work on the sign as she uses her ass to the throw the bag to you.
  2150. >Normally you’d make some kind of sexual comment or at least an Unf, but this needs to be done as fast as possible.
  2151. >You pull out the remains of The History of Flapjacks and set it on the stand where you found the Ponynomicon.
  2152. >You can hardly tell the difference.
  2153. >*SMASH*
  2154. >The fuck was that?
  2155.  
  2156. >You look to Ariel and see that she had stomped the ground in at the center of the rune.
  2157. >Ariel catches you looking at her and explains.
  2158. >”This part of the sigil was not coming out via rubbing and was too large to obscure with dirt and sand, so I destroyed it.”
  2159. >There’s only a pile of rubble where the sigil’s middle was.
  2160. >Your little pony just keeps on continuing to amaze.
  2161. >Unfortunately there’s a good chance Twilight heard that and is heading to your location.
  2162. >You zip up the duffel and toss it back to Ariel who ass-catches it without a word.
  2163. “If Twilight asks we just rediscovered this room.”
  2164. >”Ok, Master.”
  2165. >You hop onto Ariel’s back again and have her take you up the stairs back to the door.
  2166. >You barely have time to get back on your crutch before Twilight swoops in.
  2167. >”Anon, Ariel, are you Ok? I heard a loud noise, like something falling!”
  2168. “We’re fine, a portion of wall just crumbled away nearby. We have however found the room where I originally took my 30 day leave of absence.”
  2169. >You point to hastily shut door beside you.
  2170. “The book should be just down here.”
  2171. >Twilight gives you a smile of relief.
  2172. >”Phew, I was worried we wouldn’t find it, or worse yet, somepony else had found it and taken it!”
  2173. “Good thing that hasn’t happened. Now can we go and nab it so we can go home? Meandering through rumble in the Everfree with a crutch isn’t my definition of an activity that is even somewhat enjoyable.”
  2174. >Twilight blushes abashedly and starts down the steps.
  2175. >”Right of course, lets wrap this up and get you back in time.”
  2176. >You follow behind her.
  2177. “In time for what?”
  2178. >”Uh, errrr, bed time! Wouldn’t want you to miss a good nights sleep!”
  2179. >Twilight needs to read more books on lying. She’s friggen terrible at it.
  2180. >Or maybe the problem is she’s read too many books about it?
  2181. >Hard to tell with her.
  2182. “Sure. Sleep is hella important.”
  2183. >You’re just lucky you’ve gotten away with this for this long.
  2184.  
  2185. >You don’t want to start poking at a different hornet nest.
  2186. >”So this is where you were for a month?”
  2187. >Twilight takes a sweeping look of the room.
  2188. “Yup. Welcome to my home away from home.”
  2189. >Twilight gives a short laugh and starts pacing through the room.
  2190. >”Has seeing the room jogged your memory at all? Do you remember where the book is?”
  2191. >You glance briefly at the burned fake sitting on the pedestal.
  2192. “Sorry Sparkles, I’m still drawing a blank. All I can remember is that it’s somewhere in here.”
  2193. >Twilight sighs in frustration.
  2194. >”Ok the room isn’t that big, lets just comb through it and be done with this.”
  2195. >Twilight’ll see the big book eventually.
  2196. >You’ll just wander around and pretend to do stuff until that time.
  2197. >Exactly what you did back at your job on Earth basically.
  2198. >”Anon come here, I think I may have found it.
  2199. >Does she take the bait?
  2200. “Oh? Yeah, that looks like it!”
  2201. >Purple picks up the book with her magic and flips through it.
  2202. >”Hrmm, it’s in really bad condition. I can’t tell at all what it’s about. how did you read this Anon?”
  2203. >Bluff check go.
  2204. “It wasn’t looking too good when I read it either, but better than this. Maybe a wild animal or some rain fell on it?”
  2205. >Twilight examines the book closer.
  2206. >”I suppose so it looks burned though. You’re 100% sure this is the book you read?”
  2207. “Absolutely, here let me see it.”
  2208. >Asides from being the right size there is another reason you chose the History of Flapjacks for this job.
  2209. >Here we go, page 420.
  2210. >Originally, it read, “Buttered Goods’ delicious confections were so legendary, that some even say she could raise the dead by bring a stack of flapjacks to a graveyard!”
  2211. >Luckily for you most of the sentence is destroyed, and with some careful pressing on the burned page, you’re able to make it so that only the words, “raise, dead, and graveyard,” are legible.
  2212.  
  2213. “Look here, this part talked about how they would collect bodies for the evil deed.”
  2214. >Twilight reads the proffered words and turns a slight shade of green.
  2215. >”Ok, this is definitely it.”
  2216. >Twilight picks up the book with her magic again, and with a sudden burst of super hot fire it’s nothing more than a pile of ashes.
  2217. “Seems a little excessive.”
  2218. >Twilight affixes you with a serious face.
  2219. >”It’s very important that no one ever sees this book. If we were able to read those words then anypony could.”
  2220. “If’n ya say so Sparky.”
  2221. >To be honest you’re super glad Twilight nuked the book.
  2222. >She’s destroying the evidence for you.
  2223. >”Ok, now that this little fiasco is over with lets go back home!”
  2224. “Whatever you say Princess.”
  2225. >Going up the stairs is much more of pain without Ariel just ferrying you up, but after that the journey isn’t too bad.
  2226. >You still would prefer to get back onto even terrain as soon as possible though.
  2227. >Twilight makes a few wayne attempts at conversation as you traverse back through the forest, but you’re not really in the mood to talk and eventually the three of you are surrounded solely by the sounds of the forest.
  2228. >Geez you spent more time in that place than you thought, the sun is already setting.
  2229. >You walk with Twilight a little further before deciding to part ways.
  2230. “Ok Twilight, this has been real fun, but it’s getting late so Ariel and I just going to retire back at my place.”
  2231. >Sparkly suddenly perks up.
  2232. >”Oh uh, well I’ll walk you home then, wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself alone going back!”
  2233. “Good point. Good thing Ariel is with me so in the event that I fall or something she’ll be able to help me.”
  2234. >Did Ariel look at you when you said that?
  2235. >It’s hard to tell in the low light.
  2236. >”Oh yeah, but uh, what if… you both fall!? That’s why I should you home!”
  2237. >You glance at Ariel.
  2238. “I’ve never actually seen Ariel trip at all, so I’m going to assume we’ll be fine just the two of us.”
  2239. >Twilight huffs and stomps her hoof.
  2240. >”Grrr, Anon just let me walk you home!”
  2241. “Geez, Ok, Ok.”
  2242. >No need to get your purple panties in a twist.
  2243. >You don’t bother saying another word and just begin the final part of your journey to your house.
  2244. >Twilight doesn’t break the atmospheric silence during the last legs of your trip, but she keeps fidgeting.
  2245. >Ruffling her wings, scratching her hoof, biting her lip.
  2246. >Whatever she’s nervous about it better not impact your evening at all.
  2247. >You just wanna chill out on your couch and have Ariel keep you company while you read a book.
  2248. >Maybe eat some cookies.
  2249. >Shit do you even have cookies?
  2250. >Maybe once you ditch Twilight you can run to town and hit up SCC real fast.
  2251. >Well you’re home.
  2252. “Alright Twilight, we’re home safe and sound.”
  2253. >Twilight continues to fidget.
  2254. >”Well go inside.”
  2255. >You don’t even feel like arguing with her creepy desire to watch you go into your house.
  2256. >Maybe she knows of your plan to ditch her and buy cookies somehow.
  2257. >Did you leave your door unlocked?
  2258. >You can’t remember.
  2259. >Whatever it’s not like you have anything worth stealing anyway.
  2260. >Unless a thief was really hankering for a taste of some quality Sweet Apple Acres Apples™.
  2261. >… You’re suddenly much more worried about this potential thief having stolen something.
  2262. >Ok, open the door slowly so if a robber is still there they aren’t alerted.
  2263. >Lets just peek inside to see if you're worries of a criminal have any merit.
  2264. >And inside there is-
  2265. >”SURPRISE!”
  2266.  
  2267. “WHAT THE BITCH!”
  2268. >You jump backwards and lose your balance.
  2269. >You would’ve hit the ground hard if Ariel hadn’t caught you.
  2270. >You look inside your house and do a double take.
  2271. >Instead of the place being trashed with a thief eating your apples, Pinkie Pie is beaming at you amidst a throng of other ponies with streamers, balloons, and a banner saying “Congratulations!”
  2272. >Pinko leaps over to you, somehow managing to pick up your crutch with her tail along the way.
  2273. >”Oh man we got you good! I was worried we might not be able to set everything up in time, and we were all running around and putting up the streamers, and I had to mix the cake batter while blowing up balloon, but we got all the decorations up just in time and surprised you, and OH MY CELESTIA CONGRATULATIONS! …Oh and here’s your crutch back!”
  2274. >Ariel helps keep you steady as you grab your crutch back and get on your own two feet.
  2275. >The fuck is going on here?
  2276. “You know, not that I don’t appreciate it, but why have you thrown me this party?”
  2277. >You briefly contemplate bringing up the fact that she also broke into your home, but decide against it.
  2278. >Pinkie does that really cute giggle snort and backs up slightly.
  2279. >”It’s a congratulations party Nonny! Can’t you read the banner? You can read the banner right? Did it fall, is the writing too small, or is the font wrong? I knew we shouldn’t have gone with Comic Sans!”
  2280. >Oh god the banner actually is in Comic Sans now that you look at it.
  2281. “No the banners fine, but what are you congratulating me for?”
  2282. >Rarararararara steps up, deciding to actually answer your question.
  2283. >”This party is to congratulate you and Ariel coming together!”
  2284. “… Yeah, Ariel comes with me most places, why is home different? We both kinda live here.”
  2285. >Marshmellow looks a little off put by your answer.
  2286. >”I mean it’s for the two of you finding each other deary.”
  2287. >There’s gotta be something here you’re not getting.
  2288. “Really it was just Ariel who found me. Trapped inside a ruined castle.”
  2289. >”No, you’re not getting it, I mean-“
  2290. >”She means the party’s for you getting a marefriend!”
  2291. >Dash flies over Rarity and fixes you with a bored look.
  2292. >”Rainbow Dash!”
  2293. >Rarity looks as flustered as ever at Dash not being the epitome of politeness, but you’re more focused on what RainbowButt just said.
  2294. “Excuse me?”
  2295. >”OH my gosh Anon, how dense are you? The par-tee is for you, Anonymous, and Ariel becoming spe-shul sum-pone-ees.”
  2296. >Special somepon-
  2297. >oh.
  2298. >Oh.
  2299. “OH!”
  2300. >Rarity clears her throat and you step inside.
  2301. >”As Rainbow Dash, quite frankly, said, this party is to celebrate you finally finding true love!”
  2302. >Wow they really did up the place.
  2303. >You can see lots of other decorations, and there’s hearts and roses all over the place.
  2304. >Someone even did your dishes.
  2305. “So uh, how did you all figure out that Ariel and I are, um, dating?”
  2306. >Twilight laughs at you now and you turn to her with an eyebrow raised.
  2307. >”Well you weren’t exactly subtle Anon.”
  2308. “I wasn’t? Care to elaborate?”
  2309. >”I mean going everywhere with her, letting her live with you, the walks in the park, buying her a dress, even playing with her hair while you visited, which was super cute by the way!”
  2310. >Huh.
  2311. >Now that Twilight lists it all out you can definitely see how they came to this conclusion.
  2312. >It’d also probably make life easier if you just went along with it.
  2313. >No one would question why Ariel was staying with you for so long, it’d make sense why you have her with you everywhere, there’s probably a lot of other stuff you could use Ariel being your SO as an excuse.
  2314. “I guess I was a bit obvious with it, huh. We were gonna tell you all at some point, but weren’t sure exactly how to do it. Thanks for saving us the trouble I guess.”
  2315. >Pinkie Pie bounces over to you with a cup of punch balanced on her head.
  2316. >”Then without further adooo, LET’S PARTY!”
  2317.  
  2318. >Pinkie kicks off the party in that way that only she really can.
  2319. >Music starts playing from somewhere and ponies start mingling around.
  2320. >You did want a relaxing evening with a book and Ariel, but this isn’t so bad either.
  2321. >It is gonna take some time to make it to the drinks and snacks table with every other pony striking up a conversation and wishing the two of you well, but the situation could be worse.
  2322. >Flitter flutters down from above and gives you a slap on the back.
  2323. >”Anon!”
  2324. “Flitter!”
  2325. >You and your friend share a quick one-armed hug.
  2326. >”Who’da thought that you’d actually land yourself a mare! And a cutie at that!
  2327. “Please, I was just biding my time until I found a mare worthy of me, you should know that I am the epitome of charming when I wish to be.”
  2328. >You make sure to straighten your posture and puff out your chest while you joke with Flitter.
  2329. >”PFfft, ha! Epitome of charming? More like pit of being ugly!”
  2330. >You frown.
  2331. “Weaaak.”
  2332. >”Eh sue me, I’ve already had a couple glasses of punch. Real talk though I’m happy for you dude. You’ve got my blessing and all that.”
  2333. >Awww, she does care about you!
  2334. “Glad to have it. I’m gonna have to ask if we can continue the conversation later ‘cause I’m thirstier than a gryphon in heat.”
  2335. >”Heh, no problem. One last thing though. Ariel?”
  2336. >”Yes?”
  2337. >”Take care of the big lug, he acts all tough, but he’s got feelings too and he deserves somepony nice.”
  2338. >”Ok. I will.”
  2339. >Ah how nice.
  2340. “How nice. See you later Flitter.”
  2341. >”Later nerd.”
  2342. >You’re glad Ariel didn’t freeze up there, or say something awkward.
  2343. >You manage to get to the drinks without getting into any full-blown conversations, but you do say hi and give a lot of ponies a quick chat.
  2344. >You make it to the drinks table and ladle some punch into a cup.
  2345. >”Nonny! Congratulations!”
  2346. “Hm?”
  2347. >You swallow your drink and look towards the next pony to wish you well.
  2348. “Oh hey Derpy, how’ve you been?”
  2349. >”I’ve been doing alright, but imagine my surprise when Pinkie tells me that we’re having a party for you and your marefriend!”
  2350. >You’re still not sure this really merits a home invasion and a party, but mares will be mares.
  2351. “Yeah, it really caught me off guard too!”
  2352. >”Eee, it’s just so exciting! Are you gonna get married? Can I be the bridesmare?!”
  2353. >Woah there.
  2354. “Lets not get hasty. We’ll see how things go, but if the situation calls for a bridesmare, I promise you’ll be the first pony I ask.”
  2355. >”Thank you! Sorry for being so excited, but it’s just that I’ve always wanted to be a bridesmare, and my best friend has finally found his special somepony!”
  2356. >Ah how cute.
  2357. >Shame that wedding day is never gonna come.
  2358. >Probably never anyway.
  2359. >You might make it happen if you really want to avoid something.
  2360. “It’s fine, I can get how you feel. One time when I was a kid I really, really, wanted this new toy race car, and then for my birthday I had a present that was the exact size as the car, but it was actually just socks.”
  2361. >”Um, Ok. Anyways, are we still on for that picnic Thursday?”
  2362. “Of course! I’m looking forward to it!”
  2363. >”Great, I can’t wait!’
  2364. >”Well I’ll let you get back to the party, I’m sure there’s a lot of ponies who want to talk to you too.”
  2365. “Alright, see you Thursday!”
  2366. >You meander around the party and mingle with the guests.
  2367. >You’ve finished talking to some ponies when Panko pops up in front of you.
  2368. >”Anon! Anon, come quick!”
  2369. “What’s up?”
  2370. >”No time to explain, just follow me!”
  2371. “What, did someone break something?”
  2372. >”Anon this is super-duper-uber-plooper important so stop asking questions, AND FOLLOW!”
  2373. >Almost more amazing than Pinka’s ability to appear wherever she wants with whatever she needs is her ability to not draw attention when yelling.
  2374. >Or maybe everybody’s just used to it and doesn’t question it anymore.
  2375. “Geez stop yelling, I’m coming, I’m coming.”
  2376. >You’ve learned over the time you’ve spent here that just doing what Pinkie asks is generally the easiest and quickest way to get her to calm down.
  2377. >Pinkie navigates through the crowd and leads you to the center of your house.
  2378. “Pinkie why’d we stop here? What’s so important?”
  2379. >”One moment Nonny!”
  2380. “No really Pinkie, what’s-“
  2381. >”I SAID ONE MOMENT!”
  2382. “Fuck, alright, alright.”
  2383. >”Ok, and, that wire goes there, and we fiddle this doodad, and- oops! I’m sure that piece wasn’t important anyway. Aaaand, perfect!”
  2384. >What the tits is she doing?
  2385. >Before you can make another vocal complaint, the lights suddenly dim.
  2386. >The hell?
  2387. >Your lights don’t have dimmers.
  2388. >The music suddenly switches from a pumping party beat to some slow orchestrated song.
  2389. >”Dance, dance, dance, dance…”
  2390. >You’ve been had!
  2391. “Pinkie you tricked me!”
  2392. >”I did nothing of the sort! Now dance, monkey, dance!”
  2393. “That’s racist!”
  2394. >”You’ve said worse human, now woo that pony with an awesome slow dance!”
  2395. >Goddamnit, you’re dancings a shit.
  2396. >You look at Ariel who’s staring at you as normal.
  2397. “You any good at dancing?”
  2398. >”I’ve never danced before, so I don’t know.”
  2399. >Eh good enough.
  2400. >If you try and back out of this you’re sure it’ll just lead to some convoluted plot of all the ponies trying to force you to dance with Ariel so you might as well get it over with now.
  2401. “Well then, maybe I have this dance?”
  2402. >”Yes.”
  2403. >It’s good that Ariel didn’t hesitate when she said that, it would’ve looked bad.
  2404. >Ariel stands on her back hooves and you take hold of her front hooves.
  2405. >You were never much of a dancer back on earth, so you’re not sure how it’s going to go with a pony.
  2406. >You slowly walk back and forth with Ariel, doing your best to remember what Momma Anon taught you.
  2407. >One hand in hers, the other not groping her ass.
  2408. >Don’t step on her feet, don’t fall, and dear god stop, you can’t dance-just, just stop. This is painful to look at.
  2409. >Shit you can’t remember what comes after that.
  2410. >Well you aren’t groping her ass and she doesn’t have feet to step on so you’ve got that right.
  2411. >Oh right, right!
  2412. >Make sure to look at her eyes, not her boobs!
  2413. >Again, pretty easy because Ariel doesn’t have boobs.
  2414. >She has a pretty fluffy stomach though.
  2415. >So taught as- NO, shit, her eyes dumbass!
  2416. >Ariel’s really good at this actually.
  2417. >You can’t imagine walking on your hind legs wheel half leaning on someone taller on you is that easy.
  2418. >She hasn’t even stepped on your feets.
  2419. >How much longer is this song?
  2420. >You’re not sure you can do this for much longer without tripping up.
  2421. >Even if you did trip Ariel would probably be able to catch you now that you think about it.
  2422. >She’s hella buff.
  2423. >How is she actually so strong?
  2424. >She doesn’t look ripped and you don’t feel muscle in her hoof or from your hand on her side.
  2425. >Speaking of her side you forgot how weird she is to the touch.
  2426. >Not really cold, more lukewarm.
  2427. >It’s taking some getting used to.
  2428. >Is the song finally slowing down? Thank god.
  2429. >Why are all the ponies suddenly paying more attention?
  2430. >The song is ending now, shouldn’t they be going away?
  2431. >”KISS HER ,APE-BOY! LETS SEE SOME HOT MONKEY ON PONE ACTION! WOOWOOWOO!”
  2432. >Fucking Penka.
  2433. >You’ll have to get her back for this.
  2434. >Looking around it doesn’t like you’re gonna get away with wimping out either.
  2435. >Ah shit, guess you’ll have to go for it.
  2436. >Hopefully Ariel will be ok with this.
  2437. >You know, just casually breaking and invading her personal privacy.
  2438. >You finally look back to Ariel who looks into your eyes for a moment before closing her own and going super tippy-toes (tippy-hooves?) to lean up to you.
  2439. >She’s being a good sport with it at least.
  2440. >You lean down to meet her.
  2441. >Would it be creepy if you kept your eyes open?
  2442. >Probably.
  2443. >It also wouldn’t help to see a bunch of ponies staring at you as mack with Ariel.
  2444. >You close your eyes as the distance between you and her become centimeters, and then nonexistent.
  2445. >Her lips are the same temperature as her body, which isn’t necessarily bad, just wei-
  2446. >OOK and that’s her tongue in your mouth.
  2447. >Well then.
  2448. >This is a rather interesting development.
  2449. >You were only going for a peck on the lips, but Ariel’s just barging in.
  2450. >You can’t reject the kiss or look squeamish in front of the crowd, so you guess you’ll just have to roll with it.
  2451. >You pull Ariel a little closer to you and just do your best to not look surprised.
  2452. >Her tongue is fully exploring your mouth and while it’s not exactly uncomfortable, it’s not really pleasant either.
  2453. >Her tongue is just as lukewarm as the rest of her and is a lot bigger than yours seeing as how she’s a pony.
  2454. >It feels a bit like there’s a rather large worm stuck in your mouth.
  2455. >Ugh, bad mental image.
  2456. >You let Ariel flop her tongue around, wondering how long she’s gonna do this for.
  2457. >Is she waiting for you to end it?
  2458. >How long has it been?
  2459. She’s entwining her tongue around yours now.
  2460. >Oh god that feels weird.
  2461. >Can the crowd even tell if you reciprocate this?
  2462. >Best to play it safe you guess.
  2463. >You circle your own tongue around hers and stroke her hair.
  2464. >This really isn’t that bad.
  2465. >Ariel’s pretty damn cute and you’ve started getting over how weird it feels.
  2466. >She’s pulling her tongue out now.
  2467. >You were starting to hope that would go on a little longer if you’re being honest.
  2468. >Once Ariel’s tongue is back where it should be you pull away and take in a breath of air.
  2469. >There’s some spit dripping down your chin.
  2470. >Not sure whose it is, but you wipe it with your shirt sleeve regardless.
  2471. >The crowd of partygoers have gone silent and are just staring at the two of you now.
  2472. “You voyeurs satisfied now? Can we have some peace?”
  2473. >All the ponies mumble out some response or another and disperse, making a point of starting their own awkward little conversations.
  2474. >Well that’s that.
  2475. >You’re not certain how onboard Ariel actually was with that whole ordeal, but she was definitely enthusiastic with the kiss.
  2476. >Can use that enthusiasm to judge how ok she was with everything?
  2477. >You’re not sure.
  2478. >Man girls are difficult, and yours being undead and an undead, centuries old, unreadable, monotone, one at that isn’t helping.
  2479. >You’ll focus more on that later.
  2480. >You want more punch.
  2481. >That may or may not be to help get thoughts of Ariel’s tongue out of your head.
  2482. >You look back down to Ariel who’s staring at you as normal.
  2483. >You tousle her hair and turn back to the punch table.
  2484. “Lets go get drinks. Do you want a drink? Cause I want a drink.”
  2485. >”I want a drink.”
  2486. >Oh you weren’t actually expecting an answer.
  2487. >Can Ariel even drink?
  2488. >Well she wants one so you assume she’s able too.
  2489. >What if it’s like how dogs still want chocolate though.
  2490. >But dogs don’t know they can’t have chocolate right?
  2491. >A glass of punch can’t really be harmful to Ariel at the very least.
  2492. >The line around the punch table disperses as you and Ariel approach.
  2493. >Guess all the partiers grew a sense of shame in the moments since they forced you into snogging Ariel.
  2494. >Did you actually just mentally say snogging?
  2495. >When the hell did you turn into a british teenager?
  2496. >God you’re so fucking scatterbrained right now.
  2497. >Just pour the punch into the cup.
  2498. >… Good, now do one more for Ariel.
  2499. >Aand there.
  2500. >Just calm down, take some deep breaths.
  2501. >All you did was have makeout with your undead servant.
  2502. >You had Ariel her punch and start drinking yours.
  2503. >It wasn’t a bad experience, it really wasn’t.
  2504. >Honestly it was a pretty nice one once you got used to it.
  2505. >You wouldn’t mind doing it again.
  2506. >Ariel stares at her pink drink before raising it up and downing it.
  2507. >It’s probably a bad thing that you can’t help, but focus on her wet lips as she swallows her drink.
  2508. >Probably. Maybe.
  2509. >One, two, three, four, five gulps and it’s gone.
  2510. >Five gulps, Ah haa haa.
  2511. >Ariel puts her cup down on the table and returns to staring at you.
  2512. “You like the punch?”
  2513. >”Yes. It tasted good.”
  2514. “I can hook you up with punch beyond just at parties ya know. Or whatever you want really. What else do you like?”
  2515. >”I like gardening.”
  2516. “I remember you told me that. Is there anything else though?”
  2517. >She takes some time while you sip on your drink.
  2518. >”I like you.”
  2519. >Oh my.
  2520. >Ariel being all kinds of surprising today.
  2521. “Ahh, you’re so sweet Ariel. You’re already with me pretty much 24/7 though.”
  2522. >Ariel isn’t responding.
  2523. >You didn’t ask her a question so that’s to be expected huh.
  2524. >You look around your house and see that the party’s starting to die down.
  2525. >Lots of ponies have already left and you see more leaving.
  2526. >You refill your drink and turn back around to see Rarity approaching you.
  2527. >”Hello again Anonymous, Ariel.”
  2528. “Hey Rarity. Thanks for helping set up the party, it’s been really nice, aside from the forced dance.”
  2529. >Rarity laughs slightly at the memory.
  2530. >”Yes, thank you. I am very sorry about that occurrence though, and I gave Pinkie a stern talking to about it. I’m not sure how much good it did though…”
  2531. >You shrug and take another drink from your cup.
  2532. >Is this your third?
  2533. >Fourth?
  2534. “Penku will be Ponka.”
  2535. >”Yes, quite. Anyway, I’ve come to let you know that I have to leave and get back to my shop. Despite how nice it is to be here and mingle, I still have work that needs to be done!”
  2536. “Alrighty, I won’t hold you back then.”
  2537. >”Oh right, I almost forgot!”
  2538. >Rarity leans in close to you and talks in a hushed whisper.
  2539. >”I finished that dress you ordered for Ariel, and I even made a nice little gift to go with it, free of charge! You’ll find them inside your bedroom next to the flowers! Have fun with my gift~”
  2540. >With another short giggle Rarara is out the door.
  2541. >Nice of her to get you a gift, although you’re not sure why she left it in your room instead of just giving you it herself.
  2542. >Maybe it’s against some high society status quo that she follows.
  2543. >Is your cup already empty again?
  2544. >Well more certainly won’t hurt, gotta stay hydrated!
  2545. >Time flies and you’re working on your nth cup of punch.
  2546. >Ariel had a couple more too, but not as many as you.
  2547. >Shit’s good man.
  2548. >You stumble slightly walking to your couch and Ariel has to stop you from falling.
  2549. >You’re also beginning to suspect it may have been slightly alcoholic.
  2550. >Although that knowledge isn’t stopping you from downing more of it.
  2551. >Just about everyone’s gone now, and the ones that aren’t are making their way out.
  2552. >Pinkie springs over to you as spry as ever with a smile on her face.
  2553. >”This was really fun Anon, and I’m so happy about you and Ariel!”
  2554. “Thanks, I’m happy about it too.”
  2555. >”I’m gonna get going, but I left a gift right next to Rarity’s for you! Oh yeah! I also hid your ‘special plant’ in your new basement!”
  2556. >Oh shit you forgot about the dank.
  2557. >Thank Snoop Dogg that Spikle didn’t find it.
  2558. “New basement?”
  2559. >”Well I guess you could consider it part of my gift, or maybe a whole other gift entirely! I’m a bit rusty on my agiftmetic!”
  2560. “No like, what do you mean new basement? I don’t have a basement.”
  2561. >”You didn’t have a basement! That’s also why it’s new, I just made it for you!”
  2562. “Pinkie I know you’re wacky and have some weird chokehold on the laws of physics, but you can’t just make a basement in a few hours like that.”
  2563. >”Of course I can! Maud helped teach me!”
  2564. “No, but… never mind. See ya later alligator.”
  2565. >”You’ve been drinking too much Nonny, Gummy is the alligator, I’m a pony!”
  2566. “Whatever.”
  2567. >”Bye bye!”
  2568. >And with that the house is yours again.
  2569. >Yours and Ariels at any rate.
  2570. >You finish the rest of the punch over the course of an hour or two with a little help from Ariel.
  2571. >That stuff was most definitely alcoholic, even if only a little bit.
  2572. >You’re not stupid drunk, but you’re a little buzzed.
  2573. >You toss your plastic cup into the trash and stand up.
  2574. >You figure you should see what Pink and Marshmallow got you.
  2575. “Come on Ariel, lets go see what the two main character wannabes got us.”
  2576. >”Ok, Master.”
  2577. >You also need to pee, but that can wait.
  2578. >You open the door to your room and flick on the lights.
  2579. >There’s three large boxes sitting on your bed.
  2580. >You sit on the side of your bed and pull the closest one over to you.
  2581. >It’s in this nice purple wrapping with a green bow.
  2582. >You see note on the side say in elegant writing, “For Ariel.”
  2583. >This must be her dress.
  2584. >Ariel’s waiting in the doorway of your room.
  2585. >What is it with her and doorways?
  2586. >You hold out the box to her.
  2587. “You got a gift!”
  2588. >Ariel doesn’t move or say anything and you sigh mentally.
  2589. “Come open it!”
  2590. >”Ok, Master.”
  2591. >Ariel trots over from the doorway and takes the gift.
  2592. >She sets it on the floor and sits down before carefully undoing the bow.
  2593. >She then takes her time to undo the wrapping paper without tearing or ripping it.
  2594. >The wrapping comes off to reveal a clean white box.
  2595. >Ariel opens it and pulls out a beautiful dress.
  2596. >It’s this nice light shade of violet with a darker shade encompassing her body.
  2597. >Also included are two pairs of shoes that are the same shade as the lower part of the dress, and an elegant silver circlet.
  2598. “Wow Rarity did a really nice job with that dress, huh?”
  2599. >Ariel doesn’t say anything, she just stares at the dress in her hooves.
  2600. “Do you like the dress Ariel?”
  2601. >Still nothing.
  2602. “Ariel is something wrong? Is the dress the wrong size or something?”
  2603. >Did you break her?
  2604. “Yoohoo, Earth to Ariel. Or would it be Equestria to Ariel? Does this planet have a name?”
  2605. >Ariel finally breaks out of her trance and looks back to you.
  2606. >”Sorry for not responding, Master. I like the dress, nothing I am aware of is wrong, the dress is the right size, the term more commonly sed is Equestria, and I do not know the answer to your last question.”
  2607. >You’re reminded that she’s undead again by her lack of a need to breath before, after, or in-between saying all that.
  2608. “Why’d you zone out there?”
  2609. >”I was… surprised.”
  2610. “What about?”
  2611. >”I was surprised about receiving this dress.”
  2612. >Oh.
  2613. “Didn’t you hear Rarity say she brought it for you?”
  2614. >”Yes, I did.”
  2615. “Why were you surprised then?”
  2616. >”I didn’t actually expect the dress to be here.”
  2617. >You’re getting tired of slowly extracting answers out of Ariel that don’t actually answer anything.
  2618. “Please explain in detail the reasons you were surprised, the reasons leading up to your beliefs about being surprised, and any details related to your sudden surprise and the dress in general.”
  2619. >That should be detailed enough to get what you actually want to know out of Ariel.
  2620. >Ariel thinks for a moment before responding.
  2621. >”I was surprised because although I did request it, and you asked Rarity to make it, the both of you followed through with it. I expected the dress to either never be made or to be a prank, like a sack. I expected this because of experiences with my previous masters. Some of my old masters would find pleasure in promising me various objects or services, only to either not perform on the promise or do/deliver the opposite of what was promised. Other masters would also promise things to me, just to either forget or not have had intention of even slightly doing the promise. I cannot be certain of al the reasons, but I believe that some of them were, forgetfulness, lack of caring, attempts to gain my favor, and simple white lies. These are the reasons I was surprised upon actually receiving the dress. … That is also quite well made and, to me, quite pretty also added to my surprise.”
  2622. >Damn.
  2623. >You were expecting a long response, but you weren’t expecting it to be quite so sad.
  2624. >You get off the bed and pull Ariel into a tight hug, her dress the only thing between you and her.
  2625. “Well, I’m sorry you’ve had some crap experiences Ariel, but I’m gonna treat you nice, and I if I say something I’m going to mean it, you can count on that.”
  2626. >Ariel wastes no time wrapping her hooves around you and returns the hug with gusto.
  2627. >It’s a damn happy moment and you’ll be damned if you’re not going to take the time sit and enjoy the wonderful zombie in your arms.
  2628. >Nothing could ruin this mo-
  2629. >*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
  2630. >No fucking way.
  2631. > *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
  2632. >You are actually going to punch whoever this is.
  2633. >You sigh and pull away from Ariel.
  2634. “One moment.”
  2635. >You put on your best angry face and open the door.
  2636. >”Hey Nonny I forgot my punch bowl here and, um… Did I come at a bad time?”
  2637. >Goddamnit it’s Derpy.
  2638. >You straight up can’t get mad at her.
  2639. >You’ve tried, failed, and tried again.
  2640. >You take a deep breath to help calm down.
  2641. “Kinda. Could you just nab the bowl and leave? I’m a little in the middle of something.”
  2642. >”Yeah, sure.”
  2643. >Derpy trots in grabs her stuff and is out the door with a quick goodbye.
  2644. >At least she was smart enough to tell she wasn’t wanted just then.
  2645. >You take another deep breath to help calm down and walk back to your bedroom.
  2646. >Ariel is sitting down and rubbing her dress.
  2647. >She stops once you enter, but keeps a hoof on it.
  2648. >As bad as all the stuff she went through is, and as bad as what she expected is, it’s pretty funny/cute to see what her equivalent of child-like wonder is.
  2649. >You sit down opposite her again and just look at her for a moment.
  2650. >She really is rather pretty even with her unchanging expression.
  2651. >Yeah, the stitches and the monochrome mane and coat took some getting used to, but she’s still just pretty.
  2652. >You can’t help but focus on her lips for a moment.
  2653. >The memory of your less than chaste kiss comes to mind.
  2654. >Should you ask Ariel about that?
  2655. >Maybe later, it’d probably ruin the mood even more.
  2656. >You still have two more presents to open.
  2657. >You decide to open Rarity’s second gift.
  2658. >This one is bigger and has dark green wrapping with a purple bow.
  2659. >Of course it has to match the other gift in some way.
  2660. >You tear at it with much less care than Ariel put into hers, tearing the bow and destroying the paper.
  2661. >Amidst the mess you made there’s a note from Rarity that reads, “Mostly for Ariel, but there’s some in here that I’m sure you’ll both enjoy~”
  2662. >That you’d both enjoy?
  2663. >Did she make you a blanket or something?
  2664. >You open the box, tossing the lid to the side to see an assortment of clothes inside.
  2665. >Skirts, shirts, blouses, coats, it takes you a moment to figure out these must be the casual clothes Rarity made for Ariel.
  2666. >Are you still going to pay for these?
  2667. >Would it be rude to try and pay her?
  2668. >Whatever, if Ariel wasn’t expecting a dress then this’ll blow her mind.
  2669. “Ariel check it out, Ariel finished the casual wear that I ordered for you as well.”
  2670. >You hand Ariel one of her new coats to inspect.
  2671. >She takes it in her hoof and looks over it.
  2672. >She doesn’t freeze up with the dress, but you do see a smile form on her face.
  2673. >”Thank you, Master. Thank you very much.”
  2674. >Ah how cute.
  2675. “You’re very welcome.”
  2676. >You run your hand through her mane and give her the rest of her new wardrobe to inspect.
  2677. >You’re about to toss the box away when you notice something at the bottom wrapped separately.
  2678. >You pull it out and tear away the paper to reveal… oh my.
  2679. >It’s a set of very highly detailed undergarments.
  2680. >A set of stockings complete with panties and garterbelt along with a lacy saddle and a collar with a single emerald in it.
  2681. >”Is that made for me too, Master?”
  2682. >Goddamnit Rarity you horny marshmallow!
  2683. “Uh, yeah I guess so, but um, we’ll put these aside for later.”
  2684. >”Ok, Master.”
  2685. >Ariel continues going over her new clothes as you neatly fold up the undergarments and put them back in the box.
  2686. >She’s looking over each of the items like a kid during Christmas, but you notice that she keeps looking back at her dress, almost like she’s checking just to make sure it’s still there.
  2687. >Now that Rarity’s “extra special gift” is safely put away you pull the last box off your bed.
  2688. >Pinkie has it all done up with at least 3 ribbons and pink wrapping with all kinds of shapes and little animals on it.
  2689. >It takes a little tugging and pulling, but you manage to get all the ribbons off the box and tear off the wrapping paper.
  2690. >Ariel has paused looking at her new wardrobe to see what’s in the last box.
  2691. >You throw away the top to reveal, lots of little things in plastic wrapping.
  2692. >You pick one up and read the little text on it, “Giddy-Up, What Real Stallions Use! Your mare will love it!”
  2693. >You have a sneaking suspicion as to what this is, but you’re gonna open it up and hope you’re wrong.
  2694. >Tearing it open reveals… yup, it’s a condom.
  2695. >Fucking hell Ponka.
  2696. >You sniff at it.
  2697. >Is it?
  2698. >You lick it.
  2699. >It’s cherry flavored.
  2700. >You’re running out of ways to express your exasperation.
  2701. >You decide against bringing this to Ariel’s attention and hid the one you opened in your pocket.
  2702. >You’re tempted to just go dump the brightly colored box of condoms in the trash right now, but decide you’ll at least finish going through it first.
  2703. >Maybe you can use it as tinder and fall asleep next to a nice fire with Ariel.
  2704. >Sorting through the box reveals many more flavored condoms, lots of candy, and finally at the bottom there’s…
  2705. >A bottle of lube and some hooch.
  2706. >Or rather, an extremely large bottle of lube, and an even bigger bottle of booze.
  2707. >They weight at least 5 pounds together.
  2708. >What are you even supposed to do with this much lube, never mind the alcohol!
  2709. >Aside from the obvious lewd thoughts that instantly fill your head.
  2710. >You decide to just leave it in the box for now.
  2711. >You look out the window, it’s starting to get late, but you aren’t that tired yet.
  2712. >Turning back to Ariel you see she’s still just staring at her clothes although her gaze keeps lapsing back to her dress.
  2713. “You wanna try that on?”
  2714. >Ariel’s attention immediately snaps to you.
  2715. >”Try what on, Master?”
  2716. “Your dress. You keep looking at it, why not put it on?”
  2717. >”Ok, Master.”
  2718. >Ariel gets up, picks up the dress with her mouth and starts going through the process of putting it on.
  2719. >You clean up the boxes and wrapping strewn about your bedroom while Ariel gets dressed.
  2720. >You had wanted to watch her, but it was pretty awkward just silently staring at her as she put it on and you would’ve ended up resurrecting the spaghetti from your pockets with your spooky skeleton powers if you looked much longer.
  2721. >You toss the trash into the appropriate can in the kitchen and slurp the remaining punch out of the bowl while you’re there.
  2722. >Shit’s good man.
  2723. >You grab a towel and wipe your face clean before going back to your room.
  2724. >Ariel is just finishing putting on the nice little shoes that Rarity include with the get-up.
  2725. >You decide to take a page from Ariel’s book and stay in the doorway.
  2726. >Once she finishes slipping them on she turns around and presents herself to you.
  2727. >And by, present, you mean she just turns around to face you.
  2728. >The dress really is breathtaking.
  2729. >Ariel is pretty, but she doesn’t really have a lot going for her in terms of color, but the dress fixes that problem.
  2730. >It also doesn’t draw any attention away from Ariel’s naturally good features either, instead accenting and enhancing them.
  2731. >Rarity did a fantastic job.
  2732. “You look good.”
  2733. >”Thank you, Master.”
  2734. >Ariel already said she was happy with it, but it’s still just so hard to tell when her face might as well be a stone carving.
  2735. “How do you like it?”
  2736. >”I like it a lot. It fits well and is very pretty.”
  2737. >You walk over to her and play with her mane a little.
  2738. “Awesome, you deserve it.”
  2739. >It’s always hard to tell how Ariel feels, but you’re fairly certain if she still had blood running through her veins she’d be blushing.
  2740. >You look about your room and see Ariel’s clothes strewn across the floor.
  2741. >It would probably be a good idea to find a place for them, but both your closet and dresser are already full with your own junk.
  2742. >Pinkie did say she made you a basement, maybe she wasn’t joking?
  2743. >The damn party animal didn’t even say where the entrance too it is though.
  2744. >Guess you better start looking.
  2745. “Ariel, Pinkie said that she made us a basement; help me look around the house for the entrance for it.”
  2746. >”Ok, Master. Shall I continue to wear the dress or shall I take it off?”
  2747. “Uh, keep it on if you want I guess. When we’re home you can wear what you want.”
  2748. >”Ok, Master. I will keep the dress on.”
  2749. >And with that Ariel steps over her garments and starts inspecting the living room for any new trapdoors.
  2750. >You’re hard pressed to complain if Ariel wants to wear that around the house.
  2751. >Now to find out if Pinkie was messing with you or not…
  2752. >”Master, I have located a trapdoor that was not here previously.”
  2753. >You crawl out from under the kitchen table and stand back up.
  2754. “Great! Where is it?”
  2755. >You can’t immediately see Ariel so it must be in your room.
  2756. >”It’s under the bathroom sink, Master.”
  2757. >Wha- really?
  2758. >You walk to your bathroom and see Ariel standing next in your bathroom next to the sink.
  2759. >The door to the cupboard underneath the sink is opened and Ariel gestures to it with a hoof.
  2760. >Could Ariel just be playing another joke on you?
  2761. >Seem’s unlikely, and putting a basement entrance in a bathroom seems like the kind of shenanigan Pinkie would pull on you.
  2762. >You get back on your hands and knees so you can peer into the space under your sink.
  2763. >It’s hard to tell with the lack of light, but there does look to be a trapdoor where your bathroom supplies used to be.
  2764. >You reach a hand inside and grasp around until you brush by of a handle.
  2765. >You grasp it firmly and give it a tug.
  2766. >It doesn’t budge.
  2767. >You pull on it some more without any results until you realize that if it opened upward it would just get stuck on the piping.
  2768. >A solid shove pops the door right open; making you stumble forward a little.
  2769. “Well look at that, Pinkie was telling the truth.”
  2770. >”Master, may I have permission to make a suggestion?”
  2771. >Well this is new.
  2772. >You pull out from under the sink and wipe your arm on your pants.
  2773. “Sure, what is it Ariel?”
  2774. >”It has come to my attention that you are not always aware of when Ponies are telling the truth or not. While you have been able to tell a number of times, there have been more times when you haven’t. I am aware of all times when a being lies and can let you know when falsehoods are being told. Would you like me to do so?”
  2775. >Huh. You thought you had a pretty good grasp on whether or not ponies were telling lies, but you’ve only really caught Twilight and Appleass a few times now that you think about it.
  2776. >Ariels suggestion raises another question though.
  2777. “How are you sure you’re able to tell when a pony is lying every time? There’s gotta be times when you’re wrong, right?”
  2778. >”No, Master. I am able to tell the truth apart from lies due to some of the magic that makes up my being. Early on in my years of servitude, a former master deemed it necessary I have this ability to better protect and serve herself, as well as future masters.”
  2779. >Damn! So as well being ridiculously strong and useful, she’s also a living lie detector?
  2780. >Awesome!
  2781. “That’s pretty nifty Ariel. Anytime someone lies let me know, Ok?”
  2782. >”Yes, Master.”
  2783. >Great! Now with that out of the way
  2784. “Let’s see what’s behind door number 2.”
  2785. >You crawl back under the sink and inch towards the hole.
  2786. >You can barely make out what’s in front of you, but are able to see a ladder going down.
  2787. >It’s probably not the best idea to crawl down this face first and without a flashlight.
  2788. >Then again it probably wasn’t the best idea to put half your soul in a pocket watch summon an undead pony to be your eternal slave, keep a book of supposed untold atrocities and then lie about it all to a magic horse.
  2789. >Well down the rabbit hole you go.
  2790. “Ariel if I fall and snap my neck, send for help, K?”
  2791. >You begin your descent downward when you’re suddenly unable to continue forward.
  2792. >Feels like your foot is stuck on something.
  2793. >Against your better judgment you strain forward to try and break past whatever you’re stuck on, but to no avail.
  2794. “Ariel, I think my foot is stuck on something. Can you tell me what’s holding me up?”
  2795. >”I am, Master.”
  2796. >Huh?
  2797. “What?”
  2798. >”I am currently holding your foot to stop you from further continuing down the shaft in this manner, Master.”
  2799. “Well um, could you stop?”
  2800. >”No, Master.”
  2801. >Double Huh?
  2802. >You’re pretty sure this is the first time Ariel has actually refused to do something you asked.
  2803. “Well why is that?”
  2804. >”Proceeding down a ladder in such a manner, without proper safety equipment, is too hazardous to your health, Master. I cannot allow you to do it.”
  2805. >Now that you think about it Ariel did mention that she would intervene regardless of your desires if you were in danger.
  2806. >This must count.
  2807. >Guess you’ll have to descend the boring safe way.
  2808. “Alrighty then, I’m coming back up so that I can turn around and do this safely.”
  2809. >”Ok, Master.
  2810. >Ariels iron grip on your foot doesn’t waver, but she does let you crawl back out of the sink.
  2811. >To be fair that was a really stupid idea and it’s probably a good thing Ariel talked you out of it.
  2812. >You turn around and head down the ladder feet first so that if you fall now all that happens is your big beautiful butt gets bruised.
  2813. >The climb doesn’t take too long, half a minute at most.
  2814. >About half way down though your pocket started emitting light.
  2815. >You paused and dug through your pocket while one hand remained safely on the ladder rung.
  2816. >Your pocket was mostly empty so it didn’t take too long for you to find the culprit of the light, your Pocket Watch.
  2817. >Staring at it you wondered what was going on with it, but also how you could turn it off.
  2818. >After thinking that the watch dimmed down instantly.
  2819. >Weird. Must be another bonus of being a spookomancer.
  2820. >Your Pterodactyly gets to double as a flashlight.
  2821. >How bright could it get?
  2822. >After that thought it turned from low level keychain to light to a goddamn spotlight.
  2823. >Once your eyes adjusted to the sudden illumination you put the watch back in your pocket and put both hands back on the ladder.
  2824. “Ariel did you know my watch doubled as a searchlight?”
  2825. >Ariel who had been following you down the ladder glanced down to you.
  2826. >”No, Master.”
  2827. >You looked up to her about to respond, until you got an eyeful of pony butt.
  2828. >Which promptly derailed your train of thought.
  2829. “Well uh… it can.”
  2830. >Ariel didn’t say anything to that so you finished the climb, taking occasional glances at Ariel’s ass during the rest of the descent.
  2831. >Now safely at the bottom of the ladder you look around to see what Pinkie managed to accomplish.
  2832. >… Holy shit!
  2833. >This isn’t a basement this is second floor of the house!
  2834. >The room you’re in right now is big enough, but you spot 3 other doors too!
  2835. >The entire place is done up with pink wallpaper and and a purple rug.
  2836. >There’s also- is that a window?
  2837. >You walk over to the wall and find that Pinkie has indeed installed a window with a cheery yellow curtain to cover it.
  2838. >Pulling the curtain aside reveals an even larger room done up like a warehouse large fluorescent lights hanging overhead and all the different flowers and plants that Roseluck gave you planted nicely in trenches that spanned the entirety of the room.
  2839. >What the shit Pinkie!
  2840. >Panko has pulled some ridiculous stunts before, but this easily tops them all!
  2841. >She had like, two hours tops!
  2842. “Hey Ariel, you know how you wanted a garden?”
  2843. >Ariel’s currently inspecting a flower with a smiley face that Pinkie drew on one of the walls.
  2844. >She turns to face you.
  2845. >”Yes, Master.”
  2846. >You motion for her to come over.
  2847. >She walks to you, and peers through the window, going stock still as soon as she sees what’s through the window.
  2848. >”Master… Are you saying that this, is for me?”
  2849. “You know it.”
  2850. >You’re barely able to finish the sentence before Ariel suddenly throws her hooves around you.
  2851. >She’s buried her face into your side, but you can still hear her.
  2852. >”Thank you, Master. Thank you very much.”
  2853. >Well goddamn how is your heart not supposed to break at this?
  2854. >You stroke her hair with one hand and wrap the other around her.
  2855. >Ariel’s dress is soft and cool against your arm, contrasting to Ariel’s luke-warmness.
  2856. >You lean against the wall and hold Ariel against you.
  2857. >A moment passes and Ariel starts doing this odd heaving heaving motion against you.
  2858. “You Ok, Ariel?”
  2859. >”Yes, Master. It’s just that… Nopony has shown me such kindness ever since my eternal servitude began. For the first time in so very long I am crying out of happiness. The ability for tears to actually escape my eyes left me long ago, but your kindness is still making me cry, Master. Thank you, so much, Master.”
  2860. >Goddamn the feels train is coming in hard tonight.
  2861. >Touring the rest of your “basement” can wait, Ariel needs some company right now.
  2862. >With all the detail and effort Pinkie put into this, you’d think she’d have put a clock up.
  2863. >Without anyway to tell the passing of time, it feels like this moment with Ariel could last forever.
  2864. >Ariels dry crying eventually slow to a stop, but she’s still burying her head into you.
  2865. >It still feels so weird to hold her like this, just because of her body temperature.
  2866. >She’s not warm like other ponies, or living beings and she isn’t chilled and cool like you would think a dead body would be.
  2867. >Just that odd temperature you get after leaving a glass of milk out for too long.
  2868. >You didn’t like the feel of it when you first got came in contact with her, but it’s starting to grow on you.
  2869. >More time passes, but the scene doesn’t change.
  2870. >Eventually you starting get a little stiff from staying in one position for so long, but you remain still for Ariel.
  2871. >It’s starting to look like Ariel won’t end the embrace and you’ll have to be the one to do it.
  2872. >You’re tempted to sit down and just fall asleep with Ariel like this, but you want to be well rested for you outing with Derpy tomorrow.
  2873. “You Ok now Ariel?”
  2874. >Your voice is a little raspy from being silent for so long and you cough.
  2875. >”…”
  2876. “We can hug it out some more later, but I need to get to bed soon, Ok?”
  2877. >”Ok, Master.”
  2878. >You give her a final pat on the head and stand up and away from the wall.
  2879. >Ariel pulls back and waits for you to start moving.
  2880. >When you first started life with Ariel it might’ve unnerved you to see her be so stone faced even though you know she’s upset, but now you can spot just the smallest of differences from her default look.
  2881. >Lowered eyebrows, widened eyes, mouth not held closed as tight, stance slightly shifted.
  2882. >It’s those little things you can see now that let you see her feelings towards you.
  2883. >You go to the ladder and climb back up, Ariel very close behind you the entire time.
  2884. >You climb out from underneath the cabinet and help Ariel out.
  2885. “I’m just gonna go to bed now Ariel.”
  2886. >”Alright, Master.”
  2887. >You had a pretty full day and you’re starting to feel it.
  2888. >You don’t pay attention to where Ariel goes and just go to your room and slip into some pajamas.
  2889. >Once that’s done you flop down onto your bed and relax.
  2890. >The tension leaves your body and you shift onto one side and pull a blanket loosely over yourself.
  2891. >Thoughts start to leave your head and sleep draws in.
  2892. >You feel your blanket get pulled up and groggily turn to see what’s going on.
  2893. >Ariel is at your bed and is now.. getting in?
  2894. >Yup Ariel gets in the bed and under the blanket.
  2895. >She snuggles into you, and puts one hoof over you.
  2896. >Whatever, you’re to sleepy to really do anything about the situation and just snuggle into her a little.
  2897. >Not that you really mind the situation.
  2898. >Your last thought is that this would be less awkward with you as the big spoon.
  2899. >You wake up feeling better rested than you have in years.
  2900. >Ariel is still wrapped around you.
  2901. >Between the blanket and your own body heat, she’s warmed up as well and is quite comfy to be snuggled against.
  2902. >You’d prefer to continue to stay in bed with Ariel like this, but the sun is up and you’ve got things that need doing.
  2903. “Ariel, you awake?”
  2904. >”I don’t sleep, Master.”
  2905. >Right.
  2906. >She’s still not alive or has any need for normal bodily functions.
  2907. >It’s taking more getting used to than you would’ve thought.
  2908. “Right. I need to get up now and start going about the day.”
  2909. >Ariel pulls her hoof away from you and stands up.
  2910. >You stand up and rub the sleep out of your eyes.
  2911. >The room is a mess with present wrappings and other junk strewn about the place.
  2912. >Normally tidying this up would be delegated to a point in time where there was literally nothing else for you to do, but now you’ve got Ariel.
  2913. “Ariel, tidy up my room, and the rest of the house while you’re at it.”
  2914. >”Ok, Master.”
  2915. >You nab a quality Sweet Apple Acres Apple™ and munch on it before hopping in the shower and getting ready for the day.
  2916. >After about an hour, you’re in fresh apparel, cleanly shaved, and ready for the day.
  2917. >You know you have the picnic with Derpy planned, but the two of you never actually planned a time for it.
  2918. >Well it shouldn’t be too hard to track her down and figure out a time.
  2919. >It’s around nine so she should be stopping at SugarCube Corner in about an hour.
  2920. >You’ll flag her down there and find out when you’ll have the picnic.
  2921. “I’m heading into town real quick Ariel, you just keep tidying up. Once you’re done you can check out your garden, K?”
  2922. >Ariel briskly trots to the front door to respond.
  2923. >”Are you sure you do not want me to go with you, Master?”
  2924. “Yeah, don’t worry about it. I’m just going in real quick to see when Derpy and I are gonna be going on the picnic. Plus, I want you to get some alone time with that garden.”
  2925. >”Ok, Master.”
  2926. “See ya in a few.”
  2927. >You close the door, lock it shut, and make about on your merry way.
  2928. >It’s a bit colder than you had anticipated and you pull your light coat tighter around you.
  2929. >Ignoring the temperature, it’s a beautiful day!
  2930. >There’s hardly a cloud in the sky, the sun is bright and beautiful, and even the gentle breeze that coasts by you seems to be happy.
  2931. >It’s a good day, especially for a picnic.
  2932. >When you get to SSC you don’t see Derpy.
  2933. >You check your Pocket Watch to see there’s still half an hour till when she should show up.
  2934. >You don’t really need anything from the market and you don’t want to miss Derpy.
  2935. >A cup of coffee and a pastry is sounding fantastic right about now too.
  2936. >You get in line behind a brown pony who can’t stop chatting to the mare he’s with.
  2937. >Luckily the wait isn’t too long and soon enough the chatterbox is off to a table with his companion while you get to place your order.
  2938. “Hey Mr.Cake, how’re the kids doing?”
  2939. >Mr.Cake puts the bits from his last sale into the register before responding with a smile.
  2940. >”Good morning Anon! Pumpkin and Poundcake are as energetic as ever!”
  2941. “Better than the alternative I guess. I’ll be having a cup of coffee and a croissant.”
  2942. >”Coming right up! That’ll be 12 bits.”
  2943. >The sound of clinking change briefly fills the air as you hand the pony a handful of shiny bits.
  2944. >”Thank you for your patronage! I’ll have Pinkie bring you your order shortly, we ran out of coffee a few minutes ago and are making a new batch as we speak!”
  2945. “Sounds dandy.”
  2946. >You don’t bother asking for a receipt and take a seat at an empty table near the front of the shop.
  2947. >Getting back into the flow of normal life feels weird after all everything that’s happened.
  2948. >The troubling notion of slightly-less than half your soul being trapped inside an old pocket watch is also a notion that continues to trouble you.
  2949. >Is there a way that you can get it back out of there?
  2950. >A familiar weight fills your hand and you bring the Ponynomicon up onto the table and leaf through it once more.
  2951. >You’re struggling through a passage that’s half symbols, half words when a particular, pink, and perky pony announces her presence.
  2952. >”Hi Nonny! I’ve got your scrumptumpulous coffee and fantastimazing croissant all for you!”
  2953. >Pinkie is balancing the coffee on her nose while your croissant rests on a plate nuzzled in her overly poofy mane.
  2954. >By the time you think to reach up and make sure your food don’t fall to the ground, Pinkie does a flip and both of the breakfast items land perfectly in front of you.
  2955. >”Enjoy your food and have super-wonderful day!”
  2956. >Aaand she’s gone.
  2957. >Pinkie never fails to amaze.
  2958. >Now back to the book…
  2959. >Another page of half translated gobbeldy gook comes into view.
  2960. >Is the book purposefully hiding what you want from you?
  2961. >Is the book even capable of doing that?
  2962. >You know that the pages aren’t ordered normally, and no matter how many pages you turn you never get to the back.
  2963. >You also found the instructions for the next part of the ritual a ridiculous amount of times, so it definitely feels like the book is controlling what it shows you.
  2964. >Either way it doesn’t bode well for you.
  2965. >”Oh hi Nonny! I didn’t think you would be up so early after last nights party!”
  2966. >Hm?
  2967. >You raise your head to see Derpy in her mail uniform smiling at you.
  2968. “Oh, hey Derpy. I woke up early on purpose today. I just wanted to ask you when you wanted to have our picnic.”
  2969. >You’re not really giving her your full attention, but you’re pretty sure she blushed.
  2970. >”Oh wow I completely forgot about a time! If I go a little faster than normal I can get off work at 5, so how about 5:30?”
  2971. >You instinctively reach for your pocket watch so you can see what time it is.
  2972. >The feel of the cold metal in your hands feels much more chilling with the knowledge of what it holds inside.
  2973. “5:30 sounds good to me. I bring the drinks, you bring the food?”
  2974. >”Great! I’ll make sure to make the soup that you like!”
  2975. >Oh shit, you’d all but forgotten how amazing Derpy’s split pea soup is.
  2976. >Derpy’s looking pumped about the picnic and you’re feeling excited as well.
  2977. >Your grey colored friend picks up her order from the counter and leaves.
  2978. >She walked in and ordered without you noticing?
  2979. >Geez, you were way too absorbed with reading that stupid book.
  2980. >Upon thinking of it you see the damned thing lying open in front of you right where you left off.
  2981. >Frowning, you glare at the tome, hoping that it’ll miraculously decipher itself in front of you.
  2982. >No dice.
  2983. >Looks like you’ll have to find out the secrets of rom tiddles another day.
  2984. >But for now you’ve got time to kill.
  2985. >You step outside the SSC, waving to Pink as you exit.
  2986. >This is the first moment you’ve really gotten some free time and you’re unsure of what to do with it.
  2987. >Normally you would find a book and read, but after spending hours on the Ponynomicon the idea of spending more time in front of a book is a tad unappealing.
  2988. >Hmm… Twilight knows everything cause she’s a big nerd, so asking her about translating the nomicon/answering why it only appears when needed would be a good start to the day.
  2989. >Walking to the friendship castle is uneventful, although the feel of the breeze was quite nice.
  2990. >Sometimes it’s the little things.
  2991. >And sometimes it’s annoying your nerdy friend.
  2992. “TWIIIIILIIIIIIIGHT!”
  2993. >You hear a muffled thump come from somewhere within and allow a smile to play across your lips.
  2994. >Four minutes later and a disgruntled alicorn comes to meet you.
  2995. >”Anon how many times do I have to tell you to not do EXACTLY what you just did?!”
  2996. “The answer is never. Anyway SparkleShine, I was reading something and it said that main character had this magic sword that disappeared whenever he wasn’t using it, and just appeared in his hand when he did it. Is that kind of thing real or was the author just making stuff up?”
  2997. >Twilight harumphs at your dismissal of her complaint and takes a deep breath before answering.
  2998. >”I’ve read about that kind of enchantment before, but the means of making the spell has been lost to the ages. There are still some artifacts scattered across Equestria with this property, but they’re few and far between. On top of that most of these relics are kept in safe-houses or museums.”
  2999. >Twilight uses her magic to undo the mess falling had caused as she talks, “I’m always happy to help Anon, but you’ve been reading some pretty interesting stuff lately. Where are you getting all these books?”
  3000. >Sheeeit, this is not a question you are prepared for.
  3001. >You’ve bluffed your way out of worse though.
  3002. “I uh, I haven’t been reading books with the exact stuff I’ve been mentioning, but some of my reading has reminded me about necromancy and stuff because it was a pretty common trope back on Planet Human.”
  3003. >Twigle shivers and finishes cleaning up the mess you caused.
  3004. >”Please don’t even say that word Anon, I get bad feelings just hearing it. I know you’ve told us that your old home had some pretty crazy ideas, but so much of it being similar to Equestria is more than a little disturbing.”
  3005. “Yeah, my old home was quite a wacky world, hahaha…”
  3006. >One of the boring old non-soul-filled clocks Twilight has hanging around informs you that it’s already 4.
  3007. >You have to get back the house and start preparing for your picnic.
  3008. >It’s annoying that you didn’t get a chance to to Twiplee about the why over half the damn Ponynomicon refuses to be legible. but it would probably just raise her suspicions further at this point.
  3009. >… You’re getting paranoid, Twilight has literally no reason to suspect anything of you.
  3010. >You take a deep breath as you exit the town proper and get to the final stages of your trek home.
  3011. >Today had been pretty lame so far, but the picnic with Derpster will be nice.
  3012. >You unlock the door and step inside your house.
  3013. “Ariel, I’m hoome!”
  3014. >You hear a sudden slam and the sound of hooves on wood as Ariel bursts through the door to your room and grinds to a sudden stop a foot away from you.
  3015. >She bows her head and says, “Welcome home, Master.”
  3016. “Did you just hoof it from the garden to here in like 5 seconds?”
  3017. >See what I did there?
  3018. >”Yes, Master”
  3019. >Rainbow Dash, eat your heart out.
  3020. “You get more neato every day Ariel, I swear.”
  3021. >”Thank you, Master.”
  3022. >It took you half an hour to make it home so it looks like the drinks you bring are just gonna be whatever you happen to find in your cupboards.
  3023. >As you search high and low for something drinkable you decide to strike up a conversation.
  3024. “So what have you been up to today Ariel?”
  3025. >Why do you have Grass Water? Did somebody leave this from the party last night?
  3026. >”I spent the day cataloguing and tending to the plants in… my, garden.”
  3027. >She almost chokes on the word, how long has it been since she had actually had something to call her own?
  3028. “Is there anything you want to add to it? I’ve got plenty of spare bits since I don’t need to buy food anymore.”
  3029. >Why do you have hay smoothies? Who in the world left five glass pitchers of hay smoothie at your place?
  3030. >”Master I couldn’t possibly ask for more, you’ve already given me more than I could possibly ask for.”
  3031. “Oh sure you can, I really want you to be happy Ariel. You aren’t just some tool to me, so if there’s something you want just go ahead and ask.”
  3032. >Oh fuck did you just find more punch?
  3033. >”This is… new, to me Master. I am perfectly content with the boon you have gifted unto me thus far, but… I will let you know if I desire anything further.”
  3034. >Oh this is 7 different kinds of terrible amazing, there’s three whole jugs of punch behind the hay smoothies.
  3035. “Alrighty Ariel. I’m off to chill with Derpy, but you let me know if you think of something else you want.”
  3036. >”Of course, Master.”
  3037. “See you soon Ariel!”
  3038. >The picnic spot isn’t too far away so you take your time walking there.
  3039. >It’s only been a few days, but your life has flip flopped, and turned upside down.
  3040. >The Pocket Watch pulses in your pocket as if to remind you of all the wackiness.
  3041. >Throb while you can you soul stealing son of a gun, cause I’m getting my heckin’ soul back.
  3042. >Damn thing doesn’t respond, but you feel better having thought angry thoughts at the inanimate object.
  3043. >5:20, looks like you’re early.
  3044. >How uncharacteristic of you.
  3045. >You set down the punch and glasses you brought and lie down on your back.
  3046. >Hardly a cloud in the sky, and a nice cool breeze.
  3047. >You could hardly ask for a better setting.
  3048. >Temptation overcomes you after a mere three minutes and you pour yourself a cup of punch.
  3049. >You swear this stuff is the nectar of the gods.
  3050. >You’re on your third glass before Derpy arrives with the vittles.
  3051. >”Nonny!”
  3052. >The enthusiastic pegasus drops the food and rushes in for a hug.
  3053. >You laugh and return the embrace.
  3054. >After that the two of you just whittle away the hours with small talk and jovial camaraderie.
  3055. >…
  3056. “Seriously, the whole toaster?”
  3057. >”It was hilarious Nonny, I wish you were there!”
  3058. >The two of you laugh and stare up at the sky.
  3059. >That’s an awful lot of clouds to appear out of nowhere.
  3060. “Is it supposed to rain today? I thought it was clear skies for the next week.”
  3061. >Derpy frowns a little.
  3062. >”It’s supposed to be, but someone could’ve been a mistake.”
  3063. >You grunt and stand up, helping Derpy up as well.
  3064. “Well lets play it safe and pack up for now, we can continue the party back at my house.”
  3065. >Derpy smiles at you and begins the process of gathering the small mess you two created.
  3066. >”I’d love to Nonny, but I have work tomorrow so this is going to be it for tonight.”
  3067. >Well that’s a downer. You were really enjoying yourself.
  3068. “Oh, right. Well even so, I declare this picnic a rousing success.”
  3069. >”Sorry Nonny, we can hang out more another time, I promise!”
  3070. >With that, the two of you fall to silence as the clean-up commences.
  3071. >By the time you’re finished cleaning rain is pouring down hard and the two of you are soaked.
  3072. >You’re walking home now.
  3073. >Derpy is starting to fade from sight when you slip and drop your cups!
  3074. >You flail your arms as you drop and the punch gets sent flying!
  3075. >Your face falls as you see the delicious drink cartwheeling through the air
  3076. >OHSWEETLORDJESUSFUCKNOPLEA-
  3077. >Holy shit yes!
  3078. >Derpy fucking caught it!
  3079. >Get this pony a medal!
  3080. >The image of her soaking-wet form hanging mid-air with the jug of punch clamped firmly in her jaw is more heroic than any super hero you’ve ever seen.
  3081. >As you get stand up the hair on the back of your neck raises.
  3082. “Derpy hole shit!”
  3083. >What’s that weird smell?
  3084. “That was actually the most ama-“
  3085. >You don’t get to finish your sentence.
  3086. >There’s no descent or in-between, one second Derpy was hanging triumphantly, the next you see her body distorted unnaturally as the lightning strike hits her body.
  3087. >Oh lord no.
  3088. >Silence falls over you as her body limply falls to the ground, the punch spilling onto the earth beside her.
  3089. >Fuck the punch, there’s no way…
  3090. >You fall another three times from the wet grass and mud by the time you make it to her.
  3091. “DERPY! DERPY TALK TO ME!”
  3092. >No response, her mangled body smells of burnt flesh and ozone.
  3093. >Blood trickles down from a number of places around her body and you can hardly move.
  3094. >NO, No, no no no no no no.
  3095. >Desperately you put your ear to her chest.
  3096. “Come on Derpy, fucking live! Give me something, you’re going to be ok, jUST FUCKING SAY SOMETHING, PLEASE!”
  3097. >Nothing.
  3098. >No hearbeat, no pulse, no breath.
  3099. >Nothing.
  3100. >She’s…
  3101. >She’s dead…
  3102. >Thunder sounds from above and the rain only comes down on you harder.
  3103. >You can’t move.
  3104. >You want to cry, you want to scream, you want to pound your hands on the wet dirt and plead for her to come back!
  3105. >But you just sit there.
  3106. >In stunned silence.
  3107. >”Master! Master are you injured?!”
  3108. >It takes you a moment to register that Ariel has arrived and is talking to you.
  3109. >”Master we must get back to the house, it is not safe remain here!”
  3110. >You look at Ariel, your eyes dead and your expression blank.
  3111. >”Master I apologize, but if you do not start hurrying home soon I will have to force you, it is not safe to stay here!”
  3112. >Ariel…
  3113. “She’s- she’s dead.”
  3114. >You’re hardly able to get the words past the lump in your throat.
  3115. >The rain doesn’t actually get Ariel wet.
  3116. >It just slides off her and drips to the ground.
  3117. >”Master, we need to move NOW!”
  3118. >!
  3119. >Ariel yelling finally snaps you out of your stupor.
  3120. “R-Right, grab De- grab her body, carry her to the house with us. Lets get moving.”
  3121. >”Yes, Master.”
  3122. >You had half expected her to question you on that one, but Ariel is surely used to dealing with the dead now that you think about it.
  3123. >What do you do now?
  3124. >Who do you talk to?
  3125. >Twilight?
  3126. >No, definitely not her.
  3127. >If only you could see her again.
  3128. >The Pocket Watch grows warm in your hand.
  3129. >You hadn’t even noticed you were clutching it.
  3130. >You pull it out of your pocket and stare at it.
  3131. >What was it doing now?
  3132. >Out of the corner of your eye you notice something.
  3133. >Is that…
  3134. >It’s… a soul?
  3135. >Wait no, that’s ‘a’ soul, that’s Derpys soul!
  3136. >The Pocket Watch throbs in your hand.
  3137. >It’s like it’s trying to tell you something.
  3138. >Suddenly the weight of the Ponynomicon fills your free hand.
  3139. >Could you?
  3140. >You drop The Pocket Watch back into it’s resting place and open the Ponynomicon.
  3141. -Resurrection.
  3142. >You could!
  3143. >You could do it!
  3144. >You could bring Derpy back!
  3145. >If the rest of the damned page was legible!
  3146. >The title of the ritual teases you while the rest of the transcription remains as pointless symbols.
  3147. “Let me read the damned thing! Why won’t you just turn readable?!”
  3148. >A gust of wind blows the pages over.
  3149. >The book comes to a rest on a completely legible page.
  3150. -The Third Ritual.
  3151.  
  3152. >So that’s the game.
  3153. >Seal away more of your soul or lose your best friend.
  3154. >…
  3155. >”Master, where I shall place her body?”
  3156. >Shit you hadn’t thought about this at all.
  3157. “For now put her on the kitchen table, we’ll figure out a better place later..”
  3158. >”As you wish, Master.”
  3159. >You’re not thinking straight.
  3160. >You’re traumatized, in shock, and way too pumped up on adrenaline to make proper decisions.
  3161. >You can still sense her soul, clinging onto her mortal body by a frail thread
  3162. >Well, the third ritual doesn’t look difficult at least, same deal as the past two, just this time you have to make the cut across your chest instead of your hand..
  3163. “Ariel, hand me a knife, one of the sharp ones.”
  3164. >”Yes, Master.”
  3165. >It takes you just under 5 minutes to complete the necessary symbols and requirements for the ritual.
  3166. >Derpys soul is growing fainter by the second, you need to act.
  3167. >You grit your teeth and bring the knife down across your bare chest.
  3168. >This is gonna hurt.
  3169. >…
  3170. >Oh yeah, it’s hurting!
  3171. >Just have to stay conscious.
  3172. >If you pass out now, Derpy is gone for good!
  3173. >The Pocket Watch floats in the center of the circle, drawing out blood from your self-inflicted wound.
  3174. >It’s starting to come out faster.
  3175. >You start feeling faint so you dig your finger nails into your sides.
  3176. >Need to stay focused.
  3177. >You can feel it coming this time.
  3178. >Your soul is getting torn and split apart.
  3179. >Knowing what’s happening makes it that much worse.
  3180. >You can’t help but watch as another piece of your essence is sealed tight into your once ordinary watch.
  3181. >The ritual ends and The Pocket Watch drops to the floor.
  3182. >You gasp.
  3183. >You fall to the floor heaving, struggling for breath.
  3184. >Ariel is by your side in an instant, helping you up and giving you support.
  3185. >You cough and the metallic taste of blood fills your palette.
  3186. >Precious seconds pass by before you’re able to stand up properly.
  3187. >Derpys soul has all but vanished now, it’s practically a wisp of light.
  3188. >You scramble over to the table, knocking down a chair in your haste.
  3189. >Ariel stands by your side, letting you lean on her and use her as support.
  3190. >What now?
  3191. >The book didn’t tell you what to do and you haven’t the time to read it.
  3192. >On a whim you reach out your hand to the soul and it reacts, pulling towards you ever so gently.
  3193. “Ariel, get me- get me a jar.”
  3194. >”Yes, Master.”
  3195. >This feels incredibly stupid, but you’re out of ideas and struggling to stay conscious.
  3196. >Ariel hands you an empty glass jar and you set it on the table.
  3197. >Slowly, carefully, you’re able to guide Derpys soul into the improvised container.
  3198. >You can hardly believe it actually worked.
  3199. >Her soul slowly drifts back and forth in the jar.
  3200. >You did it.
  3201.  
  3202. >…
  3203. >You start to wake up.
  3204. >It’s hard when you’re this ridiculously comfy to muster any kind of drive, but you have important things to do.
  3205. >The fog in your head starts to clear up and you remember the horrible events of last night.
  3206. >You cuddle harder against the warmth and let yourself grieve.
  3207. >Your best friend died.
  3208. >You can hardly be called a human.
  3209. >The only thing keeping you from just wallowing in self-pity is the knowledge that you can make it right.
  3210. >Hopefully.
  3211. >You sit up and look around.
  3212. >Ariel must’ve taken you to your bedroom when you passed out.
  3213. >She also took the liberty to snuggle in with you.
  3214. >Her beautiful green eyes gaze back at yours.
  3215. “Thanks Ariel. For everything.”
  3216. >”You’re welcome, Master.”
  3217. >You get out of bed and rub the sleep from your eyes.
  3218. >What are you supposed to do now?
  3219. >Where do you even start?
  3220. >The ever-convenient weight of The Book fills your hands.
  3221. >You have work to do.
  3222. >As you walk into the dining room Ariel informs you that she moved the body down to a chilled room in the basement to help preserve it.
  3223. >Good thing Ariel was thinking properly last night.
  3224. >If not for her you’d have a rotting corpse stinking up the house.
  3225. >You sit down at the table; taking care to avoid the part where you had lain the body yesterday.
  3226. >”Ariel put the kettle on for tea, please.”
  3227. >”Yes, Master.”
  3228. >Now then.
  3229. >You have some reading to do.
  3230. >…
  3231. >An hour passes and you’ve made little headway, but you are seeing progress.
  3232. >Much of the book is still heavily secluded, but enough is decipherable that you’re able to get the gist of a lot.
  3233. >For example, because you’re now an almost soulless husk of a being, you’re able to mess with the souls of other beings.
  3234. >Even if they’re still alive.
  3235. >Which is pretty wack.
  3236. >Your need to eat, drink, and even sleep this time have been heavily reduced, further reinforcing the thought that you are an abomination.
  3237. >If you put some effort in and make proper preparations summoning/creating skeletons to act as robot servants for you should be possible.
  3238. >Not that you have a need for that with Ariel around, but still, neat.
  3239. >Your magic spooky aura ability should be stronger, but you don’t have a need to test that out.
  3240. >The big deal however, Resurrection, is still mostly incomprehensible.
  3241. >It teases you with the vaguest of hints and the promised end results, but whenever you try and get more from it you’re met with…
  3242. -𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐡 𝐑𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐚𝐥
  3243. >Now in bold.
  3244. >Spooky.
  3245. > It’s like a shitty pyramid scheme, you buy into the next tier only to have the next level of content dangled in front of you.
  3246. >You really want Derpy back, but are you really prepared to lock your soul away into a damn watch?
  3247. >… Yeah, you are.
  3248. >With any luck you won’t instantly regret this decision.
  3249. >For the next ritual you need to sacrifice something.
  3250. >Any woodland creature will do.
  3251. “Ariel, I need you to go out and find a small animal. Squirrel, mouse, chicken, snake. Just something.”
  3252. >”Yes, Master.”
  3253. >The sound of Ariel running fills your ears for a brief moment.
  3254. >Now to prep your house for the rest of the ritual.
  3255. >Your sofa and coffee table get moved to the side of the room along with a pair of stray chairs.
  3256. >You find the blood-covered knife you’ve been using and nick your thumb.
  3257. >There’s no pain as you draw the necessary symbols and circles, just a dull throb.
  3258. >By the time you finish your living room is a mess of archaic signs and pictographs.
  3259. >Is this really a good idea?
  3260. >What if the book is just leading you on and there’s no way to bring Derpy back.
  3261. >But if someone was able to make Ariel, then surely you could do the same.
  3262. >Right?
  3263. >It sounds like a fair trade, your soul for Derpys life, but aren’t deals with the devil supposed to be enticing?
  3264. >*Knock knock knock*
  3265. “Ariel, come right in, lets get this party started.”
  3266. >Well, with any luck you aren’t about to make a horrible life altering mistake.
  3267. >”Anon it’s Twilight!”
  3268. >Your door creaks open.
  3269. >Wait, it’s Twiggles at the door?
  3270. >SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT
  3271. “TWILIGHT WAIT A SECOND!”
  3272. >You make a mad dash to your front door and just barely stop Twilight from coming inside.
  3273. >”Anon! Is something wrong? You really scared me just now with that yelling!”
  3274. >You take a deep breath to calm yourself before speaking.
  3275. “Yeah, I’m- I’m fine. It’s just uh, the house is really messy. It’d uh, it’d be real embarrassing to have company over right now.”
  3276. >Twilight will almost certainly recognize the necromantic runes covering your living space, and it’ll be game over from there.
  3277. >”Oh is that all? Anon, I’m your friend I don’t mind helping you clean up!”
  3278. >Princess Purple Nurple moves to trot through the door, but you stand firm to stop her.
  3279. >Think fast buddy, come on, you got this.
  3280. “Ok, I um… I lied, a little just now. It’s not that the house is a mess it’s um. uhh.”
  3281. >Twilight raises an eyebrow.
  3282. >”It’s what, Anon?”
  3283. “I was planning to surprise Ariel with a romantic evening so I’ve done the work to put rose petals everywhere and lit the nice candles and what not. I don’t want any of it ruined you know?”
  3284. >Twiglys cheeks glow red and she backs up.
  3285. >”Oh my gosh Anon, that’s so kind and romantic of you! I just found a book I thought you’d find interesting so I wanted to stop by, but I’ll let you two lovebirds have fun!”
  3286. >With a quick farewell you close the door and slump against it.
  3287. >Phew!
  3288. >That was almost disaster, you need to stop doing these forbidden rituals in your front room.
  3289. >There should be room somewhere in the basement.
  3290. >After standing up and dusting yourself off you pour yourself a cup of tea.
  3291. >It ends up taking Ariel around three hours to finally get back.
  3292. >”Master, I have returned.”
  3293. >You eagerly step to the door and open it.
  3294. >Ariel is standing clean and pristine as ever with a brown sack held between her teeth.
  3295. “Fantastic, get inside. What took you so long?”
  3296. >Ariel gently sets the bag down on the floor before speaking.
  3297. >”I apologize for the inconvenience, Master. After capturing a rabbit I was found by Twilight Sparkle. She wanted to know what I was doing with the rabbit. I assumed you wanted the details of your ritual kept secret so I fabricated a story about helping Fluttershy. After returning the rabbit to Fluttershy I took great care to go undetected, hence my late arrival.”
  3298. >You really need to start being more careful, tonight had way too many close calls.
  3299.  
  3300. >Alright, part four of five.
  3301. >Right now you’re only partly an undead creature straight out of a monster manual.
  3302. >After this you’ll be mostly one.