Cold Edge Anon Part 6

Apr 25th, 2014
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  1. > You resist the urge to sigh in exasperation.
  2. "Can we go back now?"
  3. "Of course; I still don't know how your mugs work."
  4. > You are back in the lab, and on top of brief attack of nausea, you are hungry.
  5. > You hear voices from above.
  6. "Now ah don't rightly know if it'll be Anonymous or Twi that needs saving, on account of both of them bein' more magic than sane. "
  7. > You decide to nip this one in the bud, Purple smart right behind you.
  8. > As you climb the stairs, you become distinctly conscious of how you are wiggling your butt in Twilight's face.
  9. > You emerge from the basement just as Rainbow Dash salutes, and Fluttershy and Rarity nod resolutely.
  10. > You cough, startling them.
  11. "We're back."
  12. > Fear Princess pokes your flank and you take a few more startled steps into the room.
  13. > She nods graciously to her friends.
  14. "Thank you everypony for your concern, but it's all sorted out now."
  15. > Rainbow swaggers up to you, a challenging gleam in her eye.
  16. "So this is the tigerpony? He doesn't look so tough, I bet I could take him."
  17. > Fluttershy whimpers and hides behind Rarity.
  18. > You smile at Rainbow.
  19. "You probably could."
  20. > She flies right up into your face.
  21. "Is that a challenge?"
  22. > You back up and shake your head.
  23. "That was an obeisance."
  24. > At her blank look, you try again.
  25. "It's me saying you are better than me."
  26. > Rainbow squints at you suspiciously.
  27. "As long as you remember that."
  28. > She struts back to friends to preen.
  29. > You probably would be more irritated, but 1) you don't actually want to fight anyone and 2) she's cute.
  30. > You know this makes you a beta, but you don't care. You are in Equestria, everything else is just gravy.
  31. > Your stomach growls, and Applejack throws a nervous glance your way.
  32. > This does not escape Purple Smart's notice.
  33. "I'm feeling a little hungry myself. How about salad, everpony?"
  34. > Fluttershy glances at you nervously.
  35. "Th-that's okay, I have to go feed the critters back home."
  36. > Rarity looks at the clock.
  37. "I really should be going as well, I have several commissions I'd like to finish before sunset. "
  38. > Rainbow Dash cricks her neck.
  39. "Yeah, I could go for a snack after all the mad training I did."
  40. > She starts flexing, glaring at you significantly.
  41. > You smile back.
  42. > Applejack tips her hat.
  43. "It's work for me too, Twilight. Mighty kind offer, though."
  44. > The three ponies leave, and Twilight goes to the kitchen.
  45. > You and Rainbow Dash sit at the table as three bowls of salad levitate over.
  46. > No forks, no dressing, just lettuce, carrot slices, and cherry tomatoes.
  47. > Rainbow immediately digs in, but Twilight is watching you out of the corner of her eye.
  48. > You smile and nod at her, then take a bite of your salad.
  49. > When you were a human, salad without dressing was unthinkable, and tomatoes and carrots were nuisances.
  50. > As you chew, you are pleasantly surprised.
  51. > Everything is sweeter; the bitterness of the lettuce is closer to the bitterness of dark chocolate, and the carrot slices taste like yams baked with marshmallows.
  52. > You deliberately take a bite with a tomato in it.
  53. > It's the same tomato flavor, but far less acidic and incredibly sweeter.
  54. > Maybe being a vegetarian won't be so bad.
  55. "This is really quite good, Twilight, thank you."
  56. > She smiles.
  57. "Glad to hear it."
  58. > As you finish your salad, you hear a knocking at the door.
  59. > Do you want to build a snowman?
  60. > Twilight opens the door to find Discord doing his pretzel impression.
  61. "Why hello, princess, is Anonymous around? Our mutual friend has awoken and we really must be going."
  62. > you are already walking to the door.
  63. > Rainbow yells,
  64. "Aha! I knew there was something fishy about you!"
  65. > You look over your shoulder, finally getting tired of this.
  66. "The princesses have appointed me to be the probationary officer to a king. If that's suspicious, take it up with them. Let's go, Discord."
  67. > Space goes Augustus Gloop and you are back in the snowy citadel.
  68. > You feel oddly nostalgic, considering you only left this place eight or nine hours ago.
  69. > You see that the snow around the Citadel has melted, right up to the edge of your camouflage. The ground is barren, but probably fertile.
  70. > You extend the dome, unveiling more snowy ground that is already beginning to melt around the edges.
  71. > Cassambra trots to you, looking well rested.
  72. "I thank thee, Uh'hmmm. That indeed had been the next favor I would ask of thee."
  73. > Decembra stands next to you, surveying his little oasis.
  74. "I have pondered, yea, even for decades what is needful, should the Crystal Kingdom be denied me. There is a cruel paradox; one must have foodstuffs sufficient to sustain a workforce, and one must have a workforce to create such an amount of foodstuffs."
  75. > You nod.
  76. "Prithee, wherein did ye find a solution, for that be the trend of thy words?"
  77. > Sombra gestured grandly at your big ice cats, still prowling around the citadel.
  78. "Cousin, ye have a rare talent, to breathe life into the frozenborn. Mayhap, shouldst we combine our might, we may even give rise to servants of perfect durability and obedience. What say ye?"
  79. > He's talking about a veritable army of (ostensibly) farming golems.
  80. > While he has grown on you, you are not sure that he could handle such power as of yet.
  81. > Of course, farmer golems are only one solution.
  82. "There be merit to thy idea; however, we must consider the aspects of our magic. Are not thy crystals born of hate and fear? Likewise, mine magic is wont to express itself in themes of death and felinity. I fear that shouldst the two combine, we do naught but usher in a great and terrible predator."
  83. > Xcombra is taken aback
  84. "Verily I had not considered such an eventuality. Now that ye know of my dilemma, I implore thee to apply thy wondrous faculty to searching out a solution."
  85. > Well, if there's someone who could randomly generate a metric ton of food...
  86. "It seemeth to me, that thy petition hath gone awry; is there not one among us for whom reality itself doth bow in obeisance? Verily, let us consult Discord and perchance thy granaries be filled without planting and without labor."
  87. > Discord had settled on a nearby rooftop, and only a few crystal bridges later, you two come before him.
  88. > Combra Commander nods respectfully.
  89. "Prithee, Son of the Beginning, hear my plea. The land before thee be barren, both of beings and of crops. All I ask is that ye provide larder sufficient that the workers might last through the first harvest."
  90. > Discord rested his chin on his claw.
  91. "Oh my, this is quite irregular. I'm afraid I am here only in an observational capacity, with some leeway regarding keeping you two alive, or not, should it be appropriate."
  92. > You raise your eyebrows.
  93. "Were you given any instructions about helping or not helping the Kingdom of the Shard become self sufficient? "
  94. > Discord tilted his head side to side.
  95. "The Princesses wanted to see what you two would cook up, to spin a functioning kingdom out of nothing. If I have to tell them, 'oh, they asked me to do it, so I did' well, that would be no fun at all!
  96. > You turn to Shwarmbra.
  97. "Let us then attempt our fused golems, for verily, we are immortal so long as we are of interest."
  98. > Umbralla frowns.
  99. "E'en that be the state of things, prudence doth suggest an alternate course. There layeth a dragonhold to the north, the mistress of which hath been my sole confidant these many years. Mayhap her hatchlings hath grown such that they may labor for wages of crystal, which ye perceive I doth have in abundance. Go ye, therefore, and seek her out. For mine own part, I shall prepare the gems by which we may acquire their labor."
  100. > Well, that sounds much better.
  101. "What course shall I follow, to lead me through the snowstorms impenetrable?"
  102. > Sombra pointed at one of the six spokes that ran through the outer ring of the citadel.
  103. "The mountain which doth hold thy objective is straightway from that yonder gate; another boon I would ask thee. As ye do plot thy arrow-like course, clear the sky e'en as ye have here, that those who shall come to labor shall not founder in lone wilderness, nor ye upon thy return."
  104. "It shall be even as thou sayeth, o King. Frostborn, to me!"
  105. > You dramatically levitate down to street level, surrounded by your horde of ice cats.
  106. > No use taking chances
  107. > You keep track of your path by the simple expedient of a line of aligned ice crystal, which serves as a handy radial point for the repulsion field you are setting up as you go.
  108. > Your mind starts to drift, thinking about what you have gotten yourself into.
  109. > Seriously, you are walking literally into a dragon's den, to hire her kids.
  110. > Wait.
  111. > You check your shoulder.
  112. > You sigh in relief, the "dragon fetishist" sticker is gone.
  113. > Did it fall off when you got drenched in your own ice water?
  114. > Eh, whatever, it's gone.
  115. > To conserve strength, you ride on one of the bigger ice cats.
  116. > It's a little uncomfortable, but your muscles need a break after a day like today. Or, since it is still going on, during a day like today.
  117. > You hang your head in weariness. May you live in interesting times indeed.
  118. > It's an hour later, and you have lost track of which ice cats you named after which cat pokemon.
  119. > There's a black dot in the distance, and you feel a bit of hope that you are almost done with your trek.
  120. > As you travel, though, it becomes apparent that the dot is off to the side of your path.
  121. > as you get closer, you can see it is actually two dots.
  122. > In fact, it looks like two lines.
  123. > You get to the point where it is perpendicular to your path, and you stop.
  124. > It might just be a pony out there, provided it has a white coat of fur
  125. > You look at the trail you are blazing, then at the black splotches.
  126. > You make a tall spire of glowing blue ice, then set out towards the only bit of variance in this snowy wasteland.
  127. > Every once in a while, you make another glowing spire, with the one before clearly visible.
  128. > The splotches resolve into, yes, a pony.
  129. > She's an earth pony, but slender and elegant.
  130. > Her strait black mane brushes the snowy ground, and her tail splays out behind her as she sits in the snow.
  131. > There is something about this that should worry you, but you can't put your hoof on what.
  132. > As you draw near, she opens her eyes, her big grey eyes, and a shiver of fear goes down your spine.
  133. > She exhales, a drawn out, feminine sigh.
  134. > You stop, feeling stiff and
  135. > Oh hell, a yuki onna.
  136. > You inhale, pushing your own ice from skin level outward and regain your mobility.
  137. > You glare at her.
  138. "That is quite enough of that. I have had a long day, and it is still far from over. So I will take it as a kindness if you would just go somewhere else, and not haunt my road, or I shall have to deal with you permanently. Understood?"
  139. > She blinks slowly, then smiles.
  140. > Aaand that's it. That's all she does.
  141. > You start walking back to the road, looking over your shoulder from time to time.
  142. > She's right where you left her.
  143. > About 40 yards away, you stop looking.
  144. > At 50 yards, you feel something brush your shoulder, and
  145. > Dang it, there she is, happily walking alongside you.
  146. > You have passed the point of caring. You don't know if she honestly likes following you around, or if she is a mindless seduction death spirit thing.
  147. > You just get back to the road you were making and keep going.
  148. > At least she isn't actively trying to freeze you.
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