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Diplomacy 3

Jun 1st, 2017
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  1. >A broken jaw...
  2. >Five missing teeth...
  3. >Bruising over most of the body and even two broken ribs...
  4. >And that was just for Jet Set...
  5. >One of the other mares that lord Aegis had dragged in was WORSE
  6. >...
  7. >You had told the nobles to behave...
  8. >You had personally asked the heads of the houses to come to the castle and explained the situation to them, and each and every one of them had promised to keep their families in check
  9. >They gave their word to stop their petty squabbles until the envoy left
  10. >But they didn't…
  11. >They looked you in the eyes and lied
  12. >And now the mother of all messes was dropped into your lap
  13. >An attempted rape of a stallion from House Lily...
  14. >Three mares from House Dazzle had been beaten within an inch of their lives...
  15. >And a giant, armored human had not only witnessed an attempted rape, but had put three noblemares in the hospital
  16. >You were Princess Celestia and, at that moment, you were sitting in your office nursing a glass of the strongest drink that you could find
  17. >This was far beyond a disaster
  18. >A disaster you could work with
  19. >You were known for turning disasters on their heads
  20. >Your sister’s return, Discord, that whole business with the Crystal Empire
  21. >But even with a thousand years of diplomatic experience under your belt, you didn't know how you were going to spin this in a positive light, or even if you should
  22. >There was a rape
  23. >Nobles were involved, as was a very powerful dignitary that had no issue with resorting to violence
  24. >It didn’t take a genius to figure out that some horse apples was about to hit the fan in the very near future
  25. >The second that Fancy Pants returned to his family's estate the Lily's were going to be in an uproar
  26. >When Lady Sprinkle Spark heard about what happened to her daughter and nieces she was going to come marching up to the castle demanding "justice"
  27. >It was going to take WEEKS to get everything calmed down, maybe even months
  28. >Alliances were going to shift, ponies were going to come and complain
  29. >If you were very unlucky King Drfual may do a whole lot more than simply ignore all of the offers that you had in mind for your kingdoms...
  30. >A groan escaped you as you slammed your head against your table
  31. >The tip of your horn felt like it had gone through the table, but you couldn't care less
  32. "Buck...."
  33. >You weren’t going to sleep tonight…
  34. >Heck, there was a good chance you weren’t going to be sleeping for DAYS…
  35. >And forget about going to that annual cake-off nex--
  36. >Your ears perked up when you heard the door to your office being open, though you kept your face right where it was
  37.  
  38.  
  39. >...
  40. >It was Sprinkle Spark wasn't it?
  41. >Or perhaps you were particularly unlucky and the mare opening the door was Fleur de Lis…?
  42. >"Sister? Are you in here?"
  43. >You released the breath that you didn’t know you were holding
  44. >Thank the Maker...
  45. "Yes, Luna, I'm in here," you said, levitating over your drink and taking a healthy gulp
  46. >"May I come in?"
  47. "As long as you close the door behind you and lock it."
  48. >Your dear sister stepped into the room and closed the door behind her
  49. >A soft click filled the air, telling you that she had done as you asked
  50. >Which was good…
  51. >You didn’t want anypony else barging in here...
  52. >Luna shuffled around the room for a few moments, no doubt looking you over
  53. >"Are you drinking, Tia?" she asked
  54. >With your horn lodged into your table, you couldn't nod, but you'd be damned if you didn't try your best
  55. "Yes, yes I am."
  56. >"At ten in the morning?"
  57. "Yes, and I intend to keep drinking until I forget the fact that a diplomat from another country had to save one of my subjects from being raped."
  58. >You were about to take another sip of your drink when you felt it being wrenched out of your magical grasp
  59. >Letting out a disagreeable whinny, you tried to snatch it back
  60. >Unfortunately for you Luna was completely sober, but you had been in here for awhile
  61. >...
  62. >An hour at least
  63. >...
  64. >You think
  65. "Noooo...! Give it bacccccck!"
  66. >Your sister let out a sigh, dislodging your horn from the table so that you could pick your head up
  67.  
  68.  
  69. >And you did
  70. >You looked up right at her and scrunched your nose up SO HARD...
  71. "I was drinking that."
  72. >"You were," Luna said, dumping your drink out of the window. "Now, may I ask where young Twilight ran off to?"
  73. >You sighed
  74. "I had her go to the hospital with a few guards to make sure that the nobles made it there safely."
  75. >Luna's nose scrunched up in distaste
  76. >"You should have just tossed those mares into the dungeons, sister."
  77. "If lord Aegis and his men hadn't beaten those mares so badly, I might have, Luna," you replied, looking up at your ceiling
  78. >A small smile came to your sister's face
  79. >"Yes, we were able to see those would-be rapists before they were carried off. The lord-commander is certainly thorough, isn't he?"
  80. >You closed your eyes
  81. >Without a drink in hoof, you could feel your headache coming back
  82. >You didn't like it...
  83. >Not one little bit...
  84. "Were you able to find accommodations for our guests?"
  85. >"Lord Aegis and his men are in the south wing at this moment," your sister said, grabbing the bottle of liquor that you were trying to pull from your desk and dumping it out the window
  86. >The bucking donkey...
  87. "Are they comfortable? Have they asked for anything yet?"
  88. >"Nay. They took two of the larger connecting rooms and appear to be fortifying them."
  89. >You deflated
  90. >Of course they were...
  91. >Not that you could blame them...
  92. "We'll have to really put our hooves down this time, Luna," you said, rubbing the bridge of your nose. "Those mares need to be punished. We need to show these humans that we won't allow things like this to stand."
  93.  
  94.  
  95. >"We agree wholeheartedly."
  96. "I don't care how much Sprinkle Spark shouts and screams, a bit of punishment might be good for her filly. And we should do all we can for poor Fancy."
  97. >"I'll have somepony look into getting the stallion a therapist. At the crown’s expense of course."
  98. >Reaching into another drawer, you grabbed your emergency bottle of rum
  99. >Luna, seeing you fiddling with your desk, tried to preemptively steal your alcohol, but this time your were prepared
  100. >With a flick of your horn you slapped her magic away, following up with a boop on the nose
  101. >She wasn’t getting this one!
  102. >Not your good-ass rum!
  103. "Good, now we just need to figure out how to begin negotiations with our guest with what little dignity we have left."
  104. >Popping off the cork of the bottle, you began chugging your rum as fast as you could
  105. >You sister stood there, a small frown on her face as she watched you
  106. >The rum burned, but in a good way
  107. >With each gulp you could feel it warming your body
  108. >It felt nice, especially right now
  109. >"You know, drinking yourself into a stupor isn't going to help this situation," she said
  110. "It might not, but it'll make be feel a bit better," you said, before wrapping your lips around the mouth of the bottle and tilting your head back once more
  111. >Luna shook her head, walking over toward the window
  112. >"I could go and greet our guest, if you're so insistent on your alcoholism."
  113. >Pulling the bottle of rum away, you wiped your mouth with the back of your hoof
  114. >The headache was starting to go away...
  115. >Good...
  116. "No," you said, shaking your head. "Last time that I left you in a room full of stallions ponies were complaining to me for weeks."
  117. >A blush came to your sister's face
  118. >"T-That was simply a misunderstanding, sister."
  119. "One stallion wouldn't stop crying, Luna."
  120. >"It's not my fault that the little colt couldn't take a joke!"
  121. >Groaning, you covered your face with your hooves
  122. >Your sis was going to be the death of you...
  123. >Her or your nobles...
  124.  
  125.  
  126. "Misunderstanding or not, if the letters that I've received from King Drfual have even a bit of truth in them, Lord Aegis is not a stallion to flirt with."
  127. >"Aye. Especially with that club of his," Luna said, scratching her chin. "Though, perhaps a bit of flirtation might benefit us?"
  128. >Your eyes narrowed
  129. "Luna... No..."
  130. >"All I'm saying is that most stallions that act like the lord-commander are usually "backed up" if you get my meaning."
  131. "No..."
  132. >"Who knows? Maybe a good rut might make him a good deal more agreeable? Though I suspect by the end of it some lucky mare would be walking away with more than a li--"
  133. >With a spell, you shut Luna's mouth
  134. "We've already done more than enough damage today, Luna. I don't need you riling the humans up."
  135. >Shaking your head, you corked your rum once more and put it back inside your desk
  136. >You had a feeling that you were going to need it later...
  137. "No, we'll go to them in the morning after everything's cooled down a bit. We need to make sure the nobles don’t kill each other during the night before we even think of doing anything else.”
  138. >Luna rolled her jaw as you released her mouth
  139. >"It might also be a good idea to double the guard as well. We wouldn't want Sprinkle to do anything rash."
  140. "Yes, yes," you said with a wave. "Make sure to have ponies in the west wing at all times. We already havean incident on our hooves. I don't want a war."
  141. >The tip of your horn glowed
  142. >Magically searching the castle, you sought out your assistant Raven
  143. >//I need you to come to my office at once.//
  144. >There was a pause before you felt Raven's magic mingle with your own
  145. >//Of course, my lady. I'll be there right away.//
  146. >//Very good. Please bring the Captain of the Guard with you as well. I need to debrief her on what happened. I'd also appreciate it if you send somepony to get Twilight. We’ll need her here too.//
  147. >//I'll do it right away, your highness.//
  148. >//Thank you very much.//
  149.  
  150.  
  151. >Cutting the spell off, you let out another sigh
  152. >You must have looked particularly pitiful, because Luna walked over and wrapped a wing around your shoulder
  153. >"Don't worry, sister. I'm positive that everything will turn out right in the end."
  154. "I fail to see how, Luna."
  155. >Luna's wing tightened around you, and her brow furrowed like it always did when she was thinking really hard
  156. >"...Maybe Twilight has thought of a way to make this appear in a better light?"
  157. >You snorted
  158. "If she can do that then she'll be the empress of the world within the year."
  159. >"Oh, you never know, sister," Luna chided. "There's a reason why the elements chose her after all."
  160.  
  161. ~_~_~_~_~_~
  162.  
  163. >"Move the curtains to the right, boy. My right. No, that's my left. Good. Now more. More. Come on boy, put your back into it."
  164. >The room that you have been given was as fine as any that you had ever seen
  165. >The carpets on the floors were the softest that you had ever felt
  166. >The window were large and ornate
  167. >Gold and glass was everywhere
  168. >The bed was large enough to fit ten fully grown men, and so soft that you would have been happy to spend the rest of your days lying on it
  169. >This was a room fit for a king
  170. >No, it was a room fit for a god
  171. >But, at that moment, you weren’t in the position to appreciate it
  172. >In fact, the room had given you more than a few reasons to curse it
  173. >Namely the curtains
  174. >You had no idea WHY they seemed to weigh just as much as you...
  175. >They didn't seem all that thick...
  176. >But you'd be damned if you didn't have to push with all of your might just to move them a little bit
  177. >"Come on, boy, just a few more inches," your lord said, readying his club. "And if something flies out make sure to duck. I don't want to send you through the window."
  178.  
  179.  
  180. >Your lord, for some reason or another, had gotten it into his head that the princesses may have put scrying orbs into your rooms so that they could monitor you in your sleep
  181. >For the past hour and a half you and the knights had been searching every inch of the two rooms that you had taken looking for them
  182. >Lord Aegis, meanwhile, moved back and forth between rooms, his club at the ready in case anything flew out of its hiding spot
  183. >Now you had no idea what the heck a scrying orb was, and from the rumblings of the other men they didn't have any idea either...
  184. >"Come on. They're just curtains boy. I'm not asking you to move a damned boulder."
  185. >Grunting, you dug your heels into the carpet and pushed with all of your might
  186. >Little by little, the thing started to move
  187. >Not by much, but it was something
  188. >"That's it, boy," lord Aegis said, winding back for a swing. "Just a little more..."
  189. >Sweat was pouring down your face
  190. >You could feel your arms and legs shaking
  191. >But you were almost there...
  192. >Almost...
  193. >Just a foot and a half left...
  194. >Now a foot...
  195. >Now half a foot...
  196. >With one last burst of energy, you pushed the curtain was far as you could go
  197. >Your lord took a step forward, his eyes scanning the curtain, the window, and the floor
  198. >For your trouble, you had almost hoped that the princesses were spying on you
  199. >If they were, than an orb of light, or whatever a scrying orb was supposed to look like, would have been discovered
  200. >Then you'd have felt a sense of accomplishment for busting your butt
  201. >But, just like every other time, there was nothing
  202. >No orbs, no light, nothing
  203. >Your lord eased up his grip on his bat
  204. >Resting it on his shoulder, he began to grumble to himself while scratching his chin
  205.  
  206.  
  207. >"Huh. They aren't there either then... Alright boy, let go of the curtain. This side of the room seems clear."
  208. >Panting, you stepped away from the curtain, letting it fall back into place
  209. "My lord... Can I get a... glass of water... please?"
  210. >"Go," he said with a wave of a hand. "We're about finished up here anyway. Make sure to drink from your canteen though. We still need to test the water to see if the Equestrian's put anything in it."
  211. >You bowed your head
  212. >Thank the gods...
  213. "Yes my lord," you said, before scurrying off to the other end of the room
  214. >All around you were knights lifting furniture, looking under sinks and in closets and under the bed
  215. >Most of them didn't look all that excited to be inspecting a room, but just like you they knew how lord Aegis got
  216. >Once he had something in his head there wasn't anything that anyone could do about it...
  217. >Making your way over to your bag, you grabbed your small canteen and took a few gulps
  218. >Your eyes slid closed as the cool, refreshing water slid down your throat
  219. >Yes...
  220. >Just what you needed...
  221. >Though you knew you needed to be mindful about how much water you drank, you nevertheless took a few more gulps of the life giving liquid
  222. >You had taken your fifth or sixth gulp when a noise made you perk up
  223. >Someone was knocking on the door...
  224. >Immediately, you stood up
  225. >As a page, you were always required to answer the door for your lord and announce the visitor...
  226. >And lord Aegis hadn't said anything about not doing any of your duties…
  227. >...
  228. >Alright...
  229. >Quickly making your way to the door, you grabbed the doorknob
  230. >Making sure that you knife was still on your belt, you took a deep breath and opened the door
  231.  
  232.  
  233. "Good afternoon. I am Anonymous, servant of Lord Aegis of castle Nurgle. How may I help you?"
  234. >The words came automatically
  235. >It was only after you said them that you were able to take stock in who was standing on the other end of the door
  236. >To your surprise, it was the stallion that your lord had saved
  237. >Though he looked a good deal better than he had an hour or so ago, you could see that he was still a good deal shaken up
  238. >His body was tensed, and his eyes darted to his left and right every few moments
  239. >He looked like he wanted to be at home under his bed in all honesty...
  240. >You looked him up and down, about to ask him what his business was, when another pony caught your eye
  241. >It was a tall, white mare
  242. >She was nearly Princess Celestia's size, with light purple eyes and a long horn jutting out of her forehead
  243. >The mare was looking you over even as you drank in her features, a small smile coming to her face
  244. >"My, my. Aren't you a little young to be a knight, my dear?"
  245. >Your brow furrowed
  246. "I'm not a knight, I'm a page!"
  247. >The mare chuckled
  248. >"Ah, forgive me then, lord Anonymous," she said, bowing her head as she took a step toward you. "Might your lord be in? I would very much like to speak to him."
  249. >You let out a quiet hum
  250. >This mare also had the look of a noble about her
  251. >But unlike your two guides, she didn’t have an unsettling look in her eyes or an empty grin
  252. >She looked… nice
  253. >You were about to open your mouth to answer when you felt a massive, calloused hand grab you by the scruff of your neck
  254. >Before you could blink, you were flying backwards in the air
  255. >And you weren't very happy about it
  256. >Not one bit...
  257. "DFvndjkj!"
  258. >You flailed wildly, ready to start screaming until you hit the ground, only to collide with something solid
  259. >A moment later, a pair of strong arms wrapped around you
  260. >Looking up, you saw that you had been thrown at one of your lord's knights
  261. >Whipping your head back to the door, you saw Lord Aegis and a pair of knights blocking the entrance, weapons at the ready
  262. >Through the mass of bodies, you could see the stallion taking a nervous step back
  263. >The mare stood her ground however, her smile still on her face
  264.  
  265.  
  266. >"I was told that we wouldn't be expecting any visitors today," your lord growled
  267. >"Half of the soldiers in this castle are of my house, so very few places are bared to me if I make enough of a fuss," the mare replied, bowing nice and low. "But where are my manners? I am Duchess Fleur de lis, Head of House Lily. This is my brother Fancy Pants. We are honored to meet you lord Aegis of Humeyithal."
  268. >Your lord's gaze traveled from mare to stallion and back again, but he said nothing
  269. >You could see the distrust in his eyes, see the tension in his hands as he held his club
  270. >The ponies didn’t seem to see any of this, staring up at your lord with their big, expressive eyes
  271. >Which, from prior experience, could be a bad thing
  272. >A very bad thing
  273. >Suddenly, Lord Fancy Pants closed the distance between him and lord Aegis
  274. >As quick as a flash, he stood up on his hind legs and hugged your lord
  275. >"Thank the Maker for you, my lord," he said, sniffling. "Thank you..."
  276. >The knights on either side of lord Aegis stiffened
  277. >Lord Aegis himself seemed none too pleased either, grabbing the stallion by his vest and prying him off
  278. >"Don't do that," he said, before letting the stallion drop back onto his four hooves
  279. >"If you hadn't saved me those mares w-would have r-raped me and left m-me for dead," Lord Fancy continued, even as your lord pushed him away with the tip of his club. "T-They might h-have even taken m-me back w-with them and... and..."
  280. >The stallion sniffled again
  281. >Lady Fleur produced a handkerchief and handed it to him
  282. >Lord Fancy quietly thanked her before loudly blowing his nose as his sister wrapped a hoof protectively around him
  283. >A small smile came to your face at the sight
  284. >It seemed that ponies weren’t total monsters after all...
  285. >"I don't know how you and your fine stallions found themselves in that alley, but you have both my gratitude and the gratitude of House Lily for what you did," Lady Fleur said, nuzzling her brother
  286. >To your surprise, you could hear real, genuine gratitude in her voice, something that the nobles back home NEVER had
  287. >Still though, your lord may as well have been made of stone
  288. >"It is a knight's duty to protect the helpless," lord Aegis replied, still looking less than happy. "If we did not help then it would have shamed both our ancestors and our order."
  289. >Fleur's smile widened
  290. >"Nevertheless, if you ever need--"
  291. >Stepping back, lord Aegis closed the door before the mare could finish her sentence
  292. >"Tell the lads in the next room that the castle guards are as worthless as they look," he said, locking the door. "Tell Faraier to have two men guarding each of the doors. Four hour shifts. If I catch anyone sleeping they'll be whipped until I see bone."
  293.  
  294.  
  295. >The knights on either side of him saluted before rushing off to the next room
  296. >Your lord turned to the remainder of the knights in the room
  297. >"Keep your weapons near, boys. I don't want us all being dragged off to gods' know where without a fight. And Anon?"
  298. >You perked up, wiggling away from the knight still holding you
  299. "Yes my lord?"
  300. >"While I admire your dedication, think before you carry out your duties."
  301. >You winced
  302. >A small part of you couldn’t help but feel bad for the lord and lady
  303. >They were only trying to thank lord Aegis…
  304. >They didn’t deserve getting a door slammed in their faces...
  305. "...Yes lord. Sorry lord."
  306. >Walking over to you, lord Aegis placed a hand on your shoulder
  307. >Giving it a squeeze, he set his club onto the ground
  308. >"Get ready for a long night boys. I have a feeling that those two aren't going to be the only ones bothering us."
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