Cold Edge Anon Part 10

May 3rd, 2014
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  1. > You spend a fair amount of time in front of that door.
  2. > Sometimes, a servant or guard would pass, and give you a wide berth.
  3. > Whenever there wasn't anyone around, you tapped and clopped out short rhythms that you rather quickly lost track of.
  4. > You are just starting your second drawing attempt in frost when Pompombrabra emerges, a new pep in his step, and a palpable sense of purpose.
  5. > You fall in next to him.
  6. "Pardon mine inquiry, but how did thy audience go?"
  7. > He leads you to the nearby flying chariot hangar.
  8. "They shall weep, brother Anonymous."
  9. > That doesn't sound good.
  10. "Who, exactly shall weep, and what for?"
  11. > You join him on one of the chariots, and he nods to the team of pegasus hitched to it.
  12. "My future subjects shall weep at the sight of what I have wrought for their benefit."
  13. > Well, that sounds a little better.
  14. > You decide not to bother him, as he looks rather focused and intense right now.
  15. > When at last the chariot arrives over the citadel, El Chupasombra signals for the chariot to stop.
  16. > It is a rare, cloudless day in the Frozen North.
  17. > Black crystal rises from the towers, culminating in a small pedestal, which he steps onto.
  18. > The Som Bress monster motions for you to join him.
  19. > You gingerly step onto the platform; it's a little crowded, but you stand a solid three feet from the edge.
  20. > Som Brannery dismisses the chariot with a regal nod.
  21. > Once they are away, you ask him,
  22. "So what now?"
  23. "Now, my brother, join me in laying the foundations of the kingdom."
  24. > He touches the tip of his horn to yours and the first thing you think is,
  25. 'This is so gay.'
  26. > Then you literally see what he is thinking, and you grin.
  27. > You hear his answering thought.
  28. 'Forsooth.'
  29. > You call upon all your wishy power, and no small amount of your magic, while he does the same.
  30. > Your shadows on the platform expand and flow down the crystal, smoothing the unevenness of Sockbra's previous workings.
  31. > The shadows spread throughout the city, smoothing and expanding in fractals.
  32. > They reach the gates and surge forward, six geometrically perfect lanes lined with smoky blue crystals.
  33. > Miles away, those lanes fracture into smaller forts, some of which look like skulls from where you stand, others like sleeping cats.
  34. > Filaments of crystal extend from the boundaries, thawing out acres of snowy ground.
  35. > Your platform expands into a panoramic observation room, panes of ice nearly invisibly thin.
  36. > A spiral staircase descends from your hooves down to the (previously) tallest tower.
  37. > By the end of it, both of you collapse, panting heavily.
  38. 'That was so fabulous. And gay.'
  40. > You just lay there, too worn out to even attempt to move.
  41. > The temperature in the room starts to drop.
  42. "Wherefore art thou doing this, Anon? Art thou perhaps overheated by thy exertion?"
  43. > You muster the effort to look at Som Brade, only to see that he is as puzzled as you.
  44. "Nay, Sombra, 'tis not I who doth usher in this unnatural cold."
  45. > He staggers to his hooves.
  46. "Then whence cometh this breath of winter?"
  47. > You sit up. That turn of phrase jogged your memory.
  48. > Thus you feel more dread than surprise when Frozen Hart climbs out of the stairwell.
  49. > A thin veil of fog drifts down from her body, jagged with her anger.
  50. "You left me."
  51. > You briefly consider making a reasonable excuse, but in your experience, that is precisely not what women want in this situation.
  52. "I'm very sorry, is there any way I can make it up to you?"
  53. > Her fog smooths out somewhat, but she is still irked.
  54. "Take my brand."
  55. > You are about to ask her what that is, when you see a hint of vulnerability in her eyes.
  56. > You think you can guess. You bow your head.
  57. "As you wish."
  58. > She moves to your side and presses her forehead to your shoulder.
  59. > Warmth blooms in that small contact.
  60. > Your leg shudders involuntarily as what feels like cat claws scratch into your shoulder.
  61. > Frozen Hart pulls away, blushing.
  62. > The pain and warmth lingers, a white tracery of stag horns like a split snowflake standing out against your blue coat.
  63. > Gondola pats your withers.
  64. "Congratulations, my brother! May thy happy union last until the sun doth gutter out and the moon reunite with mother earth."
  65. > Yeah, that was about what you expected.
  67. "Thanks."
  68. > You turn to Frozen.
  69. "I'm going downstairs, care to join me?"
  70. > She smiles happily.
  71. "Always."
  73. > Some time later, the three of you are looking over the barren fields.
  74. "Prithee, brother Sombra. How doth one sow and cultivate thy crystal crop?"
  75. > Hondurbras nods.
  76. "Verily thy question is apt."
  77. > ...
  78. > Oh no.
  79. "Thou hath not a clew."
  80. > King Kombra smiles sheepishly.
  81. "Time and again, I am awed by thy keen insight. Nevertheless, I have faith that ye shall fashion a solution."
  82. > You get the feeling that he did not spend all that much time actually planning out this whole founding a kingdom thing.
  83. > You sigh and think on the problem.
  84. > Who would know about growing crystal food?
  85. > The citizens of the Crystal Empire probably wouldn't be in much of a hurry to help out their former oppressor.
  86. > Maybe Applejack? You aren't sure she did much more that gather fruit in that one episode.
  87. > Still, at least some of the principles should be the same, even what you are working with are plant/rock fusions.
  88. > Wait. Rock farming. While you wonder how that can even be a thing, a name comes to mind.
  89. "It seemeth to me that what is needed is a rock farmer, brother."
  90. > Farmbra looks surprised.
  91. "Hath that profession still its practitioners? Forsooth, 'twas a dying craft at the time of mine regnancy."
  92. > It's your turn to be surprised. Just what in Celestia's sweet plot is rock farming?
  94. "I know that there be at least one family who doth persevere."
  95. > You clear your throat.
  96. "What say thee, brother Discord? Shouldst thou bring us to the Pie family rock farm, 'twould be most welcome."
  97. > Discord spins himself out of thin air.
  98. "Oh that was much better! We'll make you a true gentlecolt in no time."
  99. > Space goes Veruca Salt, and you find yourself in a barren, rocky field. Or perhaps, a bountiful rocky field.
  100. > You follow Intercombra to the door of the Pie family home, upon which he knocks.
  101. > The door is opened by Cloudy Quartz, who silently ushers everyone in.
  102. > Igneous Rock looks up from where he is polishing his sediment collection.
  103. "Welcome to the Pie rock farm. We sell rocks, and rock accessories. What would you like?"
  104. > CD Rombra nods in greeting.
  105. "I am King Sombra, and I require a rock farming adept to consult upon the cultivation of crystal flora."
  106. > Igneous scratches his chin.
  107. "Sounds like you need my daughter. She just got her rocktorate in rock science."
  108. > Igneous nods to his wife, who then climbs the stairs to the second floor.
  109. "While we wait, can I interest you in some marble? We have had a fine crop of sylacauga, as well as yule."
  110. > Salaambra shakes his head.
  111. "I am quite self sufficient in matters of masonry."
  112. > Silence falls, and five minutes later, Maud Pie arrives in her usual smock.
  113. > Igneous makes the introductions.
  114. "Maud, this here is King Sombra, he could use your help growing crystal plants."
  115. > She blinks, and turns to the king.
  116. "Yes."
  117. > Sombrad the Sailor smiles.
  118. "If thou wilt gather thy tools, we shall travel to the site of our difficulties."
  119. > Maud disappears back up the stairs.
  120. > Hiho Silbra murmurs,
  121. "Such a prompt mare."
  123. > Fluttershombra, is this your fetish?
  124. > You are spared having to make a reply by Maud's return.
  125. > Her saddlebags packed, you all leave the house and walk to where Discord is pretending to be a boulder.
  126. > On the way, Yo Tombien says to Maud,
  127. "And how shall we remunerate thyself for thy services?"
  128. "Samples."
  129. > He pauses, waiting for more, but then replies,
  130. "That is most reasonable, madame rocktor."
  131. > You tap Discord's hide, and he uncurls.
  132. > He takes one look at the newest addition to the group and gives you a knowing look.
  133. > Space goes Mike Teavee and you're on the outskirts of the fields around the citadel.
  134. > The Som Branger leaves to obtain a selection of seeds and berries.
  135. > While he is gone, Maud looks at the hybrid ice/shadow crystal walls of the citadel.
  136. "Who made those rocks."
  137. > It almost doesn't sound like a question, but you answer readily enough.
  138. "Sombra and I."
  139. > Her eyes glance at your brand, and returns to her usual impassivity.
  140. > Som Bralleck returns and sets the seeds and berries before Maud.
  141. > She lays down on the ground, examining the crystals closely.
  142. > The Rocktor holds a berry up to the light, and nods in satisfaction.
  143. "I have read about these. It was in Rockwarts, a History."
  144. > She digs a shallow hole in the ground, then drops the berry in.
  145. > After filling it with dirt, she motions for Sweet Home Alasombra to approach.
  146. > She lays down on the ground again, and he does the same after a moment of hesitation.
  147. "For it to grow, you must talk to this berry like a lover."
  148. > He lays there slack jawed for a moment.
  149. "Surely thou doth jest."
  150. > She just stares at him from across the patch of dirt.
  151. > He takes a deep breath.
  152. "How oft hath I dreamed of thee, of thy breath and thy song. I bid thee rise, and share my day and every day henceforth."
  153. > He pauses.
  154. "Was that sufficient?"
  155. > Maud sniffs at the loose earth.
  156. "It appears the book was wrong. Collected good data, though."
  157. > Som Brancisco doesn't know what to say to that.
  158. > Maud motions for you and Frozen Hart to join them.
  159. > When you both settle down, Maud says,
  160. "Now kiss."
  161. > You blush hard. Som Briego averts his eyes, and Frozen obeys immediately.
  162. > It's still embarrassing to kiss in front of other ponies, but you can't deny how nice kissing is.
  163. > Frozen pulls back, and a small shoot rises from the ground.
  164. > Maud blinks in satisfaction.
  165. "Affection initiates germination."
  166. > This sinks in.
  167. > You feel a certain amount of dread, but it has to be asked.
  168. "Someone has to kiss around every planted seed?"
  169. > Maud looks at you, then Frozen, and nods.
  170. "Ideally, you would use the Crystal Heart, but this will do as a stopgap measure."
  171. > Welp.jpg
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