Chapter 10: The Unexpected Guest
Akaitora took a deep breath, and let it out slowly. He set down his pack back in the hidden compartment, and sealed it shut again. His day had just become interesting. he trotted down the steps,a quicker pace than he had intended. He made up for it, though, by advancing the adjacent stairway slower than he had wanted. At the top, he took three steps toward his audience and spoke, starting mere seconds after Fluttershy stopped talking.
"It really has been years, hasn't it?" Fluttershy turned to see Akaitora at the top of the stairs. The unicorn, on the other hoof, merely glanced upward. "I really must commend you, though. It was very helpful of you, reinforcing my visions."
"Do you two know each other?" asked Fluttershy, a bit confused.
"Indeed we do," said the light brown Unicorn. "This is Kai, my baby brother."
"Younger brother, if you don't mind." growled Akaitora. "I left colthood almost fifteen years ago. And that annoying nickname along with it. What did you come here for?"
"I came because I wanted to. Should I need a better reason than that?"
"Knowing you, Uru, there was a better reason. a reason as good as gold, if I may."
"Now who's using annoying nicknames? And what makes you think I didn't just want to see my little brother again?"
"Because I know you. You've been a thief for years. You can't walk by a locked door or chest without opening it."
"Oh, come now, You haven't seen me for several years. Mayhap I'm different now, in sharp contrast to who I was before."
"Very well. Prove it."
"Now how am I supposed to do that?"
"That's for you to figure out."
An awkward silence punctuated the air around them now. Akaitora stared into his brothers eyes, seeing only the care and wearing of several years in a warm home, away from the troubles of others. His gaze was returned, showing Usutora (for that was his name) a lifetime of torment, of weather wearing down the edges to sharp pints, topped with the scorn that accompanies betrayal. This silence was broken only by Fluttershy's growling stomach.
"Ah, yes, I had almost forgotten. Fluttershy, I left you some pastries in the bedchamber. You may have them if you like. I'm off to go take care of business in Poniesburg."
"You mean Ponyville?" Fluttershy asked, pausing at the top of the stairs.
"Ah, yes. Sorry, new in town and all that. Keep an eye on HIM while I'm gone," he said, pointing a hoof accusingly at Usutora.
"That won't be necesary," said Usutora.
"And why is that?"
"Because you made it clear that I'm not wanted. So I'll just take my note and leave." He turned, readied himself to gallop off, but stopped at the sound of Akaitora's voice.
"Wait, wait, wait." He said, rubbing his forehead with a hoof. "What's this note you've got?"
"Well, it is for you, so I guess I should tell you, but seeing as you don't trust me enough--"
"And with good reason..."
"Then I guess I shouldn't give it to you. And it contained important information, too... Oh well..."
"Hold... Hold for a moment." The next words tasted terrible in Akaitora's mouth as he wrenched them from his mind, dropping them into his lungs, then spitting them out of his mouth. It reminded him of the bile that rose from one's stomach after eating rotten food. as they passed over his tongue and out of his lips, he couldn't help but feel that he had made a huge mistake. "You may stay if you like, under your terms, with the only stipulations being that you may not remove this," he pointed at the collar around Fluttershy's neck, "And you may not take anything out of the castle."
The feeling of illness passed after a few seconds, and he sighed a breath of what seemed to be made of both relief and remorse.
"That seems a bit unfair towards me." Usutora finally managed to say with a smirk.
"My home, my rules." Akaitora reasoned. "Besides, that's more rights than I gave Fluttershy, and she's practically an invited guest."
"You never were one for having guests, Kai."
Akaitora quickly explained to Fluttershy about the pastries and juice he had left her as he finished attaching the permanent spells to the gem, wiping the temporary ones off as well, and said that he would be back before sundown. With a final nod toward the two, he wrapped his cape around his neck, and sped off into the trees. daylight was about an hour old at this time, which meant he was running a bit late, even going at top speed, he would be a bit behind where he was yesterday, meaning less time for history gathering with Twilight.
Which reminded him, he had to ask what she meant when she said that spikes were wonderful on her back...
He arrived at the cottage, finding the place strangely deserted. Hadn't Twilight said to meet her here at dawn? The sun was forty-five minutes into the sky now. He shrugged it off for the time being, and got to work on his 'chores.' Thankfully, some of them only needed to be done every other day, so there was less to do this time, not to mention that the house was cleaned of his previous exploits, his worries put to rest, and there wasn't a collapsed unicorn to deal with.
Just as he finished his first task, he asw a rainbow break out across the sky. 'That doesn't add up' he thought to himself, 'There was no rain today, the air is way to dry.' The multichromatic streak then turned, having been going in a straight line up to this point, and began moving directly toward him. 'Please either let this be a joke or a hallucination...'
The rainbow stopped just before hitting the ground, and the creator made herself known from the cloud she had been holding, as it dispersed back into the atmosphere, unable to hold it's form through the change in air pressure.
"Hey Akaitora. Twilight here yet?" asked Rainbow, shaking some of the moisture from her coat, with a jingling sound emanating from her saddlebags.
"Not yet, I was wondering where she was, myself. She said dawn last evening, right?"
"That's what I heard. She's usually so punctual, too." She set down her bags against the side of the house. "I'm going to have a look from above, and see if I can find her." And with that, Rainbow soared into the sky, eyes scanning the streets, looking for any sign of the violet mare. After about a minute, she called out, worry resounding in her voice.
"Over there! She needs our help! Come on!" she said, speeding off. Akaitora knew he couldn't keep up if he tried, so he latched the quickest tracking spell on her he could, then sped off as fast as he could muster. So much for a simple day with less work to do...
Due to the comments I've been receiving, I'm trying to increase my word count and tell more of the story in each chapter. Not drastic changes, as one of you likes to recommend, but slowly, my average word count is going up.
Anyway, I've got the ending to the story in my head, and I know how I'm going to approach it, as well as everything else. The only trouble I'm having is word count. The only problem with that is, if I increase my word count, I have to decrease my number of chapters, or slow down the pacing for the story development, which means better character development. I don't want to over-develop my characters, though, as that makes for bad reading.
Also, any questions you have about the characters are welcome. I have them fully developed in my mind, even the ones you won't know about for another 24 hours (unless you're reading this after I finished the story, in which case, all the chapters are published, and you'll meet them in a few minutes).
Anyway, Here's wishing whatever holiday you celebrate on the 25th of December went well, be it Christmas, Pigglemas, or whatever the Flying Spaghetti Monster followers believe (They're valid).