When Clover saw the massive white walls of Londwhinium on the other side of the gorge, he stopped a moment to marvel at the sight. He could scarcely believe ponykind was capable of building a city as large as this. Behind the great walls of Londwhinium, he saw the shining twin towers of the Castle of the Pony Sisters reaching towards the heavens beneath the starlit sky. His master, Starswirl had spoken of Londwhinium before, but not in his wildest imagination did he believe a city as great as this could exist.
“Eh I’ve seen better,” Shaw said dismissively, flying low overhead.
“Pray tell, just where have you seen better?” Sir Stouthorn asked in interest. “I’ve had the pleasure of traversing all over Equestria, and Londwhinium is truly a sight to behold.”
Shaw landed in front of the blue minotaur, blowing a few feathers out of his face smirking. “Griffin cities cover the peaks of entire mountains,” he boasted. “Any cities meant for ground crawlers can’t hold a candle to the towering aeries of even the most humble griffin settlement.”
Shanks smelled the ground near the road and growled. “Grrrr, the bad pony lady was here not long ago,” he said scratching himself.
“Finally,” Shaw said, extending his wings involuntarily. “I can finally get my bridle back from that little minx, and be about my business.”
Walking up towards the massive metal gates of the city, Clover used his magic to ring a bell above the smaller entrance. After a minute a small cuff port slid open noisily, revealing a grey guardspony’s face.
“What do you want at this late hour, stranger?” the guardspony asked.
“We’ve come to seek an audience with the Princesses,” Clover replied.
“Nopony sees the princesses without an appointment, nopony, no how,” the guardspony replied before sliding the cuff port shut.
“Well, that was rather rude of him,” Clover huffed.
“Hmm,” Sir Stouthorn said, “let me try.”
Walking up to the metal gate, Sir Stouthorn pounded his mighty fists of justice against the unyielding metal of the door that barred their way towards the greatest quest ever. As his fist pounded mightily against the door, it groaned under the weight of his fist’s request for passage. The door was stubbornly unyielding to his fist’s persuasive argument, and the knocking reverberated loudly causing a cacophony of noise throughout the gateway.
The cuff port slide back open revealing the same grey guardspony’s annoyed face. “What do you want?” the guard brusquely asked the mighty blue minotaur standing before him.
“Greetings my good pony, we are travelers seeking entrance into the great city of Londwhinium,” Sir Stouthorn said with both grace and elegance.
“Hmm, I don’t know,” the guardspony said looking at the knight suspiciously. “You look like some kind of great big blue weirdo to me.”
“Weirdo!” the minotaur exclaimed, highly insulted by the scandalous insinuation against himself. “I’ll have you know that I am no other than Sir le Boeuf Stouthorn, the chivalrous, of the ‘Most Illustrious Order of Triton the Lawgiver’ and I…”
Before Sir Stouthorn could begin reciting his family’s most illustrious and extensive genealogy, the guard pony interrupted him. “Yes,” the grey guardspony replied, “like I said, a weirdo, come back tomorrow.” Before sliding the cuff port shut.
“I’ll have you know,” Sir Stouthorn shouted towards the closed cuff port, “that knighthood into the ‘Most Illustrious Order of Triton the Lawgiver’, is an extremely prestigious honor only given to a select few every year, and furthermore…”
The cuff port opened up and a bucket of water was thrown out at the minotaur, completely soaking him. “Now go away, you weirdo,” the guardspony said before closing the cuff port once more.
“Well I never…” Sir Stouthorn said, leaving the door behind him.
“Are you okay sir Stouthorn?” Seafoam asked, handing a handkerchief to his charge.
“Perfectly all right, my good Seafoam,” Sir Stouthorn replied, while moping off his prestigious brow. “Though, that guardspony was a right awful fellow.”
Shaw laughed out loud when he saw the soaking wet minotaur. “I think I shall have a word with the guard,” he said with a smirk.
Knocking on the gate Shaw shouted, “Hey you!”
The cuff port slide back open, revealing the guardspony’s angry face. “Look, I already said you’re not getting in, now go away!” the guard blustered.
“Listen buddy,” Shaw growled, “you’re going to let us in, or I’m going to fly over that wall and kick your ass!”
“I’d like to see you try,” the guardspony sneered.
“I will, just wait and see!” Shaw shouted.
“Then why don’t you then!” the guardspony shouted back.
Behind the guardspony, the muted clopping of hooves was heard. “Now what the buck is going on here private?” an annoyed voice asked.
The guardspony’s face left the open cuff port, allowing Shaw to hear what was being said. “Captain, we got strangers trying to enter the city,” the guardspony said.
“I go to the bathroom for fifteen minutes and all Hades breaks loose,” the annoyed voice replied. “Why didn’t you let them in?”
They wanted to see the princesses,” the guardspony explained. “Obviously, they are up to no good, so I denied them entry.”
“You bucking foal,” the exasperated voice retorted. “Deciding who gets to see the princesses is part of the royal guard’s responsibility, not yours. Now get out of my sight, and go patrol the wall or something.”
Minutes later, the yellow face of a different guardspony looked through the cuff port. “Okay, now who was here to see the princesses?”
Shaw pointed his claw towards Clover. “This unicorn over there,” he said.
Clover trotted over towards the gate. “Please sir,” he said, “I’m here to see the princesses regarding an urgent matter.”
“Well, urgent matter or not,” the guardspony captain replied. “Whether you’re allowed to see the princesses or not, will have to be decided by the royal guards. However, I’ll let you inside the city tonight.”
The captain closed the cuff port shut. A minute later a soft click was heard, and the gate swung open. As the adventures enter the city, the captain looked at Shanks. “What are you doing with a diamond dog?” he asked.
“Shanks is part of the reason I’m here to see the princesses,” Clover replied. I’m afraid I’m unable to go into much more detail than that.”
The captain narrowed his eyes at the party, trying to decide what to do about the diamond dog pup. Sir Stouthorn, seeing that the captain wasn’t convinced about allowing Shanks to enter the city, offered his hand to the captain. “My good captain,” the minotaur said, grabbing the captain’s hoof and vigorously shaking it. “I give you my word as a knight of the Lawgiver, that the pup shall cause no problems while we are visiting your fair city.”
“A knight of the Lawgiver you say?” the captain said thoughtfully. “Alright, but if there’s any problems as a result you’ll be held liable.”
Sir Stouthorn smiled and bowed to the guardspony captain. “You have my word captain,” he said, “that the pup will be a perfect guest.”
Shanks wagged his tail, and barked a few times. “Aroo, I promise to be good pup. Yep, yep, yep,” Shanks said excitedly, running in circles around the guardspony captain.
“Alright,” the captain replied not too sure that he made the correct choice, “you may all enter. There’s some inns a few streets down if you’re in need of lodging.”
Seafoam floated over and did a flip in the air. “Finally, a real bed to sleep in!” he said happily, then turning towards the captain, he asked, “Where’s the local quester’s office?”
“Well the quester’s office is currently closed for the night,” the captain replied. “But I’m fully authorized to payout for any quests. Provided…” the captain said placing extra emphasis on the word, “that you can prove the quest was completed.”
Seafoam dug through his satchel and handed a scroll to the captain. “I believe you’ll find everything in order captain,” he said.
The captain took out some reading glasses and read the scroll. “Hmm,” he said, “this is the quest to remove the dragon from the Everfree forest. Do you have anything to prove you got rid of the dragon?”
Sir Stouthorn pulled out a flawless emerald green dragon scale from his pack, and handed it to the captain to examine. “This was a gift from the dragoness in question,” he said, “the dragoness has left the Everfree and is headed towards the Evermist Mountains.”
“I don’t think that meets the criteria of the quest,” the captain said, obviously not wanting to pay out such a large reward.
“Technically,” Seafoam said, “the quest was for the removal of the dragon, and didn’t specify actually killing it. Additionally we’ll need to be paid the standard bounty for removing five other dragons.”
“Five other dragons?” the captain said incredulously. “That would raise the payout to over ten thousand bits!”
“Yes,” Seafoam said, working out an exact number on his abacus. “Eleven thousand, eight hundred bits to be precise.”
“There’s no way I can authorize that sort of payment,” the captain sputtered.
Sir Stouthorn placed his hand around the captain’s shoulder, “You know,” he said, “seeing as how you did us a favor regarding your subordinate. How about we say an even eight thousand bits?”
The captain gave the minotaur a hard look, and then relented. “All right eight thousand bits,” he said, counting them out, placing them into a bag, and then handing them to Seafoam.
“Pleasure doing business with you captain,” Sir Stouthorn said, flipping a few bits towards the captain. “Buy yourself a drink on me.”
The Captain narrowed his eyes at the minotaur. “I can’t drink while on duty,” he replied. “But, welcome to Londwhinium. The palace begins accepting visitors at eight a.m. If you plan on trying to see the princesses, I would suggest getting there as early as possible.”
Leaving the captain behind them, Clover and his companions entered the city. Under the darkness of night, the light of the waning moon overhead was reflected by the wide shiny cobblestone streets. Except for the burning street lamps and the occasional patrolling guardspony, the city was quiet. Walking up the main thoroughfare, they made a left on the street the captain mentioned and saw several inns.
Knocking on the door of the closest inn, Clover waited patiently for the innkeeper to answer. Opening the door, a portly white earth pony answered while rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. When he saw the strangers standing outside his inn, he did a double take trying to process what he was seeing.
“I take it you want lodging?” the innkeeper asked Clover.
“Yes, beds and lodging for five. For at least a few days,” Clover replied.
“Unicorn, you’re welcome to a room,” the innkeeper said. “But, we don’t serve their kind here,” he said, looking suspiciously at Shanks, Seafoam, Shaw, and Sir Stouthorn.
“Exactly what kind is that, fatty?” Shaw demanded angrily of the overweight innkeeper.
“The nonpony kind,” the innkeeper angrily replied, slamming the door in their faces.
“Well that was rude of him,” Sir Stouthorn said dourly. “Hopefully, the rest of the other proprietors here don’t share that fellow’s prejudice.”
The next few inns resulted in similar experiences, until they came to a rundown building that had a crooked sign of a candle and a rose hanging above the door. The building seemed to have seen better days. Its paint was faded and peeling, while the masonry was cracked and crumbling in places.
“I don’t know if this I want to stay here,” Shaw said critically. “This place looks like it just might collapse on us in our sleep.”
“Well we don’t have much of a choice,” Seafoam said sadly, “all the other inns seem to have no desire to serve us nonpony folk.”
“Well,” Sir Stouthorn replied, “I have a good feeling about this establishment.”
“Why is that?” Shaw asked.
“They seem like that they could really use the bits,” Sir Stouthorn joked.
Clover held his breathe and rang the bell with his magic. After a few minutes the door opened a tiny crack, “What do you want?” a voice asked through the cracked door.
“Lodging for five, for a few days” Clover replied.
“I see you’re not all ponies,” the voice said.
“Is that going to be an issue,” Shaw said, feeling his feathers starting to ruffle over all these ponies damn ridiculousness.
“Not if you have the bits to pay,” the voice replied.
In response, Seafoam shook his heavy bag of bits a few times. The coins inside jingled together, in a melody that would make a miser cry. “That enough bits?” he asked, desperate for a warm bed to sleep in.
Immediately the door closed.
“Ugh, I guess it off to see if there’s any other inns elsewhere in this town,” Seafoam said mournfully.
Suddenly, the lights of the inn turned on, and the door opened wide. An old mule looked at them for a minute. “Well are you going to come in or not?” he said. “I haven’t got all night.”
“Thank you for your hospitality good innkeeper,” Sir Stouthorn said.
“Don’t thank me just yet sonny,” the innkeeper replied. “That will be twenty-five bits a night, not counting your meals.”
Seafoam counted out a hundred bits, and handed them to the innkeeper. “That should cover us for the next four days,” he said.
When he received the bits the old mule smiled, “Welcome guests, to the Rose luck Inn,” he said. “Gumby at your service. We only have two other guests, so please try to keep it down. Breakfast will be served at seven a.m. Your rooms will be the second and third rooms on the second floor,” he said, handing them two room keys. “If there’s nothing else, I’ll see you tomorrow at breakfast.”
Gumby walked into a room towards the back of the inn and shut the door behind him, leaving the party in the empty lobby of the Rose Luck Inn.
“Well, we had better go to bed if we want to be up in time for breakfast,” Clover said, yawning loudly.
“Aroo,” Shanks whined. “Me so tired, mister Clover.”
Clover used his horn and levitated the pup onto his back, then climbed up the stairs to his room. Shanks followed after him, leaving Sir Stouthorn and Seafoam behind.
“Sir Stouthorn, shall I investigate the quester’s guild tomorrow, for any available quests?” Seafoam asked, floating up the stairs to his room.
“No Seafoam,” Sir Stouthorn replied, opening the door to their room. “Our next quest will be given to us by one of the princesses themselves.”
“All right Sir Stouthorn,” Seafoam said, sliding under the covers of his bed. “Night.”
“Good night Seafoam,” the minotaur replied, attempting to get comfortable in a bed made for someone much smaller than himself. With his legs hanging over the edge of the mattress and sheets that barely covered him, Sir Stouthorn closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.
Shaw’s eyes twitched as he restlessly slept, tossing and turning in his bed. He was having the dream again. He was flying high above the grassy plain hunting for those damn windigos, when he saw her. The pink unicorn flitted her lashes towards him, and flicked her tail white tail a few times. He extended his talons ready to pounce, that slut was so going to get it. Angry, the griffin swooped down and landed near the unicorn. Her back was towards him, and she looked behind at him. With a demure look, she smiled. Looking into her blue eyes seemed to make him forget why he was so angry, “Oh yeah, she’s a little thief!” he thought to himself, trying to remind himself of what she did.
Looking at her flank, her cutie mark’s smiling mask seemed to be laughing at his predicament. On one talon he wanted to leap on her and throttle her, but on the other talon he just wanted to jump on her. Thinking about what he desired, made him feel lightheaded and full of a hunger that gnawed relentlessly away at his insides. Seeing the mare flicking her tail a few more times, sent all his blood directly to his wings, making them raise involuntarily. “Bucking wings, of all the times to get a rager!” Shaw chided himself halfheartedly.
She just giggled lightly and sat down on the bed in the middle of the meadow they were standing in. “Where the buck, did that bed come from?” Shaw thought, confused by the impossibility of the whole situation.
Looking at the griffin, Showboat tilted her head slightly, and looked at him with eyes that seemed to go on forever. “Good sir,” Showboat said, “it’s rude to keep a lady waiting.”
“Perhaps that’s so,” Shaw replied, trying his best to overcome his baser instincts, “but I don’t see any ladies here.”
“Maybe you should discipline me then,” Showboat retorted playfully, giving Shaw a dazzling smile. “I have been rather naughty of late haven’t I good sir.”
“Yes you have you little tart,” Shaw growled, moving closer and closer towards the waiting mare. By now, Shaw was nearly on top of her. He could smell her perfume, and her natural scent that began muddling his mind.
“Perhaps,” she whispered, her lips nearly touching his beak, “you should teach me not to take things that belong to others.”
Shaw didn’t care anymore; he connected his beak to her waiting lips. As his passions began overwhelming his reason, he knew he was going to be in for the ride of his life.
Shanks saw Shaw moving around in the bed, his talons flexing and contracting rhythmically. Shanks, wondered why the griffin’s wings were so stiff, “Maybe mister griffin is having a real good dream,” the pup thought to himself. “Aroo, I bet he’s caught the bad pony lady.”
Wagging his tail, Shanks looked at Shaw deciding what to do. He didn’t want to wake up the griffin in the middle of a nice dream, but it was nearly time for breakfast and they needed to be ready by the time the palace opened up.
Shanks knew what he had to do; using his tail he started tickling the griffin’s hind paws, in response Shaw smiled and turned in the bed. The pup knew he was getting there, he just had to keep up the assault. Climbing up on the bed, the small pup started tugging on the griffin’s wings trying to get him to wake up. Beyond the wings fluttering a few times, all Shaw did was groan and whisper something inaudible. Shanks knew he had to use his secret weapon if he was going to get the griffin up in time for breakfast. He climbed up on Shaw’s chest, and began licking his face nonstop.
“Oh you naughty mare…” Shaw gurgled in his sleep. “Don’t ever stop…”
Shanks stopped licking the griffin’s face. “Aroo, the bad pony lady must be winning!” the pup said, increasing the speed he was licking Shaw’s face.
Shaw’s eyes popped open as he sat straight up, throwing Shanks to the floor. His wings were painfully stiff and throbbing uncomfortably. “Auggh,” he said, rubbing his face. “Oh, what a dream that was.”
Shanks sat looking up at Shaw, wagging his tail. He was so happy. He had woken up mister griffin like mister clover had asked. “Aroo, mister griffin,” he said, barking in excitement. “Time for eating!”
Shaw looked down at the pup and felt his face. Feeling the moisture of puppy saliva, he brought his talons to his face and shook his head in disbelief. “Shanks you didn’t happen to hear anything did you?” he asked the excitable pup.
“Yup, mister griffin,” Shanks replied. “You were beating the bad pony lady!”
Shaw’s normally grey feathers took on a hint of red as his embarrassment grew. “Uh, Shanks,” he said, feeling embarrassed that the pup had probably heard some rather adult things. “Listen pup, what did you hear me say in my sleep?”
“Something about being a naughty mare,” Shanks said. “Grrrr, that pony lady needs to be punished.”
“Perhaps, we can keep what was said between just the two of us Shanks,” Shaw said, heading down the stairs towards their waiting breakfast.
“Sure thing, mister griffin!” Shanks happily barked, following behind him.
“Kids…” Shaw muttered to himself, shaking his head slightly.
Clover was busy enjoying a hot bowl of porridge and some fresh baked muffins when he saw Shaw and Shanks enter the dining area. Using his magic, he poured a glass of apple juice for both of them, pointing to two empty seats. Sir Stouthorn was eating his porridge, carefully making sure not to spill any on his magnificent goatee. Meanwhile, Seafoam was absentmindedly eating a muffin while comparing two scrolls, writing some notes, and working his abacus.
“Shaw, there are blueberry muffins and porridge for breakfast,” Clover said, while resuming eating his breakfast.
Shaw sat down and took a sip of the apple juice that Clover had poured for him. “So what do you plan to do after you get your audience with the princesses?” he asked him.
Clover took a bite from his muffin and thoughtfully chewed for a second. “Well,” he said in between bites, “hopefully I’ll get permission to head an expedition to visit the ruins of the Diamond Vale, and seek an audience with the new Lord of Earth.”
“Interesting,” Shaw replied, “hopefully I’ll be able to find that unicorn before she skips town.”
“About that,” Clover said, “while I was unconscious, Jormungandr told me that all of us were about to embark on a great adventure to save Equestria, and that your unicorn friend needs to be present for us to succeed.”
Shaw snorted, “She’s no friend of mine,” he replied, “but maybe if the winding one needs us to steal something, she’d be the mare for the job.”
“Clover,” Sir Stouthorn said, finishing up his porridge, “I’ve been thinking it over, I think I would like to accompany you on your quest should you get permission from the princesses to go. Somehow, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Scourge yet.”
“What!” cried Seafoam, spitting out his juice all over the table. “Sir Stouthorn, I thought you were going to petition the princesses for the ultimate quest.”
“I was,” Sir Stouthorn said, his eyes shining with righteousness. “However, I think that with all the portents, and omens surrounding us, we are somehow meant to travel this road together.”
“As long as I get my property back from that little thief,” Shaw said, his beak buried deeply in his porridge, “I don’t have anything else planned. In fact those harpies back at the eyrie probably fired me, for taking so long. So I guess I’m in.”
From the outside the dining area, the adventurers heard Gumby talking to somepony, “Alright,” he said, “you’ll find breakfast sitting on table in the dining area, additionally there’s other guests, so I suggest getting some food before it’s all gone.”
“Thank you,” a feminine voice said, “my companion and I had a restful night’s sleep, and breakfast sounds marvelous.”
The owner of the voice trotted into the room to enjoy what smelled like a heavenly breakfast of fresh baked muffins and porridge. With her eyes closed, she breathed in deeply of its heavenly scent. “Better hurry up, before breakfast is all gone,” she called out to her companion.
An adolescent male voice called back from the stairs, “Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he said, “I’m on my way. Make sure to save me a muffin.”
“Oh I don’t know…” she replied. “They smell so delicious. I just may eat your share.”
Sitting down next to the other guests, she used her unicorn magic to serve herself some porridge and juice. Taking a bite of her muffin, the pink mare smiled, breakfast was so delicious. Looking at her companion, she saw he had his mouth agape and was refusing to enter the dining area. Looking at the dragon in amusement she beckoned him to sit down at the table next to her. The blue dragon just pointed towards her with his mouth hanging open.
“Oh Slick, come on,” Showboat said, in between a few bites of her porridge. “You won’t get any fuller standing over there.”
“Uhhh… Showboat,” Slick replied, pointing to the angry griffin sitting next to her, “I think we may have a bit of a problem.”
“What could possibly be the matter?” Showboat asked, biting down on her muffin.
“Yeah Slick, what could she possibly have to worry about?” Shaw asked sarcastically, flexing his talons menacingly.
Recognizing the voice, Showboat literally leapt into the air, screaming in terror. “Aiiieee!” she cried, before fainting on the floor.
Feeling her face being fanned, she looked up and smiled when she saw that Slick was fanning her face. Looking up, she frowned when she saw the familiar bulk of a blue minotaur standing above her with a bemused grin. “Lady Showboat,” he said sternly, his sense of justice rising, urging for him to turn this miscreant over to the local authorities, “or would you prefer madam thief?”
Climbing up on her hooves, Showboat tried to regain her composure. “You wouldn’t hit a mare now would you?” she asked afraid of the answer.
“Of course not,” Sir Stouthorn said.
“He might not,” Shaw growled, trying to grab the unicorn futilely, but was restrained by Clover’s strong magic. “But I sure as Hades will.”
“Oh Shaw dear,” Showboat said, fluttering her lashes at the upset griffin, “and after I showed you such good hospitality too.”
“Hospitality!” Shaw screeched, trying to control his violent impulses. “You bucking drugged me, and robbed me blind!”
“Now dear, I’m sure we can come to some sort of arrangement?” Showboat asked hopefully.
“Perhaps it would be for the best,” Clover said, “remember what Jormungandr said.”
Shaw glared with daggers from his eyes at Showboat. “Okay. Fine whatever,” he said, “but I better get what’s mine.”
“Shaw, excellent choice,” Sir Stouthorn said with a knowing wink.
“After we’ve finished breakfast,” Showboat said, “come into my room and we can discuss the matter like rational adults.”
Both the griffin and the unicorn hastily finished their meals, and then headed up the stairs. Before leaving them behind, Shaw turned towards Sir Stouthorn, “Perhaps,” he said, “it’s for the best if Seafoam stays behind with Slick to make sure no funny business happens.”
Capital idea Shaw,” Sir Stouthorn agreed, “While you take care of things here, Master Clover, Shanks, and myself, will go pay a visit to the princesses. Seafoam and Slick can hold down the fort while you talk things over with Showboat.”
Seafoam saluted and floated over to Slick with a mischievous grin, “Sir Stouthorn,” he said, “I’ll ensure no funny business occurs while you’re gone on your errand.”
“Uhhh…” Slicks said, unsure if he liked the idea of being left alone with the seapony.
“Then it’s settled,” Sir Stouthorn declared, quickly finishing his juice. “Come on Clover. Let’s leave, so we can reach the palace by eight a.m.”
Both Clover and Sir Stouthorn exited the Rose luck Inn, leaving Shanks behind to look inquisitively at Shaw and Showboat. They smelled like his parents had. However, they certainly didn’t seem very happy to see one another. “Aroo,” Shanks thought to himself, following behind Clover, “grownups sure are weird.”
Slick seeing all the food left behind on the table took a seat and started stuffing his face. “So,” he asked Seafoam with his mouth full, “Read any good books lately?”
Showboat entered her room and was looking through her saddlebags. Entering in after her, Shaw closed the door behind him and locked the door. While her head was down rooting through her saddlebags, Shaw saw that it had the effect of raising her flanks directly in front of his face. “Oh buck me,” Shaw thought trying to control his wings. Her luxurious tail swish back and forth as she attempted to locate the griffin’s property, while she hummed a pleasant little tune. She was wearing the same perfume she had worn that night. Thinking back on what they did, Shaw felt himself get light headed.
Showboat, looked over her shoulder and saw the flushed looking griffin. “Shaw, are you all right?” she asked, placing a hoof to his head.
When the soft fur or her foreleg touched his forehead, Shaw lost all control and his wings shot out stiff as a board. Annoyed with his lack of self-control he cursed, “Celestia damn it all to Hades,” he muttered to himself, embarrassed over his condition.
Showboat seeing the griffin with wings fully extended, giggled slightly, “Oh Shaw,” she cooed, I didn’t realize you felt that way.” Sliding next to the reticent griffin, she rubbed her flanks up against him and flicked him lightly with her tail.
Shaw tried backing away from the siren, but only ended up falling on her bed. “Showboat, now I don’t want you getting the wrong idea,” he stammered, flustered over his close proximity to her supple flanks.
With a laugh, Showboat moved even closer towards him. Wearing a predatory grin, she seductively smiled. “Oh Shaw,” she whispered, moving ever closer to her trapped prey, “there’s nothing wrong with wanting more. Perhaps we can come to some sort of arrangement.”
She started nibbling his extended wings, and Shaw almost blacked out from the pleasure. “I don’t think any of us are in any condition to make any sorts of rash decisions,” he said, trying to get up off the bed, only to find himself restrained by her magic.
“Shaw, don’t worry about it,” Showboat said, licking her luscious lips, “we’ll take as much time as we need, in order to come up with an agreeable arrangement that everyponys happy with.”
Now inches away from her moist lips, Shaw closed his eyes and felt them press lightly against his beak. Deciding he didn’t care enough to fight against his desires anymore, he hungrily pressed back. “I can tell, these negotiations will take a while,” he thought to himself, as Showboat whinnied in appreciation to the attention he was showing her.
Looking at his pocket watch, Seafoam impatiently tapped it lightly a few times. “I wonder what’s taking them so long?” he asked Slick in curiosity.
“Tell me about it,” Slick said, eating the last of the remaining breakfast. “Those two went on for hours last time. Trying to get any sleep was a pain in my scales.”
Seafoam just raised an eyebrow confusedly, “Say what now?” he asked in confusion. “Simple negotiations for the return of stolen property should take mere minutes, and they’ve been gone nearly an hour so far.”
Slick just shook his head. “Kid,” he said dismissively, “I’ll tell you about it when your older.”
“How impertinent!” Seafoam replied in indignation.
The city of Londwhinium was lively and bustling with traffic. Shanks was overwhelmed by all the new sights, sounds, and smells he was experiencing. Clover, seeing that the pup’s eyes were going wide at the over stimulation to his senses picked the pup up, and placed him on his back with his magic.
Riding high on Clover’s back, Shanks barked happily. “Aroo,” he said, wagging his tail as fast as it could go. “Mister Clover, do you think the pony princesses will help me?”
Clover looked back and smiled. “Shanks,” he said, “Princess Celestia is known far and wide as the most benevolent of the deities, if anypony would be willing to help you, she would.”
Sir Stouthorn smiled in agreement, “Yes little Shanks,” he said, “Celestia has helped all the creatures of Equestria both great and small, from the largest dragon to the littlest rabbit. In fact, the oath of the Lawgiver we swear, upon entering knighthood is given in honor to her kindness and generosity. It’s every knight’s dream to quest for the princess one day.”
“Once we reach the castle gates,” Clover said, “I’ll be able to deliver my letters, and hopefully receive an audience with the princesses.”
“And I shall deliver my gifts to them as well,” Sir Stouthorn said misty eyed.
Shanks yawned, while listening to the adults. If mister clover and mister sir were sure the pony princesses would help, he was sure they would. Laying his head down on his paws, he enjoyed the rest of the ride towards the Castle of the Pony Sisters.
After about twenty minutes of walking they arrived at the ornate gates of the palace. At the palaces entrance stood two royal pegasi guards, the golden armor they wore over their black coats gleamed dully in the sun. While Sir Stouthorn exuded a jovial air, in stark contrast these guards were almost like statue like sentinels that would never falter. Beneath their helmets, their unwavering eyes looked down on Clover as he gingerly approached them. When he reached them, they extended their wings barring entrance into the palace. Looking down at the unicorn before them, they fixed their eyes squarely on Clover.
“Halt, who goes there,” the first pegasus guard demanded, his voice revealing he wouldn’t tolerate tomfoolery from anypony.
Clover removed his cap and bowed slightly to the two intimidating pegasi guards. Looking back up, Clover cleared his throat. “My name is Clover the Clever,” he said, “and these are my companions Sir Stouthorn a knight of the Lawgiver, and Shanks of the Gem Biter clan. We’re here on urgent business for the princesses, we need to…”
The guard looked at a list he carried and shook his head, “I’m sorry, you’re not on the list,” the guard said brusquely, interrupting Clover. “You’ll need to make an appointment with the Princesses regent Prince Blueblood, in order to get on the list to see either of them.”
Clover eyes dropped down in disappointment, he had been so sure that once he had reached Londwhinium, he would’ve been able to meet with the princesses immediately. “But this is an extremely important matter,” Clover said, trying to impress the urgency of his business upon the unsympathetic guards.
“I’m sorry,” the pegasus guard adamantly said, “nopony see the princesses without an appointment, no exceptions.”
Clover felt the large hand of Sir Stouthorn resting on his shoulder. “Come now Clover,” he said cheerfully, “the quest requires we meet with this Prince Blueblood fellow. So be of good cheer, we’re already halfway there to meet with the princesses.”
When he heard Sir Stouthorn’s optimism, he smiled, “Yes, you’re right Sir Stouthorn,” he said. “Let’s go talk to the regent.” Turning towards the pegasus guard, Clover asked, “Please where can we find the regent at?”
The pegasus looked down at Clover, annoyed he still had to speak with the unicorn. “Sir,” he said emotionlessly, pointing down the street, “the regent should be in his office at the government annex, down the street that way.”
Leaving the palace steps behind them, they walked down the street the guard had pointed towards. The wide boulevard was full of pony nobility and government officials going about their business. On either side of the street, statues of famous pony heroes stood next to impeccably well maintained topiaries and manicured lawns. One of the newer statues bore the likeness of his master. Looking down on the inscription chiseled into the pedestal, Clover read, ‘Dedicated to Starswirl the Bearded, for defending ponykind from the menace of the Smooze’. Looking up at the statue, Clover saw how youthful and vigorous his master had once looked. Starswirl was defiantly looking at some evil, while attempting to release a spell.
When Sir Stouthorn saw Clover looking at the statue of Starswirl, he laughed. “Don’t worry Master Clover,” he said good-naturedly, “your statue will go right besides, your master’s. I think the inscription shall say: ‘Dedicated to Clover the Clever, for aiding the realm in its time of need’. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?”
“I’m not sure how I feel about it,” Clover replied. “I mean, I know my master has done so much. Yet I’m unable to even deliver a simple message to the princesses. I feel like maybe he’s made a poor choice in assigning me to deliver the message.”
“Clover,” Sir Stouthorn replied, his eyes shining with the wisdom of the ages, “the quest has only just begun. We’ll go speak with the regent, get an appointment to speak with the princesses, and then head to the Diamond Vale. Clover, go and take fresh courage, press ever forward onwards to honor and glory.”
Clover feeling swept up in Sir Stouthorn’s exuberance nodded. “You’re right Sir Stouthorn,” Clover said, “We’ll go meet the regent and be on our way before you know it.”
When they reached the government annex, they entered inside it and headed towards a large wooden desk. Sitting behind the desk was a rather portly purple earth pony official wearing spectacles, who was busy stamping forms. “Hmm…” the official said, “form 27-b, an application to receive a pet license. Application. Denied.” The pony said gleefully, slamming his stamp onto the form, leaving behind the red imprint of the words DENIED on the paperwork. Clover spent several minutes watching the official at work as he gleefully stamped DENIED on form after form.
Eventually the earth pony became aware of his audience, sliding his glasses down his muzzle he glared down at them. “And just what, do I owe to this pleasure?” the portly pony asked sarcastically.
“Please sir,” Clover said, “I need to speak with the regent Prince Blueblood, regarding a matter of great urgency.”
“The prince can’t possibly be bothered with such trivial matters,” the fat official said dismissively. “Go take your request, to rezone your property elsewhere.”
“Listen, you…” Clover said angrily, before he felt the hand of Sir Stouthorn cover his muzzle.
“What the lad means to say,” Sir Stouthorn interjected gently, while holding small bag of bits in his hand “is that this is a most delicate matter. We would be most grateful for any assistance you could offer, in securing a meeting with the regent.”
Seeing the bag of bits, the earth pony nodded knowingly and placed them in his saddlebag, “You’re in luck, citizens,” he said with false sincerity. “It looks like the prince has an opening right now as a matter of fact. Please follow me.”
“See Clover,” Sir Stouthorn said grinning, “we’re already halfway there.”
Sighing, Clover followed behind the official and Sir Stouthorn through an ornate set of gold doors and into a richly decorated office. The floors were covered with rich carpets, and hanging on the walls were heavy tapestries depicting events from Equestrian history. At the head of the room surrounded by several stained glass windows, was an enormous oak desk. Hanging high above the desk was a massive painting that took up nearly the whole wall. It was a portrait of white unicorn stallion, heroically warding off a dragon from preying on a helpless unicorn mare. The handsome unicorn’s horn was the largest Clover had ever seen, and he was covered from head to hoof in armor. The plaque under the painting said, ‘Prince Blueblood, the Magnificent, Regent of Equestria’.
The fat earth pony moved his head towards several chairs on the far side of the room. “Take a seat,” he said. “The regent will be with you shortly.”
“Quite an impressive painting,” Sir Stouthorn remarked, “I’m sure the regent has impressive stories to tell about his daring exploits over the years.”
“Maybe one or two,” said a squeaky voice, coming from an open door on the opposite side of the room.
Walking into the office was a white unicorn stallion no bigger than Shanks. As he trotted behind the desk, the unicorn disappeared from sight until he slowly rose up from behind it. Using his tiny horn, the miniature unicorn minutely adjusted the height of his seat until he was satisfied.
“I am Prince Blueblood, regent of Equestria, and I understand that you have urgent business with me?” the unicorn said.
Clover, taken aback at the foal sized unicorn, regained his composure and slightly bowed. “Yes I do,” he said. “My name is Clover the Clever, and I have been tasked by my Master, Starswirl the bearded to deliver messages of great importance to the princesses.”
“What makes you think I can help you?” the regent pointedly asked.
“Well I was told that,” Clover explained, “nopony sees the princesses without an appointment, and you could get me an appointment.”
“Hmm,” the prince said, placing a tiny hoof up to his equally tiny muzzle. “While I could do that, I don’t think I shall. See yourselves out citizens, have a good day.”
Infuriated at being blocked at every turn, Clover’s head started flushubg red from all the aggravation he had been put through. Just before he could release his magic to throttle the tiny unicorn, Sir Stouthorn shook his head.
“Before you go regent,” Sir Stouthorn said, “I just want to know something.”
“What is that foreigner,” Blueblood asked haughtily.
“I wonder,” Sir Stouthorn asked, “is the reason that your portrait is so small because they couldn’t find a wall large enough to hold your massive ego?”
Prince Blueblood had never been so insulted by anypony in his entire life; staring hard at the minotaur he ground his teeth in anger. “How dare you insult me, you insolent gutter trash!” he snarled.
“Such big words, from such a little pony,” Sir Stouthorn taunted.
“I demand satisfaction on the field of battle!” the regent shouted, his face red with rage.
“Satisfaction, you shall have prince,” Sir Stouthorn declared, slapping the tiny regent across the muzzle. “Name your terms, and be done with it, you blowhard.”
“I’ll meet you at the dueling grounds of the city at one p.m. sharp,” the price replied, “If you fail to show up, I’ll have the guards scour the city looking for you to place you in the stockades. When you lose, you shall have to yield your weapon to me.”
“Very well,” Sir Stouthorn said, “and if I win, you must grant us an appointment with the princesses.”
“Done,” the prince spat, “now get out of my sight.”
“I’ll see you on the field of battle at one p.m. regent,” Sir Stouthorn said with a curt nod before leaving the room. “Come Clover, let’s leave the prince to prepare for battle.”
As they walked out of the government annex, Clover turned towards Sir Stouthorn, “What just happened?” he asked.
“I just got us an audience with the princesses,” Sir Stouthorn said, tipping his helmet to a few mares in waiting that passed them by. “The prince is too prideful to turn down any insult towards himself. He had no choice but to challenge me to a duel.”
“But how could the prince even think he would stand a chance of defeating you?” Clover asked.
Sir Stouthorn heartily laughed, “The prince has never been openly defied like that before,” he said. “In his own head, he’s as big as the painting hanging in his office.”
“You won’t actually hurt him, will you?” Clover asked in concern.
“No, of course not,” Sir Stouthorn replied, “my oath as a knight of the Lawgiver, requires me to be just with all, even one as odious as the prince. Now come, let us collect the rest of our party, enjoy some lunch, and see to the prince’s lesson in humility.”
Entering the Rose Luck Inn, they found both Slick and Seafoam playing a game of cards. Slick had amassed a large pile of bits, when he noticed Sir Stouthorn, Clover, and Shanks entering. In surprise, he dropped some hidden cards to the ground, all aces. When Seafoam saw he had been cheated, he reached over and slid all the bits over to his side of the table.
“You little cheat,” Seafoam fumed, “that’s the last time I play cards with you.”
“Here’s a free tip kid,” Slick said, “never play cards with somescale you don’t know.”
“Whatever happened to honor,” Seafoam said.
“There’s no honor among thieves kid,” Slick replied, biting into an apple.
Clover walked towards Slick. “So did Shaw and Showboat work out an agreement?” he asked.
Slick smirked, “Oh, I think they are still hammering away at the details,” he replied.
“What do you mean still?” Clover asked. “That would mean those two have been discussing things for over three hours. How have they not reached an agreement yet?”
“Well they keep coming together,” Slick said laughing, “but I think they want to see if they can’t come to a better arrangement.”
“Slick, what’s so funny about that?” Seafoam asked oblivious to the puns.
“Oh I’ll tell you when you’re older kid,” Slick said, moving towards the stairs. “Let me go get them for you.”
Shaw sat relaxing in the tub next to Showboat, her white mane draped against them both. The last few hours had flown by so quickly, and he was just sitting next to her enjoying the moment. Looking up at him, she smiled and whispered something into his ear. Smiling his approval, the mare lowered her head into the warm water. Shaw smiled when he felt the pleasurable sensations overwhelm him.
A loud banging on the door spoiled the mood, and Showboat popped her head out of the water in exasperation. “What is it?” she asked sweetly.
“Are you done yet?” Slick asked. “The others are downstairs waiting for you to come out.”
“Tell them yes we are,” Showboat replied, “We’ll be out in a few minutes.”
Shaw climbed out of the metal tub and used a towel to dry himself off, while Showboat used her magic to remove the water from her coat and mane. Once they were both presentable Showboat leaned up against the griffin and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
“We’ll have to make this a habit lover boy.” Showboat said huskily.
Shaw slapped her flanks, “That depends on whether you plan on behaving yourself, little miss.”
Showboat giggled, “If I don’t,” she teased, “will my big strong griffin carry me away, and have his way with me till I behave?”
“Mare, don’t press your luck,” Shaw replied opening the door for her.
As they walked down the stair together, Sir Stouthorn wore a knowing smile. “So Shaw,” he said, “did you put her through the wringer?”
“Yes,” Clover agreed, “were you able to reach an amiable agreement?”
Showboat wore a dazzling smile. “Yes everypony, we came to a beneficial arrangement. In exchange for certain services he will forgive me for my earlier trespasses.”
Seafoam’s ears perked up when he heard the agreement. “Will those services cover the food she stole as well?”
Showboat laughed. “Hmm,” she said. “Maybe when you’re a teensy bit older Seafoam.”
“Why does everypony keep telling me that,” Seafoam complained. “I’m nearly seventeen summers old!”
Sir Stouthorn laughed heartily. “Seafoam my boy,” he said. “Once you’ve reached eighteen summers, I’ll take you to the Lady of the Sea. There you can learn all about, what Shaw has repeatedly reacquainted himself with this morning.”
Shanks looked at the crazy adults and yawned, it was obvious what they had been doing. He wondered to himself what their puppies would look like, as he headed towards the dining area for some lunch.
On the way towards the dueling grounds, Seafoam floated worriedly around his liege. “How could you provoke the regent into a duel?” he asked. “What were you thinking? The regent is blood kin to the princesses, and by extension Triton himself!”
“Oh pish posh,” Sir Stouthorn said dismissively, “the git could stand to be taken down a peg or two.”
“Well Sir Stouthorn,” Seafoam said. “I stand ready as your second. Who shall be your third?”
“Why Clover of course!” Sir Stouthorn cheerfully exclaimed.
“Wait! What?” Clover said in disbelief. “I don’t know the first thing about dueling. I don’t want to hurt anypony!”
“Nonsense my boy,” Sir Stouthorn said full of vim and vigor. “You’re a natural born fighter. The way you handled yourself in the Everfree proved that. I would be honored to have you as my third.”
“So what exactly does a third do in a duel?” Clover asked in curiosity.
“Normally stand in the corner and look fearsome,” Sir Stouthorn explained. “However, I have the feeling that things will get more exciting than that.”
“How much more exciting?” Clover asked in concern.
“Well,” the blue minotaur said, “the ancient rules of the duel allow for the second and third to join in combat once first blood has been drawn. And Prince Blueblood doesn’t strike me as the kind of stallion who will take losing a fight with grace, if you take my meaning.”
“Exactly Clover,” Seafoam said excitedly, holding his trident at the ready, “so after Sir Stouthorn knocks the regent silly, be prepared to join in on the fray!”
“Perhaps Shaw would be more suitable,” Clover said nervously.
“Ordinarily,” Sir Stouthorn agreed, “I would be inclined to agree with you, seeing as he has more fighting experience. However, since all three of my opponents will most definitely be unicorns, a little magic on our side should help even things out.”
“Luna, help me…” Clover moaned, as they approached the dueling grounds.
The dueling grounds were a grassy area with crumbling stone seats for spectators. In ancient Equestrian history, dueling had been a daily event until it had been officially outlawed by Princess Celestia, for its excessive bloodshed. Still technically illegal, the nobility of the day called their duels, ‘parlays of honor’. The rules were slightly different, but the outcome was the same, beat your opponent senseless. While rare, fatalities still happened so a medical team was on standby waiting for the ‘parlay of honor’ to commence.
Sir Stouthorn stood at the ready with Seafoam as his second, and Clover as his third in their respective corners. Five minutes before one p.m. the regent dressed in full battle armor, trotted up towards the grassy knoll. He was accompanied by the two of the largest black unicorns Clover had ever seen. Both of them had their horns sheathed in metal. They readied themselves by rubbing their horns against a nearby stone column. Clover saw the sparks fly, as their impossibly sharp horns ground away at the stone column.
Nervously Clover nudged Sir Stouthorn. “Sir Stouthorn,” he said pointing to the burly unicorns with his horn. “Look at the size of their horns!”
“Easy lad,” the minotaur said confidently. “We have right on our side. Besides, think of the songs they’ll sing of our victory this day!”
A red pegasus judge flew overhead and inspected each of the duelists. “Your names, and the names of your seconds and thirds,” the judge asked.
The regent cleared his throat. “I am of course Prince Blueblood the magnificent, Regent of the Crown for all Equestria,” he said. “My second is Lord Blackstone, and my third is Magister Star Sparkle.
Sir Stouthorn approached the judge, removed his helmet and knelt down. “Lord Judge,” he said, “I am Sir le Boeuf Stouthorn, the chivalrous, of the ‘Most Illustrious Order of Triton the Lawgiver’, a humble knight of the realm. My second is my loyal page, Seafoam a seapony, an initiate of my order. My third, is Clover the Clever, apprentice of Starswirl the bearded himself.”
When the minotaur got up, all the ponies in the crowd began whispering amongst themselves regarding the participants of the duel.
The judge smiled and nodded towards the knight, pleased that he honored the ancient traditions of the ‘parlay of honor’. What are the terms of the parlay?” the judge asked.
“If I win, I am to receive an audience with the princesses,” Sir Stouthorn said.
“And if I win,” the prince exclaimed, “the minotaur shall present his weapon to me!”
“It is so noted,” the judge declared. “At one p.m. both combatants shall face each other from their respective corners, and fight till one shall yield. None except the second or third shall assist in any way. They shall not assist until first blood has been drawn; otherwise the parlay is forfeiture. Am I clear?” the judge said to the assembled crowd.
Satisfied that all present were aware of the rules, the pegasus judge dropped an apple. As soon as it hit the ground both the regent and the knight moved forward. The tiny unicorn in his heavy plate armor looked ridiculous, compared to the towering minotaur. The prince repeatedly charged at Sir Stouthorn, but each time his meager horn was deflected by the knight’s battleax. Prince Blueblood enraged, at being openly humiliated in front of the other nobles, charged his horn to release some magic. Rearing up on his tiny hind legs, the unicorn released a volley of fireballs at the much larger minotaur. Sir Stouthorn deftly avoided the volley of fire and lightly slapped the tiny regent across the muzzle. Furious at not being taken seriously, the prince launched himself into the air to attack the knight head on.
Sir Stouthorn agilely caught the tiny regent midair and rocked him back and forth like a child before placing him back on the ground and patting his head. Stomping his hooves in anger, the prince nodded to someone in the crowd. Suddenly a blinding light hit Sir Stouthorn square in the face, blinding him.
“Bad form,” Seafoam shouted, incensed at the outside interference of his liege’s duel.
The Prince seeing his opportunity charged forward, his horn pointed directly for Sir Stouthorn’s abdomen. Although blinded by the coward’s trick, Sir Stouthorn was too skillful to allow the mere loss of his sight to cause him to pause. Feeling the earth trembling at the prince’s charge, Sir Stouthorn held his ax at the ready. At the right moment he dropped his ax. The price dropped to the ground squealing in agony. His horn was now cleanly cut in twain, with the severed horn lying broken on the ground covered in blood from the Prince’s oozing wound.
“Kill him!” screamed Prince Blueblood.
Immediately the prince’s second and third entered the fight, along with about a dozen other nobles.
“This parlay is forfeiture!” the pegasus judge cried out, trying to avoid the magic being flung across the field.
“You slimy cowards!” Seafoam shouted in anger. “Come Shaw, Shanks, and Clover; let us show these dishonorable slugs the might that stopped Scourge and his hounds in the Everfree. For the Lawgiver,” he cried, launching himself towards Lord Blackstone.
Although Shaw had reached an agreement with Showboat, he still had a lot of pent up rage towards unicorns. Seeing an opportunity to release his anger he launched himself high into the air. His rainbow wings flashed in the sun, letting out a battle screech as he dived towards one of the cowardly unicorn’s who had violated the parlay.
Shanks growled in anger, these ponies were no better than the bad dogs and the not-Darkpaw. Before Clover could stop the pup, he’d run across the field of battle and attached himself to the leg of Prince Blueblood with his teeth.
“Arggh!” the prince screamed in pain as he tried dislodging the pup in vain.
Still blind, Sir Stouthorn bellowed a mighty battle cry. The earth beneath his feet trembled in fear when he stomped his hoof, and brandished his mighty battleax to dissuade any unicorns from coming to close to him. In fear, the unicorn’s approaching him whinnied and reared back at his unstoppable onslaught.
Showboat was not about to let the boys have all the fun, she turned towards Slick. “Slick, it’s time to save my griffin,” she said. Slick nodded and climbed on her back, flinging stones with his sling shot as she weaved between the unicorns that were fighting. Furiously, she flung spells and illusions wildly to help her compatriots, and especially her griffin.
Clover watched in horror, as the once orderly parlay had become a brawl. Before he could spend too much time watching the fight, Prince Blueblood’s third, Magister Star Sparkle launched himself toward Clover. Terrified of his much larger opponent, he quickly cast a shielding spell. The magister rammed the shield hard with his horn, causing sparks to fly wildly, but Clover’s shield held firm. Knowing he didn’t have time to play nice, Clover cast a paralysis spell causing Star Sparkle’s legs to lock up.
Star Sparkle hit the ground hard. “Oh my head,” the magister moaned in pain.
Clover proud at how quickly he had dispatched his opponent looked up and was shocked at what he saw; the dueling grounds were in total disarray. If he never lived to see a real battle, he would always think of the scene before him as the next closest thing. Shaw was rolling on the ground with a unicorn twice his size screeching all sorts of profanities. Seafoam was skillfully fighting off two unicorns using his trident to parry and riposte their thrusting horns. Sir Stouthorn still blinded, was fighting nearly a dozen unicorns all by himself with just his bare hands. Meanwhile, Showboat and Slick were providing cover for the rest of the party with her spells, along with a well-placed stone every so often from his trusty slingshot. And most amazingly of all, Shanks had the prince cowering in a corner as he threatened him with his teeth.
Looking up he was shocked to see dozens of guards approaching, with Princess Celestia and Luna at the head of the procession. Suddenly, someone in the crowd shouted, “Let’s cheese it, the fuzz is approaching!”
As long as he would ever live, Clover would never forget the looks on either of the princesses’ faces. At first it was one of shock, then to shame, and finally turned to sorrow. Seeing how his actions had pained his princesses, Clover hung his head in shame while waiting for his punishment. The others however were not so generous. It took nearly fifteen minutes, and over forty guards before the brawl had been stopped. Sir Stouthorn alone required twenty guards to subdue him, but once his blindness was cured he quickly calmed down.
While being marched in chains down into the palace dungeons, where they were to be held until their trial, Clover face-hoofed when he heard Sir Stouthorn cheerfully declare, “What did I tell you Clover my boy! We’re already halfway there!”
Gentlereader because I think you are worth it, I took the latest chapter all the way to 11. at over 10,000 words this chapter is the longest to date. Originally I had planned on making Prince Blueblood be agreeable to Clover's request, but then I said buck it. You deserve only the best, and so the best you received. As far as I'm concerned, Blueblood's bloodline have been dicks from the very beginning, so who am I to stand in the way of tradition? It's been a wild ride thank you for reading gentlereader. Any critiques etc please post in the comments, all suggestions will be considered except for more Slave King. Yes I know you all love that irredeemable bastard, but we need to use him sparingly. So I think I shall add these little blurbs at the end of the chapters. Just consider them like the special features on DVDs, read them or not.
Next time on the ongoing saga of the Great Slave King
Will Clover the Clever get his audience?
What will the princesses think of Sir Stouthorn's gifts? should he have gone with a gift certificate for bed bath and beyond instead?
Will Shanks get hoof and mouth disease from biting the prince?
Will Shaw be able to live down his wing ragers?
Will Seafoam ever become a stallion?
Will Showboat steamy scenes ever get more screen time then a teen rated fic allows?
Will Slick ever get that big dinner promised to him?
Will Prince Blueblood, be able to save his horn?
And most importantly will we see anymore of belligerent guardspony #1?
All these questions and more, will be answered right here in the next chapter of nearly epic story The Great Slave King.
Same Pony Time! Same Pony Channel!
Thanks for reading