Guardian of Equestria

by Armyidiot

The Ceremonial Promise

Twilight is so going to freak. Then again, so is everyone else. I bet she'd probably keep the most level head, especially since she'll be right in the center of it all. Celestia and Luna though, they will freak out, probably the most, considering they'd be the only ones to understand what I'm going to do. Shining Armor is going to be so pissed...

As Heaross practiced his lines to himself, and steeled all of his courage, a pony, once again uninvited, walked into his to room, presumably to converse. "You really are insane, you know that right?"

"Ah, a mind reader! I was wondering when I would find one of you." Heaross looked to the source of the voice to see yet another alicorn, this one pink with several different accents of colors going through her hair. Her cutie mark was a - sapphire? blue diamond? some light blue gem - in the shape of a heart supported on both sides by an ornate golden stand. "Princess Mi Amore Candeza, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?"

Detecting his fake niceties and blatant sarcasm, Cadence satirically responds, "For thou to know the name I wish not to use, one must be quite informed. I hope this not to be some poor attempt for ending thine life! For sooth, dear warrior, I am helpless at your sword."

Okay, you're different from the other mind readers I've met. I would prefer it though if you kept your thoughts away from mine. I have been trained to withstand mind control, and any attempts will end very poorly for you. And not just because I can end you with little more than a strike of my hand.

"Your privacy is to yourself Heaross. Though, I am curious, while I did detect what you were going to do, I didn't see a reason why. Care to explain?"

Finally feeling her tendrils of thought peeling away from his mind, he let his guard down so he could relax without sounding like he was waging a war. Of course he was doing that, but with his own mind. "I have thought about it for quite some time, and no other course of action I have extrapolated on would lead me to the greatest scenario possible. My plans, even if this were to fall through, would be to go to Ponyville and watch the town for any dangers. I have seen a few maps, and the small town is the least protected, with practically no guard presence. Besides giving me a more official reason to go, it certainly will net me into quite a few ponies good books. I do aim to please, and I'm more than certain a fledgling princess will need all the help she can get."

"That is true," said Cadence, "but are you certain you wanna go through with this? You know you can't take back an oath like that."

"I have seen my other options, and this is the best one, both in short and long term. It will make an effect and give the impression that if someone like Twilight Sparkle can command a warrior like I, then the respect she would have gained will be tenfold. If there is one thing that always ruins a starting kingdom, it's dissent and disrespect. While I doubt it would happen to Twilight, even if I don't go through with this, it just seals the deal that she is not someone to run over like a coward king. Or I suppose queen in this case."

Cadence was silent for a few minutes, pondering what the Guardian had said. Said Guardian, meanwhile, was preparing for the coronation. Giving a small start, she eyed Heaross warily.

"Is there something on my armor? I'm not missing anything, am I?" Heaross didn't even need to look to tell that Cadence was watching him carefully. "Or," he turned to look directly in Cadence's eyes, "am I just that enrapturing?" The snarky smile just confirmed that he was simply playing around.

Cadence didn't take her eyes off of him though, for she said, "Did you scare my husband? Earlier today he came to me and asked if he had placed enough guards around the castle and near Twilight. Said something about someone having a surprise ready."

Heaross just laughed, his amusement easy to see. "Unless he saw me give those 2 potions to the cook that delivered mine and Luna's breakfast, he should be pretty clueless. You already saw what I was planning, so tell him he doesn't have to fear anything. Though, can you tell him to stay away from the cake? Unless you're planning on staying awake all night. I mean, I don't know married life, so maybe you do."

Visibly relaxing, Cadence chuckled, her fears assuaged for the time being. Afterwards, the 2 had some small talk while waiting for the ceremony, finishing up any preparations to be made. When the bells rang out across the castle, they made their way towards the royal cathedral and the high set balcony where Twilight was to give a speech after officially receiving her title of being a Princess from the other 3. Heaross fit into this schedule as working as a personal guard for the royalty, until after Celestia placed the Element of Magic atop her head, where he would go and present his surprise for all of Equestria to see.

Everything set in place, the only thing to do was now wait until Celestia had finished her speech of Twilight's accomplishments and her pride of her former student. "Fillies and gentlecolts, may I present for the very first time, Princess Twilight Sparkle." Then Twilight walked in, adorned in a gown of pink with gold accents, her wings flared for all to see. Banner mares followed her, them flanked by royal guards, all singing in chorus. She came to the altar where the 3 Princesses, the other Elements of Harmony, and Spike carrying a pillow with the crown holding the Element of Magic all waited. Spike presented the crown, Celestia took her magic and lifted the Element atop Twilight's head.

Cheering rang out all through the halls of the cathedral, until Heaross raised his voice above the crowd, calling for a hold in ceremony. Many were confused, some seemed agitated, while others were downright furious for him interrupting such a momentous occasion. "Ponies of Equestria, I do apologize for the hold in such a glorious day," Heaross' voice boomed out, "and I too hold in my heart that this day will go in history. My name is Heaross, and while I have only arrived to this wonderful land yesterday, never in my 31 years of life have I met a more hospitable and respectful world of enjoyment. I wish only to take a moment of time here, for what I have to say is of negligible importance compared to Princess Twilight Sparkle ascending to a realm of fantastical desires that many have only dreamed of." Turning to Twilight, "Your highness, Princess Twilight Sparkle, you were the first to meet me in this land after I arrived through rather strange circumstances. For lack of a better word, you showed this stranger from a dangerous world kindness and I can never repay the debt I am now sworn by. I wish to start on that fruitless task now, by swearing my name, sword and shield to you."

Drawing his shield and the Blade of Awe still in the scabbard, Heaross walked to Twilight, carrying both in his arms as one would a harmed princess. He drew the Blade of Awe from the sheath, placing his shield upon the ground, and knelt before Twilight, presenting his sword with both hands outstretched, bearing its weight. "I, Heaross Archer, Guardian of Battleon, Legendary Adventurer of my home, and chosen wielder of the Blade of Awe, pledge fealty to you, Princess Twilight Sparkle." Upon his proclamation, many gasps were heard, quite possibly the loudest from Celestia herself. "Do you, Princess Twilight Sparkle, take me as your vassal, to protect you from all threats, serve in whatever manner you may need, and have complete responsibility for my actions as your own, until the day I return to my homeland?"

Twilight, quite understandably, was very taken aback. Not even 5 minutes as a princess and here someone already was, pledging oath and name to her. She had heard of pledging fealty before, having researched it multiple times, so she knew the 2 options she had. She could 1. Take Heaross' sword and place it upon his shoulder, declaring him fit to be her vassal, binding the both of them until terms favorable to both of them were met, or 2. She could declare him unfit to be her vassal, shaming him and ruining what reputation he may have had. Twilight was visibly stunned, but that could only cover her thoughts for so long. Deciding to play his game, Twilight took the Blade of Awe in her magic, and placed it upon the nape of his neck.

Wow, that's a headache, crap, where are my mana potions, SHIT THAT WAS MY SWORD.

Heaross currently was dealing with the effects of a hangover. He knew the potions in the cake were a good idea, but maybe spiking the punch bowl with 3 mana potions wasn't one, especially with 4 alicorns being rather thirsty. Somewhere through the night, he had switched to the Overlord set, most likely after spiking said punch bowl. He just wondered who put vodka in it, before he had gotten there. Whoever it was, he wanted to both thank them and rip their head off.

So the party was great. While he doesn't remember the last quarter of it, he does remember several "noble" ponies having a little too much cake and punch, ending up in some rather fond memories. Like when Celestia had 3 cups and tried to challenge Heaross to a duel. His honor at stake, Heaross took the duel, and subsequently finished it in less than a second. Primarily by tipping over Celestia, who had fallen asleep standing up. Or when Cadance "proposed" to him an offer of a "fun night." That's when Shining Armor tried to duel him.

Finding his potions, Heaross grabbed one blindly and downed it. He was rather lucky he grabbed a mana potion and not a healing one. After spending a moment trying to remember where he was, he saw a balcony outside and a certain black and blue mare standing, staring at the stars. Heaross decided to join her, but after peeling his armor off. Feeling rather glad he always kept a spare change of clothes in the Petverse, he joined Luna, deciding that some fresh air might do him good.

He opened the door to the balcony, not bothering to hide his presence. Luna didn't turn around, she just kept staring at the stars and moon. "Feeling a bit remorseful?" A rather cheeky Heaross asked.

"If only you knew how much that were true."

"You know you shouldn't bother saying something like that when you know the actual answer."

"Hmm. True. But I think the better question is what were you doing in my bedroom? Feeling rather naughty?"

"Frankly, I have no idea. I just woke up 5 minutes ago. While I have no idea who spiked the punch bowl with vodka, I will admit to spiking it with 3 mana potions. That was a very fun night."

"I suppose it was," replied a tired Luna, "but may I ask why you took the duel Celestia wanted? You saw how drunk she was."

"That was for 2 reasons. One, I am honor bound to accept any duel. My pride as a warrior won't let me refuse a fight. Two, I could see she was drunk, and if I didn't she probably would have done something very bad. Like annoy me until I did accept the duel."

"I suppose that would have been quite bad."

"Very." The pair stood in silence for a time, that is, until Heaross went inside, grabbed his sword, came back out, and proceeded to throw it a wall. Suddenly, a cyan blue unicorn appeared, stuck to the wall by her tail because of the blade Heaross threw. "At this point, I am very tempted to chop her head off. The only reason I'm not is because her girlfriend came to me and asked me not to. That, and I don't want to make enemies of the people I just made friends with."

Luna looked somewhat relieved upon hearing this. After a moment, she and Heaross went inside to continue their conversation without any nosy ponies listening in. They sat in fairly comfortable silence for a time, simply enjoying each other's company. "You are going to let her down?" Asked a questioning Luna.

"After long enough." Heaross easily replied. "I'll take her down tomorrow morning, when she no doubt will have passed out from blood rushing to her head. Then I will contact her girlfriend, and proceed to give her the heaviest chains I can find."

Laughing quite happily, Luna enjoyed this strange warrior. Besides being a loyal protector and friend, he wasn't afraid to do what needed to be done, whether the outcome was having a good time, or ensuring the safety of his friends. She was rather curious about how he sometimes just ceased laughing a little too quickly, or sometimes looked forlorn coming from his Petverse (Luna loved the name as well, and can never get over how cute it sounded). Her curiosity peaking, she asked why this was.

Instead of answering immediately, as was his norm, Heaross drummed his fingers against the chair he was in. He sat in silence for a few minutes debating something. Then, he got up and found a mirror. He sat beside Luna, his message requiring the close quarters. "I have a little lesson for you Luna. It's something I learned too late, too long gone. This lesson is the story of The Mare in the Mirror. Do you see the mare staring back at you when you look in the mirror? Follow her eyes, the way she always sees yours too. This mare sees everything you do and is always judging you and your actions, no matter how small. Even the most minute of things can change her opinion of you. The lesson is thus: When you find yourself unable to stare her in the eyes, then you have finally become what you most fear."

Luna was somber for a moment before realizing something. "Heaross, what do you see when stare into your eyes?"