Safe and sound, huh? If she was able to save you after you escaped, it made you wonder how long she had left you hanging.
Still, she did save you. But...fuck..the map. That dog fucker still had it. "Hey, thanks for the help!"
She turned around to face you with a scowl "Thank me? What are you even doing here?! This place is way too dangerous for a foal. Where are your parents?! don't tell me they went looking for the city too and got nabbed by Ahuizotl!"
Holy christ, what got up her ass?! "Geez lady, calm down. I just wanted to thank you. And my parents? Well, that's nothing to worry about"
You expected her to ask what you meant. But she just angrily barked at you some more. "Nothing to worry about?! Listen closely, Short Round, I don't know where you came from and I don't care who you are. This place is dangerous! If your parents are in trouble, tell me where they are being held and I'll go back for them before anypony realizes what's going on."
She wasn't listening. "Lady, first of all. I'm not a "Short Round", do I look short and pudgy? Maybe a bit….not really, anyway! Secondly, I only have ONE parent. MY dad, Discord."
"....Oh no..." She responds as she pulls her hat over her face
oh no? "Uhhh, what's with THAT reaction?"
"You're that hero colt I've read about. Anon, I think. Look, the situation is sensitive as is. I'm taking you home before you cause any more trouble"
taking you home? She had the time for that? Even moreso, why was she reacting so negatively towards you? "You act like I caused all this in the first place."
"I know you didn't. But looking for trouble doesn't make you a hero either. You don't even seem to have that horn I've read about, the one that basically let's you do whatever." She didn't seem to have any faith in your natural abilities.
"I wasn't looking for trouble, I was just trying to find the tea leaves."
She raises a disapproving eyebrow at you
"...What?" Why was she so...dickish?
"You do know the old natives here were terrible at making tea, right?"
You groaned "Yeah, I was already told by dog face. It's why he thought I was hanging around with you. Speaking of him, don't you think the situation is a little too dire to just walk away from? I mean..." You shrugged as you turned around and moved some huge leaves to look a little beyond the camp “Yeah..I wanna go home and all. But he took something of mine that's pretty important. I need to get it back to EVEN go back home"
"Whatever it is is probably not worth it. Your father is the spirit of chaos, he'll probably go looking for you back in...Ponyville right? Yeah, I'll just leave you there and go back to scouting out Ahuizotl's operation"
But you reaaaalllyyy needed that map back. that fucker could end up in your room at any time if he drops it in any body of water.
You also found it curious that Daring Do wasn't treating the situation as serious as you thought she normally would.
"Look Daring Do. I reeealllyy need that map back. It let's me go back to my house“
But she interrupts you as she brings her face to yours, her expression showed a sense of deep worry. "Did you say map?"
....this was uncomfortable...Why did it matter to her? "Um, yeah. It's my map. And I need to get it back"
"....What is it a map to, exactly?" She was starting to sweat. What was the big deal?
"Nowhere really. It's a map my dad gave me to track two particular individuals while giving me a detailed medium to sorta long range map of the area I'm in. It's pretty neat. It also let's me go home when I toss it in water, that's why I need it b-WAGH!"
"AND YOU LET HIM TAKE IT FROM YOU?! AN ENCHANTED MAP THAT'S POWERED BY YOUR FATHER'S MAGIC?! THAT LETS YOU SEE THE AREA AROUND YOU?! HOW COULD YOU LOSE IT TO HIM?!"She had grabbed you with her wings and shook you as she yelled in a panic. Holy fuck! Why was this so bad?!
Why are you getting shaken so much today?! "W-W-W-WHAT'S T-T-T-THE BB-B-IG D-D-DEAL?!"
She plants you back on the ground, firmly on your butt. "Long story short? The Right Eye of the Great Cobra Deity is a special monocle that can hypnotize entire cities in an instant. it's held in a chamber deep under that building with the eternal hot tar. Guarded by a maze that is so large that it takes two hours to traverse, and that's if you know the way. And the only ones who knew how to get through that maze were the high priests who, at this point, are long gone. The maze itself has a spell cast on it preventing it from being mapped unless your magic is at untold levels. And it's not like you can even navigate the maze normally either, one wrong turn and some of that tar from the top flows down onto you while a wall comes up to trap you in. It's a really gruesome way to go and pretty much insured that nopony was going to get into that place. Ahuizotl had no chance of navigating it.....But then you came along, with a map enchanted by a powerful chaos spirit."
"I still have some time, He's going to have to skim through that entire map to find the right route. Look, stay here." She straightens her hat "I'm going to get that map back"
You shake your head to straighten your eyes from that great shaking you took, then you look up at her.
Trust her to get your map back? She didn't seem too capable without luck on her side. And there's only so much of that you can survive on.
Plus, it was your map. And you've dealt with A LOT worse than that dog fuck.
Like no, seriously. You only got caught because Discord warped you right in the middle of danger. You could probably even do this on your own if you planned things right.
Hell, if you could stop Ahuizotl yourself. Rainbow Dash would probably see you as a god. That would pretty much put an end to her sass.
You didn't need your horn for this.
But...you did probably need Daring Do. you even started to think of a better idea. "Haha, nope. You mean WE'RE going to get my map back. I can't just leave it to a pegasus who gets tied up, like, every time"
You gave her an arrogant smirk. So what if Ahuizotl had a goon force? They were still goons. And maybe sending him to your room wasn't a bad idea either, you could have a chuckle when he tries to escape through the window.
Yeah, this wouldn't be too tough.
"...Yeah, no. Look, kid, even if you were capable, which all I have to go by is your word and what I've read, this is still too dangerous for a foal. And I'm not going to endanger a foal for any reason. So do me a favor, stay put, and I'll be back soon....Also, that only happens sometimes. And I still always escape when it does happen" She shifted her eyes left and right on that last part. Yeah, nah. She was lying, she got caught WAY more than that.
"Don't care. You could leave right now and I'd just trot on over to the city to try to get my map myself. I'm the hero colt, this really isn't an issue for somepony like me."
Daring Do tensed as she gave you another scowl "Stay....Put….Don't be an idiot, ok?"
You shake your head "Says somepony who never had the QUEEN OF THE CHANGELINGS under control. Look, either I'm going to do it myself or we work together" You give her an arrogant smirk "Oh...When you write about this? you can call it "Anon and Daring Do: The Map of Destiny". Pretty good, huh?..Miss Yearling?"
Daring Do looked at you with surprise, then some suspicion. At first, she was caught offguard that you knew her real identity. But then she sighed, and shrugged "Well then, I didn't know you knew that much. Maybe I underestimated you."
..Finally "Yeah, look. I'd rather we work together on this. So, would you mind just not pushing me away? I mean it when I say I need that map back. I can't just leave it to you, you understand, right?"
She nods "Yeah, I do. Ok, let's head back to the city"
Yeah! "Alright then! Let's do OW!"
Suddenly, you feel a swift hit on the back of your head.
She hit you!
You look back at her with an angry face "what was that for?!"
She just looked at you with surprise, then looked at her hoof. "..How in the...That always works..."
...Did she…? "Did you try to knock me OW!"
She smacked you again, she swiftly moved close enough to try another hit at the back of your head.
It stung, but that was about it. "Will you stop that?!"
Daring Do just looked at your head, astonished, she actually raised her hoof to knock on your head with a gentle tap.
When she did, she could swear she could hear a metallic clank sound. ".......Holy......Griffonbits"
Can't even trust fucking heroes these days. "Yeah, Griffonbits, whatever. Can we just get going already? Because that isn’t going to work….like...ever"
Daring Do realized she really didn't have a choice if you were truly that adamant. She could just stick you in a bag, perhaps even tie you up and leave you at the camp. But she knew there had to be some truth to the stories she heard. Keeping you in the camp may just lead to worse trouble if and when you escaped on your own.
She hated to do it. She really didn't want to. But she really felt that it was either this or risk you running off on your own. She'd have to make sure the retrieval of the map is quick and painless, because she also knew she'd have to keep an eye on you. "...Yeah"
With no real choice in the matter. Daring Do takes the lead to at least lead you around to the east entrance of the city. Which, during her spying and scouting, was the least guarded as everything in front of the entrance was just dangerous jungle.
All she'd have to do is knock out a couple of guards, get you in, grab the map when dog breath wasn't noticing, and get out.
What could possibly go wrong?
You both waited til nightfall, to make it easier to sneak inside the city.
Daring Do took you a rather long way aways around the outer walls of the city, insisting you ride her back so you don't fall into a river, get attacked by jungle monsters, or get tangled up in vines.
at first you protested, but as she knocked you up with her face onto her back. She..well, it turned out she was actually pretty snuggly for a lean explorin' machine.
So, you didn't really argue and instead played coy and said "Lead the way, o fearless leader" as you tried as subtly as possible to snuggle against her.
When you both arrived at the east entrance. There was a great wall. Well, the wall went along the entire city, so it being great was self explanatory. The door to the inside had long turned to rubble, so getting inside would be easy….
If not for the twelve guards at the entrance.
Both you and Daring Do hid behind the bushes nearby, watching them as they paced and talked amongst themselves.
"Twelve guards? Huh, he's gotta be desperate to have that many watching this side of the city." Daring Do began to point at them with her hoof as she calculated a plan "Sneaking by them is a no go, those two on the walls would notice us. I could fight them, but I'd have to make sure not to get overwhelmed or to not let one get away....Hey kid." She looked back at you "So, I heard you've saved an entire dimension or something like that. Can you actually fight? Or is it all in the horn?"
....Dammit, you didn't want to sound like a pussy but...
You never did get around to training under RD. Not yet anyway..
How to make it sound good though… "Well, when I was in that dimension, the horn couldn't really do too much without an alternate source of power. So I had to make due with my wits and charm"
Daring Do sighed as she rolled her eyes "So that's a no...great"
She looked back at the guards as she contemplated a plan. Something that can get you passed all twelve without alerting the rest of them.
"Well...if you have wit" She looks back at you, this time with a slightly softer look "Now's the time to show it off. I've never dealt with Ahuizotl having a mercenary group that seems to actually know what their doing, so any suggestions would be appreciated"
Woah, ok then. Time to prove yourself. Daring Do herself couldn't get past the fucking entrance. This was your time to shine and gain her respect.
....Wait "How did you get in the first time?"
"He didn't have everything organized earlier today. He's been at this for awhile trying to figure out a way to get past the maze. Even mercenaries get restless if their boss whines like a little baby. But guessing how well organized they are right now, that map must really be something. I want to make a move, but I can't afford to make a mistake. But you? If you’re as smart as they say you are, I want to hear an idea if you have any. Any suggestions will work. And we'll discuss it if it needs any changing."
Hmm, that was a pretty intelligent move actually. Which made you want to ask one more question. "I thought you thought I was just an annoying kid"
"I never said you were annoying. I just didn't want to involve a foal. But you got my hooves tied. And trust me, I've learned a little thing about teamwork from some previous adventures of mine"
She must have meant with the mane 6.
"So, yeah. If you have an idea, day it. But don't treat this like a game, and don't suggest anything gung ho. We only have one shot" She said as she looked back at the guards
Well, you weren't going to do that.
But fuck...what conventional plan could you come up with to get past 12 guards?
What amazing plan could you think of to either defeat or elude them?
Why think up an amazing plan?...when you can use saturday morning logic? "I've got it..."
"That was quick, so what is it?" Daring Do asks you
You look over at the guards with a malicious little grin. Ohhh boy, this was gonna be hilarious. "Just watch this."
"Just watch what?! Did you not hear what I just said?" Daring Do couldn't believe you were just going to try something on your own.
You figured she'd react like that. So luckily, another Saturday morning trick should work on her. "...If this doesn't work. Then I'll stay put. How about that?"
Daring Do puts her hoof to her face as she sighs "You really didn't hear me, did you? I said we only get one shot at this. There is no trying again if we screw up. They'll track us down if if they spot us"
"Look, trust me on this. I've seen this work a million times. Please, Daring Do, I promise it'll work"
"You promise? You haven't even told me what it is yet."
"We're going to make them think there are ghosts that's going to curse them." Brilliant plan!
Daring Do took a moment to stay silent, sit on her butt, and take out a flask of water to drink before replying, holding the flask to you. "You want some water? Because I think you're dehydrated"
"What? What's wrong with my plan?"
"It won't work. This isn't a game. We don't even know if their superstitious or not. And there's twelve of them, not all of them would fall for it"
Hmmm...she might have a point.
Actually, you started to feel a little bad now. You thought it was a pretty good plan. "...Yeah, I guess you're right"
Daring Do could see you felt pretty stupid about your plan. She just huffed and turned her head to the side, trying to lessen the blow with her words. "I mean, if we knew something about them, y’know, if they were all superstitious,it could work...You'd be surprised how many henchponies I've managed to trick with a few offhoofed tricks" She then gives you a gentle pat "Sorry kid, but we're going to need something more practical, so just give it a little more thought, ok?" Daring Do goes back to looking past the bushes.
"Yeah..." Wait… "Did you say practical?"
"Yeah, why?" She looked back at you, confused.
You had this! It made sense! "Why? I'll tell you why. Everypony has their own version of practical. Their daily routines, their favorite music, but most importantly...what their moms thought were practical. Do any of those guys have gold teeth...and a bandanna?"
"One of them do...hrn..." Daring Do, at first, didn't seem to want to argue this. She found what you were thinking rather interesting, and wanted to know what you were getting at. Either to see the Hero Colt wit...or to tell you to just shut it. Whatever came first.
She pulled out binoculars from under her shirt and took a closer look at the one with the bandanna.
Sure enough, one of his teeth were golden. "Huh...how did you spot that from way back here without these?" She waved the binoculars at you
"I didn't need them, it's a pretty common...errr..thing. I've seen it a lot in my own adventures. He's also wearing a white tank top, right?"
"Good...I will bet you everything I got that his mom had gold teeth too. That's what we'll use to spook them"
Daring Do just gave you a blank expression. She didn't know what to make of it
"You still think it's stupid, don't you?" Ugh, but it sounded so good!
"Again, I didn't say that. Look, kid. " Daring Do goes back to looking outside the bush "I'm not going to lie, if it wasn't for the fact that you somehow have an eye to pick out a gold tooth without even seeing it, I'd have called it stupid. I'm sure you've read my books so this wouldn't come to a surprise to you, but sometimes even the craziest improvisations works out for the best." She then gave you a grin "So ok, we'll give it a shot. And if we goof, I'll fight them off and you sneak inside...or run off, got it?"
..what..w-wut? "..Wait, if I mess up. You're just going to sacrifice yourself like that?"
"Yeah. Sort of have to. Not like you're going to be able to fight off twelve stallions. And if we do nothing, the world is doomed."
But if you ran away…
No, you wouldn’t be doing that. Hell, the fact she even had an expectation for you to continue the mission made you feel pretty good. "Man, and here I thought you hated me"
"Kid, I just thought you were thick skulled. I'm not going to hate you just because of who you are. Now let's stop wasting time and get this plan into action. So, what do we do first?"
.You looked over at the guards from behind the bush.” We’re gonna set the mood. Just pull up some spooky voices, just ooooh it up a little, ok?"
And then you both start booing it up like ghosts.
All of the guards start looking around, unaware of the source of the noise. One of them screaming out "Who's there!?"
"Ghosts...ghosts of the sacred city of Cloperado! And we are fucking pissed off that you have desecrated our land" You made yourself sound as ghostly as possible
The guards started to talk amongst themselves.
"Ghosts?..no way, There's no such thing"
"Yeah! if there were ghosts, we'd have seen them by now."
"I-I dunno guys, I've never heard of the word ‘Fucking’ before. Sounds like an ancient word to me"
"Shut up Vine Limp, nopony asked you!"
"Yeah, but that is a pretty weird word. But if they are ghosts of the city..then..Hey, then what are you doing out there instead of in there?!"
"What do you think we're doing?" You ask them from behind the brush
"Not being ghosts! That's for sure!" One of them said.
"Oh no, you're wrong. We're totally doing ghostly things. Like being invisible, and cursing stuff" You say
"Invisible? Yeah right! Nopony can do that!" One of them say
What?! "Bullshit! Unicorns can turn invisible!"
Funnily enough, it was curse words that began to spook them.
"Gyah..another ancient word!"
"I dunno, maybe he's telling the truth"
"Yeah, I don't see them either"
"Well, maybe they're unicorns. Hey, we're going to come down there and show you what's what. There's no intruders allowed here!"
You say in a ghastly manner"Indeed, but you are the intruders and will suffer our curse! I can prove we are ghosts"
"Well, then prove it!"
"We know all and see all, You...with the bandanna" You call out to the burly looking pony Daring Do had spotted earlier.
"Yes you....err.." Shit, you just said you saw all and know all. But you didn’t know his fucking name!
..Wait...ponies have cutie marks. "Quick, Daring" you whisper "what's that guy's cutie mark?"
Daring Do stealthily looks over with her binoculars, and without questioning why you needed to know, just says "A machete"
Hrn.....it could be a number of names.
It could be just Machete, Path Cutter, but what would roll off the tongue best?
...oh god..you hoped this worked. "Yes...You...Cutter Way, whose gold tooth shines as brightly has his mother’s own. I know yoooouuuu boooooo"
"......He knows my name" The guard was both spooked and astonished
"See?! I told you!"
"W-wait, everypony knows Cutter Way, he's a-a..ya know..a guy"
"And his mother also has a gold teeth..."
"Oh no, he knows that....wait...How many does she have?" Cutter asks you
You started to sweat
"Five..." Daring Do whispers to you
You look over to Daring Do, who was looking at you with a serious look "It's five or four. But I think it's five. If his Mother did have gold teeth like him, then her teeth would be in worse condition as well and would require more replacements. I'd bet my hat it's probably five."
...Daring Do...she really was going along with this the whole way.
You really oughta read those books. "Fiiiiiive!"
Each guard went silent
"....This is the part where you all abandon your post and run away or else be cursed for being in our city" You say to them
Then you and Daring do let out a "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
The guards suddenly began to panic and stomp over themselves to run away, running past the both of you in shrieking terror.
Daring Do emerged from the bushes with a smirk. "I have to admit, that was pretty amazing. Can’t believe that actually worked"
you popped out after her, just amazed that it worked. "Heh, I mean. of course it worked, but..." You may be pretty arrogant about shit like this. But without Daring Do, you would have been pretty fucked. Though, you had to say it, even if it sounded gay "It only worked because..."
Daring Do held her hoof up at you to stop you "Ah, just keep it at that. We did it together, and that's it. We don't have time to celebrate. C'mon, let's go" She stepped ahead past the door, and into the city
"O-ok.." Ok good, you didn't want to sound like a faggot anyway. You had this whole fucking speech about believing in each other, and friendship, and how awesome you both were…..egh...Who were you, Twilight? God, you hoped she wasn’t rubbing off on you.