Hearth's Warming Helper - Team Corona

by Talon and Thorn

Bogucu Yangin - Corona's Bestie by Talon and Thorn

Eagerly Yangin reached into the bag and retrieved the last of the tokens. Hearth’s Warming didn’t mean much to her but the idea of having to plan a present for one of her colleagues seemed like an interesting way to pass the time. A model of a griffin now rested in her hoof. She frowned Terror Wing wouldn’t have been her first choice but she was sure she’d come up with something for him.

She racked her brain thinking what, the big lump always seemed rather tense, tending to yell rather than talk and stomping everywhere. Maybe he needed something to help him relax, maybe she could set him up on a date with a mare, or stallion, or whatever his preference was, that might loosen him up a bit. She looked over at the giant griffin, he could probably be considered handsome she supposed, but she certainly wasn’t going to try and proposition him herself. Still if she came across some creature interested, or an appropriate professional in her travels it was an option, although maybe a little difficult to wrap.

What else? She wasn’t exactly close to him, he seemed to like to eat so maybe she could buy a cake or something else edible. There was probably a bakery or something similar in the nearby town. Still as interesting as eating was food didn’t seem that great a gift. Maybe something more martial? Terror Wing seemed to like to fight, she doubted she could improve on the enhancing enchantments Celestia had woven into him but maybe something else, armour, or a weapon? That sparked a memory, she’d spent hundreds of years wandering the surface of the planet and although she generally tried to keep her personal possessions to a minimum they did tend to build up and every century or so she had to hoard them away somewhere. By coincidence, one of her cashes was near her current home, well comparatively so, a few hundred miles, easy enough for her to cover in a few hours if she wanted. If she remembered correctly, there was something there that might make a perfect gift for Terror Wing.

Yangin looked sadly at the pile of rocks that had once been the cave she’d stored her stuff in, the years had not been kind to it. The main entrance had collapsed at some point over the centuries and a small stream now flowed into it, meaning that not only would most of the contents be crushed but also waterlogged. It did not look all that hopeful that the magical sword she’d stashed here had survived. Maybe it would be easier to just go back to her original idea and just hire a ‘companion’ to try and calm down Terror Wing.

She sighed, she should at least search a bit more before she gave it all up as a bad job. It was a bit depressing to see how much things had changed. As an immortal she know how impermanent things could be, but she didn’t like being near such a practical example. She changed her form back into its constituent elemental fire and cautiously started to insinuate herself through the gaps in the rocks carefully avoiding the cold water. It probably wouldn’t be enough to extinguish her, but it would be unpleasant to touch. To her surprise, only the first few meters of the cave appeared to be blocked and behind it the space quickly opened up into the cavern she remembered.

The area was still covered by all her old junk, piles of gold and jewels were stacked haphazardly here and there. Statues and artwork, mostly rotted, were scattered around as was the occasional weapon. It reminded her of the junk store she’d run until the element bearers had decided to seek her out. Maybe the sword she was looking for was still present? The place actually seemed bigger than she remembered, she hoped there wasn’t a dragon squatting in the place, they tended to be rather territorial about this sort of thing, but fair was fair this had all been hers first.

It was going to take a while to sort through all this stuff, she didn’t remember exactly where she’d put the sword, she hadn’t planned to come back really she’d just dumped it all here and left. She returned to a solid form, selecting a unicorn mare at a whim and started to shove the top layer of detritus aside. It took her a while to realise that something was lighting the darkness of the cave. Curious she tilted her head and could just about make out the sound of something else moving nearby. Frowning she carefully tip hooved towards the light source. Sticking her head over a drift of coins she was surprised to find a young grey coated slightly feminine looking earth pony stallion. He was wearing a blue jacket and baggy white trousers neither of which looked to be of the highest quality. He was standing in the guttering light of an almost extinguished torch and scrabbling through the junk. “It has to be here somewhere!” he mumbled to himself.

Yangin had no idea how a pony could have gotten into here or what he was doing searching through her stuff, but he seemed harmless enough. After a moments thought she decided to approach him. “Hey, kid!” she called causing the stallion to jump in surprise. “What are you doing in here?”

“What! Who are you? Did Jaffa send you down here as well? Tell him I’ll find the lamp, I just need more time!” said the pony.

“Jaffa? Lamp? What are you talking about? Who are you anyway?”

“I’m Alley Rat,” he exclaimed. “I was sent down here by Jaffa Orange to recover a magic lamp.”

“Alley Rat?” mumbled Choking Fire, “Why do ponies have the strangest names?” She didn’t recall having a magic lamp down here, but she might have forgotten about it by now. “Look, um, Alley. It’s not really safe down here, this place could get a lad in a lot of trouble.”

“No! I need to stay, I have to find the lamp so that Jaffa will let me court his niece!” he sighed longingly, “She’s so beautiful!” then he shook his head. “Who are you anyway?” he demanded.

Yangin rolled her eyes, of course this hormonal idiot was thinking with his smaller head. Being a creature of magical energy she didn’t have quite the same drives as biological organisms even when she wore their forms, although that didn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable to try such things out occasionally, but lust didn’t rule her life like it often seemed to in other species. “Just call me, um, Smoke,” her current form did look a bit like Celestia’s student. “I don’t suppose you’d settle for a giant griffin instead?” There might still be a way to salvage this whole present getting expedition.

“A griffin? No Jasmine Tea is the sweetest pegasus I’ve ever seen, her eyes are the blue of the ocean, her coat the silkiest, her flanks,” he held out his hooves demonstrating a rather impressive voluptuousness.

“Yeah, keep it in your sheath Rhomeo. So what’s this magic lamp thing you’re supposed to find?”

“They say that a great jinn once set up a lair in these hills and left many magical treasures behind. Jaffa discovered an ancient magic sword in the stream nearby and traced it back to this cavern,” he gestured towards the roof. “He let down a rope but it was too hard a climb for him so he hired me, he said he’d be back in a few hours, but that felt like it was half a day ago. He might have abandoned me!”

Yangin sighed, it looked like she’d become a bit of a legend around these parts and that her mission was getting more and more complicated. It would be just her luck of the sword that this Jaffa had found was the one she wanted, now she’d have to track down some sort of tomb robbing pony to get it back. “Don’t worry I can probably get you out, but why’s this lamp so special?”

“Why? It’s what binds the jinn, anypony who possesses it can control the creature. They can get anything they want, even the hoof of Jasmine,” he sighed.

Yangin snarled causing Alley to back away in surprise. The temperature of the cavern suddenly rose by several degrees. “Really,” she hissed, “and if you get your hooves on this ‘lamp’ what would you do with your brand new slave?”

“Slave?” asked Alley in surprise.

“Yeah, once you can force another being to do your bidding what you going to do? Make your ‘beloved’ Jasmine do what you want? Anything you want? Is she going to be your slave to?”

A look of absolute horror etched itself onto Alley’s face. “No I don’t, I didn’t,” he stammered. “I didn’t think!”

“No you didn’t,” spat Yangin. “You just saw something you wanted, and to tartarus with anyone else!” Alley turned away and started to scramble in the piles of coins nearby. “What are you doing?” demanded Yangin.

“I’m looking for the lamp!” he gasped.

“Still!” Yangin felt her form growing hotter and hotter as her temper frayed. It was always the same, some creature found out what a jinn could do for them and all they wanted to do was to control it, to control her!

“Yes, I need to free that poor creature!” he said tossing aside a half finished statue.

“Wait! What?” exclaimed Yangin in surprise.

“I didn’t think. Locked away all this time, and being controlled by another, I don’t want that. Jasmine wouldn’t want that. I need to help it.”


“Yes, can you help me?” he turned back to her and gaped in surprise. Yangin guessed she didn’t look much like a pony right now, she was probably burning with a blue flame for a start. She concentrated and tried to contain enough of her power to not harm him. “What you... are you...?”

“You figured it out eventually then?” she grinned. “Thanks for giving me at least a bit of faith in pony nature back.” They weren't all like Cheerilee after all, Carrot Top had seemed quite nice as well, if easily led.

“I’m sorry, I...”

“Yeah, well apology accepted, for the moment. Let's see if we can get you out of here and see about this Jaffa pony. Might even be able to fix you up with your mare. If she agrees.” She pointed a hoof towards the ceiling and a gout of flame burst forth blowing most of the roof off. “Stick with me kid,” she laughed. “‘’Cause you’ve never had a friend like me!”

Alley Rat lived in a surprisingly large town not that far from the cavern. The nearby area was littered with farms and the town itself was apparently a major transport hub with goods being sent down the river which ran through it and then all over Equestria and beyond. Alley’s home was in one of the more run down parts of the city.

“My mother washes clothes for a living,” he explained, “and I do whatever I can to make ends meet.” Yangin raised an eyebrow, she suspected that not all those things had been entirely legal, “Jaffa was going to pay me for getting the lamp, as well as let me see Jasmine.” He pushed open the door to the cramped shack he apparently lived in. “I’m back mum!” he exclaimed.

A somewhat rotund dark green coated earth pony mare was present in a room which otherwise mostly consisted of drying clothes hanging from various lines. “Alley, dear,” she exclaimed in quite a deep voice. “You’re back.”

“Smoke this is my mother, Green Tea!” he explained.

“Wait, you’re Ally Rat,” said Yangin frowning, “ but your mother is called Green Tea, the filly you want is Jasmine Tea, who I’m going to guess is not a relative.”

“Of course not!” exclaimed Alley.

“And her uncle is Jaffa Orange?”

“Yes,” said Alley looking a little confused, “what of it?”

“Pony names,” sighed Yangin, “how do they work?”

“Who's your new friend?” said Green Tea looking a little suspiciously at Yangin.

“This is Smoke! She’s the jinn that used to have a lair out in the woods hundreds of years ago!” Alley exclaimed excitedly.

“Really? Alley dear, you shouldn’t go believing everything some stranger tells you.”

Grinning Yangin raised a hoof and willed it to burst into flame, a great cloud of steam evaporated from the nearby clothing. “All true,” she said.

Green blinked slowly in surprise and sat down heavily. “Well I never,” she exclaimed. “What have you got yourself into son?”

Alley quickly explained to his mother about his agreement with Jaffa, his trip to the cave and his meeting with Smoke.

“You really didn’t need to make a deal with that nasty old unicorn, a handsome lad like you shouldn’t need any help to meet a filly!”

“Mom, I’m just a kid from the bad part of town, her family is high up in the Apple Trust, why would she even give me a second glance?”

“You’re a wonderful colt son, looking after your old mother. Plus you’ve got that whole uptown filly, downtown colt thing going for you, all sorts of fine ladies like a bit of rough,” she waggled her eyebrows. “Besides I’m sure you’ve got a few physical advantages over any other suitors she might have, they didn’t call your dad the pentapod for nothing you know,” she grinned wickedly causing Alley to redden.

“This is all very interesting,” said Yangin trying not to laugh, “but I’m in a hurry here, I’ve got places to be, and things to do. Where can we find this Jaffa person?”

“He’ll be in the Apple Trust compound,” explained Alley, “near the centre of town. It’s guarded to stop ponies stealing the goods.” He thought for a moment. “Maybe you could use your powers to disguise us! I could be a visiting Prince from a far off land! Prince Alley!”

Yangin rolled her eyes. “How about a King? King Rat?”

“Yes!” exclaimed Alley not noticing her sarcasm. “I could have seventy five golden camels as my bodyguard!”

“How about fifty three purple peacocks as well?”

“Yes and ninety five white purr-sian monkeys,” exclaimed Alley spreading his arms wide.

“Don’t forget elephants, at least sixty, oh and bears, lions and a brass band,” said Yangin cocking her head to one side.

“Of course and forty fakirs, cooks, bakers and more!”



“No. You can just stop being silly now, my powers don’t work that way and even if they did I’m not going to help you live out some sort of power fantasy! I’ve had more than enough of that in the past. This Jaffa guy wanted you to get him a lamp, right? So we just bring him one, no fuss, no bother.” There was no way she was going to let this guy anywhere near her own binding anklet but she could put enough of her magic into a random object to make it pass a cursory examination.

“He wouldn’t believe me without evidence, you can pretend to be a jinn.”

“Which I am,” she reminded him.

“Yes, sorry, I forgot. You can pretend to be you and I’ll bring a lamp,” he picked one up from a nearby shelf, “and say I found this and now I control you.”

Yangin scowled, she didn’t like even pretending something like that. Besides, she was fairly sure she could break into a glorified warehouse but Alley’s excitement was contagious. “Fine, but he better have the sword with him once we get to him. I don’t want to have to go on some other quest to get it.” She had an idea. “Look,” she said to Alley’s mother, “how do you feel about dating a giant griffin?”

“Well, it has been a while,” she said thoughtfully. “And a beak has potential.”

“Mum!” exclaimed Alley his face reddening.

“Your father passed a long time ago, I still love him but I’m sure he would want me to be happy.” She turned back to Yangin. “How big a griffin?” she asked.

Stretching up Yangin indicated Terror Wings approximate height. Green whistled sounding impressed. “And is everything, you know, in proportion?” she asked causing Alley to clamp his hooves to his ears.

“Um. I really don’t know,” there were rumours that using too many enhancement spells could have a certain detrimental effect on stallions, but she hadn’t considered any implications of Corona’s sorcery on Terror.

“Well, I’ll try anything once.” said Green with a shrug.

“Can we please go!” exclaimed Alley pulling Yangin towards the door.

“Ok, we’ll call you mother plan B for the moment then, but Jaffa better be home,” she said.

Deciding that she should be as stereotypical as possible for her mission to the Apple Trust building Yangin changed into her usual camel form then increased her size by about fifty percent and shrouded herself in blue fire while she was at it. She briefly toyed with adding a harem filly outfit as well, but decided that enough was enough, she’d probably try to avoid blinking when casting spells as well.

The guards at the Apple Trust building were certainly impressed by her appearance and at least a little terrified. However a bit of quick talking by Alley had them agreeing that the best thing to do was to quickly pass the two of them up the chain of command to Jaffa so that they would be somepony else's problem. So they soon found themselves sent to, and Yangin suspected, locked into Jaffa’s quarters. The room certainly indicated that the owner had an interest in all things Naqahdian, and also that they had no taste. All sorts of tacky junk covered most of the free space, it actually made her sort of homesick for the shop she’d used to run.

“You see that sword you mentioned around here at all?” she asked Alley as she quickly searched through a stack of embroidered carpets. Maybe things would be that simple, she could grab the blade and leave without even having to meet Jaffa. Alley could probably sort something out with this Jasmine filly.

“No,” said Alley. “What do we do now?” He sounded nervous.

“We just stick to the plan, when Jaffa turns up just hand over the lamp. I’ll pretend to be his loyal... servant,” the word gave her a bad taste in her mouth, “until he shows me where the sword is, then we leave.”

“And Jasmine,” he said eagerly, “we’ll see her as well?”

“I guess so, how do you even know this filly? You’re not some sort of creepy stalker are you?”

“No, no!” stammered Alley, “We were friends as foals, she used to love exploring the city but then her parents died and her uncle forbid her from associating with the ‘peasants’. I’ve only caught the odd glance of her for years.”

“This Jaffa certainly sounds charming.”

There was a slight click as the door to the room was unlocked and several ponies entered. The first had to be Jaffa and Yangin couldn’t stop herself rolling her eyes at his appearance. He was a rather unassuming brown coated unicorn, but his clothes! A bright blue turban covered his head with a ruby attached to the front, dark kohl makeup surrounded his eyes, a white robe covered most of his form with runes embroidered around the hem and all four limbs as well as his horn were covered with golden bangles. Most of the individual items were in Naqahdian style, but no native would wear that lot! They covered about a five hundred year period for a start! Following behind him was a veriety of dumb muscle in pony form, it looked like he wasn’t taking any chances. Not that Yangin felt all that threatened.

“You found it boy!” exclaimed Jaffa his eyes locked on Yangin. He slowly circled her taking in her form hungrily making her skin crawl. “You found the lamp?”

“Yes. Why did you leave me?” asked Alley somewhat nervously.

“That was a mistake boy, the rope... the rope broke I came back for another but you got back before me. My old hooves don’t move as quickly as they did. Do you have it with you?” he asked eagerly.

Alley held up the lamp, Jaffa reached for it but the younger stallion held it away. “I get to talk to Jasmine first!” he bargained.

“Wait, how do I know this isn’t some sort of trick?” His horn began to glow, probably studying the magic in the lamp.

“I’ll, I’ll demonstrate her power,” said Alley glancing over at the jinn.

“Mr Alley, sir,” Yangin proclaimed grandly, “What will your pleasure be?” she tried to avoid gagging.

“Um, that carpet!” he pointed at one of the ones rolled up nearby, “make it fly!” he commanded.

At least he’d picked one of the old standards thought Yangin as she used her power to lift the object into the air. Jaffa certainly looked impressed despite most unicorns being able to do the same feet, at least she didn’t need to make a horn glow to do it. Still it would stop as soon as she ceased to maintain the spell.

“Get my niece!” Jaffa quickly ordered one of his flunkies, who hurried off. “Does it have a name?” he asked looking once again at Yangin.

“She is called Smoke,” exclaimed Yangin. Technically she didn’t actually have a biological gender, but she tended to think of herself as female. She’d tried male a few times but it just didn’t seem to fit as well.

“You are the jinn that had the lair near here hundreds of years ago?” He pointed a hoof at an old looking map on the wall which apparently showed this part of Equestria.

“I have been imprisoned here for a long time,” she lied. Really she’d only stayed here for a decade or two a few centuries ago, it had been something of an extended holiday away from the hustle and bustle. She’d apparently made quite an impact on the few woods ponies which made the place home.

“And you can grant wishes, do anything?” he asked eagerly.

“My powers are great, but there are some limits,” she explained. They were all the same these wannabe masters expecting her to be omnipotent.

“Such as?” said Jaffa, his eyes narrowing.

Yangin’s answer was interrupted as the door opened and a chocolate coloured pegasus mare, who she assumed was Jasmine, entered the room. She didn’t seem quite as voluptuous as Alley had described, but beauty was in the eyes of the beholder and all that, at least the kid had some taste.

“You wanted to see me uncle?” she asked before her eyes widened as she took in Yangin’s presence. “What is this?”

“This is the answer to my problems child,” said Jaffa, “a Jinn! A source of near infinite magical power! Bwa ha ha!” he chuckled. Yangin tried not to face hoof, could he try to act just a little less evil?

“Alley?” said Jasmine in surprise as her eyes fell on the young stallion. “Is that you? It’s been years! You’re all grown up...”

“Jasmine,” mumbled Alley apparently lost in the mare’s eyes. Yangin just rolled her own. “It’s, well I... we...”

“Give me the lamp!” insisted Jaffa, “You can have the girl for all I care, just give it to me!”

“He can have me!” exclaimed Jasmine. She looked over Alley and for a moment didn’t seem entirely distraught by the idea. Then she shook her head. “What do you mean by that? What’s going on?”

Jaffa lunged forwards and slapped the lamp from Alley’s hoof while he was distracted before grabbing it in his aura. “This means I don’t need you any more!” he exclaimed. “All these years coddling my idiot brothers little brat! Now finally I have the power to rule the Trust, no more than that, the whole of Equestria! Bwa ha ha ha ha!”

“What are you talking about uncle?” asked Jasmine sounding stunned.

“This,” he held up the lamp. “Makes that creature,” he pointed at Yangin, “my slave! I can use her powers to do anything I want, anything!”

“A slave! That’s horrible! I’ll stop you!” cried Jasmine. It appeared that Alley did indeed have really good taste, thought Yangin.

“You,” said Jaffa rubbing a hoof against the lamp, “kill her!” he pointed at his niece.

“No,” intoned Yangin.

Jaffa’s face fell momentarily. “This is one of the rules is it? You can’t kill ponies? Then I order you to change her into a beetle! Send her to the ends of Equestria! Give me all the powers of a princess!”

“No, no, and are you kidding?” exclaimed Yangin. “It’s not because it’s against the rules, it’s because I don’t want to, and because I am noponies slave! Never again!” He aura grew from blue hot to white hot in her rage and several flammable items around the room started to smoulder. Jaffa backed away his face a mask of terror.

“Attack... Attack them,” he stuttered gesturing wildly at everypony in the room. After a moment's hesitation his guards decided to charge towards Alley and Jasmine who backed away as quickly as they could. Yangin gestured and caused the hovering carpet to drop on top of several of the thugs tangling them up.

“Now, master,” said Yangin through gritted teeth, “what ever shall I do with you?” To her surprise the unicorn's horn flashed and he disappeared. “Where?” she gasped.

“He’s behind you!” called Alley from the other side of the room as he ducked under a swooping pegasus. Next to him Jasmine smacked an attacking unicorn in the horn with her hoof.

Instinctively Yangin ducked forwards just in time for a flaming blade to sweep over her head. She spun round and a blast of magic struck her in the face, to her surprise it actually stung a bit causing her to cry out.

“Fool,” exclaimed Jaffa, “I’ve studied Jinn for years! Do you think I don’t know how to hurt your kind!” He blasted her again, however now she was ready for it and absorbed the beam. It still stung, but she’d felt much worse over the years.

“I don’t think you’ve studied anywhere near enough.” He swung out with his sword again and this time she threw out a bolt of fire at his hoof burning it and making him drop the flaming blade with a cry. “I’ll take that,” she said picking up the weapon and looking it over, it seemed to have aged quite well. Frustrated Jaffa fired off another bolt of energy but this time she deflected the blast, her eyes widened as she saw it flash across the room towards Jasmine who had just laid out another of her attackers. She saw the mare’s eyes widen as the beam shot towards her head. Then suddenly Alley tackled her from the side and the two of them rolled away in a tangle of limbs. Yangin blinked, that could have been bad, she needed to finish this now. Stretching out her power she grabbed all the enemy ponies and threw them into one corner of the room before placing a network of flaming bars around them to hold them in place. To make very sure she cast a dimensional anchor on Jaffa to stop him teleporting again, although she doubted he had enough strength to cast such a complex spell more than once.

“Well that’s that!” she exclaimed wiping her hooves. She turned to see that the two young ponies had ended up with Jasmine lying astride Alley, they were staring into each other's eyes their mouths slowly moving closer. Yangin could practically hear the adrenaline and other hormones sloshing around inside them, she was glad she wasn’t made of meat like most other sentients she knew. Being made of pure elemental material made things so much easier. “Right I think we’re all done now,” she said loudly.

“Yes,” mumbled Alley.

“The local guard can deal with my uncle and his goons,” said Jasmine vaguely. Neither of them had looked aside.

“I guess we should go now,” added Yangin. “Or you know, I could just leave the two of you alone for a while? Alone with all these other ponies watching.” She gestured at the trapped guards hoping this wasn’t going to be some sort of bizarre turn on for the new couple.

Jasmine looked up for a moment, then down again at where her body was touching Alley’s, her eyes widened in surprise for a moment then she quickly rolled aside and back to her hooves. “Right, yes, um, go we should. Um, I mean we should go!”

Likewise Alley quickly stood his face flushed. “Yes, I should take you... um take you home. Home to um, see my mother!” his eyes widened as he processed what he’d just said.

“Right,” said Yangin, glancing over at Jasmine. “Now that I’ve got this sword I guess I don’t need to ask if you would like a date with a giant griffin.” Although maybe Jaffa would be an idea if Terror needed to practice pouncing, she thought with a grin.

Yangin was mildly surprised that she actually followed Alley home, she guessed it would be rude to just leave him but she had what she’d come for and really should be heading back to the lair by now. Still, it was amusing to see Alley falteringly introduced Jasmine to his mother who commented on how much the filly has grown since she’d last seen her and then moved straight on to how much she was looking forward to having lots and lots of grand foals reducing both of the younger ponies to squirming piles of embarrassment. It was enough to make Yangin laugh out loud.

Later once things had calmed down a little the four of them continued to talk over tea.

“If you need any money or anything Alley,” said Yangin, “you can take what you need from my cave, all I wanted was the sword anyway.”

Alley almost choked on his drink. The cave probably contained enough wealth to pay for most of the provence. “That’s very kind but are you sure?”

“Yeah, I only wanted this thing,” she swung around the flaming sword careful to avoid hitting anything or anypony. “It’s a present for, well I guess a co worker would be the best description. I have this, well, friend who’s organised a Hearth Warming Helper and I thought this thing would be a good gift.”

“The Trust is always looking for new investors,” said Jasmine looking across the table at Alley. “It’ll be a whole new world for you. You could go far. Now that Jaffa is disgraced I’ll probably be made area manager.”

“You’re welcome to come to Hearth’s Warming dinner here,” said Green, “another place or two would be no problem, you could even bring your friend if you want.”

Yangin considered for a moment, but turning up with Celestia in tow would probably cause a few issues for all involved. “Thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll have to pass. Maybe another time. I should probably go now.”

“Do you have to?” asked Alley standing from the table.

“Yes, it’s late and I’ve still got a few things to do”. To her surprise the stallion leaned forwards and gave her a hug.

“Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, for all of us. I’m proud to call you my friend.”

Yangin was a little taken aback, she supposed they were friends in a way. How had that happened? First Celestia, now this pony, her social circle was certainly expanding. Maybe Celestia’s plan to knit her court together through the Hearth’s Warming Helper was going to work after all. “Thank you, friend,” she said with a smile.