Of Raising Alicorn Foals

by Guardian Talon

The book assassin

Princess Celestia sat in her throne as she went over some paperwork. Twilight was off to the side with Smarty Pants, studying her books. Spike was behind her, playing with some toys.

Celestia's ear twitched. "Hmm. Sounds like another mouse."

The few guards around the room glanced at her but didn't move.

Gnarl froze. He didn't even breath. It had been surprisingly easy to get this far, but if it was him that the princess had heard, then he couldn't rely on stealth anymore. He would have to strike fast and hope that the wounds and poison did their work quickly. Part of him worried about what would happen without the sun princess, but there were too many bits on the table. And killing a child who might turn into a grand mage? Again, there were a lot of bits involved.

With a plan of action in mind, the griffin prepared to strike. He jumped into the air with a crossbow in each hand. He fired one bolt at the princess and watched it hit it's mark. He fired the other at the filly but trusted his skill and concentrated on the princess. He let go of the crossbows and grabbed a dagger. Something closed around his neck and he jerked to a painful stop. He lost his dagger but the princess had grabbed it out of the air before it hit the ground and she held it just out of reach.

Celestia took her time organizing her papers before setting them down. The assassin was levitated in front of her and she looked at him with a cold stare. "Is there something I can help you with?"

He gave up struggling in vain. "It doesn't matter now. The poison will finish you off."

She cocked an eyebrow and just stared at him for a moment. The dagger floated up in between them. He knew there was a chance he wouldn't survive the job. He just wasn't expecting to be stabbed with his own weapon. Instead she used the tip of the blade to stir her tea, before setting it down next to the spoon she had used earlier. He could only watch in shock as she took a drink and stopped to think about the taste. "Not very strong. Couldn't you have used something with a little more kick?"

"Umm." Anything else he was going to say was cut off by the screams that filled the room.

Celestia leaned back in surprise as she watched the griffin spasm while arcs of electricity danced across his fur and feathers. She looked down to see a very angry Twilight Sparkle with a stream of electricity coming off of her horn.

The energy cut out and soon the assassin was down to just small twitches. Celestia turned him to face Twilight. "You wrecked my book! Apologize." She continued to glare at him while holding up her damaged book to show where the crossbow bolt had hit it.

His recovering mind was left dumbfounded. She had been between him and the book. There was no way it could have done that without passing through her first. And yet he clearly somehow missed such a close and easy shot, while hitting something that should have been behind cover. "I... You... No..." Again, anything else was cut off by more screams of pain.

Upon hearing his refusal, she once again lit the bad griffin up like a light bulb. He would pay for his crimes against books.

Celestia waited until his twitching had slowed down enough that he could pay attention to the world around him. "She's just going to keep doing that until you apologize."

He looked down at the angry filly. "I'm... s-sorry about your b-b-b... book."

She frowned at him for a second longer before turning away. "Now I can't finish studying. And I'm going to get in trouble when I return it."

Celestia smiled at her. "I'll deal with returning the book, Twilight. You won't get in trouble for this."

Spike was too young to really know what was going on around him, but he did understand some things. Right now he understood that his mommy was very angry at the new creature. He also understood that the big one his mommy liked was also upset with the new creature. And lastly, he instinctively understood how his kind dealt with such things.

Celestia heard a noise and shifted her gaze. She had just enough time to put a quick shield around the assassin. For the third time, the throne room was filled with screams. Unlike the screams of pain from before, this time it was the screams terror that would be expected from a flammable creature that was surrounded by fire. The shield saved him from being incinerated but couldn't stop all of the heat from the magically augmented fire. He was lightly cooked in his own skin as sweat boiled away. She quickly levitated him away and dropped him at the doors. "Lets get him out of here before anything else happens."

It only took a moment for the guards to put cuffs around his legs and a strap around his wings. "Come on, get up." He was prodded with the butt of a spear. It took some groaning and a bit of time to get his claws and paws under him and start moving. "Big bad assassin reduced to this by a couple children." The guard gave a humorless laugh as the group of them escorted him out of the throne room and to the dungeon.

Celestia closed the doors and looked to Twilight. "I think we should have some lessons on proportional response." Twilight tilted her head to the side. "I'm not upset with you, he was a bad griffon, but your reason for what you did is not acceptable."

"But he wrecked my book!" She held up the damaged book to show her.

"I know. But that's not a good reason to electrocute somecreature." She looked up as the doors opened. "It looks like the investigation team is here." She teleported the bolt out of her chest and left it next to the dagger. "Gather your things Twilight. We'll go get some ice cream while they work."

"ICE CREAM!" She quickly gathered up her and Spikes stuff into her saddle bags before levitating him onto her back.

He smiled and grabbed onto her neck. He understood that word.