Oblivions eyes snapped open and his head lifted to its full height. His ears flicked in all directions as he searched for what had awoken him. He soon realized that it was Applejack hitting something in the room next to his own. As he listened closely he realized that it was a pot or a pan. His wings flicked against his sides and he moved his swords to hide under the blanket. He unlocked the door and waited for the mare to push open the door. She opened the door and she found him to be looking at her from his place on the floor. She stared at him closely, holding a pot in her hoof.
“What in tarnation are ya doin’ on the floor?” She asked as she walked into the room and closed the door.
“The bed is to short. I have slept on beds like that before and I ended up sore for my trouble. Sleeping on the rug made more sense.”
Applejack nodded in understanding. He stood up carefully and his wings were limp against his sides as they fell to the ground. The blanket slipped off his back and he looked at the limbs as they were limp in place. He looked at the orange mare and she was clearly waiting for him to put them back in place. He looked at the wings and he felt magic run over him as they were covered in the same aqua aura and were put against his sides. Muscles that he did not know were there locked them in place and they did not move. He shook himself and he was glad to see that there was barely any stiffness in his limbs or body. Magic reached out and his swords were placed on his back and the baldric buckled into place. He gripped the black cloak and slid it over his body to hide the swords on his back.
Applejack nodded as he finished and she moved back to allow him to move toward her more easily. The mare motioned for him to go ahead of her and he moved to oblige and walked out toward the stairs. He stopped and stepped to the left as Apple Bloom came running around the corner. She screeched to a halt when she saw them and trotted down the stairs. The filly looked at the pair of them and smiled as she walked past them and onto the stairs.
“She seems to have learned her lesson, for the most part.” He said to her.
The orange mare chuckled and nodded at him. “Well, least she learned sumthin’. Ah’ll have breakfast ready in two shakes, so let's get down there and ah’ll get to makin’ pancakes.” She urged him down the stairs ahead of her.
He stopped after a couple of steps and looked back at her. “Pancakes? Are those similar to a flapjack?” He looked at her with a serious expression. Applejack blinked and after a few beats, she nodded. “I see. And while I'm asking, what in the name of all that is unholy were those little balls that we had last night?”
Applejack smiled and looked like she was holding back laughter. “That was spaghetti and wheat balls.”
Oblivion looked thoughtful for a second before he replied to her. “Alright. I do not mean this to sound critical and I appreciate the meal, but if I am here for the meal again please do not put them on my plate.”
Applejack looked at him with barely hidden curiosity. “Why?”
He looked at her carefully before he responded. “I mean no offense, but they were awful.” He replied with a cringe. He expected her to say more about it but he was surprised to hear a bark of laughter from the mare.
“Is that why ya gave them all to Apple Bloom?” She asked and he nodded in reply. “All righ’. Ah’ll remember that ya don’t care for ‘em.”
She moved past him as he stood at the bottom of the stairs. She moved to the oven and began to cook as he sat down in place. He was pleased that she had accepted his opinion easily. He would have offered to help her with her task if he had any idea what she was doing. He had done basic cooking when he was on his own in the Northern Realms but cooking over a fire was as much experience as he had with cooking. He accepted that he would have to resign himself to helping with cleaning up as he had done last night.
He looked at Apple Bloom who was staring at a piece of paper with a pencil held in her mouth. She appeared to be concentrating. He looked over to see what she was looking at and was put off to see that he could not read what was on the paper. All he could see was strange symbols scrawled across the page. Apple Bloom looked at him and found he had a curious look on his face. She looked away and he saw a mischievous look cross her face. He had seen that look before on young Witcher's. The filly looked back to him slyly.
“Ya seem to want to see what Ah’m doing.” She said to him and he simply looked back at her. “Ya want ta try it?”
Oblivion looked at the paper, put his hoof on it, and pushed it back until it was under her muzzle. “Nice try little one. I am immune to those big puppy eyes of yours. I have no interest in doing your work for you. You will get nowhere if you expect your work to be done by others. Others will push you away if you try to use them to your own ends.” Oblivion looked away as he finished speaking.
The filly blinked at him for several seconds before she looked down at the paper in front of her. He had spoken truthfully to her and he did not regret what he had said. He sat in place and the filly seemed to regret what she had tried to do if he was reading her right. He was not paying her attention as she suddenly jumped from her chair and walked up to him. She tapped his lower leg and he looked down at her in response. He could see tears in her eyes as he looked down at her.
“Ah’m sorry. Ah didn’t think about how ya would feel. Ah, I'm so very sorry Oblivion.” The filly said as she sniffled.
His eyes went slightly wider at her tone and the sound of her voice. He had not intended to upset her into tears. He had simply pointed out her mistake and expected her to learn from it. He glanced up to the others and they were now looking at him with varying smiles. Applejack looked at him and then tipped her head to the filly, encouraging him to comfort her. ‘How in the Hells do I handle a crying foal?’ He reached out and patted her back as she hung her head in front of him. Apple Bloom looked up at him and she gave him a thin smile.
Oblivion watched her and tried to think of a way to ease her sniffling and comfort her, despite not truly knowing how to do that. He thought back to how he had seen his mare, Sasa, react to an upset foal and remember that she had nuzzled the foal and licked the foal’s fur. Oblivion immediately threw out the second idea as it disgusted him. He leaned down and gave her a gentle, but very brief nuzzle to her mane. She perked up and looked at him as he withdrew back to his height. Applejack and Granny Smith ‘awwed’ at the site and Oblivion managed not to blanch in reply to their response. Big Mac nodded in approval and went back to setting the table for breakfast. Apple Bloom looked at the black Pegasus and smiled widely.
“Go finish your work little one.” He said to the filly, finally breaking the silence his voice loud to his own ears. He used his hoof to turn her around and nudge her back to her chair.
She smiled and trotted back to her chair and jumped into it.
“Breakfast everypony!” Applejack shouted, despite them all being close enough to hear her normal speaking voice.
He watched as she placed a platter of food in the middle of the table. Applejack and the rest of the family sat down, Oblivion joined them and waited till the others had taken their portion. He took two in his hoof and put them on his plate. He looked up at the others to see what they were doing. Apple Bloom had drowned them in something that smelled sweet to him. Applejack and her brother put butter and the sweet-smelling liquid on their food and started to eat. The Witcher had never been a fan of sweets so he left his plain and ate them quietly. When he had finished he moved his plate to the sink and stood up to walk outside. As he walked to the door Applejack swallowed her food and looked at him.
“Did ya get enough ta eat? Ya only had two.” She asked as he stopped at the door and he looked back at her and he nodded silently. “Ah’ll be done in a minute. Can ya wait outside fer me?”
He nodded at her request and pushed the door open. He walked outside and over to one of the apple trees to stand underneath it. He leaned up against the tree and waited for the orange mare to finish her breakfast. Around five minutes passed before Applejack walked out of the house and looked around. Oblivion whistled, Applejack spotted him and trotted over to him. She stopped in front of him and smiled.
“The way ah figure it ah should show ya around Ponyville. Ah have some shopping to do so ah can show ya around and get some work done. Give me a sec while ah get mah saddlebags and Ah’ll walk ya into town and show ya around.” She mentioned to him and waited for his response.
“Very well. Should I get mine as well?” He asked her.
He asked more out of courtesy due to the fact that he had not even looked into his saddlebags yet. He was not sure if they had any space in them due to the number of things he normally carried with him on his saddlebags back in the Northern Realms. She shook her head at him as she turned back to the house and trotted back inside. The farm mare returned a minute later and Apple Bloom joined them after a second delay. He looked at the grown mare and she patted Apple Bloom's shoulder.
“Need ta drop Apple Bloom off at school, then we can go into town.” She explained.
Oblivion nodded in silence and joined them in walking forward toward the gate to the farm. He kept an easy pace with the mare as Apple Bloom led them down the dirt road. He spent the walk looking around him till they got up a small hill that had a very gentle incline that he was able to simply walk up instead of lunging. When he reached the top he saw a small building that was a gentle red and had a mix of white and had a little horseshoe on the front awning. Oblivion didn’t bother to hide his interest in the small building. His eyes traveled to the many foals running around in front and to the side of it were, what he assumed, were toys for the foals to play on. Schooling for him had been in Kaer Morhen and had been rigorous. This on the other hand... hoof looked like a pleasant place. He looked at Applejack who in turn was looking at him with a smile. He looked away and back to the schoolhouse. His head was up as he looked closely at the building. His cat eyes narrowed and his heightened vision analyzed every part that he could easily see. He stopped when Applejack did and watched as Apple Bloom joined her fellow foals.
“Ya look interested…Ah think.” She said as he looked blandly back at her. “Ya’ll Witchers… Ya learned in a place like this?”
Oblivion barked out a laugh as he looked to the mare beside him. “Hardly. I learned in a fortress of stone and mortar. The opposite of this place. But I wouldn't have traded it for the world either. For all its faults it was the right place for Witchers. We gather there every winter, even now. It's really the only time we see one another due to our profession. There aren’t very many of us left now though. Soon the keep will be too big for just a few of us.” He responded, his voice dropped as he thought of the few Witchers of the Wolf that remained.
Applejack regarded him and then looked away. “Ah’m sorry ah brought it up. But ah’m glad to hear ya liked it.” She stopped when he laughed.
“It was a living hell. But it made us ready for the trials that came and ensured we could survive alone. But again, it was just different.”
He went back to looking at the school when he became aware of many pairs of eyes staring at him. He looked in front of him and found around 8-12 foals looking up at him. He blinked at them and stepped back a step or so. Applejack giggled as they all stared. One of them, a darker pink filly stepped forward and looked up at him. He saw Apple Bloom looking at him from the front of the group as she pointed up at him with one hoof.
“This here is Oblivion Shadow. He’s new ta Ponyville.” She said to the others and waited as they nodded in recognition.
“That can’t be his real name.” One filly sneered from behind the others.
Her voice grated in his nerves as it reminded him of nobles that he had dealt with before. The mark on her flank appeared to be a thin silver crown with gems on the tips. Her eyes went over his body and she looked up at him. He was not a fan of the nobility who acted all high and mighty until they needed the dirty work taken care of. Oblivion had put many a noble in their place with his usual commentary and promises of leaving them with their own problems until they caved in and gave him what he asked for. Apple Bloom deflated and seemed more upset than earlier when she had tried to use him for her own gains. He felt magic humming under his skin in response to his change of stance as he leaned his head down to look at the snobbish filly.
“I can promise you my name is real and I do not tolerate insults. Neither to myself or those who have been kind to me. I expect to hear an apology directed to Apple Bloom little filly or you will discover just how strong I truly am. Now, I believe you have something to say?” His cat eyes narrowed to slits and he could see that the filly was listening.
He turned her to face Apple Bloom and when she didn’t speak up Oblivion put his head above hers and released a loud snort. She yelped and looked up as he pulled his head back slightly from her.
“I’m sorry for what I said Apple Bloom.” She shrilled and Oblivion brought his head back up and looked to Apple Bloom.
Apple Bloom smiled and she looked up at him. He raised his head back to his natural height and he could see the look he was getting from Applejack from the corner of his eye. Much to his surprise, the foals began cheering and laughing. Apple Bloom got patted on the back by many foals for how cool her family’s guest was. Oblivion looked at her and was about to say more when the front door of the school building opened and a dark pink mare with a pink and white mane and tail called them all inside. The dark pink mare waved to Applejack and blinked repeatedly at the stallion next to the orange mare, but said nothing. Many of the foals began heading to the schoolhouse and many turned and waved, calling his name. The foals all filed into the building and soon it was quiet. He shrugged and turned to Applejack.
“Ya didn’t have ta scare her.” Applejack commented to him.
“Maybe. But I regret nothing.” He replied to her as he turned to face the other direction and waited for her to lead them away from the schoolhouse.
“Ah know ya didn’t use yer magic but I would recommend ya not use it unless ya have ta.” She said to him.
“Why?” He asked in reply and looked at her.
“Ah can’t think of any Pegasus that has magic. Nopony does. Only Unicorns and the Princess can use magic like that.”
“So I should avoid using it at all costs?” He replied.
She looked thoughtful and after a delay of several seconds, she nodded. “Yup. If ya have ta then you have ta. But Ah would try to keep it under wraps fer now.” She said to him.
Applejack shook her head and sighed as she walked forward to lead him. It was early morning and the streets of the town were fairly clear. Many ponies were decorating and most were busy preparing for what looked like a celebration or festival of some kind. Oblivion looked around as he kept pace with Applejack. As she mentioned the names of several buildings and showed him the inside of a few of them. Several ponies stopped to stare at him as he passed by. At first, he reacted with a glare and a low growl. After being reprimanded by Applejack he was informed that they saw him as a stranger and because he was so tall he stood out. With that cleared up, he nodded to Applejack who continued leading him through town as she did her shopping. As she bought the few things she needed it became obvious that her saddlebags were full and could not hold anything more. She looked at her list and then to Oblivion.
“Ah’m regretting sayin' Ah didn’t need ya ta bring yer saddlebags. This is more than Ah thought Ah would need.” The orange mare commented with regret heavy in her voice.
Oblivion looked at her for a moment before he looked around and saw many ponies carrying things on their backs with no trouble. He looked at his own back and to the swords that were set in place. His cloak sat loosely on his back and covered the swords completely. He looked at his wings and they raised slightly off his back and framed his back. The Witcher looked at the mare and she was watching him closely.
“We can try placing them on my back and the wings should keep them from falling off.” He said to her and she nodded in understanding.
She took some of the bigger items and laid them across his back and they leaned against the wings that were slightly raised from his sides. She pulled a hoof back and watched the items closely to make sure they did not fall. He watched and after several seconds he began to walk forward with the mare at his side. He said nothing as the orange mare told him more places and soon he had no doubt that he would be able to navigate the town on his own after a few tries. He had the basic outline figured out and knew the major buildings. Applejack led him toward a pink building that looked like a cake of some kind.
“Ah’ll treat ya to a snack as thanks fer holdin’ mah things.” Applejack said to him.
He nodded politely to her and walked inside. The floor gave off a shine and there were glass cabinets on the walls. He stopped just inside and waited for Applejack to walk in as well. He walked slowly behind her. The floor reminded him of some noble houses that he had been in during a few contracts. It was a bit disorienting for him and he forced himself to look away and focus on following the mare. She looked back at him once as he followed, her items still sitting on his back. She stopped in front of the counter and waited as he joined her. A sky blue mare with a pink mane and 3 cakes on her flank greeted them at the counter.
“Howdy Mrs. Cake. How’s business doin'?” Applejack greeted the other mare cheerfully.
“Oh it’s doing well there Applejack, thank you for asking. And who is this handsome stallion?” She asked as she looked at the black Pegasus with her.
“Ah well, he’s…” Applejack replied and fumbled for the right words.
“I am Oblivion Shadow. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Cake. Applejack took me into her home after she found me in the forest yesterday. I am repaying her by helping her out with her shopping this morning.” Oblivion spoke up to save Applejack from embarrassing herself more. He bowed his head to the older mare who flushed as well.
She stared at him for a moment before she recovered. “Well, he certainly is a gentle colt. And it is good of you to help Applejack out. Her whole family is such good ponies.” She said before looking back to Applejack. “So what can I get you this morning dear?”
Applejack cast a side look at the Pegasus before she responded. “Ah’ll take an apple cupcake and what would ya like Oblivion?” She questioned him.
Much to his dismay, any labels the items had could not be read by him. He was having trouble discerning any of the smells apart from each other due to how prevalent they were. He shook his head to clear it and looked back to Applejack. “I’m not sure. I’m not a fan of sweets. So something that isn’t very sweet if possible.”
Mrs. Cake startled at his admission and then she looked a bit perplexed as she thought over the options. There was a loud bang that sounded off from behind her. A yellow stallion came out of the room behind her and he stared at Oblivion as well. The black Pegasus looked unflinching back at them.
“You do not like sweets?” She asked him and he nodded once in response.
Oblivion waited as they processed what he had said. He looked over and even Applejack was staring at him. He suddenly felt the ground shake for a moment as a bright pink mare came running into view. Her face was contorted into one of horror as smoke came from her hooves. Oblivion stared at her for a moment before he shook his head and looked back to the others. The mare ran forward and pushed Applejack back so she could gape at him. Her mane was messy and puffed up in several directions. She had 3 balloons on her flank and she reached out and pulled Oblivion's mane down till she had hold of his muzzle. She held him in place as he snorted in displeasure.
“How can you not like sweets?” She shrieked at him. Oblivion pinned his ears at her and snorted. “Sweets make ponies happy and make everypony smile! Do you not like smiling?” She said and kept pulling on his head and mane.
Applejack recovered and moved to stand by the pink mare's side to try to pry her off Oblivion's head. She looked to him and saw that his eyes were beginning to glow signaling that he was growing more and more annoyed. She reached forward and tried to pry the mare off of him.
“Pinkie let go o' him.” She pulled on the mare and then looked at Oblivion.
His eyes were starting to glow brighter and Applejack knew that he was losing his patience. She watched as Oblivion began squaring his hooves as if prepping to fight with the mare.
“Pinkie let go righ’ now! He can’t answer ya if yer holding his muzzle closed.” She shouted as she began pulling on the mare.
He was about to break his agreement with Applejack about magic when the mare perked up and released his head, which sent Applejack rolling back. Oblivion shook his head, lifted his head up to full height, and glared down at the pink mare, who was looking at him expectantly. His eyes glowed brightly and he refused to dignify the mare with a response. She looked at Applejack who staggered back to them and patted Oblivion's shoulder.
“Please say somethin’ or she might do that again.” Applejack said to him.
“I am not required to explain my taste in food to her. Not after her display. I will not explain myself since there is nothing to explain. My choice of food is just that... My choice.” Oblivion stated as his eyes still glowed and he refused to even look at the pink mare who was blinking rapidly at him as he spoke.
Mrs. Cake looked at them and gave a small smile. “I don’t have anything that isn’t sweet out here. But if you are okay with waiting for a couple of minutes I know just the thing for you.”
Oblivion looked back to the mare as her words caught his ears. Her voice was gentle and Oblivion gave her a slight nod before pivoting on his heel and going to sit down at a booth close by. He waited by the table for Applejack. Applejack picked up the cupcake that was given to her and she came to join him and moved the items on his back to the table then sat down with him, leaving Pinkie standing in place. Oblivion’s eyes faded and he sat in silence.
“Ah’m sorry about that. Ah forgot ta mention that Pinkie Pie can be a little extreme sometimes.” She said to him. Oblivion’s head turned swiftly to look at her. He gave her a look that said ‘really’. “Okay, she can be a might extreme.” Oblivion snorted and Applejack looked back to Pinkie. The mare suddenly jolted and trotted over to them. As she neared Oblivion visibly bristled. “Easy pardner.” Applejack put a hoof on his shoulder, hoping to quiet him.
Pinkie stopped by the table and her ears were folded back in shame. “I’m super-duper sorry. I got over-excited… again. Anyway, my name is Pinkie Pie and I’m Ponyville’s resident party pony. You're new here aren’t you?”
Oblivion paused before responding. He simply looked at her and then looked away. Applejack could see that he was still angry about Pinkie’s behavior.
She leaned forward. “Ah found him in the forest yesterday evenin’. He is new but he doesn’t like loud noises or sweets Pinkie. So ah think ah can speak for him when I say… no party.” She told the mare.
Pinkies' eyes widened and she seemed to be struggling to keep quiet. Her head actually expanded and Oblivion stared in surprise. Applejack looked at him to see a look that bordered on concern in his face. She shook her head and smiled motioning for him to wait with her hoof. He watched with her as she suddenly deflated and then recovered.
“Okay. I’m over it.” She commented and bounced back toward the counter.
“What the hell was that?” He asked her as the orange mare looked at him.
Applejack barked a laugh and she shook her head at him. “That’s just Pinkie. Ya get used to it.”
He shook his head in response to her and looked at the tabletop. He poked a hoof at the items in the table and then a short sigh escaped him. His wings flicked at his sides and he looked down at them and then back to the table. He could feel magic as it hummed through him and he felt it coming to his command as the hammer lit up with his aqua aura. He heard a groan from Applejack and it lifted slowly into the air in front of them.
He felt a sudden jolt go through him and he snorted with surprise and the hammer went through the ceiling above him. Oblivion looked up at the hole in the ceiling and looked around before his eyes went to Applejack who was glaring at him. He looked back up and maneuvered the hammer back through the hole in the ceiling. He put the hammer on the table and looked up at the ceiling, he looked up as his magic covered the hole in the ceiling and after a moment the hole has vanished in a flash of aqua light. He gave a low snort at his handy work. He looked back down and put the hammer back in its place with the other tool sitting on the table.
Applejack swatted his shoulder and he looked over at her dumbfounded expression. “How in Equestria… How did ya do that?” She asked him.
He gave a small shrug and he felt the wings as the muscles shifted and they moved in response to the movement of his shoulders. “If I break something then I expect to either fix it or pay for it.” He explained.
Mrs. Cake came to their table with a platter balanced on her back. She set a small cake in front of him and he leaned forward to give it an experimental sniff. His eyes opened slightly wider and he reached out to grip the cake between his two hooves and lifted it to his mouth so he could take a bite of it. His mouth opened and he took a bite of the cake and gave the mare an approving glance. He swallowed and then bit into the rest of it and swallowed it easily.
“Thank you, Mrs. Cake. I appreciate your understanding and that was a delicious coffee cake. I greatly appreciate it.” He said as he gave her a small smile.
Mrs. Cake blinked and then broke into a wide smile. He could see Applejack looking at her from the corner of his eye as she shook her head and smiled as well. “Ya like coffee?”
The Witcher nodded in reply. “I told you I am not a fan of sweets. My tastes run more toward coffee if I have to have something with flavor or I prefer spirits if given the choice.” Applejack looked at him and laughed for a second.
“Well now ah know what kind of food ya like. Are all of the yer kind like that?” She asked as Mrs. Cake left them alone.
Oblivion shook his head. “No. There are a couple I know that prefer very strongly flavored foods. Things that are either very sweet or very spicy. It depends on the individual. I just happen to lean towards bitter or even bland if needed. Due to my heightened sense of taste and smell, some things can be overwhelming. Sweet things are one of them.” He explained and Applejack nodded in understanding.
He looked up as Pinkie came out of the back with a small bag on her back. His nose told him what was in it and he looked at her with suspicion before she set the bag on the table in front of him. Applejack looked at Pinkie who seemed to be awaiting his response. Oblivion looked at her for a moment before he sighed and nodded to her. He got out of the chair and walked toward the door. His hoof opened it for Applejack as Pinkie smiled and waved at them. Oblivion looked back and saw the crazed pink pony leaning out the door waving frantically. Oblivion’s ears flicked back and listened around him. He looked back in front of him and watched where he was going.
The streets were becoming busier the longer they were in town. He watched as Applejack quickened her pace and he was able to easily keep up with her. He stayed close by her as they made their way through town and back to the road that would take them to the farm. They made it back to the farm and she began putting the tools where they needed to be. Big Mac thanked them as the tools were delivered. Oblivion noticed that the wheel on the wagon Mac was using had broken and that was the reason for the tools. He looked at it as Applejack took the tools off of his back and placed them where they belonged. She also picked up the small bag with several coffee cakes in it down on the table as well.
“Is that why we have so many new tools?” He asked blandly as he looked at the broken wheel.
“Eeyup,” Mac replied as he got up and turned to look at the new tools on the table.
Applejack looked at Oblivion, smiled, and watched as aqua light covered the wheel and it was restored in a flash of light. He looked away as Mac turned to look at the wheel with a hammer in his mouth, he stopped and stared at the wheel for a moment, blinked, and then looked to Oblivion. The Pegasus looked blandly at the forest. He turned to Applejack who was trying and failing, to hold in a smirk. She put a hoof over her muzzle but ended up laughing through it anyway. She pointed to Oblivion and laughed at her brother's look of surprise. The black stallion was silent as he looked back to Big Mac, saw the look on his face, and gave a small nod to the wheel. Mac smiled and put a large hoof on Oblivion's shoulder in thanks.
“Ah appreciate the help, Oblivion. With this fixed Ah can get the other parts ready for the reunion tomorrow. If ya don’t mind helpin’ Ah could use some extra help.” Mac said to him and motioned for him to follow.
Oblivion looked back to him and seemed to think it over. “I don’t see why not. Since you let me stay the night I’ll lend a helping ha... hoof.”
Applejack went over to the orchard and began kicking the trees to release the apples. Oblivion cringed at the impact but looked away to focus on following the red pony. They turned the corner to the other side of the barn and were greeted with easily over a dozen other ponies. Oblivion halted and stood in silence as he looked at the group of various colored ponies. ‘Oh by the Realms this could turn out badly. The last time I was in a large crowd I had to run due to the humans blaming me for their misfortune despite the fact that I got rid of the wraith haunting their farmlands. Though to be fair these equines are incredibly forgiving and even more accepting than I could have imagined so this could go either way.’ Though he still did not move and Big Mac seemed to realize after several strides and looked back to the Pegasus. Big Mac looked back to him and cocked his head.
“Y'all all right’?” The red stallion walked back to him and waited for a response.
Oblivion looked to him and paused before responding. “I am not a fan of crowds. Currently, I am standing at the only escape route. Which is not a comfortable realization.” Oblivion explained to the red farmer and awaited his response.
Big Mac looked at the Pegasus and then looked behind him as well. Noticing that there was a small crowd. He looked at the other stallion and despite his calm demeanor, he showed a slight amount of discomfort. Mac decided to see if the chores he needed help with could be done from a distance. But when he thought of it he realized that it would be more difficult.
“Well, ah do need the help to get mah chores done in time but ah don’ want ya to feel like ya have to help. Especially’ if ya’ll are uncomfortable. Ya can help Applejack with the apple buckin’ if ya like.” Mac replied.
Oblivion looked from the farmer to the crowd. ‘I’m going to be noticed one way or the other. Either due to the fact that I am a Pegasus among regular ponies or due to my height. Bloody brilliant. I do owe this family my help in exchange for their hospitality. My pride will not allow me to turn tail due to some discomfort.’ Oblivion shook his head and squared his hooves. “Discomfort or not I will do as I said I would and aid you. I am going to be noticed one way or the other due to the fact that I am different in appearance. I will deal with it.” He said and moved past Big Mac to where a bunch of tools and wood sat.
Big Mac watched him and followed closely behind him. He grew up on his left and saw several of his relatives look at the black Pegasus with clear interest. He looked to Oblivion and found the Pegasus to be ignoring them. His ears were flicking to the sides to listen so it was clear he knew that he had been spotted. They reached the woodpile and Mac drew away from him and looked to his project.
“Alrigh’. So we need to make a temporary bleacher so that ponies can sit comfortably and enjoy each other’s company. So ah need ya to put the wood in place and hold it while ah hammer it into place.”
Oblivion looked at him and then to the pile of wood and materials. He looked back over his shoulder to the small group and they were now facing away from them and looking in the opposite direction. He felt the magic that he had roll under his skin and he called on it once more. He saw Mac turn to grab a series of tools as the materials all levitated and he focused on the bleachers that need to be made. A flash of light went off and Mac whirled back to look where the materials had once been. His mouth dropped open at the sight before him. They were 6 rows high, had red, orange, and yellow streamers wrapped around the boards and had apples carved into the wood. Mac’s mouth dropped open and the hammer fell to the ground. He looked over to Oblivion and saw the stallion's eyes open and for a second he wavered in place. Mac jumped next to him to stop him from possibly falling over.
Oblivion's head went down as he tried to recover, his vision had blurred for a moment and a headache threatened to hit him. He breathed deeply and waited for it to pass. After several moments it passed and he looked over to find that Mac was supporting his left shoulder with concern written on his face. He waved a hoof at him, but Mac stayed in place. “I’m all right. I’m guessing that I simply overused my own magic. Though that is a rough guess. So in reality it...” A loud growl went through the air and Oblivion blinked. Mac looked at him and gave a loud laugh.
“Sounds like somepony is hungry. After following mah sister around all mornin’ ah’m not surprised. Come on mah friend, ah’ll get ya fed.” Mac moved away from him and started to lead him back to the house.
‘I ate a normal amount of food for me. Strangely enough, I do not feel hungry. Actually, that was more than normal for me. Perhaps this new form I have requires more to function safely. That would make sense considering it is larger than it previously was. This could become problematic until I figure out how much this form requires.' Oblivion walked slowly behind Big Mac with his head level with his own shoulders. His stomach growled once more as he moved past several ponies who had come over to look at the structure that had been created. He could hear the comments from the ponies expressing admiration at the structure. Oblivion gave a small smile and followed Big Mac. Oblivion looked back at himself when Mac stopped next to the tool bench by the barn. Oblivion could see that he was a very thin pony compared to others. He wondered if his high metabolism had something to do with it.
Mac tapped Oblivion's shoulder to encourage him to keep following as Mac put the small bag on his own back and started for the house again. He opened the door and held it as Oblivion walked in giving him a nod of thanks. He looked back and found Applejack taking a few strides toward him but he shook his head and pointed to his own stomach to show that they were getting some food. She nodded and pointed to the time. Big Mac looked thoughtful for a moment before he realized that it was time to pick up Apple Bloom. He nodded and indicated that he would take care of Oblivion while she got their younger sister. He went inside and found Oblivion standing in silence as he breathed heavily. Mac pushed him gently into the front room toward the couch.
Oblivion allowed himself to be moved and stopped when the light nudging ended and Big Mac tried to push his flank to the side to be able to lay down on the couch. Oblivion shook his head and started to move when the room spun at the sudden movement and his knees buckled. “Shit!” He yelped as Mac took that exact moment to push his ribs and he landed on the couch. The red farmer looked pleased with himself but looked down at Oblivion with concern.
“Now we need ta get some food in ya. If ya weren’t black as night ya would be very pale. Ah knew ya didn’t eat enough this mornin’ but ah didn’t want ta pry. Even Apple Bloom ate more than ya did. First off here is the food ya brought home with ya. I’ll make ya a sandwich and bring it out to ya. Nah, ya need ta stay here and rest a minute.” He said as Oblivion started to argue.
The Witcher's jaw snapped shut in response. He groaned and sank back down. Big Mac grabbed the top of the bag in his teeth and sat it down by Oblivion's shoulder before he walked into the kitchen. Oblivion watched him disappear into the kitchen before he looked at the small bag. He set the bag on the floor. Oblivion let his head lay down on the cushion and he closed his eyes. He could hear Big Mac in the kitchen and Granny Smith was out talking with the ponies by the stand he had made with Big Mac. His ears picked up on a small dog wandering around the ponies as well.
He heard Big Mac’s hooves on the carpet and he opened his eyes but did not move from his current position. Mac held out a plate with two sandwiches on it to the Pegasus. Oblivion's magic held the plate and he set it down next to the small bag and looked at the food on it. His head came up at the sight of flowers and hay coming out of the sides of the bread. Big Mac stood by him and waited for him to eat his food. Oblivion was silent as he contemplated what he was going to do with the strange food. His stomach growled again and Mac looked at him, expectantly. His magic held one of the sandwiches and levitated it up to his mouth. He took a small bite and chewed on it. It was fairly tasteless which was fine by him. He swallowed it and waited. He took another bite and the hay crunched between his teeth and he suddenly found himself trying not to vomit. His stomach rolled and he tried to ignore the discomfort, but after a moment he set the sandwich down and growled under his breath. Mac looked surprised but after a few beats, he looked even more concerned for the Black stallion. Oblivion tried to give him a dismissive wave of his hoof but found that he couldn’t even move well.
Big Mac looked at the other stallion and saw that he was trying not to be sick. Mac jumped back and went to the kitchen closet, grabbed a bucket, came back, and set it down by Oblivion's head. The other stallion pitched forward, wrapped his forelegs around the bucket, and vomited into it. Mac sat down and held his long mane back with one hoof and the other rubbed his back, trying to comfort him. When he seemed to have gotten past the worst of it the black Pegasus pushed it away with a grimace and collapsed onto the couch. Big Mac let go of his mane and went back to the kitchen. He brought back a glass of water, which Oblivion's hooves held as he washed his mouth out with it then spat it out into the bucket. He ran his tongue over his teeth and was about to close his mouth when Big Mac grabbed a hold of his mouth and held it open. Oblivion gave a warning growl and the red farmer wisely let go of his jaws. Oblivion gave him an annoyed look before settling back against the couch.
“Ya got quite the mouth full a knives. Ah, have ne’er seen anythin’ like it.” He explained at the look Oblivion gave him.
Oblivion quirked an eyebrow at him and ran his tongue over his teeth again. He didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. His eyes went back to Big Mac and waited for a further explanation. Big Mac looked as though he wanted to say more but appeared unsure. ‘There doesn’t feel like there is anything wrong. But he seems quite nervous about it. Wait. I can conjure a mirror-like I did last night.’ Oblivion's magic was alight and a small mirror appeared before him. He leveled it with his mouth and opened his mouth to see what Big Mac was talking about. He was greeted with a mouthful of knives as Mac put it. Each tooth was longer than normal size but not intrusive on his other teeth nor did the top row dig into his lower gums. His mouth reminded him of the mouth of a large warg. Long canines with shorter middle teeth for shearing meat from bones. Oblivion gave a low noise and the mirror vanished.
Mac looked at him with something that bordered on apprehension but he didn’t back away. ”Any ideas about why yer teeth are like that?” He asked, his voice unsure.
Oblivion considered it for a moment before he answered. ‘Well, it would appear that they are the teeth of an omnivore. So how do I break that news to a pure herbivore?’ Oblivion looked to him and shifted from his place on the couch and folded one foreleg under him. “Well from what I can tell it would appear that I have the teeth of an omnivore. Granted they appear to lean more toward carnivore but I am sure… that… Oh for the love of... Calm down, Big Macintosh. You're looking at me like I'm going to take a bite out of you. Do I really look like I have so little self-control?”
Mac seemed to stop sweating and looked thoughtful at his words. “Nah I spose not. But Ah have ta admit it is a little upsettin’. Ya don’t act like yer dangerous, so I suppose passin’ judgment on ya ain’t fair.” The red stallion agreed. “Though that might explain why yer sick. Ya might need meat in yer diet. Though Ah have no idea how we are goin’ ta help ya.” He looked ready to continue speaking when Oblivion raised a hoof to silence him.
“I assure you that you do not need to worry about feeding me if that is your concern. I am more than capable of… tending to that myself. So don’t worry about any of that. I can hunt for myself, I have been doing it for many years.” Oblivion got off the couch and slowly got to his hooves. Big Mac made to push him back down. “I’m all right. I think I was simply having a bad reaction to the amount of meat I have not eaten. If I am right I simply need to balance it out and I should be fine. I will worry about it later. I do not wish to worry anypony so if you could keep this between us, for now, I would appreciate it, if not then I will understand.” Oblivion said as he stood up and shook himself, his magic placed his cloak back in place and he waited for Big Mac to respond.
“Ah reckon ah can keep it to mahself. But ah want ya to tell them yerself when yer ready. Ah’m not telling ya what ta do but ah hope ya tell them soon. Well, tell Applejack and Granny. Maybe not Apple Bloom. Ah, don’t think she’s ready to know, Ah hope ya can see why.” Oblivion chuckled and nodded in agreement as Mac continued. “Ah can see why ya want it to be kept quiet though. It is a bit shocking for a pony to be eatin’... meat.” Mac paused on the word but tried not to look upset by the implications of their guest eating meat.
“I will bring it up when the time is right. I appreciate your understanding though. SO what is left that you need my help with?” Oblivion asked as his wings flicked absently at his sides.
Mac shook his head. “Ya need ta stay quiet and rest up. Yer still not feelin’ well and even though ya are up and moving Ah still want ya ta take it easy and…”
“Soups on everypony!” Applejack suddenly called out from the front of the farmhouse.
Mac turned and trotted through the house and out the door. Oblivion sighed and walked out after him. He could see Applejack and well over a dozen ponies crowded around her. He paused at the sight and his eyes narrowed slightly at the sight of the purple Unicorn that stood close by her. A small lizard was close by her, at least he assumed it was a lizard considering its size. The Witcher's ears flicked forward to listen closely as Applejack began to speak.
“Now ah’ll introduce ya to the Apple Family.”
Oblivion groaned quietly and watched as the new mare looked a bit panicked as she saw the number of ponies waiting.
“Thanks anyway, but I really need to hurry...” The Unicorn began but she didn’t get a chance to finish speaking before Applejack began.
“This here is Apple Fritter, Apple Bumpkin, Red Gala, Golden Delicious, Caramel Apple, Apple Strudel, Apple Tart, Baked Apples, Apple Brioche, Apple Cinnamon Crisp.” Applejack paused for a breath and Oblivion was amazed that she said all that in one breath, then continued. “Big Macintosh, Apple Bloom, and Granny Smith. Up’ n’ attem, Granny Smith, we got more guests.”
Granny Smith snorted as she got up from her rocking chair and started to amble over to everypony. “What? Soups on? I’m up, here ah come, here ah come.” The aged mare spoke up as she came over to stand by them all.
His eyes connected with Applejacks and he could see the wheels turning inside her head as she looked at the other mare. “Oh, an afore Ah forget that is Oblivion Shadow. He’s been our guest since yesterday evening.”
The Unicorn looked over the group to see him standing at the back of the crowd. He was quiet as the lizard jumped to her back and his jaw slowly fell open. “Wow, that is a really tall Pegasus.”
Oblivion said nothing in reply as his face went blank. The mare looked over her shoulder at the lizard and she gave a small buck that sent him tumbling to the ground.
“Spike! Be polite.” The mare admonished him as he pulled himself off the ground and looked sheepishly at her. “My apologies Sir. He is usually more polite.”
He could see that what she was saying was truthful and it was genuine so far as he could tell. She plastered a friendly, if a bit forced, smile on her face as she went on.
“My name is Twilight Sparkle and it is nice to meet you.” She said to him.
He gave a slight nod and looked back at her. “Things happen Miss Sparkle. He is not the first, nor will he be the last to comment on my height. No offense was taken but I thank you for the apology.” He replied to her and waited for her to go on.
Granny Smith finally reached them and gave Twilight Sparkle a smile as Applejack continued. “Well, Granny Ah’d say that both of ‘em are already part of the family.” Twilight looked at Applejack, while Oblivion simply stared at her.
“Well, I can see that the food is in good hooves and we will be on our way.” Twilight shifted as though to leave. She turned and was confronted with Apple Bloom’s large eyes.
Oblivion snorted with a low laugh. ‘Oh, she is being set up.’ Oblivion watched as the mare tried not to cave in.
“Aren’t ya gonna stay for brunch?” Apple Bloom looked up at her and pouted.
“Sorry, but we have an awful lot to do.” The purple mare admitted.
‘Maybe she will escape after all.’ Oblivion thought to himself until he heard the chorus in front of him. The assembled Apple Family all groaned in disappointment. Oblivion looked around and stared at them. ‘Really? That's just cruel to do to the mare.’ He looked at Twilight who was looking more than a little nervous and glancing around almost frantically.
Oblivion was about and help give her an out when she sighed in defeat. “Fine.”
He said nothing as the family cheered around her. They crowded around her even more than before and the pair was moved to a table close by. He watched as food was heaped up in front of her. He stared for a moment as the mare’s eyes were wide at the sight in front of her. ‘Oh good Gods do they truly think she can eat all of that in one sitting? I cannot even fathom eating a portion of that.’ He thought to himself at the sight in front of him. He felt a hoof land on his shoulder and he glanced to the side to find Mac standing by him.
“Maybe get that bag o’ treats a yers ta avoid the food in front of ya? Might help ya avoid them wantin’ ya ta eat if yer already eatin’.” He said to him in his typical drawl.
Oblivion nodded and he was about to use the magic that hummed through him when Mac gave him a gentle slap on the shoulder. He was about to protest when he realized what he meant and nodded in understanding. He saw the looks from several of the ponies as they noticed that he was not eating and he backed up to go back into the house and get one of the small coffee cakes from the bag. He returned a moment later and nibbled on one of the cakes as the ponies now ignored him. He gave a slight sigh of relief as Mac went to join the group.
Time had passed by and now Twilight was looking around her, her face miserable as she tried to look friendly. The Witcher was silent as the mare finally seemed to throw in the towel at the still enormous pile of food in front of her.
“Can anypony tell me how to get around town? Or is there a map handy?” She asked as she was able to get away from the expectant crowd.
Applejack looked around and her eyes fell on Oblivion as he stood silent. “Well, Ah don’t have a map, but Oblivion learned the lay of the land this mornin’. So if he’s okay wit’ it, maybe he can show ya around.”
Oblivion gave a short snort and a slight glare at the mare who had volunteered him for a new task. He looked at the waiting purple mare before he replied. “If Miss Sparkle wishes it then I see no reason why that would not be amicable. It is her choice.”
Twilight looked at him for several seconds and then her gaze went to Spike, who appeared to be nearly dancing in place. “That would be fine, thank you, Mr. Shadow.” She responded and walked toward him.
He moved away from the crowd and toward the fence. Ponies’ moved out of his way as he walked toward the gate. The purple mare joined him and he motioned for her to go ahead of him. She smiled gently and moved to pass ahead of him.
“Tha’s good ta hear. Be sure ta show ‘er all that Ponyville has ta offer!” Applejack hollered after them as they went through the gate. His ears pinned at the volume but said nothing as he followed the purple Unicorn away from the farm.