His eyes flicked open and he raised his head as light washed over him. He pushed back the quilt with one motion and his body moved to get off the bed and his hooves hit the plush carpet. He stretched out and his oversized wings spread and his claws flexed. He shook himself and his wings folded to lay against his sides, pinned tightly to his skin. His claws reached out and he gripped the strap of the leather baldric and slung it over his back and it buckled in place around his body. He shook his head and his mane settled on his neck, he was going to have to ask about how to hold it back, it was getting in the way. He reached out and his hoof held the cloak as he put it across his back, just enough of it would cover the weapons on his back.
He picked up the finished book and set it on his back and he opened the bedroom door and walked out into the hallway. He started down the hall and down the stairs into the kitchen. He raised his wings just enough to keep the items from falling to the ground as he moved. He reached the kitchen and Applejack turned from her place in the kitchen and she jumped at the sight of him. He paused at the end of the table and she smiled as she recovered from the surprise of him sneaking up on her.
“I will drop Apple Bloom off at school and then I am going into town to see Rarity and Twilight.” He informed her. “Also can I get a tie from you for my mane?”
She turned and listened as he spoke to her. “Sure Ah’ll get ya one afore ya leave fer the school.”
He nodded and she looked at the thick book on his back as she went back to cooking. Oblivion set the book on top of his cloak and set them both on the floor as he sat down in his usual place. He glanced over his shoulder as the elderly mare came down the stairs behind him. He looked back ahead of him and he heard her hooves hit the floor of the kitchen.
“Boy howdy. We need ta put meat on ya, sonny.” The aged mare said as she prodded him in the back.
“Granny!” Applejack turned to scold her grandmother.
Oblivion rolled his eyes to the ceiling and bit back a sigh as he looked at the mare. “I am aware that I am not a thick pony, Granny Smith. I am not designed to be.” He informed her.
“Too skinny is what ye are!” She said as she prodded him again.
He looked at Applejack who shrugged. “Granny, some ponies are built ta be light. He just happens ta be one o’ those.”
The stallion turned to look at the green mare once more. “I have always been a lean pony, Granny Smith. Keeping weight on is difficult due to my metabolism and how active I am.” He reasoned to her.
She appeared thoughtful with a hoof to her chin. He looked past her as the rest of the Apple family started down the stairs. Mac was the first to come into the kitchen and he stared at the thin pony in front of him. He seemed surprised but he seemed to put it out of his mind easily enough. Apple Bloom was on his heels and she was quick to see how thin he was and she paused. She walked up to him and his orange cat eyes regarded her as she looked up at him.
“Wow, ya need ta eat more.” She said to him. A snort sounded out and she looked at Mac who was glaring at her. “But if yer healthy then it's fine.” She added quickly as she went to her chair.
He said nothing as the filly hopped up into her chair and waited for her breakfast. He held back a chuckle as Applejack laughed and went back to the cooking in front of her. The black pony looked outside as he also waited. ‘Perhaps I need to look into what the normal weight for a pony of my size should be. Normally I would not worry about it but it seems to upset them greatly and I would rather not have an entire town of ponies trying to feed me.’ He thought to himself as the minutes ticked past him. Further thoughts were interrupted as a plate was set down in front of him. He watched as the others took their shares of breakfast and he reached out for his own. He took two and put butter on them and ate them slowly. He finished what was on his place and he stared as two more were placed on his place. He looked up as Granny Smith was now looking at him, an expectation in her eyes.
“Granny! Ya can’t expect him ta just eat more fer ya.” Applejack said as she admonished the elder mare.
The mare said nothing in reply and simply looked at her own food. He sighed and looked at the food in front of him. He contemplated simply putting them back on the plate in the center of the table but he chose to give up and eat what he was able. He got halfway through another one and he pushed the plate away from him as he got to his hooves. He was more than full if he was being honest and Apple Bloom reached for the remainder and he pushed it over to her. The filly finished off what remained and jumped from her chair with a satisfied noise. She turned for the stairs and looked at him as she walked past.
“Be right back. Ah need ta get mah homework.” She said as she ran up the stairs.
His magic reached out and gripped the finished plates and set them by the sink. He picked up the cloak and book and set them back on his back, and he then moved to the stand by the door as he waited for the filly to return. He heard her hooves on the carpet as she came down the hallway and then down the stairs.
“Okay Ah’m ready ta go.” She said as he opened the door and she darted past him.
He said nothing as he walked out the door behind her. They walked out past the farmhouse and toward the gate. He said nothing as the filly tried to keep up with him and he slowed his pace for her. The path stretched out in front of them and he raised his wings slightly as the book on his back threatened to slip from its place. He looked over his shoulder to ensure that the wings had raised enough to ensure the book would not fall and then he trained his eyes back on the path.
“Ya think ya could come ta mah school and tell a story bout where yer from?” Applejack and Big Mac have already come ta mah class. All the other foals really wanna hear bout yer home.”
“Wouldn’t it be better for your family to go to this event?” He asked her in reply.
“Well, Granny is gonna come ta a later event. Mah brother and sister already did. So Ah was thinkin’ that it would be fun fer everyone if it was you.”
He looked down at her as she finished speaking and he simply looked ahead of them. “I’ll think about it.” He replied.
The filly nodded and a wide smile went over her mouth as they moved. The rest of the trip was silent as they reached the schoolhouse. He watched as she joined the other foals and he waited until they were called into the school and he spun to go back the way he had come and headed for town. He was pleased to see that his presence seemed to have stopped any of the teasings that had happened previously. ‘What kind of story would I even tell them? Nothing about my world is very foal friendly. Nothing but endless battles, war, and hatred. I’m not a member of the family so my attendance makes no sense.’ He thought to himself as he headed for town.
He approached the Library and his hoof rapped on the door as he waited for it to open. He would normally have just walked in but the tree was also Twilights home and he had no desire to enter without her knowledge.
“Just a second!”
He heard Twilight shout from inside and waited for her to come to the door. He could hear the mare moving around inside and the door opened barely thirty seconds later.
“Oh hi, Oblivion. Come in.” She said as the door was pushed open to allow him to enter.
“Thank you.” He said to her as he walked into the Library.
He was surprised by how he so easily fell into a more relaxed form of speech with her. He walked past her and into the room and stopped waiting for her to join him. She rejoined him and the mare stood close by him as she looked at the book on his back.
“How can I help you?”
“I’m just returning this to you.” He said as his magic gripped the book and it levitated to the table close by them.
“Did you want to get a new one to replace it?” She asked as her own magic gripped the book and returned it to its place on the shelf.
“No. I still have the other two that I borrowed. I will return them all at once when I finish them.”
She smiled and started to turn away from him. “Oh. Did you want to stay for a cup of coffee before you go?” She asked.
“Thank you for the offer.” He said as he started to turn away but he paused as the thought of what he had to do during the day caught up with him. He had plenty of free time. “Sure.”
The mare smiled at his agreement. She led him into the kitchen and her magic started brewing a pot of coffee. He laid the cloak across the back of the nearest chair and he sat down after a moment's delay. He waited as the coffee brewed and the scent wafted through and soon filled the kitchen. He watched as Twilights magic levitated a cup of coffee to him and he took it in his hooves and held it, allowing the warmth from the cup to soak into his hooves. He leaned his head forward and he scented the cup and the smell filled his nose. He watched as Twilight blew on hers to cool it down as he sipped it immediately.
“How can you drink it immediately?” She asked as she sat down across from him.
He said nothing at first as he set the cup down. "Temperatures do not affect me as much as you. I can tell if something is hot or cold but it does not affect me as it would you.” He informed her.
She looked thoughtful as she gave her drink a careful sip. “So what are your plans for the day?”
“I simply needed to drop off that book to you then I need to meet with Rarity about cleaning my cloak.” He explained. “After that, I have no plans. You?”
“I need to reorganize the books in the main library. Their current order is not very easy to find what you’re looking for. So Spike and I will be busy doing that.”
He picked up his cup and sipped it as he allowed the silence to drag out for several seconds before he spoke. “How are you doing after that ticket debacle?”
She looked at him and he waited. “Better. I should have sent them back to start with but I was worried that would offend the Princess. Which once you sent them back and her response made that seem a bit silly. I never did thank you for your help. If not for your actions things might have gone further out of control.”
He shook his head and she paused. “I doubt it would have gotten worse. I simply moved them to the proper ending faster. They would have realized their mistake eventually. I was simply correcting it at that moment in time.”
“Still. “ She said as she set her cup down and she smiled. “Thank you.”
“Your welcome.” He replied to her and sipped his coffee.
They fell into a comfortable silence and drank their coffee quietly. Oblivion finished first and his magic placed the cup down by the sink and she shook her head and chuckled.
“Magic.” She chuckled. “Who would have thought I’d meet a Pegasus with magic of his own?” She whispered.
“There are many things in the world we cannot explain. This just happens to be one of them. I do not have answers as to how it works.” He admitted.
She giggled and watched as he got to his hooves. His wings were loose on his sides and they hung lower on his sides. He turned to move away from her and he heard her cup roughly set against the table. He looked over his shoulder and she was watching him closely. Her hooves were loosely gripping the cup as she watched him. He looked at her for a moment before he realized what she was looking at.
“Contrary to how I look I am perfectly fine. My wings seem to cover me for the most part but they cannot hide that I am built to be lean.” He explained.
He watched as the Unicorn put her cup aside and looked at him, her eyes wide. She got up from her chair and approached him, her eyes never leaving him. He said nothing as she reached him and her hoof landed on his side. He knew that to her he must have looked sick and while he knew he was healthy she did not know that.
“I think you should see a doctor.” She informed him.
He shook his head. “I don’t think that is necessary. Unless I have no choice I think we will avoid them.”
“It’ll be fine. I’ll go with you to Rarity’s and drop that off and then we can go.” She said to him.
He looked blankly at her for several seconds before he stepped back to allow her hoof to fall from his side. “Again. No. I do not have any way to pay for their services even if I agreed to go. I have no need for an appointment and I am healthy. Compared to how I appear I am in no trouble of being hurt and this is pretty normal for me. I have spent much of my life on my own and while I do not let my pride get in the way of things, I am more than capable of taking care of myself.”
She looked at him for another second before she sighed. “You look starved.” She pointed out.
“That might be true but at this moment I am fine.” He assured her and slung the cloak over his back.
His wings hugged tighter against his body, hiding his body as much as possible. She seemed to have finally given up arguing with him and she walked with him toward the door. She pushed open the door and he walked easily out into the sunlight. He looked over his shoulder and she smiled as he gave her a gentle nod in reply. He looked ahead and walked out into the town, heading for the other Unicorns boutique.
He was focused on his path and the sound of wings frantically beating caught his attention and he stopped. He had enough time to see a careening gray mare when she slammed into his right side. He had just enough time to turn his body and absorb the impact but it still sent him rolling. He wrapped his forelegs around the mare and held her close as he rolled across the ground. His body acting as a guard against her smaller body and the ground. His body came to a stop when he struck something.
He growled as his body came to a stop and he opened his eyes and looked down between his forelegs to the mare huddled against his body. The mare had her eyes firmly shut as she remained huddled and silent.
“Are you all right?” He asked her.
The mare startled and looked up at him. He was surprised to see a pair of yellow eyes looking back at him. He could see that her eyes were actually looking in separate directions. One was looking directly at him and the other was askew. She was a grey Pegasus mare with a blonde mane and tail. She had a pair of plain leather saddlebags wrapped around her barrel.
“Wow. I’m so sorry. I’m fine.” She said as she got up when he released her.
Several ponies had come over and Oblivion pushed himself to his hooves. He stifled a wince as his body complained at the movement. He could feel that he had been injured but he kept that fact silent. He looked back the way he had slid and his cloak lay on the ground several feet away from them. The mare looked sheepish as she looked at him.
“Are you okay? I know I hit you pretty hard. I was flying and I am behind my deliveries so I was trying to hurry. But I can’t fly fast and stay in control so I went out of control. Since I can’t really see very straight.” She explained as she scuffed her hoof on the ground.
“I’m fine Miss…?”
“Oh, I’m Ditzy Doo. Or you can call me Derpy like everypony else.” She said with a warm smile.
“I am Oblivion Shadow and it’s nice to meet you Miss Ditzy. Though I have to admit I wish our first meeting was less bruising.” He replied.
The mare giggled at him and nodded in agreement. He looked up and he could see several stray letters that littered the ground. He started to walk toward them when his right hind sent a bolt of pain through his leg. He looked back at the leg and he was not sure how much damage had been done to the limb just from looking at it. He lowered his hoof and set it back down as the pain went through it once more. He looked around him and he was able to tell that nopony had noticed him hesitate to walk. He raised his head and put the hoof down anyway. The Witcher walked away from the mare and began to pick up the letters as she joined him to do the same. He picked up his cloak and laid it over his back. He picked up several of the letters and gave them to her as he went back to her side.
“Thank you, that was so nice of you. It would have taken me some time to find them all. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine. Thank you for asking.” He assured her and walked back to the fence that he had collided with.
He walked back to the fence and he could see that it was lying partially over from the impact. He reached out and gripped the fence with his claws and pulled it back into its normal place. It required very little effort to move it back to the way it had been. He walked away from the crowd that had gathered and several ponies smiled as he passed them. He moved away from them and he could see the boutique in the distance and he moved as quickly as he dared on the injured leg. The more he walked on it the more he was sure that it was his hock that was injured. The shooting pain told him that his guess was probably right. The Pegasus came to the shop's door and he pushed open the door and walked into the main room of the boutique.
“One moment please.” A voice called out.
He heard her voice from a separate room and he waited patiently for her. He took the weight off his right hind leg and let it rest as he waited. The pain dulled as it rested. He waited until he heard the sound of hooves coming from the other room and he looked up as the mare came to stand in the nearby doorway.
“By the Goddess darling, what happened to you?” She asked as she walked up to him with purpose.
He looked uncertain for a moment before he looked down at himself and he could see that he was dirt-covered, his black coat now a dusty brown. He gave a slight cringe at the sight and looked back at her with a sigh. “I was on my way here to see if I could trouble you to wash my cloak and I was bowled over by Ditzy Doo.” He explained. “I was able to block her from hitting the ground but I seem to have taken the brunt of it.”
“Oh, that was so kind of you dear. Though your lovely black coat is now a light brown. Of course, we can wash your cloak, my dear. Bring it over here and we shall get it in the washer.” The white mare said o him as she turned on her heel.
Oblivion cringed as he put his hoof down. He gave a quiet hiss of pain but followed the mare anyway. He gave her his cloak when she stopped in front of 2 metal boxes. She opened one and after using a couple of the dials it growled to life and she put the cloth inside it. The stallion stared at it before composing himself before she turned back to him.
“Now to get you cleaned up. You can use my bath darling.” She said to him.
“It's fine Rarity. I’ll clean up when I get back to the farmhouse.” He said as she shook his head at her.
“It’s really no trouble.” She assured him.
“I truly thank you for your consideration. But I am fine.” He said to her.
“Very well. I won’t force you. But your lovely coat is filthy.” She informed him and he nodded in agreement. “But if you are all right with it then I will not argue further.”
“When should I pick up the cloak?”
“Tomorrow morning is fine my dear. I’ll have it cleaned and pressed for you before then.”
“What do I owe you for the washing?”
She waved a hoof dismissively at him as he spoke. “Oh please darling. A simple clean is nothing. Although.” She said as she looked at him.
‘Why do I get a bad feeling about the look I’m getting?’ He asked himself as she continued to stare at him.
“One-moment dear.” She said to him as she spun and trotted away from him.
He didn’t bother holding back the groan that came from him as she vanished. His body was bruised and his hock was starting to throb. He knew that the bruises would heal within hours but for the time being, they were a discomfort he did not enjoy. He contemplated bolting but the mare was doing him a favor and he did not wish to ungrateful. He stood and waited as his leg throbbed, he knew it needed to be elevated but he did not have that luxury at the moment. It was not the first time or the last, that he would be walking on an injured leg. His ears perked as the mares hooved came back into the room with several fabrics hovering in her magic.
“Don’t look so unsure dear. I just need your help with some colors. Your mane is the most vivid silver-white that I have ever seen. I would like to place some colors beside it to see what compliments it best. Is that all right?” She asked as she drew up near him.
He nodded as he sat down and waited for her to finish her task. He held still to avoid getting any dirt from his coat on the fabric. She put various purples, blues, reds, and a few greens up to his long mane. He watched as she cringed at several choices while others seemed to greatly please her.
“Thank you so much, Oblivion. I now know just what the right colors would be for that type of coloring. You are a dear to hold so still for me.” She said to him.
He started to get to his hooves when her face turned slightly sour. He paused and sat back down to look at her. “What is it?”
“May I be honest?” He nodded for her to go on. “Your mane could use with a bit of a trim.”
“If you want to trim it you can. I plan on keeping it out of the way if I am given a choice.” He explained. “I forgot to get a hair tie from Applejack this morning.”
“Oh, I have plenty of those if you want one. But let me trim it up a bit then you can do what you wish with it.” She said as scissors levitated from a counter close by. He gave a nod and she brushed through it with a brush she had gotten from the same place.
He held still and did as she asked if she told him to move his head or neck. He looked down as several long strands of his mane fell to the ground at his hooves. He just hoped there was enough of his mane left to put it back when she was done. Several minutes went by as she finished her trimming and she pulled his mane upon his neck and tied it in place with a ribbon.
She caught the look he was giving her about the ribbon before she waved a hoof at him. “That will hold it in place for a moment while I get a tie for it.” She explained and he relaxed.
She vanished again and he sat in silence. He allowed a sigh to break from him as he waited for her to return. She returned thirty seconds later and removed the ribbon and replaced it with a black hair tie for his mane.
“There now it is kept out of the way and it is trimmed well. It’s still pretty long but it will sit well and stay out of your face. Now about your forelock.”
“I think that’s enough.” He cut in and she shrugged.
He stood up carefully and tried to use more of his forelegs and balance over them as he got to his hooves. His hock hurt as he stood on it and he made for the front door of her business.
“Thank you again.”
“Of course dear. It’s no trouble at all. Now make sure you get home and get a warm bath. Being rolled through the dirt and over the road will leave more than a few bruises.” She advised and he nodded in agreement.
He walked out of her business and back out into the sun. His leg threatened to go out from under him the longer he walked on it as he made his way back through town toward the farm. When he was out of immediate sigh to f ponies he allowed himself to limp on the hind leg. He got to the front gate of the farm and he went back to walking normally as he passed through it. His ears flicked as he heard the siblings talking inside the barn and he could see their bright spirits as they glowed from within the barn. He could hear what they were saying the closer he got to the structure.
“Mac Ah know she did ask ‘im. She told me she would. When ‘e gets back we can find out.” Applejack said to the roan who nodded.
He walked up behind the mare and the roan stallion bit back a visible smile as he gave a subtle nod to the black Pegasus. He walked the last few feet up behind her and stopped. He pulled his head back and inhaled and let out a vicious snarl like sound from behind her.
“Augh!” She screamed and jumped away from the sound.
She ended up landing just behind her brother and he hid slightly behind him as he clutched at his belly as he laughed at her. He straightened and looked smug as the mare looked at him, her eyes wide.
“Oblivion Shadow! How in tarnation could ya do that ta me?” She hollered.
“He did it easy!” Mac gasped out as he laughed.
Applejack scowled at her elder brother and then to the Pegasus who still looked smug. The red stallion finally got over his laughter and he held out a hoof to the black Pegasus. Oblivion looked at the offered hoof and then to the roan.
“It’s a hoof bump. Hold out yer hoof.” He instructed and the black pony did as instructed. He bumped his hoof against his and Oblivion nodded as he understood. “Th’s a hoof bump. It's done between good friends when they are complimentin’ the other.”
“Interesting. So I am going to assume you were talking about me before I arrived?” He asked.
“Yup. Apple Bloom was gonna ask ya ta talk to ‘er class.” Applejack said as she came out from behind the roan stallion.
“She did. Though I am not sure why she asked me. I am not blood family to her and it strikes me as something that family should be doing for her.” He replied.
“Ya’ll are family, ya crazy Pegasus.” Granny Smith hollered out from above them.
He had known she was there but he still jumped a bit at the volume of her voice. Her usual drawl was drawn out further by her volume and he was able to decipher what she said fairly well. He stared up at the rafters for several seconds before he looked at the siblings.
“I’m not from here nor am I a blood relative. I am no Earth Pony either and my name is very different than your own.” He replied. While he knew that his argument was weak against what he had learned was the typical loving nature of the equines around him he said it nonetheless.
“Don’t matter. “ Mac said to him as he walked up to him and set a hoof on his shoulder. “Don’t matter what yer name is or where yer from. Ya’ll still family. That’s why she asked ya.”
“Yer an older brother to ‘er.” Applejack added. “Well, OLDER since yer older than Mac.”
He gave a slight glare at her as she spoke about his age but he ignored it after a few seconds. He shook his head at their easy acceptance and their desire to call him one of their own. He had never been part of any family outside of his fellow Witchers. He simply found himself looking at them as his mind swam with the ramifications of what they had said to him. He was surprised when he stepped back a step in shock.
“Easy pardner.” Applejack assured him as she looked at him.
He shook his head once more and a breathed tore, ragged from him as he took another step backward. A hoof on his wing caught his attention and he looked to find Granny Smith at his side. Her eyes were understanding and held emotions that he could not understand and others that he could not recognize. The aged mare nodded as she seemed to come to understand something that had not been spoken. She came to stand in front of him and he watched her closely as she began to speak to him.
“Ah can tell ya never had family in yer life. Least not like what yer around now.” She amended as he looked at her, his gaze telling her all she needed to know. “Ya are part of our family now. Ah don’t expect ya ta change who ya are or what ya are or yer name. A family is not only blood, it’s the bonds ya create with others and the heart that beats within ya. We have seen yers and ya have made an impact on each o’ us. Yer teachin’ Apple Bloom ta be better than before and ya protect her when ya didn’t have ta.”
“I was not about to stand there and let her be teased over something she has no control over.” He explained.
“Exactly.” She said with a smile. “Ya been teachin’ her things that we can’t. She looks up ta ya as her family even though Ah don’t think she realizes she does. Yer her brother even if ya didn’t know it. Yer a good pony Oblivion Shadow. Ya ain’t from here but that don’t matter ta us. Yer one o’ ours.”
She came up to him and wrapped her forelegs around his neck as he lowered his head to her, thinking she had more to say. He stiffened at the hug but he relaxed after a second once he realized what she was doing. His eyes went to the other two ponies in the barn and they smiled warmly as he looked at them. He blinked in defeat and let his head fall to the mare’s shoulder, careful not to lean too heavily on her. He said nothing as the others backed up to give him room. His ears flicked as the elder mare let go of him and backed up several feet.
“Somepony is coming.” He informed them.
The orange mare nodded as she went out to the front of the barn. His ears flicked as she spoke to Twilight as the purple mare joined her.
“Is Oblivion here?” She asked.
“Yeah. He’s in the barn with the others.”
He looked back to the front of the barn behind him as the purple mare’s spirit was bright as she entered the barn. The mare looked concerned as she came to stand in front of him as Granny Smith left the barn.
“Are you okay?” She asked him.
“I’m fine. Why?” He asked her in reply.
“I heard that you were knocked off your hooves and rolled into a fence.” She replied. “I heard about it from Derpy. She delivered a letter to me and she mentioned a black Pegasus that she had flown into. She said you held onto her to stop her from getting hurt and you rolled into a metal fence. You can’t be just fine after that.” She said as she looked him over.
“I’m a bit bruised but nothing dire. I hit the fence a bit but nothing that caused any lasting damage." He assured her.
The mare narrowed her eyes as he spoke. “I went out and asked about the fence. You pulled it up and put it back in place after it was nearly bent over. So you telling me you barely hit it?”
He looked at the concerned mare and he thought back to the incident. “I didn’t think I hit it that hard, to be honest. My back does not hurt so it wasn’t hard enough to hurt. I fixed it that’s true when I was about to leave I put it back in place.”
“It was an inch thick metal fence.” She said to him her voice pitched slightly. “You put it back the way it was before like it was nothing. No pony can easily do that.”
Applejack stepped forward as Mac left the barn ahead of them. “Twilight most ponies ain’t his size. He’s stronger than they would be, right?”
Twilight looked thoughtful and eventually nodded that she was right. “Okay, that I can believe. But still. How can you be just fine after being rolled like that?”
Applejack looked at him and a chuckle broke from her. “So that’s why yer covered in dirt.”
“Well, he says he’s okay and Ah believe ‘im. Ah need ta go and pick up Apple Bloom from school. Oblivion ya need ta rest up since ya took quite the tumble. Yer gonna be sore in the mornin’.” She said as she patted his shoulder before leaving them alone.
Twilight looked at him as a sigh pulled from her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to sound angry. I was just worried that you had been hurt. I’m glad to see that you’re okay. Well, mostly okay. You’re a bit dirty and bruised but otherwise, you’re okay.” She said as she smiled.
He shook his head. “It’s fine. You were concerned that’s all. I appreciate the concern.” He assured her even as his right hind leg throbbed.
The mare smiled and turned to leave. He watched her leave and when the Unicorn mare was out of sight and he was certain that nopony was close by he allowed himself to look at the injured leg. He could see that the hock was beginning to swell and he cursed under his breath before deciding that he needed to lay down and let the limb rest. He forced it to hold him as he left the barn and walked over to the same tree that he had been using to sit under and he sank to the ground to let it rest. He watched as Granny sat down in her rocking chair on the porch and Big Mac went into one of the orchards off to the left of him. He laid his head down on the ground and closed his eyes.
‘Family? Not even sure how to approach that topic. I do need to start paying more attention to my surroundings. I should have been able to avoid that mare entirely. But that begs the chance that if I did avoid her and she struck a house instead of me.” His thoughts slid away from the chances that the mare would have had to avoid hitting a house and he shook his head slightly. ‘No she would have been injured gravely if I had not been there. Unfortunately, I may have crippled myself for my sparring match with Luna. That’s the day after tomorrow. I will need to let my leg heal or it won’t be much of a sparring match. I’ll rest it as much as possible and see how that ends up.’
He let his mind slip into a meditative state and allowed his ears to do the ‘seeing’ for him as they listened around him. Minutes ticked past him and he laid still and silent as the time passed by him. His ears flicked to face forward as the sound of hooves caught his attention. He opened one eye just enough to see Apple Bloom come running through the gate. She spotted him and he saw her lean back and slide to a stop and walk slowly up to him. She opened her mouth to speak and both his eyes opened and his orange eyes glowed in the dying light of the afternoon. She looked startled by the sight of his orange cat eyes and he waited for her to say anything as he raised his head from its place on the ground.
“Applejack said ya got thrown around in town. Are ya all righ’?” She said to him and he nodded at her. “Ya’ll be sore tomorrow. Ah’ll get a bath ready fer ya.” She said and quickly spun and fled from him.
He had opened his mouth to dissuade her but she was gone and he did not feel like yelling after her. He lowered his head back to the ground and was silent. He watched as Applejack came out of the house and saw him lying under the tree and came toward him. She came up to him and sat down next to him, setting one hoof on his mane and he bit back a cringe as she found a bruise on his neck.
“Ya’ll haven’t talked ta ‘er about talkin’ ta ‘er class, have ya?” She questioned as she set her hoof on the ground.
He sighed and shook his head. “No. I haven’t decided. What story would I tell a group of foals anyway?” He asked her. “My homeland is not a very nice place compared to here. This place is very calm and quiet. While mine is covered in blood and war. That’s not exactly a tale to pass on to foals.” He informed her from where he lay.
The mare was thoughtful for several seconds before she spoke to him. “What about that story ya told me? Bout the troll ya helped?”
He looked up at her. “You mean the one I was paid to send on its way?”
“Maybe ya outta leave out the paid part.”
He chuckled lightly. “Maybe. I haven’t decided if it’s a good idea or not.”
“Those foals really like ya. They were all out front waitin’ fer ya when Ah got here.” She said to him and his eyes went slightly wider as she went on. “When Ah showed up instead of ya’ll they looked pretty disappointed. They were waitin’ fer ya.”
“Why in the Hells would they be waiting for me? I have never been the one to pick her up in the afternoon.” He replied as he raised his head to look at her.
“They like ya. Ya stood up for ‘em. Even though Ah don’t think ya meant ta.”
“It was not intentional.” He assured her.
“Still. Ya are a good pony and they know it. Ya have good judgment and they look up ta ya.” She stood up and patted his shoulder and he winced and gave a low hiss. “Sorry.” She apologized quickly.
He closed his eyes and laid his head back down on the ground. He was about to go back to mediating when the front door swung open on its hinges. He opened one eye and Apple Bloom trotted out of the doorway.
“Oblivion! It’s ready!” She hollered, despite him being able to hear easily.
He cast a sideways glance at the now giggling farm mare as she tried to hide her laughter behind a hoof. He raised his head and pulled himself to his hooves. He managed not to use his rear leg and was on his hooves after a moment's delay. The filly ran up to him and then jumped to land close by her elder sister as he moved toward the house. His ears flicked to listen behind him as the filly asked about the evening chores. The Witcher walked into the house and his ears listened and he was certain that he was the only one in the house. He went up the nearby stairs on three legs and limped heavily to the bathroom.
He limped into the bathroom and closed the door behind him, locking it. He pulled the tie out of his mane and set it by the sink and then pulled his baldric off and leaned it against the door jam. He looked into the mirror and he cringed as he realized just how filthy he was from the roll in the dirt. Dirt seemed to cake each individual piece of fur on his body. He could see the dirt that covered the baldric and he was glad that no pony seemed to have taken notice of it or they chose to ignore it as he was still new to town.
The black Pegasus started to turn to the tub when he paused and looked at his left wing. He could see that several feathers were damaged close to the joint and he trained his eyes on the joint. He could see a tear in the skin that he had not noticed earlier. The wing had not been moved so there was no reason for him to have noticed it sooner than now. He breathed in and began to move the wing slowly. He clenched his teeth as pain shot through the extremity as he moved it. He looked down at the wound as blood began to seep slowly from the tear.
His magic flowed over him and he looked up as the symbol showed plainly on his forehead and he summoned his saddlebags. His saddlebags sat easily on the counter and he flipped open the right one and dug through it. He pulled out a wound kit that he had made years ago and was constantly replenished as time went on. He opened a small container and laid the items out across the counter for him to look at. His orange eyes went back to the wounded wing and he chose to clean it out in the water first and then tend to it afterward.
He went to the bathtub and stepped carefully into it and laid down in the warm water. His wing stayed elevated until he was ready for it to be lowered. He lowered the extremity into the water and hissed as it was dunked. It stayed submerged and he laid his head down on the rim of the tub and he looked sideways at the wing. He could see that the water was tinged with dirt and some blood as the wing still bled. He brought the wing out of the water to allow him to look at it as he raised his head and he looked closely at the wound. He assumed that it had been created when he had been pushed across the ground. He must have been laying on it when he slid over the dirt and rocks.
He remained in the water as he reached out his claws and began to pull the damaged feathers out of the wing itself. The more feathers he removed the more he was able to see the extent of the wound. It was close to three inches long and two inches deep. He gripped the broken feathers as his magic reached out and held them aloft and then he focused and they were incinerated at his command, leaving nothing behind. Once he was sure the wing had been cleaned as much as he was able to outside of the water he lowered it back into the water. The feathers that he had removed had been broken off and bent and the ones remaining were intact and if needed they could easily cover the damaged area. He had not created a bald spot on the wing but he had removed several feathers.
The Pegasus laid his head back down and he allowed his body to relax and he closed his eyes. ‘One nice thing about this world is that I am in no danger of being attacked right now. Unless Pinkie can go through doors.’ He thought to himself. A slight smile tugged at his muzzle as he thought of the odds of the pink mare being able to go through the door without being noticed. Ultimately he chose not to consider how she would accomplish such a feat and he let himself fall into meditation.
“Oblivion! Did ya fall asleep?”
He startled as the mare beat her hoof on the door. He raised his head and looked at the door. He stood up slowly and the sound of water falling must have clued her in that he was fine as he heard her hooves walking away from the door. He gripped the soap and lathered his fur and mane. He washed off and ran the soap over his wing. He stood on three legs and his right hind leg was held up just out of the water. He washed off his wings and body, allowing him to use magic to grip the towel close by. He dried himself off and stepped out of the tub. He used the same towel to dry off his legs and then hung it up on the peg. He looked the wing over and he could see that it no longer bled and appeared to be clean of any irritants.
He drained the tub and his magic went over the empty tub to clean it of any residue that had been left by the dirt and blood. His right leg was no longer throbbing and he did not push it as he moved around to face his wing to the mirror. He looked at the kit that he had strewn over the counter and he picked up a small vial. He brought the wing to the front allowing him to easily see the wound. He popped the cork on the vial and he grit his teeth as he poured the contents over the wound. He bit back a yell as the contents seeped into the wound and burned the vessels and flesh, preventing any further bleeding or infection. He released the breath he had been holding and his teeth clicked together as he breathed.
“I hate doing that.” He complained to himself as he set the small vial aside.
He debated on bandaging the wound and his natural tendency was to bandage it but he did not wish to draw attention to it at the same time. He started putting the rest of the contents of the kit away as he suddenly sighed. He reached back into the kit that had been put away and pulled out a bandage. He placed a chunk of fabric gauze against the wound to soak up anything that came from it, keeping it protected as well. He then wound a bandage around the wing and his magic reached out and he colored the bandage black to allow it to hide among his feathers. He made sure the vial was replaced with the rest of the kit as it would replenish on its own over time. Yennefer had created the vial for him as a gift many years ago and he still occasionally thanked her for it when he saw her. He put the kit back in his saddlebags and he sent them back to the wardrobe with a flash of his magic.
He picked up his baldric in his claws and laid it under his right wing and it gripped it close to keep it from falling to the ground. He sighed as he opened the door and started out of the bathroom when he paused and he backed up to grab the hair tie he had gotten from Rarity earlier. He walked carefully to his room after he made sure nopony was upstairs and he closed the door behind him. He had contemplated dinner with the family for a moment before he chose to avoid it. Ultimately he was not hungry and he chose to rest his leg versus aggravating the injury further. He set the baldric on the desk and made sure it was on there and in no danger of falling to the ground.
He moved the quilt back on the bed and he jumped into it and pulled it over his back. He moved a pillow to be under the blanket and he set his right hock on top of it to elevate it enough to help it. He allowed his wings to fall limp at his sides and he made sure the left was sitting easily and the bandage was in place and had not moved. He had never had to bandage a wing on anything before so he had not been entirely sure how to accomplish it so he had ended up guessing. His magic lashed out and he gripped a book and brought it to the bed and he propped it up on another pillow and he opened it to read it quietly.
“Oblivion!” Applejack yelled up the stairs.
A deep sigh escaped him as he raised his head to look at the closed door. His magic opened the door to allow his response to be heard. “Yes?”
He could hear hooves coming up the stairs and he waited for Applejack to peek into his room. “Ya’ll all right?”
He nodded to her and looked back down at his book. He didn’t hear her leave so he raised his eyes to look at her, her green eyes looked back at him as she took a step into the room.
“Ya sure? Ya were in there fer quite a while.”
“Just soaking. I figured that would help with any soreness.” He explained.
She nodded in understanding as he spoke. “That makes sense. Ah’ll take Apple Bloom ta school in tha mornin’. Ya just take it easy and… What?”
“It’s fine AJ. I can take her just fine.” He assured her.
“Have ya decided ta talk ta ‘er class yet?” He looked away from her and she nodded. “Ah thought not. Ya need ta figure it out fer ‘er. Since yer all settled up here Ah figure yer not gonna come down fer dinner?”
“I had not intended to, no. Unless I am needed.” He replied.
“All right. Enjoy yer evenin’. Oh, just a second.” She said as she closed the door and looked closely at him. “Are ya sure yer not injured? Twilight was pretty worried.”
He raised his head and said nothing for several seconds as the Element of Honesty watched him as well. He sighed and raised the blanket and shifted to allow her to see the black bandage wrapped around his left wing. She looked at it and he waited as she licked her tongue at the sight of it.
“No. Do you wish to see?”
“Is that why ya took a bit longer in the bath? Cleanin’ that up?” He nodded and she looked at the wing for a moment. “Do ya mind?”
He shook his head and his claws pulled the bandage from the wound and he removed the pack of gauze that had been placed on it and that allowed her to get a good look at it. “If my past injures are any indication this should heal in two to three days. It’s a small cut.”
“That’s not a small cut Pardner.” She said to him.
“It will be fine in a few days.” He said as she put the bandage back in place and he shifted to allow it to lay against the bed and go limp. “It’s small to me.”
“What kinda place are ya from that’s small? Is it normal?”
“Normal is the wrong word for it.” He said to her. “It’s not abnormal for injuries to happen in a fight if I am careless enough to let them happen. Normally I can come out of a fight unscathed aside from being tired from it. Does not mean I like them it just means I don’t give them much thought unless they are dire.” He informed her.
“Ah understand.” She said to him as she made for the doorway. “Just remember ya are here now and ya have ponies that care bout ya. Try not ta get yerself hurt, but if ya do then ya should say somethin’.” She said to him as she opened the door and left it open behind her as she left.
‘It’s not that I think none of you would care, it’s just that I hate a fuss made over me for nothing.’ He thought to himself as he looked down at the book in front of him. He pushed thoughts of their concern for him from his mind and refocused on the book that detailed Equestria's history. Minutes ticked past him as he could easily smell the dinner that was being eaten downstairs. He could not sense any sign of his body needing to eat and his own hunger could easily be satiated by a hunt in the forest if he was so inclined.
“Ah’m gonna go talk ta ‘im.”
He heard Apple Bloom say rather loudly from downstairs. He listened as her hooves went over the downstairs flooring and then up the stairs and down the hallway. He listened but did not raise his eyes and the filly came to his doorway and knocked on the door jam.
“Yes, Apple Bloom?”
“Can Ah come in?” She asked, her voice quieter than normal to his ears.
“Of course.” He replied and looked up from the book in front of him as he waited for her to come into the room.
She looked up at him as she came to a halt close to the bed. “Ya got hurt in town. Yer okay?”
“Are ya sure?”
He watched as she looked down at the floor as her hoof swirled in the rug.
“I’m certain. Why?”
“Just. It sounded like it hurt.” She replied, but she didn’t look up at him.
He gave a quiet sigh and he reached down and put his hoof under her chin and raised her head to look at him. “It’s nothing little one. Nothing that will not fade in time. Why are you so insistent?”
She put her hooves on his and looked at him. “Can Ah come up on yer bed for a second?”
He gave her a strange look before he gripped her fur in his hoof and raised her to the bed and set her beside him. She stood on the quilt as she looked at him. She reached out her hoof and set it on his exposed shoulder and gripped his fur.
“Ah was jus’ worried. Ya say nothin’ if yer tired or anythin’. Ah, was thinkin’ ya wasn’t tellin’ us if ya did hurt.”
He was glad that she was staring at his shoulder or she would have seen the look of surprise that crossed his eyes. “You’re quite perceptive for a filly.” He said to her and used his hoof to raise her head again.
He saw a flash of anger go through her eyes as she pulled away from his hoof. “So Ah was right. Ya don’t like us.”
She started to jump from the bed as his hoof gripped her tail. “What in the Hells gave you the impression that I did not like any of you?” He asked her, his tone sharp. “You and I are not done.”
“Ya don’t talk ta us. Ah know yer not fine after getting’ hit by Derpy. Any other pony would’a needed a doctor. But ya keep sayin’ yer fine.”
She stopped when he barked a laugh. He raised a hoof and ruffled the filly’s mane. “That has nothing to do with liking or disliking you. I am fine with all of you. I would not offer my help if I did not feel comfortable with you as a family. All of you are very good and kind ponies and that has been proven by all of you accepting a strange pony into your midst without questioning him. That speaks of the very strong giving ponies that are in your family. Just because I do not mention every bruise does not mean that I do not acknowledge all of you. Do you see what I am talking about?”
She nodded after a second delay and looked up at him. He gave her a small smile and was about to put her down when he sighed deeply. “What time do I need to be at your school?”
Her face brightened and she jumped forward to hug his neck and chest. He had to squint a bit as her spirit burned brightly. He rubbed her back with his hoof as another sigh pulled from him.
“Thank ya so much Oblivion! The others will be so happy ta hear yer comin’. Ya can talk bout anythin’ ya want. Ah’ll tell Miss Cheerilee that yer comin’. It’s at the end of tha week.” She gushed and he nodded as he listened to her.
He picked her up and set her down on the floor and she trotted happily from the room. He hung his head and a sigh pulled from deep within his body and he put his forehead against the book and closed his eyes. ‘I must be out of my mind.’ He cursed himself silently for giving into the sad filly. He pulled his head back up and he looked at the book and his eyes found the paragraph that he had left off on and he began to read once more. As an afterthought, his magic closed the door to prevent Applejack from coming upstairs and teasing him for giving in. His hock had stopped throbbing and he moved the book back to the desk and he laid in the growing darkness for several minutes before he pulled the pillow from under the blanket and laid it back in front of him. He listened as the rest of the family began to get ready for bed and he closed his eyes as he laid his head down on the pillow. He looked to the side and his swords sat on top of the desk where he had laid them earlier. He was glad that the filly seemed to have either ignored them or was used to them and did not ask him about them. His body slowly relaxed and he felt sleep washing over him as he allowed himself to sleep.
Oblivions eyes opened as the sound of a rooster startled him awake. He growled as the sound went one for several seconds. ‘That bird needs to shut its trap before I turn it into a meal.’ He groused to himself. He raised his head and he felt several sore muscles sound off as he moved. He blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light of the room and he was soon able to see everything around him in perfect clarity as he pushed the blanket off of his back and moved to get out of the bed. He swiveled his body and his forehooves hit the ground and he dragged the rest of his body out of bed and his hind hooves hit the ground. A wave of pain went out from his right hind leg nearly took him to his knees. He was not able to stop the sound of pain that pulled from him and he lifted the leg from the floor and looked back at it. He could see that it had swelled overnight and it was beginning to throb. He cursed silently and he went still as the door to his room opened.
He looked up as Apple Bloom came into the room and she stared at the swollen leg and then her eyes went to him. He instantly knew that she was going to raise a fuss and he opened his mouth to stop her.
“Applejack!” The filly shouted.
“Shit.” He cursed quietly as the sound of hooves caught his ears.
“Apple Bloom.” Applejack called out as she neared his room. “What has ya yellin’ so early in the… Morn…?”
He could see her eyes going over him as the fact that he was three-legged caught her attention and she cringed at the sight of the leg that he was holding up. The Pegasus was silent as she came into the room and stood just inside the door jam.
“What’s wrong?” She asked him.
“It’s nothing. I…” He started to explain.
“Ah heard ‘im cry out and Ah came ta check and he can’t put ‘is hoof down and…” Apple Bloom rattled off but was silent as a ring of aqua magic surrounded her muzzle.
Magic flowed over his body, from the symbol that appeared on his forehead as he silenced her. “It’s not as bad as she claims. I cried out in surprise. Nothing more.”
“Whoa, Nelly. Tha’ looks more painful than sitting on a beehive.” Granny Smith said as she came to stand in the doorway with her granddaughter and she caught sight of the leg. "Ya ‘urt yer leg yesterday, didn’ ya? Got worse overnight.”
He sighed and raised his head to his full height. “It will be fine. I can stand just fine.”
He looked past them as Mac came to stand just behind them and he looked over their heads into the room. The roan opened his mouth to speak and Oblivion silenced them all with a loud snort. “I did not mention it since there is nothing to worry about. I can still walk well enough and I do not need you to accommodate it.” He explained. “I am perfectly capable of doing things on my own. I do not need to be coddled.”
His hoof reached back to the desk and he swung his swords over his back and buckled the baldric in place. He put the hair tie back into his mane as he moved. He chose that moment to demonstrate that he was more than capable of walking by doing that and he walked out of the room past them. Now that they knew he saw no reason to hide the limp but he refused to limp heavily in front of them. He walked down the stairs and into the growing sunlight outside. The Pegasus sighed and walked to the tree that he had grown fond of and leaned against it as he focused on not listening to the conversation inside. If he wished he could eavesdrop easily enough but he had no desire to do so. His fetlock throbbed as he chose to ignore the signals that it was sending for him to relax and stay off of it. His good sense told him to listen to the signals and it told him that he had been overly short with the family as they were simply worried about his wellbeing.
‘I understand that they are simply concerned. I do not need to be watched over if they are thinking that I will be a burden to them now with an injury. I refuse to be a burden to others and I will do what I have to do to avoid that.’ He thought to himself as his internal musing was interrupted as Applejack came outside and looked to find him.
The orange mare looked around and found him standing under the tree. She sighed and came toward him, her steps clearly determined. She joined him and sat down in front of him. He chose to remain standing as getting back up was more difficult when he was down one leg.
“Okay. Ah need ta apologize fer puttin’ ya on the spot like that.” She started out and he listened, his ears perked to listen. “Ah was surprised that ya had been ‘urt more than what ya said ya were. Ah keep fergettin’ that where yer from nopony looks out fer ya and yer all alone. Ah know ya were hidin’ it ta keep from worryin’ us but we still worry.”
He said nothing for several seconds before he looked at the mare. “I am not interested in being the center of a lot of fuss. It is not needed.”
“Ah know.” She replied and went on. “But like Granny said. Yer family and it’s our job ta worry bout ya. Ya would worry bout us if we were in yer horseshoes, right?” He looked away from her as she spoke. “Ah thought so. Ya stepped in ta help Twilight when the rest o’ us were actin’ the fool. Ya go out of yer way ta help Apple Bloom, Mac, and I and just yesterday ya went and protected Derpy from getting’ hurt. She didn’t have a speck o’ dirt on her from what Twilight said. Ya tore a wing and hurt yer leg in her place.”
He said nothing as he closed his eyes for a moment before he looked back at the now smiling mare. He knew her well enough and he knew her spirit would have told him if she was lying to him and she was nothing but honest, her Element of Harmony on display.
“It’s still not needed to fuss over me.” He began and she shook her head to silence him.
“It is needed. Ya are hurt. Don’t think we didn’t see ya hurtin’ when ya left us behind. Ya can’t put a lot o’ weight on it. Ah’m not tryin’ ta argue wit’ ya. Ah’m just tellin’ ya what we see and we worry bout ya cause yer family. Ya need ta realize yer part o’ this family and this family is worried bout ya.”
The Witcher looked out over the orchards behind him for several seconds before he looked at her once more. “I am well aware that you and the others care AJ. It's just that I am not used to such a thing. I might spend a winter at Kaer Morhen and then I am away from the others of my kind. Sometimes I do not go back to the Keep at all and then I am alone for years on end. As you know I am not a young stallion despite my appearance. Once again asking me to change a century's worth of habits and thoughts are not going to help you in this situation.”
She looked back at the farmhouse and then back to him. “Ah know. But ya need ta realize we think of ya as being close to our hearts. Ah know that’s not how ya think of us and that’s fine. We can’t help but worry. Especially when we know yer hurtin’. So Ah’m askin’ ya ta let us help ya, just a little bit.”
He said nothing as a sigh pulled from him. “Very well. But I will not be coddled. I can still take her to school.” The mare opened her mouth to protest and his magic lashed out and wrapped her mouth in magic to silence her. “I can then teleport back.” He went on as he let go of her mouth. “I will lay quietly but I prefer to be outside. If there is anything that needs to be done close by I will do it.” His magic went back over her mouth as she scowled at him. “I can accomplish things with just enough magic to get it done within reason. That means I will not need to stand up.” He said as he released the magic as she nodded in agreement with him.
“Okay. That sounds fair ta me. Could ya teleport Apple Bloom ta school instead?” She questioned.
“I do not know how to teleport other ponies. I would rather not learn how by using a filly.” He replied and she grimaced.
“That’s a good point.” She said as the grimace fell from her face. “Ah’ll let the others know yer plan and we will set ya up under this here tree fer the day.” She said as she got to her hooves and patted his shoulder.
He managed not to cringe as she patted a sore spot and she trotted for the house. He lowered his body to the ground and allowed his leg to lay still as he fell still. He closed his eyes and his ears listened to the world around him. He began to focus on what magic he thought allowed his Sight to find and see the spirits of ponies he knew. He figured that he needed to focus it and he knew that he was able to find the other Element Bearers but others were more difficult. His ears perked as he listened and he could hear a dog panting by the barn, birds in the orchards, and a beaver chewed through a tree out just past the orchard closest to him. He started as the door slammed and he opened his eyes to see Apple Bloom trotting up to him.
“You should not slam the door little one.” He said to her and she looked sheepishly back at the door. “Ready to go?”
She nodded and he pushed himself to his hooves and made for the front gate. He limped but his pace did not change as he led her away from the farm. Apple Bloom tried running in front of him to slow him down a but he stepped either over or around her.
“Are ya sure ya should be walkin’ that fast?” She questioned.
“Would you rather I teleported and left you behind?”
“Well no, but… Ok.”
He gave her a slight smile as he looked over his shoulder to her. She loped to catch up to him and came to walk beside him. Even with the limp, his stride was still fast enough to make her have to trot occasionally. He did not see the upset look that slowly grew on her young face as she suddenly called out to him.
“Ya need ta slow down. Ah don’t want ta see ya hurtin’.” She shouted.
Oblivion stopped and looked down at her and he sighed and nodded to her. He slowed down as she had asked and the limp grew even more pronounced at a slower pace. She grimaced but seemed pleased that he had agreed with her. Minutes ticked past and they reached the schoolhouse and he pushed open the gate as he came to stand just outside the door. She hugged his foreleg and motioned for him to wait for a second. He watched as she ran into the schoolhouse and returned with her teacher a minute later.
“Apple Bloom tells me that her eldest brother is going to come to the class to speak. I have to admit I thought she meant Big Macintosh but she said that you were older than he is. It’s nice to hear that you’re going to come and speak to the class. Many of the students are quite fond of you so it should be fun for them to hear you speak. Please come by the day after tomorrow around noon. Will that time be all right for you?” Cheerilee asked him.
“That’s fine. I have an appointment tomorrow morning but I will be back in time for the next day. I have no plans. What stories are preferred?”
She gave him a friendly smile. “Anything that you think will hold their attention. Since you are not from around here, tales about where you come from would be a good start.” She advised.
He nodded in understanding. “Understood. I’ll figure something out.”
The Pegasus pivoted on his left heel and began to limp out of sight of the ponies. He knew that he was still keeping the fact that he had magic a secret so he waited for them to go into the schoolhouse before he allowed his magic to cover him completely and he vanished in a flash of aqua mist. He appeared near the front of the house and he heard a shout of alarm.
“By Equestria!” Granny Smith yelped as she looked at him. “Ya appeared outta nowhere.”
“I said that I would not walk back so that is what I did.” He said to her.
He began to walk to the other side of the house when a rope settled over his shoulders and he stopped in his tracks. He looked over his shoulder to see Applejack walking up to him, the other end of the rope in her teeth. She wore a wide smile as he simply looked blankly back at her.
“Now walk yerself over ta that there tree and rest.” She said to him as she looked at her grandmother and then back to him. She motioned for him to lower his head to allow her to remove the lasso. “Ah’ll bring ya a blanket we can let yer wing rest as well.”
“Not that I do a lot with my wings but I see the point.” He pointed out to her and she shrugged as she removed the lasso from around his shoulders.
He watched as she moved away from him and he limped over to the tree and laid down under it. He had a feeling that he was going to be spending most of the day under that tree so he was suddenly regretting not picking up another book from Twilight as seconds ticked past him. He waited in silence as the front door opened and Applejack came back outside. He could see a light quilt, pillow, and his books on her back as she approached him. She stopped next to him and set the books down in front of him and slung the quilt over his back and tapped his thigh to get him to lift his injured leg and she placed the pillow under it to elevate it. He looked back and his swords poked out from the blanket, just the tips of the hilts could easily be seen.
“There ya are. All set up fer a good rest under this sol’ tree. This tree used ta give us some o’ the best apples on the farm. But fer some reason it stopped growin’ ‘em and now all it gives is shade. We thought about pullin’ it down but in the end, none o’ us could go through with it.” She said to him as she placed a hoof on the tree trunk.
“It’s old. That’s why you refused to pull it down.” She said and she looked at him, her eyes wide.
“Did Ah already tell ay bout it?” She questioned.
“No. It’s just a feeling. I have spent most of my life in forests and after a while, you learn to tell when one has been there for a long time and how it seems to speak in its own way. After a while, they seem to have a life of their own and if you listen hard enough you learn to hear it.” He explained and she smiled as she moved away from the trunk of the tree.
“Yer right. We couldn’t let it go. After what ya jus’ said Ah’m glad we left it alone. Ah’ll get ya a glass o’ lemonade. Granny made a new pitcher while ya were gone.” She moved away from him and back toward the house.
The Pegasus was still as he looked at the tree and then back to the yard around him. His ears flicked as he looked over to see Mac struggling to carry several barrels on his back. His magic flowed from the symbol on his forehead and the barrels lifted from the roans back and he looked at them until he saw the Pegasus sitting under the tree. Mac understood what he was doing and pointed to where they needed to go and the magic flowed stronger from him as he moved them to the side of the barn.
Oblivion let his magic fade out and he moved the book she had and one of them propped up the other one as he opened the first one to read where he had left off the night before. He opened it to the last page he had been on and only looked up when he heard the door open. Applejack started toward him with a glass on her back. She looked up and turned to the side. His magic once more covered the cup and it levitated to him and he set it close by him.
“Oh Ah almost fergot. Apple Bloom decided ta go inta town and pick up yer cloak from Rarity.”
“Gods below I forgot about it.” He cursed and put his hoof over his face. “She doesn’t need to do that.”
“Ah told her the same thing. Ah said Mac or Ah would go get it but she was wantin’ ta do it. So she and Ah will go get it after school.”
“Very well. I’ll let it go this time.”
“Besides ya need ta be rested up fer ye date with Princess Luna.” Applejack teased.
He turned his head to her and gave it a slight tilt. “My what?”
She stared at him and her smile faltered as she realized that teasing him was not going to work. “Ah meant yer sparrin’ match.”
“True enough. Hopefully, it does not get in the way too much. I should be fine but resting it is the best option.” He said to her as she turned to walk away.
A slight grin tugged at his mouth as she walked away from him. ‘Nice try. I don’t blush and embarrassment is nearly impossible for me, it is an emotion I lost a long time ago.” He took a sip of the drink she had brought him and he was pleased to find that it was not overly sweet. He chuckled to himself as he looked back to the book in front of him.
A couple of hours ticked past him and he looked up from the book as the sound of hooves earned his attention. He could see Applejack’s spirit coming toward him and she emerged from one of the orchards and she made her toward him. He watched as she joined him and halted in front of him.
“How ya doin’?” She asked.
“How is yer leg?”
“It’s throbbing occasionally. For the most part, it is fine.” He replied easily and moved the leg under the blanket.
“Ah got an idea.” She replied and made for the house.
She was gone for a couple of minutes. He watched her return carrying a couple of bags in her mouth. She reached him and set them down on the blanket by his side. He could feel that they were cold, as it went through the blanket and into his fur. She pulled back the blanket from his leg and tapped it gently. He lifted that part of his leg and watched as she put one bag under it and waited for him to put it back down. He jumped at the sudden cold on the injury. But he laid it back down where it belonged. She laid the other over the top of it and then put the blanket back over it.
“What are those?” He asked her.
“Ice packs. Ah clean fergot all bout ‘em till now.” She explained to him. “If ya keep ‘em on an injury like yers then they will help with the swellin’.”
His ears flicked as the sound of trotting hooves caught his attention and he trend to look at the front gate as a familiar purple spirit came closer to him. He could see Twilight after several seconds and he could begin to hear Spike talking to her. At the sight of her, he looked back at the orange mare.
“Ah figured ya could use some company. Ah asked twilight ta come and sit wit’ ya.” She explained. “She said that she was thinkin’ of doing magic wit’ ya so Ah figured it would be a good time fer that.”
“That could prove interesting.” He agreed.
The pair of them waited for the other mare to join then and Applejack began speaking when she joined them. “All right. Ah’ll leave ‘im in yer hooves Twi. Don’t have too much fun ya hear.”
Twilight blushed slightly at her teasing and she looked away from the other mare and to the saddlebags around her barrel. Spike came up to the black Pegasus and he stopped in front of him.
“So you saved Derpy from getting hurt?” He asked.
“I suppose that’s one way to look at it.” He replied.
“That’s awesome. That makes you a hero.”
Oblivion barked a rough laugh. “Hah! Hardly.”
Spike looked uncertain at the stallion's reply. “Then what are you?”
“Unfortunate.” He commented.
Twilight chuckled as she set her saddlebags on the ground beside him and she gave him a look. “So you did get hurt when you protected her.”
He shrugged despite a few pulled muscles and sighed. “A bit.”
“A bit? You can’t walk.” Spike said to him.
Twilight slapped her hoof to the back of the baby dragons head as she hissed at him. “He can walk just fine I have heard. If with a bit of a limp but still he is able. He is just doing the smart thing and letting it rest.”
He knew that she had complimented him to stop him from standing and proving the dragon wrong. He glanced at the baby dragon and snorted in his direction. Spike sat down heavily and laughed nervously. Twilight sat down and her magic began to pull things out of her saddlebags as she looked at him.
“Okay. I was trying to decide what experiments we could do while we sit quietly.” She explained as she paused. "You have already shown that you can fix items and structures at will. Along with being able to overpower a Unicorns magic when you need to. So I would like to try that out later but first, we will try something simple.”
He said nothing as she went back to her saddlebags. “Sounds easy enough.”
She nodded. “So we will start out with simple transmutation. We will be trying to turn this orange into an apple. I am not very good at this type of magic but I am curious to see how you would go about accomplishing it. After that, we can test out your magical strength using weight.” She paused as he looked from her to the baby dragon with a look of mischief.
“Weight, huh? So that is why you brought Spike along.” He quipped easily.
“Yeah! I’m here to help… Wait… Hey!” Spike looked affronted as he realized the teasing insult that had been thrown his way.
Twilight laughed behind a hoof as Spike sputtered. Oblivion kept his head raised and gave a smug look at the baby dragon.
“Never doubt the abilities of a Witcher,” Oblivion advised.
He looked at the orange she had set on the ground in front of him and his magic flowed easily through him as he focused on changing it into an apple. He felt the magic as it layered over the surface of the orange and he watched as its orange skin morphed into the smooth sides of an apple. He set down an apple in front of them and his magic faded from it as he watched them both staring at the changing produce. He opened his mouth to speak as Spike reached out, picked up the transformed apple, and popped it into his mouth.
“Oh no, Spike. That probably doesn’t taste like…”
“Wow. It’s delicious! Best apple I’ve ever eaten.” Spike gushed and looked at the perplexed mare. “If I go and get more oranges can you turn them all into apples?”
She blinked at the baby dragon and her eyes soon flew to look at the black Pegasus. “Any fatigue?” He shook his head. “Disorientation?” Another shake of his head. “Headache?”
“Nothing.” She looked even more perplexed as she looked at where the apple had once been sitting on the grass.
“Should there be?” He questioned.
“Well, I guess yes.” She replied and at his look, she went on. “Turing an orange into an apple in itself is fairly simple. It’s getting it to taste and smell like one that’s hard. I can change one into the other but the taste is always off.”
“It usually tastes like an orange with hints of apples.” Spike provided as the mare glared at him.
“I never said I was an expert at it.” She added. “But you didn’t have any trouble bypassing that difficulty and making it taste perfect according to Spike.” She said to him. “Okay, so how did you do it?”
He thought over what process he had gone through and looked at her. “I suppose I went over what an apple smells, tastes, and looks like from my point of view. I focused on what I know of the item and went from there. By focusing on the image and the attributes I was able to create it.” He explained to the best of his ability. “I’m not certain if that method will work for you or not.”
She reached out to her saddlebags and pulled another orange from her bag. Her horn lit up with a magenta spark as she held the orange aloft and closed her eyes to focus on it. He looked to the side as Spike moved to hide close to him after several seconds. He looked from the retreating dragon to the mare and his eyes went wider at the sight of the expanding orange. It was slowly growing in size. He had a feeling that unlike Pinkie Pie this item would in fact explode in their faces. The Pegasus felt magic flow over him as he erected a shield in front of himself and the baby dragon. It would protect them from the incoming explosion and protect the open book in front of him and everything in his proximity. He cast a glance behind him as Spikes' hand landed on his blanketed flank as he hid. Oblivion had closed his eyes and pinned his ears as he prepared for the incoming sound.
He opened his eyes moments later to find pieces of the orange splattered against the aqua shield. Its location had protected the pair of them from being covered in orange pieces and he looked up to the purple mare. While they were untouched the mare was not so fortunate. Pieces of orange covered her fur and sticky pieces were lodged in her mane. She looked at the pair of them and then to the shield that hovered just in front of him. She blinked several times and then a groan pulled from her.
His ears flicked as the sound of drumming hooves caught his attention. “Incoming.”
“What in the hay?!” Applejack shouted as she came out of the orchard close by them.
Mac was right on her heels as they both looked around them for the source of the sound. Both siblings looked over to see the shield and they galloped toward the pair of ponies and the dragon and slid to a stop.
“Wha' in Equestria?!” Mac barked out at the devastation in front of them.
“A simple miscalculation about turning orange into an apple. Nothing more.” Oblivion said to them as the shield dissolved and flowed over the grounds around them, destroying the signs of the exploded orange.
It flowed over the purple Unicorn and removed all of the orange pieces and removed the sticky mess that covered her. The mare looked sheepishly at the pair of them and gave a nervous laugh.
“I’m sorry. I was trying to use Oblivions method of transmutation and it didn’t work very well.” She explained.
“Well. He is a Pegasus so Ah guess the magic is differen’.” Applejack said to her.
“I was thinking it would act the same but I suppose it is a different type than I thought it would be.” She replied.
Big Mac simply nodded. “Ya’ll all right?” He looked at each of them in turn as they nodded. “Then no harm is done. Jus’ be careful.” He said as he turned to go back to work, giving Applejack a gentle push to do the same.
The Pegasus watched them leave and once they were out of sight he looked at the purple Unicorn. “What happened?”
“I’m not sure. I think I may have over thought the process you mentioned.” She admitted with a smile. “I’m not certain though.”
“You do have a tendency to overthink things.” He replied and she lowered her head sheepishly.
“Anyway.” She said to him and raised her head. “You are meeting with Princess Luna tomorrow right?”
“I am to meet her in Canterlot at eleven a.m.” He replied to her.
“Okay. So you need to catch the train around eight in the morning. I can walk you to the train if you… What?” She paused at the strange look he was giving her.
“I need to catch what?” His head tilted slightly as he questioned her.
“The train.” She replied. “It takes about two and a half hours to get to Canterlot from Ponyville. So you need to be up early to get to the train station. You do know about the train?”
“Clearly I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He replied, his tone sharp. “What exactly is a train?”
Twilight looked at him for several seconds as her horn lit and a book appeared in her magic. She flipped through it and then turned it around for him to look at. She showed him what she meant and he found himself looking at a line of metal boxes with smoke coming from the front one.
“And you sit on top of it?” He asked her, his tone uncertain.
She giggled and shook her head. “No, you sit inside it.”
He looked down at the picture and then back to her. He felt something rear up within him and he shook his head. “No. There is no way I am sitting in a metal coffin for hours.” He growled as his magic flowed and a scroll appeared with a quill. He jotted down a quick note and then sent it on its way.
“What was that?” Spike asked as he was now leaning against Twilight foreleg after coming out from behind the stallion.
“I asked Luna to give me a description of where she would like to meet me. That way I can simply portal myself there rather than ride in a metal death trap.” He replied.
Twilights eyes were wide as she looked at him. “You realize that teleporting that far is impossible. I don’t think even the Princess could do that.” She admitted.
He opened his mouth to speak when a flash of aqua magic went out in front of him and a scroll dropped into his hoof. He opened it and read over what had been written.
“Perfect. With this, I have no need for a train.” He said to her.
Twilight got up and came to stand at his shoulder as he showed her the diagram that had been given to him. “That’s the main courtyard that the military uses for training. I have been in it a few times but not enough to know its layout that well. I was usually in the library or in my room.”
He nodded and rolled the scroll back up and sent it to his saddlebags in his room. Twilight sent the book back to the library and closed her saddlebags. She settled back down to sit in front of him and waited as he settled back into the blanket.
Time ticked past and Oblivion looked at the front gate as a light he recognized as Apple Bloom came through it. Applejack was on her heels and the filly was balancing a bundle on her back as she saw him and angled to go to him. The Pegasus and the purple Unicorn waited for her to come to them.
“Oblivion! Ah got yer cloak from Rarity.” She said as she slowed down to a walk as she neared them.
“I can see that.” He said to her as she stopped in front of him beside Twilight. “Thank you.”
“Rarity mighta changed it a bit.” Applejack admitted as his magic gripped the cloth.
Oblivion closed his eyes and unfurled the cloak. The border was now covered in a deep blue cloth. The inside had been covered in the same fabric just slightly lighter. He looked to find that the marking on his flank was also on the right side by the bottom. It was just the wolf emblem without the swords. He placed the cloak on his back above the blanket and sighed.
“Should have known she would do something with it.” He admitted.
Twilight giggled behind a hoof and Applejack nodded in agreement. He had to admit he was glad to have it back and he laid it over his back on top of the blanket.
“Ah’ll get a warm bath started fer ya ta help yer leg.” Apple Bloom said as she spun and headed for the house.
He didn’t bother trying to stop her as she bounded away from them. Twilight looked at it and smiled. “It looks really nice Oblivion. Goes well with your black coat.”
Oblivion laughed. “I’m just glad to have it back so it can hide that I’m a thin pony.” He quipped.
Applejack brayed a laugh and nodded. “Maybe now Granny will stop trying ta force ya ta eat more.”
Oblivion nodded. “Gods, I hope so. This morning's activity enabled me to skip breakfast.”
Spike looked at him. “How can you skip a meal and not be starving?” The dragon's eyes were large.
“Easily.” Oblivion deadpanned at him.
Twilight got to her hooves and moved the remainder of her things back into her saddlebags. “Come on Spike. Time for us to head home and start dinner. Thank you for your help today Oblivion. And thanks for letting me question you about your magic. I’ll work on my transmutation for the next time.”
“Anytime Twilight.” He replied to her.
He stayed where he was as Spike jumped to the mares back once she had her saddlebags around her girth. She waited for the baby dragon to be settled before she set off for the front gate and walked through it. He waited for her to be out of sight before his magic picked up the cloak and the blanket off his back and Applejack reached for them. He gave them to her as he pushed himself to his hooves without using his right hind leg. Applejack walked to pick up the ice packs and set them on her back. He took the blanket and cloak from the mare and laid them across his back, on top of his swords.
“Ya okay ta be standin’?” She asked.
“Should be fine. I was off of it all day so I am assuming it is fine.” He replied.
She nodded and picked up the pillows and set them on her back. He picked up the cup that he had drained earlier and it was sent to the kitchen ahead of them. She stayed on his heels as he limped toward the house. He walked into the house as Apple Bloom came down the stairs and looked up at him.
“It's ready, Oblivion.” The yellow filly said to him with a smile.
Oblivion looked at her and nodded. “Thank you, Apple Bloom. You don’t need to do this again. I forgive you for trying to break into my saddlebags and shattering two of the potions.”
She started and looked at him. “Thanks. But can Ah still get a bath ready fer ya at night?”
“Why in the God's name would you want to keep doing that?”
“Cause Ah want ta. Yer family and ya have taught me a lot. Yer mah big brother.” She said to him. “Can Ah still help ya?”
Oblivion stared at her for a moment before sighing. “If that is what you wish then I won’t stop you.”
Apple Bloom gave a small cheer and hugged his foreleg before she ran out the door. He gave a shake of his head and Applejack took the cloak and blanket off his back and moved past him up the stairs. She was carrying his books and he was pretty sure that she was going to put them back in his room. He moved to the stairs and started up them, three-legged. He made his way to the bathroom and walked inside and shut the door behind him. He removed his baldric and leaned it against the counter. He pulled the bandage off his wing and checked it for any sign of infection and found that it was clean and dry. He stepped into the water and sank down into it and let his muscles and hock soak. He slowly sunk his wing into the water and let them both go limp at his sides as they soaked. He laid his head down on the rim of the tub and let his mind go blank as he laid in silence.
He could hear the others downstairs at the table. He raised his head to look down at the submerged wing. He was pleased to find that the wing had not bled and seemed to be healing on its own. His injuries were healing well and they wouldn't hamper him by very much the next day. After a half-hour, he stood up and used the soap on his fur, wings, and then washed it off. He decided to use his magic to dry off instead of the towel. He was pleased when the magic was able to do what he asked and he shook himself once. Once he had finished he put his swords over his back and moved out of the bathroom and back toward his room. He was silent as he saw his cloak laid across the desktop and he leaned his swords against the desk for the moment.
He moved his blanket back and laid down on the bed and pulled it over his back. Magic reached out and he pulled the book he had been reading onto the pillow and his swords then came to him as well. He laid them under the blanket beside him out of old habit and the Pegasus was silent as he hid them under the blanket. He had not been keeping them close for the past few nights but the fight with the Forktail had him choosing to keep them as close as possible once more. His ears flicked as the sound of hooves made him bring his head up. Applejack knocked on the door jam and she peered into the room.
“Yes?” He asked her and she came further into the room.
“Ya gonna be okay ta spar with Luna?” She asked him, her voice hesitant.
“I should be fine. If I think it’s going to be an issue I’ll put an end to it. I don’t think it will prove to be too much of an issue. A simple sparring match is not worth permanent injury.” He replied.
“Ya need me ta walk ya ta the train?”
“No. I will be using a portal to get there. I asked Luna for a detailed description of where she wished me to meet her. She provided a diagram of the location for me.”
“Can ya do that?” She asked, her eyes questioning. “Ah never heard of a pony going that far wit’ magic.”
“Twilight said the same thing. She claimed it would be impossible to accomplish.” He informed her. “I will be finding out tomorrow if it is possible or not.”
“Ya sure that’s a good idea? Yer injured already and pushin’ yerself too much could hurt ya worse.”
“I know. If I get partway through the spell and it feels like it will be too much I'll drop it and use several portals instead of one big one.” Applejack started to speak. “I am not riding in a metal box.”
“Ya never been on a train?”
“No. They do not exist where I am from. To get anywhere we walk or take a boat if we need to. Some use portals to go longer distances instantly. I am not going to sit in a metal coffin that I have never seen before.”
His tone was certain and she seemed to give up on arguing with him. “Alright. It is yer choice. But ya know yer gonna have ta ride in one eventually.”
“Perhaps. When that happens I will try to be more amiable to the idea.” He retorted.
She smiled and shook her head. “Ya went hoof ta hoof with Nightmare Moon and ya are a bit nervous bout a train?”
“Yes.” He replied, finality in his tone. “Only a fool does not admit to their own faults.”
“Ya make a good point. Knowin’ yerself is hard ta do.” She said as she turned around to leave. “How is yer wing?”
“It will heal overnight. The gash is already smaller and it will either heal tonight or before noon.” He explained.
“That’s good ta hear.” She said as she paused just in front of the door jam. “Just be careful. Ah know ya are looking forward ta yer sparring match. Just don’t overdo it.”
“I’ll take my saddlebags with me in case I need anything to tend to it.” He said as he responded to her request.
“Oh. The mayor heard bout ya helpin’ Derpy and wanted ta reward ya fer it.” He looked at her and shook his head. “Ah told ‘er that ya weren’t out fer glory. Ya did what ya had ta do. Don't ferget bout Apple Bloom's class.”
“Day after tomorrow.” He replied and she nodded.
“See ya in the mornin’.”
The orange mare walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. He looked at the book in front of him and his claws closed it as he flexed them and then they folded back into his hoof. His magic set the book on the desk and he laid his head down on the pillow. He debated for a moment if he should only take one blade or just take them both and not try to separate them. He was fairly certain that they would be using practice blades but that did not mean he should leave them both at home. He was going to have to only use his hooves since if they were in a training area there would be other ponies. He was still keeping his magic as quiet as possible so he would have to fight without it. Which made him choose to bring his own blades after a minute’s debate. He let his eyes close as he listened to the other ponies going to bed as well.
Oblivion opened his eyes and looked out the window next to the bed. His ears flicked as he saw Applejack and Big Mac already in the yard. He had not heard the rooster sound off. He hadn’t heard them get up either. He was immediately critical of how deeply he had slept and he pushed the quilt back and pushed himself off the bed. His hooves hit the rug and he was careful of his right hind leg and he waited for it to react. The pain was barely there and it did not throb. He snorted and looked to his desk. The Pegasus pulled his swords onto his back and buckled them in place.
He reached for his cloak but his claws stopped just before they gripped the black cloth. He pulled his claws back and left it in place choosing to spar without it. His claws folded back into his hoof and he put his hoof back on the ground. He looked back to the window and he could tell from the sun's location that he was in time to still walk Apple Bloom to school. His orange eyes went to the damaged wing and he checked it to see if it needed to be covered or if it had healed enough to be left alone.
“No need for a bandage this time.” He muttered.
The wing had healed enough that he was able to avoid covering it since the cut was now a shallow gash that did not need constant protection. He pulled his mane upon his head and secured it with the binding from Rarity and made for the door. The Witcher pulled the door open and walked down the hallway to the stairs and went down them. He could fee that he still had a slight limp but the fetlock didn’t throb and pain did not lance from the injury as it had days earlier. The kitchen was empty and he walked out the open door to join the ponies outside. Apple Bloom was the first to spot him as his eyes adjusted to the sunlight.
“Mornin’ Oblivion!” She called out as she approached him.
“Good morning Little One.” He greeted her in return and gave her mane a gentle tousle.
“How’s yer leg?” Applejack called out as she came out of the barn.
He walked over to her and he could see her watching his stride and she seemed pleased. “It’s getting better. The throbbing seems to have stopped and the pain is now almost nonexistent.” He reported to her and lifted the hind leg from the ground for a moment before replacing it back on the ground.
“Good ta hear. Ah figured we could let ya sleep in a bit since ya need all yer energy fer your sparring match with the Princess.” She told him with a smile.
“Ah, so that is why I was not awakened sooner.” He replied. “I appreciate the consideration.”
Apple Bloom hopped around his hooves and then began to circle around and under his belly. “Everypony was really excited when Ah told ‘em ya were gonna talk to the class. Ah can’t wait fer tomorrow. Ya can tell us about sparrin’ with the Princess or about Nightmare Moon.” The filly shrilled happily as she stopped just to the side of him.
Oblivion watched her as she came to a stop beside him. “I was told that I needed to talk about where I am from.” She looked up at him, sudden disappointment in her eyes. “Do not worry too much. I will ensure the tales are interesting.”
Her eyes lit up once more and she went back to running around his legs. He leveled a look at Applejack who was holding back a chuckle. The filly was still happily moving around him and he bit back a deep sigh as the filly came to another stop.
“Are you ready to go?” He asked her as her eyes went wide and panic seemed to go through her.
She turned tail and ran for the house and he heard her hooves racing up the stairs. He looked at the orange mare and she shrugged. After a minute he made for the house and poked his head in through the open door. He saw the filly frantically writing on a piece of paper. He moved back into the house and came to stand close to the table.
“Ah fergot mah homework. Ah’m gonna get in trouble with Miss Cheerilee!” She lamented. “Ah don’t have enough time. What do Ah do Oblivion?”
He looked at her and at first, he was going to scold her for not thinking ahead but the scolding died in his throat at the look of sheer panic on her face. “Come on. We will work on it while we walk there.”
The filly put it back in her bag and came to stand with him as he backed up and out of the house. He angled for the gate and they both walked through it as his magic picked her up and he set her on his back. She looked at him as her paper was pulled from her bag and set in front of her.
“Do your work and I will walk us there. I will keep my stride fluid to avoid messing up your writing.” He said to her and she nodded and he moved his swords out from under her and his wing held them tightly against his side.
His legs moved easily under him and he managed to keep his stride from interfering with her writing as he moved. His back barely moved as she wrote. He heard her grumbling and he looked over his shoulder at her.
“Ah have ta draw somethin’. Ah can’t do it on yer back.”
“You’re going to have to.” He pointed out. “Unless you wish to get into trouble with your teacher.”
Her eyes went wide and she went back to her work. He walked easily forward and he looked over his shoulder once more as the schoolhouse came into view. He watched as she seemed to finish and she sat up on his back with the paper gripped in her hoof.
“Ah got it!” She yelled and he pinned his ears at the volume. “Sorry.”
He shook his head as he drew up at the front gate and he was pleased to see that she had finished just in time. “Well done. But next time you have to check your bags if you think you might have forgotten something. Check your bag every time just in case.” He advised.
She nodded and lunged forward to grip his shoulders and neck. “Yer the best big brother ever!”
He blinked at the exuberance and looked back at the filly. “Sure.” He said as she let him go and slid down his shoulder to the ground, her paper still in her hoof. She got to the ground and slid the paper into her bag as the other foals approached and looked at him. Apple Bloom looked at them and she looked up at the black stallion.
“Ah told ya they were excited.” She said as she trotted through the gate to join them.
“So I see.” He replied quietly.
He watched as the mare came out the door and the foals all turned to go inside. Cheerilee waved to him and he gave her a nod in return. He spun on his heel and moved down the road, his stride was still fluid as his hooves moved silently on the compact dirt. His thoughts landed on the title of elder brother and he shook his head as it rang through his ears. ‘A bit of an awkward title. I suppose I should start getting used to it.’ He thought to himself. His stride fell back to have a slight limp as he moved quickly back to the farm.
He let his mind wander a bit as he moved and he looked up at the sun to figure out what the time was and he knew that he had time before he needed to leave. He broke into a trot and his stride leveled out as he trotted and his fetlock no longer hurt. He reached the front gate and trotted through it and he slowed to a walk as he neared the roan stallion. He stopped a few feet behind him and waited to be noticed. After thirty seconds he nearly snorted but chose not to.
The red pony leaped forward with a snort and spun to face the black Pegasus. “Ya need ta wear a bell.”
He snorted at the thought and looked at the farm pony. “I have some time before I need to leave. Is there anything that needs to be done before that?”
He could tell that Mac was about to say no when he paused as the Pegasus’s magic sparked. “Ya’ll can put these here buckets under the trees. Bout two ta each three. It's gettin' ta be Apple Buckin’ season.”
He nodded as his magic picked up several barrels and he began to set them under the trees that were closest to him. “Apple Bucking? What the hell is that?”
“It’s what we call harvest season. Ya’ll be helpin’ out wit’ it. Starts next week so ya’ll be busy. So ya’ll prolly be takin’ the baskets from the orchard and puttin’ ‘em in the barn. Yer magic will help ya do that but don’t be afraid ta help out more than that. Ah’ll try not ta push ya since its yer first harvest.”
“So this happens every year I assume?” The roan nodded as he spoke. “Interesting. Well since I am here I will do what I can. So shall I put as many of these out as possible?”
“So long as yer not walkin’ too much on that there leg,” Mac said as he pointed to the black stallion injured leg.
“Very well,” Oblivion replied with a slight sigh.
Big Mac nodded and walked away to do something else while Oblivion moved the barrels into place. Minutes ticked past as he moved the barrels and several buckets into place and he heard hooves coming toward him and he let his magic fade as Applejack approached.
“Mac. He has ta use a lot o’ magic ta get ta Canterlot.” The mare admonished the roan as he came toward them.
“I’m fine AJ. This takes very little effort and if I thought it was doing any harm I would have stopped and done the work manually.” He replied and waited for the mare to say more.
“Well, yer done fer now. Rest up since ya have ta try fer long distance.” She said to him and pointed a hoof to the tree he used.
“Very well.” He replied and looked out at the barrels and baskets he had placed. “That should get you started at least.”
Mac looked past him and nodded. “Ya’ll saved me a coupl’a hours. Thanks.” He replied with a smile.
Oblivion moved away from them and limped to his normal tree and laid down at the base of the trunk. His magic lashed out and his saddlebags appeared next to him and they settled on the dirt. He laid his head down on top of them and looked over to see Applejack nodding, clearly pleased with what he was now doing. He decided to let himself doze as he waited for time to pass by him.
His eyes opened after an hour of resting in silence and he looked up at the sun. He could see that it was nearly noon and he pushed himself to his hooves. He moved away from the tree and went to stand in the center of the yard and he pulled his magic to him and he felt it start to channel.
A shout startled him and he looked up to see Twilight galloping through the gates. He waited as she neared him and she slid to a halt and panted from the run.
“Sorry about yelling at you.” She said as he nodded. “I wanted to get here before you tried to teleport all the way. I’m serious Oblivion. This could be a very bad idea and it could drain you of your magic completely.” She stressed.
He could hear the stress in her tone and he tried to look more relaxed. “It’s still my choice to try. If I think it will fail I will space it out into sections. Otherwise, I do not think it will be as much of a chore as you think it will be.”
He pulled the diagram out of his saddlebag and scanned it once more to ensure he knew where he was going. He put it back in the bag and he looked up as Mac and Applejack had joined him, their expressions concerned.
“Your faith in my abilities is astounding.” He said to them, sarcasm dripping from his voice.
They looked sheepish and looked away from him as he called on his magic. He felt it as it came to his call and he could see it slowly begin to flow over him. Symbols and letters flowed over his body as he focused on where he was going and he could feel the magic gathering over his body. He closed his eyes and he could feel the pressure from channeling the magic as he was doing building against his skin. He released it after a moment and he vanished in a flash of aqua mist.
Twilight looked at the others as they looked at where the Pegasus had once been. “I really hope it worked.”
The siblings nodded as a flash of aqua magic went out and a scroll dropped onto the ground in front of them. Her magic reached out and she held it aloft and opened it to read what was inside. She smiled and a laugh broke from her.
“Made it.” She read aloud and the others began to laugh with her.
She shook her head and smiled as she giggled.