After five or six bananas I made my way to the throne room. It wasn’t as difficult to find as I thought it would be. For some reason I’d always imagined Canterlot castle as being really big with winding corridors and secret passageways. I also assumed it would be really easy to get lost in which is why I’d almost decided to just stay and wait for Twilight in the bedroom.
But my worries about being in a clop fic hadn’t completely subsided and I wanted to be in a public space when she arrived. Unless of course the fetish was exhibitionism. Which I doubted. I’m not sure why I doubted it, all I could really come up with was the fact that ponies walk around naked. It just doesn’t seem like a fetish they’d have. But if I was in a clop fic it wouldn’t exactly be written by a pony would it?
Anyways, it turned out all I had to do was walk down some stairs and cross a hallway then boom I was there.
The throne looked pretty nice, exactly the way it appeared in the show. I couldn’t resist so I sat down in it for a few minutes. But my nerves were still going and before long I was up and pacing back and force. Where the heck was Twilight? Where was Luna? Had she sent the letter? I couldn’t imagine why she wouldn’t.
I caught one of the guards giving me a funny look but the moment I turned towards him he straightened and looked forward again. I sighed and went back to pacing. Occasionally I’d look over at the grand castle entrance half expecting Twilight to burst through but she wasn’t making an appearance. I rubbed my chin with a hoof and plopped down onto the floor. The more time passed the more I started thinking that trying to find Luna was the best choice.
Actually, I could probably just go over to one of the guards and ask them to find Luna for me. I was about to do that when a burst of green flame ignited overhead and a roll of parchment fell to the floor. I held it steady with one hoof and unrolled it with the other.
Dear Princess Celestia,
I’m on my way.
Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.
I immediately felt a sense of relief wash over me. Whatever the heck was going on it would be solved soon enough with Twilight on the job. Trotting back over to the throne I sat down. I couldn’t help but notice a rope with a golden tassel hanging down from the ceiling next to me. Was that used to call a servant in? Some chamomile tea sounded pretty good right about then. Maybe I could get some tea ready for when Twilight came. Ooh, and some cakes too. I was still pretty full from the bananas but maybe Twilight would be hungry when she showed up.
Actually, since it was morning maybe she’d prefer something more substantial? Maybe hash browns? I had a feeling that sausage gravy and biscuits wouldn’t be welcome. Maybe the biscuits. Tea and biscuits might be pretty nice and it had the added bonus of sounding super British and therefore fancy.
Although, I was pretty sure biscuit was just British for cookie so it’d probably be just as good to stick with the cakes. Hmmm.
I didn’t have much more time to think about it because a mustached stallion walked in. I recognized him too although he looked kind of different in the shows art style. Wasn’t Kibitz a comic only character?
He marched over to the throne and stared at me over his spectacles. “Well,” he began, his tone was surprisingly stern, “You look healthy enough.”
I supposed I did. I pulled the best Celestia smile I could manage, “Good morning, Kibitz, and how are you do-”
He cut me off with a cough, then pulling a roll of parchment from his waistcoat he unfurled it. “You have a meeting that should have started,” he consulted a pocket watch, “twenty-nine minutes ago.”
“I see.” My Celestia smile had already wilted away. I didn’t want to be the one responsible for ruining the meeting and accidentally starting a war. I had to get out of this.
There was a buffalo sitting across from me. I was pretty sure these guys lived in Equestria so there wasn’t any chance of a war, and even if there was, I was also pretty sure we could beat them. Obviously I was still going to try and avoid the whole war thing if possible. The last thing I wanted to do was get blood on Celestia’s hooves.
Also, I didn’t want to sound like a broken record or anything. But seriously, where the heck was Twilight? I had a bad feeling that she might already be here and she was sitting somewhere waiting for the meeting to end. I knew I should get through this as quickly as possible so I could go check but I obviously couldn’t be obvious about the fact that I was rushing.
By the way, it turns out that hooves, at least the front ones, are a lot like hands. Kinda like meaty mittens. I used one to pick my tea cup off the table and took a long slow sip. See? Taking it slow and easy. “So, what exactly do you want?”
The buffalo snorted, “More land for the herd. To graze and run.”
“And just to be sure, you and your herd definitely aren’t living on a reservation?”
He stared at me silently for several moments, I was starting to get worried that reservations might actually be a thing here in Equestria and my question had offended him, but then he said, “What’s that?”
Oh thank goodness, “Nothing. How much land does your herd currently have?”
Kibitz pulled a map from a saddle bag and laid it flat on the table in front of me. Curly hand writing on the top of the map proclaimed it to be The Appleloosan Colonies. There were about three dotted lines curving over the map to show wagon trails and a single straight line in bold red to show the train tracks.
There were plenty of illustrations too to show notable landmarks. My eyes went straight to a series of rock formations called Rising Hooves. The illustration didn’t actually make them look like hooves though, they kinda looked like… Maybe they looked more like hooves in person. In pony? Oh well.
Appleloosa itself was represented with five little houses surrounded by little apple trees and off to the right of that was a sectioned off piece of land with an arching chain of words over it, Buffalo grazing lands, from there a dotted line circled around Appleloosa before reconnecting. That had it’s own inscription, Buffalo stampeding trail.
“How much land did you have before Appleloosa was founded?”
He snorted again, “All of it.”
So was this a reservation or not? Did they just not have a word for it yet or did it just look like a reservation? I had a feeling this could get really complicated. I studied the map for several more moments.
I placed a hoof on the map, “How about we extend your herds lands off in this direct-”
Kibitz coughed, “That’s where they’re digging the new lake.”
I lowered my hoof, “Oh.”
The silence was so awkward, couldn’t they feel it? I could feel a bead of sweat forming on my brow. I also realized I wasn’t wearing a crown. Shouldn’t I be wearing a crown? No one had mentioned it though. No, I scolded myself, stay on subject.
“Maybe if we use the wagon trail here as a border we can extend your lands down as far as the trail goes through the Appleloosan region, then the other side can be pony land, naturally we’d want to make sure that both parties could still cross the border for travel or for trade. Is that alright with you?”
The buffalo was already nodding.
“Good then.” I turned to Kibitz, he was jotting down a few notes on a parchment. Somehow I’d been hoping for him to either show approval or disapproval depending on how I’d done. But seeing how he thought I was Princess Celestia, even if I’d made a crap decision, maybe he’d assume I had some kind of plan he wasn’t seeing? Which meant I couldn’t rely on him to let me know if I’d screwed up.
Or maybe it really had been a sound choice and I was over thinking it? Well, whatever the case was, hopefully the real Celestia could fix it later.
There had been four other meetings. Four. It was the middle of the afternoon by the time I was able to get away and seek refuge in Celestia’s private study. I laid my head down on the desk and wrapped my hooves around to block on the sunlight streaming in through the nearby windows. Where was Twilight? Hadn’t her letter said she was on her way? I was starting to wonder why I hadn’t just told Luna what was going on. Why had I decided to wait on Twilight?
It was too late to speak with Luna. I’d already asked a guard about her and apparently she’d gone to bed right after sending my letter to Twilight. So if that meeting of ours this morning had worried her, it must not have worried her very much.
A plum colored mare in a maid’s uniform nudged the study door open with a trolley and pushed it inside. “Good evening, Princess, I’ve got your lunch here.”
My mouth watered as I watched her move a round silver dish onto the desk in front of me and whisk away the lid. They were tiny dandelion sandwiches. I picked one up and popped it into my mouth. The dandelion kinda popped when I bit into it, almost like eating a mushroom but it was fuzzy with all those little petals.
It tasted just like I expected it to but it was satisfying exactly the same way meat would have been. I nodded my approval, “It’s delicious, thank you.”
She smiled bowing low to the ground before turning with the trolley and leaving the room. I sighed and turned back to my food. I popped two more into my mouth and chewed. After several minutes a small knock came at the door.
I was sure it was Kibitz again and I considered ignoring it. But I knew I couldn’t do that. I sighed again, “Yes?”
A white unicorn guard stuck his head through the door, “Twilight Sparkle is here to see you, Princess.”
Oh, thank goodness. If I hadn’t been so tired I might have leapt for joy.