• Published 5th Nov 2014
  • 2,737 Views, 216 Comments

Starcrossed - The Drunken Sailor

Flash, a young poor stallion makes a decision that will change both his life and the life of Princess Celestia's favoured student: Twilight Sparkle

  • ...

Chapter 8- Moving On Up

Chapter 8- Moving On Up

Flash yawned widely; he guarded Twilight's room until very first light before quietly retiring to the Trottingham Guard Barracks for a quick one hour nap. Flash quietly hoped that his lost sleep would be made up on the train if else he would spend the entire trip in a state of sleepiness, a situation attractive to no one.

Flash reached Twilight’s door and knocked.

"Twilight? Its morning, I'm pretty sure Lord Forest has breakfast set out for you, Twilight?"

There came no answer so Flash pushed the door open quietly, flooding Twilight's room with Celestia's glorious light. Taking a step in Flash immediately banged his hoof into something metal, with clenched teeth and hissed curses he looked down to see that he had stumped into his own helmet, having left it in Twilight's room last night. Grumpily Flash hooked the helmet on the special hook on his side and fully entered Twilight's room, the mare herself was asleep on her bed, blanket splayed out over the middle of her body, mane in disarray and a small blissful smile on her lips.

Having seen her in peaceful sleep Flash felt a bit bad for having to wake her up, he steeled himself and gently shook Twilight back and forth. No response, he called her name, still no response, frowning Flash went over to the window, sunlight making through only a crack in the curtain. Flash pulled the curtains fully open, completely filling the room with bright light.

Twilight's content smile vanished instantly; she groaned and covered her eyes with her wings. Flash smiled and poked her in the side, getting another groan.

"You have to get up now Twilight," Flash said "you need to eat breakfast and be ready for your public appearances today."

"Why so early?" Twilight asked from behind her wings.

"Because that's the way things are," Flash said "I'll leave so you can freshen yourself up."

Twilight groaned in response, rolling over and falling right out of bed.

"I'm up," she said simply.

Twilight took a quick bath and straightened her mane and coat, it was her feathers that took some tending to, and she still wasn't completely used to them being there. After a few attempts to run the brush through her feathers she sighed in frustration, then a thought occurred to her.

"Flash! I need a favour!" She called.

"Sure, what do you need?" Flash asked, stepping back inside the room.

Twilight levitated her preening brush over to him, pointing to her extended wings.

"You know how to preen right?" She asked sheepishly.

"Uh yeah, but..." Then it dawned on him "you want me to preen you?" Flash asked, heat rushing to his face.

"Yeah! You’re a Pegasus, you should know all about this right?" Twilight asked,

"Well yes but... You don't know what two Pegasi preening means do you?" Flash asked, blushing furiously.

"No, why? What does it mean?" Twilight asked curiously.

"Um, two Pegasi preening is usually proceeds the two of them.... Mating," Flash said.

Twilight's face lit up like the sun itself "oh my Celestia! I didn't mean it like that I swear! It's just I don't really know how to preen! And my feathers are a mess so I thought 'hey Flash is a Pegasus, I beg he knows how!' But I never new it was mean for... That!"

"It's okay," Flash said awkwardly "but... Uh, do you think you can handle it yourself?"

"Yeah, I can figure it out!" Twilight squeaked, Flash left quickly and tried to cool down his burning face.

After a minute or two, Twilight emerged from her room, preened and primed to perfection. She offered Flash a small smile and lead the way towards the dining hall, Lord Forest awaited them there, and he sat at the end of the main table with no food in front of him.

"Ah! Princess Twilight! I began to worry that you would not join me but it seems you simply do not value punctuality like me," Lord Forest said nastily "come, sit down so we can eat."

Twilight didn't respond but Flash could see the anger and frustration that she was holding at bay, Twilight sat down next to The Lord and swiftly they were served plates of fine wheat, oats, and fruit.

"So, Lady Twilight," Lord Forest said casually, taking only minuscule bites of his breakfast "are you prepared for today? It shall be busy."

"I'm really excited to get to know your city!" Twilight said warmly "I've heard so many things about Trottingham already!"

"All good I hope," Forest Green said with a chuckle "this is a place that accepts only the best, like Canterlot or Cloudsdale, something you probably don't understand having spend so much time in a backwater."

The insult took Twilight slightly off guard; the hurt was allowed to be seen this time, but only for a moment. Never the less Lord Forest leaned back, clearly satisfied, from his position by the door Flash silently smouldered. Clearly Forest Green was trying to break Twilight's confidence, to what end he didn't know but he did know that he couldn't stand much more of it.

They finished their breakfast in silence, Lord Forest wearing a satisfied smile the entire time. Once they cleared their plates Lord Forest stood up and gestured for Twilight to do the same.

"The townsponies should have gathered by now, for your arrival parade," he said "we mustn't be late."

With Lord Forest and Twilight in the lead and Flash following along with two Trottingham Guards they made their way away from the dining hall and towards the main hall, already they could hear the distant rumble of a crowd.

They exited the manor, in the courtyard was a simple chariot made of Darkwood, two of Lord Forest's guards were attached to the front. Forest Green climbed into the chariot and helped Twilight in afterwards; they stood side by side as Lord Forest ordered the front gates to be opened.

They were greeted by a round of hoof-stomps and cheering, the Trottingham citizenry lined the sides of the street and greeted them warmly. Clearly they had no intentions of making Twilight feel unwelcome, unlike their Lord, Flash thought to himself, as flower petal and confetti began to rain down on them from the tallest buildings.

Their tour was short, only half and hour or so through the main street of Trottingham before they looped back and returned to the Lord's manor. Three stallions awaited them, or at least Lord Forest, including the scarred one that had accompanied The Lord the day before.

"Ah yes, my apologies your majesty," Lord Forest said, with a hint of sarcasm. "I'm afraid my lordly duties will distract me for most of your visit, but my steward, Ink Pot, will show you to your destinations." The Lord gestured to one of the stallions, a bony, spectacled colt with grey fur and a brown mane.

"I understand," Twilight said. "Have a.... Productive day."

Forest chuckled. "Oh I will my lady, I will," he said, before following his scarred companion back into the manor.

Ink Pot cleared his throat as the chariot was pulled away and the Trottigham guards matched off.

"We should get moving your majesty, there are five schools that have been selected to host you for only an hour or so each, then we are to meet with Trottinghams top lumberjacks and taskmasters over at Pinemoon Mill," Ink Pot listed off.

Twilight gave him a smile, clearly impressed by his organization skills.

"Lead the way then," she said.

Ink Pot took them away from the manor, towards the north-eastern quarter of the city. There they arrived at a long two-storied brick building with an Equestrian flag flying high and proud just outside, thy went inside and were immediately greeted by a sharply dressed stallion with the rough hair that all male teachers seem to have.

"Ah! Your majesty!" He said, bowing low. "I'm Professor White Chalk, the Headmaster here and allow me to be the first to say that it is an honour to play host to Equestria's newest Princess."

"The pleasure is all mine!" Twilight said kindly, Ink Pot cleared his throat.

"We're on a schedule Headmaster, could we move thing along?" He said.

"Of course, of course," Professor White Chalk said, a bit flustered. "This way!"

The headmaster lead them up a set of stair onto the top floor, from there they came to the school library. Inside a group of forty or so colts and fillies sat quietly bar some hushed whispers, they hadn't seen them yet.

"All top of their class," White Chalk said. "They'll be a good crowd for you, your majesty, take it away whenever you’re ready."

Twilight nodded and soared Flash a wink before entering the library, there was a series of gasps, heavy whispering and shushing as Twilight took her place in front of her youthful crowd and smiled.

"Hello there," she said warmly. "If you didn't already know, I'm Princess Twilight Sparkle, the newest princess of Equestria, only coronated a few months ago. I would like to start by saying that education and the development of Equestria's youth has always been important to me and with my status as a Princess I hope to make your school and others like it all the more better."

Twilight paused "any questions?" She asked.

Nearly every hoof went up; Twilight giggled a little and began to answer questions.

"How did you become a Princess?"

"Through the magic of friendship of course, though that isn't the only way to become a Princess as I've learned."

"Can anypony become a Princess?"

This got a laugh from Twilight "yes actually, but I would suggest making it a goal."

On and on it went, with questions of varying intelligence. They finished that school with minutes to spare and moved on, from there is was a pattern of arrival, introduction, small speech, and answering questions through five schools worth of children.

They walked out of the last school in confidence, Twilight had handled each group of students with equal ability, a fact that Flash complimented her on.

Twilight smiled "I often host study groups for the children in Ponyville, you just need to know how to keep their attention."

"Still, I don't think I could keep up with the endless questions," Flash said.

"We must continue on," Ink Pot cut in "Pinemoon Mill is an hour’s walk from here and I do not want to cut into the taskmaster's tight schedule."

"Right, of course," Twilight said, slightly miffed about being interrupted.

Ink Pot lead them to the north edge of the city, where the building began to dwindle and were replaced by the tall dark trees of Trottingham's Black Wood Forest. They followed a path into the tree line and arrived by a river that ran in a westerly direction, a large lumber mill put next to the river, it wheel pushed by the current and moving the mill's saw blade perpetually.

A group of around sixty or so Ponies stood by the mill, they were all large Earth Pony stallions, all with large practiced muscles and most with even larger rough bears covering their chin. As Twilight approached the lumberjack turned an appraising eye towards her, with looks that Flash didn't like one bit, he resigned to giving his best death stare to the stallions twice his size.

"Ah.... Hi!" Twilight said "you must be the lumberjacks I've heard so much about!"

"Aye," one of them grunted "and you’re the new Princess eh?"

"That I am," Twilight answered, steeling herself "and I have say, your line of work is one of the most important in Equestria, Dark Wood is well sought after all over the world for building materials and the like, its ponies like all of you that provide Equestria with its bounty."

This got a few small grins "that's very kind of you, your majesty," one said "it's not often that we're appreciated."

Twilight smiled back "well I for one know that the lumber industry is one of the most important operations in Equestria."

A hoof came up "I have a question," the lumberjack said.

"Go on," Twilight said.

"Hearing all this talk about us labourers is on thing but what are you plannin' on doing for us?" The worker asked.

"I have a few ideas," Twilight answered "such as implementing a system of instant re-plantation, meaning that after a tree is cut down a sapling will be planted to replace it, this way you don't have to constantly expand the forest artificially."

There was a series of mutterings but mostly positive, Flash smiled. Despite what Lord Forest said, Twilight was shaping up to be an excellent Princess and bring about great change for the better in Equestria.

The lumberjacks were soon called back to work, but went away satisfied and impressed with their new Princess. Twilight had gained visible confidence in herself; no longer did she internally question her ability to forge positive relations with who were now her subjects.

"I think you did great," Flash stated.

"Thanks," Twilight said "I'm just happy that ponies seem to be accepting me as a Princess."

"Well why wouldn't they?" Flash said "I for one think you'll make a great Princess."

Twilight's smile widened and a blush came to her cheeks. They traveled back to Lord Forest's manor in a happy silence, at least between Flash and Twilight; Ink Pot just wasn't much of a talker. Lord Forest awaited them in the grand hall, seated on his chair once more, seemingly doing none of the lordly duties that he had mentioned before.

"Ah, Princess Twilight," Forest greeted. "I trust that your visits went well?"

"They did, perfect in fact," Twilight said, a hint of boasting in her tone that made Flash smirk and Lord Forest frown. "I think that the townsponies are open to the idea of a new Princess."

"Really?" Lord Forest said, cocking an eyebrow. "Because, you see, I heard different. I heard whispers amongst the townsfolk, they called you incompetent, inexperienced, that you only gained your title because Celestia favoured you... Just rumours of course," he said nastily, Twilight's smirk disappeared in an instant, and Lord Forest moved off his throne and approached them.

"In fact I heard some things about your family," he continued. "Sparkle is not a noble name after all, and some rumours floated around about your father, how he was never really satisfied with one mare, how you were sired by another, that Princess Twilight Sparkle is a filthy bastar-"

Lord Forest never hand a chance to finish the insult as Flash stepped forward and placed his blade to the soft flesh of Forest Green's neck.

"You will not finish that sentence! You have insulted Princess Twilight one too many times!" Flash barked, Lord Forest turned a wrathful gaze towards Flash.

"How dare you!" He bellowed. "I am Forest Green! Lord of Trottingham and this is my house! I could have you stripped of your rank and fed to a pack of Timber Wolves! Now lower your blade you filthy peasant!"

"Lord Forest!" Twilight interjected. "You will calm down this instant and cease threatening my guard!"

"Calm down?!" Forest Green snapped. "This...Traitor has insulted me and threatened my life! I will not tolerate this in my own house!"

"And you have done nothing but insult me and try to provoke me my entire visit," Twilight retorted sternly. "I tolerated it but you have gone too far this time, Princess Celestia will hear of your disrespect, Flash, we're leaving."

Flash spared Lord Forest one more angry glare before sheathing his sword and following after Twilight. Forest Green stood smouldering in his spot, furious to his highest degree.

"Not all of the nobility are eager for another princess! Remember that!" Lord Forest called after them.

The pair trotted to the train station in silence, they boarded the first train to Fillydelphia. The conductor recognized Twilight and offered them a private car that was used for nobility, Twilight accepted and they went into the first class car.

"That was really reckless of you," Twilight said. "What Forest said was true and he would've done had I not stepped in."

"I couldn't just let him insult you like that," Flash said solemnly, looking down. "I'm sorry if I damaged your efforts, I understand if you want to punish me for my actions."

The next thing he knew Twilight had wrapped her forelegs around Flash's neck and squeezed him affectionately.

"Thanks for standing up for me," she said softly.

Flash felt his face burn but hugged Twilight back none the less.

"Any time," he said.

The hug lasted for a minute before Twilight realized she had clung a little bit too long, she pulled away from Flash quickly with a burning face and confusion in her eyes, she cleared her throat awkwardly.

"Fillydelphia isn't far away, we should get ready to meet with Lord Thunder Bolt," Twilight said quickly before moving to a nearby seat.

Flash looked on in confusion, Twilight was acting odd and he didn't know why. The train passed by Dark Wood Forest and pulled out of Trottingham's fief and out of the reach of Lord Forest.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!