• Published 17th Nov 2014
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Memoirs of a Royal Guard - Anzel



Silent Knight assumed his story would be complete once he achieved his dream of joining the Royal Guard. To his surprise, it was only just the beginning.

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25. Bachelor Party

Night Frost stood at attention in front of my desk. He was the third pony to graduate the academy and join Princess Luna’s House Guard immediately. I felt like we were kindred spirits.

“So you’re saying you prefer the night shift? As in, you actually want to stick with it?”

The blue-coated unicorn nodded. “I honestly do, Sergeant. I know most ponies don’t so I thought, why not?”

He was right, of course. Most ponies preferred to work the first shift and I hadn’t ever had a volunteer otherwise. I asked, “That won’t be a problem. How are you settling in?”

“Things have been great!” Night Frost said cheerfully. “This was a huge opportunity and all of the ponies here have been so nice. Plus, Princess Luna is awesome…” He trailed off and then sheepishly asked, “Why? What have you heard? Is there anything I should work on?”

That made me chuckle a little and I waved a hoof. Night Frost had been shy around the others, even a little rough in social situations, but certainly no worse than I had been. “Nothing like that at all. If you do want to work on something, though, I had an idea. You can manipulate ice, right?”

He nodded.

“It could be awfully handy if you had the ability to pull together an ice shield. Something to protect yourself, other ponies, and Princess Luna. Why don’t you work on that?”

Quickly, he replied, “Why not? I mean… yes, Sergeant!”

“Excellent. I’ll change the schedule so that you’re on nights. I doubt Starry Spur will complain.”

Night Frost smiled. “Thank you.”

“No problem. Dismissed.”

Runic Phial was standing in my room. That was a first. He had actually taken the time to come over to the palace and check in on me.

“I heard about what happened from Crystal Wishes," he said. "She heard from Princess Luna.”

Is that so? I was subject to palace gossip, it seemed. Oh well. I shrugged. “Yeah, evidently it isn’t exactly a secret, then.”

Winterspear was sitting on Iridescence’s—no, her bed and reading a fashion magazine.

Runic asked, “New roommate?”

Right, these two hadn’t met yet. I stood up and reached over to pluck the magazine out of my sister’s hooves. “Yes, my sister Winterspear.” Motioning to Runic, I added, “And this is Runic Phial, our cousin.”

Winterspear shifted, flapped her wings, and flew off the bed to land beside Runic. They shook hooves and she smiled. “Silent Knight says you’re a true friend. I’m glad to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Runic replied.

“I heard you gave the changelings one heck of a fight, Runic. I saw some of the explosions from the palace,” I said.

Runic nodded sagely. “They were after my rocks. I wouldn’t stand for that!”

“What?” Winterspear asked curiously and I just shook my head.

“What brings you out today, Runic? I’m sorry I haven’t been by lately. This whole thing has had me somewhat preoccupied.”

“Bachelor party,” Runic said simply.

Winterspear’s head tilted and I asked, “You’re going to a bachelor party?”

Runic shook his head and slipped a hoof around my shoulders. “WE are going to YOUR bachelor party!”

When it comes to romance, I didn’t know much but I knew what a bachelor party is. “My bachelor party?”

“Of course. Now you’re a bachelor. I’m a bachelor. Bachelor party at the shop. Everything is set up,” he explained, tugging me towards the door.

I shrugged. A party sounded fun. “Can Winterspear come, too?”

Runic looked confused by that. “Well… my understanding is it is for bachelors. There may be some ‘mare looking’ and the like.”

I took a leap of faith and trusted my instincts. “It's okay; she likes mares, too.”

Winterspear looked at me with wide eyes, her mouth hanging open. I had just blown her secret casually.

Walking over to Winterspear, Runic eyed her up and down and then nodded. “That checks out. Okay. You’re a bachelor, too, then. To the store!” he shouted and then charged out.

Holding up my hooves, I said, “He is family and I knew he wouldn’t care. I had thought it through.”

Winterspear loomed over me with a stern face. Then she nosed my cheek. “Yup, it’s fine. I trust you. Now let’s go have a party!”

“He… really doesn’t do anything halfway, does he?” Winterspear whispered to me as we stood inside the door of Runic’s shop. The 'closed for a private function' placard was outside and the shop floor was decorated to the extreme.

Runic had lined the shelf tops with large potion bottles that seemed to glow the color of the liquid contained within. It really made the shop feel like one of those nightclubs in town. He had also set out an impressive buffet and some really comfortable pillows.

What unnerved me a bit was that he had built a stage on the longest wall of the shop. Where all the shelving and goods had gone, I’ll never know.

“Come in, come in!” Runic exclaimed as we walked through a door. “Welcome, my guests of honor.”

We made our way over to the pillows and sat down. “That is a stage,” Winterspear whispered to me.

“Yup,” I replied.

There was an explosion of green smoke and Runic appeared on stage with a top hat on. I looked to where he had been beside me and then back up. “How the—”

“Fellow bachelors! In honor of our independence I am pleased to present DJ Pon-3 and the Ponyville Dancers,” Runic announced before leaping down and settling on the remaining pillow.

The lights dropped, a mixing table popped up on the stage, and a white-and-blue unicorn started spinning records. I’m not going to lie... it was amazing. Not so much her music, but more just that my cousin could put this together.

Midway through the first song, three mares appeared on stage in a similar puff of green smoke. They stood on their hindhooves, linked forehooves, and started doing some sort of high kick dance. I sat up straight. The one in the middle was the pink fluffy pony we had met on our trip to Ponyville. For a fluffy pony… well, any pony, really… she had great moves.

Winterspear’s eyes were big. “Th-This is unbelievable,” she stammered.

“Welcome to the family,” I replied and put a hoof around both her and Runic.

DJ Pon-3 and Winterspear were chatting over by the punch while she was ‘between sets.’ The music was just on a simple mix while the dancers were resting. I hugged Runic tightly. “Seriously, Runic, thank you for this.”

“You’d do the same for me,” he said plainly and I knew he was right… and wrong. I’d certainly do something for him but I’m not sure I could pull off this level of cheering up.

Runic pointed a hoof to the dancers and added, “Why don’t you go talk to them? You should practice talking to mares, right?”

I scrunched up my nose at the thought of that. Of course, he was right. Plus there was no real risk here. “I… I guess so. You don’t mind?”

Runic lightly pushed me in their direction. “Nope! I’m going to get some punch anyway.”

“Alright…” I picked up my cup of punch and downed all that was left. Liquid courage. I’d gladly march into battle to face gryphons, dragons, or anything like that. Mares, on the other hoof, were far more dangerous. Pushing up off the pillow, I swayed my way over to the three dancers.

Approaching them, I said, “You three are extremely talented. I can truly say I’ve never seen dancing like that.”

The first dancer, a cream-colored earth pony with a pink mane and tail cheered, “Well thank you! We don’t get to play Canterlot often… even if this is a small venue for an exclusive crowd.”

The second dancer, a violet unicorn pony with a mauve mane, snorted. “I wouldn’t call it a venue.”

“Berry,” the first said hurriedly. “Be nice to the customer.”

“I need a drink,” Berry said before wandering off.

“I’m so sorry. She isn’t normally mean. I think she just expected us to be playing a big hall. Puff didn’t really explain the job very well,” the first dancer said.

The pink fluffy pony interjected, “Pfbbt.”

“Well, you didn’t!”

Softly, I cleared my throat. “Well… hopefully my cousin at least took care of you. I’m Silent Knight, by the way. You don’t have to call me 'the customer.'”

“Oh! How embarrassing. I’m Lighthoof and this is Fluffle Puff. Nice to meet ya! If you don’t mind though I’d like some punch, too, and Berryshine probably needs a little kick in the rump.”

I nodded. “Sure… sure…”

Lighthoof hurried off, leaving me alone with Fluffle Puff. I stared at her before lightly brushing my hoof against the floor.

“I think I’ve been to your house before. We were lost and you gave us directions.”

Fluffle Puff gasped and then nodded. “Pfbbt, pfft pfft pffffft.”

“Exactly. So… you’ve been a dancer for a while?”

The pink fluffy pony quickly nodded and went on, “Pfft, pfft.” She then gestured wildly above her head.

My ears twitched as I tried to track what she was explaining. With a shrug, I figured this would probably be the easiest conversation with a mare ever.

Winterspear and I walked home slowly. It was really late and I thought flying might be unwise. Especially under the influence of Runic’s slightly spiked punch. “That was amazing,” Winterspear said a little too loudly for the middle of the night. “What were you talking to that pink fluffy pony about?”

“I have absolutely no idea,” I said honestly.

My sister tilted her head. “You two talked for almost an hour.”

I couldn’t help it, I laughed. It was good to laugh. “I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. She didn’t actually use words, either. I was nodding politely and she didn’t seem to mind at all. She was nice… At least I think she was.”

Winterspear just shook her head. “Look at you, mingling. Are you going to be able to work tomorrow?”

Tomorrow was going to be rough but I nodded. “I’ll manage.”

When we got back to the barracks, Lieutenant Haze was waiting outside our room.

“Sir?” I inquired as we approached.

“Where have you been?” he demanded.

“Out at a private function,” I said plainly, falling back into work mode.

“I was looking for you.”

“I apologize, sir. I was off duty. Sergeant Orchid was on watch,” I replied, stating the obvious. Or what should have been obvious.

He shook his head. “I didn’t need Sergeant Orchid. I was looking for you and you weren’t here. That is a problem for me.”

To my right, I felt Winterspear bristle but I lightly swayed to bump her. She settled down and I eyed the lieutenant. “I’m here now if you need me, sir. If you feel I was somewhat delinquent in my duty, I’m certain the manual has text outlining this situation.”

Lieutenant Haze stomped a hoof. “I’ll look into that. I needed next week’s roster. You didn’t submit it. I can’t find out which guards are on shift at the last minute. If command asks I’ll look like a fool. You’re sloppy, Sergeant. Making a roster is basic. If you don’t think you can handle it I can…”

He went on like that for about ten minutes. Winterspear and I just stood there at attention.

When he finally finished, I said, “Sir, the roster was posted to the unit board per your instructions in last week’s memo. A copy was then posted in both sergeant Orchid’s and my offices for back up. Was it not on the board when you looked?”

“I want a copy sent to me directly,” he said.

“Then I should assume we should disregard your memo, sir?” I asked.

The lieutenant scowled at me. “No! Follow the order as written.”

“Then I’ll continue to post the roster to the unit board, sir,” I replied.

“You’re not listening. I want a copy sent to me, too!”

“The memo as written does not make such an order, sir. Perhaps you’d like to draft a new memo?”

Lieutenant Haze stood there seething. He hated when I outmaneuvered him on following the rules. He also couldn’t do much about it. One thing that every member of the Royal Guard knows is this: new lieutenants are a dime a dozen. The vast majority of them have never served prior. They go to a military academy and come straight into the guard as an officer.

The good lieutenants are the ones that realize they’re placed with sergeants to learn from them. The ones that don’t last are the ones that can’t get it through their heads that they don’t know everything and that some ponies may just be smarter than they are. I suspected Lieutenant Haze wasn’t going to last.

We stared at each other a while longer. He was waiting for me to flinch. Keep waiting, bucko. I can do this all week. I also thanked Dad for that talent.

Finally he gave up. “Draft a new memo tomorrow and bring it to my office. I’ll sign it. Dismissed,” he said before walking off in a huff.

Winterspear and I went into our room and flopped onto our respective beds. “He is the biggest pony butt I’ve ever met. You should have let me kick him.”

I chuckled. “Sergeant Winterspear, I’m surprised at your short-sighted view of this situation. It is much more fun to teach him about the rules and regulations. Besides, if you did that they’d never approve your transfer and you’d rob yourself the opportunity of hanging out with Runic and I.”

My sister pulled her sheets up and said, “I’m not sure I approve of this new, devious you.”

“Being a sergeant has opened my eyes to a lot of things. I’ve also got a lot of extra time on my hooves to look over the manuals. It is a totally different job but if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it right.”

Winterspear turned out the light and said into the darkness, “Well, Celestia help anypony that gets in your way then.”

Mmmm, I quietly hoped Celestia wouldn’t help the lieutenant.

Author's Note:

Crystal's Wishes Companion Chapter: Mare Contraire

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