• 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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34. What a Mare Wants

A pegasus stallion was standing at attention in front of my desk. He didn’t know it yet, but he was my pick to fill Iridescence’s old spot. That was as long as he didn’t blow the interview and prove me wrong.

For the most part, physically speaking, he was no more remarkable than any other pegasus. His coat was white like mine and he had a subdued two-tone crimson and black mane. The only thing that really made him stand out were the braces on his wings. Evidently, he had been injured on the job and the effects were permanent.

That wasn’t a concern for me. He could still fly and in our mixed unit, we didn’t fly all that often anyway.

“You haven’t been a guard too terribly long but your record is solid. Your file says that your citizen comment numbers are good. Your commander finds you to be a dedicated and dutiful guard. He does mention that you occasionally have a temper, though, when it comes to your injury. Any thoughts on that?”

“It has never gotten in the way of performing my duties, Sergeant. I know my job.”

“I see. Why do you think you’re better suited for this position than these ponies?” To emphasize my point I tapped a stack of files that stood almost half a meter high.

“Did any of those ponies work as hard as I did to get here? Have they ever been broken down and refused a medical retirement and still keep going?” He stared at me square in the eyes. “What sort of pony do you want with you, Sergeant? The kind you hope won’t quit or the one you know won’t?”

I’d pegged him right. “Welcome to the team, Astral Bolt. You report to Sergeant Radiant Orchid. Her office is just a couple of doors down. Why don’t you go see her?”

His ears shot up and he had to fight back a smile. He did a good job of keeping it professional but I knew that look. I’d had it before. “Thank you, Sergeant. I’ll do that.”

Closing his file, I nodded and said, “Dismissed.”

I sat on my bed reading the rulebook for the new game Iridescence had given me. It was a very complex wargame where everypony took on the role of a race of aliens trying to rule the galaxy.

Winterspear walked in and asked, “You’re still up?”

Nodding, I tapped the rulebook. “I want to be ready for game night. You’re coming in a little later than usual again.”

She nodded at me.

“Another date?” I asked.

She nodded again.

“A nicer mare, I hope? Am I going to get to meet her at some point or is she going to continue to be a mystery?”

Winterspear waved a hoof. “She isn’t a mystery,” she said but didn’t sound sure of it, at least not to me. “I don’t know if it is going to work out. It probably won’t. What we have is nice for now and I don’t want to complicate it by bringing family into it. Not yet. I hope you understand?”

I didn’t but my sister was entitled to her privacy. “Sure.”

“Thanks, Silent Knight. You’re a great brother. I wish I was half the sibling you are.”

“What does that mean?” I asked, lowering the book to look at her.

She flopped onto her bed. “Hmm? Nothing. Goodnight.”

What an odd thing to say. She’d tell me when she felt like it. I went back to the rulebook for a bit longer before going to bed.

“Is he handsome?” Sunny Day asked me.

“Pardon?”

“Is Russet Rook handsome? Your new lieutenant-to-be,” she pressed.

My brow arched as we walked down the hallway together. We had just finished coordinating a meeting with both princesses and the Canterlot city council. Now we were on the way to the lunch I owed her. “I don’t know. He is a stallion.”

Sunny Day huffed. “You’re telling me that because he is a stallion you don’t know if he is handsome? I know if a mare is pretty. Your sister is pretty… more in the cute tomcolt sort of way. Iridescence is beautiful. Like an amateur model.”

“Am I pretty?”

The lieutenant giggled and replied, “No! You’re too stallion-like to be pretty. You’re not bad looking, though, and word in the shower is that you were a pretty hot little mare.”

My eyes widened and my head whipped to stare at her. Sunny Day started laughing up until the point I walked face first into an open door. As I crashed, she peered down at me. “Are you okay?”

“I’ll live, but I’m going to murder Iridescence.”

“Runic? Miley?” I called into the pitch black room. The pair had been spending a lot of time together doing their research. “Hello?”

There was movement in the dark and then the light flicked on. Runic was dressed in his vinyl labcoat with his goggles on. Miley was next to him in an identical setup.

“Hi, Silent Knight!” Runic called.

“Do those goggles let you see in the dark or are you two just sitting around without any light now?” I asked.

“Mostly the second one,” Miley admitted.

Runic nodded. “Agreed.”

“Any luck, then?” I asked.

Runic shook his head in frustration. “No. We can’t get any of Miley’s bad luck to occur while we’re together. It is almost as if whatever is causing it knows we’re trying to measure and study it.”

I tilted my head and looked at the pair. Miley was smiling and looking up at Runic. I couldn’t help but smile. “Perhaps your good luck is counteracting Miley’s bad luck and as long as you’re together, she won’t have as many mishaps?”

Runic looked down at Miley and then at me. “I had not considered that! Now we’ll need to measure my good luck and account for that.” He sighed. “Too many variables!”

“Tell me this, then. If you haven’t been able to study Miley, what have the two of you been doing this whole time?”

Miley bounced and said, “I’m helping Runic with his science and alchemy! We’re unlocking the secrets of the universe!” As she spoke, I noticed that she was staring fondly at my cousin the whole time.

“Indeed,” Runic added.

I smiled on the inside. So that is how it would be, then. Fair enough. I turned to go. “Oh, speaking about unlocking secrets. Runic, try to talk Winterspear into using a different one of your mare care products on her mane. She smells like Iridescence and that is a little weird for me.”

“I’ll endeavor to do my best but you know as well as I do that a mare wants what a mare wants and it is impossible to change their mind once it is made up.” Runic said.

"Hey..." Miley frowned.

I chuckled at that. “Indeed.” I winked at Miley and left. I certainly saw what she wanted.

There was a polite knock at my door and I looked up to see Crystal Wishes and Velvet Step peering in. I smiled. “Good morning, ladies. What can I do for you?”

Crystal Wishes smiled back and replied, “Hello, Silent Knight. Velvet and I were about to go to lunch and Princess Luna mentioned you probably had not eaten yet. Would you like to come with us?”

Lunch time already? “Princess Luna would be correct.” Slipping around my desk, I added, “As long as I’m not a third wheel, I would be very happy to go to lunch with the two prettiest mares in Canterlot.”

Crystal Wishes arched an eyebrow. “And when did you learn about flattery?”

“Winterspear keeps leaving these Mares Monthly magazines around. I get bored sometimes,” I admitted.

Velvet Step said, “Well, I can assure you, you won’t be a third wheel. Come along with us.”

We all walked together out of the palace and into Canterlot proper. I listened politely while the two of them chatted about their lives.

Crystal Wishes, as usual, knew the exact right place to go. Picking the best places in Canterlot just seemed to be one of her many talents. Today she had taken us to a small cafe down the block from Sunridge Sweets with outdoor seating. The food wasn’t overly expensive and there was a great grilled vegetable selection.

The three of us sat quietly outside, watching the crowd come and go. Canterlot was full of important ponies with important places to go. At least so they said. I never paid it much mind but I knew the others did. It certainly had had the lieutenant all worked up.

“How do you like being… first sergeant, is it?” Velvet asked.

My ears flicked and I turned from pony watching. “I seem quite suited to the task. I’m really proud of my unit and it gives me more time to spend with everypony. Including the princess.”

Velvet stared at me with her head tilted.

“That means he likes it,” Crystal Wishes translated.

Velvet smiled. “Oh, good! What is a first sergeant exactly?”

“It is my rank. My position is unit sergeant, which just means I’m the senior-most non-commissioned officer of my unit. I’m like the lieutenant’s second in command,” I explained.

Velvet looked at Crystal Wishes who just shrugged and smiled.

Civilian ponies don’t always share my interest in all things guard related. I changed the subject. “I understand your parents make the best sweets in town, Velvet. How is that going?”

Velvet clapped her hooves together and beamed. “They’re doing so well! The ponies of Canterlot love the treats and as new fads blow through, Crystal is always there to steer the ship in the right direction.”

She then sighed a bit. “In fact they’re doing so well I’m not sure I’ll ever be as successful as them.”

Crystal Wishes leaned over and softly placed her head against Velvet’s. “Don’t talk like that. You’re an amazing dancer and soon everypony that is anypony will have heard of you. You’re about to go on your first big tour! As long as you keep working hard you’ll make it.”

I agreed, “She is right. Hard work always pays off. What sort of tour?”

“Thanks, you two. Well, I’ve got my first part in a principal role with the Canterlot Ballet. We’re going on tour across Equestria to perform in all the major cities.”

“Congratulations, then. It seems like your hard work is already paying off. I’ll see about getting some tickets sometime.”

The waiter returned with our lunch so I fell silent. My focus had shifted to the grilled zucchini and onion sandwich I had ordered. The mares seemed to notice and took an interest in their own food.

Midway through the meal Velvet looked over at Crystal Wishes. “Crystal, you have a little…”

“Hmm?” Crystal Wishes replied absently.

Some of the sauce had managed to get on her cheek. Velvet gave up trying to be subtle and wiped it off for her.

“Thank you,” Crystal Wishes said, looking my way and blushing a bit. I tried to look as if I hadn’t noticed. That was a trick I learned from watching Canterlot ponies. It seemed to work.

Crystal Wishes finished and looked to me. “I understand you’ve finally found a new lieutenant?”

“We did. I think he’ll work out just fine. He has a good head on his shoulders and most likely won’t be a hindrance to normal operations. I doubt he’ll interrupt any book discussions.”

“That was certainly awkward,” Crystal Wishes replied.

“Indeed. Awkward, inappropriate, and foolish,” I said. Looking down, I realized my meal was already gone. I never intended to eat that fast but sometimes it happens in good company. “I should be getting back to work. I hope you two will forgive me?”

“Of course, Silent Knight. By all means,” Crystal Wishes said.

“Thank you for coming!” Velvet added.

I nodded to both and settled my tab. As I headed off, I looked back at the pair. They were hugging and I heard Crystal Wishes say, “I’m going to miss you so much! Write to me as soon as you can.”

Those two were good together and I was feeling a little jealous. Jealous and a bit guilty. Velvet was a sweet pony and occasionally I had to stop myself from looking at Crystal Wishes. Me and my unicorns. In any event, it was inappropriate and I owed it to Velvet to behave.

It was a shame that Velvet had to go off with her dance troupe but that was her career. She did her job like I did mine and I respected that a lot. I made a note to check in on Crystal Wishes and keep her company, if she wanted, while her marefriend was gone.

Author's Note:

Crystal's Wishes Companion Chapter: Silent Conspiracy

If you are enjoying this story, please consider taking a look at Crystal and my's website QuillnBlade.com for extra content such as mini stories, an Ask Us form to submit questions, responses to said questions, and special rewards for the awesome folks who support our Patreon.

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