• Published 12th Oct 2015
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A Pony Displaced: Another Path - NoLongerSober

Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape. There once was a stallion who faced Nightmare Moon and was sealed away with her. Now he returns in the modern age, hoping to find a new path.

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Chapter 41

Swiftsword and Rarity both worked at an impressive pace to strip the fifth bedroom they’d entered, Rarity working to scavenge the usable cloth and Swiftsword the wood, both being needed to set up the required medical tent. For the first fifteen minutes, the two worked in silence, but with a tired huff, Swiftsword’s magic died out and she turned to face her fellow unicorn. “Lady Rarity.” Swiftsword drew the mare’s attention before continuing. “I must apologize for my earlier behaviour. Twas unbecoming of a soldier, a noblemare, and a mare of the Falchion clan.”

Rarity smiled softly and nodded. “Why thank you, Swi…” Rarity’s voice died out as realization seemed to shoot across her face. “Wait, did you say the Falchion clan?”

“...yes?” Swiftsword took a step back at the sudden zeal in the mare’s expression.

Rarity’s grin widened to Pinkie Pie-levels. “Are you of any relation to Mars Falchion?”

“He is…” Swiftsword hesitated and looked to the ground momentarily. “He was, my younger brother. How dost thou know of him? Art thou a historian?”

Rarity let out a poorly muffled squeal of excitement. “Apologies, this is extremely surprising. To answer your question, no, I’m a seamstress and fashion designer. I know of Mars partially from history but more so from his role as the main character in my favorite historical romance novel trilogy, Flame Crest: The Falchion Chronicles.” Rarity went back to scavenging cloth from the curtains and bed, stitching everything she found into a single piece of cloth. “It tells of the many adventures and romances of Mars Falchion and his faithful lieutenant, Fireball.”

“What of his children?” Even as she asked, Swiftsword took Rarity’s silent suggestion and went back to breaking down the thick wooden bedframe and carefully splitting it with her magic into more suitable supports for the medical tent.

“Um…” Rarity hesitated just slightly, but answered regardless. “Sadly, it said that Mars never had any children. Based on the books I read, he was infertile.” Rarity bit her lip when Swiftsword’s expression fell. “But I’m not certain how historically accurate the books are. Honestly, Twilight would be a much better pony to ask.”

Swiftsword didn’t reply, instead turning her focus back to her work, her lips pulled into a slight frown.

Swallowing slightly, Rarity asked another question that had begun to weigh on her mind. “How…how many did you lose?”

Swiftsword didn’t appear to hear her at first, but as Rarity opened her mouth to apologize for the insensitive question, the mare responded. “Too many, Rarity. Far too many. I…I had hoped that upon Sombra’s death, that maybe I would feel victorious, that I would feel accomplished for having avenged my fallen brethren, but with all that we’ve lost…victory feels hollow.” The final wooden beam of the bed split down the center and set itself into a neat pile in the corner. “It feels as if we still lost the war.”

Rarity nodded with some semblance of understanding and recited with what seemed practiced ease, “A wise warrior once said that, ‘War is something horrible for all involved. There are no true victors, only survivors. The only comfort a soldier can take is in the solace that they have done all they could to protect their country and those who dwell within.’”

Swiftsword stared in genuine surprise and after the momentary shock had worn off, asked, “Who said that?”

Rarity smiled sadly at her. “Mars Falchion in Flame Crest: The Dragon of Shadows.”

“At any rate,” Swiftsword hefted the stack of makeshift supports in her magic as a whole and began towards the bedroom door. “I deeply apologize for my rudeness towards thee, for threatening thee, and for insulting thy appearance.”

“Apology accepted.” Rarity followed with a thick roll of cloth, stitched from the bedding and curtains. “Though…” Rarity glanced at her own flank and then back at Swiftsword’s, eyes briefly covering the mare’s tight form. “Would I really be considered fat in your era?”

Swiftsword nodded. “In my era, very much so. To most anypony, a warrior’s build was considered the most beautiful and desired. For example, thy companion Rainbow Dash would likely be declared the most beautiful mare in her home-town. Typically, a pony of thy build would most likely be a wealthy layabout. They wouldst mostly be sought only by those so desperate for money that they would remove gold fillings from the buried dead.” Swiftsword continued almost as if the speech were practiced. “Ours was a time of war. Strong mates were sought to ensure our successors would be able to survive the griffins and succeed us.”

“So, if I would be considered fat to your era…” Rarity’s eyes twinkled just slightly. “What do you think of Princess Cadance?”

“It would be improper to speak ill of the appearance of the Empress, especially in her new palace. I also ask that thou refer to her by her proper title. Tis disrespectful not to do so.”

“Sorry, I will, but could you please tell me?” Rarity fluttered her eyelashes cutely. “I’m fascinated by your perspective. It’s so very different from my own.”

Swiftsword glanced at the empty hallway behind them and then in front of them. “This never leaves the two of us?”

“As Pinkie Pie would say,” Rarity began to motion several gestures while she spoke. “Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.”

Disregarding the weird chant, Swiftsword leaned in to Rarity. “In that case…she appears almost skeletal. It appears as if she may collapse from hunger at any moment. This, combined with her pink coloration, contrasting the blue dress thou made for her, gave her the appearance of a starving stallion in drag.”

Rarity’s muzzle scrunched up in confusion. “What’s wrong with her being pink?”

“Tis a most masculine color,” Swiftsword stated matter-of-factly. “Tis not meant for a princess. Had she been blue like Princess Luna or myself, then she would appear far more feminine.”

Rarity shook her head in wonderment. “My, how things have changed. Pink’s now considered a very feminine colour.”

“Still, the mention of a dress hast made me think of something. Rarity, mayest I hire thou for something? I may lack funds now, but I shalt generously reimburse thee for thy services.”

Rarity drew back slightly in surprise, but quickly responded. “Of course, darling; whatever you need.”

“Excellent. I shalt explain later, but for now we should take these to the plaza. No doubt Hat Trick is filling the streets with his particular brand of gayety.”

The statement caught Rarity completely off guard and the bundle of cloth faltering slightly in her magical hold. “Wait, what?”

“Hat Trick is often the bringer of mirth and gayness within our squad, commonly through a witty remark or a well-timed practical joke. Surely he hast spread his gayness to the empire’s citizens with Lady Pie’s aide.”

“Ah, that makes more sense.” Rarity reaffirmed her grip on the bundle. “Just so you’re aware, ‘gay’ has a very different meaning these days.”

It was Swiftsword’s turn to wear the face of confusion. “How so?”

“Well, in modern times ‘gay’ refers to a homosexual. A mare or stallion that prefers only ponies of their own gender for their more…intimate affairs.”

“Ah.” Swiftsword smiled as understanding dawned. “So in modern terms, Hat Trick would not be the gay one of our squad, but Iron Forge.”

“Wait, Iron Forge is gay? Oh poo…” Rarity closed her eyes slightly as they left the dim interior of the palace for the plaza just outside.

Swiftsword carefully dropped the wood to the ground. “Art thou upset?”

“Well…” the bundle of cloth joined the stack of wood. “He seemed quite nice and is a fairly attractive stallion. I was hoping perhaps I may have had a chance with him…oh well, c'est la vie.”

“Ah. Well, in any case,” Swiftsword began to spread her wood out by hoof. “Shall we now proceed with building this medical tent?”

Author's Note:

So, the next five chapters will be notably shorter {1000-1500 words} due to the nature of what they cover. In lieu of this, there will be 2 chapters a week on Monday and Thursday. This will continue until Chapter 45 which will mark the return to once-a-week with chapter 46.

Perhaps also of note, this story will be ending very soon. More to come on that in future AN's.

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