• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,642 Views, 148 Comments

Flames - Olakaan Peliik

Coming to the ponylands: Not Planned. Being an ambassador for dragon kind: Not Planned. Finding a better place to live where my sister would be safe: Planned.

  • ...

XIII - Double Trouble

The few weeks leading up to the diplomatic trip were blissful with my sisters and brother around. I didn’t have to worry about Kii being home without someone to watch her or where she was gonna be, allowing me to sit in longer on the meetings I attended, negotiating with buyers for Dragonland Obsidian, and discussing trade routes through dragon territory and waters.

Kii and Hex were planning a sleepover for the night I go to Thicket, with Nikta overseeing things of course. Nandak and Aleazh were to begin looking for another place for the three of them to stay.

The schedule said we were to meet in front of the castle gates after sunrise on the day of the Gala. I was wondering why King Aspen wanted to speak with me.

While preparing for the possibility of him inquiring about Lord Torch’s intentions, my shoulder began to burn. Recognizing it as the indicator that I was being contacted, I touched the mark as I was accustomed to doing and the magical fire was given a voice.

“Krein, can you hear me?” Viing’s voice emanated from the flame.

“I can. First time using this?” I asked.

“Not the first time, I'm just getting used to it. It's still strange.”

“That it is,” I agreed. “Is there a reason you called?”

“Yes. Is there any chance you or a pony in Equestria has seen a small to medium sized female dragon with silvery black scales, running around looking angry?”

“I have not been informed of such. Why?” I asked.

“You remember my youngest sibling Niirah? She has been missing for close to a month,” Viing told me. “She's gone missing before, but only for a few days at a time, never this long.”

“I'll keep an ear out if I hear anything, and if I find her, I'll give you a shout.”

“Thank you, Speaker Krein,” Viing said as the fire snuffed itself out.

Well, I doubted Niirah was anywhere near me, but it wouldn’t hurt to keep an ear on the wind. I went back to my business. We had finally set up a mail service to the Dragonlands and I was granting permission to certain companies access to our resources, not without researching said companies first.

One of these companies was Maresanto, a vegetable and produce company. This was their seventh time sending me a contract for their company to begin investing in the Dragonlands. But I had done my research into them, and learned the kinds of things that they did: purposely contaminating natural growing crops to steal the rights to farmers fields. Forcing farmers into bankruptcy and then buying the land out from under them. The worst part was they were doing it within the legal system.

If anything I'm saving them some trouble. If they try this stuff in the Dragonlands, it won't end well for them.

I tucked my declination letter in with the contact again and put it in my outgoing mail pile. I had a lot of these to go through. At this point, any distraction would be welcome.

“Krein!” Kii shouted as she came through the door, Nikta following behind her.

Thank the spirits! “Hey, you!” I smiled turning to her. “What has you in such a good mood?”

“I caught air beneath my wings!” she shouted, flaring her wings out.

I looked up to Nikta, who was looking a little nervous. “Please explain before I jump to a conclusion,” I said.

Nikta’s tail twitched. “Don’t be mad. I took my eyes off of her for only a few minutes to go to the restroom. In that time she climbed up to the top of the jungle gym at the park and kinda fell off.”

“I’m sensing a ‘but?’” I asked.

She spoke fast. “She spread her wings out and she glided down about twelve meters.”

I widened my eyes. She wasn’t supposed to be able to do that yet. I looked down at Kii again who was beaming with excitement. “Hold out your wing real quick,” I instructed.

She stretched her wing out for me to examine. I held my claw near it to get an approximation of size. “Two and a half claw lengths. Your wings are going through a growth spurt. The rest of you has yet to catch up yet though.”

“What’s that mean?” Kii asked looking at me.

“We can start teaching you how to fly,” I said as Nikta came over to look at Kii’s wing as well.

“Yay!” Kii shouted with joy.

I pushed Kii gently toward the back door. “I have a few more letters to go through, Nikta can take you out back and start showing you what to do.”

Kii just bolted out back and started leaping into the air, flapping sloppily to try to take off again. “I thought this was your job?” Nikta asked heading toward the back door.

“You three decided to show up, you can at least help raise her some!” I said in a playfully firm tone.

“Yeah, yeah whatever,” she said, going out back.

As I went back to the documents and papers in front of me with a smile on my face, I reflected on the first time I saw Kii when her egg hatched. Her tiny claws squeezing mine, her eyes not yet ready to open, clinging to me for warmth in the cold of the cave, the small squeak she made when she slept. All seem like a lifetime ago, time is passing so quickly.

“Hey,” Aleazh said coming in the house with Nandak. “You okay? You got a strange look on your face.”

“It’s nothing,” I said clearing my throat. “Just a happy memory.”

The trip was a few days away now. I was attending a high-class social gathering of sorts that Fancy Pants had invited me to. I had brought Aleazh with me because she had asked to go. It was being held in an art gallery of the supposedly great Photo Finish. It was semi-crowded, enough space to move around but not enough where you could walk through without someone pulling you into a conversation. It was a casual event so I had selected the blue and silver outfit I had gotten from Needle and Forge.

“What do you think of that small settlement of Zebras that has moved into the Everfree Forest, Ambassador?” a Canterlot elite said to me, pulling me out of my head.

“Not much of an opinion, I’ve never seen a Zebra. So I can’t tell you how I feel about them because I’ve never met one. Although the rumors circling their mastery of potions, make that alone a reason to meet one.”

“I’ve heard they deal in dark magic,” another elite said in a fearful whisper.

“Unicorns have the same capabilities of dealing in the same dark magics. Don’t be so quick to judge,” I said moving away from them finally. I heard offended murmurs from behind me. Internally, I knew that I should be trying to make a better impression, but deep down, I really didn’t care what they thought of me.

I quickly made my way over to my sister who was standing by herself looking at a picture of an all white mare in a black wedding dress.

“I don’t find the appeal in following what others like. All these ponies hum the same tune, and have no individuality,” Aleazh grumbled. She wore a dress that I think even our Princess Ember would have liked: white and red with a gold headdress. The headdress hooked behind one of her spines and fell nicely along the creases of her face, where it split into two strands of gold chain that fell just in front of her eyes, then wrapping back around beneath her eyes and reconnected with the start of the piece. It looked kind of like a helmet.

I started back toward the rest of the gathering with my sister by my side. “Well suck it up and smile every once in awhile, it seems to calm them.”

Aleazh lightly laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

We weaved through the crowds and I found Fancy Pants fairly quickly. He was speaking with a trio of ponies I had yet to meet. I was also happy to see that they were near the door: perhaps an early escape this time?

“Krein, Aleazh, I thought we lost you,” Fancy smiled, extending a hoof for a shake.

I took is hoof in my claw and shook it twice. “You almost did,” Aleazh said dryly, refusing the hoofshake.

“Ambassador Krein, may I introduce Jet Set--” Fancy had started

“And Upper Crust. I met them at the first event you brought me to.”

“Oh, well you have yet to meet their daughter Crystal Wishes,” Fancy said, gesturing to her.

Crystal Wishes was barely an adult, but even I had to admit that she was a beautiful sight. She was a white unicorn, with a blonde mane with pink highlights. She wore a simple white and blue sundress.

My sister and I bowed. “A pleasure to see, and meet, you all. Allow me to introduce my sister Aleazh.”

“A pleasure,” Upper Crust said in a tone that, to me, sounded like talons scraping on granite.

Jet set cleared his throat before speaking. “I hope you’ll excuse my curiosity, we did not have much time to speak last time, until recently we were under the impression the Dragonlands were lawless. How does...somedragon become an Ambassador?”

“I was told to,” I said truthfully. “When the Dragon Lord is the size of a mountain and can incinerate you with so much as a sneeze you don’t really argue with him.”

“An interesting predicament. Do you miss your home?” Jet Set inquired in a tone that made it very clear that he wasn’t that interested at all.

I nodded and Aleazh answered, “We do miss it at times. But we never really belonged there in the first place. Even when we lived there we wandered a lot.”

“So you were homeless?” Upper Crust asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Not really,” I started. “We just never stayed in one place longer than a day or two. We had more than just wyrms and amphitheres to worry about out there.”

“I can’t count how many places we visited over the years when it was just the four of us,” Aleazh said in a reminiscent tone.

Crystal stepped up. “Pardon me for asking, but you said ‘years’ as if they were nothing. How old are you?”

“Crystal!” Upper Crust said sharply as she turned to her daughter.

I put a claw up. “No, it’s alright. We are not ashamed of our age. Kii just turned five, however, Aleazh, me and our other siblings will be eighty-eight in spring.”

“In pony years the equivalent is that we are more like young adults, and we stay in this stage for a long time.” Aleazh clarified.

“How long do dragons live?” Fancy inquired.

“At most one millennium, I think,” I said, looking at Aleazh, who was pondering this as well.

“Yeah, but I think conditions need to be right for that as well. Lord Torch is well over that age and he’s barely reaching his middle ages,” Aleazh put in.

“Exactly, so it varies between dragon species,” I concluded.

“Very intriguing,” Fancy Pants said.

“Yes, indeed.” Upper Crust nodded.

“Yes, well,” Fancy Pants started. “If you’ll excuse me, Ambassador, there are some others I wish to speak to while I am here.” I gave him a polite nod as he left.

“Allow us to join you,” Jet Set said taking a few steps past me, Upper Crust beside him. “Ambassador,” Jet Set said to me as the both have a slight bow of their heads.

“Come along dear!” Upper Crust called back to Crystal Wishes, who was still standing there.

“I’ll be right there!” she called to her mother. Upper Crust scoffed and continued on.

“Before you leave Crystal, might I ask what is is that you do?” Aleazh asked.

“Oh I'm a bit of a writer,” she said sheepishly, starting to step toward her parents and the crowd.

It was at this time I recognized the very subtle shaking of her hooves with each step. “Well, good luck with your writing then. See you another time perhaps.” I gave a nod of my head.

Crystal Wishes politely returned it and then turned to retreat into the crowd of snobs. I couldn't put my claw on it, but for some reason, that pony seemed out of place here.

I felt a tap on my wing. “So the door is right there—”

I tuned remembering our proximity to freedom.“Go, quick, before we're seen!”

We walked briskly out of the gallery and into the cold cobblestone streets. Once outside and sure we made a clean getaway, we lifted off the ground and made the short flight home.

I was packing an overnight bag for the trip. Not that I had much to take with me. One of my outfits, a notebook, and a copy of the recently printed Dragonology book. I thought it might be nice to give one to King Aspen. I'm sure deer have libraries. Right?

Kii was watching me set everything into the bag with room to spare. “How long are you gonna be gone this time?”

“Probably just overnight; I'll be home tomorrow evening at the latest. The Everfree Forest isn't all that far, it's just on the other side of Ponyville after all,” I explained as I buttoned the bag shut and slung it around my wings and secured them.

“Oh, okay!” Kii chirped.

“Come along downstairs. I have to be going in a minute.” I left my room and headed down into the living room where my other siblings were lounging around.

“Leaving already?” Nandak asked looking up at me from his upside-down position on the couch.

“Yes, improving dragon relations with possible allies is my job. So yeah, I kinda have to.”

“Okay, see ya when you get back. Stay safe and all that,” he said wriggling further into the couch. I just rolled my eyes at him as he got comfortable.

Aleazh and Nikta stood and came over to offer hugs. Kii joined in the little group hug. “We'll make sure he gets out and does stuff. We all will,” Nikta said, smiling at me.

I laughed lightly. “Good. And don't burn down the house, I’m rather attached to it.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just get going and do your job,” Aleazh said shoving me toward the door.

“Wow sis, where's the love? I thought you liked having me around?” I teased.

Aleazh smiled. “Most times yes, but I’m gonna be experimenting with different ingredients for cooking.”

That was all the motivation I need to get going. “Later!” I jumped into the air. She was a good cook but sometimes her concoctions smelled downright poisonous.

Banking toward the palace, I made my way inside and up to where Princess Luna would be taking off from. It was a kind of rooftop courtyard. There was a cargo wagon and a chariot, obviously belonging to Princess Luna. Members of Luna’s House Guard and a few of Celestia’s Guard were helping to load up the wagon.

“—and you’re sure you have all your talking points?” I heard Celestia say from the side.

“Indeed sister. We will be fine, we hath not forgotten how to do this,” Princess Luna said smiling wearily up at her sister.

Celestia did not look assured. “If you’re sure, but—”

“Excuse me, Princess,” I started and gave a low bow. “Will we be departing soon?” I asked raising my head back up.

“Indeed we are.” Luna walked away from her sister and toward her chariot. “We would like to offer thee a carriage to ride in?”

I did not find that a good idea; dragons are decently heavy, even for a creature that can fly. “Thank you, but no thank you, Princess. I think I’d like to just fly myself.”

“Very well, we did not think thee was one to want a ride,” Luna said climbing into her chariot. “Silent Knight, are we ready to depart?”

One of her house guard that had been standing nearby stepped up. His rank markings meant First Class Guard if I was not mistaken. He was a white and blue pegasus with blue primary feathers on his wings and a serious and determined look on his face. “We are, Princess, just say the word,” he reported with no emotion in his voice.

“Let us get underway then,” she said as she nodded to her guard.

It took mere seconds for the guards to load themselves up and take off. Once they had a good few second head start, I leapt up into the air to join them.

I flew on Luna’s left, a good few meters away from her. I stayed quiet for this flight. It would have been difficult to speak over the wind anyway.

The Everfree Forest. This place still made me uneasy, and I’m a Fire Dragon, for crying out loud! We flew well out of reach of any dangerous creatures that may have a taste for pony or dragon.

We were getting close to what I'd guess was the southern section of the forest, when Luna and her guards started descending toward the trees. I followed her down.

As we neared the canopy, it was clear that there was a cleared portion large enough for pegasi-drawn chariots and wagons, but not enough space for draconic wings.

As Luna disappeared beneath the trees I had to stop mid air and consider my options. Go through and hope for the best? Or find another way down? I looked around for a better landing site but didn't see any from where I was. Option one, then.

Tucking my wings in I allowed myself to drop through the canopy. Once through I reopened my wings as wide as the space would allow me, slowing my fall. I still landed rather hard, but it wasn’t a crash landing so I’d call it good.

Luna looked back at me. “We thought we lost thee back there for a moment.”

“Almost, Princess. Almost,” I said to her.

A brown buck wearing red armor stepped out of a doorway flanked by two tan bucks wearing gold armor. “Princess Luna,” he bowed to her. “Welcome to Thicket. I am Blackthorn, Captain of the Watch. My King Aspen apologizes that he couldn’t be here to welcome you personally. He is in another meeting and will be done shortly. Until then I am to show you to the guest rooms and give you a tour of Thicket.”

“‘Tis fine. We thank thee for thy welcome, and a tour would be splendid,” Luna said stepping off her chariot. “By King Aspen’s request, we have brought Ambassador Krein with us.”

I stepped forward, but my presence was met with unhappy glares. “I see,” Captain Blackthorn said slowly, scowling. “Ambassador, it would be best if you stayed with us for now.”

Blackthorn and Luna with two of her guards started away from the landing platform. “Okay. I'm getting the vibe that you don't trust dragons right now,” I said as I observed Blackthorn.

“We don't,” he said bluntly. “A dragon was caught attacking one of our protected creatures here in Everfree. She is in a holding pod now.”

“Really?” I said genuinely surprised. “Well, perhaps it's not me you needed but our Enforcer Viing. This is more his field of expertise.”

“Perhaps. But you're here now so it's your issue to deal with,” Blackthorn pressed.

I took a breath. I was finding his abrasiveness unwelcoming. “Hmm, indeed. May I see the offender?”

“After you meet with King Aspen. He will want to speak with you as well,” he said without looking at me, following the Princess inside.

“Very well,” I said plainly. This was just turning into another wonderful trip.

As far a vastness goes, Thicket wasn't all that big. In terms of height, however, it was as grand as Canterlot. Each tree was its own district, and none of it was carved; the deer had grown the trees naturally, guiding the growing process to suit their needs. I had to admit, it was magnificent. Walkways and bridges connected each tree. There was not enough room for flying, but deer did not need to. Birds and other creatures filled the empty spaces.

There was simply too much visual information to absorb in one trip. I’d have to return sometime. Luna, Blackthorn and I were returning to Thicket Keep, as Blackthorn had called it. King Aspen was to be finished with his meeting by now.

We were lead into a hall that had a throne against the back wall, and two smaller chairs in the middle facing it. “You would please wait here, I will inform King Aspen that you have arrived,” Blackthorn said leaving us in the room.

Once he was gone I turned to Luna. “Princess, have you ever met this King Aspen before?”

Luna shook her head. “Nay, we have not. We did however know his ancestor, King Bark. It hath been a great many generations since then, however.”

“Interesting,” I said as I waited patiently.

It was only a few minutes wait. Blackthorn entered the room first. “Introducing The Heart of The Forest, King Aspen!” he declared in a loud voice, then bowed as his Lord entered.

King Aspen was tall. Like, Celesta tall, even without his antlers. His coat was primarily pure white, but gold colors highlighted the lower parts of his legs. The cold color highlighted his tail, back, neck, and face, at the end of the pattern it made a little gold heart that rested on the center of his brow. The same gold color was prominent around his eyes which were a sky blue.

Luna bowed to him as I did the same. I have to respect a lot of beings, I realized.

“Princess Luna. A warm welcome back to Thicket. I understand you have not graced these lands since King Bark?” King Aspen greeted us.

“We will admit it feels like mere months to us,” Luna said with what I’d call a forced smile.

“And I’d wager you are the Dragon Ambassador?” Aspen inquired, looking over at me.

“I am, Your Highness. Krein is my name.”

“‘Krein?’ If my studies of your Ancient Dragon tongue are remembered correctly, your name means ‘flames,’ is that correct?”

My eyes were wide. “It is. You surprise me. The language used by my ancestors is only known by a few. I myself only know a few words.”

“We have a few records that have survived from that time as well. Not many but enough,” Aspen said with a touch of pride. “But tell me, do you know what ‘Niirah’ translates to? I’m afraid it isn’t one of the names I am familiar with.” A firm scowl formed on the king’s face.

Niirah? That was Viing’s little sister’s name. But I doubt that is who he was referring to: lots of Shadow Dragons have that name. “It means ‘sound’ or ‘noise,’ but when used as a name it means ‘Echo,’” I told him.

“Interesting,” he said, lowering his head to ponder.

That’s it. I had to ask. “King Aspen. Is the dragon that was found in your forest a black and silver scaled dragon female?”

“She is indeed. How did you know?” he asked. He gave me the same questioning look Luna did.

This was going to suck. “I know her brother, Enforcer Viing. If you'd allow it, I'd like to speak with her,” I asked.

“We have time before we get to the political portion of this meeting. I don't see why not.” He turned to Blackthorn. “Take him to her.”

“Yes, my King.” Blackthorn bowed and started toward the door. I followed.

Instead of going down, how I thought a jail or prison would be, we went up, climbing up several winding stairs and across several bridges. Several trees over was a single tree somewhat separated from the rest of the Thicket. Several guards stood post on the tree’s walkways and branches. A single, giant ball of vines was hanging suspended over a hundred foot drop.

As we approached the guards regarded Blackthorn with the same respect I see Captain Armor’s men give him. “Open the pod,” Blackthorn ordered calmly.

They did as asked, fumbling with large hooks in their hooves. They opened to reveal the small black and silver scaled dragon female that I knew as Niirah. She glared at her captors, struggling against the vines that encircled her body.

“Not how I expected to meet you officially, Niirah. Mind explaining what it is you are doing here in Forest Everfree?” I asked.

She said nothing. After a moment I realized her mouth was vined shut, but her nose was still exposed.

I looked back at Blackthorn. “Um, Blackthorn. What's with the muzzle?”

“We did not want her to burn the pod open and escape,” he explained.

I laughed a little. “Okay, first off, if she were a flame dragon like me, she would be able to shoot fire out her nostrils, too. Secondly, she obviously can't breathe ice either, because she would have done that instead.” I looked at him with a matter-of-factly look. “So if you'd please, remove the muzzle?” I asked.

Blackthorn said nothing, looking back and forth between me and Niirah. He finally nodded to one of his guards. They used the hooks to remove the muzzle.

“Finally!” Niirah said as she stretched out her jaw, obviously putting her teeth on display.

“Okay, back to your explanation for being here,” I pressed.

“I was looking for you, Ambassador,” she said with a hiss, glaring at Blackthorn. “I dropped in here to hunt for food, and these tree-loving creeps jumped me.”

Blackthorn growled back at her. “You were attacking an endangered species! In our lands, that is a crime!”

Niirah sneered at him, showing her pointed teeth. “To a dragon like me, all of you are just food.”

The guards all took a half step back out of fear. “Enough,” I declared, holding up a claw. Niirah glowered but fell silent.

“Why were you looking for me?” I asked, pacing in front of her.

She glared. “I want to be a Speaker, too.”

“Why? No dragon wants to be a politician. I didn't even want to be one. But Lord Torch chose me, so here I am. Why do you want to be a Speaker?”

Niirah shrugged as much as she could with the vines still trapping her arms. “You can't be everywhere at once. Two speakers could be better than one.”

I glared, and she glared back. I sensed she had another motive. But I couldn’t pin it. It was clear she didn't like me. But Viing still needed to know what was happening to his sister, and as a citizen of the Dragonlands, she was technically under my authority. That meant that I needed to get her out of there and contact Viing once I got home.

“Blackthorn, what will it take for her to be released to me?” I started.

Blackthorn huffed. “I'm sure King Aspen would be willing to release her if she were to leave at once.”

“Like I’d want to stay!” Niirah snapped.

“Hmm, indeed,” I nodded. “Let's rejoin Princess Luna and King Aspen then.”

We both turned to leave. “Hey!” Niirah shouted after me as the guards closed the pod again. “Get me out! You can’t just leave me here!”

I can, and I am, I thought. Maybe that would teach her a lesson about respect and when to keep her mouth shut.

King Aspen had agreed to release Niirah, but only upon my departure tomorrow morning. At the moment, I was sitting in on the meeting between Luna and Aspen.

“Celestia and I realize that thy forests are getting crowded. We are prepared to offer thee a solution,” Luna said levitating over a map of Equestria.

“I'm listening,” King Aspen said looking down at the map.

“We are prepared to let you expand your forests to the west toward Whitetail Woods and the Undiscovered West, and then east toward the Hayseed Swamps, allowing you access to the Mysterious South,” Luna explained. “However, our railroads must remain intact, and you must not encroach on our cities.”

“This allows us access to the sea, and gives our ecosystem a chance to flourish and intermingle with others,” King Aspen observed with pleasure.

I had to admit, Celestia and Luna were giving up a lot of ground, but the deer were the best to properly protect the wildlife in those regions. I don't know what they were thinking but they never did anything without thinking it through.

“It may take us a few years to expand to those forests, but it will be worth it. I'm curious though. What do ponies get out of this deal?” King Aspen inquired of Luna.

Luna smiled. “What greater reward, but the reassuring thought that nature will always be the greatest force the world will know?”

That was sure one way to put it! Well said though, well said.

“Then we have an agreement.” King Aspen picked up a pen and signed the documents in front of him. There were two copies of the treaty, one for himself and one for Celestia and Luna.”

I just watched and waited.

“Ambassador Krein. Is there anything the Dragonlands would like to add to this meeting?” King Aspen asked.

“Hmm?” Uh-oh. I hadn't been thinking about that.

Quickly, I searched my mind. What did the deer have that we didn’t? Then I looked around. Trees, plants, that's what they have.

“We need help,” I said, perhaps a bit too bluntly.

“Care to elaborate?” King Aspen said, raising an eyebrow.

“We are still building. We have one city built out of stone. We need food, and I'm sure shade wouldn't hurt. All of the soil in the Dragonlands is volcanic, the most fertile in the world. If you wouldn't mind helping us grow some forests of our own, I'm sure we'd be grateful.”

King Aspen cocked his head. “I see your point, but what would we get out of it?”

“Dragons are prideful,” I explained. “The Dragon Lord would most certainly want to repay your for your troubles.” I thought it might be best to explain that this was primarily to stay out of debt, rather than an actual desire to help. “Perhaps consider this a favor. And in time we would have to return the favor.”

He looked at me skeptically. “You want me to divert resources, on an I-owe-you?”

“Dragons don't break promises. It's a dishonor.” I said plainly. We also don’t like owing favors.

King Aspen looked perplexed, but I could see in his eyes that he was definitely considering it. “I mean unless you'd rather have rocks. We got a lot of those right now,” I said as a joke.

After what was most certainly several minutes, he spoke again, in a slow and thoughtful tone. “I will think on it.”

“Very well, Your Highness,” I said with a bow of my head.

“Perhaps ‘tis time to move away from the subject of politics for a short time,” Luna suggested. “King Aspen, we heard thee had a prince not too long ago. Is he fairing well?”

“He is. His mother and I named him Bramble. He has taken to his studies quite well. In fact—” King Aspen and Princess Luna went on like that for a long time.

I made a few comments and asked a few questions but I was otherwise silent. The talk of the young deer had already sent my mind all the way home to Kii and my siblings.

Author's Note:

Crystal Wishes and Anzel gave me permission to use their characters! Before anyone freaks out on me! I did my best to make them accurate.

Anyway yeah, I thought this chapter was gonna end up being longer than it is because my brain didn't want it to be done. But now we cut it there and we move on to the next chapter.


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