• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,645 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.

  • ...

XVI - Holiday

It was cold outside my many layers of blankets, but I could feel Kii trying to wake me up from outside my fluff cocoon.

“Come on Krein, wake up! It's Hearth’s Warming day!” she bounced on my bed.

“What time is it?” I grumbled, refusing to open my eyes, though I could tell that it was dark, or at least low light conditions.

“Almost seven. The sun isn't even up yet. Come on!” she said taking my wing in her claws and tugging toward the door.

I sighed. Oh, well; I was awake already anyway. I opened my eyes and sat up slowly, rubbing my eyes and smiling as an idea broke through the fog of the morning. “You know what we haven't done in a while.”

“What?” Kii asked, tilting her head to the side a bit.

“Go get your coat. We're going for a morning flight.”

With a delighted squeal, Kii hopped down from my bed and ran for the coat closet. I stretched and retrieved my jacket from the closet also.

Once we both had our coats on we went into the back yard. I crouched down to let Kii climb up onto my back, and we lifted off into the air.

Kii hugged my body tightly; the air was frigid, but not cold enough for us to want to turn back. The city sped by underneath us; it was snowing lightly, and the streets were lit up by lamps. Before long, we were joined by two flying figures; Aleazh and Nikta.

“Looks like you had the same idea we had,” Nikta observed.

“Peak of the spire?” I asked. Aleazh nodded in agreement.

As a family we circled Alicorn Spire, spiraling upwards towards the top. We laughed and played in midair, chasing from. Kii walked across my outstretched wings as I glided over a cloud and jumped onto Aleazh’s back. She grunted in surprise at the unexpected weight, but quickly compensated and started turning loops in midair as Kii cheered.

“Be careful!” I called out.

“Relax, big brother! I’m fine!” Kii shouted.

Reaching the top of the spire, we landed on what little ground the peak provided. The sun was just beginning to creep over the horizon.

We all spread our wings up and out as wide as we could. As the sun reached our wings and we soaked up those first rays of sunlight, I could feel the familiar sense of warmth coming from them. I felt more complete.

I released a breath of smoke while my sisters all enjoyed the warmth of the sun. To my left, Aleazh, my right, Nikta, and in front of me at my claws, Kii. Nandak was here in spirit; I imagine he is awaiting the same sunrise.

After a few minutes of sunbathing, I broke the silence. “Aleazh, do you think you can cook breakfast for us all?”

“Sure can.” She looked down at Kii and let her climb on her back. “Last one there has to do the dishes!” Aleazh called as she jumped off the mountain.

I leaped after her. Nikta was unprepared and dove after us. We dove toward the city at intense speed. I could see Kii holding onto Aleazh tightly, but she was having fun.

Just as we reached the peaks of the castle's towers we opened our wings and weaved through the towers and under bridges. Keeping low we flew out over the city, our bellies coming dangerously close to hitting the buildings.

We reached our home in no time. Aleazh and Kii landed in the backyard, followed by me and then Nikta.

Nikta huffed. “That wasn't fair! You both had a head start!” she complained.

“I don't mind doing breakfast dishes. I have my magic to help me,” Kii chirped.

“Problem solved,” Aleazh said, letting Kii slide off her back. “You can all sit, while I work my magic.”

We went inside and sat in my living room; I started a fire with a quick puff. While we waited for Aleazh to be done, we talked and Aleazh made sure she stayed in the conversation by yelling from the kitchen.

“Who is coming from the Dragonlands?” Aleazh asked, poking her head in from the kitchen.

“Ember herself. Lord Torch wants her to come to meet the princesses formally,” I told them.

“Here is what I find strange. Ember is barely allowed to go to Crater and be away from her father for twelve hours. Why is he allowing her to go an entire ocean away from him, for more than one day?” Nikta stated her observation and asked her corresponding question.

“I think Viing will be providing double the necessary security for her. But by the tone of Viing’s voice, it didn’t sound like Lord Torch’s idea,” I said.

“How can you tell?” Aleazh yelled.

“Call it a hunch!” I yelled back.

Three knocks resonated from the front door. I sighed and stood to answer it. “It’s a good thing I'm gonna open the embassy,” I muttered to myself.

Opening the door I found Moon Mace and Hex standing there. “Happy Hearth’s Warming!” Moon said. “Hex insisted we bring you all some Hearth’s Warming cheer.”

Hex levitated a cake carrier off her father's back. “It's dark chocolate, with white chocolate frosting!”

“That sounds excellent. You wanna take it into Aleazh, and say hello to Kii?” I offered.

Hex needed no further convincing as she hurried past me. Moon Mace waited outside the door. “Krein, I wanted to extend an invitation. You and your sisters are welcome to join us for dinner tonight.

“Oh, we wouldn't want to intrude on your family time.”

“Hearth’s Warming is about spending time with the friends you have,” Moon smiled. “Besides, we are inviting you. So there is no trouble.”

I thought about it more for another moment, but only for a moment. Getting to spend time with Hex would make Kii’s day. “Alright then, when is dinner?”

“Be there by six,” Mace said, looking excited.

“We’ll be there,” I nodded as Hex ran back out. She and her father waved goodbye as they walked back up the street.

Since dinner at Moon Mace’s wasn't until six, and we had a whole day to kill, as a family we went out to get presents for each other. We basically pitched in for each other's presents.

Nikta got a collection of written screenplays. Aleazh got a cookbook, and some records to listen to while she cooked. Kii got a new spell book, and some records as well. I got a book series called Game of Crowns, it was very interesting and violent.

We also got a bottle of wine to give to Mace and Aqua. Kii got Hex a book of tricks called Twenty Five Different Kinds of Tricks and Counting. It looked like a prank book, to be honest.

“So where to next?” Nikta asked. Putting away one of the plays she was admiring.

“Lunch!” Kii jumped up to get in view.

I looked to my sisters. “Anyone else?”

“Yeah, why not?” Aleazh shrugged.

In agreement, we started toward a street filled with restaurants. To get there we went through a particularly quiet part of town, with fewer ponies on the street. That suited me fine: I still didn’t like having ponies stare at me when I walked past.

An elderly mare store owner putting a “For Sale” sign in the window of a building next to us caught my eye. The building was old and needed some renovations. According to the details on the sign, there was an open lobby on the first floor, cafeteria and kitchen, a two story sub-level basement, offices on the second floor, and several living spaces on the top floor.

I looked around the street and noticed that there weren’t many stores, except for a sandwich shop across the street. Most of the buildings were offices for more official business.

“This place would be good for an embassy, don't you think?” I asked my family.

They all looked at the place. “You want to have a look inside real quick?” Aleazh asked.

“You don't mind waiting a little bit longer for lunch?” I asked.

“I can wait a little longer!” Kii chirped. Everyone else agreed.

I went and knocked on the door to the building. The elderly mare opened the door, and her eyes widened in shock. “In all my years!” she cried, looking as though she might faint. “I've never seen a dragon, let alone four.”

“Sorry to bother you ma’am, but I was hoping you could show us around the building,” I said with a small bow. “I might be interested in buying.”

She recovered immediately at the word “buy.” “Certainly! Come in, come in,” she said, letting the door hang open to allow us entry.

On the inside, it was obvious that the interior needed a little bit of work, like the outside: new paint, some plaster over the cracks in the walls, and fixing the lighting. This floor was largely open and could serve as a waiting room and lobby. I imagined some booths along the back wall for...embassy stuff. I hadn’t really figured that out yet.

“Could I see the upstairs?” I asked.

“Of course, but I hope you'll forgive me for not going with you. My knees aren't what they used to be,” the elder mare smiled.

“Thank you,” I said to her before going up the stairs towards the back.

There were three offices on the second floor. One of them had a secretary desk in front of it. The desk needed replacement: it was old and uneven and covered in dust and scars. I could imagine having one office for myself, maybe having another office for a trading official.

I took the next flight of stairs to the third floor. There were five rooms, four small and one large room. I only poked my head in each door. The large room could be for when somedragon important comes to visit, like Ember, or Viing (they definitely wouldn’t be big enough for Lord Torch, not that he’d ever leave the Dragonlands). The other four could be spares.

I made my way back down the stairs, where the old mare was waiting on a rickety bench that was bolted against the wall. “Anything else I should know about this place?” I asked.

“The kitchen in the back is fully sized, the two level basement has a walk-in ice-box, and the master bedroom up top has a balcony that has a view of the castle and Alicorn spire,” she said, smiling.

I’d seen more than enough. “How much are you selling for?” I asked.

“So how much are renovations gonna cost?” Mace asked me.

“A lot,” I sighed. “I talked to a contractor and paid a third of the price up front. Told them I needed it done within a month. He said, ‘No problem.’”

I was currently waiting in the living room of Hex’s family apartment, which was on the floor above the Moonlite Diner. I was holding a mug of something Mace called “Eggnog” in my claw. Mace said it was alcoholic, but I wasn’t getting a buzz at all from it; I'm convinced that I burn through the alcohol so fast that I don't feel it. I was telling Mace what happened earlier today.

“Are you having them keep anything?” Mace asked, sipping at her eggnog.

“Yes. But I'm changing more of it than I'm keeping. The place needs a lot of love,” I said.

Kii and Hex were playing quietly in the corner by the fireplace. I walked over to them, just out of curiosity.

“...it will be a good thing.” Kii finished saying.

“What will be a good thing?” I asked them, catching the end of their conversation. Both of them jumped and whirled around.

“Umm, bringing Light Knight along with us more often. He needs to interact with more ponies.” Hex said hesitantly.

I couldn’t argue with that. “Yeah. Might want to ease him into it, something tells me he doesn't have many friends outside of you two.”

“That's just what we were talking about,” Kii nodded quickly.

“Yup. Exactly what we were talking about.” Hex agreed, nodding very fast.

Okay, odd behavior. Note to self: Make sure Kii isn't getting into trouble for the next few weeks.

I went into the kitchen where Aqua Spice was preparing food. Or trying to: she was currently cursing the stove with language that made me wonder if she remembered that there were two young fillies in the next room.

“Need any help in here?” I offered.

Aqua gave the stove a despondent kick and glared at it. “It won't light.”

“Allow me.” I spit a small flame towards the burner, where the gas was leaking out, and the stove instantly lit into a ring of blue flames.

“That must come in handy a lot,” Aqua commented, smiling in thanks.

I gave it some thought. “Not as often as you might think.”

The door to the apartment opened and Aleazh and Nikta walked in. “Happy Hearth's Warming everyone!” Aleazh called as Kii ran into her arms. “I hope no one minds, but we brought Niirah along with us.”

My heart started to soar at the sight of my sisters, then instantly plummeted into my stomach. Aleazh was still trying to play matchmaker with the dragoness who hated my guts. Why couldn’t I just have a peaceful existence?

“The more the merrier!” Mace said with a wide smile. I tried not to groan out loud.

Niirah entered, looking glum and kind of nervous and immediately went over to sit by the fireplace with Kii, Hex, and Nikta. Aleazh came into the kitchen with a smug grin on her face.

“What are you smiling about?” I asked, knowing that I wouldn’t like the answer.

“Oh, nothing really. I just figured out why Niirah doesn't like you, and how you can change that,” Aleazh said quietly as she passed me.

I rolled my eyes. “I told you before, I'm not interested in finding a mate.”

“I know, that is why I’m looking for you.” She smirked and booped me on the snout. “I'm your sister, you really think I'll stop looking just because you tell me to?”

“It was worth a shot,” I groaned. “So what's the idea of yours? I would rather she not bite my head off whenever I try and talk to her.”

Aleazh clapped her claws quietly. “Okay, so the reason she hates you and every single male she meets, including her own family. Is because she doesn't trust males.”

“I knew that,” I grumbled. “Viing told me that when we first met. How is that gonna help me?”

“Earn her trust, brother,” Aleazh continued in a tone like she was stating something that was blatantly obvious. “Like you earned mine, Nikta’s, Nandak’s, and Kii's. Show her kindness, and that you care.” She paused and thought for a moment. “I know that she wants a way to buy her own things. Her brother's gems only pay her rent and food. She has nothing her own.”

“Well, I’m gonna be opening a Dragon Embassy here soon. Perhaps she could help me, so she can earn money of her own.” I didn’t think it was fitting to tell her that I didn’t really care.

“Why are you telling me? You should be making the offer to her,” Aleazh said moving to help Aqua with dinner.

I groaned, realizing that Aleazh was somewhat right about Niirah. I need her to trust me. But, by the Spirits, there is no way I'll ever have Niirah as a mate.

I went out to be with everyone else, sitting down next to Nikta on the sofa. Niirah was a few feet from me looking into the fire.

“Niirah,” I said trying to get her attention.

She glared at me out of the corner of her eye and the room seemed to go cold. “What do you want?” she asked in an icy tone.

“Your help,” I forced the words out of my mouth. “I'm gonna be opening a Dragon Embassy next month, and I need an assistant.”

“No.” She turned away and glared at the fire.

“You'd be getting paid for the work,” I tried.

“No,” she repeated not looking away from the flames.

I fought back an irritated response with a great burst of will and sighed deeply. “The offer stands, should you change your mind.”

“Dinner is ready!” Aqua called from the kitchen.

We all stood, some more eagerly than the others, and sat at Aqua’s and Mace’s table for what looked like an absolutely delicious assortment of different types of food—salads, pasta, sandwiches, and more. They even made some fish for us, how thoughtful. As we started to scoop various amounts of food onto our plates, various conversations sprouted around the table.

Since Nikta was nearest to me, I started to talk to her. “So have you figured out what it is you want to do while you are here?”

She shrugged as she swallowed a mouthful of fruit. “There are just so many things to choose from. I’m having trouble finding a calling.”

“Perhaps you are looking in the wrong area?” I suggested, putting a slice of fish into my mouth.

“I looked in the same areas you, and Aleazh. Politics and working don't interest me,” Nikta sighed.

I thought for a moment. “Might I suggest acting?”

Author's Note:

So this chapter was kinda on the short side. Not that I'm complaining, I've been working on it long enough. So yeah I hope everyone enjoys the chapter, and I hope everyone comments.

As long as the comment is not to correct something.

Until next time!

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