• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,644 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.

  • ...

XVII - Dragon Princess Visit

“I can't believe that he turned me down,” Nikta said, her head hanging low, dragging her wings and tail as she trudged down the street.

“Neither can I. I thought you were very good. How many times have you read that play?” I asked.

“Since I got it on Hearth’s Warming, eleven times. I memorized the whole play,” she admitted.

“It's been only two weeks since Hearth’s Warming! You've read that one play eleven times?” I asked incredulously.

“Well, yeah. It's my favorite one; Julimare and Romehorse is just so romantic...even if they are ponies, and even though they both die in the end,” she said, shrugging.

I made sure the bag I was carrying with all the documents I needed for today was still there on my side. “Well, I have an appointment to get to,” I said, stopping to take off.

“With who?” Nikta asked, looking up for the first time since we’d left the theater.

“Princess Celestia,” I said as I started to spread my wings.

“Oh! Can I come with you?” she stopped me, looking eager.

“I don't think you'll want to. It's gonna be nothing but political stuff, and us signing some documents.”

“Please! It's better than me going to Moonlite Diner and eating a heap of ice cream,” she pleaded.

I sighed; she did have a point, I suppose. “I suppose it couldn't hurt.”

“Yay!” she said, leaping into the air. “Come on, we should get cupcakes for the appointment. I know just the place.” She flew off.

“Wait up!” I shouted, jumping into the air after her.

It was easy enough to catch up since her wings were smaller than mine, but she was excited. She touched back down on what I thought was just any other street.

“Why are we here? I thought you said we should get cupcakes for Celestia?” I asked, looking around.

“I did.” Nikta pointed out a store then started toward it.

I read the sign of the shop my sister was entering. “Sunridge Sweets — Serving Fresh, Perfectly Portioned Pastries.” Seemed okay. I followed Nikta in.

The walls were a light, splotchy pink. A horizontal line of molding separated the splotchy pink from the white and reddish-pink stripes going down from the molding to the floor. The counter and display case stood against the back wall. The rest of the floor space was occupied by round tables and tall chairs like many of the other restaurants I've seen around the city, with one corner dedicated to tiny and colorful furniture, for younglings I'd wager.

Nikta was in line, with only two ponies ahead of her. I stood beside her patiently. “Aleazh and I found this place a few weeks ago. We can't get enough of the food here. It's amazing;” Nikta informed me, looking excited.

“I'll take your word for it. Can we hurry this up? I don't want to be late.” I fidgeted with my wings.

Nikta nudged my shoulder. “Oh, relax, will you? You have plenty of time. When do you have to be there?”

I gave her an expressionless look. “In fifteen minutes,” I told her.

“It takes us less than five minutes for us to fly from one side of the city to the other. You'll be fine,” Nikta reassured me as the pony in front of us completed her sale and we moved up to the counter.

“If I'm late, it's your fault,” I said quickly.

“Hush,” she poked me with her wing before turning to the pony behind the counter. “Hello, Mr. Ridge. Can I get a dozen cupcakes to-go please?”

The earth pony stallion behind the counter; his coat was of a light brown, his mane and tail were a vibrant red and frosty white, he had his mane combed sloppily backward. His cutie mark, from what I could see of it, was a freshly made loaf of bread or something of the sort. He seemed to smile up at my sister, but I couldn't tell if it was genuine or hiding fear. “Sure. What would you like?”

“We'll take whatever you recommend,” I said, trying to move this along.

He started putting random cupcakes into the box. I glanced around. “So you and Aleazh come here often?”

“A couple times a week. They’re becoming regulars,” Mr. Ridge commented. “Twenty bits, please.”

So that was where all my bits were going; giving Nikta and Aleazh access to my Phoenix account might have been a mistake. Which reminded me, we all needed to make a trip back to that gem cache on the borders of the Badlands so I could refill my account. And maybe teach my siblings the value of a budget.

Once Nikta had paid and put away her bit bag, we collected our order and continued our trip up to the castle.

When we landed in front of the gate I showed my pass to the gate guard. “She with you?” he asked, nodding to my sister.

“She is,” I confirmed.

“Make sure she gets a visitor’s pass in the lobby,” he said to Nikta, opening the gate and letting us through.

“Nikta, I feel I need to explain a few things before you meet the Princess,” I started to say as we entered the castle proper.

“I’m listening,” Nikta said, bouncing along and swaying her bag of cupcakes.

“This is a meeting to discuss the Dragon Embassy. You are here as a guest. I would appreciate it if you only speak when spoken to in this meeting. The princess is a busy mare and we have a lot to go over.”

She scrunched her nose. “You're different when you get all official.”

I gave her a look and she sighed, slowing her pace. “Fine. I’ll keep it down.”

“Thank you.”

“What if I have a really good question to ask?” she inquired.

“Tap my shoulder, wing, or something to get my attention,” I instructed. We got to the castle lobby and I stepped up to the receptionist. “Speaker Krein here to see Princess Celestia, and can I get a visitor's pass for my sister here?”

“Sign in here, and sign here that you accept responsibility for bringing a guest into the castle.” she pointed the pen at the lines. I signed on both lines. “Here is the visitor's pass, and this gentlestallion will show you to the meeting room. The Princess will be with you shortly.”

“Thank you.” I nodded as Nikta and I turned to follow the member of the castle staff in a bright red uniform. I was pleased to note that the servants were finally used enough to me that they didn’t look scared (or, at least, didn’t look like they would turn around and run if I said “boo”) when they saw me.

He lead us to a conference room close to the throne room of the castle, featuring a huge crystal chandelier an entire rainbow of decorative crystals. “Please make yourselves comfortable,” he bowed before leaving.

Nikta sat to one side of the table, putting her box of cupcakes on the table. I started spreading out my documents on the table near where the Princess would be sitting. I had to cover everything in this meeting―immigration, trade officials, embassy security, staffing. Immigration should be covered first since if I get a staff from the Dragonlands they’ll need to able to come here officially.

After a few minutes, the door to the conference room opened and a trio of Celestia’s Guards marched in, followed by Celestia herself. Nikta and I bowed to her as the custom demands of us.

“A pleasure to see you again, Speaker, and this is?” Celestia asked as she went to sit down in her chair.

Right, they haven't met. “This is my sister Nikta. She wanted to tag along.”

“I brought cupcakes,” Nikta smiled, holding up her bag.

“I like her already,” Celestia smiled warmly.

“So while you two snack on cupcakes,” I started going through my spread of papers. “I was thinking that we’d start with immigration if any dragons choose to come here.”

“I was hoping for a working-to-citizen set up. We allow them to come here if they are working, and if they have had continuous employment for a year, they will be offered citizenship,” Celestia offered, already munching on her second cupcake. “Additionally student visas could be implemented as well as work visas. Would you agree?”

“I would, but hold on a second. Student visas? Would they just be permitted to stay if they are attending school?” I asked as I was taking notes.

“Indeed, and a student’s visa can turn into a work visa if one chooses to go through the necessary requirements,” Celestia added.

“So if applying for citizenship, first they need to have either a student or work visa, and have been working in Equestria for one year,” I said going over my notes.

“Oh, and something that my sister pointed out,” Celestia added. “We would like for dragons to register their abilities. If we are going to have creatures who can breathe fire and ice living amongst us, we want our guards to know what they are up against should they have to detain one.”

I could see where that could be necessary, though I could imagine that some dragons might not like that. “Very well. Is that it for immigration policy?”

“For now. I'm sure there will have to be amendments in the future.” Celestia took the last bite of her cupcake and swallowed as she reached for the next one. “What's next?”

I looked at my list. “Embassy security and trade authority were the next items on the docket. And I had an idea or two about that.”

“I think he is ready,” Captain Armor said as he leads me through the gates of the Canterlot Guard Academy. I always found this place interesting, scores of Guards, and generals that either gave their lives of preformed something heroic had their picture up in the hallways of this part of the academy. Going back hundreds of years. My guess was it's the Guard’s way of motivating the cadets.

“You think he's ready to run a security team?” I asked, taking my attention away from the pictures.

“You asked us to run his training hard. So we not only put him through basic but officer’s training as well. Without his dragon strength or abilities, he became very obedient. And I think our instructors came up with new methods of training as a result. Win-win,” Armor explained with a grin.

We came to a room that had a bunch of desks pushed to one side. Ash stood at attention in the middle. No movement, expressionless, and proud looking. He barely looked like the annoying dragon I had left here weeks ago.

As we entered, Ash used his wing to salute us. “At ease,” Armor ordered, allowing him to relax slightly.

“Quite the improvement. I'd say he's ready too,” I nodded.

“Forgive me, sir. Ready for what?” Ash asked.

“You Lieutenant, are gonna be the officer in charge of security at our Embassy,” I informed him.

Ash blinked and some of the color drained from his face. “I don't think I'm ready, sir.”

“You might be right. But neither of us have a choice. Princess Ember will be here in three weeks, and I need someone to run the security force in Enforcer Viing’s place,” I explained.

The mention of Princess Ember seemed to get Ash’s attention. “In light of the duty to the Dragon Lord’s daughter. I accept, Speaker,” he bowed to me. The change in attitude was really impressive.

“It’s settled then. Lieutenant, you will finish your training in the next two weeks.” Captain Armor said.

Ash stood and saluted Captain Armor. “Thank you, sir.”

“Fall out!” Armor barked.

Ash turned quickly and left the room fast. Captain Armor and I started to leave the academy again. “Thank you again Captain.”

Armor nodded. “A pleasure. Do let me know if you need anymore attitude corrections in the future.”

I laughed. “Will do.”

I had little more than a week and a half left. I had asked Viing when I called about my Embassy Security to task Uthiik and Olakaan to search for someone who can manage our cargo and dragons who want a chance to work and live in Equestria.

But if dragons were to be coming to the Dragonlands they needed a place to stay. So I quickly found a realtor who was selling whole apartment structures in the undercity.

“This one here is a nice one, perfect for dragons,” the realtor was saying.

I figured the undercity was a better place for dragons since nopony seemed afraid of me here. “How is it perfect?”

“Made of stone, and therefore fireproof. Twenty-five rooms, fifteen of which are family sized.” the realtor said in a very showy tone.

“It'll do for now. If I wished to sell the property in the future?”

“Just come back to us and we'll do the work for you,” the realtor smiled.

“Very well.”

“Krein: got your message from Viing about the embassy. Olakaan and I have done our recruiting and have one Trade Official for you. The other dragons with her are the only ones we could find right now that wanted to leave. But we have posters up around Crater, maybe more will head your way.


I finished reading the letter. In front of me stood a Sea Dragon with an excited expression. We were in the embassy. I had asked for the top floors to be finished first so I’d have a working office; another few days and the bottom floor would be finished as well.

“What's your name?”

“Algae,” she smiled. She was a teal Sea Dragon with green highlights, and her bioluminescent scales glowed a faint blue. She had no wings, so she must have swum and walked all the way here. She had dedication, then.

“Well Algae, Uthiik and Olakaan think you can do the job of Trade Official.”

“Knowing where our cargo is, who is buying it, and who we are buying it from. Right?” she asked.

Impressive. “Actually...yeah, that's pretty much it. Your office is just over here. Just remember, you will have to do a lot of traveling between here, Crater, and any warehouses we may acquire,” I explained leading her to her office.

“Cool. And the dragons that Uthiik sent with me are arriving on the first airship, it's headed straight here. I left early. I was excited.”

Holding back my amusement at her attitude I continued. “I'll make sure port authority allows them to get this far,” I said, heading back to my office.

I had all the paperwork for work visas here in my office. I began to fill them out but left the name portions blank. The arriving dragons will need them if they wish to stay here. I also had a box filled with envelopes with keys, either marked with “Family”, “Single” or “Pair”, all for various rooms in the stone apartment building in the Undercity.

I was modeling near everything after they system the ponies already had. A few things had to be different because we are dragons and not ponies, like logging the abilities of each dragon that comes here. Celestia had granted me five citizenship documents for myself and my family, Nandak included. I finished those and set them aside for my sisters to fill out what they need to when I get home.

I had papers ready for Ash, Algae, and~

Three knocks at the door cut off my focus on the papers in front of me. “Come in,” I called.

Algae opened the door. “Speaker, somedragon arrived and wishes to see you. She said you offered her a job as your assistant.”

Dammit. “Let her in,” I said, trying to hold back my disdain for Niirah.

Niirah walked in a scowl on her face. “That job still available?”

“It is. Do you want it?” I asked, trying to be patient.

“Not really,” Niirah grunted. “But Aleazh said it would be good for me, and my economics teacher said I could get extra credit.”

Of course, they did. “I see. Well, there is an empty desk just outside the door. Your job will be to sort the mail between, Algae, myself, and Lieutenant Ash when he gets here and to ensure any mail we send out gets to the mailbox. Any meetings we have will be your job to schedule, and lastly, if anydragon working on the lower floors needs anything, you are to help if you can, and if you can’t, alert one of us.” I explained her job duties. “Now. Give this file to Algae, and this one fill out yourself.” I gave her the two folders.

“Of course, Speaker.” she bowed ungratefully before leaving my office, slamming the door behind her.

“This just keeps getting better,” I sighed.

The day of Ember’s visit had arrived. Celestia and I had done everything we could to make sure nopony interrupted their flight to Canterlot. They were arriving about mid-day, headed straight to the castle. I was waiting there with Ash, who no longer had the inhibitor spell cast on him. Celestia was on her way to greet Ember as well. I watched the clouds, for them to appear.

I was a little nervous. This is the Dragon Lord’s daughter who was on her way; if anything happened to her or if she became angry over something, it could start a war. That was the last thing I wanted to happen.

“Speaker. You seem nervous,” Ash commented.

“Picked up on that, did you?” I replied tersely, still glaring at the sky.

“I find breathing calming,” Ash suggested. “Just taking a moment, closing my eyes, and just breathing deep and slow.” He started to demonstrate what he was saying.

What harm was there in trying? I began to copy his actions. I closed my eyes, and breathed, in and out, in and out. I breathed several times before opening my eyes again.

“Any better?” Ash asked.

“A little,” I confirmed. I did feel a better, I had to admit.

Celestia emerged from the castle and came to stand beside me with a small security force. “Speaker, Lieutenant. Do we know how long they’ll be?” she asked.

“Not long now, Princess,” I informed her.

Celestia stood tall. “I do hope they aren’t too far off.”

I was about to speak but a distant roar interrupted me. Over the clouds came the form of Ember, followed by Viing, his siblings, and eight other dragons that I didn’t recognize.

I assume this was Ash’s new security team. They were all wearing a new kind of armor. The metal armor looking like it came fresh out of the forge, their claws adorned with a weapon I thought non-existent: Battle Talons, long, curved blades that were attached to the claws.

Ember’s escorts came in first and landed in a semicircle opposite Celestia, creating a lot of noise as the battle claws collided with the stone. Ember landed in the middle of the semicircle.

I approached Ember first and bowed, sweeping my wings backward and showing my underside as a sign of submission. I never got low in the bow however. She was not Dragon Lord, but she was still dragon royalty, so there was still tradition to follow.

“Welcome, Princess Ember. I trust your trip was sightly?” I asked.

“It was interesting not seeing ash everywhere, sure,” Ember commented dryly.

“Ember, if I may introduce to you our host, Princess Celestia.” I stepped aside.

Celestia stepped up and smiled warmly. “A pleasure to finally meet you. I hope we can entertain you on this visit.”

Ember just stared back at Celestia for a moment, studying her from hoof to horn. I already saw where Ember was going wrong; she was the guest here and failed to bow to her host before speaking.

“I hope you can too. I hear rumors that the show-ponies the Wonderbolts are something to see here in Equestria,” Ember said. I could hear the false effort in her trying to sound interested in being here, but I’m not sure Celestia did.

“They are performing a race in a few hours,” Celestia smiled to Ember warmly. “But you've had a long journey, can I interest you in lunch before the race?”

“I would be interested to see what passes for food here,” Ember replied walking toward the castle. Celestia followed behind her, with her security team trailing behind.

Viing walked up to me. “Should we let them be?”

“You and I will stay with them. Lieutenant Ash will lead the remaining dragons to their posts at the embassy,” I answered.

Viing nodded to Ash. All but two of the guard dragons went with Ash; the other two followed Ember, their Battle Talons clicking against the stone floors.

“You should know; I'm not just here to protect Ember from ponies,” Viing whispered to me as we followed Celestia and Ember to the Castle. “If Ember attempts to provoke the princesses, you and I are to take over, and she will be escorted back to her father. Lord Torch’s orders.”

I nodded in understanding and prayed to the Spirits that Ember would be smart enough to not anger the Princesses. A war between the ponies and dragons a terrifying thought; but having to tell Lord Torch that I ordered his daughter to be sent home was even more terrifying.

Author's Note:


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