• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,653 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.

  • ...

III - First Impressions

The Guards rushed over and surrounded me, almost entirely ignoring Spike. Weapons—lances and swords as sharp as a manticore’s talons—were pointed at Kii and I. I bared my teeth and rose up, using one of my wings to push my little sister behind me as I prepared for a fight. They entirely ignored Spike.

“Halt, dragon and submit!” a commanding Guard ordered, glaring up at me. In spite of his fierce expression, I could hear the fear in his voice.

“Back off pony. I’m not here to make trouble.” I growled.

“It sure seems like it,” a guard to my right commented, pointing his lance at Kii, who bared her teeth at him. I snarled smoke and prepared to blow a jet of flames into the air.

“Whoa, whoa! Everypony just calm down!” Spike shouted, stepping in and standing between me and the commander. “I brought him here to see Princess Celestia. I’m vouching for him.”

The Guard looked at Spike and me, weighing his options. “Very well. He will be allowed an audience with the Princess. But the House Guard will be watching him, closely.” He gave a quick signal and the guards raised their weapons. Some of them retreated, but hesitantly, glaring at me all the way. A few, including the commander, still surrounded us, glaring at Kii and I with their hooves still ready to draw their weapons.

“That was odd, they aren’t usually like this,” Spike mumbled to me.

“I was warned that tension between ponies and dragons were strained. I should have said something.” I admitted.

“Ah, that would explain some things.” Spike nodded. “Come on, Celestia will likely be in court. This way.” He headed towards some overly sized double doors set in the front of the palace. I followed with Kii in tow, still wrapped safely under my wing. The surrounding Guards moved with us, never taking their eyes off us as we entered the palace proper.

Despite my soured mood, I had to admit, this place was beautiful. White stone walls and pillars, yellow and blue stained glass windows, red carpet leading straight into the throne room. Kii seemed intimidated by the Guards that stood sentry at every door. They watched me with open hostility in their eyes. I watched them just as closely.

We arrived just outside the throne room and a Guard stopped us. “What business do you have with the Princess?” he asked in a demanding manner, his hoof already reaching for his lance.

Spike looked at me and waved me forward. “Political. I am Speaker of the Dragons from the Dragonlands. I wish to speak with your Princesses,” I told him, doing my best to keep my voice calm.

The Guard glanced at Spike before responding to me. “Do I have to worry about you starting a war if I let you in? I know dragons like to fight.”

I growled to myself. Was this how all non-ponies were treated here? “That's a stereotype, and it's offensive. Now, may I please speak with your Princess?”

He eyed me once more. “You may go inside, but we’re-”

“‘Watching me closely,’ Yeah, I know,” I cut him off as we passed through the door.

The throne room looked the same as the grand hallway—same pillars, same stained glass windows, same red carpeting. What stood out was the throne: it looked like gold, although I suspected it to be some sort of coloring. The scarlet cushion on the throne also matched the carpet that went straight up to it.

Princess Celestia sat there on the throne signing documents with her magic, a tired expression on her face. I may be a dragon but I can recognize pure beauty when I see it. Her white coat, it practically glowed with the sun, and her mane and tail showed colors I hadn't seen before, flowing with magic. The mark on her flank showed a sun: it fit her name certainly. Alicorns truly are in a category of beauty all their own.

Celestia was oblivious to Spike and I approaching. Then a particularly loud pony Guard spoke up, “Announcing, Spike and guests!”

Celestia looked up as if to confirm she actually had a guest. Her face lit up with a smile. “Why, Spike!” She stopped signing documents and moved to greet Spike. “What a pleasure to see you!” To my surprise, she and Spike shared an embrace, like the fact she was royalty didn’t matter all of a sudden. “How is Twilight?” Celestia asked.

“The Pegasi scheduled a heavy storm in Ponyville for the day, so she’s probably nose-deep in her books right now,” Spike answered her with a grin. He then seemed to shift focus, his face falling into more serious lines. “Princess, I want to introduce some new friends of mine, they came from the Dragonlands.” Spike lead Celestia over to Kii and I. “This is Krein and his little sister Kii.”

When Celestia spoke, it was with a warm voice and accompanying welcoming smile, like the sunrise that I enjoyed so much. “It is a pleasure to meet you both. If you’ll excuse my curiosity, we don't get many dragons hailing from the Dragonlands here. Why have you come here?”

I began removing the saddlebags that still hung over my shoulders, relaxing as I did so. At least the Princess had some manners. “I am the Speaker for the Dragonlands,” I said as I revealed the mark Lord Torch gave me.

Celestia's eyes went wide in surprise. She then turned to the other ponies in the room. “Please leave us immediately.” The Guards looked confused and hesitated. “Now, please,” Celestia repeated in a firmer tone. The Guards slowly left the room, looking baffled. At least we wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore.

Celestia then turned to Spike. “If you would wait outside, please Spike?”

Spike didn't question her, he simply nodded and started for the door. “Spike wait,” I called after him. “Would you mind watching over Kii for me?”

Spike shrugged his wings. “No, I don’t mind.”

I looked down at Kii. “I need you to stay with Spike for a few minutes, okay?” Kii nodded obediently. “I’ll be done in a few minutes.” She nodded again and hurried over to Spike who lead her outside the door. It shut behind us with a loud click.

Celestia and I were now alone in this large room. I looked at her and saw that she was looking at my mark. “I take it you know what this mark means?” I asked her.

She lifted her eyes to meet mine. We are of similar height so this felt more normal than talking to the smaller ponies around. “It’s the mark of Dragon Lord Torch. He sent you here. But why?”

“Lord Torch wanted a voice in what happens in the world. I guess I am to be an ambassador of sorts,” I explained.

“I see. The Dragonlands are an expansive yet secluded part of the world, and Lord Torch is a powerful figure in those lands,” Celestia pondered as she walked over to a window. It showed an image of six ponies, each a different color, sending differently colored beams of light at a dark blue alicorn.

“He’s the only authority figure we have,” I explained. “Most dragons are too consumed by their hords and their own selfishness to think about much. So Lord Torch keeps what order he can.”

Celestia looked at me with curiosity. “You aren’t distracted by riches? You definitely seem different from other dragons, you're more like Spike.”

“No, I am not distracted by gems, and neither is my sister,” I stated. “We are different in many ways to other dragons. I was surprised to see a dragon here in Equestria so soon. He has been a help to my sister and I in the short time I've known him.”

She nodded. “We should return to the matter of your mark. So Torch merely wants to be more involved in the world?” she asked to confirm what I said mere moments earlier.

I nodded again. “That seemed to be what he wanted.”

“You are aware that most of the world doesn’t trust Dragonkind anymore?” Celestia asked.

“I am Princess. It seems to be my job to rebuild that trust.”

Princess Celestia seemed to ponder that response. “I won’t deny the Dragon Lord’s request, but I will admit my sister Luna is more familiar with Dragonkind. However, she went to sleep a few hours ago, and won’t wake until later today,” she admitted.

Luna. I recognized the name from the rumors that are whispered amongst the dragon feeding grounds, rumors spoken in tones of great respect...and great fear. “If I recall, Luna fell to darkness some time ago. If she is here now, does that mean she has returned to the light?”

“She has,” Celestia stated, staring up at the stained glass mirror again. “Although she is still sensitive about the subject of her fall. If you could refrain from talking about it in front of her for now, it would be appreciated.”

“Not an issue,” I answered.

Celestia nodded to me. “Thank you, Speaker Krein. Now, I think it’s time we talked about your living conditions, don’t you think?”

I gave a smile and a nod; I was still slightly stiff from the rocks I’d slept on before. “That would be a wise thing to discuss.”

“Until we find you a place befitting of a dragon, you can use one of our ambassador’s quarters here in the castle.” She looked over at a door of to the side. “Raven, could you come in here please!” she called.

The side door opened and a pony came back in. She was a grayish brown pony, with a black mane and tail, glasses, the mark on her flank showed a feather being dipped in a bottle of ink. She was smiling as she entered, but as soon as she saw me, she gave a sharp cry of fright and crouched down to the floor, trembling violently.

“It’s all right, Speaker Krein will not harm you,” Celestia reassured her.

Raven looked up at me. I tried to smile reassuringly at her, but that seemed to have the opposite effect of what I intended. She gulped, stood up and trotted over to Celestia. “Yes, Princess?” she asked timidly, continuing to glance at me.

“Take a note please,” Celestia asked of her. “Our Dragon Ambassador here is going to need a place to live. Until we find one though, give him a room here in the Castle. Also, inform the Guard of his Ambassador status and issue him a pass to the castle.”

“Yes, Princess.” Raven jotted down the details, then turned to me, preferring to look down at her scroll instead of me. “D-do you have any requests on the living quarters we will be looking for?” she squeaked fearfully.

I thought about it for a moment. “A place big enough for me to raise my sister, and maybe a guest or two.”

“Very well. I assume you’d like this place to be comfortable?” Raven continued, still refusing to look up at me.

“Yes, I would.” I turned my attention to Celestia. ”Princess. There is a matter with my sister I wish to discuss with you.”

Celestia raised a brow. “Yes? What about her?”

I glanced at Raven, who was still trying to make herself seem as small as possible, hiding behind her scroll, then looked back to Celestia. “My sister has magic, similar that of a unicorn’s. I was hoping if there was somepony here in Equestria to teach her to control it better?”

“I wasn’t aware that dragons could possess that type of magic,” Celestia replied, looking surprised. “But we have schools that can teach her with others around her age.”

“That would help me a great deal,” I nodded. “It is rare though that a dragon is born with this type of magic. To my knowledge, Kii is the only one.”

“It’s settled, then,” Celestia nodded, then turned back to her assistant. “Raven, please inform the staff at my School for Gifted Unicorns that they will be getting a rather unique student.”

“I’ll get on this right away,” Raven said quickly, backing up. “I’ll let you know of my progress, Your Highness.” Raven then turned and hurried out of the throne room.

“Thank you, Princess, for accepting me and my sister into your lands,” I said to Celestia with a low bow.

“It’s a pleasure,” Celestia smiled. “But I hope you will answer future questions I might have about dragons. Our textbooks are lacking on information about Dragonkind.”

I have her a smile. “I don’t see the harm in answering a few questions.”

She smiled broadly; she seemed a little excited with my answer but kept it under control. “Now I must get back to my scheduled tasks for the day. Is there anything else?”

I remembered the rude Guards. “Yes, one small thing. Your Guards, I know they were doing their jobs, and that they have reason to be afraid of us, but they were rude to my sister and me.”

Celestia frowned. “I will inform my Guard Captain of this and he’ll deal with it. Thank you.”

“No, thank you, Princess.” I gave another polite bow before gathering my saddlebags and exiting the throne room.

Upon exiting, I felt a sense of relief wash over me. My sister was safe, safer than she’s ever been, and we are starting a new life in a new land. I found myself experiencing new sensations, excitement being the most prominent one. I wanted to go explore the city a bit. I felt my stomach grumble as I stood there thinking. A search for food would be a good start.

Spike approached me, and Kii immediately snapped to my side once more. “How’d it go?” Spike inquired.

I took a moment to think. “Celestia is actually kinda awesome.”

Spike gave a hearty laugh. “I know right. So what do you want to do?”

“Well, I have a feeling I’m gonna need a type of pass to get in here later. So we should go find that. Then I was hoping we could go get some food, and explore the city a bit, ya know?”

“Leave it all to me,” Spike grinned, puffing up his chest proudly. “I know this city like the back of my claw. If you’ll follow me please.”

“Lead the way,” I said, moving a wing in a joking manner.

Spike lead me to a desk where a trembling pony gave me a pass to the castle. Then we hit the town.

For food, Spike took us to an interesting place close to the train station. It was run by a few griffons and they welcomed us. And they served fish, of all things! I never thought I’d find cooked fish in a pony city. The place was stained wood, green carpet, dark blue seats. It was strangely welcoming, considering I thought all griffons were grouches. Surprisingly, there were a few ponies here, though most were at the bar in the back. They kept glancing at us suspiciously as we waited for our order.

We were now just waiting for our food. Our drinks had already arrived. Kii had asked for something called “Pink Lemonade”, I just got a drink called “Hot Chocolate” at Spike’s recommendation, and he got the same.

“I’d appreciate if you don’t mention that I come here to my pony friends. I don’t want them thinking me weird for eating fish. My friend Fluttershy wouldn’t like it too much particularly,” Spike asked of me, looking worried.

“Hey, my maw is sealed.” I took a sip of my hot chocolate. The warm, sweet taste washed down my throat. “Wow, this is good.”

“Told ya,” Spike said proudly taking a sip of his as well.

I looked down at Kii. “How are you enjoying that?” I asked her.

She had a wide smile on her face. “It’s sweet! Here try it.” She slid the glass a few inches over to me.

I picked it up in my claw and took a small sip. It was sweet, but it had a strange, tangy sourness to it. “Mm, tasty.” I slid it back to her. “So where are we going after this?” I asked Spike.

Spike took a breath. “Well, I was thinking. You would like more information on pony society, right?” I nodded. “Well, I was thinking we could go to the Canterlot Library. I can take Kii to go look at the foals books and you can look for something to help you. The Librarians are helpful.”

I nodded in agreement. “That sounds as good a plan as any.”

Spike took another sip of his drink before speaking again. “Our food should be here any minute. They’re good about getting the orders out.”

Sure enough, they brought our food out a few moments later. Spike ordered fish & chips for us all. He said it was pieces of fish fried in an oil. Honestly, I couldn't care less about how it was made, it tasted epic. They had tons of flavor, and then there were the supposed chips. Spike also called them “Prench Fries.” At one point I had to stop Kii from eating too fast, although I couldn’t blame her; they were that good.

After we were done eating, Spike lead us to the library. It was almost excessive the size of the Library. The front had two unicorn statues flanking the stairs, staring imperiously down at every visitor. The entryway had stone pillars in a similar style to Canterlot castle. Grey stone bricks dominated the walls, and a glass dome allowed the sunlight to stream in from above. Inside was different, yet similar. Bookcases in every direction, spreading outwards from a collection of tables in the center of the room like spokes on a wheel.

There were a few ponies sitting at the tables in the center, reading. As soon as we entered, every single one of them looked up at us, their eyes widening in terror as they froze in their seats like statues. Everything went silent; you could have heard a feather dropping. I know libraries are supposed to be quiet, but this was ridiculous.

“They’re all staring at us,” Kii whispered from underneath my wing.

“Just act natural,” Spike whispered. “If they realize you’re not a threat, they’ll ignore you.” He gave me the most unconvincing smile I’d ever seen in my life.

I chose to ignore the staring ponies, instead looking at the vast amount of books. It would probably take me ten years to read all of them. “Where should I start?” I asked.

“I recommend finding a librarian,” Spike suggested. “You wanna see the non-boring books?” he asked Kii.

Kii looked up at me. “Can I?”

I took a breath. “It’s one of the reasons we’re here.” I had to start getting used to her being away from me. “Just be careful and stay with Spike.”

She hugged me. “You're the best!” Kii then bounced over to Spike, and they disappeared behind a bookcase.

I let out a sigh and closed my eyes. “It’s safe here. It’s safe here. It’s safe here.” I repeated trying to force myself to believe it. I opened my eyes. The ponies were still staring at me, their fear turning into suspicion.

“Alright.” I started looking around. “Time to learn something.”

I walked down one of the aisles and started perusing the books lining the shelves. A young mare stared up at me as I entered, then quickly backed out of the aisle.

I snorted beneath my breath. I guess I’d already learned one thing, at least.

Author's Note:

A special thanks to PonyJosiah13 for editing this chapter for me.


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