• Published 3rd Oct 2016
  • 2,655 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.

  • ...

IV - Acclamation

This library was big, and I got lost a few times amongst the huge aisles, but I had found a few books that may help. Three to be exact: Earth Ponies: Traditions and Habits, The Pegasus Collective, and Unicornology. I couldn’t find anything on Alicorns, but I had an odd feeling that was for the best.

I sat at one of the vacant reading tables, in view of everypony in the room. Ponies all around me kept staring at me: I could feel their gazes burning into me every time I tried to read my books. I looked up to try to get some relief from the burning sensation, and all the ponies around me immediately snapped their heads back down and pretended to be occupied with whatever book they were holding.

With a grunt, I returned attention to the open book about the Pegasi. I read under my breath:

“The Pegasus Pony, the warrior of the skies. This collective holds details about Pegasi of the old world, modern pegasi, why they control the weather, and much more.”

“Expanded: Now contains a section on Wonderbolts history and the Pegasus involvement in the Equestrian Military.”

“Part 1: Culture and Society.”

“Pegasus ponies were once the greatest warriors of the skies, and most of them would argue that they still are. Their competitive personalities originated from that warrior drive.”

“Pegasi today will most likely get their cutie marks in three areas of talent; Military, Athlete, or Weather Pony. While these are the most likely talents, the environment has a major role.”

“Some pegasi through history have also been known to be quite the adventurers and discoverers of lands beyond Equestria’s borders.”

“Unlike their ground-bound cousins—”

“E-excuse me?” I looked up to see a small unicorn Guard with an ice white coat and frosty blue mane, tail, and eyes standing a few paces away from me. Her armor was blocking her mark. I could tell she was trying to give herself space between her and I should I attack her.

I took a quick glance around to see some ponies glancing my way. I looked back toward the guard. “Can I help you?”

She was practically shaking. “U-um, y-you are disturbing some of the other ponies here. I-I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”

I closed the book in front of me and I looked at it for a moment, and I took a calming breath. “I’m getting tired of this,” I said under my breath and then fixed the guard in my gaze again. “Do you have a name?”

I must have caught her off guard. “W-what?” she asked confused.

I chuckled a bit and smiled, careful to not show teeth. “A name? I’m assuming you have one, yes?”

She hesitated a moment before speaking clearly. “My name is Guard First Class Snow, Canterlot City Guard.” She spoke with a slight hint of pride behind the fear.

“Well Snow, it’s a pleasure to meet you,” I stated. “My name is Speaker Krein of the Dragonlands.” I paused to let her think a bit. “Now I’d like you to take a few breaths to collect yourself.”

Hesitantly and slowly she started to take some breaths. “Good. Now. Why don’t you start over? What is the matter here?” I asked.

She spoke, her voice sounding more collected this time. “Ponies aren't used to seeing dragons around, and your presence is causing unrest with the ponies around here. I was hoping you could take your reading elsewhere.”

“Ah, I see. Well, thank you for being polite with me.” I looked up to the glass dome above me, the sun had moved significantly since arriving. “I’ll just collect my friends and I’ll be on my way. You're more than welcome to walk with me to make sure I leave.” I picked my saddlebags up and slipped the three books under my wings where I could hold them.

Snow nodded. “That would be for the best.”

I stood and started toward the back of the library. While I was a bit perturbed at being forced to leave, Snow had at least taken the effort to talk to me politely. That made her okay in my book.

Spike and Kii were in the middle of a large carpet reading separate books. Spike who was reading a particularly colorful book. Kii had a book that looked heavier and was bound in pink leather.

“Spike, Kii,” I said, getting their attention. “It seems our presence is causing enough of a disturbance that Snow here had to say something.”

“Aw. Are we leaving already?” Kii asked, looking disappointed.

“If there are books you want to borrow. I’m sure we can get them checked out for you,” Spike suggested.

“Really?!” Kii asked excitedly. “Can I get this one big brother? Can I? Can I?” She held the pink book up to me. All it said on the cover was “Fairy Tales”.

I didn’t see why not. “Sure, give it here. You can read it back at the castle.”

“Yay!” She started to climb up onto my back, but I grabbed her tail to stop her. “Aw,” she pouted. “Why?”

I gave her a serious look. “Because you need to get used to walking yourself. I’m not carrying you forever.”

Kii pouted, but she silently agreed to walk beside me.

Spike stood up and put his book down on a table. “Well, let’s get those books checked out for you. This way.”

Spike led us over to a large desk with a single pony behind it. She was a medium sized mare, relatively fit build. Her coat was a light green. Her short mane and tail were a mixture of blue and green, and her mane-do covered her left eye. She currently had her nose buried in a book.

“Ask her to check the books out for you,” Spike prompted me.

I approached the desk and cleared my throat. “Excuse me miss…” I looked down at a name tag she wore. “...Ley Lines.”

She looked up at me and jumped a little at the sight of a dragon, then cleared her throat. “C-can I help you?” I noticed her right eye was blue and her left was brown.

“Yes.” I put my three books and Kii’s one book on the counter. “Can I borrow these?”

She seemed to be unsure for a moment. “Um yeah, let me log them in the books real quick.”

“Thank you.” I smiled.

After Ley Lines jotted down that the four books were out of the library on a clipboard, she informed us that we had two weeks to return them before they would start charging for their absence. I wrote down my name on the clipboard.

Once that was done I collected the books. Snow proceeded to take us all back outside. As we exited the library, she looked around, scowling. “Horseapples. Where is that glorified armor stand now?” Snow muttered to herself.

“You lose somepony?” I asked her, looking around as well.

She groaned. “My partner Vanity. How she made it through the Guard Academy I’ll never understand. It’ll be fine. She’s probably just near the closest reflective surface.” She then looked at us all. “Thank you for cooperating, and for being so understanding.”

“No problem. I wish you luck with your partner,” I said with a small bow.

She chuckled. “Thanks, I hope that I won't need it. Bye.” Snow trotted off to find her partner.

On the way back to the castle, ponies gave us a wide girth, not wanting to get close. It felt like a really long walk back since everypony was staring.

“How long you think until they’re used to seeing us around?” Kii asked, looking up at a couple of mares with strollers, causing them to scurry for cover.

“You want the truth or the lie first?” Spike asked me.

I thought for a second. “I want the lie first.”

“They’ll be showering you with presents by tomorrow,” Spike said with a sarcastic tone and smile. He then shifted to serious. “Truth is probably never.”

“They seem okay with you,” I commented. We turned a corner and caught sight of the castle gate.

“‘Okay with’ and ‘Accepting’ are two different things. The ponies in Ponyville accept me because I live with Celestia’s star student, but it’s harder here.” Spike looked at me. “I hope you fit in better here than I did.”

“You and me both.” I nodded in agreement. We approached the gates of the castle.

The rude commanding pony was at the gate again. “I see you decided to use the gate this time Ambassador,” he growled through his teeth. The guard next to him, his muscles flexed ready to move, he nearly broke rank and fled in fear at what I might do in response to the comment.

I spoke with as much sarcasm I could. “Well, we didn't get to dance last time.”

The guard raised a confused eyebrow. “You wanna fight?”

I glared at him, all sarcasm leaving my face and tone. “No. Just look at my pass and let me in, you dolt!”

“Yes, sir!” He hurried and looked it over. “Welcome back to Canterlot Castle Ambassador Krein.”

“That’s more like it,” I huffed as I passed, Kii beside me and Spike in tow.

We got inside the foyer without any more trouble from the guards, but Raven had apparently been waiting for us. “There you all are,” she greeted us from behind a notebook; she still wasn’t looking directly at me. “If you’ll follow me I’ll show you to your room.” She looked at Spike directly. “Spike, I trust you can find your way to the usual room Miss Sparkle and you share?”

“I sure can, there a reason why?” Spike asked, looking confused.

Raven nodded. “You should probably go clean up. Princess Celestia has requested your presence at dinner.”

“Or in Luna’s case, breakfast.” Spike turned to me. “I’ll see you later.”

Raven continued to look at her notebook as she spoke. “The Princess has requested you join dinner as well Ambassador. Now follow me please.” We started down a hall. Raven still refused to look back at me.

Kii ran out in front of her. “What is that picture on your side?” she asked suddenly making Raven jump.

“It’s my Cutie Mark,” Raven answered and continued walking past her.

Kii ran out in front again. “What is a Cutie Mark?”

Raven just walked around my sister. “It’s what signifies a pony’s special talent.”

“What does yours mean?” Kii asked walking alongside her.

“It’ means I’m good at organization.” She stopped outside a door and turned to me, again eyes fixed on her notebook. “This is where you are staying while in the castle. There is a bath for the young one and a shower for you Ambassador. I left instructions on how to use both. One you clean up, please go to the dining hall. The Guards can point you the way.”

She was about to leave when I snatched the notebook out of the air with my claw. She squeaked in fright and closed her eyes tightly in terror.

“It’s rude when you don’t look a dragon in the eye when speaking to one,” I sighed in exasperation and gave her notebook back. “Just so you know.”

She forced herself to look at me, trembling slightly. “I apologize, and thank you,” she whimpered.

I gave her a small bow of my head before she turned away. Once she was down the hall some I entered the room with Kii. It was a large room with a few cushioned chairs, two beds with more pillows than I knew what to do with, and a brick fireplace with a set of logs already in place. I set my saddlebags on a chair along with the books I borrowed. Kii was already over by the large fluffy mat.

“I want this one,” she declared.

“Later. Bath first,” I insisted.

“Okay! Where?”

There were only two other doors than the one we came in from. “You try that one and I’ll try this one.”

I went over to my door and opened it. A very small room with a shelf and a wooden bar below it.

“Over here Krein!” Kii called out. I followed Kii’s voice into the room. The walls were white with bronze metal parts. The towels and mats were a mix of dark blue and golds. A large elongated bowl labeled “Bathtub” sat on the left side of the room, while a glass door over to my right was labeled as “Shower”. There was a piece of paper on the side of the bathtub with pictures and writing on it. I read it aloud so Kii could hear it too.

“Turn the knobs on the bathtub for desired temperature H for hot water and C for cold. Once desired temperature is reached put in water stop. Fill bathtub to desired depth and then turn off the water.”

I turned the H knob all the way up, waited for it to reach its hottest, put in the stop and filled it up so it would be no deeper than Kii’s chest.

“Rub soap bar on self to clean self. Once done rinse off with water and drain bathtub.”

I picked Kii up in my claws and put her in. “This is much nicer that the streams we’d be in,” she commented as she sank into the water.

“That it is,” I agreed: the water was comfortably hot, and it didn’t smell like the mud pits “You know how to do this?”

“Yeah. I heard you.”

“Alright. I'll be right over there.” I pointed to the shower. Kii nodded and proceeded to start cleaning herself.

I went over to the Shower and found another set of instructions. I read this one silently.

“Same idea as Bathtub. Only, the water doesn't fill the bottom up, keep the door closed so water doesn't get on washroom floor. Keep water running whole time until done.”

I proceeded to clean my scales. It was surprisingly relaxing. I also realized I had dirt and ash in places I didn't know dirt and ash could get into. My wing muscles were feeling loose and not as tight. Once I was done I exited the shower. I had another look at the instructions for a way to dry off.

“Dry self with towels.”

It showed a picture of them, and I easily found them on the wall. I dried myself off and then went to assist Kii; she couldn't get out of the tub on her own. I dried her off with a fresh towel and we exited the bathroom. I took my saddlebags of gems and hid them in the very small room off to the side, and then it was time for dinner.

We had to ask for directions from the Guards, but we eventually made it to the dining hall. There was a grand table covered in white cloth that ran the length of the room, with gold and silver cutlery on it. Golden chandeliers and candelabras provided light.

We had arrived before Celestia. I took an empty seat, and Kii took the seat on my left. There were more ponies that I didn’t know entering and sitting down at the table.

A white unicorn stallion sat across from me and my sister. He had blond mane and tail and a metallic star on his flank as his cutie mark. He kept looking down his nose at my sister and me, a look of disgust on his face like there was something very foul-smelling right under his nose. I was fairly certain it wasn’t me.

Another white unicorn stallion sat to my right. He had a two tone blue mane and tail. He was fit and had the aura of a warrior. His mark was a purple six-point star on a blue shield with three light blue five-pointed stars above it. He didn’t seem intimidated by my presence in the slightest.

We sat in silence for a few minutes more, most of us avoiding each other’s gazes. When the doors opened everyone in the room went to stand. I followed their example. Three alicorns walked in with regal decorum: Princess Celestia, a dark blue colored alicorn that was obviously Luna, and a third pink alicorn I didn’t know, walked in.

Luna spoke in a groggy and tired tone. “Please, be seated. ‘Tis not Court, you need not stand before us.”

Celestia nodded as she sat down at the head of the table. “My sister is correct. You may sit.” Everypony and dragon sat. Luna sat down on the corner of the table nearest to Celestia’s right, and the pretty pink alicorn sat on the opposite side of the unicorn stallion I was next to on Celestia’s left. Both of them smiled warmly at each other.

Servers came out with several drinks. One came straight over to where I was sitting. “What will Her Majesty's guests have to drink tonight?”

I spoke before Kii could. “She will have water. I, on the other claw, would like some hot chocolate.”

“Very good choices.” He turned to the stallion next to me. “For the Captain?”

“Water is fine,” the Captain said in a commanding yet compassionate tone. It seemed that I was right about him being a warrior.

Moments later, the server came back out with our drinks and we sat in silence for a few more minutes. Celestia seemed to be waiting for her sister to wake up. Once Luna was coherent enough to keep her eyes open for more than a minute at a time, Celestia began to speak.

“We have guests tonight and I believe introductions are in order.” She pointed a hoof at me. “Everypony, this is Speaker Krein of the Dragonlands, and his little sister Kii.”

Every head around the table turned towards me. Some faces showed curiosity, some disinterest, and one outright hostility. I bowed my head politely and kept quiet.

“Hi! I’m Kii,” Kii declared, waving her claw above her head and beamed a smile. Everypony except the stallion across from me waved a hoof back at her, some with more enthusiasm than others, a few with amused smiles.

“Krein,” Princess Celestia continued, “Across the table from you is my nephew Prince Blueblood.” He nodded at me curtly, his expression of dislike not changing one jot. I nodded back politely.

“I trust you know of my sister Princess Luna,” Celestia continued.

I bowed my head a little more than required. “It is an honor to finally meet the Night Guardian.”

Luna actually blushed at the title my teachers gave her. “We have not been called that in many moons. We now prefer Princess Luna, if you please.”

“Of course,” I nodded.

Celestia smiled. “Over here beside you is my niece Princess Mi Amore Cadenza.”

Cadence interrupted quickly. “Please just call me Cadence.”

“Beside you is Captain of the Royal Guard, Shining Armor,” Celestia finished.

Shining Armor spoke to me directly and without fear. “I wanted to apologize personally for the way my guards acted towards you and your sister. They have been reprimanded and should be cleaning the guard barracks by hoof as we speak.”

The door opened and Spike hurried in, huffing and puffing. “Sorry, everypony I lost track of time. I didn’t miss the food did I?” He sat between Luna and Blueblood, wiping sweat from his brow. Blueblood shuffled a little to try to move away from him.

“No, Spike I believe we are just about to ask for our dinner,” Celestia smiled at him.

“And breakfast,” Luna added.

The next few minutes was spent looking at our menus and deciding what we wanted. Kii and I decided on something called “spaghetti and eggplant meatballs.” Shining Armor and Cadence were sharing a sandwich. Celestia was having zucchini and various vegetables. Luna had a breakfast platter. We were just waiting for the food to come out to the table now.

“Krein,” Celestia called to me. “Might I ask Kii to demonstrate her abilities?”

I looked down at Kii. “Do you want to show her what you can do?” I asked.

She looked up, seemingly afraid. “But you said not to show my magic.”

“That was back in the Dragonlands,” I reassured her, laying a claw on her shoulder. “It’s okay here. Look, just try to lift the salt shaker there.” I pointed a claw to the little container on the table. “It’s not much bigger than the rocks you usually lift.”

“O-okay.” Kii was a bit nervous, and it was understandable. Not many dragons other than I had ever seen her magic. Now a bunch of ponies were going to see.

I gave her a reassuring smile, and she managed to smile back. Taking a breath, Kii focused on the salt shaker. Her eyes gave off their ghost-like purple flame. Moments later, the salt shaker had the same flame aura enveloping it. Kii managed to get it off the surface of the table and over to in front of Celestia.

I hugged her. “That was great Kii. You moved it several feet.”

“We agree. Impressive,” Luna commented, nodding.

Blueblood let out an amused huff.

I snapped my gaze to the stallion. “Is something funny?” I asked him.

“I just find it humorous that a creature such as a dragon could wield magic like ours. A ridiculous notion,” he spoke in a high-pitched haughty tone, still looking down his nose at us.

Celestia was about to speak but I spoke first. “‘A creature like us’, what are you then? A glorified stallion doll? I bet that mane of yours is worth more than the food we're about to eat.” I sneered at him. “What gives you the right to tell my little sister that she is less than anything? We have dragons like you in the Dragonlands. They turn up dead and eaten by Wyrms or Amphitheres after a few weeks of that attitude.”

He tried to speak in protest, looking both shocked and terrified. “Well I-”

“Dragons have no tolerance for disrespect,” I spat, rising off my chair slightly.

“Aunties, aren't you going to say anything?” Blueblood stammered, looking to Celestia and Luna for help.

“You did kind of ask for it cousin,” Cadence told him in a chiding tone.

“Huh,” Blueblood huffed. He stood and stormed out, his tail between his legs.

I looked to Celestia. “I apologize. But that kind of disrespect and or worse is why I took my position and left the Dragonlands.”

“I wish you had handled that a little more gently,” Celestia said in a slightly reproving tone. “I realize that he has a poor attitude, but that is not how we handle things. I will speak to him later and tell him that his behavior was inappropriate.”

“Finally! The food has arrived,” Luna called out as the servers appeared with our dinners.

It all looked and smelled delicious. While they ate, the other nobles around the table began talking about a wide variety of subjects. I was silent for most of the dinner. Not just because I didn’t have anything to say, but because the food was good that I didn’t have a chance to talk with my mouth full. That is until a question was directed at me.

“Ambassador, if I may ask, what resources are the dragons willing to trade with us ponies?” Princess Cadence abruptly asked. “Certainly not gems, I’m sure.” Princess Cadence asked.

I hadn't thought of that. But the Dragonlands were rich in raw materials such as metals, minerals, and stones. I swallowed my spaghetti and spoke. “We have many different kinds of raw ores and stones. For example the Obsidian Spires. Black volcanic glass sharper than any blade, towers of the stuff piercing through the skies. I’m sure we can convince some dragons to mine some in exchange for other items; Obsidian is almost worthless to dragons, so it’s not like they’ll give you trouble over that. But the dragons in the Dragonlands tend to be greedy and sometimes violent, so caution is necessary.”

“That sounds like a promising start as far as trading goes,” Cadence commented.

“I will get in contact with the Dragonlands as soon as possible to open trade then,” I said, returning to my spaghetti. That was definitely happening tonight. It was time I spoke to Dragon Lord Torch. Cadence went back to conversing with Celestia, Luna, and Spike.

“I have a question, if I may?” Shining Armor spoke. “We in Equestria’s security and military forces, have heard about the destructive power of one dragon’s abilities. If dragons are to be rejoining the world, how will your Lord keep them in check?”

“A fair inquiry. Lord Torch has made it clear to all dragons that unprovoked attacks on equines will be met with our harshest punishment.” I told him. “Not that dragons have much interest in fighting ponies anyway. They have more interest in fighting each other.”

“Do you not have a security force?”

“Not yet, but I'm sure one will arise soon,” I said confidently.

Kii and I were back in our room. I was trying to get Kii to calm down to sleep, but she was excited.

“Kii, please, you need to rest,” I groaned.

“I’m not tired though,” she protested, bouncing on her bed.

“Believe me, yes you are,” I told her.

“Can I read some of the book I borrowed?” Kii asked as she finally stopped bouncing.

“Sure,” I conceded. “But only a little.” I went to my saddlebags in the small room and got out her Fairy Tale book. “I’m gonna be in the washroom,” I told her as I gave her the book. “When I come back you better be sleeping.”

She opened the book and started reading. “Okay.”

I went to the washroom and looked down at my mark. I touched it with the opposite claw, like instructed, and a fire started burning in my claw, although it didn’t hurt in the least. I held it out in front of me and waited.

Torch’s voice came from the fire. “It’s about time I heard from you,” he growled. “Have you reached the princesses yet?”

“I have and they are assisting me in settling in here,” I replied. “Celestia recognized the mark immediately.”

“Good. Good,” Torch said approvingly. “You are right where I want you to be. Is there anything I need to know?”

“Just one question actually, my Lord,” I stated.

“What is it?”

“A princess pointed out to me that trade is an option for us. I was thinking since Obsidian is worthless to us but ponies could use it. Some dragons could mine it and the ponies could trade items for it.” I started. “We could also mine some of our land’s raw materials like the ores or the crystals in the caverns to the south.”

“Hmm. I like the idea of trading something worthless to us for something a bit more,” Torch murmured. “I need to think on it. I’ll contact you with an answer another time.”

“Yes, my lord.” The fire burned out, ending the conversation.

I exited the washroom and saw Kii sound asleep on the bed. I went over to a pile of pillows I had set up near the fireplace. I used a small blast of fire to ignite the wood, so that they were crackling merrily, and laid down on my makeshift nest.The pillows felt like rocks, but soft, warm rocks. It didn’t take me long to doze off to a sound asleep.

Author's Note:

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

Companion Chapter: Strider - Tall Tale III.


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