• Published 18th Jun 2012
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The Blueblood Chronicles - Rune Soldier Dan



Blueblood just wants to be left alone. prince-chasing mares and high society have other plans.

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Chapter 1: Grand Galloping Disaster

Dear Diary,

…"Dear Diary?" How cliché can I get? I've never been big on the idea of diaries. What do you write on normal days? "Dear Diary, today I ate hay, worked, and went back to bed. Hay was yellow, bed was soft."

No, not going to happen. I'm only doing this because Helperton gave me this little pocket journal. When I told him my opinion of daily diaries, he said just to use it to record interesting things that happen, smashing ideas that come to my head, or good events that make a day a little better. On a terrible day, then, I can page back and recall better moments.

Which I guess is a good idea. At least it'll help me keep my end of the E.E. organized.

Until next time, Diary. Presuming I don't put you in a drawer and forget you. Wait, why am I bidding farewell to an inanimate book? Ah, well.

Yours,

Prince Blueblood.

PS: "E.E." stands for Egalitarian Equestrians. It's a group of…oh, nevermind. Maybe next time.

-------------------

Dear Diary,

I'm back with you, for some reason. Mostly just killing time until my two co-conspirators show up. Aunt Celly caught me leaving the palace this evening, but I had my excuse of visiting Prince Luxury at the ready. The fact that I still was able to come meant it fooled her completely.

Okay, maybe she didn't buy it. Our dear Princess Celestia's eyes watered like I just told an uproarious joke, and she was struck by a coughing fit that sounded suspiciously like disguised laughter. But for the Sun's sake, I'm a grown stallion! And there's nothing wrong with a grown stallion enjoying a Friday evening at the pub with his friends.

Great, she probably thinks I'm sneaking out to see some filly-friend.

Actually, that wouldn't be so bad. If rumor spreads that I have a mare, maybe I'll stop getting marriage proposals eight days a week.

Yours,

Prince Blueblood

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Dear Diary,

The evening at the pub went about as well as expected. Which meant that it was productive, but I was ready to start a very unprincely brawl by the end of it.

First, a moment of introduction. Helperton and Star Gazer are the friends I meet at the Grapevine Pub every Friday evening. Helperton is an earth pony, dark blue in color with a bushy brown tail and, oddly, beard. He is inordinately fond of his facial fuzz and welcomes any attention to it. He goes about in a monocle and top hat, and has a deep voice and squinty eyes. His cutie mark is two white hooves bumped together in a hoofshake. Helperton has a quiet demeanor, kindly personality, and will never, ever, ever be able to save money for himself.

Star Gazer is one of those cases where a pony's name doesn't always match up to his direction in life. He does not, in fact, like star gazing, and nothing about him implies stars, night, or any other related symbolism. He's a pegasus of faded green color, like green paint mixed with too much yellow. His true-green mane and tail are always combed very well in the morning, yet have a way of becoming a mess by noon. Star Gazer is short and scrappy, and tireless once he has a goal in mind. He has – and we never let him hear the end of it – a large pink heart as his cutie mark.

And then there's me. Prince Blueblood, nephew to Princess Celestia. White coat, blue eyes, etc. You know me. I mean, I know me. I mean…

Whatever. Dumb diary.

Together, us three founded the "Egalitarian Equestrians Reaching a Helping Hoof," usually just called the E.E. Some ponies prefer "Helping Hooves," but I rather like "Egalitarian Equestrians."

Names aside, it's not a hollow boast to say we're one of the largest and most effective charity organizations in Equestria. I wouldn't trade Equestria for anything, but our aristocrat-led consumerist society does have its share of "have-nots." Particularly in winter months, many orphans and families go without basic necessities such as…

Ugh, I'm not going to preach to myself. Poverty is a problem. We help people get through it. We do a lot of good, and I'm proud of myself. E.E. was originally those two colts going door to door with tin cups, trying to support a few soup kitchens. They managed to sneak into a Grand Galloping Gala one year to gather donations. The pair got a lovely firsthand view of me being a royal jerk to the prince-chaser of the evening. It's definitely a credit to their courage that they took their case to that horribly abrasive stallion, Prince Blueblood.

I had an image to maintain, so I hid my interest as best as I could until we were alone in the gardens. That's a trick I learned the year before we met. Everything that is Anything that happens at the Gala goes on indoors, so if you want to get away (and why wouldn't you?), head to the gardens. Suffice to say, I was in search of a purpose at the time. And lucky colt that I am, the purpose came searching for me. We talked for hours, the three of us growing more excited with each idea exchanged. I had money and contacts, but no clue how to use them. They gave me that clue. And with me offering more than just a handout, I feel I inspired them to think a little bigger than a few cans of soup.

So we've been at it for a few years. I provide financing and noble connections, Helperton gives the organizational skills and common sense, and Star Gazer has the ideas and energy. The E.E. has grown to be more than just us, almost being a business itself. But we're still at its head, leading it forward.

Well, those two are its leaders. A background role suits me much better. If it became known I was some philanthropic do-gooder, I wouldn't be able to beat the mares back with horn and hoof.

Anyway, that's us.

Yours,

Prince Blueblood

PS: I didn't really write about the meeting, did I? Maybe tomorrow.

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Okay, quick addendum after rereading my entry yesterday, so no one gets the wrong impression of my attitude towards mares.

I'm not a colt-cuddler. I look forward to having a wonderful wife one day. But I want her to love me because I'm Blueblood. Not "Prince" Blueblood, but simply "Blueblood." Noble daughters try to seduce me because I'm wealthy and marriage would raise their own station. Being Princess Celestia's nephew pretty much puts me as high on the noble ladder as can be attained by mortals, making me the number one target for those seeking advancement. Others dress me up in their minds as some perfect Prince Charming who will carry them away from all their worldly troubles.

Experience has taught me that neither type is good at listening. If I refuse them reasonably and politely, they take that as a sign to try harder. Or worse, they think I'm just being coy with them and returning the affection "in my own way."

The quickest and most effective way of driving them back is by acting in the most abrasive, self-centered manner I can possibly perform. Making them hold the door open for me once or twice is usually enough to make even the most zealous give up the chase. Ideally this will have the added effect of making me less sought-after, but I guess word doesn't spread fast among starry-eyed mares. Every noble event I attend, I end up having to resort to the Prince Badblood routine.

Aunt Celly says I need to get out more in high society. She said that somehow being more visible will reduce the 'mysterious reclusive mystique' that draws fillies to me. Celly's wise in most matters, but she doesn't get it. They don't want me because I'm mysterious, they want me because I'm rich and a prince. Attending more events will just present more opportunities for mares to throw themselves at me. Furthermore, I HATE noble parties – each one is a clear demonstration that ponies born with every want fulfilled can still want more. Upper class parties are just a chance to scheme and preen. And when not doing those, all the lords and damsels sip from jeweled chalices and complain, fancying themselves hard-put or unlucky. Meanwhile, outside their door is a wandering family wondering when they'll eat next.

Preening, self-centered Canterlot elite. I want nothing to do with them.

You know, I've never expressed those feelings except in this diary. Maybe this isn't such a silly idea after all.

Which, reviewing this page, makes me realize a bit of a quandary. I want a mare who loves me for the real me. But if I meet a pretty one who knows I'm a prince, her affection for me is inevitably colored by my title. So I can't have her know the real me…so she can love the real me? How does that make any sense?

Star Gazer says I should take cue from children's stories. Of the beggars and drifters our kitchens feed, pick one and approach her incognito. I would then woo her, and once we have confessed our love to each other reveal myself as Prince Blueblood. I would then carry her away to a white castle and we would live happily ever after.

Yes, I do actually live in a white castle. But no. No, no, no. Call me a romantic, but love isn't something you go looking for. It's something that hits you when you least expect it. Following his advice would just be fishing for a lucky winner who has a nice flank. It would be unscrupulous, and it is not how I want to meet Ms. Right.

Not that I'm making any progress romantically at present. But I'm content as a bachelor.

Rambled on again, did I? Oh well.

Yours,

Prince Blueblood.

---------------------

Dear Diary,

Okay, so, the meeting. And I'm going to write a lot. I confess, I'm starting to find this enjoyable.

We enter and exchange pleasantries, Star Gazer insisting on "bro hoofing" with me. It's like a hoofshake, only louder. Before we get down to business, we make fairly predictable side-talk. I offer interesting gossip on Princess Celestia (and more recently, Princess Luna). Talking about the foibles of such-and-such noble goes right over their heads, but who doesn't want to hear about what Celly does when she's not running the country?

They've been pressing me for news on the younger princess, but honestly I haven't really spoken to Luna yet.

Anyway, Star Gazer's gossip is hit or miss. Sometimes he offers interesting news or ghosts of ideas we are later able to nurture and develop. Sometimes he just sticks with "buck" puns.

Quite mature, our pegasus.

Helperton doesn't usually say much as we're cracking open our first hard ciders. He mostly offers a single sentence at a time, asking a question or making an observation. Sometimes his observations are insightful. Sometimes they're obvious. When I commented on the reclusiveness of the younger princess, he offered "Well, she is the princess of the night." And he spoke it very sagely, as if the fact wasn't known by everypony in Equestria.

The meat of the meetings really aren't any more formal. We talk about how the week went, which for me involves how much money I was able to shake from my fellow nobles. Guilt and high breeding are my usual weapons, and they fare quite well.

At least, they work well most of the time. I am both remarkably well and ill positioned for procuring financing: my royal status gives me access to many funds, but little is actually under my control. Generally, I try to make do by scooping from my own independent resources, guilting my peers, and making sure the right paperwork reaches the right hooves for grants, tax breaks and the like.

We had a bit of a scuff later in the meeting. Star Gazer and I were quite excited about our "Reaching Hooves" project. It's ambitious, but here's the idea: We take as many poor families as possible and help them get the resources to raise their little ponies safe and healthy. Sounds typical, right? Well the idea here is that we follow the children, make sure they stay in school, encourage them as they figure out their cutie marks, and then help them get employment. I was quite proud when Star Gazer used me as an example, saying, "Which would've been better? Blueblood just giving us a handout? Or him sticking with it, the way we'll stick with these kids?"

Helperton was less enthusiastic. Reaching one of his rare grouchy moods, he kept rumbling "don't forget about the has-beens." He pointed out that we already had two free schools and a center for families, but absolutely no program to help care for the destitute elderly. He wanted a senior center, and we went back and forth for a while in low argument.

We reached something of a compromise, but honestly Star Gazer and I won that round. We agreed to start organizing Reaching Hooves, and promised to keep the idea of an old ponies' home on the table. Which is a pretty silly promise since it had been on the table for a while, but it let Helperton down easy.

The last part of the evening comes after the direction for the next week had already been discussed. Each of us is slightly inebriated, and we boast a bit, joke a bit, and sling a few good-natured jibes back and forth. The primary target of the jibes is rarely Helperton – he has few obvious flaws to target. Star Gazer's brash personality makes him easily needled, but I definitely caught the worst of it this week. The other two are not invited, but they know.

The Grand Galloping Gala is approaching soon.

Somewhere out there is at least one filly who thinks that it will be her night of destiny. She will shine out amongst the herd and catch the eye of her dear Prince Blueblood. He will be captivated by her beauty, ask for her hoof in marriage, and take her away to live happily ever after in royal opulence.

Bleh.

I know it's all in good fun, but Helperton and Star Gazer just wouldn't stop. They speculated on what she would look like, if she would have any redeeming qualities to tempt me, whether two contestants would filly-fight over me, and more. Perhaps I would hide in a closet only to discover one had laid in wait for me there, or perhaps my Prince Badblood routine would be a royal turn-on for one.

"Oh Blueblood, you're sooooo bad," Star Gazer cooed in an imitation filly voice.

And he's actually a year older than me. Seriously.

I was peeved enough by the end of it that I may have started a fight. Which would've been…well, bad to explain to Aunt Celly once I got arrested. Luckily, I think they saw they were pushing me too far and left off. Star Gazer changed the subject fluidly, asking me to go to an entertainment show with him on Sunday. It was probably an indirect apology, and I accepted.

Yours, (why do I say 'Yours' to a diary? Aren't you mine?)

Prince Blueblood

--------------------

Dear Diary,

Got a bit of a pop culture lesson. When it comes to the Great and Powerful Trixie, either you get it or you don't.

Star Gazer gets it. He was whooping and stomping all throughout the show. He happily shouted out her name along with her, and exchanged gossip with other fans about all the feats she supposedly is capable of.

Now I, I do not get it. I look at her and I see a unicorn that can use magic. Big deal.

No, scratch that. I see a LOUD. OBNOXIOUS. EGOTISTICAL unicorn that can use magic. And here these foals are, cheering her on to greater and greater boasts. Maybe some earth ponies and pegasi I can understand, but there were magic-using unicorns celebrating as loudly as the rest.

It is a consolation that, on examining the crowd, I wasn't the only one who seemed vaguely befuddled as to why everypony was so happy so see her.

The Gala is next week. This is a very small, very sarcastic yay.

Mine, (Okay, that sounds dumb. We'll stick with the traditional.)

Yours,

Prince Blueblood

---------------------

Dear Diary,

Had to try. Very quietly, very privately, I approached Aunt Celly and asked if I could skip the Grand Galloping Gala.

"Oh come on Blueblood," Celestia said. Her horn glowed, and she magically began fussing over me: straightening my collar, combing down a few errant strands of my mane, polishing my buttons, and generally mothering me. Usually I enjoyed this kind of attention from her – from day one, my own mother was too busy preening and attending garden parties to waste time with my appearance. There were always servants on hand for that, but it's different with Aunt Celly. You know, it feels 'motherly' and all that. She knows my parents are indifferent ones, and she's probably a little lonely at the top. I like to think that her fussing over my appearance is good for both of us.

"It'll be good for you," she cooed, and I almost believed her. "Make some friends! Talk to ponies. If you just assume the worst in everypony you'll never expand your horizons. Give them a shot."

"A shot at me," I grumbled. Aunt Celly doesn't know about my involvement with the E.E. (probably), but she's well aware of the act I put on to dissuade attention. She doesn't approve, but at least she respects me enough to leave it be.

"Who knows? Maybe you'll meet somepony you want to shoot back at." She stepped forward and nuzzled my mane, ruining the efforts of her combing.

"So I take it that's a 'yes, I have to go?'"

"Yep!" She said, entirely too cheerfully.

"But Luna doesn't have to go!" (Okay, I was grasping at straws at this point.)

Aunt Celly raised an eyebrow and met my look. "If you were trying to catch up on a thousand years of change, I'd let you skip a social function or two as well. I don't like going either, but it's one royal responsibility I'm not about to let slide."

I groaned. "So if you have to go, I have to go."

She chuckled and kissed me on the cheek. "It won't be that bad."

Maybe she's right. Can't hurt to try to have a good time, can it?

Yours,

Prince Blueblood

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Dear Diary,

Actually exchanged my first real words with Princess Luna today. It wasn't much – we happened to be in the parlor alone as the day wound down. We talked a little about her studies, and my envy for her dodging of the Gala. She was surprised at this. Having never been to one herself, she was under the naïve impression it was the grandest and most fun of all parties. I guess she found my own opinion amusing, as she was struck with a fit of giggles at my description of the Canterlot elite. She looked so darn cute smiling that I kept going, doing a few choice impersonations and confiding that my time would likely be occupied evading a prince-chaser. The giggles turned to full laughs, and she clopped her hooves together in applause at my impersonation of Courtly Attire's choicest proposal to Aunt Celly.

After the laughter subsided she looked at me – really looked at me – for the first time.

"You know…I'm your aunt, too."

That led to a whole different conversation. Long story short, she asked me to call her "Aunt Luna," I said I would try, but it would take time. I grew up with Aunt Celly. Suddenly having another divine aunt will take some getting used to, but I'd say we're off to a good start.

Yours,

Blueblood

PS: Oh, wait just a second there. Almost forgot the other big event of the evening. A delightful little piece of gossip: I happened to briefly overhear Celly and Luna talking, and following some comment by Celly, Luna defensively said "You leave Abby out of this!"

Who is this "Abby?" A colt-friend, or perhaps even a filly? Maybe my dear Aunt Luna is not as childlike as she appears! This is the juiciest bit of gossip I've ever learned firsthoof. I'll make a few subtle inquiries, see if I can find out more.

---------------------

Okay, what I said last time about "Abby?" Forget it, just…forget it. I found out and…

Fine, it's her pet name for her abacus. I'm not even joking. She introduced me to it.

And I shall never write of it again.

Gala's in three days. Still trying to be optimistic.

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Dear Diary,

My optimism took a hit when I found out Fancy Pants is sick and can't make it. We get along fabulously, him and I, well enough that his presence makes these events almost worth attending.

He revels in high society, and society doesn't get much higher than the Gala. He must be badly ill to miss it. I'll visit him tomorrow.

(And hopefully catch whatever he's got)

Yours,

Blueblood

-------------------------

Dear Diary,

No such luck with the last entry. I visited him, and he was quite green (his natural color is white). But here I am, in a quiet corner at the Gala, healthy as a horse.

At least I don't have it as bad as Aunt Celly. She's stuck in the entry hall, pretending to be happy to see every self-important twerp filing past. She knows I usually like to duck out to the gardens as early as possible, and gave me very specific instructions to stay in the halls for at least half of the party. "A compromise," she said, which sounds a lot to me like "I have to suffer, so you do too."

So. Quiet corner, low profile. I've been lucky so far. A few familiar faces have dropped pleasantries, but no starry-eyed types to be seen.

Why tempt fate? I can't leave the grounds without Celly or a guard seeing me, but I can retreat to my usual hiding place.

Adieu, Grand Galloping Gala. Don't wait up.

---------------

Gave a quick glance behind me as I stepped out. I don't think anyone noticed. There's bound to be a few ponies about, but the gardens are a lot quieter. More importantly, I'm a lot less visible.

I like the gardens a lot, but never so much as during the Gala. Inside it's stuffy and noisy. Here the air is fresh and just chilly enough to be pleasant. It's quiet and dark, letting me be alone with my own thoughts. Feeling the wind

Crud, I'll be right back

----------------

Oh, Sweet Princess Celestia, save me, I swear I'll do anything if you get me out of this. I'll even stop trying to borrow your shampoo, just SAVE ME!

In the little colts' room right now, hoping she'll go away. It turns out a filly did see me leave for the gardens, followed, and announced her presence just as I was writing how much I enjoyed being alone. This one's a white-coated mare with diamonds as a cutey mark.

Diamonds. Probably some aristocrat's spawn who bathed in them since birth. Having jewelry as a cutie mark is usually a good tip that a mare is a shallow bit-grubber.

I can't remember her name, but it's some classic 'Look at me, I'm so special!' name. 'Precious,' Maybe?

'Desired?'

'Elusive?' Wait, that's a colt's name.

Whatever.

Of course I immediately hit her with my custom-patented "Prince Badblood" routine. I really thought I'd be able to ditch her within a few minutes. She set up for my act wonderfully, pointing out a rose that she was no doubt hoping I'd offer. The flinch on her face when I attached it to my own jacket was priceless. When I had her open the door for me to walk back in, I really thought this was going to be easy.

But she just won't quit! Opening doors. Getting me drinks. Being nudged into reluctantly complimenting my mane. I even had her drop part of her gown on a puddle so I could trod over it. Come on, that would make anypony depart in a huff!

It's not like she's even enjoying the chase. The annoying little marshmallow has developed a wonderful little eye tic as she continues to dog my hoofsteps, an increasingly fake smile plastered on her face. She's cracking. But if I don't keep up the offensive (the offensive of offensiveness. Hee hee), she'll get comfortable and then I'll be really stuck.

('Rarity,' that's her name.)

Gotta make my act even more over the top, but I'm running out of ideas.

Shoot, the knocking at the door is growing more insistent. Much as I'd love to keep hiding here, occupying the only stallion's restroom on this side of the castle is a little too pathetic, even for me.

----------------------

Okay, that went…disastrously. Terrifically disastrously.

Disasterriffic?

Actually, it's kind of nice right now. I'm in the Gala Hall, sipping champagne with absolutely no pony in sight. There's fallen masonry, shattered glassware, upturned tables, and a few squirrels devouring what's left of the appetizers. Amidst the devastation, it's oddly peaceful.

I like calling her "Marshmallow" better, but it comes off as ironic when one considers my own pure white coat. So I'll stick with "Rarity." Poor Rarity, she really needs to learn to quit while she's ahead. With most of my Badblood routines exhausted, I wandered outside hoping for inspiration, or at least a plausible escape plan. She followed, eyes shining with pure greed as she looked at me. But she did glance to the side, where a rather rustic-looking pony had set up a food stand. Most of the other partygoers were looking at the mare with either contempt or amusement. For once, I felt the same as the other nobles: trying to sell food to ponies at a dinner-included party wasn't exactly great business sense. From the bored look on her face, the orange filly had started to realize this.

But importantly for me, the gleam in Rarity's eyes was replaced by a brief one of recognition. She nodded at the other mare before turning her attention back to me.

"A friend?" I asked.

She nodded in response, thrilled that I said something normal to her.

"Applejack," she said.

"Let's go say 'hi.'" It was worth a shot.

Okay, I'm not proud of what I did then. Questionable business sense aside, I didn't have anything against Applejack. I think I get along better with her type than with, well, mine. But Rarity was OBSESSIVE. I knew by now she was going to explode when the chase ended, and the sooner it was over the better it'd be for both of us. So if "sooner" involved insulting a close friend, then sorry Applejack, but it's for the best.

First I insisted Rarity pay for the food (ZING!). Then I mocked it right to the vendor's face and refused to even look at it twice. Both of them looked rightly peeved at me, so I sauntered back inside…

…And there was Rarity, right beside me. What would it take to get rid of her?!!

As it turned out, what it took was an honest slip. Don't ask, but somehow a cake went flying and nailed Rarity in the face. Alright, to be honest, I ducked behind her. I don't like getting dirty. I hate getting dirty. I admit, it's a bit of a phobia of mine. A few splatters of icing onto my hooves and collar was enough to send nervous chills up my spine.

I think I said something to that effect, as she gave me a look of pure hate and roared "AFRAID TO GET DIRTY?!"

And then she came after me in a much less romantic and much more violent way.

Things get fuzzy after that. I got enough cake on me to really start me panicking. While I was in a tizzy…statues started falling, more food started flying, and a horde of animals rushed inside.

I have absolutely no idea how it all happened. And you know what? I don't want to know.

Someone screamed, "YOU ARE GOING TO LOOOOOVE MEEEEE!" Sheer terror gripped me, as I thought it was Rarity speaking and she was even more obsessive than I had guessed. I galloped about in a panic along with the other guests. After a few moments, I regained the presence of mind to crouch under a table and wait for the noise to stop.

The noise stopped, I crawled out, and I poured myself some champagne without waiting in line. I sipped and began to write, and that's me right now. Horrid as the evening was, as I gaze about the ripped tapestries and spilled food I can't help but smile. So many strange things happened that it's all a bit funny. All those snooty-hooves will have something to gossip about for years to come. Wherever she is, Aunt Celly must be thrilled that a Gala finally turned into something worth remembering.

And I won't have to see my latest nemesis, Rarity, ever again.

A memorable night indeed. They say that the Grand Galloping Gala is the best night ever, and as this smile refuses to leave my lips…

Was it, in fact, the Best Night Ever?

Oh who am I kidding? As Star Gazer would say, "Buck, no!"

HA! Until next time, Diary. Adieu!

Prince Blueblood