• Published 28th Nov 2011
  • 32,099 Views, 994 Comments

The Moonstone Cup - Cyanide



Twilight is invited to Canterlot to compete with some of the greatest unicorns in Equestria!

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Trixie's Sidestory: Clumsy

I walked with Princess Celestia for quite some time. She asked how things had been going during the tournament. I tried to put the best face on it, but what was I supposed to do? I'd lost without even placing, my cart had been stolen and I hurt my leg. It was not my finest hour. She just nodded quietly and asked what I recognized as a few leading questions, but I answered them anyway. I guess it felt good to tell somepony what had happened, and I was still a bit dazed after watching Twilight Sparkle's last match.

"So, you must be hungry," she said. "It sounds like you haven't eaten in days."

Well, that was hardly true. I had an apple. "I've eaten," I said, which was technically accurate. "I wouldn't... mind a snack, though."

Celestia looked amused and I got the idea that she'd seen right through me. "I thought about sending some fruit down to the room you all are staying in last night when you came to the palace," she said. "But it seemed like you might take that as an imposition."

I was a bit surprised. "Wait, you knew I was there?"

She laughed, a pleasant, tinkling sound. "Of course. I know everything that goes on in the palace. I thought it was very kind of Fluttershy to tend to your injury, and of Twilight and her friends to put you up."

I nodded, quietly. It really was. I couldn't attribute any bad intent to Fluttershy and after what I'd seen I wasn't sure Twilight Sparkle would even bother being passive-aggressive. Maybe she really was sincere. That almost seemed worse.

"Let's go back to the palace," she said. "We'll get a snack and I'll see what can be arranged for a new cart for you."

My mouth kind of fell open. A whole new cart? I was about to say something when the familiar feeling of teleportation came over me. The next moment, Princess Celestia and I were standing in the royal kitchen at Canterlot. Unicorn servants dressed in white were shuffling around, moving around dishes, folding tablecloths and who knows what else.

"Hello?" she called out. "Medium?"

"Busy, gimme a minute!" a rough, Manehatten-accented voice called from the kitchen. I thought for a moment that whoever it was mustn't have recognized Princess Celestia's voice, then he shouted again. "Kay, Celestia, whaddya want?"

Celestia shouted back. "Snacks for two hungry ponies!"

I heard some muttering, and a short moment later one of the unicorn servants brought two small bowls full of delicious-smelling salad out of the kitchen, courtesy of the mysterious 'Medium'. They were set down on a table near us and we began eating. Rather, the Princess began eating. I sort of pushed my salad around a bit, although I had a few bites and it was very good even though I didn't usually like fennel.

"I found Medium Raw at a little Prancian restaurant in Manehatten," she said between bites. "He really is an amazing chef." She smiled a bit impishly. "And I like his attitude."

I didn't know what to make of this, really, so I just had another bite of salad. It's frustrating to be so hungry and have your stomach knotted up. Instead of eating, I looked around the kitchen. The servants had magically found things to do away from where we were sitting. I supposed that the princess often held unofficial personal meetings here.

"So," she said after she finished her bowl of salad, "I think I mentioned something about locating a new cart for you?"

I nodded quietly. I'd already been homeless once and that was quite enough for me, but I didn't want to seem desperate.

She smiled. "I think that can be arranged, Trixie," she said kindly. "Although in exchange, I was wondering if you could do something for me?"

Oh, yes, of course. Here it came. It was almost reassuring, in a way. I took another bite of salad and waited for the inevitable demands.

"Twilight Sparkle told me a little about your show in Ponyville, and I've heard about some of your other performances," she began. Great. Was she going to tell me to retire from being a traveling entertainer, or go apologize to all the ponies I'd upset?

My worry must have shown, because she gave me that impish grin again. "They sounded wonderfully entertaining, and so I wanted to ask if you would perform at this year's Summer Sun Celebration, here in Canterlot."

And there it went. Of all the things I had been expecting, that was not one of them.

"Excuse me?" I coughed around a piece of rocket. This was good news, right? Actually, it was great news. So why was my stomach knotting back up? "You want Trixie to perform at the Summer Sun Celebration? Are you serious?"

"Absolutely!" she said. Her smile softened as she continued. "Although you may want to hold back on humiliating your audience this time. I'd suggest finding some confederates."

"I... Trixie thinks she can do that," I said slowly.

"Wonderful!" Princess Celestia said, looking entirely pleased. "Well, that's settled. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to arrange your new cart until tomorrow. Would you mind staying with Twilight and her friends for one more night?" She glanced down at my mostly-intact salad in an obvious way. "In any case, Medium is arranging some very nice dishes for dinner at the award ceremony this evening. It would be a shame if you missed it."

I wasn't sure. Did I want to stay with Twilight Sparkle and her friends again? Not especially. On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt if Fluttershy took another look at my leg. I also wasn't really sure about asking Princess Celestia for a private room or the bits to rent one. She was already offering plenty.

The Great and Powerful Trixie might well have asked for a private room on top of everything in exchange for a performance commitment another time, but this was Princess Celestia, not the mayor of some half-docked town in the middle of nowhere. I also wasn't exactly feeling very great and powerful anyway.

"That's fine," I said. "Thank you." I think I even meant it.

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