• Published 30th Jun 2012
  • 6,794 Views, 819 Comments

The Prince of Ponyville - Kavonde

Prince Blueblood starts into his new life in Ponyville.

  • ...

The Prince Gets a Clue

Blueblood was not intimately familiar with the concept of rage. He'd been angry before, certainly. He'd been frustrated, he'd felt slighted, he'd railed against perceived injustices. But rage, pure, righteous rage, had never really been part of his emotional makeup.

As he stared at his comatose friend, though, her wings splinted and bandaged, her skull wrapped in linen strips, her body covered with cuts and bruises she had received for no better reason than standing up for him...

He couldn't find words. He'd been distantly aware of Cheerilee and Blossomforth trying to guide him back to the waiting room, but he wouldn't budge. He just looked down at Cloud Kicker and boiled with a fury so all-consuming that his heart seemed ready to burst.

They hurt my friend. They hurt her to hurt me.

Cheerilee and Blossomforth brought her back to Ponyville General as quickly as they could. Blueblood, as helpless and useless as always, trotted behind them as quickly as his injuries would allow. By the time he got there, the doctors had stabilized Cloud Kicker and were wrapping her wings. She looked... ghastly. As long as he'd known her, she'd always been so full of life and mischievous energy. To see her like this...

This would not stand.

"Cheerilee, we came as soon as we could," said Twilight Sparkle. She was still wearing the simple, yellow party dress she loved so much, but looked a bit haggard and careworn. Beside her were Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, the former looking downcast and worried and the latter looking ready to march to war against the whole changeling swarm if need be.

Cheerilee smiled sadly at her friend and motioned for her to have a seat. Beside her, Blossomforth was staring numbly at her own hooves, tears drying on her cheeks.

"What happened?" Twilight asked.

"We don't really know," the teacher sighed. "We just... found here there, a couple blocks from her house. And there was this... "

Twilight took the blood-stained piece of paper. "'Traitor?'"

Cheerilee nodded. "She left the party with a couple of Sawtooth's stallions. We figure it was them."

"Couldn't have been just two," Rainbow Dash snarled. "Not for Cloud Kicker."

"Maybe they caught her by surprise?" offered Twilight.

"Maybe, if the surprise was another dozen ponies."

Cheerilee smirked a bit at that, and Dash offered her a quick grin.

"Well, we need to get to the bottom of this," Twilight said with determination. "First Blueblood, and now anypony who's friends with him. This has to stop."

"Where is he, anyway?" asked Pinkie.

Cheerilee motioned towards the door. "He's in there with Cloud Kicker."

"Yeah, well, so am I," said Dash. She brushed past her companions and marched into the room.

"Twilight, earlier today, Blue said that he thought Sawtooth was one of the ponies who attacked him."

She quirked an eyebrow. "Why didn't he tell me that?"

"Some stupid 'woe is me' complex. But look, before the party, Cloud Kicker got into a little argument with Sawtooth."

"And by 'little argument' she means she punched him right in his face and knocked him flat," added Pinkie.

Cheerilee nodded. "So, we've got a motive."

"You're right," agreed Twilight. "I'll send a letter to Princess Celestia and get a few guards here. Then we'll go have a word with this stallion."

She turned to leave, but bit her lip and cast a look at Blossomforth. "Um, is Blueblood okay?"

"He's... " Cheerilee searched for an appropriate description. "He is very, very angry."

"Yeah. Just like Big Mac was, huh? No wonder they get along."

"Yeah... " She sighed. "I hope not just like 'Big Mac.'"

Twilight frowned. "Is everything okay with you two?"

Cheerilee waved her away. "Not important right now, Twi. Go send your letter. We need to bring these monsters to justice."

Rainbow Dash and Prince Blueblood stood side-by-side, looking down at their fallen friend.

The EKG monitor beeped steadily.

Neither had said a word to eachother since Dash entered the room. The silence was thick, but not uncomfortable. They each knew roughly what the other was thinking, after all.


"We've been friends since Flight Camp," Dash said aloud. "We went through a lot together. She's probably the second best flyer in Ponyville, after me. Good assistant manager, too."


"She... you know, if she'd met Twilight Sparkle first, I think she coulda ended up the Element of Loyalty. She's always stood up for her friends. We even got in a fight once over it."


"I'm glad she became your friend. Even if it led to this."


Slowly, Blueblood turned his head to regard her. Dash looked up at him.

"I didn't care when this happened to me," he said. "Not really. But to do this to her... "


Dash nodded and put a hoof on his foreleg.

"We find whoever did this, and I'll hold 'em down while you beat the horseapples out of 'em."

"Did you get a good look at your attackers?" Shining Armor asked.

The Captain of the Royal Guard, resplendent in his spiffy red uniform and breastplate, had arrived the following morning with a squadron of twenty of his comrades. The guards had quickly started rounding up suspects for questioning, turning the newly-repaired town hall into a makeshift barracks and holding pen. Sawtooth had been one of the first ponies hauled in, along with his crew; they hadn't been happy about it.

Now, Shining Armor, his sister Twilight Sparkle, a concerned Blossomforth, and a brooding Blueblood stood around Cloud Kicker's bed. She'd only regained consciousness an hour or so prior, and she probably shouldn't have been awake and answering questions, but she'd insisted on telling her story as soon as she could.

"Not really," she said. "It was dark, and I was kinda drunk. But I know the two stallions I was with had something to do with it. They bolted just before I got hit."

"Do you remember their names?" Armor pressed. "Descriptions?"

"I think one was called Board Walker, brown pegasus with a teal mane. Crossed wooden planks as his cutie mark. The other one was... Anchor Bolt, I think. Gray earth pony with a tan mane, and crossed screwdrivers."

Armor glanced at Twilight. She shook her head. "I don't know them."

The knight frowned and scribbled something down in his notebook. "But they weren't with the ones who attacked you?"

"Like, were they also there? I don't think so, but again, couldn't really see much."

"So it was totally dark," mused Twilight. "So you didn't see any glow from unicorn magic?"

Cloud Kicker shook her head weakly.

"That doesn't necessarily mean anything, sis," Armor told her. "A unicorn can hold a shovel in her mouth as well as anypony else."

"They didn't say anything?" Blueblood asked. Shining Armor shot him an annoyed look; he was supposed to be an observer, not an investigator. "Not to you, or to eachother?"

Cloud Kicker shook her head again. "Nah, they were pretty quiet, aside from breathing heavy."

Armor sighed. "This really isn't giving us anything we hadn't already guessed."

"Hey, I've got one thing that might help."

Everypony looked at her expectantly.

"I went down swinging. I know I bucked one of 'em and heard cartilage breaking. So keep an eye out for a pony with a broken snout."

Shining Armor frowned pensively. "None of the ponies we've brought in yet were injured."

"Well, maybe you just haven't caught him yet," offered Twilight.

"Maybe," he said thoughtfully. After a moment, he turned to Cloud Kicker. "Miss, I hope you feel better soon. I'm sorry this happened to you."

She grinned. "Hey, me too."

"C'mon, Twiley," the knight said as he moved to the door. "I need to put out word about the broken nose thing. Then, we can sit down for a talk with this Sawtooth character."

Blueblood moved to follow them.

"Uh, what are you doing?" asked Armor.

"I'm coming, too."

He arched an eyebrow. "No, you're not."

"I'm pretty sure I am."

"As Captain of the Royal Guard and chief investigator on this case, I'm saying you're not."

"As a Prince of Equestria, I say I am."

"I'm a prince, too, you know."

"So? That means we're of equal rank. I'm coming with."

"You two should just bang already!" laughed Cloud Kicker. She stopped abruptly and gave Blossomforth an apologetic look. "Er, sorry."

"What?" the white pegasus asked. "I'd watch."

Shining Armor sputtered and turned almost as red as his uniform; Blueblood just facehoofed and laughed.

"Welcome to Ponyville, BBBFF," Twilight said with a roll of her eyes. "Come on, you stubborn little foals. We've got things to do."

"I'm tellin' ya, I don't know anything."

Sawtooth glared at the three ponies sitting across the table from him. A pair of hoofcuffs kept his forelegs behind the back of his chair, an uncomfortable and emasculating position that was obviously grating on his nerves. At the other end of the table sat Shining Armor, flanked by Twilight and Blueblood. They stared impassively at him.

"You had an altercation with Cloud Kicker yesterday morning," Armor pointed out. "From what witnesses have reported, she embarrassed you pretty badly."

He shrugged as best he could. "Yeah, filly's got a good left cross. So what? We laughed about it after. I ain't gonna hold a grudge against a mare."

Twilight arched an eyebrow. "And why is that, exactly?"

The green stallion sighed. "It ain't nothin' like that, lady. Down here in Ponyville, you got, what, five fillies for every colt? Up in Detrot, other way around. So any punk who hits a dame ain't no better than a pile of horseapples. We take care of our ladies."

"And all of your employees feel that way?" Blueblood asked.

"Hey, they're all from Detrot, so they damn well better."

Shining Armor frowned. "Did all of your colts show up for work this morning?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Including... " He checked his notes. "Board Walker and Anchor Bolt?"

"Yeah. You rounded 'em up, too, ya know."

"So nopony called out sick?" Twilight asked. "Or showed up with injuries?"

"None of mine did, no. 'Course, you do realize that the Princess brought in contractors from all over, right? Ain't just us Detrotians. You got a few from Manehattan, a couple from Appleoosia, an' at least one group from Fillydelphia. Ask me, they're the ones ya should be talkin' to."

Blueblood leaned forward. "How well do you know Board Walker and Anchor Bolt?"

Sawtooth shrugged. "Eh, not that good, I guess. Only been on my crew for a few months."

"Are they from Detrot?"

"Anchor Bolt is, I think. Dunno about Board Walker."

Armor glanced at Blueblood. "What are you getting at?"

"Well, maybe we need to get some more background on those two. They might have friends from out of town who'd use them as bait for their ambushes."

"Sounds reasonable," agreed Sawtooth. Armor and Twilight shot him a glare. "What? I ain't allowed to contribute? This is affectin' my good name, ya know."

Shining Armor sighed and ran a hoof through his mane. "Yeah, okay. Thanks for your cooperation, Mr. Sawtooth."

The green stallion shrugged. "Yeah, no problem, can I get back to work now? We're tryin' to put ponies back in their homes, if ya didn't notice."

That sparked Blueblood's memory. "May I ask a somewhat unrelated question? Why were all of you focusing on the repairs to city hall first? It was damaged, yes, but surely it shouldn't have been a priority over rebuilding houses."

"I dunno," Sawtooth answered. "I wondered that myself, but orders is orders. They wanted town hall done first."

"Who's 'they?'"

He shrugged again. "I dunno. Some ponies from the Bureau of Infrastructure. Head of 'em was named... somethin' Ledger."

"Bank? Bank Ledger?"

"Think that's it, yeah."

Twilight glanced at Blueblood. "Do you know him?"

"I've met him. Typical bureaucrat, really. Perhaps I'll have a word with him when I can."

"So glad you're showing concern for the citizens of Ponyville now," Shining Armor noted darkly.

Twilight rolled her eyes and put a hoof on her brother's. "Shining... "

Blueblood sighed. "Mr. Sawtooth, I'm sure Shining Armor here would be happy to escort you back to your cell until you can be released."

"Yeah," the knight agreed. "I could suddenly use some fresh air."

Wordlessly, Armor unclasped the contractor's hoofcuffs and led him back to the holding cells. The door to the makeshift interrogation chamber–really just an appropriated conference room in city hall–slammed shut behind him.

Twilight and Blueblood watched them go. Then they looked at eachother. Then they looked away, desperate for something else to focus on.

The silence began to grow oppressive. Blueblood hummed "Shot Through The Heart" quietly to himself, drumming along with soft taps on the table. Twilight seemed to be looking for chemical formulas in the ceiling.

"So... " she finally said. "You and Blossomforth, huh?"

Blueblood shrugged. "Well, you know. We're... just getting to know eachother."

She quirked an eyebrow at the rafters. "She seemed to know you pretty well at the party."

"Well... we've been through a bit together. Reuniting the Elements of Harmony, facing Tyranny... "

Twilight made a thoughtful sound. "She is very pretty."


"Well, I'm glad for you," she said after a long moment. "I hope things work out."

"Well, you know, we haven't really... I mean, it's the very start of any sort of potential relationship. We're really more like friends at this point."

Twilight gave him a sidelong glance. "Just friends, huh?"

"Er, well... " Blueblood gave an embarrassed chuckle. "There's certainly potential there, but, you know, nothing concrete yet."

"Do you like her more than me?"

Blueblood looked at Twilight in surprise. Judging by her horrified expression and the fact that both hooves were clamped over her mouth, she was just as shocked as him.

By mutual consensus, they returned to staring silently at the walls.

"So... " said Blueblood after awhile. "Do you know what's going on with Cheerilee and Macintosh?"

Twilight shook her head. "I hope they're alright. They really seem to make eachother happy."

The prince grunted. "Come to think of it, they seemed a bit odd when they came to visit me after my attack."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, Macintosh brought a barrel of cider with him. Cheerilee didn't seem to approve. I thought it was because she didn't think it was appropriate to bring alcohol into a hospital, but... "

Twilight frowned. "Applejack hasn't said anything about that."


"Although... I suppose they are all under a lot of stress. I've never heard AJ swear so much."

Blueblood raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean?"

She flushed. "Well, she probably wouldn't want me telling anypony this, but... Sweet Apple Acres isn't doing well. Financially, I mean."


"They've been struggling for the last couple of years, with all the damage the farm's taken, and the Grand Galloping Gala not bringing in money like they'd hoped... "

Blueblood grimaced at the memory. "I need to apologize to her for that. I mean, it was a bit daft to try to sell food at a soiree with a free buffet, but... "

"Well, she didn't know," Twilight said defensively.

"I know, but I mean, common sense would dictate that the most exclusive and extravagant party in Equestria would at least have a few bloody hors d'oeuvres."

"Well, it's not like any of my friends had ever been there. Even Rarity didn't really know what to expect."

"Yes, I know. As if she would be the first pretty filly to throw herself at the handsome–and rich, of course–Prince Blueblood."

"Well, you didn't have to be such a jerk to her."

"Well, she didn't have to be such a doormat! The things she let me get away with... "

"She was just trying to be nice! She is the Element of Generosity, you know."

"No, she's the Bearer of the Element of Generosity. She hardly embodies the very idea of-"

"Rarity is the most generous pony I've ever met! She's always willing to give-"

"Oh, to her friends perhaps, but if she's so sweet and benevolent, why was she trying to get her hooks into a rich snob like-"

"Just because she has dreams and aspirations doesn't mean-"

"Dreams and aspirations of leaving this filthy little mudhole and all her so-called friends behind and-"

The door slammed open. Shining Armor, a brown pegasus with a teal mane in hoofcuffs behind him, walked silently into the room. He led the prisoner to the far end of the table and began cuffing him into the furthest chair.

Twilight and Blueblood looked at eachother for a moment and then pointedly turned away.

"I interrupting somethin'?" the captured contractor asked. "I can leave... "

"Shut up," Shining Armor sighed, reclaiming his seat between his sister and the prince. "So. Board Walker, huh?"

"That's me."

"You were one of the stallions who left the party last night with Cloud Kicker?"

"The crazy filly with the purple coat? Yeah. I was pretty drunk. Woulda never agreed to that kinda three-way otherwise."

"She says you and Anchor Bolt ran just before she was attacked. Why?"

He shrugged. "I dunno. We were drunk."

Armor gave him a skeptical look.

"What? I don't remember. Maybe we saw somethin' shiny."

"So you just happened to leave moments before the attack?"

"Sure, I guess."

Armor gave him a long stare. "Your boss tells us you're not from Detrot."

He shrugged.

"So how about you tell us where you are from?"

"All over."

"Wanna be a little more specific?"

"Not really."

Armor slammed his hooves on the table, making everypony jump in surprise. "Let me try that again. Tell us where you're from."

"Fillydelphia, okay? Jeeze."

"Fillydelphia, huh? I hear there's a few other contractors from Fillydelphia. Anypony you know?"

"I dunno. Maybe."

Armor leaned forward, glowering at the contractor. "Maybe you want to consider cooperating with this investigation, Board Walker. Two ponies have been hurt–badly–by an unknown group of stallions. You can be tied directly to the scene of the last assault. If we went to trial right now, you'd be decorating Celestia's sculpture garden inside a week. So how about you just spare me the crap and answer my bucking questions?"

Board Walker laughed nervously. "Sure, sure, whatever. Yeah, I know a couple of ponies from the Fillydelphia crew. We worked together on a couple projects a few years ago. Soon as I got the bits, though, I got the hell outta that rat's nest and went to Detrot."

"Hell?" Twilight asked.

He shrugged. "Yeah, like Tartarus but worse. Us Fillydelphia ponies say that a lot, 'cause Fillydelphia's about as close as you can get to the real thing."

"I need some names, Board Walker," Armor said levelly. "Who's here from Fillydelphia that you know?"

"Boulder, Hornet, a couple other pegasi I don't really know, my ol' buddy Broadway an' his crew... I dunno, about a dozen ponies."

"Do we have any of them locked up?"

"Not that I've seen."

Shining Armor frowned. "Well, that points in a new direction."

"Yeah, funny, ain't it? Can I go now?"

"Sure. As soon as you tell me how you knew to run just before the attack."

Board Walker gaped. "I already told ya! I was drunk!"

"Horsapples," Armor snarled. "You knew somepony was going to jump Cloud Kicker. Hay, you might've joined in! So you'd better tell us who, or you'll be joining your buddies in the Canterlot gardens."

"I swear, I don't know!"

The table glowed magenta and suddenly slammed against the wall, pinning Board Walker behind it. Twilight and Blueblood gasped. "Armor," he cried, "you don't need to-"

"Tell me!" the knight shouted, slamming a hoof into the wall beside the pegasus' face.

"I don't know!" the terrified contractor sobbed. "I don't know, alright?! Somepony just slipped me a few bits at the party an' told me to bail at Cherry Lane and Melon Road!"

Armor stepped back. The aura around the table faded, and it slid back, allowing Board Walker to breathe. Gasping, tears streaming down his face, the pony hardly responded as the guard captain pulled him out of his seat and dragged him to the door.

He found his path blocked by Twilight Sparkle, who stared at him with shock and anger. "Shining! What is wrong with you?!"

He paused. The furious expression on his face vanished, and he gave his sister a grin. "What? All those books you read, and you've never heard of the 'good guard, bad guard' routine?" He rolled his eyes. "C'mon, Twiley. Like I'd hurt some helpless pony."

Blueblood narrowed his eyes. An image flashed across his memory of an enraged unicorn beating him mercilessly while he lay there and did nothing to defend himself.

Shining Armor chuckled, patted his sister on the shoulder, and continued on with his prisoner in tow. Twilight stared after him, looking unconvinced.

"Come on, Miss Sparkle," Blueblood said quietly, stepping beside her. "I think we've learned all we can today."