• Published 7th Jan 2013
  • 1,105 Views, 47 Comments

Power's Price - Crimson Lionheart

When a Scholar messes around with ancient beings he must save a world much older then his own.

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[VI] Dining with Royalty and Entering my own Mind

//Another boring chapter, this one is more focused on Arin's background. Luna is about 3/4 between S1E2 and S2E4. I promise that the next one will be better\\

"Are we really going to wait for him until he arrives?" Tar'kor complained.
"It is only polite," retorted Celestia.
"But he is over an hour late, he is surely below your manners"
"We are waiting and that is final"
"Ugh" Tar'kor face-plated on to his empty plate. Luna was asleep curled up next to Celestia and Crimson is sleeping with his head laying on the table.

I bursted into the palace after sprinting from the arena. The guard that informed me of the time ran after me, keeping pace quite easily even with his steel plate armour. The Palace was like a large manor house made completely of stone. The guards looked like they were going to stop me, but moved out of the way when they saw who I was. My escort ran in front of me to lead me through the labrynth of hallways that make up the Palace. After two rights, a left, a hidden staircase and an awkward sprint through a room with female minotaurs getting dressed, we finally reached the dining room.
"That was fun. If you want to do it on the way back, just ask." The guard shouts back at me before standing to the side of the two guards standing at the door. I was still half a hallway back so I kept on sprinting. I forgot to slow down to got through the door so I just barged through it. I saw everyone in the room jump. Crimson went from laying his head on the table to into a bipedal fighting stance with his pole arm. Everyone else just jumped thankfully.
"Sorry I was late. There was no way to tell the time down in the arena" I say with a slight chuckle. The table was low to the ground, with only just enough room underneath it to put your legs. I walked over and sat down on the cushion next to Crimson and opposite an empty space, Celestia to the right of it and Tar'kor to the right of Celestia.
"It is ok, we were waiting for you before we start," She stated politely before leaning down towards the empty spot next to her. She nudged the cushion a couple of times before saying something quietly to it. Luna's head pops up like a molecat. She looks around, still half asleep. Celestia let out a short laugh, "teenagers."
"You're only a few thousand years old than me," Thousand years? Just how old do these things get?
"Hey Luna, guess what?" Celestia leant in close to Luna and whispered something in her ear. I listened carefully but I couldn't hear her.
"He isn't my..." Is all I could hear from Luna. She turned a bright shade of red and hid her face underneath the table.
"Tell the chef's that they can bring the food in now," Tar'kor shouted at the door. Everything was quiet in the room. A heavy, awkward silence remained until the waiters arrived pushing a trolley with 4 platters on it. They were placed in front of every equestrian and minotaur before all being revealed at the same time. "Whoops, looks like we forgot to order for you Arin. I hope you don't mind."
"It's alright, I just wont..."
"Nonesence, here." Celestia cut half of her sandwich off and it levitated the other half over to my plate. "I am not that hungary anyway"
"Um... thanks. How did you do that?"
"You mean telekinesis? It's a basic skill that any magic user knows," she says non-chalantly as everyone begins to eat bar me. "I think that everyone is more interested in what you did and how you did that."
"Well, before I came to this land, I made a deal with a talking book that told me that if I helped him, he would give me power and knowledge. Next thing I know I know, I am here. That's when Tar'kor's men jumped me," Tar'kor nearly choked on his soup. Everyone else was shocked except Celestia, who feigned it quite horribly. "Jumped me and....and...and bet me I wouldn't survive one round in the arena. I accepted his challange and signed up for the arena straight after that. I think the powers activated itself when I was close to dying." Everyone returned to eating slowly, Tar'kor was death staring me while sipping from his spoon. Celestia tried to hide a smile while mouthing to me 'good one'.
"So is this the only powers that the voice promised? The whole covering yourself in black flame and breathing fire?"
"I don't know, he only said that he qould give me power." I tried to pick up the sandwich but my wrapped hands made it next to Impossible. "The price of power" I gestured to my hands.
"Here, let me get that for you," Celestia levitated the sandwich up to my mouth. I took a bite and felt like it was missing a lot of flavor and texture. I remembered the wolf steaks we ate back home.
"What do I have to do to get some meat around here?" Everyone was shocked by this, even Celestia. "What?"
"Arcadians are," Luna gulped mid sentance, "carnivorous?"
"So the midnight beauty can talk; and her voice is as beautiful as her apearance," she turned the deepest red, "and no, we are omnivorous," I said.
Celestia, suggested whilst regaining her composure, "perhaps you should tell us more about Arcadians."
"Well, we are the pride and jewel of the Great Human Empire,"
"We have heard this before!" Barked Tar'kor.
"The majority of us are intelligent, but not that strong of fighters. We rely on machines to do most of the work. We are the head of research and mechanics all accross the Empire. Recently we were able to develop a machine that allowed us to fly at high speeds." I said this with great enthusiasm. My tone turned to one of sadness "But the Empire is at war with the Barbarians, sorry the Minotaurs."
Everyone looked to Tar'kor. "I swear that I am not at war with anyone." Strange, he almost looked like he was telling the truth. "I Swear on my Kor."
"What? You aren't fighting the Humans Empire to the north?"
"To the north is Equestria, and further north is the Gryphon Kingdoms." Tar'kor defended
"Yeah Arin, I have flown all around this planet in years past and have not seen hide nor hint of Arcadia or the Great Human Empire."
"Then that can only mean one thing..." I said solemnly. Everyone looked at me. "...I am further away from home than I thought I was."

We finished our meals and we began to chat again. We talked about what amazing machines Arcadians have invented. I also talked about my past. Luna stayed quiet throughout our conversations. They were all interested in Maria, getting laughs out of Crimson and Tar'kor when they found out she was my body guard and she was a girl. Celestia and I playfully defended females, saying they were just as good as males. Although I kept a smile, I was really missing her. When I get back to her she will probably end up bashing me three times for leaving her alone and another for scaring her.
"So do you have any siblings?" Celestia asked, breaking me out of my train of thought.
"I had one, Derek. He was drafted into the war and was one of the first casualties." Celestia offered her condolences. "My father didn't really spend a lot of time with me, he was always busy working for the duke. Derek practically raised me, and when I lost him, it nearly destroyed me. Maria kept me together but only just."
"I think we should change subject," Celestia said quickly.
"I thoroughly believe thou are thinking correctly" Luna said softly.
"Thou? Don't you think this is the wrong century for that kind of speech."
Luna's eyes became wet. She then stood up and rushed out of the room and down the hallway. "Ugh. Crimson, can you deal with this?" Crimson was already halfway down the hallway when Celestia finished talking.
"Was it something I said?"
"No. Well, she is a little self conscious about the way she speaks." I felt sick in the stomache. I had just made fun of a teenage girl about what she thought was wrong with her.
"I think I should leave."
"No, we were having such a good time. Don't let this little misunderstanding ruin a good night."
"It's just that I need some rest after the fight today."
"Well, in that case I think that I should head to bed as well. You can share a room with Crimson, here in the castle. The caravan back to Equestria leaves at 8 tomorrow, sharp.
"Thank you, your heighness." I stand up, walk out the door and down the hallway until I reach a crossroads. I turn around and walk back into the room.
"Right, left, right then pull on the bust's nose," Celestia said as if she had waited for it.
"Right, how could I not know that." I followed the odd instructions and ended up in a large room with a large, stone, 4 poster bed with a feather mattress on it. I fell alseep the moment my head hit the pillow.

"Let me in Luna, please!" Crimson banged on the thick, stone doors that led to the second master bedroom.
"We do not with to see thou!" A sob stricken voice called back.
"He didn't mean to offend you, he was just trying to involve you in the next part of the conversation."
"A conversation where he does nought but insult our speach practices. No, we will not stand for it.
"Hey, look. He isn't that bad of a pony." Crimson cringed at the thought of being nice about him, but it is the right thing to do.
"You really think so?" Luna sounded like her resolve was weakening.
"Ugh, yeah. And if you want to date him, it would be totally ok.
"We do not wish to be infatuated with such a monster." Crimson immediately realised that was a bad move.
"Oh yeah, look me in the eyes and say that."
Luna opened the door open enough so that she is completely visible. "We! Do! Not! Like! Him!" She shouted quickly, making sure she emphasized every word before slaming the door shut before Crimson can react. "Why would everyone think such a thing about us?"
"Need some help Crimson?" Celestia asked as she gracefully walked up to the door.
"Celestia, you can deal with this. I, am goin to sleep." Crimson walked up to the wall and pressed in 3 bricks making the wall peel away, revealing an entrance to his room. He began to walk inside.
"You'll be sharing a room with Arin for tonight." Celestia called out after him.
"Celestia be damned"
"I am standing right here, you know?"
"Why do you think I said it?" The wall healed itself when Crimson walked through. Celestia turned back to the door.
"Luna, let me in please."
"No!" Celestia rolled her eyes and in a flash she was standing behind Luna.
"Come on Luna, let's get some sleep." Celestia walked back to the bed. Luna turned around and looked at Celestia with her still tear filled eyes. Celestia gesture to the bed and Luna quickly galloped to the bed. She curled up close to Celestia and nuzzled into her. Celestia felt a strong jab in her stomache.
"That's for outsmarting me." They both gave a short laugh before passing on to sleep.

I looked in to the blackness of the void, nothing could be seen. I couldn't feel any ground beneath me or the feeling of falling. There was just...nothing.
"Behind you."
I turned around and saw an old man standing on nothing. I wonder how I turned around.
"Welcome to your mind"
I tried to talk, but nothing came out.
"You need to think it, speaking comes out in real life."
"I am here to answer any and all questions."
"Okay, first one. Who are you?"
"My people call me Vlast, but you might know me as the talking book or the voice in the back of your head. I have been guiding and protecting you this entire time."
"What happened in the arena after I passed out?"
"Not even a thank you? No? After you passed out, I gave up a thousand years of my life to release an ability called Hellfire Breathe. It incinerated the berserker and spared your life. Just let it be known, I can never do it again."
"You gave up a thousand years to save me?"
"Normally, it wouldn't matter for our people live for millions of years. But I am old and nearing the end of my journey."
"Where am I?"
"Still not hearing a thank you." He waited a few moments before rolling his eyes and continued. "You are on Equis, home to the Minotaurs, Ponies, Gryphons, Zebras and countless other creatures, not to forget Abyssals. You are aproximately 930, 000,000 miles from your home planet."
"...And you made me appear here?"
"Well besides the whole flame thing, what other powers do I have?"
"I will slowly reveal these to you, if you take too much on too fast, you could kill yourself. It is very messy"
"One last one, what am I supposed to do now?"
"If I you did decent in the Arena, I would have just said 'figure it out yourself', but you clearly need some help. That is where I am sending you, to train with the best of the best. Now relax and this wont burn as much as it did last time."
My vision faded to flames, then to black.

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Author's Note:

I know I promised I would put out 3 chapters, but with my PC crashing and things distracting me, I decided just to make the next chapter a little longer. I also know that these chapters might of been boring for some of you, but they are slowly pushing the story forward and giving you a little bit more about the character's back story, I hope I don't lose your interest in the story because of these chapters.

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