• Published 20th Mar 2018
  • 12,049 Views, 800 Comments

Serpent of the south - J-90

There is a creature in southern land's, that is nearly as old as the nation of Equestria. Once referred as the queen of the forbidden jungle, later imprisoned in Tartarus. Now it's free to roam the land once more.

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Chapter 13 Short sweet talks and Farewells...

Chapter 13 Short sweet talks and Farewells...

Estate of the line of Hermes.

"Feeling comfy there Hermes?" Naja asked from the old, maybe even respectfully ancient, hippogriff laying on her coils, like a comfy bed of sorts. Hera sat next to them, mostly just listening and being present.

"Yes. It feels quite nostalgic, reminding me of my younger days, when you used to keep company to the young ones of the town after a meditation session." Hermes answered, while remembering the past things.
Following this, a faint red glow shined under his chest feathers, and soon a emerald green glowing long-eared fox creature, with a red gem on its forehead, appeared and proceeded to rest its head on mariliths coils, close to the Hermes, like a good sympathetic doggo.

"Looks like Carbuncle is sensing your situation too." marilith commented, giving a hand for it to sniff, receiving few licks too and a few adorable sounds.
"Indeed it does. Our bond has grown rather strong over the years. Both in and out of my stone-naps. When I was petrified, it has kept me company and managed to keep me sane during my dreams. And in terms of magical power, I think we could rather easily reflect even your best shot in ideal setting."

"Yes, I think I can sense that underlying potent power in both of you, now that both of you are present... Anything to say about the Big Guy?"

"I only dared to touch the said materia after mastering Carbuncles powers, and only with help from it."

"So what it was like, to interact with the Big Guy?"

"Rather overwhelming, even when saying a humble hello to it. I guess I'm not as well attuned to it as you are, or maybe my magical presence does not protect me as well as yours."

"A good possibility. Was there many word exchanged?"

"Not really. Mostly a respectful greeting and a farewell to minimize the over-exposure."

This was followed by a short series of coughing, that sounded a bit more serious compared to any normal coughing. The sort that, in a way, signals the final moments of someone being just around the corner or very much nearing at a rabid pace. And of course it caused visible worry on both Naja and Hera.

"It's alright you two. I think I can get my final thing's said and done..." Hermes managed to say. He proceeded to remove an humble looking amulet beneath his feathers, holding Carbuncle's red materia crystal, and offered it towards Hera with a shaky claw.
"Hera... Look after Carbuncle, and keep up with your effort to teach materia wielder's in responsible ways."

Hera accepted the amulet, with tears in her eyes. Carbuncle proceeded to give the elderly hippogriff one last lick, before sitting next to Hera, looking sad for its old owners nearing departure. with the flopped down ears.

"Miss Naja...-*cough-cough*... I may not have nothing special to leave for you, but *inhale* we all managed to get three of your blades back. They... They are waiting in your temple-house's bedroom, with a note of how we managed to find them."

"I appreciate it very much. And don't worry about the rest of the blades. I managed to find them on my own."
This got a small weak chuckle out from Hermes, along with a smile for the convenience of it.

"And there is one last request for you. Just don't get offended about it, please?" he asked, receiving a 'proceed'-nod from Naja.
"I don't know if Hera already told you, but we mostly cremate our dead, if they wish it, around here. And I would wish, that it would be your flames, that help me leave this world and cross beyond the Veil to the Afterlife... If it is all right with you?"

"Very well... I'll do it... Anything else, old friend?"

"Well... Could you maybe sing something calming? Hera can join in if she want's." Hermes requested, sounding very, very tired.

"All right, little birdie. I think I remember a nice melody..." Naja answered, looking increasingly mournful.
A moment later, a calm song could be heard to the outside of the estate, while the elderly hippogriff visibly relaxed on the coils of marilith, with a silent and content sigh. And soon he got to see his family again...

Canterlot castle, Royal tea-room.

After taking care of another session of court, the royal sisters had themselves a little tea-break. While taking a sip of hers, Celestia suddenly tasted something else. The still steaming tea was supposed to be a mint-flavor, but she tasted... A rather tepid bland water?

"What is it sister? Something wrong with the tea?" the moon princess asked.

"Yes. It suddenly started to taste like bland water. And that usually happens when..." Celestia answered, going rather silent during it, when remembering other times this taste change had occurred.
"When a someone truly old person you have seen is passing away..." Luna concluded rather sadly. She was aware of this odd thing her sister had with tea.
"Any idea who it might be?..."

"I'm... Not sure. But my memories do bring up someone small and fluffy... A feeling of pain from words of a child... And a mango hitting my cheek... But I can't for the life of me remember the name..." Celestia mused aloud, even giving a questioning look to Luna when talking about the name, who in turn merely shook her head. Seemed like neither of them could not remember at the time.

And it brought up few tears from the both of them...

Mane6 hotel-room in Southpost...

"Wait, wait, wait Rainbow... You mean you had a medical check that involved getting touched in... Down there??"

"Yes AJ, and I got a clean-bill of health in that department. Meanwhile, you lost an eating challenge at a restaurant... While being teamed up with Spike and PINKIE PIE? How??"

"Honestly, I still have no idea how it happened. But Pinkie is still a bit off about it. Most likely training herself for the 'second round', or something like that." orange earth pony said while glancing towards the door to the room Pinkie had gone after they got back to the hotel. A small peek had revealed her doing odd stretches there, while reading three different manuals at the same time, while balancing on a blanket. Or just being herself.

While Rainbow and Applejack where having this conversation, Rarity was trying to help Fluttershy to fix her mane a little bit, it still being slightly stuck in an up-position, thanks to behemoth saliva from all the licks it had gotten. Flutters didn't mind it, but till let her friend try to fix it, if only to help her take her mind off from the encounter with Blueblood and his friends. Twilight had returned to her books after taking little notes from her friends experiences. They had been rather interesting. Especially Rainbows tale of actually meeting an actual Lamassu, a hybrid of pony and minotaur union. And on top of that, in two variants, which had driven purple alicorn to her books. She was yet to find any proper info from the ones she brought with her, and lamassu's where not really seen in Equestria all that much. She would most likely have to wait until they returned home to do proper research on the subject.

Their thoughts where interrupted by knock on the door. Twilight got up to open it, revealing member of the hotel staff, a tan unicorn mare wearing rather black version of the uniform.
"Hello. Sorry disturbing you, but we are gathering voluntary signatures for the mourn-scroll, if you want to sign it as a condolence."

"Mourn-scroll? Is it for a someones memorial service? We aren't really from here."

"Yes indeed. An elder member of our town's just passed away earlier today. He was very respected and one of the oldest residents living here. Pretty much all of both towns are in mourning... And the cremation ceremony is later this evening for the closest relatives and friends."

After the explanation, all of the Elements and Spike had signed the scroll, noticing it already having many, many names already on it. The overall mood of the room dropped more than a little, even taking away the puffiness of Pinkies mane...

Tanah kahijian, northern square...

An impressive pile of wood had been set up in the middle of the square, with plenty of different fire-safety around it. After the news of Hermes' passing had spread, the locals had been varied levels of shocked, which was followed by sorrow and soon after the effort to prepare the requested cremation pyre, with enough wood and different kinds of special oils for it. And of course the body itself had to be prepared too.

By the sundown everything was ready, with the body of the old hippogriff resting on top of a pile of wood, carefully wrapped in a white cloth, with a few Mourn-scrolls next to him. There had been many who had sent their condolences.
There where plenty of locals around the pyre, all of them wearing black, including Naja, who was basically given a large black cloth to wrap around herself, due to her size.

After the required ceremonial words had been said, Naja approached the pyre with a respectfully slow slither, stopping close enough to it, bringing two of her hands together, forming a cup.
She proceeded to conjure a small flame on her cupped hands, not going too overboard, mostly due to the overall sad mood everyone present had. And with a small gentle blow, the flame floated to the woods on the pyre, igniting it, starting the burial pyre properly.

Everyone present stayed respectfully silent, with only an occasional sob here and there, among the crackling of the burning wood. All of them just gave a silent prayer to the elder hippogriff leaving this world. And of course many, many tears where shed, especially from Naja. Despite standing nearest to the now brightly burning pyre, the heat from it could not impede her tears at all... And she could not bring herself to move, even when the pyre had been reduced to a few faintly glowing embers...

Author's Note:

And another chapter written... I'm sorry Hermes...