• Published 20th Mar 2018
  • 11,811 Views, 790 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 4 Neighbourly fun, helpings and broken barriers.

Chapter 4 Neighbourly fun, helpings and broken barriers.

Three days later, budding settlement, Falgo POV

"Honey, are you sure that is wise move to do?"

"No, definitely not wise. But I just need to know where the snake beastie lives, so we can do better job in avoiding its den. It did not seem aggressive when we all met it at the path." I answered to Shadow Petal, while putting on my old leather armor, just in case.
"If it looks like something might happen, me and Thunder Breeze will flee and come back here."

"We both know too well what that being is capable of. It fricking killed late King Solaris with a single spell. I... I don't want to lose you..."
"I know the story, and after dancing with it several times, i'm inclined to believe it. But I still wish to ensure your and our little rascals safety."

With those words I gave her a firm hug, which she returned wholeheartedly. Hard to believe we used to be part of one of the toughest bounty hunter groups...
"Papa? Why is mom crying?"

That little question from little Hermes made us both jump a bit. Seems like that sneaking out without my son waking up was a big failure.
"Oh, its nothing serious hon. Just got something in my eyes" was her answer.

"I'm just going to make some rounds nearby with Thunder Breeze, and will be back by the lunch-time. Till then, you're the man of the house" I informed little fellow, while I ruffled his short hair, making it poof-up a little.

After that and another hug from Shadow, I went out of our yurt, that we had for now as a home. Few others also had similarly comfy tents se up, until we can make something more permanent housing for everybeing here. All that depending of course how will our serpentine neighbour likes us in their territory...

Despite of the said neighbour, this spot of a jungle was pretty good place to start some level of settlement; soil is fertile according to our earth pony friends, river in visual range after some tree cutting and even the coastline was nearby. Overall an prime locale for self sufficient town or maybe even a small city. Unlike that pony capital spurring around the royal castle on the side of a mountain... That kinda thing would be almost completely dependent on trade and such. A logistical nightmare if completely surrounded by a well equipped decisive enemy.

Thunder was waiting me near his tent,apparently also managed to talk his way to this trip. His coltfriend could be clingy sometimes.
"So? You ready to go on a scouting trip? We might actually bumb into that snakey creature we saw three days ago."

"Yes, and I know that full well. Which is why we will stay at a distance from it. That includes it's potential den. We don't want our mates getting worried." I said while starting take flight, Thunder following soon after.

Airspace above the jungle, random cloud #83F-T7, Falgo POV

"See anything?"

"Yep, right there in the clearing around that temple ruin... It seems to be tanning a hide of one of them cyclop-bear thing's. Crudely but effectively enough, at least from what I can see" I answered to Thunder, while using a simple spyglass.
It did not take a genius to figure out that the temple-like building most likely was now a den of the serpent. Seemed like it was just living its life there now, but you can never be too sure. All members of the my old bounty hunter group held a healthy amount of scepticism for some of the things, just in case. Kept us all alive really well.

Then the serpent seemed to be satisfied on it's work with the animal skin and started to take it with it... Her? It did seem to have some manner of mammaries on its chest. Not that I know much about their higher functions and all that overly medical stuff... Outside of what I found out about them with Shadow...
"Uuh, you watch next. My eye is starting to hurt." I sputtered, while rubbing my eye a little and offering the spyglass to him.
"Ok, gimme that... I guess its taking the skin to indoor's of the temple... No wait... It stopped at the doorway... It seems to be trying to measure skin size to the doorway... Yeah, I think it is trying to do some sort of home improving with a animal skin door-flap. Not bad... From certain point of view I mean."

"You and your decoration ideas..." I muttered at Thunder's words, while staying low on the cloud. He told me about his dream of making furniture and other decorations while on the road. And he was right; the serpent indeed seemed to be doing crude home-improving, which pretty much confirmed the temple being the 'viper's nest'.
"Alrighty then. We found out where the serpent makes it's lair. Better we all just keep away from it's way and home." and after sharing a nod, both of us took our leave from the cloud. And I guess that lack of fire shooting in the sky meant that we where not spotted, or serpent creature was not hostile... Hopefully.

Two days later, hot spring in between the temple and the budding settlement.

"This. Is. Heavenly..." was all Wild Tail, a dark green unicorn with even darker green mane, could say, while gently sinking his body in to the warm waters, alongside of Brass Horn, a well built light gray minotaur female, who seemed to agree with that statement with positive humming.
This duo have been friend's for a long time, and couple of month's ago had evolved into lover's, much to Tail's parent's gripe, who went above and beyond to yell at him that 'unicorn's should only marry other unicorn's'. That was followed by his family disowning him, after he did not agree to break it off with Brass. She had slightly better reaction from her parents, and it involved punching her papa in the face. Must be a minotaur thing, since her father was very soon ok with daughter being with a pony. Ponies back in old home neighbourhood mostly seemed to have a varied xenophobic knee-jerk reaction about it.
Now they had a small comfy like cabin coming up in the slowly crowing settlement of many creatures. Both of them have also wondered if they would be able to have a family one day... They sure where able to do "the deed" together without any bigger problems...

After about five minutes of just enjoying the natural warmth of water's, the couple started to inch closer towards each other, seemingly intending to get little lovey-dovey. Those plans where all but dashed when both of them received a hottish shower of water on top of them from higher pool above them, making both of them letting out a surprised yelp.
Both where about to yell at the whoever had entered the upper pool, until they notíced a huge purple snake tail, slightly hanging down from there. And tails serpentine owner was there too, looking down at them with somewhat curious expression on its face. And the serpent was equally naked compared to our pony and minotaur couple.

Few minutes (, yes, actual minutes,) of staring each other later, Brass took the initiative by grabbing Wild Tail, and getting the heck out of the hot spring. Luckily the serpent did not bother to even attack or follow them, when they got out of the pool, grabbing Brass Horns clothes and running away to the cover of the forest.

After getting to safe distance from the serpent, duo stopped running and Brass started to get dressed up, so that they would not arrive back to slowly growing village buck naked.
"That sure was close call, I think. What do you think Brass?" Wild managed to ask, while looking the other way out of principle.
Minotaur lady was quiet a little moment, with a very thoughtful expression on her face, until finally saying quite loudly, "I think I finally found somebeing with bigger natural rack than mine!", sounding surprised with slightly defeated undertone.
This was followed by the sound of Wild Tail's hoof connecting with his face.

And after getting back to others, they told them that the serpent seems to occasionally visit the nearby hot spring, making everybeing more careful when thinking about going there... Just in case the serpent was there during those times.

One week later...

"Are you sure this is worth the risk? Adult's don't really like the idea of us leaving too far outside of the palisade wall." a griffin girl, Gina, in her teens asked earth pony of same age, named Rabid Rock, getting some similar murmurs from their friend's following them through the thicket. Said group of eight friend's included alongside ponies and griffin, an minotaur calf, hippogriff, and even a zebra and kirin foal. The growing village got some colorful new arrivals recently, which meant more playmates for kids and help in building up the place. And despite the slight weariness for the big serpentine neighbour, thing's where going well in the village.
"What they don't know, can't hurt us, right? If we just make it back before they really notice any of us gone, were fine. And we all know how to avoid those huge sloth's and the cyclop bears don't come near the village anymore after adult's made it clear that where not a easy prey." was the confident answer. The part about bears was right; amazing what few well placed traps and some straight up intimidation can do against few predators, which actually get the hint and leave them alone. And few long wooden stakes tossed by minotaurs sure helped to drive the point home.

"And there is also the fact that we can't go to the hotspring without adult keeping watch for the serpent. It really ruins the possible fun in there." groups unicorn quipped in, getting some agreement to it.
"And river doesn't really have any good swimming spot near the village. This spot we found has a nice waterfall too."

"Is it fun spot?" came a little voice behind them, making them all turn around. And there stood little hippogriff Hermes, one of the youngest kid's in the village.
"Hermy, how long you've been there??" Gina asked from little one. "This is kinda for the big kid's..."

"But mommy said I could come along with you next time you go play. You all promised." was Hermes's answer, which got all the teen's groan slightly, because they all had made said promise to include Hermes next time they would do something. And they feared potential tongue lashing from Shadow Petal for a good reason...
"Alright, just stay close and don't wonder off anywhere."

With that settled, the group of eight teens, and one little child, continued their trip to the new swimming spot.

10 to 15 minutes of walking later at the swimming spot... With a waterfall...

"Wow, it sure look's nice."

"Yeah! I wonder is it safe to try and jump from up here."

Similar comment where made in the group, as they watched the almost idyllic view of the pond at the top of the waterfall, which maybe five or so meter's high from the pond's surface, near the edge of the waterfall. Give or take a few inches.
"Allright, now let's just find a way down and..." Rabid started but suddenly stopped, while clearly hearing something and sniffing air a little bit. "... Get down!"

With that said, all of them hit the ground, laying low, hidden by the tall grass. And soon they all heard something approaching. And it sounded of something large...
Soon the source of the sound arrived between some trees; the serpent creature most of the group had seen when they arrived in this region, carrying some crude cloth's with it. Needless to say, all the kid's where both scared and curiously fascinated about it. They did look away though when the serpent creature began to remove it's apparent clothing; even though most of them where slowly at that curious age about opposite gender, sexuality and all that, but still they where in the presence of a large, potential apex predator of the region. Not to mention they had a five year old with them, whose eyes where momentarily covered by one of the teens...

"Well this is just fine and dandy. Now the swimming hole is a snake bathing spot." Gina commented quietly, while taking small peek at the creature, which had already entered the pond, which was large enough to hold it's tail with some room to spare, and was dipping it's head in the waterfall to wet it's hair. Basically serpent was taking care of it's hygiene, with all of it's six arm's; two working the hair, other two working each other and the final two working... The rest of it's upper body.
"Darn. Aunt Brass was right about one thing at least..." groups minotaur calf commented quietly.

After few more minutes of staying still and quiet, children began to slowly try to leave without drawing too much attention. All but one; Hermes had managed to inch little bit closer to the edge under the cover of thicket out of pure child's curiosity. The sight of the serpent was to him a really awesome thing, maybe thanks to daddy's few stories of his earlier work with mommy. And he was not even close to the age to be interested about... Naked feminine body part's.
"So coool..." little hippogriff whispered, while looking at the serpent, whose body was currently facing away from the waterfall's top. Hermes himself was now laying really low on top of wideish rock on the edge.

"Hermes... Hermes! Get back here, we need to go..." Gina was whispering feverishly to little hippogriff, while other teens where whispering their agreement on the issue.
"Okay..." Hermes answered and started to turn carefully around to leave. Then the rock he was laying low on started to tilt on the direction of the pond, where the serpent was still having a bath.
"Oh crud..." Hermes managed to yelp out while trying to get off from the now pretty much a falling rock... And failing before other's would have managed to grab on to him.

Gabbing attempt failed and Hermes fell down, hitting rocky outcropping on his way down, finally hitting water with a loud splash.

Hermes POV, underwater at the moment... Which will soon change...

My wing hurt's, lung's burning... Everything starting to hurt. Maybe I should have not said no to swimmy lessons mommy wanted, or flying lessons papa suggested. Do I... Get to see them again?...
Is that... A hand? Reaching for me? Is that what happens when somebeing won't wake up anymore? I can feel it lifting me up and out of water, making me cough. Coughing hurt's but still alive.
I think I heard friend's calling me out and saw... Worried eyes looking at me, before thing's started to go dark...






I felt... Something warm around me? no I was laying on something warm... And soft too. After getting my eyes open, I saw stone wall of a big room, with a... Nest of sort? Made of furs and wood and thing's?
Waaait... Was this... The snakey lady's home? At least aunt Brass called it a lady, when talking something about it's rack. Strange... I can't see any rack or self here. And why would someone even bring one to the hot spring?
After climbing out of the nest thingy, I noticed that my wing didn't hurt anymore. Neat! Behind the door flap there was a hallway and another door flappie, behind which I heard some kind of humming.

One door flap move later, I saw the snake lady working something on a crude looking clay pot, warming the content with it's hand flames... And it smelled good... And made my tummy growl, making snake lady notice me.
And being the big boy that I am, I really, really bravely... Drop down on my belly and covering my eye's, hoping I'm not seen...

After a little moment I heard something lowered near me along with something big moving around a little. Small peek revealed a bowl in front of me, and serpent lady near the wall in sitting-on-coiled-up-tail position, looking at me still.
My tummy growled at the scent of the content of the bowl, which seemed big enough to be a comfortably sized cup for the snake lady. The content seemed to be some kinda porridge mush of fruit. And it smelled tasty.
Without hesitation I just lunged at the bowl, and started eat the porridge. And it was tasty stuff!

One tasty porridge eating later, I took a glance toward's the snake lady, who was smiling pleasantly at me.
"Thank you for the porridge.It was relly relly tasty!"

My comment made the snake lady's smile widen a little, in a good way. I now dared to approach it... Her, little by little, until I was at the touching range from it's coiled up tail.
"Did you save me from drowning at the pond?" I asked, and received a nod from the snake lady.
"Are you gonna try and... Eat me?" was my careful question ad received a head shaking with an clearly uncomfortable expression as a answer. So no fear of that then.

"Can you take me home to the village? I bet I can convince adult's not to attack you..." I asked nicely as I could. After a moment snake lady gave a nod, even though she seemed little worried. Then she carefully lifted me on her... Waist-back, while un-coiling to move? What do you call the body-part where snake tail meet's the rest?
After taking a comfy sitting position, holding on to the back fold's of snake lady's skirt, while she began to slither through the kitchen door flap, out of the stone worked hallway to a bigger hall with pillars and after a bigger door flap we where outside of snakey lady's pyramid-thingie home.
"Up, up and away!" After happily saying that I think I heard snake lady roll her eye's for some reason.

Village square...

"Petal, dear! I think they understand your point quite well, like the last five times." Falgo said to the very agitated Shadow Petal, while holding her still, just in case, after she had finished yelling at the Gina, Rabid Rock and the rest their friend's, who all where hanging their heads in shame and little bit in fear. Shadow Petal could be really, REALLY intimidating if needed.

"All right... All right..." Petal said bit tensely, while taking few deeper breath's, trying to calm down from the news of her little baby boy falling down the waterfall pond, where the serpent apparently was taking a bath. And the fact that said serpent had took him somewhere, did not help easing her worries that much.

"Well what should we try to do? That being is strong enough in magic to take down an alicorn. What can we do?" someone among villagers asked out loud, sounding worried.
"We had hard enough time with those on-eyed bear's. And that serpent seem's to hunt those things for food..."

Other similar comment's where made among the villager's, until alarm bell was sounded from the village watchtower.
"Something's approaching trough the jungle! And it seems big!" the watcher yelled, with mild panic in their voice.

This got everybeing to prepare for the worst just in case. Such preparing had saved them several times. Even now they all where gathering on the walls with several improvised weapons and few actual ones too.
And soon they could see movement among the trees...

Aaand then there it was; the humongous serpent creature, coming out between some trees, moving some vines and branches aside due to it's size.
Arrival of the serpent got slight reaction from Shadow. Meaning she leaped off the wall and slowly started to approach the serpent, which had stopped it's approach after seeing her.
Before Petal could say anything, she saw the serpent seemingly react on something on it's back...


That little shout made everybeing stop on their track's, as young hippogriff climbed on top of serpent's head, giving enthusiastic wave and smile combo.
"...Hermes?..." was all Shadow could mutter in growing relief. At this point the serpent lowered itself on deep like bow, allowing little fellow to climb off safely and run to his mommy.

"It's okay. Shes actually relly nice, and actually helped me." Hermes then started explaining his angle to the story, which matched story of other kids well enough, filling in what had happened after the little fall and escape of other's. All the while the serpent just stood there, keeping a respectful distance.

After hearing little ones story, Shadow Petal carefully approached the serpent, stopping at reasonable distance from it... Her, and bowed deeply.
"Thank you for saving my child. If there's anything I could do for you, just ask..." she said still bowing. Only for answer not to come, even though there was thoughtful grunting.

"You... Can't really talk our tongue, right?" Petal carefully asked, and received a nod from serpent. And she looked somewhat saddened by the fact. Then an idea popped in grey unicorn's head.
"How about you return here about... A week from now? I think I might have something suitable made for you." she suggested, receiving another nod after the serpent seemed to think for a minute or so.

After that and also after giving a slight wave, serpentine creature began to slither back to the wood's same way it had arrived, soon disappearing from sight.
"Mommy, what are you planning?" Hermes asked curiously.

"Something that should let us speak properly with your big friend." was all what Shadow Petal said, with a pleasant smile.
"Also, you and other's are definitely grounded for a week."

One week of waiting and being grounded later...

Week had passed by quite quickly for the village and it's citizens, with fixing up some buildings, helping few battered looking new arrival's, who where canine creatures calling themselves 'Diamond dog's'. And most of all, helping in Shadow Petals little project for their serpentine neighbour.
Now most, if not all, villager's had gathered to wait for the serpent to arrive near the villages west-gate. And around noon she did arrive through the same route as week ago.

With all of them gathered there, Petal approached serpent while carrying something, covered in cloth, in her magic.
"Greeting's. I'm glad you decided to come. I present to you this little gift as a sign of gratitude from us to you, for helping my son, and most likely indirectly helping helping our growing village with the local predators. I hope it helps us all to communicate better with you."
With that little speech out of the way, she unraveled the cloth and revealed simple necklace; a single gem attached in to a socket and chain. It was overall a quite big piece of jewelry for, say a minotaur, but seemed a 'normal' sized necklace to the serpent.

After a moment of silence, the serpent reached slowly for the offered necklace with one of its arms, middle left one, picking it up to level with her face. This was followed by actually putting it around her neck.
"Now, would you try to talk? Maybe try giving us your name?" Shadow asked, sounding hopeful.

"My name is Naja, and I'm a creature known as marilith..." was the answer, which resulted very, VERY confused look on Naja's face.
"What the... I can actually speak your language now?" she said while slightly pawing her neck with one hand, topmost left one.

"Yes. We worked enchantment into the necklace around your neck, which translates you natural language to the common language to everyone within their hearing range. It took some effort from everybeing in our village; minotaurs handled the right kind of metal work, dogs secured best quality gemstone, zebras did most of the special runework, drakes helped shape the gem properly, griffins helped with the inlaying work and ponies did the enchantment, which is now an everlasting sort, thanks to all complementary work. So yes, it is quite a special piece of jewelry." Petal explained, sounding proud for everyone's part in making the item.

"Huh, neat. You have my gratitude for that. You night not be able to imagine how it feels not being able communicate verbally to others. It's a pain in so many levels."
Naja's grateful comment got some sympathetic murmurs from the villagers, when they tried to even imagine such a state of being. Those who managed to think something like that felt really terrified if something like that happened to them.

"So... Does anybeing have some simple questions for me perhaps? I could really use a conversation." Naja asked the crowd, while taking slightly more comfortable position. Very soon after saying that, a certain minotaur cow raised her hand.
"Are your knockers actually real?!"


Back in Equestria...

"Sister? Are you certain this will work?"

"Honestly? I am not completely sure. But it is the only change we have of defeating him. Mother entrusted us with the safety of the Equestrian ponies before departing to part's unknown. And we cannot let our subject's be just playthings to a chaos spirit."

With that exchange of words, the two sisters began their approach of checkered hill, with a throne on top of it, with chaotic entity gleefully enjoying the messed up sight's...


Author's Note:

Whew, finally got this chapter done. Real-life sure threw some blockades at me, like summer vacation starting with Midsummer celebration with my buddies, lawn mowing, etc,etc... And Diablo3...