• Published 7th Nov 2020
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I am my own OC - KittyrinnAiko



It started out as a blatant self insert and then morphed into something more.

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Chapter 14: Morning Exploration of Canterlot Keep

I was on my third helping when Lofty came to join us. She’d loaded up a tray of food for herself. She made a polite bow, asked if it was alright if she joined us, and Celestia welcomed her warmly.

So, I hear you got stuck in a mirror last night?” Lofty asked.

It was my fault.” Shimmer offered apologetically.

Don’t beat yourself up too much.” I offer. “If I hadn’t already known what that thing was I might have been dumb enough to venture in myself. That is, without having a way out.”

You do tend towards being overly curious.” Lofty pointed out.

That’s because I want to know everything there is to know about this new world I’ve found myself in.” I offer. “I died. Be it figuratively or literally is unimportant. The world I knew is gone. Every being, creature, and pony I knew is … well every pony except Cadance, Alice Mouse, and Aunt Tia are gone.” I look at Luna. “Mom might show up yet. Part of me still clings to the notion that this is all a dream. Reason dictates to me that I must accept this new world and put the past behind me.

You have no idea how difficult it was for me to return from that mirror,” I add after a moment's pause my hoof still in Luna’s. Luna doesn’t seem to have made the full connection beyond I was some pony important to her.

Why, what was in that mirror?” Lofty asked.

It’s a trap, just a trap.” I offer. Celestia looks at me with a slight frown. She doesn’t say anything because in a way that’s exactly what that mirror is. Starswirl the Bearded had even gone so far as to create a spell that would cause overly ambitious ponies to see it as a gateway to everything they ever wanted. Sunset appearing to not have aged a day since she’d vanished only helped cement the idea that it was a form of limbo inside the mirror in the minds of those listening in.

I think I’ll take your advice and lock that thing away where no one can gain access to it.” Celestia offered. I think she was on her fifth stack of pancakes too. “Question though, how did you open it after it closed?”

Intuition I guess.” I offer. “Maybe once I know what I’m doing I might like to study that mirror.”

The words you used didn’t sound like any spell I’ve ever heard.” Cadance offered. Cadance had kept pace with me as far as how much she’d eaten. The staff had also started bringing us what we wanted rather than have us go get it ourselves. I think it was their pride after all.

I think that the primary meaning behind my cutie mark could have something to do with teleportation or travel from one place to another.” I offer. “So I just assumed if I poured my magic into it I could open it.”

What you said was ‘I am the bird that calls in the night. I am the light before the open of the day. I am the song sung by angry colts. I am change. I am hope. I am the promise of a new day.’ and before going into it you said ‘I shall return. And I will bring back the sun for I am the herald of the dawn’.” Cadance reported.

Did I?” I laugh nervously. “It was mostly bravado on my part.” And there is probably a Royal Archivist in the room jotting down everything we say.

The herald of the dawn who wears the emblem of the night.” Celestia mused. “Makes an odd sort of sense though. Can’t herald the dawn during the day.”

I suppose the magic I was using could have been Kitsune magic inherited from my father, or perhaps it was the magic of hope combined with the magic of love.” I give Cadance a warm smile.

The magic of love and the magic of hope.” Celestia mused between bites. “A very powerful combination. Powerful and potentially dangerous.”

I’m a very dangerous pony,” I teas.

Which reminds me,” Celestia stated casting me a glare. “There’s a guard you owe an apology to.”

I’ll apologize to him if he apologizes to me first,” I stated, and then shoved a forkful of pancake in my mouth. All the magic I’d used had made me hungry.

How much have you eaten anyway?” Lofty asked as she looked at the pile of plates. I give her a pained look. “Finish what you have in your mouth.” She thought about it for a moment, “And what’s this about you attacking a city guard and why would the Captain of the Royal Guard say you are now allowed all the chicken you want? - He also seems to think I’ve got a title now for that matter. It’s been a very confusing morning.”

She’s an omnivore, she loves fried chicken, Commander Mouse took her to a restaurant where she could get fried chicken, and a well-meaning but slightly overzealous guard tried to take said chicken away from her last night,” Celestia informed her.

Sunset nearly choked on her breakfast.

Does that have anything to do with the riots in the lower quarter?” Lofty asked.

Doubt it. That generally happens anytime I oversleep. And I suspect certain foals of the nobles are responsible. They like to get the poor riled up, and then go home to do absolutely nothing to bring about the change they are advocating for.” Celestia replied. “As for the title...” She had to think about it for a moment or two. “Ah, I think I know. When my sister and I first arrived in Equestria we were deemed to be underage.”

Was that right after you turned Discord into stone?” I ask.

I guess that wasn’t exactly ancient history to you?” Celestia asked me.

No, not really.” I offer her. Never mind the fact that I presently had a pretty good idea of every shenanigan and ill deed he had planned for the future. Which was just about every bad thing that was likely to happen in the coming future unless I could find a way to stop him. Fortunately, I had a little time on my hooves. “My understanding of him is that everything is a game to him. If you meet his challenge he will just find a new and tougher challenge, and it will never end. And consider that a prophecy.” Celestia gave me a pained look.

Anyway, getting back to the title thing, yes. There is an ancient law that bestows a title on the pony who is the legal guardian of a young alicorn princess. What that means is that the moment Judge Justice P Coltrane signed that document you and Miss Holiday became nobles.”

Seriously?” Lofty asked.

It’s near impossible to undo,” Celestia added. “Fortunately it is limited by the authority of the Prince or princess in question.”

Well, it was you or the Apples.” I offer to Lofty with a smirk. “If Bright Mac hadn’t have gone chasing off after timberwolves they might have taken me in.”

Lord Bright Macintosh and Lady Pear Butter. Kind of has a nice ring to it.” Lofty offered with just a bit of pomp.

Somehow I think Granny would have a fit. She’s much to salt of the earth. She doesn’t want nuth’n that she didn’t earn with her own sweat.” I offer while doing a bit of an imitation of her accent. “I would even go so far as to bet that if she were to find a pot of gold buried in the ground she’d bury it right back up again cuz she didn’t earn it.”

Bright Mac tells me he’s actually a landed Baron. Never would have guessed it in a million years. What about me?” Lofty asked with a big smile. She wasn’t going to say it, but she probably agreed with my assessment.

I see you as the practical sort who isn’t going to much care one way or the other save for when it comes to doing the right thing. You know who you are, and your not likely to change any time soon.” I offer. “Kind of what I like best about you. I mean, look at you, you’re having breakfast with Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and Princess Cadenza, chatting away like old friends, and it’s not overwhelming you.”

Maybe it was having you under-hoof.” Lofty suggested with a big smile. “Luna?”

Hi.” Luna offered.

Princess Celestia!” Called a pony entering the dining facility.

It was Raven.

Princess Celestia,” Raven said one more time as she came through the dining hall. “I’m so sorry I’m late, they wouldn't let me in. The schedule is completely shot.”

Any chance she’s an older sister?” Sunset asked.

She’s Inkwell’s daughter,” Celestia informed her.

Ah, she does look a lot like Professor Inkwell.” Cadence commented.

What are you talking about? What about the schedule?” Raven protested.

Raven, I have told you that I’ll provide you with an apartment on the grounds.” Celestia quipped. “But never mind, for now, scrap today's schedule, and set up a press briefing. Best tell every pony what happened, or at least the basics of what happened before the rumor mill gets hold of it. And then I’m going to take the rest of the day off.”

The rest of the day off?” Raven protested.

I’ve been up all night. Even I need some sleep.” Celestia informed her.

Celestia then looked at me, then Cadance, and then Sunset. “Any chance the three of you are ready for a press meeting?”

Luna shook her head.

If you want me to look all princessy, all I have is my cloak and pendant.” I offered.

All she brought was an overnight bag,” Cadance informed Celestia. “And her silver shoes look like she’s been bucking trees.”

Never should have told her about bucking trees. “My shoes look fine.”

Oh my,” Celestia teased. “The royal silversmiths will have a fit. Those shoes are over a thousand years old.”

I know she abuses her shoes, but they can’t be actual silver, they never show any sign of wear other than getting a little sap and muck on them.” Lofty offered in my defense.

Nova, show me one of your shoes,” Celestia requested. Well, ordered was more like it.

Feeling a bit nervous I held out the closest front hoof.

True silver.” Celestia pronounced. “Adamantine. Dear Luna, you spared no expense on these. Pity, I could have used the money elsewhere. At least at the time. - They’re priceless.”

Ah what?” Lofty said nearly in a state of shock. “She’s been doing farm work in shoes that are priceless?!”

They’re indestructible. Her whole body would shatter before these would take any damage.” Celestia provided.

I pull my hoof back and take a closer look. Indeed they are unmarred. “I’m probably going to miss these when I outgrow them.”

I imagine you will,” Celestia said then turned to Raven. “Raven, press conference. And see to it you have a room in the castle.”

Yes, Princess Celestia.” Raven squeaked out, spun around, and was out the door moments later.

Speaking of rooms...” I said in a sort of leading way.

You have a room.” Princess Celestia offered. “Though I should warn you that it’s on the tour route.”

Tour route?” I ask with a touch of concern flavored with annoyance. “Mom’s tower is on a tour route? Any chance you can get it off the tour route?”

Yes, please,” Luna pleaded. “Aired and cleaned too.”

I closed it up, along with the adjoining wing, for close to nine hundred years. The historians were pestering me to open it.” Celestia offered while giving Luna a smile.

And all my toys are in a museum I suppose,” I said sounding dejected. Ya, sure, it was another lifetime ago, another me. But then again it was me. All the little things that tied me to this world. I also couldn't help but wonder where Luna had been staying and what condition her things were in. Not that any of her outfits would fit her present self.

But then again, after a thousand plus years I probably didn’t dare touch anything. Still though, who wants their precious mementos filed away in a museum while they’re still alive. Not that I haven't had moments like that. How many times had I visited a museum to see something under glass that I’d had in my youth? It was bad enough finding things in antique shops.

Everything in your room was preserved with magic before it ever went into your room,” Luna informed me.

All I ever let them do is catalog everything, and make drawings.” Celestia offered and then did a double-take on Luna.

Muma?” I say looking at Luna. “Does that mean you figured out who I am? Did you remember?” I could see tears in her eyes.

She nodded her head and wrapped her front legs around me bringing up her wings giving me a hug. Moments later we were both crying, followed by Luna saying how sorry she was for everything she’d done.

Please, you don’t have to be sorry for everything.” I plead. “I mean if you hadn’t have misbehaved I would never have been born.” I could feel Luna give me a halfhearted punch.

When did you become so snarky?” Luna whispered.

I take after my mom? Ow!” Now I’m crying and laughing at the same time.

Any chance housekeeping has kept my room clean? I mean, can I move back in today?” I ask after regaining my composure.

I’m sure they can get you some fresh linens.” Celestia offered. “Why don’t you two trot on up there and have a look around. Sunset, why don’t you show her the way?”

I can have my old rooms back?” Luna asked telling me she’d likely been in a guest room.

I can show you the way.” Sunset offered.

Let me see if I can find it on my own first.” I protest as I separate from my mom and we get up. “Surely things haven't changed so much that I’ll get lost.” I start to make an attempt at cleaning up my own dishes only to have the staff swoop in and take everything. A moment later I’m headed upstairs, Moonie on my back, Luna at my side with Sunset, Philomena, Cadance, and Lofty following behind me.

Sunset rushed back, gave Princess Celestia a hug while Phil circled the pair, and then trotted after us with Phil flying along beside in a sort of up and down pattern.

💠

Miss, you can’t go that way, it’s blocked.” Offered a guard standing outside an ornate entrance to the tower. “No one goes through this way, I don’t know if even Princess Celestia can open that door.”

Then why are you standing here and which way do the tours come?” I asked.

They get in through a back door.” Cadance offered.

Moonie, can you open that door?” Luna asked with a sly grin.

One moment.” Offered the tiniest alicorn. She flew up into the air from my back, straight at the door, and vanished.

A moment later a tumbler could be heard moving inside the door followed by the massive doors cracking open, and swinging outward.

Seems I have the key.” I offered followed by Luna giving me a hug.

Good thing too because I can’t remember what the spell was,” Luna informed us.

And here I was about to gloat because I knew my way better.” Sunset offered just as Moonie came bounding out.

Kind of makes sense to go in the front door when coming home.” I offer as I step in.

Beyond the door was a large rotunda richly carpeted with reds and burgundies. The supporting pillars were massive trunks stained alabaster and inlaid with amber holding up a lofted ceiling. A chair rail stretched about the walls of the room that had been given the same treatment. Each door had been given the same treatment as well as a richly adorned frame that circled along the top of the walls to border the ceiling. Above the chair rail was a magnificent mural of Equestria at night with ponies looking up into the night sky that stretched all the way around the room, and the ceiling had been painted to depict the heavens with every constellation in perfect detail. The room’s furnishings were framed in gold and upholstered with silk in shades of cobalt blue and a silvery blue with some cabinets in richly stained burl wood and a large liqueur cabinet trimmed in black lacquer that framed some rather idealistic scenes of what some artist imagined life on the moon might look like. Here too were a number of large windows looking out over Canterlot and the entire place is lit up with seven large crystal lanterns designed to look as though they are hanging from the branches of the trees.

It is far more breathtaking than I could remember or imagine and seeing Philomena flitting about the room only helps to enhance the experience.

Save for the stanchions, red velvet cords, and floor mats in the middle of the room creating a corridor in and out through a large set of double glass doors leading to the East wing. It is all quite breathtaking.

It was also party central. Oh, the parties this place had seen. Funny I should remember that.

Wow,” Lofty said softly. “But there’s no bed?”

I didn’t actually sleep in the tower.” Luna offered. Her announcement garnering some odd looks from the guards. Sure it was one thing to be told such and such but to have the real pony, who hardly looked old enough to be any pony’s mom, right there was quite another.

All the bedrooms are in the East Wing,” Sunset informed her. “Princess… that is mom, has the West wing.”

Her rooms used to be a lot simpler, more Spartan.” I offer.

Spartan?” Sunset asked.

The sort of place a military officer would live in.” Luna supplied. “I was the one who always wanted to impress. The irony is that my excesses back then are considered acceptable behavior, even expected, of a national leader these days. I knew what I was doing. Even if I am a little befuddled yet.”

You and me both I guess.” I offered.

It’s a bit musty. Are you sure you want to stay here?” Cadance asked. “I don’t mind sharing a bed.”

There’s room in the guest quarters I’m in, she can stay with me.” Luna offered, getting me all choked up again.

Are you alright?” Cadance asked me.

I let my mind wander for a bit. I had a brother.” I should be more careful about letting my mind wander. “Moonie, can you open some windows? Not too much, just enough to let some fresh air in.”

Nova?” Luna asked quietly. She doesn’t have to say it, but I know she wants to know if I know what became of my brother.

Can do,” Moonie replies and flies over to the closest window.

I don’t know what became of him. It’s just you me and Miss Alice so far.” I turn around and poke my head out the door. “We are going to leave the door open to let the air circulate.”

There are three guards out there now. They look back at me with an expression that indicates that they are at something of a loss.

You had a brother?” Cadance asks as I turn back around.

I seem to recall that you were betrothed to him,” I say as I trot by. “Walking in here with the place looking much as it did when we left to go to the palace in the forest and knowing that the only family member I have left is Mom, Princess Celestia, and yourself, kind of makes the place feel empty.”

My offer still stands.” Luna insisted.

I think I’d like that,” I replied.

Don’t look at me, I live in a dorm.” Sunset quipped.

Something tells me you’re about to get moved and all the snobs who snubbed you are about to get really friendly like,” I say with a smile as I undo a velvet cord and let it drop. The others think about what I just said, laugh, and follow after me. Going through the large double door into the East wing we are greeted by an army of servants cleaning the place. They stop and bow.

No, no, keep going. Now’s not the time for formalities.” I say with an embarrassed smile. We do return the bow though. Back when I was here last, servants weren’t quite so formal and had no compunction in regards to boxing my ears.

Before me is a long common room that looks out onto the roof of the old audience hall built in the center portion of the keep. Patios have been added along with a couple of hoof bridges to either side over the peak of the roof. The whole structure makes up the North end of the old castle. The room itself looks much like the room we just left. To my right is a staircase going up to another level, just past that a small kitchenette slash tea room, followed by another set of double doors into Luna’s chambers. Along the wall are a number of portraits. I trot on up to a floor to ceiling painting of Luna with two foals. One is undeniably myself, the other a dark colt who looks a great deal like a young Night Light Sparkle. My coloration is a bit on the dark grey side and some leopard spots are visible. All-natural camouflage for a cub but there were hints of how I’d turn out. There’s no cutie mark as of yet in this painting.

You were so cute as a baby.” Luna offered. “And I’d no idea you’d turn out so pretty.”

That’s definitely you,” Lofty says as she comes up. The painting is practically life-size.

Why are her markings so different?” Sunset asked.

When she was really little she was all grey with leopard spots,” Luna informed her. “I figure it has something to do with who her father was. Natural camouflage, a throwback from when young had to be hidden from predators.”

I can hear whispering and barely contained squeees coming from the staff resulting in my ears doing gymnastics. I can’t resist stretching up to all but nose boop my own portrait. The level of squee intensifies. I’m cute and I know it.

Nova!” Cadance called. She was looking at a painting of two fillies in outlandishly cute outfits. A sort of Gothic Lolita style – we’d been dressed up like dolls. Yes, we. My spots are gone in that one and I’m starting to show a lot of white. “Could this be us?”

I deny ever having anything to do with that,” I state flatly as I give a wistful look to my brother now long gone. “Not willingly at any rate.”

So is it?” Sunset asked. “I mean the resemblance?”

Sure is.” Luna offered. “And she had to be scolded for nipping at the maids trying to dress her.”

All right, yes,” I say as I give her a dirty look. A big smile forms on her face while the others laugh.

I’d often wondered about this painting,” Cadance said as she looked at it. “Can’t say I remember posing for it though.”

Shame you can’t remember. You loved getting dressed up in those outfits.” Luna says as I trot over to Cadance. We can see inside Luna’s apartment. It’s furnished pretty much the same as everything else so far save for a large canopy bed with heavy curtains and more heavy curtains on the windows.

I never much cared for the doll look,” I comment. “Took entirely too long to get dressed, it required help, and I wasn’t allowed to do anything.” I can remember being a very active filly. Heck, the only thing that got me to sleep at night in Ponyville was spending the afternoon apple bucking. And I was moderately good at it too, which annoyed Apple Bloom to no end. My method was to climb up into the tree and buck a branch at a time, which only helped to annoy Applejack. Apple bucking was supposed to be done at the trunk! Sorry, no. No matter how well refined my Earth magic was, I am just too little to buck a whole tree at once.

But I digress.

We continued on past Luna’s apartment to her private library that was done up in richly stained wood panels, trim, and wrought iron lifts on tracks. The lifts were far more practical than ladders, and each aisle had its own dedicated lift. Not that a unicorn or alicorn couldn't simply use magic, one wanted to know which book they were grabbing hold of. That and I seemed to recall climbing the stacks when I was little.

And then we came to my room. Of course, there was a velvet rope in front of the doorway. There were velvet ropes blocking everything off. I smiled as I looked up at my cutie mark emblazoned on a shield above the door. The rope was down so I walked in and then stopped to just have a look around. Here the walls were covered in hand-painted fabric to resemble a forest. The curtains had gilded banisters and emerald draperies, and the ceiling was a beautiful fresco depicting pegasi foals playing among the clouds. Both the wall covering and the draperies had little stress areas where it looked like they’d been climbed. The setting was daylight as well save for little spotlights hidden in the ceiling that matched the constellations. I actually had no idea how they worked short of magic. My other option was a light source being passed through crystals and reflective tubing. The main light was a large chandelier that looked suspiciously like it had been redesigned to keep a certain filly away from the actual light sources.

Come on, keep moving.” Sunset prompted.

Not like that door can’t fit all of us.” I point out the large double doors as I look at the large four-poster bed. The curtains aren’t heavy like Luna’s, but they are made of good strong cloth. The posts are quite substantial, and the canopy is reinforced with linen webbing that stretches out from each post.

Explain to me why that other bedroom is so dark, but this one is so bright?” Cadance asked.

I can’t sleep with any light coming in.” Luna offered. “Nova was just the opposite. I distinctly remembered she’d sleep in any old sunbeam with her belly to the sky. Not that she didn’t have her favorite spots.”

I loved sleeping in the sun. The early morning sun would stream in through the window and warm my bed for me. The only way to keep me in my room was to make it look like a warm sunny day. It also transforms at night so the entire setting turns to nighttime. There were lights in the ceiling. If they still work.” I offered.

I think there was a part of me that resented your desire to sleep in the sun, but you always loved the night,” Luna said softly.

Lights?” Asked a stallion out in the hall.

I turned to see a tan unicorn with a dark blue blazer on. His mane is a dark chocolate brown cut short.

I wonder if Equestria has an equivalent to chocolate?

Princess Cadenza, what brings you here?” He asks. Not sure if he’s pointedly ignoring Sunset, Luna, and myself or not? Judging by his agitation he’s not happy about what the cleaning staff is doing. He was likely of the mind that they had to ask his permission to do anything, and he never gave permission short of being countermanded by Princess Celestia herself.

Mr Heritage, Princess Nova was thinking about moving back into her old room,” Cadance informed him.

Princess Nova...” he said rather slow like.

Hello,” I say as I turn to face him. “I think my mom might like her old rooms back as well.”

Aaaa… who are you?”

Princess Nova,” I say. My ears are starting to angle back. I know the type. To him, this whole place is a museum, and nothing is to be touched.

Ever.

Never mind that it is also someone’s home.

His eye is twitching.

Lofty steps between us.

And who are you?” I could hear him ask.

Lofty.” Her voice gives away no hint of what she’s thinking. “I’m her guardian. “It’s her room, and Princess Celestia has already approved…”

We’ll just see about that,” he says in a cold angered tone, and walks off in a huff.

Well that could have gone better,” I say as I peek around Lofty to watch him go. “Just wait till he finds out we opened the front door.”

He’ll have an absolute fit no doubt,” Luna predicted.

The front door is open?” A maid asks.

Nova has the key so to speak.” Lofty offered.

But there’s no keyhole in that door?” asked another maid followed by one of the maids walking down the corridor to have a look.

It’s open,” came the announcement followed by the entire staff going to have a look.

A pony would think they’d never seen an open door before?” I say as I watch them go into the other room to marvel at the spectacle.

I think there’s supposed to be some legend that says the doors will only open for the princess of the night.” Shimmer offered just about the time Moonie came trotting up to us.

Mission accomplished.” Moonie proclaimed.

Well there’s your princess of the night for you,” I say sounding just a touch sarcastic. The five of us couldn't resist a few chuckles at the expense of a very confused mini Moon.

I decided to put Mr Heritage behind me and go explore my room to see what might still be there. The first thing was the top of the canopy…

I can’t believe my eyes.

Under a thick blanket of dust is a whole bunch of toys.

Toys!” I shout and… hang on if I disturb that…

Toys!” Moonie shouts and dust goes flying everywhere as a result of her cannonballing onto the canopy. Philomena joins her in a frolicsome dust bath.

My wing flapping isn’t helping.

Evacuate!” I shout as I streak for the entrance soon to be followed by everyone else.

Somehow we manage to get the doors closed before the cloud of dust gets to us. At least I think we did.

OK now, headcount, everyone here?” Lofty asked.

What was that all about anyway?” Sunset asked.

No pony ever cleans the top of the canopy.” Lofty offered.

Cadance?” I ask. No Cadance. No Philomena. No Moonie. There is a knock on the door. I open the door and Cadance bursts out. She’s covered in dust and in the throws of a coughing fit.

I get a glimpse of Moonie and Philomena bouncing on the canopy making things worse. Luna takes one look and starts laughing.

I cut my losses and close the door.

Looks like I won’t be moving in there for a while yet,” I say with a sheepish smile.

I doubt you’d want to anyway.” Luna offered. “Everything is all musty, and is going to need more than a new set of linens.”

Cadence just gives me a dirty look as she continues to cough.

It wasn’t me, it was Moonie.” I plead.

Was it – cough – Moonie that – cough – closed the – cough – door before I could – cough – get out of there!”

I’d swear there was dust coming out of her every time she coughed.

Might have been my fault.” Lofty offered and Luna started laughing.

I am so glad you came back for me,” Sunset said with a barely suppressed grin. “I wouldn't have missed seeing that for the world!” And then she lost it. The laughter just bubbled up out of her so hard that she dropped to her plot and rolled over laughing.

It was all I could do not to join her and Luna, and I suspect Lofty was having a hard time keeping a straight face as well.

And then Cadance’s scowl cracked.

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