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Character is what you are when no one is watching


Thrust into the role of royal bodyguard, Lieutenant Shining Armor finds himself in the City of Roam, trying to protect Princess Cadance while avoiding accidentally starting a war with Equestria's oldest rival. His training taught him to worry about Roamish plots or over enthusiastic crowds. What he hadn't anticipated was the focus on proper etiquette, or the way his heart pounds when Cadance smiles at him, or the sheer number of creatures that want her dead. Trapped between love and duty, Cadance and Shining discover that sometimes the greatest dangers are those closest to home.

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 28 )

Loved it! Hope you update soon!

I thought the battle scene was good on all those accounts.

All six vessels were approaching in a reverse U formation

Isn't that just called a pincer formation?

The ballista onboard retuned fire, aiming for the enemy portholes and sails to force them to slow down or fall behind. This went on for several minutes, with the Ambassador’s ballista crews knocking out several of their counterparts.

Multiple crews leads me to believe more than one ballista. the plural is ballistae. And since you used spears, I assume you mean the crossbow ballistae. Ballista is roughly translated to thrower, and can also be accurately used in description of catapults and trebuchets.

the enemy switched tactics and began loading canasters with hundreds of ball bearings and darts in an arching shot to fall at lethal velocities on to heads of their hapless victims.

Grapeshot. That's what you're thinking of. Unless you switched from crossbow ballistae to catapult ballistae, not really going to work.

One of the sailors was hit as she was climbing a rope ladder on the main mast and fell over the edge of the ship, screaming as she tumbled into the waves below.

That rope ladder is called rigging.

There was a pause in the action as everyone waited to see what would happen next, then, from the center of the cloud came the largest bolt of lightning Shining Armor had ever seen, followed by a titanic boom, and the main mast of one of the ships shattered into a million splintered fragments.

As I read this, I thought the bolt had come down on the Ambassador. It was at the center, after all. The chaser and broadsider on the port side turn tail moments later, so I can only assume that this is happening to the starboard broadsider. You should have mentioned that.

with all six ships either retreating or stranded with their masts destroyed.

Dismasted is the word you are looking for. Or perhaps demasted.

On to your questions

Was the conflict easy to follow?

Aside from where the cloud came down, yeah. I had little trouble following what happened.

Was the terminology confusing?

Only for two reasons. The first was that you often skipped over the terminology and went with a description instead. That's a good move for people who don't know their franciscans from their tabars, but then I have to try to figure out what you mean. I usually can, but I do have to look back again to know that I have the right word. The second is the occasional spelling error. Very rare, but it happened at least once.

Was it engaging to read?

Yeah, I'll agree with that. Not much to that statement. I was engaged enough to read the whole thing through.

If you want more information on this era of battle, I can't really recommend any fics, as I don't know any, but I can refer you to Shadiversity on youtube. His focus is more suited to land combat, but swords work just as well on a wooden deck as they do among the reeds. And archery is just as useful.

I hope this has satiated your desire for criticism. I didn't read the first three chapters, but I might eventually.

Also, isn't rule zero to keep the army happy?


Great chapter, can't wait for the next one.
I see that you're probably aiming for length consistency between chapters, if that's your style, then that's fine.
But pacing wise, if more description is needed (mind you, not necessarily more words) to properly establish tone and atmosphere of a single scene, then so be it. Purpose over filler, but immersion over speed, in my opinion.

Thank you! I’m glad you liked it. It’s funny you mention pacing, because my second draft of this chapter was almost 10,000 words long and all about atmosphere and set up. In the end, I found that it dragged too much and ended up scraping a sub-plot and moving another part to the next chapter. I’m not opposed to longer or shorter chapters, per say, it just happens that most end up between 3500 - 5000 words so far.

This is fantastic.

Im not usually one for military drama type story but this hits the exact right notes for me.

Super looking forward to future chapters ~!


I’d have the next chapter out already if I didn’t feel the need to rewrite it again :trollestia: I swear it’s a curse.


Been there, plenty. Very understandable.

The most time to rewrite is when you finish a 10,000 word chapter, take one look, and think "Welp, this is trash time to start over."

I literally did that for chapter 5. Word count and all.

Comment posted by ShiningBeacon deleted May 21st, 2021


Hopefully future chapters will come at a faster pace then this one did!

What a fun chapter! And I'm so there with you Barrel Roll my bud, they don't realize just how flirty they look huh haha. (Congrats on the new art! I'm guessing Barrel is the one there?)

It's exciting that they're finally there! Now i wonder what danger awaits them. Thanks for the kudos, I'm super honored the doodles gave you that last push :twilightsmile:


Thank you! Yes, Barrel is the one on the right side. He’s pretty central to the story, so it felt right to include him.

Good to know for future fanart reference! :pinkiehappy:
Yw :)

“What Picture doesn't know won't hurt her,” Shining whispered back, “besides, it’s Picture, how bad could it be?” Opening the envelop, he unfolded the script and found the top of the page. “Alright, here we go! Dear Shining, I’m sorry you had to find like this, but if you're reading this, you already know something is up. I’m done, Shining. I’m done pretending I’m okay with us, with your work...” he trailed off as he read through the rest the letter to himself, his heart sinking lower and lower with every word. When he was finished, he stared at the page, unable to process what he had read.

Breaking up over letter instead of in person and just avoiding him? That bitch

While reading your comment, I realized I made a grammatical error in the letter :facehoof: thank you for helping me catch that.

(edit: and I made another in this comment :trollestia:)

A romance story between the unworthy and Princess Cadance?


Now that is an interesting question. The story is written 95% from Shining Armor’s perspective, which tinges what the audience gets to see because Shining is not a perfect individual and does not always perfectly perceive or understand what is going on around him. My answer would be that Shining would say he is unworthy. As for me, I leave that to the reader to agree or disagree with that assessment. I hope that by the time I am finished, there will not be complete consensus one way or the other.

Well, might as well comment here for all the world to see.

This is a very good story. The dialogue flows naturally and is amusing, the world feels natural, and it really feels like I'm reading it from Shining's POV. It's a rare enough thing that a POV feels like that, so definitely points for that.

All in all, a story that deserves praise. And views. Not sure which one is more deserved, so let's just say both are equal and leave it at that.

Howdy, hi!

Here is a review from the mansion to you!

I’m going to release a blog post soon. Stay tuned!

“Colonel Roll is sending his Second platoon to assist us, including Lieutenant Rose. Trip, you’ll be in command of the sweep teams, not her, so don’t let her pressure you into moving any faster or slower then you need to make sure it’s done right.”

Isn't it Liternaut Roll? He and Shinning were the same rank.


It’s a slight retcon I forgot to mention or fix in post. I’ll take care of it soon.

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