• Published 17th Mar 2022
  • 1,670 Views, 35 Comments

Scholar's Mate - Undome Tinwe

Flurry Heart hosts a chess tournament for her hoof in marriage. Cozy Glow intends to win on her own terms.

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1. e4 e5

The proposal had been the easy part.

"They're not just going to let you marry me. You know that, right?" Cozy asked as they lay in bed later that night.

Flurry had taken after her mother, and had given Cozy an absolutely enchanting night of wonder as she'd invited her to the very top of the Crystal Palace for dinner, where she'd had Luna arrange the stars into the shapes of their cutie marks before kneeling down and popping the question. Even now, Cozy couldn't stop staring at the ring hanging from a slim gold chain around her neck.

A ring that they would have to hide tomorrow morning, lest the rumours and the objections began to flow.

Flurry sighed, pulling Cozy closer to nuzzle her on the forehead. "I'm aware," she said, sounding so, so tired. "And I hate it. You're a good mare, and worthy to stand beside me as my wife, and I hate that all those fools out there can't see it. They just see a commoner who tried to take over the world twice."

"Twice that they know of," Cozy corrected as she peppered her fiancée's neck with quick kisses.

Flurry giggled, rolling her eyes. "Yeah, sure." The temporary burst of good cheer faded as she frowned again. "Obviously, we have enough political advantage to power through any objections raised by the nobles, and the royal family is beloved enough that the ponies won't say too much."

"But it's gonna cost quite a bit to make it happen." The ring had been set with a heart-shaped diamond, and Cozy idly fiddled with it as she spoke. "No reason to spend all that political capital and goodwill if we don't have to."

"Yeah." Another nuzzle from Flurry. "I wish I wasn't in a position where I had to think about these things. The common ponies don't know how easy they have it, sometimes."

"You could always abdicate," Cozy offered.

"Yeah, no, I'm not gonna do that," Flurry said dryly. "Besides, you'd probably break up with me the moment I didn't have a crown on my head anymore."

"I mean, not if you had a plan to conquer some other country." Scrunching up her face in thought, Cozy pretended to consider the matter. "You know, the crown of Zebrica is pretty nice."

Flurry shook her head. "I wouldn't last a day in that heat. No, we need some way to make people cheer you on." She tapped a hoof against her chin. "You know, a long time ago, long before the Empire disappeared, some nobles would set trials for their hoof in marriage."

"Oh, like that one mare, who said that anypony who could shoot an arrow through a bunch of rings could marry her." Cozy grinned. "Of course, that was just to buy time for her husband to come back and complete the challenge. I guess if you decided to have an archery contest, we could rig it to make me the winner."

Flurry raised an eyebrow at that. "You'd cheat to win my hoof in marriage?"

Cozy rolled her eyes. "If the challenge was archery? Yeah. I know what I'm good at, and it's not epic feats of physical skill. Give me something intellectual to chew on instead and I'll wipe the floor with them all."

"Like a chess match?" When Cozy looked up, she saw Flurry staring at her flank. Specifically, her cutie mark.

Cozy's grin widened. "Oh, that's perfect. You could hold a chess tournament, and the winner gets to marry you! It'll be like something right out of a fairytale, and everyone will eat that narrative up, especially when a dark horse like me fights her way to the top!"

"Actually, I was thinking that the last mare standing would play a match against me for my hoof in marriage." They were serious now, and Cozy could see the concentration on Flurry's face as she schemed. She looked so beautiful. "Just in case someone else makes it to the end, I can destroy them and we can try something else."

A sharp shard of indignation flared up in Cozy. "You think I can't win?" She asked, heat entering her tone as her eyes narrowed.

"I like to plan for every eventuality," Flurry replied. "You never know when someone might not play fair, or you might end up incapacitated, or just get sick at just the wrong moment."

That calmed Cozy. "Fine." Her grin returned as she wrapped a foreleg around her beloved. "I'm not going to give up a chance to go up against you in public. It'll be fun!"

"Mhm." Flurry melted into the embrace, and they set aside their planning for a time to celebrate their love and impending nuptials once more, secure in the knowledge that nopony would be able to stop their union.