Light At The End Of The Tunnel: Fake
[Linked Book Entry]
Why can't anything be easy?
The portal leads into some huge fortress that must have been built to prevent anypony from counterattacking during the second invasion. Fortunately for me, the patrols around the gate were fairly infrequent and while there seemed to be quite a heavy amount of soldiers and husks stationed around the whole place was completely unprepared for me slipping through.
The good part is that I'm still here but that can change any second. From what I understand the portal has to be closed on the side where it was opened or by some other way specific for the spell. The first time it was me disabling the Corrupted Heart, the second time it must have been Sombra's death and this time it's going to be necessary to destroy the strange crystal I got from Guiding and infused it with power. It appears that opening the portal is the difficult part but keeping it open at the right place is simple. In the vicinity of the Tree of Harmony the energy of the crystal is supposed to last about two weeks.
Now, there might be some information about me going around because I wasn't able to avoid being seen completely before leaving the gate fortress but as long as I don't cause any trouble I should be fine. I must admit that looking the same I used to during my first visit would have been helpful but I'll have to manage. The key is to get to Twilight which means either the Crystal Empire or Canterlot and the information should be easy to obtain.
Well, mirror version of Ponyville is before me and I still feel a chill with the Apple Family Arena in sight. Hope I don't end up there again although with Betty I think I'll be able to fight off other Bearers if the need arises.
I wasn't able to catch Choking yesterday, wasting half of my time budget. What I did manage to find out was her favourite hangout, a bar called Lucky Horseshoe in the less festive part of Canterlot. Now, according to Heavy I have to go for it tonight. I haven't shown him Mistake's new entry just to get some more time because we now have a way to close the portal easily and pull Mistake back anyway.
Today's practice was tougher than usual. I must admit I'm getting better though. Not physically, pony training is tougher than griffon one when it comes to running and general stamina but upper body strength, stretching, and agility exercises are a piece of cake compared to the torture in the Legion. The real problem lies in pony weapon training which is completely different from anything I was used to.
Mhm, I have to vent a bit.
UNICORNS ARE ASSHOLES, and not the good kind!
It can't be fair for a pony to be punching your face while his sword keeps beating you from the back. Cheating bastards.
What is pretty interesting are wing razors, something griffons never bothered to use but it's a terrifying weapon. Now I can be wielding an axe in my talons and have sharp blades on the tip of my wings. All I'm missing is a set of spiked boots and an automatically reloading pistol in my mouth and I might actually have a chance against Heavy and his stupid staff.
It might not be that apparent because I'm a master at subtlety but I'M PISSED OFF!
How is the guy doing it? A pony who can't even HOLD the damn staff properly keeps smacking the crap out of anyone trying to go against him.
Heavy must be a unicorn in disguise or something. Perhaps he pole-vaulted out of his mother with it after birth.
Like even Rising Thunder is easy compared to him. He actually does predictable stuff with the spear and while he's really good I can usually see why I lost but with Heavy it's like - Gotcha! Hey, what's the snow doing in my mouth? Why is my head ringing? What does concussion mean?
I must admit I agree with Heavy that commander Darkness isn't too good in hoof-to-hoof combat but that might be just me and my training. Griffon ability to grab things is like the emperor-damn unicorns and their magic concerning hand-to-hand or hoof-to-hand. At least one of the lessons is relaxing, most of all because hoof-to-hoof training is voluntary and there's just few of us attending. It totally has nothing to do with most of us trying to grope one another. It's more a hoof-to-butt combat after a while. As I said, useful early and relaxing later.
On the other hand, I now know few recruits, both male and female, who seem to be swinging both ways. None of them are unicorns, aside from Mistake. Speaking of unicorns, SCREW THEM, metaphorically of course! As for Mistake, a more literal interpretation is waiting for him when we he gets back. I got a fairly interesting tip from Shaky, of all poni- changelings, that horns are supposed to do some interesting stuff when stimulated in the right way and I'm anxious to try it out.
Enough whining though. Chicks dig winners and I'll have to feel like one in about an hour. Choking does seem like a low-hanging fruit but the fact that I mustn't fail no matter what sort of makes me nauseous during the flight home from the castle.
Canterlot is a gorgeous city. Not with its towers and golden inlay on everything but with the small details that aren't possible to find in the Empire. The mix of magic, technology, and nature make it obvious why this place is so full of tourists every day. I'm not talking about the big stuff but just the street lighting is enough to make me wonder about pony civilization. Some of the street lights are powered by electricity just like in the Empire, some of them are the old-fashioned gas lamps because a bright bulb just doesn't create the same atmosphere as a flickering flame does. Those two can be considered normal but the ones with magic crystals emitting various colors of light and being recharged by unicorns every evening are what griffons living in the Empire would whistle in astonishment at. The last but rarest type is weird but illustrates how ponies live more in harmony with nature than any other species, the firefly lamps. Every evening the ponies responsible for them allow a family of fireflies to spend the night in their glass dwelling and let them out in the morning, weird but true.
Street lighting aside, I have something, or somepony, else to admire tonight.
My apartment feels derelict when it's empty. It's a wonder what something simple such as a pony reading a necromancy manual could do for the atmosphere. Sighing, I let the prospect of free lay with a pretty good catch out of my head and think about Mistake. It's not a long mental detour as Choking is what Mistake's mind seems to be focused on all the time, at least according to the journal.
"Buddy, don't get pissed at me for banging your girlfriend. I'm doing it for you," I mumble, showering off the layer of salt from dried up training sweat.
I go over that statement and realize, to my absolute horror, that it's completely true. I don't find Choking Darkness attractive at all. Hot and with amazing body? Yes. Possessing that little something that would draw me towards her? No at all. Damn! I find Three more interesting than her and I've been taught to despise changelings since forever. Maybe I'm just turned off by the idea of so many ponies doing her before me but that has never stopped me when attending a rave back home.
Maybe my little blurp had more to it than just little anxiety. Do I really feel like I'm betraying Mistake somehow?
Spraying some fresh scent on myself, I shake my head. I'm waaay overthinking this. Here is my first change to bag a pony, an amazing one at that, it should be easy as heck and I'm just letting my fear get the better of me. Right, that's all it is, just nerves. Never been with a pony before, it's understandable.
Swanky jacket? Check!
Smelling like spring breeze? Check!
A pack of gummy worms? Check!
Charm and swag rivalling the legendary pirate Neckbeard? Hella check!
Let's go smack some pony ass.
Contrary to my expectations Lucky Horseshoe is less a club and more a bar where younger ponies can mix with someone out of their age range. Honestly, when I imagined a place Choking would go to looking for a one-night stand I was thinking about a dark disco with a stage for some DJ laying on the wubs. This place just seems too orderly for her type.
There she is, sitting on a barstool and staring into a cup of something, completely alone.
"Commander?" I smile as much as I can and tap on her shoulder. Something seems extremely off though.
"Oh, 'ey... erm, bird guy... recr- priv- trainee," she smiles and I wonder how many copies of me she's seeing.
"Pretty nice joint. You come here often?"
"E'rry day. Archie make speshul cocktails," she hiccups, "Speakin' of cocks n' tails. You free tonite?"
She feels a polar opposite from what she's during the lessons or in Heavy's company. Also, her pickup line is atrocious.
"Isn't it customary to buy me a drink first?" I grin.
I don't know if she realizes it but she's overdoing it with the expressions and the pure horror in her face is funny, yet unsettling.
"Archie!" she bangs her hoof on the bar, "Uno alcohol, por favor!"
I pretend to have a fan and wave it at my face.
"Oh my, speaking fancy. You know how to get a girl's attention."
"Ha ha, rite?" another horribly forced laugh.
The elderly bartender brings me a mug filled with presumably the same thing that Choking seems to be full of.
I can't help myself. I know I should just try to get her to bed and find the journal but the eerie feeling around her makes me try to find out more.
"Did anything happen, commander? You don't seem yourself tonight."
"Cum under? Pfff, call me Darky. All friends do."
"What about Chokey? That sounds nice."
Her eyes go wide and tears start streaming out of nowhere.
"Wzzzhm? R'lly nice."
She doesn't seem to be aware of it.
"What did I say?"
"I dunno!" she sniffles and wipes her face.
She shakes her head and smiles suddenly.
"Dat's better. The... other one wuz weird."
I take a sip of Archie's cocktail. It can't have much alcohol in it and it's amazingly refreshing which means that either Darky's been sitting here since the evening practice ended or she's a serious lightweight. She doesn't seem sweaty or anything so my bet is the second.
There's more than meets the eye here. Unfortunately, I don't know her enough to be sure. If I had to hazard a guess it would be that she's coming here, drinking heavily and has no idea why.
"You know, Darky... I was a Legion hand-to-hand champion and you're not bad yourself," I lie my ass off, "How about we continue this in private and give each other tips?"
The relieved expression surprises me. Was she afraid noone was going to hit on her? I'm not an expert on pony standards but a well-toned guard body, weird wings or not, must be attracting tons of young stallions.
"Izzn't it cushtom'ry t' drink me a buy first?" she smiles, imitating my little joke.
"I'll have to carry you home if I do that and I want to keep my stamina for more important things."
She leans to my face, almost falling from the barstool, and the sweet breath filled with booze enters my nostrils.
Paying the bill, I notice she really didn't have that much to drink. I guess in some moods it's easy to get wasted. It's not exactly my thing but I've known soldiers who just wanted to escape for one evening from everything haunting them.
I might need to think this through. No matter what happens I'll get to her apartment and she'll probably pass out pretty fast. That should give me enough time to look for what I want. There's one gargantuan 'but' though.
She's hurt and doesn't seem to know why. I could make that much worse. On the other hand, I could make that slightly better. I think Heavy might have been wrong. She doesn't need sex as such, she needs company... the right kind of company. Mistake knows that and wondered about it in his journal.
Yeah, this is bad. He's probably not aware of how much she needs him. She doesn't know who he is or why he's so important but the desire is there. Just one more reason to bring him back and beat some sense into him. I don't know what could be so important for him to leave her completely but I'm not letting this slide. Sometimes friends have to help even if their help isn't wanted.
Darky doesn't seem to want to talk too much and just walks through the streets while leaning on me.
Well, at least for tonight she won't have to be alone or with someone who will just throw her away in the morning. It might be what she wants but not what she needs.
I hope I'm right.
Her apartment is pretty large compared to mine. A living room opens when we enter and I can see what looks like a bedroom through another door. There's a separate kitchen and a large bathroom visible from here. Darky doesn't really bother with closing doors it seems.
She just wipes her hooves on the mat by the door and nods towards the bedroom. Maaaaybe I was a little wrong in my assumption as, when she raises her tail to entice me further, I see how 'interested' she is in me.
"Like what you see?" she purrs.
What little she had to drink must have evaporated during our walk and she can at least speak properly. Still, her usual cheery tone is missing and she still feels distant.
"Like what YOU see?" I slowly unzip my jacket, making sure to flex my muscles a little.
The gesture fails completely when she ignores it and looks straight at my crotch.
With a small package in my hand I follow her.
Lying down on the bed, she doesn't bother with the usual dance and just spreads her legs.
I lick my beak and get ready to give her the time of her life. As they say - don't stop until the teeth clench. Her smell filling the air, all this feel strangely impersonal. For once I'm not trying to enjoy myself, albeit I'm doing so more than enough, but just working on her as hard as I can. For some reason I think I have to.
With her breathing getting faster, she pushes me away with one leg. I get the signal and reach for the pack of rubbers I put down next to the bed.
Pony sized and shaped...
I knew there was something I forgot.
"Eeerm," is the smartest thing a male currently controlled by his junk can say.
Darky looks at what seems to be the problem and grins wildly when she sees me standing at attention.
"So that's how griffons look like," she comments and her fascinated look sends shivers down my spine. Griffons are considered to be the meat eating predators but right now I'm not so sure about it.
She tackles me to the ground and in a second the only thing I can focus on is her muzzle exploring the new continent.
"Wonder if it'll fit," she mumbles before opening wide.
She raises her head.
"Fits just right."
Fuck being a predator. She can eat as much meat as she wants down there.
"Holy hellfire. I think I've died and gone to heaven," is all I can say before my mind goes blank and the body just takes over.
The drunken snoring next to me doesn't stop in the slightest as I step out of the bed.
Hips? In agony.
Mouth? Smelling of mare.
Grin? Wide and dopey.
Damn you, Mistake. You had this every day and you still go for stallions as well?
To my surprise the little book isn't hidden at all, being stored on a sorry excuse for a bookshelf. It's a black journal, burned and battered but still possible to read. Stashing it to my jacket, I return back to bed just to hear the snoring stop as soon as the bedsprings crack.
"Ready for round five, big colt?"
Someone help me!