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11849311 No.11849311 [Reply] [Original]

Quest archive and previous threads: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28501521/GeneralArchive/CelestiaQuest/CelestiaQuest.html

Previously on Celestia Quest:
>The night comes and goes, you spending the length of it with Celestia, resting up against her like a pillow. In your dreams, however, you meet a mysterious being called "the Guardian" who insists you leave Equestria immediately, lest you suffer her wrath. You tell this to Celestia, who shows serious concern.

Celestia turns back toward camp, motioning for you to come with her. You start off, hands in your pockets, looking down at the ground. This could mean the end of your journey. Even with no way to go back at the moment, you may need to keep to yourself; stop affecting lives. Or, at least, try to stop yourself. Whether it's possible or not is another thing altogether.

You walk back slowly, almost shuffling your step. You liked last night, but reality waits back at the camp. Back with Rose, your newest, yet overbearing companion; Luna, the stiffer of the princesses; Silver, you friend who still had a bone to pick with you; Steady and the Elements, wrapped up in this quest to find Twilight just as much as you are.

It's overwhelming, sometimes. At least you have a little while with Celestia.

>> No.11849398
Quoted by: >>11849772

Get back to camp and figure out what the next step is.

>> No.11849432



>> No.11849446
Quoted by: >>11849772

Time to go back to camp.
We'll need to just have a seat somewhere, I don't know what we'll tell Rose who was actually going to be kind AND train us.

>> No.11849506
File: 873 KB, 400x226, 2spooky.gif [View same] [google]

>Celestia is a liar
>The Guardian is trying to protect us

I'm going to ignore any conspiratorial thoughts that I have and trust in the Sunbutt.


>> No.11849772
Quoted by: >>11849790

Camp almost sneaks up on you, coming into view after breaking through a patch of thick brush. Things seem to be going along at their usual level of activity for the morning. The sun has just broken free of the horizon, waking most of the guards from their sleep. You're not exactly a morning person, but last night's rest was satisfying, so you're not sludging around, wiping the sleepiness from your eyes. Celestia makes a pretty good pillow.

"I hope my sister's asleep. I might get out of whatever lecture—"


Celestia winces at Luna's call. Looks like she's not getting out of it. "Drat."

Luna rushes over in a thunder of hooves, looking back and forther between us. "Are you alright? Did something happen? Your jewelry is missing!"

"Sister, please. We're both fine. I just... decided to sleep out on my own. Our guest simply ran into me during the evening and we slept under the stars. Nothing dreadful happened."

"So, then, you just ran off without telling me? Or anyone, for that matter?" Her tone takes a drastic shift from concern to accusatory.

"...you could say it that way."

Luna's mouth snaps shut and she glances at you before ushering Celestia toward their tent. "We need to have a few words."

Celestia's swept away by her sister, throwing a pleading glance back at you before disappearing into their tent. You do not want to be in her shoes... er, hooves right now.


>> No.11849790

You could go see how Rose is doing, seeing as you're supposed to train with her shortly, or go get some breakfast. It looks like a few of the Elements are already up and eating, as well as Silver.

>> No.11849835
Quoted by: >>11850098

Let's avoid Rose, breakfast sounds like a nice non-confrontational option.
Rose is bound to find us anyway.

>> No.11849847

see how Rose is doing

>> No.11849889
Quoted by: >>11850098

Grab a small snack, don't want to train on a full stomach.

>> No.11850098

Deciding to keep the morning nice and quiet a little longer, you head for the tables and sit down to eat. Rainbow Dash is the first to notice you and waves.

"Sup? You had a great, uh, butt-kicking speech back there! I was just telling Rarity all about it!"

"Oh, yes," says Rarity, scootching over toward you. "I heard as soon as you opened your mouth those villagers ran off with their tail between their legs!"

Scratching your head, you hide a bit of a blush. "Well, it wasn't quite like that."

"Aw, c'mon, man! It was totally that cool!" says Rainbow.

Before you can respond, a cook comes by and asks you what you want; you figure it would be best to keep it light for whatever training Rose has in store. He nods and walks off to fetch a meal.

You turn back to Rainbow. While embellished, her story was basically the truth. Maybe they didn't exactly 'run off', but close enough, right?

"Okay, it was pretty cool."

"Yeah!" Rainbow raises her hoof and you smack it for a high-five. Or whatever you call those when using hooves.

>> No.11850237

Might as well find Rose and start training, no point being late and getting yelled at.

>> No.11850300
Quoted by: >>11850546

She has to be nice.
She may or may not remember that.

>> No.11850319
Quoted by: >>11850537

"So now that we have that pegasus-stone thing, where do you think we'll go from here?"

>> No.11850537
Quoted by: >>11850546

"So now that we have that pegasus-stone thing, where do you think we'll go from here?"

"Eh?" says Rainbow. "I don't really think about that sorta stuff. If it were up to me, though, I'd probably use it to kick the crap outta whoever kidnapped Twilight."

"Rainbow! Such language!" says Rarity, shirking back.

"Yeah, whatever. They'd still deserve it."

"Well, if I may answer you question, sir, I would guess that Celestia would feel more confident about scouting the area with that sort of power. We wouldn't have to worry as much about laying low; more ponies would be sent out on scouting missions and to further away places until we find Twilight." Rarity turns away, blushing, as if she suddenly forget herself. "Merely an opinion, though."

The cook comes back with your meal which you chow down without delay. You converse with Rainbow and Rarity a few minutes longer before getting up to go. The last thing you want is to start training with Rose being mad at you for being late. Offering a goodbye to your companions, you make your way to Rose's tent, half expecting her to still be passed out from last night. If that were the case, you wouldn't have to worry about her greeting you with some thinly-veiled insult or backhanded compliment.


>> No.11850546

Oh, wait. She lost a bet. You smile. She has to be nice today.

On the way to her tent, you find her, still clad in armor. She greets you with a hardly-noticable nod. "Good morning, rookie. I hope you're prepared for training, because I have no intention of going easy on you simply because you're clueless."

You wag a finger at her. "Nuh-uh. You lost a bet, remember? You have to be nice. And more girly."

She rolls her eyes. "Fine."

You cross your arms, tapping a foot at her.

"I mean, like, great!" Her smile is so awkward it looks to be causing her physical pain.

You're going to love this, assuming she doesn't kill you for it.

>> No.11850598
Quoted by: >>11850896

Alright, let's get to work.

>> No.11850859
Quoted by: >>11850896

Time for combat training, then.

>> No.11850896
Quoted by: >>11850907

Rose leads you away from the camp, off to a clearing within earshot but out of view of the tents. A dreadful, foreboding feeling overcomes you as the last guard disappears beyond your vision, like you'll never see another living soul again. You push that feeling aside by taking a deep breath and pumping out your chest, trying to put some confidence back into your step. True, you're nervous about this, and Rose isn't exactly a soft instructor from what you can gather, but you can make a real improvement under her. This sort of training, whatever fighting style she uses, is something you'd never be able to learn back on Earth. It's something to get excited about. Cautiously.

"The first thing you're going to learn about today is stance. The default stance is very important as all your strikes or dodges will either start from this stance or combine with another action taken from this stance." She sizes you up, probably trying to figure out how to get a two-legged being to use the same stance as a four-legged one. "While you obviously cannot use the same stance as me, I believe I've figured out a suitable adaptation for you."

She hovers over to you and starts adjusting your body, shifting your legs, chest, arms and head in a certain fashion.


>> No.11850907

It's much like a typical sparring stance: chest facing perpendicular to your attacker, arms up to guard your face and vitals, feet semi-spread out for mobility. It's actually pretty amazing that Rose has figured this all out on her own.

"Don't you look dashing?" Her words don't match her tone, but she's trying to be more feminine. You have to hold back a laugh.

>> No.11850950
Quoted by: >>11851373

"Alright, what can I do from this stance?"

>> No.11851071
Quoted by: >>11851387

Hold that pose. Get used to the feel of it. Try shifting to and from the stance until you can get it down without her having to reposition you.

>> No.11851120
Quoted by: >>11851373

Why thank you, and I must say you look breathtaking yourself.

>> No.11851373
Quoted by: >>11851387

"Why, thank you. I must say you look breathtaking yourself."

A low grumble comes from her mouth.

"Alright, what can I do from this stance?"

"Right now? Think."

You shoot her a confused look, relaxing from your stance. She sighs, probably about to make some snide comment, but keeps it to herself. You wonder how hard it actually is for her to act nice.

"Something many... fine ponies try to do in their rush to learn fighting is leap right into the hoofstrikes and bucks. That is not the first or even the second step in learning to fight." Rose begins flying in wide circles around you. "You must learn mental fortitude and gain the ability to shift from a relaxed state to a hardened state in an instant. You must understand what it truly feels like to be in a fight, one that may mean you life should you lose." She lands in front of you, hunkering down in a familiar stance. "You've seen this before, yes?"

You close you eyes, thinking to when you first saw her like that. "Yeah. You planted yourself like that every time you threw yourself at me in our fight."

She smiles. She actually smiles! You wish you could take a picture. "Good, you noticed. You probably also noticed that I never walk or stand around in such a stance when there is nothing or no one to fight. It is a battle stance, one that comes out only with a battle-ready mind." Rose walks up to you, poking and prodding at you.


>> No.11851387

"Your stance is weak, but only because you mind is not in it. Luckily, however, you already know what it is like to be in a dire fight. I saw it in your eyes back in the cave—that is why I chose to end the fight when I did. You had no assurance that I would not fight you to the death other than my word, and if I had so chosen to strike, your friends could not have been there fast enough. The only thing assuring your continued life was you." Hovering so she's at eye level with you, she adjusts your head and shoulders once more. "You will... ahem, I want you to close you eyes, harden your stance, and put yourself in that same frame of mind you had near the end of our fight. The one that held you as you raised your hand to strike me."

You nod, closing your eyes. With a deep breath, you clear your mind, focusing on the fight yesterday. Your try to submerge yourself in that frame of mind, losing yourself to it, forgetting the present, all while planting your feet firmly and—

A hoof connects with your shoulder, sending you off-balance and forcing you to open your eyes to catch yourself before you fall over completely. Rose is grimacing at you from her spot in the air.

>> No.11851471
Quoted by: >>11851875

Forgive me if I'm not a firm believer in mind training, there's nothing more important to a soldier than his eyes so it does me no good to train without them.

>> No.11851531

Swing at her.

>> No.11851702


>> No.11851875

"Forgive me if I'm not a firm believer in mind training, there's nothing more important to a soldier than his eyes so it does me no good to train without them."

"And you will fail early and often, never improving." She pokes your chest, sticking her face into yours. "This isn't 'mind training'. There isn't some magical state of mind that makes you the perfect warrior and allows you to see the future. There is no mystery or hocus pocus to this." She backs off, landing in front of you. "You must, however, learn to rely on senses other than your eyes, because no matter how hard you try, they will always be limited to one direction. No one can overcome that. The only way to work with it is to learn how to be aware of your surroundings through other methods. Your ears are the most useful, but so are your senses of touch and smell. You should be able to feel the wind coming off the beat of my wings, smell my breath if I approach from upwind. And, when I strike you, you should be able to recover gracefully. You will not learn these things through will alone; you must practice. That is what we are doing." She stomps a hoof down. "Now ready yourself again."

With a huff, you set yourself in your stance, closing your eyes and bringing your mind back to that fight. The tension, the adrendaline, fills you once again. You swear you can almost taste the power eminating from your body as you harden yourself, like an anchor in the ground, unmovable.


>> No.11851884

You recall the ferocity in Rose's eyes when she launched herself at you—the determination and power in her stance, the grace of her speed.

The wind picks up, brushing across your cheek and you take a swing in its direction. Your fist finds only air, forcing your front foot out of place, but you quickly recover and relax.

"Hmph." You can't tell if she's approving or criticizing you.

You hold yourself in that stance for minutes, refraining from striking out again. You let the wind ebb and flow without reacting, learning how it feels, trying to detect any sort of oddity...

A hoof connects with your shin, making you cry out and fall to a knee. Giving yourself a moment to breathe, you open your eyes and squint at Rose, who's standing on the ground a short distance away. You never heard the grass under her feet. How did she do that?

>> No.11851951
Quoted by: >>11851974

Snake, Volgin, and The Boss would all disagree with you mate.

>> No.11851954
Quoted by: >>11852424


>> No.11851974
Quoted by: >>11852017

They're all dead.

>> No.11852017

Solid isn't, won't be until sometime in 2014

>> No.11852066
Quoted by: >>11852439

Get back up and keep getting the crap kicked out of you until you get it RIGHT.

>> No.11852424
Quoted by: >>11852439

"Unacceptable. Go again!" you say, frustration starting to show in your voice.

"I had no intention of stopping. But you must hold your anger at bay. It will only act as a barrier to the proper frame of mind."

You nod, shaking the leg she struck, trying to get the throbbing to calm down. She packs a mean punch, and it's even meaner with that armor of hers on. At least you know she's not holding back.

Letting all of the tension out with a breath, you close your eyes again, harkening back to the fight just as you had done before. Your focus sharpens and you devote your thoughts to your other senses, trying to find Rose however you can.

She strikes you once more, but this time you're not forced out of your stance but for a tiny step with your back leg. The next time she attacks, hitting your back, you stumble, but never open your eyes. She swoops in again and again, from the air and ground, from front and back, relentlessly. Sometimes she strikes twice in succession, sometimes she will wait minutes in-between blows. You throw out a few punches yourself, but none connect. You doubt they even come close. After what feels like hours, you still haven't stopped or even slowed her, and all you've really managed to do is keep from opening your eyes every time she breaks you out of your stance.


>> No.11852439
Quoted by: >>11852450

You feel like you should be entering that state of mind you were in yesterday, but it always seems to elude you. Each time you think you have it, Rose throws you off with a strike you never see coming.

How the fuck are you supposed to do this? Ponies have better hearing and smell, don't they? You're at an inherent disadvantage. Is this going to go on all day, you getting nowhere? With each failure, the frustration comes back stronger, and you're not sure your determination can keep up.

When a particularly powerful blow takes your back leg out from underneath you, you fall all the way to the ground, finally opening your eyes. You stare at the sky, mind wandering off from the training.

That's when you feel it: an errant slice of wind, a sliver of air traveling... wrong. You roll to the side, and while you don't avoid the strike altogether, it ends up hitting the side of your leg instead of the front.

You hop to your feet, smiling like a little girl. Even with all the aches and pains from the battering you've been taking, you're ecstatic. "I felt it! I knew you were coming!"

"But you were still too slow. And that also tells me your problem."

Your smile fades a bit, curious.


>> No.11852450
Quoted by: >>11852526

"It's your pride. Only when you gave everything up, lying on the ground, were you able to feel the wind. You've been thinking to yourself that you somehow deserve to be able to fight, that it's right for you to dodge me or counter. The world and I don't owe you a thing. Why would we ever allow you a victory? Stop thinking you deserve to win and WIN." She practically spits the words out.

You open your mouth to answer, but it dies in your mouth when a pegasus comes flying out of the forest, heading like a missle toward Rose from behind her. You point at him to warn her, but before you can even shout out, she's off her hooves, speeding into the intruder and clocking him in the face with one of her wingblades. He goes down hard.

Rushing over, you look down at the unconscious pegasus. He's wearing a softer sort of armor, not medal, but not leather, either. He certainly doesn't look like any sort of guard pony, and you don't remember seeing him at all earlier. The symbols on his armor aren't familiar, either. You look over to Rose as she looks up at you.

"It appears we're being attacked."


That's the end of today's session. Next is Saturday at 12 noon UTC-5!

>> No.11852526

thanks SA!

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