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"With the day coming to a close soon, I've decided to bring the scouts back. Tomorrow will give us time to explore what we've found and search other areas. I would like you to come along. Before I say anything absolute, however, I'll need to talk with my sister." She lowers her voice. "Has she been doing well? I know she misses Twilight," says Celestia

There it is again. It seems like sometimes these two never even talk to each other. "Yes, she's fine."

"Good. I'd love to chat with you later. When Steady's replacement returns, you're dismissed for the day. Try not to get into any more trouble."

Nodding, you give her a salute as she enters the tent. It's not long before the replacement guard comes and you finally get a chance to rest. Standing around all day is more tiring than you thought it'd be.

[Do you want to skip through the evening and jump to tomorrow right before you head out to investigate what the scouts found, or do you want to take things slow? I don't want this quest to feel like it's moving too slow.]
>>11155339 (OP)
Lets go ahead and skip. We'll get alone-time with the princess soon enough.
>>11155339 (OP)
I put on my robe and wizard hat~
>>11155339 (OP)
I'm torn between telling celestia those fairy tales and saving it for later
>>11155339 (OP)
I feel like now is a little early to be putting on the moves, especially right after she found out about our little lie. She may have forgiven us, but we shouldn't push it.
>>11155339 (OP)
is this CYOA?
That was me saying "skip" by the way.
then I will join you
>>11155339 (OP)
>>11155339 (OP)
[Skipping to tomorrow before departure, then]

You're woken from your slumber by a harsh yell and rattle. Shooting upright, you bang your head on the tent roof supports, making you wince and grab your forehead.

"Heh, heh. Real smooth, tall guy." Steady's raw, gravelly voice welcomes you to the morning. "White wings is gettin' everyone ready to head out. Go talk to her as soon as you can, see if she's got somethin' for ya."

Stilling holding your head, you grumble an acknowledgement, slowly freeing yourself from your sleeping bag. After a minute of fumbling and cursing to yourself, you make it out and emerge from your tent. Steady is walking off, probably getting ready himself. Your right thigh aches for some reason and you lay a hand on it, finding a lump in your pocket. It's that broken compass you found yesterday. Must've slept on it the wrong way. With a yawn and a stretch, you survey the area, finding Celestia near the tables. Rainbow Dash and Luna are with her, as well as several pegasai guards. Whatever she found yesterday, it seems pretty significant. You wonder if she's taking you along.
Keep forgetting the trip. I need to stop posting in other threads...
"Morning, ladies. What're we looking at for today?"
Go say hi to Celestia and ask what she would have us do.
It's too damn early. You stumble on over to the gathering of ponies and tap Celestia on the shoulder, she's already got a wide grin on her face, but on seeing you it grows ridiculous.

"Good morning! I'm glad you were able to join us, sleepyhead."

Your face goes red. 'Sleepyhead'? In front of all these guards? You think you hear a snicker, too.

"Today we'll be heading out to the site of interest our scouts found. I was just sharing without everyone the location, but before we go, you should figure out if there's anything you'd like to take along. We'll have food and water, since we plan on investigating for several hours, but if there's anything you think of, don't hesitate to mention it."

She turns back to the table, laying a hoof down on a rather large map. You follow her motions closely.

"We'll be flying out here. Now, as there's a local settlement here, rather close to the site, we'll want to avoid their airspace. I don't want them thinking a guard patrol is coming down on them and frighten the villagers needlessly. Echo and Swift, I want you on patrol first. Cycle on half-hour shifts. Silver, I want you to enter the site with myself, Rainbow Dash and Luna. Steady will be in charge at camp while we're gone. Any questions?"

Wait, Silver? You look around the group of pegasai, and sure enough, Silver is there, currently giving you a stink-eye. A fresh wave of guilt comes over you, but you stay silent.
Should we expect much resistance?
We may need to get something to defend ourselves with.
time to suit up
what do WE do?
"Should we expect much resistance?"

"No," says Celestia. "We'll be fine. There's no reason to think the enemy cares about this site any longer. We're investigating as it looks like they were once there and it may give some clues to their intentions and destination. It's a natural shelter, as the scouts put it."

Luna coughs a few times, grabbing your and Celestia's attention. Celestia asks her if she's fine, to which Luna nods.

It's obvious to you there's something she meant to say, but why should those two start actually talking to each other now? You roll your eyes.

Looking over the pegasai, you find all of them in armor except for Rainbow Dash. "I was wondering if there was a way for me to get some armor. It might help in the future."

Luna lifts a hoof and motions you over. "Ah! Yes, come with me. I took the liberty of commissioning some. Now would be a good time to try it out."

"Don't take too long, sister. We'll be leaving shortly," says Celestia

"Of course."

You follow Luna as she trots over to the supplies tent, not far from the doctor's tent you visited earlier. The guilt springs up again at the memory, and things suddenly feel much more awkward.
time to oil up
"What were you going to say back there?"
"A custom job, for me? You shouldn't have."

"Does it have sequins?"
Something seems fishy about this mission.
We could be waltzing into a trap.

I'm still nervous about that "LIAR" message
"What were you going to say back there?" Any conversation is better than this silence.

"So you noticed, did you?" She shakes her head. "I apologize. I should not have... disrupted the conversation like that. But my sister is suffocatingly trusting and naive when it comes to her subjects. I do not think she is unaware that the citizens of this region of Equestria are more sympathetic to our enemy's side than ours, but she refuses to acknowledge that such a fact could be a detriment to our cause. While our excursion may very well go smoothly, I would also not be surprised if the nearby village does not, hmmm, object to our presence should we make ourselves known."

So there is more to it. "By why didn't you speak up back there?"

"Because it would not do well to dispute something with my sister in front of the soldiers. And because it was not worth injuring her pride. The soldiers will remain vigilant, as I have trained them well. I shall stay aware and protect you, my sister, and the Elements. Together, we will be fine."

Luna wants to execute this ridiculously convoluted plan of hers just so she doesn't have to argue with her sister? This is stupid! You almost chastise Luna for her plan, but you don't want to rub on her patience after what happened yesterday. Besides, you're supposed to obey orders like a good like subject, right?

A human-sized chestplate floats in front of you, held by Luna's magic. It looks pretty nice for something their armorer whipped up in a day. It's plan metal, not polished or sheen at all, and not all that thick either, but from the looks of it, it'll stop any sort of point object going for your vital organs.

"A custom job, for me? You shouldn't have," you quip at Luna, grinning. Her eyes flatten as she turns away, letting out a harsh sigh. "Does it have sequins?"

"Sequins? Why would it have sequins? It's plain metal armor."

You put on a frown. "You're no fun."

After fitting it on, you find it's a pretty good fit, if not a little tight. You look around but find no other pieces of armor. "That's it?"

"Yes, it's all the armorer could come up with in a day. He will likely have the leggings ready tomorrow. Come." Luna starts off back to the gathering and you stick close behind.

At least she seems fine with you, even after the incident.


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