Persona with ponies. Either you know what that is or you don't
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2015-02-07 04:04:57 No. 21717751
>You grin and look into her beautiful golden eyes.
“No objections here.”
>You hold her close and give her another deep kiss.
>Derpy’s wings flap wildly as you kiss her, causing you to stumble a bit, but you hold on tight until she calms down and the second kiss ends.
>Your other Marefriends look on approvingly while Cranky tries to slip out unnoticed with a sour expression.
“Hold on, Master. I need to thank you for helping me out like this.”
>”Feh! I didn’t do anything. I just tipped off Pinkie. You should thank her.”
“Well then thank you, Pinkie Pie.”
>”All I did was tell them what was going on.” Pinkie says, smiling. “I didn’t tell them to come out here! When they heard it was Derpy in trouble, they came running ‘cause they all love her so much!”
>Derpy giggles, “Didn’t I tell you? I’ve never considered myself unlucky. Just by coming to Ponyville and meeting all these wonderful ponies… I feel like I’m the luckiest Mare in Equestria. But… thank you, Anonymous. I’d already given up on this before I met you. I thought it was just part of life. I was ready to give up on what I loved, just because I thought that’s what fate had in store for me.”
>”But you gave me the courage not to give up just ‘cause things looked bad. Just because you can’t change some things doesn’t mean you can’t change anything. And if I love my life, and treasure it, it’s okay to fight for it. Ponyville is my home. And I’m Ponyville’s Mailmare! And from now on, I won’t let anypony take that away from me.”
>!

————————————————————

Thou art I… And I am thou…

Thou hast established an inseparable bond.

This inseparable bond shall have a permanent home in thy heart.

We bestow upon thee the ability to create Father Time, the ultimate form of the Fortune Arcana...

————————————————————

2015-02-07 05:20:01 No. 21718659
“I’m so happy you can keep your job now… and it looks like Ms. Shine is going to get what she deserves for treating you like that. But uh… I guess now that she’s gone we just… go home, right?”
>”Go home?!” Pinkie exclaims “When we’ve got all these ponies in one place and we’ve got something to celebrate? Can’t let you do that, Anon! Times like this call for a PARTY!!!”
>Pinkie pulls out her party cannon and fires it off in the crowded room, knocking all of Ms. Shine’s belongings off the desk and walls and obscuring them with confetti and balloons.
“I-Is it really okay? It’s still the post office…”
>Woohoo! Party!” Derpy cheers, knocking Ms. Shine’s desk over in excitement.
>You shake your head and laugh.
“Haha, looks like we don’t have a choice!”
>The room erupts in cheering and joy as a party breaks out in an instant, spreading to the entire post office as Pinkie decorates it at inhuman speed.
>Somehow refreshments even manage to show up for everypony that came in support of Derpy.
>Everyone spends the rest of the night laughing and enjoying themselves, carrying Derpy around as the Mare of the Hour, making a complete mess of the post office, and having a damn good time.
>Even Twilight and Applejack seem to be talking again.
>Despite Mayor Mare’s insistence that you can’t all be drinking in a government building, the cider makes its rounds and everyone ends up having a few.
>Everyone goes wild, celebrating Derpy’s… not being fired.
>It seems like a bit of a silly thing to go all out for, but nobody seems to be complaining.
>Least of all you, especially when Cheerilee and Twilight end up drunkenly making out through some wild chain of events.
>The party lasted all night until you each stumbled home, except for those of you that fell asleep at the Post Office, like Derpy.
>Once you got home, you instantly passed out in bed, sleeping until the next day.

2015-02-07 07:29:41 No. 21720226
Thursday, December 8th

>You wake up with a dry mouth and a headache, but you figure Cranky isn’t going to take that for an excuse, so you end up going in to work anyway.
>You only hope Cheerilee didn’t overdo it.
>Or maybe she didn’t need all that much convincing…
>It seems that she’s not completely opposed to drinking, but it seems like her sister just takes it way too far.
>When you get into work, Cranky ends up forcing a disgusting drink down your throat made from a raw egg, worcestershire sauce, and tabasco.
>It seems to cure your headache after an hour or so. But maybe that’s just your body trying its hardest to justify swallowing that mess.
>You’re feeling better by the time you get off of work.
>Gilda wanted to make you a real dinner… you figure it’s about time to take her up on that offer.
>You headed home after work to find her laying around the house as usual.
“Hey, Catbutt.”
>”What’s up, faggot?”
“How are you feeling? I wanted to go shopping with you tonight for that dinner.”
>”Hmm… I guess I could do it tonight. I mean it sounds like a pain, but whatever. And don’t complain if it takes a while. We have to go shopping first after all. Damn, I’m probably not going to be able to make everything I wanted… whatever, I’ll make it work.”
“Guess we better get going then.”
>You wait for Gilda to get ready, which takes a while because of her injuries, but soon you head out to the market with her.

Ponyville Market, Afternoon

>You keep Gilda entertained with some stories of the previous night, which seems to put her at ease as you walk through town together.
>Still, she seems intent on staying close to you like a lost kitten.
>It’s kind of cute, the way you can tell that she’s nervous.

2015-02-07 09:33:05 No. 21722016
>As you walk through the market, she stops whenever she sees something she needs, orders you to buy it, criticizes your ability to discern good produce and herbs, and shows you the right way to pick out what’s good.
>You pick up a bunch of green herbs such as dill, tarragon, and fennel, as well as some vegetables like spinach, carrots, and potatoes.
>She also buys a freshly baked baguette, some olive oil, brie, raclette…
>You’d expect all of this stuff to cost a pretty penny back home, but to your surprise it’s actually not all that expensive here.
>The price of the wine on the other hand is a bit less manageable on your budget.
>She looks heartbroken as she admires a bottle of Griffon-made wine that nearly costs more than your rent.
>Gilda is disappointed that you have to “settle for the cheap stuff”, despite that cheap stuff costing 60 bits for a single bottle.
>After buying the greens and Chardonnay, you head to the fish market with her.
>She ends up buying bass, cod, a lobster, some shrimp, mussels, clams…
“How many things are you going to make?”
>”Just three. Well, four if you count the appetizers, but it’s no big deal.”
>The more she buys, the more comfortable she seems to feel out in public.
>Though you still end up having to defuse the situation when she accuses the fishmonger of not giving her the freshest catch.
>By the end of the trip, you end up having to rent a cart to bring everything back home.
>”Good thing they pay out so much for disability…”
“Good thing Twilight’s footing most of my rent…”
>”Do me a favor and don’t tell me how much we spent.”
“I’m trying not to think about it too.”
>”Sorry I couldn’t carry anything. I’ll try to work fast so you can have something to eat soon.”
>Gilda gets to work in the kitchen.
>She seems to be struggling with her two busted limbs… she’s managing surprisingly well in spite of them, and you’re pretty impressed by her dexterity with that tail, but still…
>Should you offer to help her?
Y/N

2015-02-08 01:01:11 No. 21724291
>You wouldn’t want to hurt her pride by insinuating she can’t do this alone, but you think being nearby might help.
>You have a seat near the kitchen, deciding to try to talk to her.
“So… who taught you how to cook?”
>”It’s not like I took classes or anything, but… my mother taught me a little bit back when I still lived with my parents back in Griffonia. She was a really good cook. She always let me hover over her shoulder when she was making dinner.”
“You came to Equestria when you were still pretty young, right?”
>”Yeah, just a fledgeling.”
“You really learned all this back then?”
>”Of course not, dumbass. She just got me interested in it is all. I just ended up learning everything else from Tenor Black.”
“Who?”
>”He’s a Griffon Chef that wrote a lot of cookbooks. I picked up a couple of them since they were the only books I could actually read. In secret, of course. I had a reputation to maintain.”
“Of course. So… any reason why you came to Equestria?”
>”Well… it started off as just a foreign exchange program. There’s all kinds of stuff like that as a sort of “good will” thing between Equestria and Griffonia.”
“I remember Twi telling me a lot about aggression between the two nations in the past. There were even some wars in the past, right?”
>”Yeah, it’s been a real on again off again kind of deal. Sometimes allies, sometimes enemies.”
“Your whole country is tsundere.”
>”The fuck are you talking about?”
“Nevermind. So then if it was just a foreign exchange program, why’d you stay?”
>Gilda stops dicing the carrots and stands in silence.
>”... Do I really have to say it?”
“I get it. You don’t have to talk about it.”
>Gilda sighs and continues chopping. “It’s fine. It’s not like she was the only reason. Besides, we were just friends back then. Not that we were ever anything else according to her.” she remarks bitterly.
“So there were other reasons?”
>”Yeah, Dad's a prick, so I wasn't in a rush to go home to him. He thought I should act more 'feminine' and shit."

2015-02-08 01:03:34 No. 21724328
>”I liked cooking, but I liked flying more.”
“Is Twilight the only mare in Equestria whose parents aren’t either dead or jerks?”
>”Beats me. At least they can’t be jerks if they’re dead. But it’s not like he would have gotten a lot of shit for it back there. It’s… a lot more common in Griffonia for Toms to be the ones out bringing home the bacon while the Mollies stay home and take care of the kittens. There’s a lot more opportunity for me here in Equestria.”
“Huh…?”
>“The uh, males, and the females.”
“Oh. Also, question, do you miss bacon as much as I do?”
>”It’s been a while but yeah. I wanted to make quiche lorraine but it’s kinda hard without ham or anything. So it’s gonna have t-AH!”
>Gilda is suddenly cut off as she falls to the floor, clutching her hind leg in pain as a plate crashes to the floor, shattering loudly. “ffFUCK! GOD… FUCKING DAMN IT!”
“Are you okay?”
>”FUCK… Fucking... SHIT!”
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
>”Fuck off! I’m fine, I just… god… damn it!”
“What happened?”
>”I’m fine, okay? It’s just my back leg. I put too much pressure on it and it started hurting. It just… caught me off guard. I didn’t mean to yell at you, I’m just… really pissed off. It hurt, but I’m fine now. Just… give me a second.”
“... All right, but let me clean up that plate.”
>”Yeah, fine... “
>You sweep up the plate while she lies there, carefully testing her back leg.
>”Looks like I just twisted it. If I broke it again I wouldn’t be able to talk.”
>You still feel a little unconvinced. A thought that seems to be communicated as your gazes meet.
>”... look, I… I think you’re probably not… useless at cooking, so… how would you like to just do the boring parts for me? Just to speed things up. It’s not like I can’t finish it on my own, this is just to make it go a little faster.”
“I get it. Sure, let’s finish it together.”
>You see Gilda smile a little bit.
>”Alright, well first, you need to wash your hands. Then, you can…”
>You began cooking dinner together with Gilda...

2015-02-08 02:52:27 No. 21730671
>She explains what you need to do clearly, and you manage to follow her instructions decently enough.
>Mostly anyway.
>”What are you doing, fucktard! Don’t throw the fish bones out!”
“Huh?”
>”Fucking hell, do you even know how stock is made?”
“I think it involves cubes…”
>”Look, just watch. I’ll show you, dumbass...”
>It seems she’s making some kind of a seafood stew for the main course, as well as a spinach quiche.
>Once everything’s cooking, she gets the table set up with a plate of baugette slices topped with baked brie, fresh cracked pepper, and brushed lightly with garlic butter.
>She pours each of you a glass of Chardonnay, and has a seat across you to enjoy the appetizers while you wait for the other courses to finish cooking.
>”Well… eat up.”
>You pick up a slice of baugette, noticing Gilda watching you anxiously out of the corner of your vision.
>You have a bite…
>This is…
>The rich cheese just melts perfectly into the baguette, and the seasoning complements and accents the flavor of the brie giving it a greater range without overpowering any part of it.
>The crumb of the baguette is light and airy, with a crust that’s crisp but not too hard. The freshness of the hoof-kneaded locally made bread clearly shows in the quality of the flavor, which adds a distinct and apparent taste as opposed to the cheap flavorless stuff you’re used to eating...
“God damn this is good!”
>”Heh, it’s just some baguette and brie. I barely did anything.”
“Can’t wait to see what you’ve got next.”
>”Well, it’s pretty hard to fuck up an appetizer as simple as this… try the wine.”
>You take a sip of the clear golden wine…
>You aren’t an experienced wine taster by any measure, but gives you a wonderfully warm feeling when you drink it with a crisp bitter flavor that seems to go well with the appetizer.
“Very nice. You sure you’re gonna be okay with that much though?”
>"Unlike some ponies out there, I know how to hold my wine."
>You remember being told Dash was a lightweight...

2015-02-08 04:59:03 No. 21732247
“Back when I was still using that disguise necklace, I ended up getting drunk… I guess ponies don’t really have a very good alcohol tolerance.”
>”Yeah, plus you’re a big guy.”
“For you.”
>”Huh?”
“Nevermind.”
>Gilda scoffs and shakes her head. “Fucking weirdo.”
>You finish the appetizers and help Gilda take the next dish out of the oven.
>A couple of freshly baked spinach quiches in some small single serving pie tins await you.
>The crust is a perfect golden brown, and the spinach and eggs give it a beautiful marbled green and yellow appearance.
>Filling seems light and airy just by looking at it, gently rising up past the crust.
>”Sorry it has to be vegetarian… I wanted to make one for you with bacon or ham, but… y’know. Stupid lame herbivore ponies.”
“I don’t mind. It looks delicious.”
>You sit across from Gilda and have yourself a bite…
>It’s fluffy, yet firm… maintaining its shape easily as you cut off a piece, but still melts in your mouth and feels like silk on your tongue.
>The crust is cooked to a nice uniform flakiness, not too thick or thin…
>There’s a sort of gentle sweetness to it that comes from her using shallots instead of onions, and that Gruyere cheese she bought seems to serve as the perfect bridge between the flavors of the egg and the spinach.
“This is amazing, Gilda! The one I had at the Hay & Clover wasn’t even this good…”
>”That place is shit. Way too much spinach and onion in their quiche. They’re not even using the right kind of onions. The ones grown around here aren’t any good for that. It’s better just to use shallots.”
“Pretty impressive that you know all that. This is the best quiche I’ve ever had. Thank you, Gilda”
>C-C'mon, it's not that great. I mean, I think it’d be better if I had some ham…” she says, nervously averting her eyes.

2015-02-08 06:51:02 No. 21733812
>You just smile and take a sip of wine, not feeling like flustering her any further with your compliments.
>Next, you help her serve the main dish of the evening.
>A traditional seafood stew called Bouillabaisse, packed with all sorts of seafood and served in a bowl with a thick baguette slice in the center.
>Probably 90% of the ingredients that were bought today went into this thing…
>You forgot about 80% of them by the time you were walking home.
>But when you take a sip of the broth, it seems that they’ve all come together to form a single complex whirlwind of flavors all mixing together...
>Salty, savory, and even a bit of spiciness.
>As you try the fish and shrimp, it sounds like such an unusual thought, but it doesn’t taste, well… fishy.
>The seafood has become soft and savory, absorbing the flavors from the broth.
>And while each piece has it has its unique flavor, it doesn’t have that strange fishy aftertaste that can be somewhat unpleasant.
>Before you know it, you’ve almost polished off your entire bowl without a word.
>Gilda looks very pleased to watch you chow down on the stew she put so much into making.
>You finish your entire bowl without a word, figuring this is the best way to pay her the compliment you want to give her.
>It seems your feelings have been properly conveyed once you’ve emptied your bowl.
>”Glad you liked it. I kind of made a lot.”
“I think I’m going to have seconds.
>”Don’t fill up too much, okay? Leave room for dessert. It should be done cooling soon.”
“You made a dessert too?”
>”Duh, what do you think the chocolate was for? But I just didn’t want you to help me with that part. It's kinda... special."
“I see… I guess I’ll understand when I try it.”
>You get another glass of wine and carry on a pleasant conversation.
>"Can't believe you're a tutor for a filly. I can't stand those little brats. I never want to have a kid. What about you?"

Never.
Someday.
Just enough for a baseball team.

2015-02-08 08:16:20 No. 21735005
“Not too many… maybe about 9. So I can have them form a baseball team.”
>Gilda looks terrified. “I-Is that really normal for your species…?”
“Hah, no, I’m just kidding. 9 would be way too many. But I would want kids someday for sure. I dunno when, especially the way I am here and now. It’s not exactly like I’m “compatible” with anypony.”
>”What about that stupid necklace?”
“What stupid necklace?”
>”The stupid necklace that turns you into a pony. Wouldn’t you be “compatible” with a mare if you put that on?”
“Oh right. I keep forgetting I even have that.”
>”You dumbass.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve had to use it. Besides, it’s just kind of awkward. I dunno if I’d really uh, enjoy it. Or if it’d even work. I have no idea how that necklace actually does anything, or if I’d even be able to do something like that.”
>”Even without that, there’s all kinds of weird kinky spells that can pull off some pretty crazy shit.”
“Kinky spells…”
>Playful laughter rings through your head as you have flashbacks to all the unnecessary information Princess Cadance filled your head with.
>”Uh, dude, you okay there?”
“Not… sure… if want…”
>“Yeah… you know, Dash actually told me she wanted kids once. Well, she told me a lot of times, actually. Probably shoulda been a clue.”
“Dash wants to be a mother?”
>”What, you don’t think she’d make a good one?”
“I just didn’t think she’d slow down for anyone.”
>”She was always telling me how much she’d love to teach her kids to fly as fast as her some day. I guess she wouldn’t be bad at it… she really seems to want ‘em after all.”
>”You know… maybe you wouldn’t make such a terrible dad yourself.”
“Really?”
>”Yeah. I mean, I guess it’s sort of hard to see it at first, but when you get down to it… maybe you’d be all right.”
“Thanks, Gilda. I think you’d be a good mother too if you tried.”
>”When hell freezes over I would. Kids are brats. They stink, they scream, and they always try to pull on my tail. No fucking way.”

2015-02-08 10:43:35 No. 21737050
“To each their own, I guess. Either way, now’s not the time for me to be thinking about kids.”
>”Yeah… but speaking of time, I think dessert should be ready. Could you go grab it from the fridge?”
“Sure.”
>You open the fridge and find a silver plate with several eclairs topped with some sort of chopped nut.
>As you carefully take it over to the table, you see that Gilda has moved to the couch while you had your back turned.
>”It’s… I think we’re out of plates, so it’ll be easier if we just eat off the same plate, right? So we should just… sit next to each other.”
“I see. Alright, that’s fine with me.”
>You carefully have a seat next to Gilda on the side with her good arm.
>You hold the plate of chilled eclairs towards her, but she shakes her head.
>”You should try it first…”
>You give her a nod of understanding and pick up an eclair, taking a big bite out of it.
>!
>The dark chocolate coating is balanced perfectly by the cool creamy filling… the inside seems to be barely sweetened at all, allowing you to taste more of the individual flavors of the dessert without it becoming overpoweringly sweet.
>The pastry of the eclair is pleasantly firm without being too dry,.
>And at the end, the flavors blend together with the chopped hazelnuts, adding another layer of complexity along with a satisfying crunchiness.
>Gilda watches you intently, unable to hide her anxiousness.
>You smile and finish the eclair in a second bite.
>”You know… eclairs are really popular in Griffonia. There’s uh, actually this old myth that Princess Luna averted a war with Gregor the First by giving him some eclairs. And, well, they say every family in Griffonia has their own unique recipe for eclairs, and that no two eclair recipes are exactly the same. And I mean, it’s probably not true either, but I mean… this is the one my mother taught me. And I think it’s pretty unique. So in a way, it’s kind of like… these eclairs are sort of… y-you know. P-Part of… who I am.” Gilda stammers nervously.

2015-02-09 12:49:31 No. 21738316
>Gilda looks away, embarrassed. “Damn it… I… I sound super lame right now… just forget I said anything.
“I don’t think it’s lame. You’re the only one who makes eclairs like this. That’s why you had to make them by yourself, right?”
>”Y-Yeah. So you get… you get what I mean, right?”
“I do. They’re wonderful, Gilda. Thank you for making them for me.”
>Gilda looks a little relieved as she reaches out and takes one for herself, biting into it and leaning against you.
>You continue eating the eclairs with her until you feel something pushing at your back…
>You turn your head and see that her wings are extending stiffly on the couch, spreading out wide and pushing you.
>Gilda notices it as well, and quickly moves away from you.
“Oh my.”
>”I-It’s not what you think. I just… it’s...it’s just because the eclairs came out so well…”
“Oh really?”
>”Shut up, dweeb…”
>You grin smugly and pop another eclair into your mouth.
“I guess they are pretty good.”
>Gilda grumbles to herself and clenches her forefoot, closing her eyes in concentration as if working herself up for what she’s about to say.
>”Anon, can I ask you something?”
“Go ahead, Gilda.”
>Gilda takes a deep breath, placing her right forefoot carefully on your leg.
>”Do you…”
>Gilda shakes her head and grumbles, trying again.
>”What I’m trying to say is, do you... “
>”Do you… like…”
>”... Do you… like my eclairs?”
“Your eclairs?”
>”I know that… you already have a lot of other places you could get some.”
>”And they’re probably sweeter… not so bitter... maybe better made… a lot prettier… less trouble... less fragile…” she says, looking at her injured foreleg. “I don’t even know if… my ‘eclairs’ could really satisfy you like this or if I- they’d just… fall apart on you.”
>”But… I’m tired of making them for myself. I don’t want to be like that anymore. And… I didn’t realize it at first, but I really do love making them for you.”
>”So… do you like them?”

2015-02-09 05:05:09 No. 21739584
>You gently wrap your arms around Gilda, pulling her closer into a soft hug.
>She looks up at you, wide eyed and blushing, unable to speak.
“I love them, Gilda. I know your eclairs might not be perfect… but they’re yours. And that’s good enough for me. If you do want to change your recipe, that’s fine with me too. If there’s something you don’t like, you have the power to change it. But if you’re happy with it then so am I. And even though they’re a little bitter on the outside, I know they’re actually plenty sweet on the inside. I want you to keep making me eclairs, Gilda. Because no one else could ever make them the way you do.”
>You stare into Gilda’s golden eagle eyes…
>She closes them and slowly moves her face closer to you...
>You close your eyes in anticipation...
>But to your surprise, instead of feeling something against your lips, you feel soft downy feathers pressed up against your cheek.
>Gilda rubs her cheek into yours while a low rumbling sound emanates from her chest.
>It seems she’s… purring.
>”I hope this is okay... This is how griffons do kissing.” she mutters nervously.
>You rub your cheek back against hers in response, enjoying the soft tickling sensation.
>”Thanks… you know, what you said was probably the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. Even if it was a big weird metaphor.”
“Well, it’s true. You’re an amazingly unique girl. There’s no one that could take your place.”
>”It’s kinda funny... When I fell from the sky, I thought my life was over. That I’d just be wasting the days away for the rest of my miserable life until I died a pointless death. But now I’m starting to see the truth. I was already doing that. I stopped giving a damn about anything in the world, including myself. I didn’t give a shit about tomorrow, or whether I lived or died. I thought that meant I was living a free life, but I wasn’t really 'living' at all. That fall didn't end my life. It gave me a chance to start it over. And this time I want to do things right."

2015-02-09 02:42:18 No. 21743406
>You and Gilda sat together for a long time in silence.
>Eventually, you fell asleep with Gilda snuggled up against you.
>Gilda has become very close with you…
>But it seems your bond still has room to grow.
>Perhaps she has ‘unresolved issues’ which she needs to confront before she is ready.

Friday, December 9th

>You wake up on the couch next morning, smelling something nice…
>“You up yet, dweeb? I got breakfast for you.”
>Gilda places a plate with an Omelette in front of you.
“Oh sweet. Thanks, Gilda.”
>”Just a little something with the leftover ingredients.”
>The Omelette du Fromage is as delicious as you expected.
>You enjoy your breakfast before getting ready to head over to the castle as you promised.
>Before you leave, Gilda “kisses” you goodbye.
>Afterwards, you headed to the castle, only to find that Spike had already left for the lake.
>You headed down to Ponyville Lake to meet up with him.

Ponyville Lake, Morning.

>Spike is hunched over with his rod out, staring fiercely at the lake.
“You came here without me?”
>”You were taking too long. It’s Friday, isn’t it? I already told Twi I was going to take the day off… besides, I had plenty of time to take care of her errands last night. The way things are I’ve barely slept…”
“You can’t sleep? Did you tell Twi about this?”
>”It’s not SIHN or anything. I just… I just can’t close my eyes without thinking of that stupid fish!”
“You need your sleep, little man.”
>”I know… but it’s fine. I just have to end it today. I’m going to hunt it, kill it, and eat it. Then I’ll be done.”

2015-02-09 04:03:01 No. 21744472
“Little man, is this really about the fish?”
>”What are you talking about? Of course it is!”
“Then what exactly is your plan here?”
>”Catch the fish. Cook the fish. Eat the fish.”
”And then what?”
>”Then I’m going to get my persona so I can fight! That fish is the secret to obtaining my destiny, I know it is! I have to catch it!”
“You can’t just force yourself to gain a new persona, little man. It can only come from personal growth and understanding.”
>”This is growth! I’m showing myself I have the strength I need.”
>”All my life I’ve been weak… I’ve never really tried to become strong. I’ve been trying to ignore my instincts as a Dragon instead of trying to control them like I should. Well it ends today.”
“But are you controlling them, or are they controlling you?”
>”I’m the one in charge! And I’m going to use my power to catch that stupid fish! If I can’t do this, I won’t be able to call myself a man!”
“Spike… your worth as a man doesn’t hinge on your ability to fish, or hunt, or fight, or do any of that stuff. It’s not about being strong. It’s not about what you can do, or how much you can do, it’s about how you do it.”
>”I don’t care if you don’t believe I can do it. I’m going to eat that fish, and then we’ll see who’s right.”
“Spike…”
>?!
>The end of Spike’s rod bends and the bobber goes under.
>He got a bite!
>”I’ve been waiting for this! You’re not getting away this time! Stand back, Anon. I’m going to do this!”
>Spike focuses intensely, manipulating the rod with ease to tire out the fish, reeling it in closer and closer.
>As you watch him, you catch a glimpse of his eyes, narrowed to slits.
>”Come on… get over here!”
>With a mighty heave, Spike whips his rod upward, sending the fish flying out of the water and unleashing a massive spray!
>He quickly turns around and lowers the fish from the rod into a barrel of water.
>”Hah… hah… I did it… and now I’ve got plenty of time to finish you off...”

2015-02-09 06:25:36 No. 21746430
“Spike… you’ve won, all right? Don’t sour your victory by tainting it with vengance.”
>”It’s still not enough… I still don’t feel it yet. I need to finish it off! I need to kill it…”
“Is that the kind of man you want to be, Spike? The kind that only follows his instincts? The kind that needs to kill everything that’s wronged him, and stop at nothing to take revenge?”
>”If I don’t… I won’t be able to fight!”
“But if you do, you won’t be a man, Spike. You’ll just be a beast. A monster. Do you think you can protect Rarity like that?”
>”Shut up!”
>Spike places his claws on the rim of the barrel, looking over it down at the fish swimming inside.
“Spike… right now that thing is completely at your mercy. It’s up to you what to take from this. I’m not going to make this choice for you, but I want you to look at what you see. Think about it. Think about what you’re doing, and what kind of Dragon you want to be.”
>Spike stares hard into the barrel.
>You watch him as he gazes at it with hatred in his eyes…
>... but then, you see his expression start to soften.
>”I see…”
>”I see… myself. In the water.”
>”... is that really what I look like right now?”
>”And that fish…”
>”It’s so small.”
>”... are you even the same one?”
>”Were you ever the same one?”
>”What have I been trying to get revenge for all this time? You didn’t do anything… none of you did. I snapped the line. I fell in on my own. You’re not some monster I have to slay to prove my worth… you’re me. I wanted to feel like I had power… like I could control myself. So I tried to put that on to you. But you don’t have anything to do with this, do you? You’re not so big… you’re just a kid like me, aren’t you?”
>Spike stops leaning over the barrel and shakes his head.
>”Killing you won’t solve anything. It’s not going to prove that I’m a man.”
>Spike throws his arms against the side of the barrel and pushes it hard, sending it off the side of the pier and into the water, allowing the little fish to swim back to its family.

2015-02-09 06:30:22 No. 21746502
>Spike wipes something away from the corner of his eye.
>”I get it now, big guy. It’s not about being strong… being able to hurt things… that doesn’t make you a man. Being a man is… having that power and choosing to use it for the right reasons. That’s what I believe now.”
>!?

Spike’s strong will that allowed him to accept and overcome his weakness has awakened his heart’s true power…

Spike’s Persona has been reborn!

Python has transfigured into Nidhogg!

>”This feeling…!”
>”I know now… this is why I couldn’t fight.”
>”It’s because I wasn’t ready until now.”
>”I didn’t understand what it meant to be strong. I needed to learn this lesson before I was ready for the responsibility of that power.”
>”Thanks, big guy. Thanks for sticking with me. And showing me the way a man needs to act.”
>”I won’t treat this power like a game, or like a joke. I’ll make sure to use it right.”
“I knew you’d figure it out, little man.”
>”Y’know… I think it’s time I disbanded the ‘Man Club’. It was a dumb idea, trying to force myself to grow up like that. It doesn’t work like that. But we had some good times, huh?’
“We sure did.”
>You extend your clenched fist down to Spike.
>He grins and clenches his own fist, leaping up and striking your knuckles together.
>You feel a tight bond between you and Spike…
>!

————————————————————

Thou art I… And I am thou…

Thou hast established an inseparable bond.

This inseparable bond shall have a permanent home in thy heart.

We bestow upon thee the ability to create Merlin, the ultimate form of the Magician Arcana...

————————————————————

>”Heh, nice. Anyway… thanks for helping me out so much. You know, I was always thinking about maybe making some badges or a jacket for the Man Club, but… how’s this to remember it by?”
>Spike fiddles with the end of his rod and hands you the small fishing lure.
Obtained: Spike’s Lure
>”I'll see ya around, big guy.”
"Take care, little man."
>You both turn away and head home.
>You should probably read that letter...

2015-02-09 10:24:55 No. 21750116
>You’ll probably have a bit of time before DTR gets out of school and gets home.
>In the meantime, you head back to your room and open the letter Celestia sent you.
>It reads as follows…

To my dear friend, Anonymous,

It has been a very long time since I have heard the name Lulamoon used to refer to that Queen. I am sure you are familiar with the Lulamoon Clan if you have heard that name. It is said that the Lulamoon Clan are direct descendants of that Alicorn Queen. Because of this, some members of the Lulamoon Clan view the current monarchy as “illegitimate”, refusing to respect its rules or culture by the belief that they should hold a higher position in society.

But time has forgotten the Lulamoon Alicorn, it seems. Even when I came to Equestria over a thousand years ago with my sister, she had been long gone. But the Earth Ponies I spoke to informed me that her kingdom was run as an oppressive Facist regime. Queen Lulamoon asked them to worship her as they would a god. But some of the Earth Ponies decided to rebel and seek freedom, choosing to form a democratic society. This action was met with violence from Queen Lulamoon, but in the end they managed to break free and form an independent tribe, which eventually became the equestrian earth ponies we know today. But the details of her defeat are very much unknown. I asked why, but the only answer I received was that the power used to defeat her had to remain a secret, lest it fall into the wrong hands.

2015-02-09 10:26:14 No. 21750130
Of course, I ask that you take all of this with a grain of salt. I’m sure you have seen by now just how inaccurate our history books can be when they are written only by the victors. And in fact, the erosion of history is such that I believe many of the current Lulamoon clan do not even know why their people reject the monarchy in the first place. But this sort of culture is a vicious cycle. I do not look down on the Lulamoon clan, though many of my citizens have more than a few harsh words to say about them, calling them thieves, vagabonds, and outlaws. Even the phrase “to gyp” comes from the word “gypsy” used for them. And it seems that many of them have their own rather troubling views on racial purity. But I have hope for the day when we are able to put aside our differences and come together as ponies.

Your dear friend,
Princess Celestia

>It seems that some did not see her as a benevolent ruler like Trixie believes.
>You can’t help but wonder whose story is true.
>After all, the world’s view of changelings had been skewed by blind hatred to the point where even Twilight had difficulty accepting that the information about them might have been incorrect.
>You were possibly hoping for a more definitive and helpful answer, but you get what you get.
>Either way, you have to go tutor DTR now.
>This is her first week back at school. You're interested to hear about how she's doing...

2015-02-10 11:09:15 No. 21755502
Riches Estate, Afternoon

>DTR calls you in happily when you knock on the door to her room.
>”Come in!”
>She’s sitting on her bed as usual, with that book you bought her laying on the nightstand.
>”Good afternoon, Sensei!” she greets you cheerfully.
“Good afternoon, DTR. How was school?”
>”Oh, it was okay. It was a little tough getting used to everything again, and there’s a lot of new material, but I got to see Silver Spoon again!”
“That’s great. She was happy to see you?”
>”Mmhm! We had a lot of catching up to do this week. After she apologized for not visiting me of course. But I forgave her. It’s not like she didn’t want to, it was her stupid parents that told her not to.”
“Right. Well then, why don’t you tell me what you learned this week, and show me your homework so we can get started?”
>”Well, in English we…”
>You spent some time helping DTR with her studies.
>Her progress is quite impressive, but there’s still a few new concepts being thrown her way that she has to figure out.
>”All right, I think that’s enough for today. You can go for now.”
“So even though you’re going back to school, you still want me as your tutor?”
>”Duh. Don’t you remember our agreement? I need to become a straight A student. Then I can fire you.”
>Diamond Tiara is quite close with you now…
>But it seems your relationship can’t deepen any further right now.
>After you finished, you decided to take a shortcut to the castle through the Velvet Room.

Velvet Room, Afternoon

>Elizabeth is waiting for you at the table…
>”Welcome back to the Velvet Room.”
>Two golden cards float in front of you.
>”Impressive as always. The Fortune and Magician Arcana have both earned a special place inside your heart. You will carry them with you as long as you live.”
>”But it seems that your bonds of the Lovers and Devil Arcana are at an impasse.”
>”You must find the key to this lock on their hearts before your bond can mature.”
>”Until then, fare thee well.”

2015-02-10 01:33:05 No. 21756943
Twilight’s Castle Library, Evening

>You head over to the room with the interdimensional mirror portal.
>Twilight and Spike are both waiting for you there.
“It’s just us?”
>”I figured it wouldn’t really feel right to have all of us there without Rarity or Applejack. And Sunset Shimmer asked for as few of us as possible to be here.” she explains.
“Pinkie’s not gonna go nuts again, is she?”
>”She pinkie promised not to go nuts, so… she should be fine.” Twi shrugs.
>”Why do you think she asked that though?” Spike wonders.
>”Maybe Sunset Shimmer feels strange meeting the other versions of her friends when she comes back to this world. It was a little disorienting for me as well.”

“Does seem kinda Twilight Zone.”
>Twilight looks at you, confused.
“Not like- nevermind.”
>The magic diary buzzes.
>”Oh! That’s her!”
>Twilight goes over and reads it.
>”Umm… Anon? Could you translate?”
>You peek over her shoulder at the book.
>It reads, “K. im rdy. u sur noone else is w8ting 4 me? o.o”
“She’s ready. She wants to know if it’s just us.”
>Twilight writes down, “Absolutely. I assure you that it is only Spike, Anonymous, and Myself waiting for you on the other side of this mirror.”
>”k. imma say bb 2 my girlz n com thru.”
“She’s going to say goodbye to her girlfriends and head through the portal.”
>Twilight writes again, “Very well. Let them know that you will still be able to communicate with them through the diary if they wish to contact you.”
>There’s a pause before a few more words appear in the diary. “Dun flip out k?”
“Do not be alarmed.”
>Twilight looks a bit puzzled. “Okay.”
>Another moment of silence followed by more words. "... Please promise me there's no one else there. I really don't want anypony but you three to see me all at once."
"... I guess I don't need to translate that one."
>Twilight writes down. "I promise. Is there something wrong?"
>The diary replies, "I guess you'll see it soon enough. I'm coming through. Stand back."
>The surface of the portal swirls...

2015-02-10 02:05:31 No. 21757217
>The first thing you see is an orange hoof that slowly makes its way out of the portal before the rest of the unicorn follows.
>Her red and yellow mane is long and flowing… her head is turned to the side as though she doesn’t want to look directly at Twilight.
>”Sunset… you’re…” Twilight gasps.
“What?”
>”She uh… she looks… different.” Spike tries to explain.
“Different?”
>Sunset Shimmer sighs. “What you two are trying to say is… I look old, right?”
>”Oh no! Not ‘old’, I’d never say that. But… you look a bit… older than last time I saw you in this world.” Twilight says frantically.
>You look over Sunset Shimmer… it’s still not as easy as it would be to tell humans apart, but in the month you’ve been here you’ve learned to estimate the ages of most ponies. It’s something about the quality of their coat, as well as slight differences in their face, and the mane style usually looks more reserved the older they get.
>Judging by her appearance, you’d estimate she might be about as old as cheerilee, if not older.
>Sunset shakes her head. “It’s only natural. It’s been over 10 years since I was removed as Celestia’s pupil and escaped to the other world. When you saw me the night I stole your crown… I was using an age spell.”
>”An age spell?” Twilight sounds surprised.
>”Yeah, I was… sort of thinking that if Celestia saw me again, I wanted to look exactly like I did the night I left her. So I used an age spell to fix my appearance at that age.”
>Twilight’s eyes are wide in surprise.
>”That’s…”
>”That’s amazing! You can do an age spell? Even I couldn’t do an age spell before I became an Alicorn!”
>Sunset blushes modestly. “It’s not all that hard… I studied up on one to try to impress Celestia. A-Anyway, that’s Anonymous, right? Nice to meet you. I’m Sunset Shimmer.”
“Nice to meet you. So you used to be Celestia’s pupil before Twilight?”
>”Yes, why?”
“So then… that makes you Twilight’s senpai!”
>”H-Her senpai?!”
>”Sun-pie? That’s a funny nickname, Anon!” Twilight smiles.

2015-02-10 04:00:44 No. 21758294
>Sunset covers her face with her hoof, exasperated. “That’s not it, Twi…”
“Wait, do you actually know what that means?”
>”Do I- N-no! I don’t know! That’s why it’s so weird! Don’t call me that weird word! And why are you wearing a fedora?”
“What’s wrong with my fedora?”
>”Seriously? You’re gonna ask me that with a straight face?”
“No, I’m going to ask you that with no face.”
>”Hey, don’t start fighting, I wanted you two to get along…” Twilight frowns.
“Sorry, let me try again. It’s nice to finally meet you, Sunset. Twilight’s told me a lot about you.”
>”Yeah... she told me a lot about you too.” Sunset says, glancing over at Twilight who looks away guiltily.
“Is there something…”
>”It’s nothing!” Twilight blurts out quickly.
“Uh, all right…”
>Spike looks at you and shrugs, clearly clueless as well.
>There’s a bit of a tense silence.
>”... Anyway, I came here to see if I could help you figure out your identity. Since I’m on winter break, I figure it’s the least I can do.”
“So you came here just to help me?”
>”Well… not exactly. I’m going to be staying here in the castle over break. Equestria was my home after all. It’s… nice to be able to visit it.”
>”She’ll be staying in your old room, Anon.” Twilight explains.
“Too bad it couldn’t have been at a more peaceful time.”
>”It’s nice to be back in my old body at least. Anyway, let’s sit down. I want to ask you a few questions about your memories that should help you figure things out.”
“Sounds good to me.”
>Sunset spends a while asking you some simple questions. The names of historical figures, the level of technology you’re used to, how many lights you see, what facial features you’re missing, etc. etc. until she finally draws her conclusion.
>”Well, I think it’s pretty clear. I don’t think you’re from that other world. But the world you’re from is closer to the ‘human world’ than the ‘pony world’.”
“Guess you don’t know who I am either then, huh?”
>”Sorry. The cultures are similar, but... just slightly different."
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