Merely a Mare Chapter 4

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Warnings and Disclaimers:

Characters in this work are property of their respective owners, I do not own any of them, and do not intend to make any sort of profit off of this work.

This is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction.

And now, on with the show:

Merely a Mare, Chapter 4:


Twilight sighed. Another night, another pile of ash upon her desk. She wondered idly if she would ever have the courage to send one of her letters to the princess. The thought of how Celestia might respond filled the unicorn with fear. The possibility that Celestia might not respond at all? That filled her with absolute terror. Ever-present panic tainted her writing; the words came forth twisted and malformed, anguish in ink spilled out across a page. They carried a truth too weighty to ignore and too devastating to acknowledge. Fire was Twilight Sparkle's only defense against them.

Twelve gritty grey hills. Had it really been less than two weeks? It felt like an eternity.

Her nightly ritual complete, for good or ill, Twilight retreated to the words of others. They were a cold comfort, but one of the few that she allowed herself. Research and studying seemed pointless to her now, but she continued by rote, hoping that the once-pleasing actions would bring her at least an echo of the joy of her past. She'd had no success, but she couldn't bring herself to stop trying. The writing drowned out the words inside of her, words that formed a darker narrative than any she kept in her library.

This time, she selected her most treasured tome: The Journal of Heavens Sparkle. It was a family heirloom, indescribably ancient, its pages preserved by magic and the care of generations of loving hooves. Despite the title's claim, it was clearly a work of poetry.

A journal was meant to deal with the mundane, but Heavens' writing touched only upon the extraordinary. It spoke of fortunes gained and lost, star-crossed lovers fighting futile battles against capricious fate, bloody feuds begun over trifles, and the reconciliation of mortal enemies. Passages told of children that were born, grew into their own, and died in their parents' hooves, of the pain of burying one's mate, of lost opportunities and failed ventures, of confusion and despair. But for all the tome's tragedy, there was also joy. Twilight could practically feel wind beneath phantom wings as Heavens described the exhilaration and freedom of soaring amongst the clouds, and she nodded in recognition as she read a page describing the heady rush of bending powerful magic to one's will. There were treasured friends and moments of triumph, and all throughout, even in the darkest sections, there was an undeniable, infectious zest for life.

Her ancestor must have had quite an imagination; if the journal were to be believed, he'd experienced more than any dozen unicorns of Canterlot. Twilight Sparkle lost herself in another life, and, for a time, forgot her pain.


Rarity opened the door of her boutique and was greeted by a familiar sight: Pinkie Pie waiting outside, positively beaming with enthusiasm. The pink mare clutched a small, black paper in her mouth; it was undoubtedly a party invitation. Eyes pleading, the Earth pony leaned forward, humming insistently. The unicorn smiled and greeted her friend with a, "Good morning, Pinkie Pie. How do you do?" as she levitated the item out of Pinkie's toothy grasp.

She was rewarded, by some loose definition of the term, with an explosion of speech, "Hi Rarity! You're invited to a party! A super-duper fun birthday party with balloon animals and cake and candles and balloon animals. It's for Luna! She's turning...," Pinkie Pie paused, bringing a hoof up to her chin as her face contorted with thought, "She's turning a lot. She's really old. But don't tell her I said that, okay?"

"Oh. Well. Alright, then," Rarity stared at the pink pony, who gazed back expectantly. It was far too early for this; what a week to give up coffee!

"Well?" The pink menace asked, drawing the word out.

"Well what, Pinkie!?" Rarity snapped.

If the other pony noticed the shortness of the designer's demeanour, she did not show it. If anything, her grin grew wider, "Aren't you going to look at the invitation?"

Rarity sighed. "Of course, dear. Sorry for that... unpleasantness." Too early for this by half. She looked down at the card that had been presented to her. It was black. A perfect, featureless black. She looked up at Pinkie Pie.

"Other side."

The unicorn flipped the card. The back was black. A perfect, featureless black. She shot a long-suffering glare at her tormentor, who merely waved a hoof at her with a giggle.

"No, silly, the other other side."

"Pinkie, there are on-"

"Do it!" the pink mare interrupted.

Rarity reluctantly indulged her friend, wondering where the prank was going. On what she could have sworn was the first side, there was a single full moon in the center of the card. She looked up, brows furrowed.

Pinkie Pie just nodded toward the card, "Wait for it...."

A vertical line cut the moon in two, and the halves began to drift away from each other. The one on the right began to wax, growing as it neared the edge of the card, while the other waned, traveling to the left. In the space between, stars appeared, slowly at first, then more quickly. When the tiny sliver of a crescent disappeared and the full moon passed beyond the far reaches of the invitation, the stars had formed words. Rarity read aloud, "You are cordially invited to the birthday party of Luna, to be held in six days' time at Sweet Apple Acres. Please arrive at dusk. Do not bring gifts; your presence is the greatest gift that I could ever hope to receive."

With a quiet pop, the invitation turned into an apple. Rarity blinked. Far, far too early for this. She managed to smile at Pinkie Pie, "Thank you for giving me this, darling. I assume that you have more to deliver, so I'll leave you to it." She began to close the door, hoping that she'd be safe if she didn't make any sudden movements.

"Hey!" the Earth pony shouted, thrusting a hoof into the path of the door. Rarity was overcome by a sense of dread.

Pinkie Pie smiled sheepishly and pointed at the floating fruit that had taken the place of the invitation, "Um... are you gonna eat that?"


For the second time that day, Rarity opened her door. It was a much more civilized hour, a morning of needlework had driven away the last remnants of sleep, and the mare finally felt herself ready to face the day. A wide-brimmed sun hat shaded the unicorn's eyes, protecting her from the afternoon glare. Locking up the shop behind her, she set out toward her favorite weekly treat at a brisk yet dignified trot. It certainly wouldn't do to keep Fluttershy waiting.

Rarity slowed to a leisurely walk as she neared her destination. The sweeping pink roof set her favorite building apart from the shops and homes of Ponyville. She could practically feel herself relaxing already, just from proximity to the blessed place. She pushed open the door and stepped inside, ready to greet her friend and gush about how much she had needed their weekly spa treatment.

The words died on her lips. Where she had expected to see a yellow pegasus, there sat instead another pony, one only slightly less familiar. Rarity's eyes quickly took in the wings and horn, the crown and night-blue coat. Though she could not manage to form a coherent thought through her shock, well-practiced etiquette saved the unicorn from embarrassing herself. She dropped into a precise bow, removing her hat with levitation, and managed to say something resembling correct words, "I am at your service, Your Grace."

"Thank you for the offer; it is generous, just as I would expect from you, but I believe I have things well in hoof. Your service simply won't be necessary," Luna said. The prostrate mare tried to determine what the appropriate response would be to such a dismissal. Was the princess being rude? Was it deliberate or not? Rarity should have known that she'd run into the alicorn at some point; she wished that she'd tried to get more information from Fluttershy. Where was that pegasus, anyway?

Rarity's train of thought was thoroughly derailed by an insistent cough from the princess. She glanced up to see the other mare looking down at her with a raised eyebrow and a wry grin. Luna spoke, "You can stop bowing now."

The unicorn blinked and was still for a second before her eyes widened and she scrambled to her hooves. She laughed nervously, "Of course, princess Luna, I'm sorry. I just... wasn't expecting to see you. Here. Now. Not that I mind!"

"Ah, yes," Luna nodded, "I suppose this would be a surprise. I was visiting our kind friend this morning and happened to mention wanting to speak with you. She offered to let me take her place at your weekly spa session. I didn't want to intrude, but she was insistent," the alicorn paused for a moment, smiling, "Well, as insistent as she ever seems to get. I regret not informing you ahead of time, but I wanted any discussion to take place in a relaxed atmosphere. In any case, I'm quite looking forward to it; this sort of thing was just catching on a thousand years ago, and I never got around to trying it out. I hope you don't mind."

As soon as the information sunk in, Rarity beamed. A day at the spa with a princess? Fluttershy knew her too well; she'd be impressing Canterlot nobles for months with this story; nopony outside of Ponyville knew about the whole Nightmare Moon fiasco, after all. Luna was just another princess to them; a new one, and not as prestigious as Celestia, of course, but still a princess. "Why, I don't mind at all, princess Luna. It would be an honor to accompany you."

"Please, I prefer not to use my title. Just 'Luna' will suffice. So... um... how does it all work? What do I have to do?" The alicorn asked, looking around. She didn't seem quite aware of the fact that they were in the waiting room, rather than the spa proper.

Rarity hung her still-levitating hat on a convenient rack. "Don't you worry, pr- Luna," she said, "Aloe and Lotus will take care of everything. Just relax, go where they point, and let them work. Lotus!" the unicorn called to the blue Earth pony stationed at front desk, "The usual for me, and the full treatment for Princess Luna."

"It would be our pleasure," the spa pony replied as she ushered them through the inner door.


Aloe poured water on the rocks of the sauna. The customers spoke as though she weren't there, just like they always did. So much the better.

"So, Luna, what do you do to keep your mane in such amazing shape? Is there some spell?" Rarity asked, leaning toward the princess. The spa pony hoped not; such a thing could be bad for business.

"I don't really do anything to it," Luna said.

"Just basic washing and brushing?" The unicorn asked. Aloe knew her customer well enough to hear the hidden disdain behind the words. She created a bit more steam and took the opportunity to get a closer look at the alicorn's mane. The pink mare didn't know what Rarity's problem was; whatever the regimen, it was clearly working for the princess.

Luna let out a weak chuckle, "Not exactly. Why do you ask, in any case?"

"How could I not be curious, darling?!" Rarity gushed, "Your mane, your tail, your coat, your hooves, everything! They're all perfect. Not 'the stylist just finished' perfect, either. Truly flawless. It's like...," Rarity tapped a hoof against her chin, lost in thought for a few seconds, then brightened, "It's like you're some figure of ideal beauty, and everypony else is just a flawed copy." The unicorn frowned, seeming to consider what she'd just said.

The alicorn's ears folded back, and she looked away as she mumbled, "That's an... interesting... comparison."

The spa pony didn't allow her customers to dwell on that subject for long. She coughed lightly and gestured for the customers to follow her. It was time for facial treatments. Rarity took the opportunity to inform the princess of her own grooming practices. Aloe was quite familiar with the dissertation; it was the unicorn's favorite topic of conversation, at least when she met someone new at the spa. By the time they met Lotus in the appropriate room, the designer was just warming up to her customary script.

Luna was silent as she followed Rarity's lead and climbed on to one of the room's seats. Aloe moved quickly to the alicorn's side and began to prepare the mud mask. The customers, lost in their own little customer world, didn't notice the jealous scowl that Lotus shot the other spa pony, or the pink mare's wink in response. The princess was Aloe's customer; she'd won the coin toss fair and square. It wasn't her fault that her sister wasn't very lucky. And if she happened to get offered a position in the palace, well...

Aloe shook her head. She'd have to actually impress her customer first. As her sister applied Rarity's mask, she dipped her own brush in the bucket of green muck and got to work on Luna's face. A few expert movements, and the substance was fully applied. The Earth pony smiled with satisfaction at her work.

The mud mask slid off the princess, impacting the floor with a loud 'splat'.

Rarity's droning voice continued unabated.

Aloe gaped at the perfectly clean face of the princess, who was busy gaping at the mess on the floor. Lotus snickered. Luna looked at the green-coated face of Rarity, who was still quite oblivious, then at the pile of mud in front of her. Her eyes widened. "Oh. I see. Well," she whispered to the mare attending her with a sheepish smile, "care to try again? It'll stick this time."

It did, much to the Aloe's relief. She applied the cucumbers without incident. The spa pony let out a breath that she hadn't realized she was holding.

Lotus stuck her tongue out at her sister, who responded with a very rude hoof gesture. Luna giggled. The spa ponies blinked at the princess, whose eyes were still covered by the vegetable slices. Rarity stopped in the middle of itemizing the benefits of different brands of conditioner to ask, "Is something amusing, Luna?"

"It's nothing. Please, you were saying...?" the princess replied.

The unicorn continued, and the earth ponies shrugged at each other. Aloe opened a drawer and selected from among a line of metal files. Her alicorn customer's horn had an intriguing texture, but smooth horns were very much in fashion. She didn't know how soft the dark spike of the princess was, so she started with a fine grain. With a whispered, "Hold still please, your majesty," she steadied the tool against her teeth and began to lightly file at the regal horn. After a few moments, she stepped back to examine the progress.

Aloe blinked. There was no progress; the horn looked no different from before. She frowned and switched to a rougher file, taking longer, more deliberate strokes. It didn't help. The surface appeared untouched. She attacked again with renewed vigor, shaking her head to scrape more quickly. After a minute's work, she had made no mark. The spa pony frowned.

Sticking her head deep within her file drawer, the pink mare retrieved her most impressive implement of horn-removal. The huge tool had come with the set, but she didn't think it was intended for ponies. Perhaps rocks. She'd certainly never used it before; the wicked spikes that studded the business end of the file gleamed, good as new. Aloe wondered if the implement was covered by weapons laws.

Lotus had long since finished the touch-up of Rarity's horn. Her jaw dropped when she saw what her sister was doing. Aloe may have let her composure slip a bit, but she knew horns better than just about any unicorn, and the Earth pony wasn't about to let this one get the better of her. She drew her new implement across the alicorn's spike in a stroke that would have ground half the length off of most unicorns.

Aloe's effort left not even a single scratch. The texture was unchanged. The force hadn't even tilted the dark mare's head.

Luna whispered, "What are you trying to do, anyway?"

Aloe struggled to keep her voice composed, "Just filing your horn smooth, princess. That's the preferred style, currently."

"Oh," the princess replied with a wry smile, "Well, good job then. Thank you."

The spa pony frowned, and glanced at the alicorn's forehead. Sometime in the few seconds she had spent looking away, the horn had become perfectly smooth. Aloe felt her eyelid twitch, just a bit.


Rarity paused mid-word.  Had she just spent the last half hour telling a princess about how she maintained her appearance? The unicorn was neck-deep in a mud bath, wrapped from head to hoof in seaweed, in the same room as one of the goddesses of ponykind, and could think of nothing better to do than ramble about pedicures. It was ridiculous. She'd allowed her nerves to get the best of her.

After a few seconds of silence, Luna spoke, "Is something wrong?"

"Oh, certainly not. Just a moment, please," the unicorn replied. She took a deep breath and collected her thoughts; it wasn't too late to salvage this spa trip, and keep the princess from remembering her as a beauty-obsessed dimwit. She certainly would prefer to be known as a beauty-obsessed genius, but at this point she would settle for 'halfway competent'. No more lecturing Luna on hoof care. Time for business. Or at least a segue into it. "So, princess Luna, are you enjoying the spa?"

"Very much so. But please, call me Luna. Just Luna."

Rarity's brows furrowed behind her cucumber slices, "I'm sorry. I don't intend to say your title. It's an instinct. It's just proper courtesy. And if I'm anything, it's courteous," she paused, "If you don't mind my asking, why do you take exception to it? The title is yours by right, if I understand correctly."

The unicorn heard a soft sigh from the other mud bath. "I suppose so. Technically. But I don't see the need for formality. Royal titles are symbols of authority. I'm keenly aware of my power over ponies; I don't need to be reminded."

Rarity stirred the mud with a hoof. "Have you ever considered... that it might not be for your benefit that ponies bow to you and call you princess?"

Something shifted in the other bath. "What do you mean?" the alicorn asked.

The unicorn hesitated. "Did you have... parents?" it was a personal question, but necessary. She just hoped that she wasn't overstepping her bounds.

"No. Nothing like that."

Rarity's nerves began to return. She knew many religious ponies who would give much to be in her position right now, learning at least a small part of the history of one of their goddesses. Straight from the horse's mouth, as it were. She resolved not to squander the opportunity. "What about princess Celestia? Did she guide you, raise you when you were young?"

The princess was silent for a time. Eventually, the reply came, "We were wary of each other, in the beginning. The first time we saw each other, we both turned tail and fled. Something that moved against the laws of flow? Something I could not examine, could not shape, could not bend to my will with magic? It was terrifying. I'm sure she felt the same way. I avoided her; it wasn't difficult. We each preferred our own half of Equestria anyway," The alicorn sighed, "And so I spent my first few hundred million years alone, building monuments in ice and forcing the light of the ever-present stars to dance for my amusement. As for my sister...," mirth entered Luna's voice, "Perhaps she simply spent the millennia swimming in the lava flows of her sun-baked side of the world. I've never asked. So no, she did not raise me. We each grew up on our own, and became very different ponies."

Rarity did her best to commit Luna's words to memory precisely as she heard them. To her knowledge, no record of history mentioned any events prior to Nightmare Moon's banishment. Stubborn seclusion or not, Twilight Sparkle would want to know about the account. Still, that wasn't the reason for her question, "I see, your majesty. Then it's no wonder that you don't understand. I suppose it simply requires a mortal perspective. You never had anypony to look up to, to show you the way through a world beyond your understanding, to protect you when you were in danger, and reassure you when you were afraid. The very young have parents and, to their perception, mother and father are giants, able to complete the inconceivable tasks of cooking food and reading books, strong enough to drive away the monsters in the closet. Power in the hooves of those trusted ponies makes a foal feel safe. It's a grim revelation, however necessary, when a filly realizes that her parents are not all-powerful. That they can fail. That they grow tired, that they are not all-knowing, that they are sometimes horribly, horribly wrong."

The unicorn paused, and when she continued, her voice trembled, "It is a tragedy of the highest order if a filly finds that her parents, those charged with her care, are working against her. The cri du cœur is beyond description. But even when it's interrupted, by failure or betrayal, the desire for somepony to look up to does not go away; it merely settles on a new object: A celebrity, a character in a book, a teacher...," her voice dropped to a whisper, " older sister."

The room was silent. Luna waited, and soon enough, Rarity continued, "This world needs heroes, princess. Doers of great deeds and thinkers of great thoughts. Ponies worth looking up to. Ponies held to a higher standard. Ponies that can be relied upon, when the world turns to them for guidance. Who do adults look to when there is uncertainty, crisis, conflict? When there are problems too large for one pony to understand, let alone solve? We look to the leaders. Noblesse oblige; the power of those in positions of authority comes with a responsibility to work for the benefit of all below. There is one who has the more authority than any other. Above all, we look to our ruler. Princess Celestia has done as much good with her mere presence as she has with her policies. I believe that she understands the importance of appearance. Everypony in Equestria knows in their heart that there is a pony in Canterlot, wise and capable beyond mortal bounds, who will make the decisions that need to be made to keep everypony safe and prosperous. They just know that their princess will not fail them,

"Whether or not it's true," Rarity added.

The unicorn took a deep breath, and released it slowly. "Thanks to princess Celestia, the people of our nation still view the world like foals. We have not experienced the wars of succession of the gryphon monarchy, the tyranny of the zebra khans, the petty greed of the dragon lords. We still believe that our leader could never fail us. It's an innocence worth preserving, even among those of us who know better. And so appearances absolutely must be maintained. Is it necessary to have titles and guards and a throne in a palace in Canterlot? The princess could rule with as much justice and wisdom from the floor of a wooden cabin as she does from her seat in the capital, so why have it? One reason.

"Prestige. Prestige is simply essential. The fact that our leader is kind and powerful and reliable means little if nopony believes it so. Everypony does what is expected, pays the proper respect and follows the essential protocol, because appearance is very nearly as important as reality. It is not princess Celestia's power or wisdom or purity that allows many to believe in her, it is the fact that everypony knows that she is powerful and wise and pure. Bowing and titles are a small part of that, but an important part nonetheless. I call you princess not to serve your ego, but to remind myself that there is a princess. That there is somepony I can look up to. Somepony greater than myself. Ceremony instills confidence, and repetition reinforces faith.

"And so we arrive at your reason for coming. Fluttershy didn't tell me much, but she did say that you came to her asking for trust and forgiveness; I assume you want the same from me. Well, you have it. It is a gift, freely given in the knowledge that I've seen you do nothing to earn it. Whether you've earned it or not just does not matter. If you deserve it, then there's no reason to withhold it, and wait for proof. If you don't...," She hesitated for a moment, gathering her composure. "My parents...," Rarity paused, "I have a sister...," Again, the unicorn stopped. After a few seconds she sighed and continued, "Just know that I understand what it's like to be looked up to, to be depended on, by a pony with nowhere else to turn. A pony who has been betrayed by authority. Equestria has nowhere else to turn. Even ignoring all the damage that you could do with your magic, princess Celestia has acknowledged you. If you turned on ponykind again, our faith in our ruler would be shattered. It would be an end to innocence, and we would simply not be the same, after. Those sorts of wounds take centuries to heal.

"So if you don't deserve my trust, my forgiveness... it just doesn't matter. The possibility that you might work against me is simply too terrible to contemplate. I must have faith, or I will have no hope. C'est tout. Does that answer satisfy you, Luna?"

The alicorn responded in a voice far deeper and more resonant than the one she had used just minutes before, "It does, but I would appreciate it if you were to refer to me by title, from now on."

Rarity smiled. "As you wish, Your Grace."


A pony watched as lights danced on the surface of water. Their dim glow did nothing to illuminate the inky blackness beyond the pool's edge; scrying was preformed in the dark. He did not remember whether the darkness was necessary for the spell or merely a choice, but he didn't feel the need to change his routine. Just as he always had, he stirred the liquid with a hoof, and an image began to form.

The pony monitored Ponyville closely due to its position between his realm and the capitol. If Celestia were to come for him, he needed forewarning, but he dared not scry Canterlot directly. Any misstep might remind that goddess of his presence, and cause her to act. That outcome was to be avoided at all costs. He contented himself with those happenings of note that occurred a safe distance from the sun palace.

On the morning of the Summer Sun Celebration, he'd witnessed quite an impressive event. Luna had returned, the only being that he hated more than her sister. Six representatives of the incomplete breeds of ponies had called on a powerful magic. It was a magic of which he could find no mention, even in the most ancient of his memoirs. Since then, the pony had thrown caution to the wind, scrying every waking hour to learn what he could of these new players on the stage.

Indistinct shapes whirled in the water before resolving themselves into an image: a purple unicorn mare, writing a letter. The pony at the pool had taken a special interest in the Element of Magic. Unicorns, pegasi, and Earth ponies seemed almost monolithic in their simpering devotion to Celestia. The other five Elements fit that mold perfectly. The foals all trusted their princess, and so she ruled over them. The pony had been down that road before, and found only sorrow there. Sorrow and lessons to be recorded.

But here was none other than a student of one of those accursed goddesses, and she seemed to be teaching herself the lessons, teaching herself to reject the sisters' treachery! The pony smiled. There was promise in that. Perhaps she was worth venturing out for, out beyond his little garden.

Yes, it was finally time to pay a visit to his neighbors in Ponyville. Time to emerge from hiding after all these years. It was time that the other ponies remembered the name of....

Hmm, what was it again? It began with an 'H', right? He tapped a hoof in frustration. It was right on the tip of his tongue. Finally, the pony gave up, and simply lifted a leg and examined the scars, looking for one that was legible.

"Ah, of course. How could I have forgotten? It's been far too long since I've reminded myself."

The pony's horn glowed crimson as he conjured a knife and levitated it slowly toward himself. A glowing white ball appeared before him, its glare casting long shadows on the cave floor; he certainly needed light for this. The pony stretched out a wing and found a spot where the scars were light, nearly faded away after long healing.

The knife worked slowly, and the pain was intense. The alicorn wanted it that way; too quick, too painless, and he would just forget again in a couple of years. Blood dripped, creating a puddle onto which fur and feathers fell, all a uniform scarlet in the harsh light. After a few minutes, he was done, and he banished the knife with a wave of his horn. He watched the blood stream from the wound; it reminded him of who he was, and who his enemies were. 'The goddesses do not bleed.' It was the first and last sentence of every book that he'd written.

He glanced at the pool. The image of the purple pony remained; she had finished her letter, and was burning it, just as she had the past few nights. Apparently, scrying did work in the light. He'd remember that, for a few years at least. Burning the letter... burning... what did that remind him of? Oh, of course.

He conjured flame, and cauterized the wound that he'd made. It was always easiest to read when fresh. On his wing, a new scar was forming, one nearly identical to the hundreds that covered nearly every inch of his body. Each time he had begun to forget their message, he made a new wound. And so, once again, he'd carved his name. A grave name. A name worth remembering by any means necessary. A name with which to defy divinity. He read aloud:

"Ever Free."
Editing by :iconpeppermint-roo:

Finally! Another thing!

Now a bit more than halfway done with the fic (At about 22500 words)

This is the chapter where everything starts to get really epic, or starts to really jump the shark. But I do have a great (I think) ending planned out! I'm not going to pull an Of Mares and Magic on y'all.

I hope that all of you who wondered about those 'Children of Celestia' way back in chapter 2 are paying attention.
© 2011 - 2022 EbonMane
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Kirkwood89's avatar
So far this story really is amazing. I gotta admit that it's the first time outside of Eden of the East that I've seen noblesse oblige used, let alone correctly. I love that. Since I'm dying to know what happens next I'm gonna shut up now.