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3.9: Plotting by Zoubstance 3.9: Plotting by Zoubstance
Previously:  3.8: Chaim by Zoubstance


Divisionen by Zoubstance

Relaxation. An absolute cornerstone in dressage and one of the most fundamental principles of working the horse, from fresh under saddle all the way to grand prix. Karn Evil was on the right track – although young and unbalanced still, he carried himself in a manner that practically emanated attentiveness and relaxation.
Simon Kvark on the sideline, however – while attentive, he was anything but relaxed.  He was still and quiet but the way his jaw was set and the way his shoulders tensed gave him away. He realized he was biting into one of his fingernails and made a conscious decision to stop that immediately - no need to ruin a perfectly fine manicure over this.
Absent-mindedly he let his fingers stroke over the silky fur of his small dog instead – something said dog did not mind in the least – but he kept his eyes glued to the arena… or, more specifically, to Karn and Steinadler.

Why Gideon had been left in charge of Karn Evil was beyond him. The young stallion, judging from the talent he already showed, had a most interesting potential in dressage. Simon had taken note of the horse from his very first work day at Zdarloch – he had in fact already offered the Zdarloch owners that he personally make use of the horse's potential by taking over the reins in order to prepare the zlesdin for next year’s Young Horse Championate. An offer which had unfortunately been rejected on no other grounds than the sentimental notion that ‘Gideon should be allowed to be in charge of his favourite horse when he was ready to return to the stable’. Simon had of course smiled and accepted this under the guise of ‘agreeing entirely’ that it would be a beautiful notion - in reality he considered it a small wonder the stable had only been on the verge of bankruptcy if that was how they made their decisions. Such sentimental rubbish… 
It seemed like a waste of good horse. Already the stallion's education had been delayed a few months on account of Gideon’s stay in the hospital. Then the plan for Gideon to personally educate the young horse despite his crippling injury would set the stallion even further back compared to his age. There was no way he would make it to the Championates next year – especially now that Gideon had fallen out with Phuong and would have no way of re-training his lost function until they cleared things up.
…or so Simon had thought until today. Because it turned out to be Stein who would be given primary reign over Karn Evil to get him up-to-date. And Gideon? Why, he had meanwhile been saddled with a certain 'Monty', Stein's 20-something year old now-retired former Grand Prix partner - the very same horse Gideon has ridden his first Grand Prix on so many years ago. As this horse was a perfect gentleman he would now serve as the perfect schoolmaster for Gideon once more. And that suddenly changed everything... 

Kvark took a sip from his soda can, as if he was trying to get a taste of the situation that put him in. Gideon and Stein were a strong team; they always had been. Without Stein Gideon was nothing - she was the backbone and driving force behind his success. If she believed he and Karn would be ready for the Championate next year, then it would be so. And how far could they make it in two years? Far enough, Simon feared, that the Zdarloch owners would hire him to be Sagadir's rider once more. Not because he was better, of course (come on! Nobody was better, right?!) - but on the same ridiculously sentimental grounds that they had insisted Karn Evil should be reserved for him. It would not matter that Sagadir thrived and blossomed with his new rider - what mattered was old friendships and nepotism. Just like 'new money' were not held in the same high regards as 'old money' in certain circles. And if there was one thing Simon despised it was established conventions, conservative snobbery and adherence to meaningless tradition.
'Hey dad - you know, that Zdarloch contract with the new horse you secured me? That really expensive one? Yeah, I let the former guy waltz right back in and reclaim it. I watched quietly and politely as it happened, like a good sport.'
Yikes. He would not want to ever have to say those words. Last year had been bad enough with Spiegelau's injury and his father's repeated inquiries as to why Simon was not bringing home victories for the months it lasted. This would be even worse. It would effectively leave him without a horse to compete with at all, since Spiegelau only had 2-3 more showing seasons left provided he remained injury-free, of course. That would be a devastating development. Just like that time when --
...nono. Better not dwell on that. The point was that there was just no way he would roll over and accept that fate. Not again. Never again.
This training Gideon and Stein were undertaking could only mean one thing: they were plotting to undermine him. But that was the thing about plotting - the better you are at it, the worse off it leaves you. To squash resistance you have to hit first and hit hard.

 ,,So are you going to actually do something or just sit around and watch?”
Heh. Yes, exactly the question he was asking himself, albeit Steinadler probably had another reason for asking. He looked up from his thoughts and returned her rather cold glare with a radiantly charming smile of his own.
,,Why Stein, you batty old spinster, I thought you just told me to ‘wait’.” He proclaimed in a silky voice, leaning casually against the barrier. ,,You were all, ‘don’t disturb us by training your own horse right now; young Karn and young Gideon both need a peaceful training environment’. So, you know, I have nothing better to do than to hang around, watch and wait for my turn to be ‘allowed’ into the arena.”
Stein’s expression did not even budge an inch.
,,Use more lube.”
,,Excuse me?”
,,You’re acting butthurt.”
Urgh. If there was another thing he could not stand it was jokes made at his expense.
,,Succumbing to vulgarities is so very middle class, sweetheart." he retorted, casting a glance to his nails. ,,But fine. If my presence makes you so self-conscious about your riding..."
That emitted a smile from Stein. It cut across her face not unlike the way a lightning strikes, but Simon did not wait for her reply. Instead he made his way back towards the stable to pay a visit to someone who did appreciate his presence while his own plot was starting to form inside his head: 

It was his right leg. The question Gideon had refused to answer had answered itself through Phuong. So gullible, she was; so trusting of Simon’s concerned inquiries about an old friend’s health… But while she provided him with useful gossip about the various stable folks over at Zdarloch, he made the majority of observations himself. In the case of Gideon's leg, some meticulous observing of the way he walked, stood… even rested had told Simon everything he needed to know. Gideon always avoided putting too much weight onto that right leg – except, of course, when mounting a horse where he had to rely on it for a brief second.
Maybe a small scare would be enough to convince him he should not get too cocky about his riding just yet. A small reminder that in the saddle – or the mounting block - he was only as safe as his damaged reflexes allowed him to be. And more importantly, it would remind the people of Zdarloch that Gideon was fragile and not physically fit to answer the demands of riding anything even remotely strenuous just yet. If he played his cards right he might even be able to convince them that this observation was grounded purely in goodwill and genuine concern for his old friend's physical and mental health... He had already succeeded in spreading doubts about Gideon's credibility around the stable. The accusation that Simon used fishy training methods had surely painted the picture that Gideon was governed by jealousy. That setup had almost been too easy and the result quite interesting.
...And, on the topic of interesting discoveries: Gideon… you really shouldn’t leave your medication lying around so easily located. Someone with sinister intentions might find it hard to resist a peek.



To be continued ~ 

Next: 3.10: Squirrel



Divisionen by Zoubstance



...oh wait, you thought Simon was actually a decent fella? :')
Hehe. Heh. Heheheheh... maybe.
Welcome to the paranoid world of Simon Kvark.


Kvark, Con, Stein, Monty and ZS Karn Evil reside with me
Refs n/a
Own ground texture
Wood texture from cgtextures

Add a Comment:
 
:iconginasdream:
GinasDream Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The mroe I read abotu Steini, the more I love her. Oh goodness, this woman is just so damn amazing!
Also, why do I feel bad for Simon partly, he's... an evil being. what?!
And there's the squirrel part again...
Loving the sticky notes btw
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, Stein certainly appreciates that :giggle: She sure is fun to write; 100% no-nonsense :') 
Well... Simon isnt really evil; just very misguided and vengeful :L 
Thank you so much! :la: 
Reply
:iconcsstables:
CSStables Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2018  Professional General Artist
There's something so eerie about Simon's plotting and way his mind works xD also Stein's crack at him was gold! :lmao:
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Simon's mind does indeed work in mysterious ways x)
Hehe, thank you! Stein is.. ice cold XD 
Reply
:iconpadfoot7411:
Padfoot7411 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never liked Simon...and I surely don't like him now. CAN'T HE JUST LIKE GIDEON BE HAPPY!!!
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehehe, well... we shall see XD
Reply
:iconjeeperxj95:
JeeperXJ95 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Another squirrel. :stare: 
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
All these squirrels; wonder what they are up to... ~ 
Reply
:iconjeeperxj95:
JeeperXJ95 Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Reply
:iconeefketje:
Eefketje Featured By Owner May 23, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love Stein. That memo, too. Let's just forget about the fact Stein would hate me for my riding when she would ever meet me. Sweating a little... 

Another ominous but amazing chapter, Zoub! I'm already regretting the day I finish reading the last part you uploaded yet. LUCKILY IT WILL CONTINUE... because it will, right? You will let your kids suffer more, won't you?? (Though you must remember to keep your hands of the horses! They need to survive uninjured; Zdrasti's accident has been more than enough. Meanie.)
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Stein is pretty hilarious to write - she is ice-cold, hehe :giggle: ..she would absolutely yell at my riding too :') 

Thank you! And I'm sorry; I swear I will get back to plotting and moving the story ahead once my exams are over. Right now it's studying 10 hours a day and it wears me out a little, hehe ^^; 
...we'll see who's up next. No promises :giggle: 
Reply
:iconboooberry:
Boooberry Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2018
,,Use more lube.”
,,Excuse me?”
,,You’re acting butthurt.”

I DIED. I mean I'm still alive. BUT I CHOKED ON MY TEA. ALMOST DIED. that counts. Love Stein to bits right now! :lmao:

Also, Kvark, plz dont. Go quack somewhere else thankyou. Leave Gideon alone. Boy needs some good left in his life.
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Nooooo please dont diieee from me :giggle:  But thank you; Stein is funnn to write since she absolutely gives no fucks :'D 

Hehe, oh we shall seeee ~>) 
Reply
:iconabosz007:
abosz007 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Stein is yet another super awesome char of yours with great humor x‘‘‘‘‘D
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOY SIMON LAY OFF THOSE PILLS *paniced face * YOU COULD BE SO ABOVE THIS SITUATION omfg plz just do your thing ermergerd as if Connor doesnt have enough issues to deal with :faint: 
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner May 1, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, thank you! Stein is super fun to write because she's so... no-nonsense :giggle:
We'll... see :') 
Reply
:iconqiuffin:
Qiuffin Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2018
"where is my hoof oil" "a squirrel took it ..." also that savagery oof Stein this is why your my favorite. Also Zoub don't do this to Gideon he's just getting back No, I disagree! 
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehehe, thank you! :giggle:  Stein is definitely one of the funniest characters to write; she is absolutely stone-cold :')
Nuuuu, we'll seee ~ 
Reply
:iconjanntly:
Janntly Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Stein just got a 100 times better in my book, the savagery! :lmao:
Oh dear, up to no good yet again Simon? D; 
And just when we all were starting to think you were a decent guy! (although we still love/hate him and his slimeball ways~)
he is oddly adorable with his pouty, upset face and of course, his lovely pup has just the opposite expression, looking so content and all! hehee x)
I adore the perspective and general atmosphere here! Ahhh all your indoor arenas are just every equestrian's dream! :love:
Poor Con (yet again) though, the squirrel is not positive symbolism I imagine D; </3
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Stein is RUTHLESS, hehe; absolutely stone-cold savage xD
And.. maybe. We'll see. He might just be looking out for himself, buuuuut we'll see what he's up to ~ 
He IS kind of an adorable puppy-faced meanieface, hehe. But.. his dog is innocent, heh :D

Thank you so much! Aaaa I do have regrets about making the arena here at Stridsholt so complicated with the timber-work BUT I'm glad to hear it looks alright :la:
And... heh... we'll see about that squirrel too ~ 
Reply
:iconsaganight:
SagaNight Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh he is nastier than I thought, or at least more paranoid! Simon!! Stop it before someone finds a way to feed you squirrel brand (roasted?) peanuts or something!! 

Love his outfit <3
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Paranoid is indeed what he is; just looking out for his own interests ^^; 
We'll see indeed! And WELL SPOTTED, btw ~  ;)  

Thank you! Apparently he's more or less the only character who changes his outfit in this story, haha :giggle: 
Reply
:iconrequay:
ReQuay Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018
Careful Simon... Karma's a b!tch... and if you mess with Con/Gideon any further you're really gonna be overdue (for some universal payback).

Zoub, no... leave Gideon alone... he's come so far :cry::cry::cry:
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Mhm, karma can indeed be a bitch ^^;  We'll see what karma does!

Hehehe, evil mama zoub is at it again ~ :giggle: ..or is she...
Reply
:iconzabimaruu:
zabimaruu Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018
no, if Simon fiddles with the meds, I will personally send Jasari to your yard, with a shot gun...and we're taking Karn xD
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
No touchy Karn! ...or Sim, for that matter, hehe :giggle: 
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:iconzabimaruu:
zabimaruu Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018
*foams at the mouth*
Reply
:iconniur-tarow:
Niur-Tarow Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fasten your seatbelts kids... Zoub is taking us for another terror-filled spin. :faint:
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Ehehehe >)  
-rubs hands plottingly-  :plotting: 
Reply
:iconsilverfox812:
SilverFox812 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018
Don't you dare Simon!Stare Don't treat this sweatheart...
But I have to say that I like this paranoid Simon (not as much as Con, but I like it) but in green he looks a bit strange Sweating a little... 
And I like Steinadler more and more with every chapterLa la la la 

I've noticed the "A squirell did it" and under it is "-stein"? can I see it right?
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
We'll seeee ~
Simon... has a bit of a paranoid temper, yep. He is only looking to protect his own interests because he fears being undermined :') You could say he turned... green with envy.
Thank you! Stein is super fin to write; she is ice cold xD 

Oh yesss, you see correctly ~
Reply
:iconwildoracle:
WildOracle Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Student General Artist
Can I slap him?

CAN I CAN I.

Stein made me laugh lol
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Mhmm, I can't really recommend it :giggle:
Hehe thanks! Stein is just superdry. She is fun to write, hehe x'D
Reply
:iconwildoracle:
WildOracle Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2018  Student General Artist
As long as we have no connections to him he can't take revenge on the slap... we is gooddddddd x'D
Reply
:iconbluemoonstables:
BlueMoonStables Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
I live right next to Kattegatt, might be a job for me ;D
*can't read this part cause haven't gotten so far in the story yet, but admires art deeply as always*
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh neat! Might just be your next job, then ;) 
Hehe, no rush ~  Thank you! Happy reading!
Reply
:iconlouvan:
Louvan Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
He's not going to sabotage the mounting block is he?
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Nah, he would never ;) 
Reply
:iconkimenlie:
KimenLie Featured By Owner Edited Apr 14, 2018  Student Digital Artist
ohOh Kvarkie you sexy bastard, you are looking so deliciousely evil. Just the way I like it x) Love his clothes though, good to see someone with more outfits :giggle: I always love that. 

But yep Kvark, better not disappoint your daddy eh. Which is kinda understandable, he feels the pressure. Oh and Stein, you rock too. You know that :') bet she does. Dry to the max

It turned out lovely x) love seeing a different angle of the arena
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, he will appreciate this compliment! He is #AestheticallyDevious :giggle: And yes, well noticed, actually! He might just have turned.. green with envy ~ ...he's apparently the only person in my crew that actually changes clothes, hahaha xD

Oh yes, parental pressure all the waayyy. We'll see what happens.
Stein is super fun to write; she is just so... stone-cold :giggle:  #DryAsARock #HerNameFits 

Thank you! fbhsdjhd perspective is a meanie; glad to hear it turned out alright ^^ 
Reply
:iconkimenlie:
KimenLie Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Heh its bebs colour well, envious kids ftw
Reply
:iconsilveringoak:
SilveringOak Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Student Digital Artist
*strokes chihuahua sinisterly* xD
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh yesss, like a real super villain :giggle: 
Reply
:iconsilveringoak:
SilveringOak Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Someone’s gotta point out how cliché he’s being xD <3
Reply
:iconlibertas268:
Libertas268 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2018
Kvarkiee... Don't you dare to do something :stare: //I know this is useless to say xD//
But yeah, he is paranoid, but I am still interested what he will do Giggle 
And Stein, she was right. And I still love her more and more through chapters La la la la 

I can see the squirrel pic, and the little "A squirrel did it" phrase xD I said, I will stalk that squirrel...;) (Wink) 
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehehe, oh we'll see, we'll seee ~ :giggle: 
Yep, he has a somewhat paranoid personality - you could argue that he is only protecting himself, although he miiiight just be putting too much into everything. He's very much a 'go big or go home' type of guy, hehe ^^;
Thank you! I'm sure Stein appreciates it xD

Hehehe, keep an eye on that squirrel >)
Reply
:iconkartoffelpueh:
Kartoffelpueh Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
:stare:
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Ehehehe... ~ :plotting: 
Reply
:iconrose-angle:
rose-angle Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Simon whatever you thinking stop it *glares* lay one finger on Conner or Karn and Rose well fly from her stable in New Zealand and tan you're sorry hide. (don't ask had she'd know, fangirls always do).

but this was a good chapter X3 hehe love the sticky notes about the hove oil.
Reply
:iconzoubstance:
Zoubstance Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Hehe, oh it's good to know someone has Gideon's back :giggle: ...but hopefully it won't be necessary. But we'll see what sweet Simon is up to ~ ;)

Thank you so much! Hehe, adding such details in the end is always super fun; glad to hear it :la: 
Reply
:iconrose-angle:
rose-angle Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome X3 love this storyline. It's great
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