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 The Lights of Harmony II

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EvenMotion
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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   5/1/2013, 3:46 pm

Lightning sighed. The blind anger Fas was showing was going to take Gold along for the ride. She sighed in frustration, before bolting down from the cloud and slipping back through the unlocked window.

"Here we go..."

---

Things didn't actually settle down until the afternoon, when the unicorns and earth ponies arrived to build the first leg of the wall. Huge amounts of material were practically dumped on the front lawn before they began to hammer and fuse the stone and metal together. Inside, Quick Wit was flipping through the book trying to finish out the calculations for the transaction. Lightning was pleased with the speed at which she would recoup the money - a few months at most even with daily expenses added in.

Quick Wit nodded. "The price is barely 1% of your current treasury. I will alert the bank on your behalf for the transfer."

Lightning nodded. "Pleasure doing business with you, Fortress."

The stallion across the room bowed. "Of course, the pleasure is mine. Had I known before, the walls would already be ready, and for that I apologize. A few days is all it should take."

He bowed and left with the designs. Quick Wit followed shortly after with a small signed note in hoof. As soon as they were out the door, Lightning sunk into her couch. Negotiations had been absolutely exhausting and frustrating. She had no idea where her mares had gone off to, and she was still sore and numb from dealing with Fas this morning.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   5/1/2013, 4:39 pm

"Look Fas, I know you got upset. I can understand it even, cause ink's hard to get out too."

"But still Gold, I shouldn't have gotten mad like that. I deserve it for what I did to Lightning last night...."

Both Gold and Fas were sitting in a room they dubbed the 'sun study'. It was a room that had a desk with a chair, lamp, and the walls had some rather empty bookshelves lining them. The most prominent feature was that one wall was encompassed by the large sliding glass door that was covering the entire 14ft span. The glass then reached up to the roof, the glass going halfway across the roof with intricate wooden panes before turning into a normal wooden ceiling. It faced the direction of the sun. A rather large balcony with nice, fancy patio chairs set up next to a couch, a large umbrella covering the table next to the couch as well.

They were currently sitting on a small couch inside the study, both of them sitting on the opposite sides.

Gold was smiling at Fas.

"Why, I'm just glad you weren't doing it to be malicious. Sure, having you tie me to the ceiling was a little scary, but once you snapped out of it and tried to make it up to me while I was still hanging by my hindlegs, it soon became quite fine with me! Now I got more ideas to share with Stone and Lightning."

She grinned in a way that actually made Fas redden a little. She spoke up again.

"Sure, it was a little awkward when Lightning, Stone, and Mist caught us, but seeing the blush on their faces was really worth it."

She sat up and pecked Fas on the beak, smiling and then going towards the balcony, opening the sliding glass doors and resting in one of the patio chairs, deciding to lounge for the time.

Fas sat there for a while before sighing, shaking her head with a rueful smile, and then she went out onto the balcony as well, stretching out her wings.

"I think I'll go for a short flight. Stretch my wings."

Gold waved a hoof with a smile as she closed her eyes. Fas nodded and took off into the air, sweeping around the mansion. Her eyes caught sight of Mist and Stone, who were simply exploring the mansion and getting their bearings. She chuckled lightly and continued to fly around, even getting some attention from the ponies building the wall.

She sighed as she flew by a window that showed Lightning resting on a couch.

She still swooped around, enjoying the feeling of the wind.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   6/1/2013, 4:08 pm

Lightning didn't know how long she stayed with her forehead firmly attached to the table. But at some point, the sound of the mail slipping into the box outside got her attention.

She rose and stretched her back before entering the main hall. The part of the mailbox on the inside glowed a violet color, before turning blue and opening.

Security measures? She had no idea. Reaching into the box, she pulled out the mail and watched the door close by itself.

She brought the letters into the kitchen where she emptied them onto the kitchen table.

"Great," she muttered angrily. The first letter was a resignation from the head of the Weather Factory. The second was a letter of protest in her lack of knowledge surrounding her holdings in the Wonderbolts, and how they were 'no longer a military institution'. Of course, it also included a threat of resignation or two and a small petition of workers and investors.

The third was much shorter and included a famous captain knocking at the back door. She trotted over with a smile and opened it.

"Good morning, Miss Dash. Thanks again for coming to the party last night. It was most wonderful to have you in attendance."

Rainbow seemed taken aback for a moment. Lightning laughed and waved her in.

"I'm not that uptight. Come on in."

Rainbow smiled and trotted into the kitchen.

"But thanks for coming and I assume for helping out it together. It was really nice."

"No sweat. It was Pinkie's idea to do it and I never miss a Pinkie Pie party." Rainbow passed into the living room, while Lightning followed behind with her letters. They both sat facing each other.

"I'm assuming this isn't a 'stopping in to say hi' visit," Lightning said bluntly.

Rainbow Dash shook her head. Lightning tossed down the array of protest and petition letters. Rainbow cringed, "That was quick."

"Of course it was. Nothing like a dose of reality after last night."

"For what it's worth, most of us are behind you. I got your back a hundred percent."

Lightning smiled weakly. "Thanks. I mean, you barely know me-"

"You helped take down one of the worst ponies I've ever known. You're a fantastic flyer who's getting a bum rap because of nobles who'd rather keep their prissy hooves attached to everything they think they own."

Lightning sighed. "I did come out of the blue and rearrange the balance of power pretty severely."

"So what? They just have to get used to it. All this stuff was your dad's and they have no right to hold onto it if its supposed to be yours."

Lightning raised an eyebrow. "After eight hundred years?"

Rainbow nodded. "It's not the weirdest thing any pony's seen since we became the bearers of the Elements."

Lightning nodded. There were quite a lot of things that had been extraordinary since then. Many, many things.

"Anyway. I figured I should give you my contact stuff. For the academy. We'll be looking at how to reopen the military training part of the school. Since, y'know... the eight hundred years thing."

They each took turns scribbling down their relevant contact information, before relaxing in their respective seats once more.

"As Captain, you'll be talking to me about training schedules. I'll have to bring you in as a teacher when what's left of the team comes to a consensus on who will be learning from you too."

"Luna would probably be better suited for that-"

She shook her head. "I spoke with her. You're more important to ask 'cause of your special talent."

Lightning looked skeptical. "Riding lightning makes me more qualified?"

Rainbow looked her over for a minute before seeming to come to a decision on what to say. "Ask the Princess. I'm not supposed to say much else on that particular subject."

Lightning snorted. "You can't talk about my cutie mark, or won't?"

Rainbow laughed. "Can't. I only have one flank I'm interested in- I mean, sorry. Ask Luna."

She rose from her seat, hiding a minor blush. Lightning rose to see her to the front door this time. This brief talk had made her very, very confused, and she wasn't sure that was the intention. Lightning opened the door and Rainbow nodded before taking flight. She closed the door behind her.

What does my cutie mark have to do with anything?

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   6/1/2013, 4:27 pm

Gold opened her eyes at the sound of fast flapping wings. Looking up, she saw a rainbow streak flying out into the open sky and soon disappearing out of sight.

"Huh, wonder what Rainbow Dash was doing here..."

She shrugged.

"Knowing Lightning, we probably just had a large slap in the face style of news. Or a huge emergency. No panicking, so I guess we're good."

Gold rolled off of the patio lounger she was in and stretched out, yawning. She loved lounging around on sunny days. Let's her enjoy herself.

She tapped her chin. What was she going to do now? A thought passed through her head that made her stop and sigh. Gold flapped her wings and hopped off of the balcony, quickly catching a breeze and simply glided down to the ground and at the front door. To her, this was much better than taking the stairs.

She went through the front door and closed it behind her. She spotted Lightning.

"Hey Lightning, I hope you don't mind that I take a trip. I'm gonna go to Canterlot and check the shop and see if Stone and I got any mail. Then I'm gonna come back to Ponyville and check with the post office and see if I can change the address to here. I'm gonna do the address change here because you may have to come with in order to either approve or confirm. Alright?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 12:27 am

Lightning nearly jumped when Gold had opened the door. She was so lost in thought she almost missed what Gold was telling her.

"Uh, sure. Sounds like a plan." She went to get something from the kitchen, but turned around to face Gold. "Hey. How would you like to go on a date? Just you and me, like I promised you when we first started dating."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 5:55 am

Gold grinned and nodded.

"That actually sounds pretty fun! Sure, I'll go on a date. We can plan it once I get back."

Gold had found her satchel and pulled it on, along with her radio headphones. She frowned and reached into the bag. She pulled out some items and rested them on the table. Her four custom-made brass horseshoes and her butterfly knife. Nodding to herself, and put the horseshoes on and put the knife back in the bag.

She turned and faced Lightning.

"For protection. I'm sure I might get some attention in Canterlot when I'm by myself. If anyone gets close, I got defense."

She smiled reassuringly.

"I'm very skilled in hoofboxing, so don't worry about me."

Gold grinned this time and pecked Lightning on the lips.

"I'll be back later."

She went over to the front door and looked back.

"Anything you wanna tell me or something before I go?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 12:32 pm

Lightning's mind froze. As soon as she saw the horseshoes she got a little more antsy than she anticipated. It reminded her of the time she saw Gold break.

All of a sudden, she wasn't so sure letting Gold go alone was such a good idea. But the thought of treating her like a foal played against her sudden change in conscience.

Then a thought popped into her head. "Actually, wait a second. Do you mind if I tag along? I looked in the study this morning and realized we don't have a music system. It's still pretty barebones in here, but music would at least fill it out a little."

She trotted towards the door and flung her saddlebags onto her back. Her body nearly toppled over with the unexpected weight of extra bits. She giggled. "We could also get some dinner to bring home since the pantries are empty."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 12:52 pm

Gold simply shrugged with a smile.

"Well, a trip is always better with company. Keeps me from being bored out of my mind."

She looked over at Lightning.

"As for the sound system, using a large stereo would have to work for now until I can get a nice surround sound packed in and wired into the room. The equipment itself would take make Stone exhausted after carrying, so we'll need a carriage sometime to carry it. We can worry about that later. Stereo, mail, and food now, surround sound later."

She giggled lightly and trotted out the front door. She flagged Fas down, who had been sitting on a perch near an open window. The griffon fluttered and landed on the ground.

"Where you guys going?"

Gold spoke.

"We're going on a short trip to Canterlot. Mail, food, all that jazz. Make sure to tell Mist and Stone where we're going, alright?"

Fas nodded and flew off, landing on a balcony and entering the mansion. Gold fluttered her wings a little.

"So, should we simply fly there, or take a carriage or a train?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 2:03 pm

Lightning smirked. "We have more than enough flying to do tomorrow. The train will be fine."

She pushed open the door and pulled out her key. After a moment she reconsidered and place it back in her bags.

"Fas can hold down the fort easy enough. Tickets are on me."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 2:48 pm

Gold chuckled.

"Fas? I think Mist would be the one to hold down the fort. She was the residential guard dog once we got the store. She spent three days putting the barriers up to protect the store. I'm sure that once we are moved in better, she'll start putting up wards around the mansion. Walls are good against physical attacks, but all it takes is a persistent pony or creature to get past."

Gold shook her head and continued on, singing a small tune to herself.

"I was a highwaymare,
Along the coach roads I did fly,
Sword and pistol by my side.
A many a young maid has lost her baubles to my trade...."


She turned and faced Lightning, grinning and halting her singing.

"If you really wanna enjoy my company when we're traveling by ourselves, then you need to broaden your musical genres. The traveling I've done gave me multiple tastes in music."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 3:12 pm

Lightning blushed instinctively. She knew most of her tastes in music were... well, old fashioned. While she did enjoy electronic beats of the club, she was at heart very much a lover of jazz.

"I-I guess." They turned a corner on the road and found themselves entering the beginning of the main road. Almost out of nowhere, the bushings came into view, including their destination. "I'm a little picky about the music I listen to. Most of my records I could get were jazz. But I loved the genre even after getting some songs on my laptop. When I had it."

She sighed. Their whole journey knocked further sense into her. Going into the mansion, she really owned nothing but the blades on her wings. It dawned on her that she'd have to buy the music and likely a computer to even play it on.

"Ugh. That's right. I didn't own anything before coming here."

They entered the train station and she began to pull out the bits for the tickets. "Maybe we could stop and get some music too, while we're in Canterlot. I might also need a computer for the house."

The pony behind the booth slipped the tickets onto the table, which she took happily and placed in her bag.

"Thanks," she said to the worker. Turning her attention back to Gold, she cleared her throat. "Unless you have a temporary solution, I just realized the speakers will just be taking up space."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 3:31 pm

Gold tilted her head side to side as they boarded the train.

"Well, once I can get a letter to a pony I know, then we can get a small delivery system going. I know a mare who has a small independent moving company. She helps me and Stone deliver heavy electronics and stuff like that. Maybe we can visit her home and get a delivery set up."

She smiled at Lightning as they took a seat.

"She's very reliable. Her name is Freight Cartage."

Gold grinned this time.

"Makes probably the best damn cookies too. Rival those of Pyro's."

She raised a brow.

"And your music? Like I said, I gained multiple tastes in different genres as well. Jazz being one of them."

She leaned over and whispered in Lightning's ear.

"Especially smooth jazz..."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 3:42 pm

Lightning blushed severely and leaned in to whisper back. But instead she gave a light lick along the length of her ear.

"Then that's the first kind of record we're putting on."

She pulled back as coughed into her hoof. "I mean, if that's what you feel like listening to first."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 4:00 pm

Gold laughed lightly.

"Well, whatever we find interesting first we can put on. Either kind is good enough for me."

She yawned and leaned back into the seat, leaning over and resting her head on Lightning's side.

"I'm gonna nap for now. Wake me when we get there...."

It would take a while, but Gold and Lightning soon arrived in Canterlot, Gold jolting awake from the sounds in the station. She yawned, stretched, and led Lightning off of the train and into the small crowd at the station.

"Well, I guess we should get to the shop first. Better to pick up the mail before some smartass finds it funny to steal others mail."

They continued to walk past the station and it was only a few minutes until they arrived at the electronics shop. Bottles and rocks lied around the shop in an almost uniform line. Gold smirked as she went past the debris and over to the mailbox. She opened it and pulled the contents out.

"Lets see....junk mail, junk mail, free subscription to Electric Weekly, junk mail, threat, threat, threat, confirmation of deposit, letter from Fine, letter for Stone, letter from Fluer de Lis to me and Stone...."

She tucked the threat letters and the normal letters into her satchel and throw the rest away, sighing.

"You make a couple thousand in sales and instantly you have every magazine wanting to sell you crappy electronics. And these threats will be good for a laugh before I turn them over to the Princesses and see what they think of them. And I guess this letter from Fleur is a reminder of the advertisements. I should talk to her about that at Fancy Pant's garden party. And this letter to Stone is obviously that dreaded family letter she was hoping never came. I'll save that for her."

She trotted into the shop, bringing Lightning with her.

"Well, pick out what you want. I gotta grab something from upstairs."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 4:11 pm

Lightning nodded, walking over to the stereo systems. Most of them looked a lot like each other - only differing in aesthetic design. But, considering her lack of knowledge on the actual control box, she instead went on to look for a good pair of speakers.

She was immediately overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice provided in Gold's little shop. Companies she knew of, some she didn't, and some strange names that seemed out of place for the product. After taking a moment to take a deep breath, she looked for something to test it out.

"Gold?" She called. "Is there a tester music player for the speakers?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   7/1/2013, 4:29 pm

Gold called down from the steps located near the register and counter.

"Look for the red stereo with purple floral patterns surrounding the case! Should be in the center of the speaker aisle on a wooden pedestal!"

Gold turned from the stairs and went back into the hall, entering what was no longer her's and Stone's room. She looked around the decorations and pictures that were still around. She would need to talk to the others about getting all their furniture moved to the mansion.

She opened the top drawer on a dresser and dug under some of the junk, finding what she was looking for.

A manilla envelope with the Andromeda constellation and a wall of stones drawn on it. She smiled and opened it.

The deed to the shop and a lot of other paperwork. No point in leaving it here. She tucked that into the satchel, then closed the drawer.

Gold then went over to another dresser, this one much simpler. She opened the middle drawer, then reached all the way back and pulled out a false cover, reaching under the cover, and finding a black painted wooden box. Gold pulled it out, smirking with her eyes half-lidded.

After closing the cover and the drawer, she opened the box, giggling and blushing a little.

"Oh Stone....you and your magazines...."

She smirked and closed the box. Gold went to a closet, opened it, and pulled out a pair of black saddlebags with gold speckles on them. She put the box into one saddlebag and then pulled it on, maneuvering her satchel to sit flat on her back.

Satisfied, she reached back into the closet, grabbed a small bag of bits, put those in her saddlebags as well, then started to walk back downstairs.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 1:22 am

It took a few minutes, but Lightning was able to find some sort of music that really stressed the speakers to their potential. No surprise, it was the electronica radio station. While gold was upstairs she fiddled with the different buttons, switching different speaker systems to see how they sounded. It wasn't long before she nearly fell flat on her flanks from one of them.

A beautiful, hoof crafted set of speakers made seemingly out of wood. A slight magical warmth seemed to come from it, but she knew it wasn't a purely magical device. It was almost as if the case was enchanted to enhance the sound further than the speaker. Her hooves ran along the surface trying to find a price tag. No dice.

Lightning grumbled and hit the button to shut down the music. "Gold? I found a pair but they have no price tag on them. Want to lend me a hoof?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 1:36 am

Gold came down the steps with her load and went over to Lightning. She grinned in recognition of the speakers.

"Ah, I remember those. Stone and I actually made those by hoof for a customer, but he never showed. We used parts from a Cloud 9 brand amp for some of the internal pieces. Then we had Mist enchant them to increase their durability and output. We even use them to show customers the quality of some of our custom work."

She tilted her head.

"But no one would buy them. Most want those flashy metal ones that all the other musicians use. The mass nowadays want mainstream and common brands because they don't think the others are trustful, but you'd be surprised."

She shrugged.

"If you want 'em, feel free to have them. Stone and I technically own most of these pieces of equipment, so no harm."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 2:32 am

Lightning gawked at her. "There is no way that I'm just going to take these for free. That would be unfair to some other customer that may have wanted this, and more importantly, it's unfair to you. You spent a lot of time and work to make those for somepony, even if it wasn't originally for me."

She gave Gold a very firm look before kissing her lightly. "How much do you normally charge for customs?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 3:27 am

Gold waved a hoof.

"Okay okay, if you insist..."

She tilted her and thought it over.

"Lets see...most custom jobs are around 250 bits, but the speakers are pure pine wood and the parts are not only pristine, but custom cut and fitted. The enchantments themselves up the price. Combining that with total time and effort, including pain and suffering, like when a wire that wasn't grounded properly electricuted me and I put a hole in the wall out of anger, and yadda yadda yadda..."

She went over the numbers in her head.

"Total comes to 500 bits. Coin or credit?"

Gold smirked at the last part.

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 4:02 am

"Coin. We can stop at the bank on the way to the mover's place. What was her name?"

Lightning scratched her chin with her forehoof. For some reason, she couldnt quite place the name. Eventually she just shrugged and giggled. "We should also pick up some music if we're getting this moved in. Maybe something smooth for tomorrow's date."

She trotted over to the door and looked out at the busying streets. Some odd glances were being tossed at the shop after seeming to see it occupied. That probably meant she was going to be swarmed by reporters at some point.

"By the way, did you want anything in particular to bring home for dinner?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 6:17 am

Gold tapped her chin.

"Hmm, I'm in a pasta-kinda mood right now. I know you can cook a great roast, but I think this is a good night for pasta. Any kind, really, though I'm in the mood for spaghetti. Whatever we find is good."

She then waved a hoof.

"And the mover's name is Freight Cartage, though we just call her Freight And, uh, don't be alarmed if she walks up and nuzzles both your cheeks. It's a customs/heritage thing with her. I think it means that she likes your company and finds you friendly. And, it's customary to nuzzle her back to show that you also find her friendly and like her company."

She shrugged.

"I'm not really bothered by it."

Gold then noticed how she was looking out at the crowd of ponies walking by. She scrunched up her muzzle.

"Uh, don't worry, we're pegasi. We can simply fly away. If not, I know a few places we can go."

She walked up to Lightning and smirked, bumping her hip against Lightning's.

"After all, I wouldn't wanna be caught with Stone's 'secret' magazine stash. I'd find that rather embarrassing. They'll make for a good read later, though, once we're in the clear."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 11:02 am

Lightning looked down at the satchel and blushed. For a moment she had trouble formulating the words as her mind began filling in the big blanks the word 'magazine' incited. When she finally regained some air of composure she coughed to clear her throat.

"I guess we better go see Freight. I'm sure I'll be able to return the custom just fine."

She pushed open the door and trotted with Gold into the streets. They journeyed into one of the other main roads and she pointed with a hoof. "There's a wonderful Italian place I went once for my birthday. They make a mean Alfredo sauce. I think the old stallion that owns it - Angel Mane - still does everything by hoof."

She leaned up against Gold and put her wing around her. "It's a bit pricey, but I've never had anything that comes close to being as good."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 12:33 pm

Gold lifted a wing and maneuvered it to lay on Lightning's back. She smiled.

"Well, if you say it's good, then I'll definitely take your word for it."

She gave a small laugh.

"Sometime I'll have to show you some of my old haunts as well. I know a couple of diners and places of the like."

She motioned with a hoof.

"Well then, lets be off to Freight's. I'm sure she'll love to see the mare that captured the heart of two other mares and lioness. Being a mover, she tends to get a little gossip crazy. Personally, I think her Prench blood might be the cause of it. Now, follow me love."

Gold started walking, bringing Lightning with her.

It was a good walk until they finally came upon a large home with a few garages out in the back, being led to by a large paved path. A large carriage painted with tans and red stripes was sitting on the driveway, seemingly empty and unoccupied.

The house itself was a simple white and red. a large bay window on one of the walls showing the interior, which was decorated with fancy paintings and a shield sitting over a large fireplace.

Gold trotted up to the door, knocking on it.

It was a moment until an earth pony mare opened the door. Her coat was a simple brown while her mane was white with red stripes going through it. Her flank carried a wooden shipping crate for a cutie mark. Her tan eyes lit up in recognition.

"Gold?"

Her voice carried a Prench accent to it. She smiled and stepped fully through the door, wrapping Gold in a strong embrace, the pegasus actually wheezing out a greeting before she was let go. The mare nuzzled both of Gold's cheeks, Gold returning the gesture.

"Freight. It's been awhile..."

The mare pouted a little.

"A leetle too long."

She looked over at Lightning. Her face beamed.

"Iz thiz....?"

Gold smiled and nodded. Freight gave a small squeal and trotted over to Lightning, nuzzling the pegasus's cheeks in greetings.

"Hallo, Lady Hurricane."

She swept a hoof.

"Iz an honour to meet ze one who haz stolen ze heartz of many."

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PostSubject: Re: The Lights of Harmony II   8/1/2013, 1:45 pm

Lightning nuzzled Freight in return, blushing at her reaction to simply meeting her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Freight."

She giggled nervously. "Though capturing four hearts is hardly a lot."

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