Chapter 1 - Arrival
††††It was another magnificent summer day in Canterlot. The brilliant sun hung over the
marble spires of the royal castle, bathing the city in light. Soon, its rays would strike the
majestic waterfalls that tumbled down the mountain slopes, reflecting off of them in a
dazzling light show. Though Celestia knew she could never hope to be the artist her sister
was, she was quite proud of the display and looking upon it always gave her a feeling of
††††Today, however, she was confined to the dankest depths of the castle, haunch-deep in
expense reports and without so much as a window to give her the comfort she so
desperately needed. It had been three hours since she had summoned Prince Blueblood to
the castle's accounting office and he still showed no signs of coming. Originally, she had
hoped to convince him that perhaps he did not truly need five pedicures a day or his
highly overpaid "sustenance consultant," a pony whose sole duty was to operate
Blueblood's silverware. But even Celestia's nigh-infinite patience has its limits, and she
allowed herself a small smile as she thought of a far better and long overdue plan for the
††††By the time Blueblood decided to grace Celestia with his presence it was almost time
for Luna to raise the moon. He strutted into the room as two servants accomplished the
difficult task of opening the heavy double doors while bowing. Celestia couldn't help
letting her face show her profound disappointment with his behavior before quickly
reapplying the polite mask she always wore for matters of state. Blueblood, noticing her
slip up, looked aghast. Surprised at the show of self-consciousness, Celestia dared to
think that perhaps there was some hope yet for the brash young prince. Then, glaring at
his two servant ponies, he spoke.
††††"Can't you see that her majesty, Princess Celestia, is offended by your presence? Out
with you, proletarian swine, before I call the guards!"
††††So much for that, Celestia thought, sighing gently. "Prince Blueblood, have you ever
looked at one of these expense reports? Do you know how much money the castle spends
††††Blueblood blinked. "Money? But we're royalty! We don't have to pay for things!
The very idea of it - ludicrous! Ponies should be honored to give us what we desire, for
them to ask us, their betters, for money, why, I've never heard of anything quite so
††††"I always thought I have made it clear to you that is not how I run my kingdom. The
truth of the matter is that we do indeed pay for everything and everypony in this castle.
Which brings me to the reason I called you in today. Your own expenses have been
running quite high of late. Frankly, I do not see why anypony would need more than one
diamond-studded hairbrush, let alone," Celestia paused as she double-checked the sheet
of paper in front of her, "fifty-two of them."
††††"I am not sure that I catch your meaning, Princess," said Blueblood, frowning.
††††"My meaning is that the tax payers of Equestria are no longer able nor willing to
support your life style."
††††Blueblood opened his mouth to speak but was silenced by a gesture from Celestia.
"Within one week you are to leave the castle. Indefinitely. You will live as a normal
pony. You will pay for your own meals and your own possessions. We shall provide
nothing to you except a place to stay."
††††"But this castle is my home! Living here is my destiny! You know that as well as I do!
You cant do this to me!"
††††Celestia continued, unperturbed, "You will be living in Ponyville, with one of the
friends of my trusted student, Twilight Sparkle. I assure you, you will be in good
††††Blueblood's eyes bulged as he tried and failed to come to terms with the reality of the
situation. His mind soon gave up the Herculean task and he hit the stone floor with a loud
thump as he fainted.
††††After Blueblood's unconscious body had been removed from the room, Celestia
yawned and stretched. It was late, nearly time for her to retire for the night. Before she
got her much-needed rest, however, she had one last piece of business to attend to with
††††"Prancer?" she called to her closest servant.
††††"Yes, your majesty?"
††††"Please bring Luna to me. She and I need to have a discussion on just how a pony goes
about spending five million bits on socks."
††††Exactly one week from his conversation with Celestia the day of Blueblood's departure
had arrived. His day had started off better than he expected when he saw that all of his
personal servants were so sad to see him depart they had tears in their eyes. He supposed
that the party being set up was an attempt by Celestia to cheer them up. The suicide rate
among Blueblood's staff was abnormally high, and after a traumatic event like the
departure of their beloved master she must have known they would need something to
keep their spirits up.
††††Soon though, it was time for him to board the carriage to Ponyville, and with each
passing hour his mood grew fouler. Commoners, he ranted to himself, she expects me to
mingle with commoners! Over the past week she's done nothing but prattle on about
ridiculous things we tell foals, like the magic of friendship and the importance of
humility. What bunk! It's almost as if she thinks being poor can make one a better pony.
Patently ridiculous. Everypony knows society rewards only the deserving with riches. We
have nothing to learn from a bunch of lazy, ungrateful urchins. Blueblood stewed in these
thoughts from departure to arrival.
††††As he stepped from the carriage he was struck by the sudden urge to vomit. "What in
Equestria is that smell?"
††††The four pegasus ponies who had been assigned to Blueblood's carriage sniffed the air.
They hesitated for a moment before one of them nervously ventured a guess. "Nature?"
††††Blueblood's response was less than encouraging. "Hmph. It doesn't agree with my
royal nostrils. Get rid of it."
††††The pegasi could only stare. Their squad leader decided it was his responsibility to
answer the insane request as best he could. He was delicately choosing his words when
he remembered the specifics of his orders. After being dropped off in Ponyville, Prince
Blueblood is to be treated not as royalty, but as an ordinary citizen of Equestria until
such time as I see fit to return him to Canterlot. Grinning, he gave Blueblood an
exceedingly rude hoof-gesture before giving his team the order to fly back to Canterlot.
††††Blueblood could only sputter at the inexcusable lack of respect. Mustering what
dignity he could, he began walking towards the small country town, plotting his
vengeance. He was of the opinion that the gallows were the only appropriate punishment
for such an insubordinate lout, but he knew Celestia would never agree to such a
measure. Damn her love for the peasantry. She spends all her time bending over
backwards for them, ignoring the needs of the ponies in her own court!
††††Between holding the bile down his throat and devising ever more devious plans for
punishing the pegasus squad leader, Prince Blueblood was far too preoccupied to notice
when he finally entered the town proper.
††††"Ohmygosh, he's here! Hooray!"
††††The high-pitched squealing was enough to break Blueblood from his reverie. He
looked up to see a group of five mares standing in the town square, obviously waiting for
him. One, a vivid pink earth pony, was bouncing up and down and had a wide grin
plastered upon her face. The other four, two pegasi, an orange earth pony, and a purple
unicorn, seemed visibly more subdued. He chalked their less enthusiastic reactions up to
the awe of being in his presence. It wasn't often that the unwashed masses were granted
such an up close look at such a magnificent specimen as himself.
††††Twilight Sparkle was indeed less than exuberant, but not for the reasons Blueblood had
supposed. She had been uneasy about the meeting ever since she had learned of it in her
latest letter from Princess Celestia. If even half the things that Rarity and Applejack had
told her about Blueblood were true, then the coming weeks would put her ability to see
the good in ponies to the ultimate test. For days she had agonized over the impossible
problem of where he would be staying. The princess had insisted that he stay with
Twilight or one of her friends, but Rarity and Applejack had been less than agreeable to
the idea of letting Blueblood within fifty hooves of them, let alone inside their houses.
Without even asking, Twilight had a feeling Rainbow Dash would not be willing to let
him stay in her cloud house, even if it were physically possible for him to do so. She
knew Blueblood's treatment of Rarity would earn him no love from Spike and doubted
the haughty prince would want to live in a tree anyway. And Fluttershy was far too
delicate and timid for Twilight to even consider asking her to put up with Blueblood.
Which left only...
††††"Pinkie Pie! Settle down!" hissed a voice from Twilight's side.
††††"But Dashie, I'm just so super duper mega excited that we have a whole new pony
here in Ponyville!" Pinkie gasped. "I should throw him a party! I just hope he's not a
stuffy wuffy Mc-" Pinkie's stream of words was cut short by a purple hoof that was
unceremoniously forced into her mouth. Twilight put on what she hoped was a
convincing smile and began.
††††"Hello, Prince Blueblood. I'm Twilight Sparkle. These are my friends, Applejack,
Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash. Today we're going to..." Noticing the scowl
on Blueblood's face, Twilight trailed off and bit her lip. "Is...is something the matter?"
††††"Why, pray tell, are none of you bowing?"
††††"Princess Celestia told us specifically to treat you like a normal pony, not like royalty."
††††"Like Ah needed a reason to treat this jerk like he deserves," said Applejack in a barely
††††Twilight's fake smile grew wider as she continued, "As I was saying, today we're
going to take you on a tour of Ponyville and get you set up where you'll be staying. Let's
††††Blueblood said nothing as he followed the five mares; he was far too busy with his
own thoughts. Of course, she would have sent word ahead to these five. He looked
around and was horrified to see that not a single pony in the town square was so much as
looking at him with the proper respect. Does everypony here know about this farce
Celestia has set up?
††††The group stopped short in front of a large tree planted in the center of town for
reasons Blueblood could not begin to fathom. Is this town truly so backwater it doesnt
have a city planner? The purple unicorn that had identified herself as Twilight, Princess
Celestia's personal student, began to speak.
††††"This is the Ponyville library. It's where I live along with my assistant Spike."
††††"You live here? In this tree?"
††††"Yes. The Princess herself provides it for me," she said with a hint of smugness.
††††Unbelievable, simply unbelievable. She allows this plebian to live in state-funded
housing but kicks me out of the castle? I am the Prince of Equestria! This is untenable!
After all these years...why...
††††His thoughts were interrupted by the yellow pegasus. "Um, Prince Blueblood?
Are..are you all right? You can talk about what's bothering you...um...that is...if you like."
††††Blueblood nearly jumped out of his coat as he came back to himself, discovering that a
thin film of tears was forming on his eyes. Luckily, none of the other ponies had noticed
his frankly disgusting display of weakness. "Whatever may or may not be bothering me
is no concern of ponies so far below my social class." He sniffed. "Were it not for the
princesses' commands, such an impudent offer would be punished quite severely."
††††His response left the gentle yellow pegasus on the verge of tears herself. While the two
earth ponies did their best to comfort her, the light blue pegasus stalked menacingly
towards the prince.
††††"Why you cocky, worthless sack of horsefe-"
††††"Okay! We'd better get a move on!" Twilight’s voice rang out desperately as her smile
strained against the boundaries of her face.
††††As Twilight had expected, the rest of the tour was just as much of a disaster as the
beginning. By the time it was over she had sent Applejack, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash
home for the safety of everypony involved. Finally, the three remaining ponies arrived
outside Sugarcube Corner.
††††"And finally, this is Sugarcube Corner. It's where you'll be staying while in
††††"With ME!" interjected Pinkie. Twilight noted thankfully that Blueblood was frowning
with slightly less severity than he had during the rest of the tour.
††††"I suppose this is less blatantly offensive to my refined sensibilities than the other
hovels you've shown me today. Even if it was designed by an architect who was no doubt
recovering from a traumatic head injury. Or perhaps by that orange bumpkin friend of
yours, who I suspect has the same problem."
††††Figuring that was the best response she could have hoped for, Twilight began her
closing lines with more than a little relief, "So that's Ponyville. Tomorrow you'll start
working like a normal pony. You'll be working for all of us in a rotation until we find out
what you're best at. Please show up at Sweet Apple Acres one hour after dawn." Twilight
noticed Blueblood's eyes roll ever so slightly, "I'm sure Princess Celestia will want daily
reports on your progress. She'll be delighted to learn that you're working hard, won't
††††Blueblood could only glare. This little wench thinks she can threaten me? Still...it
would be best not to upset Celestia. He gave a curt nod as he turned and walked towards
Sugarcube Corner, eager to rid himself of the lavender pest.
††††Twilight found herself smiling genuinely for the first time that day as Blueblood let
himself inside the bakery. "Good. Oh, and Pinkie? I think you should hold off on any
††††"SURPRISE!" Twilight's voice was interrupted by the deafening sound of what could
only be at least half of Ponyville beginning one of Pinkie Pie's patented surprise parties.
††††Then, nearly as loud, came Blueblood's outraged voice. "Wha-I-GET OUT! Do you
rabble have even the slightest grasp on the idea of private property?"
††††Pinkie tried and failed to suppress a giggle. "Sorry, Twilight. No more big parties."
††††Twilight could only facehoof as she teleported to the library for a well-earned rest. She
wondered just how long Rarity would manage to go before she ran into Blueblood in
Ponyville. Rarity couldn't keep herself locked up in the Carousel Boutique forever,
though Twilight was certain it wouldn't be from want of trying. She sighed and decided
to leave Rarity to her isolation, figuring that she at least had Sweetie Belle and Opal for
††††Blueblood grew ever more frustrated as it became more and more apparent that his five
minutes of blustering about the divine right of property was accomplishing nothing more
than bringing raucous laughter from the assembled ponies. As he began to run out of
words the pink pony stepped in and explained that there had been a mistake and the party
was called off. Mildly disappointed ponies streamed out of Sugarcube Corner in an
orderly fashion. Two older ponies, one blue and one yellow, retreated upstairs into a
room with well insulated walls and what seemed to Blueblood to be a curiously thick
††††"Hmph. Thank you for getting rid of that insufferable riffraff."
††††"Hey, it's no problem BeeBee! Oh, you don't mind if I call you BeeBee, do you?"
††††Blueblood minded very much, but before he had a chance to voice his displeasure the
pink earth pony had launched herself on a tangent that Blueblood did not have the
slightest hope of understanding even if he wanted to. He spent the next ten minutes trying
to figure out how to get the pony to stop her blabbering so he could get his beauty sleep
when, entirely unexpectedly, she finished and fell silent.
††††"...And that's how Equestria was made!"
††††Blueblood forced a smile. "Wonderful. Now, I need to rest. Point me to my
††††"Oh c'mon, silly, you can't sleep yet! This night's just getting started!" From deep
within her voluminous mane she produced a tall bottle of dark brown liquid. "Even with
just the two of us we can still have a super fun time!"
††††Blueblood's eyes widened as he detected the all too familiar scent of alcohol. "No! No,
no, no, no. I simply cannot abide such a foul substance within my body."
††††The pink pony just shrugged. "Okie dokie lokie! More for me!" She then proceeded to
drain the entire bottle with a speed Blueblood found simultaneously††fascinating,
disgusting, and faintly alarming. Upon finishing she launched into a rendition of
Equestria Girls that made the reasoning behind the other two ponies' peculiar door all too
The drunken singing continued on for four hours until the pink pony passed out
unceremoniously in mid-verse. Blueblood made a noise somewhere between a sigh of
relief and a sob of despair and promptly drifted off to sleep. Thus ended the first of many
such nights at Sugarcube Corner.