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"Well, I need to finish my business here first, then I will be free to inform them myself to send word you are interested."
Silver's ears droop just slightly at her reaction, and he clears his throat.
"...sorry, overstepped my bounds."
His left ear tilts down, then back up, as he tilts his head
"Business? What business?">>128952
She moves her head to the side, evidently confused
And she stands back up
"Anyways, that is good"
"There is one more thing I would like to talk with you about. It is about Mala."
She returns to a more neutral expression
"What about him?"
"The changelings were attacked by a strange creature that even deceived them with its ability to change shape. I need to make sure they are gone, or find a way to keep them from attacking anypony else."
"We have spare room here. I was wondering what you thought about letting him stay."
"These doubles themselves deceive and change shape. It is little wonder they attack even each other">>128958
Her eyes narrow a little, and her lips pull back and down
"That creature had no problem being part of operation that killed many for no good reason. And he has no problem with himself now"
"Perhaps, but I would rather have one group of changelings to keep track of than a bunch, because neither of them are very friendly."
"He did not cause all of that to happen, and he helped us when he had opportunity to do so. He trusted us to help him start new life, one where he did not have to help perpetuate suffering."
He looks more serious
"These doubles have been a menace to us as well. They have been quiet for some time, and we do not know why. This situation must be dealt with">>128961
"But he enabled it. He benefited from it. And now, he wants to go about and live his life while so many others cannot and will never. He does not even seem to feel bad about it"
"He was pushed into it. He did not want it, he had no say in it, and if he were to refuse...they would have killed him, just as they did many others."
She tilts her head, narrowing her eyes more
"How are we to know he was.... forced?"
"He was pushed into it at young age, when he had no family, no home, no money, and no food. They gave him everything he needed to live, and demanded that he comply with their demands or be killed.
"Look at it this way: if he joined voluntarily, why would he so quickly jump at opportunity to help us?"
"If you know where they might be hiding, I will make sure they are no longer a problem to the both of us. Then I can be on my way to set up your trade."
"The doubles? They have taken over the land to the South, and to the North it seems. We have been nearly isolated from the ponies until you came">>128965
She is silent for a moment, and breathes in and out
"Maybe he knew who would win, so he changed sides"
"I find that difficult to believe. We were two ponies and one kirin strong at time of meeting him, against at least fifty cultists and traffickers. Even then, why would he show us garbage chute? We would have never investigated it had he not pointed it out and unlocked it, so why would he risk us turning on him by showing us, and then telling us, not only what they had done but what he himself had done working under them?"
She is silent again for a moment, and she moves her forelegs closer together. Then she sits down
"He has much to atone for"
"Something I am...familiar with. But he can not, if we do not give him chance to. He trusted us to give him that chance. It is only right we trust him back."
Wonders where Fantasy went off to>>128970
"I suppose there are many who have been forced into doing bad things. There are many, very many, in my country who have been made to do bad things for the rebels. It is a shame to see it happen here. But it will be difficult to trust him."
Silver bows his head to her.
"That is understandable. I merely ask you to give him chance to earn your trust."
She relaxes in her sitting position, and her hind legs move a little off to either side
"Very well... I would prefer he show some remorse for his actions. I know I am disgusted by it. But I do know he stood between you and that..... beast
when you tripped and fell"
He smiles and nods.
"Yes, I was very grateful that he did so, even if it was little embarrassing for me in moment. It might have been determining factor between life and death for me."
"It looked like he got away from it unscathed... as it seems he got away from the criminals unscathed. But I can appreciate the gesture"
"Well, would you
want to raise ire of gnoll by attacking one?"
She blinks, and turns her head away
After about a second, Silver trots up to her, and gives her a hug.
"Thank you, Khoi."
She is kind of surprised, and seems to move her head away, but the rest of her body remains in that sitting position. It's a kind of odd combination of a scaly back, curly mane, and fluffy chest, that makes her feel a bit different from any other creature he's yet hugged
Silver pulls back a little to look at the fluffy pangolin pony.
"Would you mind if I asked you some questions? About you, your homeland, kirins?"
She says, looking back at him and blinking, still sitting on the floor in the kitchen with her forelegs together and her hind legs spread apart, her tail kind of sprawling out to Silver's left and her right>>128980I don't recall if he hugged Mala, or if he's only collecting the females
>>128982I think he hugged Mala.
Silver releases the kirin, and sits down in front of her.
"Well, to start, what was it you did before you decided to come to Equestria?"
She blinks again
"I live on farm with family in village outside Vịnh bờ sạch. I help around house and on farm. My family wanted me to go out and marry or find job. There were not many options for jobs for mares in my village, though I worked in village doing mane care for some months. Not many options for stallions either, as so many were off in the war. Then I was impressed into King's Army for the siege at Cửa Sông Rộng. I carried bags over hillside for a month, then I was made an assistant nurse. Then a nurse. It was... it was an experience for me. After the rebels pulled back, they let me go home. It was different, after being away so long, and my family thought I should move to Thành Cổ for more opportunities. I thought different. Why go to city, when there is so much more across the ocean? And so I went"
Fantasy hops up and down in place.
"I love kitties! I have cat myself. I should have brought him so that you could meet," Fantasy rambled on.
Her eyes went wide as she found something on the Tabaxi's I assume it is
"You even have cute little whiskers."
Silver nods solemnly.
"I can imagine it was not very good experience, being conscripted into civil war like that. But it sounds like you at least picked up some skills that have helped to save people."
He tilts his head at the kirin.
"You did mane care?"
>>128985In My Little Pony Generation 4, they are called "Abyssinians," but yeah, they are basically Tabaxi
She hisses at Fantasy Play, pulling back further, baring her teeth and squinting her eyes.
After a few seconds, she relaxes, and comes closer. She smiles
"You do, do you?">>128986
"Yes... Last night was almost as bad as Cửa Sông... At least some of it was. And yes, I did mane care. Some were kids getting mane cuts. The best were the mares trying to look their prettiest. Keep their manes clean and fluffy in the humidity. Mostly I trimmed, though I shaped sometimes. I was not quite a full apprentice."
"Do you think you could do something for my mane sometime? I know I am not foal or mare, but I would like to see what you can do."
"Hehe," She smiles and laughs, pulling her right hoof up to cover her mouth
"I am no expert mane tender. But I could try"
The unicorn taps his hooves together in excitement.
She pulls her head somewhat at the movement before her
"I do not think I have seen a stallion so excited for a mane cut before"
Fantasy pulls back for a second when the cat hisses at her but her chirpy smile returns soon after.
"I do. Most of his fur is black but a few patches are white so it looks like he has socks and a bib. Hahaha," Fantasy laughs at her own joke.
"Apologies, but it is new experience for me. Most of my mane cut experience has been me cutting it with my own sword."
She gives an awkward smile
"What is it with stallions wanting to cut their manes with swords? That is not healthy for the hair.">>128992
"Oh yes. That must be a handsome looking cat you have. Tell me, have you met a cat who talks back to you before?"
He in turn gives her a sheepish smile.
"It is not often my first choice. Being on road and away from barber shops or salons, you often have to work with what you have."
"No, you're the first one. Slogo and I understand each other but that's because his my familiar."
"I suppose that is why... There was only so much need for barbers there..."
She places her leg down
"Yes, he is very handsome and soft to hold but he is lazy. He sleeps for most of the day."
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