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I suppose Spark will now retreat back to his friends now that the spies have their cover blown.
Spark goes south(?), and then west, past apartments, and into a fenced lot where all of the creatures wait in the truck
“Where you followed?” Makade asks
"One of my friends?" Iron asked with a tilt of his head.
"I was for a bit, but he ran off. I think we best hurry or they will catch back up."
“You know. One of your ponies you work with.”
"You mean Sands?" Iron asked in tow, unsure of what Cauldron was implying.
“Well, she could be one of them, yes. I meant the ones you do… ‘business’ with.”
“I agree.” He starts the truck, and drives off and away from the location.
I assume he waited for Spark to get inside.
Iron blinked once before shaking his head. "I doubt those ponies can be trusted with this," he replied in turn before turning pensive. "...maybe Sands can be trusted?"
Yes. With Spark needing to get inside for it to be easy to talk yo him, though speaking through an open driver’s side window is possible. Wellspring has hidden herself in the back.>>149678
“I’ve asked this before, but… who is she
? Is she some rescue project of yours? Are you trying to take her as an apprentice. Is she a” she whispers the next part “lover
"I think she will be a valuable asset in order to spread the word of your business," Iron replied as succinctly as he could. "She is quite charismatic."
But where is Spark going?>>149681
“So that’s what you want to do with her? Hire her into sales? Or advertising?”
I believe they are driving back to the house and from there, we can find out more about what Wellspring is wanting.
"Either works, really," Iron agreed with a nod.
And so they wind their way through the city, ending up back at the house. Wellspring looks around variously before exiting with her bag, and hurrying into the house.>>149684
“But what about today?” She asks
"As a travelling partner," Iron proposed instead with a nod. "I think she can shoot magic through her horn, so that could help."
“A unicorn might help.” She mumbles.
“I don’t know how much ‘magic’ is really helpful, but it couldn’t hurt I suppose.”
"We should probably ask her if she is willing to go into the jungle, though," Iron suggested with a bit of hesitation. "She strikes me as an adept concrete jungle dweller only."
“I suppose…” Cauldron says
“She does look a little soft. And delicate…”
"She did jump in a fight when I was downed," Iron tentatively offered with a slightly sheepish smile. "That has to count for something, right?"
“Well…” she looks down to the floor.”
“Yes. That does count for something.”
She enters the living room, and returns to the couch. Petal and Waabishki are together in the kitchen, as the doctor and ply press enter. Makade follows Spark.
Iron is finally feeling a tinge of awkwardness at Cauldron's repeated utterance, causing him to start idly scritching his foreleg with a hoof.
She looks back up to Iron
“Is that all?”
This caused Iron to raise his eyebrows in surprise. "All of what?" he asked in turn.
“Is that everyone you want to come?”
"Are you going to shed any light on your situation now?" he directs to Wellspring.
She looks up towards Spark with giant, open bright eyes, surprised by Spark’s question.
“Shed… what light?” She asks, trying to force her lips up over her teeth in a smile.
"I cannot think of anypony else that would be both trustworthy and useful to this task," Iron replied with a nod.
"You went back there really looking for just one or two particular items, one of which you have now. So it would be most helpful to know what is going on, especially since we are now being spied on by changelings."
“If trustworthiness is your main concern, then yes. I could have one of my associates help. But I think I need them with money lending.”>>149702
She looks up at him.
"I think us three would be enough," Iron tentatively proposed in turn, not overly sure himself.
“Well, I hope. But only you are especially strength. Snd we really will need all of your strength. You see, quicksilver is expensive. But it isn’t as valuable as gold, or even silver. It’ll be very heavy, and you’ll have to carry it through the jungle.”
Finally feeling back in his element, Iron soon puffed his chest out proudly as he confidently smiled towards Cauldron. "I can definitely carry a lot of stuff," he boldly proclaimed.
She raises an eyebrow.
“Across land? Up hills? While we are in possible danger? And this isn’t counting the fact that we may have to fish it out of the ravine in the first place.”
"If you want our help, you are going to want to tell us what you know."
Iron energetically nodded.
“Uh… uh…” she looks up, and then lowers her head, closing her eyes and lowering her ears flat to her head.
“Okay… I’ve… well, that one Changeling, that’s all true… but I’ve also become involved in… activities.”
She is silent for a moment, and after done silence answers:
“Well, let’s get ready. Expect more than a usual amount of danger.”
She walks around Iron to the door, opening it
Taking the opportunity to ease tensions by the tiniest bit, Iron quickly plants a swift, dry kiss on Cauldron's lips as she tried going around him. "I am sure we will pull through," he reassured her with a friendly smile.
Iron has to act fast, but there’s the narrowest opportunity as she walks past. And…
Iron succeeds, getting a quick taste of soft, black lips. Cauldron is surprised, jumping slightly and seemingly barking with most of a “Yip!” She quickly recovers, stops moving, smiles, blushes, and looks at Iron
She starts to move past him again, though the end of her tail moves a little to the left, and rubs against Iron’s coat.
"Not exactly anything to hide from this odd bunch. We don't exactly look like rule followers. Care to go more into it?"
“I had some contact with ELF before that Changeling, and… I kind of thought that was why he was following me, for a while. Then I got more into it… I’m sure that’s why the other ones are following me now….”
"Alright. So you need us to drop you off at a spot for the ELF to pick you up or something?"
Satisfied with his efforts, Iron steps out of the way with a dumb smile by the smallest margin, allowing her to leave at the intense cost
of slightly rubbing his coat against hers.
“I don’t know if they’ll pick me up…” she answers.
“I should probably get away from here.”>>149718
She nearly runs into him, moving around him, and walking to the door. But she turns her head, snd looks back to him with lidded eyes.