Just across the hallway of the cozy little pony house, the atmosphere of chaotically strewn records, stained futon and pristinely polished turntables gave way to an empty room with splendidly polished floor and no clutter at all. Instead, the room held a single cello and its counterpart, the equally curvaceous Octavia. Her trim little collar lay on the floor beside the industriously coupling musical pair, for Octavia sought inspiration and she’d let her mane down and gotten naked, the better to grapple with her musical challenges.

Up and down the neck went her greedy hoof, the bow teasing and coaxing strangely sensual moans from the instrument. Octavia meant to convey her joy and bold, mare-ly pleasure in her trusty lover Stout Heart, and she proposed to do this through her cello, for she was an artist of no little merit. She’d become exceedingly famous for her compositions, all of which were dedicated to her stallion’s glorious penis, and they had made her one of the most famous ponies to live in the cozy little pony house.

Second most famous, specifically. Scratchie’s thunderous decks would not be denied.


“Yes, Vinyl?” …and neither would Scratchie, it seemed.

“Taaaaavi?” purred the little unicorn pony, playfully.

Octavia narrowed her eyes. “What do you want, Vinyl?”

“It’s super important,” cooed Vinyl Scratch, “so if you’ve got just a minute, I can fill you in on…”

“I am composing,” said Octavia coolly. “Do you not observe? Please, Scratchie.”

The little white unicorn with the rose-colored shades was undaunted. “And since when do I ever interrupt you composing?”

That got her a narrowed-eyed glare. “The day you came and talked me into lending my Stout Heart to a little scrawny blue alicorn who turned out to be Discord calling himself Chaos, I’d been composing. We really must talk about your respect for my creative process. I thought that would be the last of it, yet here you come again.”

Vinyl gulped. “Uh. Yeah. That. Well, if it helps, this time I’m pretty sure she’s not going to be after Stout Heart, or even if she is I can tell he wouldn’t like it and I promise this time you have nothing to worry about, though he must to be crazy not to want this, oh my GAWWWD you have no idea Tavi, I just thought…”

Octavia’s eyes widened. “You are! You are bringing another shameless slut-pony into our house to entertain! As much as I appreciate your cheerful hedonism…”

“Whoa whoa WHOA!” ordered Vinyl Scratch, and Octavia stopped instantly. It had been years since Vinyl’d been seriously angry. The two musical roommates knew each other closer than lovers, just about shared a mind rather than mere eros, and Octavia’s look showed instant contrition. She waited, quietly, as Vinyl grimaced and calmed herself.

Then she asked, softly, “Scratchie? Composing can wait. What did I say, sweetie? I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” said Vinyl and kissed her on the nose by way of apology. “You couldn’t have known. Please respect my feelings, ‘kay? No S-word. She wouldn’t even be mad, but it hurts my heart.”

Octavia gasped. “You’re in love! Oh, Scratchie, I’d hoped to see this day. I am inspired! I will write you a concerto! My fans will be terribly upset, though, I may have to compose under a pseudonym…”

Vinyl shook her head. “No, it’s not that, Tavi! I barely even know her. We’re so lucky, oh my GAWWWD you have no idea Tavi, I wanted to let you know and maybe it will inspire something in you. I ran all the way here! She can walk on mist and water vapor so she could have beat me here, but she’d never hurry, she’d never ever do anything so ungraceful as hurrying. Tavi, her every motion is like a song. You can watch her arrive in Ponyville! We can both watch!”

“Watch who?” pressed Octavia. “To do what? Scratchie! Breathe, focus! Who is this that’s arriving, why has it excited you so, what is she going to do?”

Vinyl’s ears laid back. “Ah. Well, now you’re embarrassing me, Tavi, ‘cos I talked to her and she’s here for the farm ponies, you know? It’s like sex tourism. Actually that’s exactly what it is, but you need to understand what an honor and gift to the community this is gonna be…”

“Vinyl Scratch!” demanded Octavia. “Who is about to arrive in our beloved Ponyville? Is it this GAWWWD you keep going on about?”

Vinyl shook her head. “Not exactly, but close! It’s Hina-rin! I met Hina-rin on the road and she’s coming HERE!”

“And who, or what, is a Hina-Rin?” retorted Octavia, her ears laid back.

Vinyl Scratch took a deep breath.

“She’s a UNICORN.”

Octavia’s jaw dropped in astonishment, as she gawked at her… unicorn companion.

“Run it by me again,” said Octavia, as the two friends trotted cheerfully toward the Town Square. “I admit you’ve never shown the slightest trace of attitude…” she said, glancing warily about, “by which I mean unicorn attitude. Canterlot attitude, perhaps? You’ve got none. It’s one of your best qualities, Scratchie, and I love you for it. You’re telling me you don’t consider yourself to be a unicorn?”

Vinyl’s eyes gleamed eagerly behind the rose-colored shades. “It’s not exactly that. I can lift my decks just fine, my magic is good.”

“But you’re superstitious about it, you won’t touch other artifact magic!” suggested Octavia.

“Hey, take it easy!” protested Vinyl. “That’s my business, okay? Literally as well as figuratively.”

“I’m just saying that I don’t know any other unicorns with quite your attitude towards magic. You say it’s because you’re Neighponnese?”

“You’ll see,” said Scratch confidently, prancing with high, bouncy, ebullient steps. “I guess you could say I’m a unicorn, what passes for a unicorn around here, though it’s more like… you know that tall nerdy unicorn, never dances or parties, friends with Twilight Sparkle and the Princesses? Called Numeric Essence, very nice and smart, started turning into an alicorn and said no thanks? Calls herself a winged unicorn now, lives here in Ponyville and reads a lot? It’s like that. I’m a magic-horned pony. Or horny pony,” she smirked, poking Octavia on the shoulder as she trotted.

“That,” said Octavia, “we had all noticed.”

Vinyl cackled happily.

“So,” continued Octavia, “if you’re a unicorn but our unicorns are just magic-horned ponies, and our visitor is a unicorn but that’s incredibly different to you, what is she, then? An alicorn? A Princess?”

“Better!” boasted Vinyl Scratch. “She’s Hina-rin, I told you!”

Octavia made a face. “You’ve said that three times and it doesn’t answer my question!”

Vinyl blinked. “Oh. I’m sorry, Tavi, I really did answer… but you’d have to be Neighponnese to understand, which I forgot.”

“Then wh…”

“She’s a Kirin,” explained Vinyl Scratch as they entered the Town Square, and then her eyes lit up in helpless, utter adoration. Octavia followed her gaze, and saw.

Hina walked so softly into the Town Square, an apparition seeming to light even the noonday grass with moonlight. Her head was lifted in benevolent curiosity, her eyes faintly lit from within by that same moonbeam glow.

Hina-rin, Neighponnese royalty—if even royalty could be said to encompass her. Vinyl’s heart thumped with awe and joy.

Hina-rin hesitated, about to step across some grass. She dipped her head, exhaled a trace of mist through her delicate, precious nostrils.

She stepped, not onto the grass (which revealed, on closer inspection, a sadly bent blade) but onto the mist, and proceeded to walk about an inch above the ground until the injured grass was safely behind her. She continued, and it became obvious that when the Kirin walked on grass, it was in the same manner that she might stand on a living pony: cautiously, with love and care. Indeed, Hina-rin would not thoughtlessly harm so much as a blade of grass, were that grass innocent and good.

Octavia, abashed, kicked at the dirt. Vinyl thwapped her with a hoof. Octavia saw that she’d just scuffed a stray weed, and hastily settled her hooves, hoping it hadn’t been noticed.

“This might be awkward,” she breathed to herself, while Scratchie wore a grin that was part glee and part bashfulness.

The Kirin faced them. Her coat seemed to glisten with iridescent silkiness. At the base of her mane and down her spine, it seemed to be turning into gleaming troutlike scales and back, a flickering of faintly unsettling, eerily powerful magic that continually transformed her. Hina’s mane, too, shimmered and changed like an alicorn’s: sparkling like blue fire, it poured sensually down her neck and across her trim withers, matched by her silky tail and fetlocks—but only the tuft of the tail, for the dock was bare. Even her chin bore signs of the alicorn-like magic-shimmer, which looked odd on what was clearly a female creature. Her slim, deer-like haunches extended elegantly down to dainty cloven hooves, which somehow rested upon the grass without bending it more than a stray, toppled dandelion might.

Octavia couldn’t stop staring at her horn. Unicorn horns were bony and faced forward, like weapons. Hina-rin’s horn curved serenely backwards, and it looked like glacier ice with electricity flickering inside.

The Kirin apparition cleared her throat, those luminous eyes exuding love and acceptance.

“This is Ponyville? Peace be unto you and yours. Any males around?”

Octavia’s jaw dropped. Vinyl thwapped her again.

Hina pouted, even this appearing ravishingly beautiful. “Oh, be kind. I’ve come so darn far. Can’t you cut a mare a break?”

Vinyl bounced in glee, then hastily checked under herself for fear she’d trampled a stray dandelion. “Of course, of course! Oh, Hina-rin, we are blessed by your presence, I’m sure we can hook you up! It’s an honor! Do you want to get it on right away, or see the sights, or have lunch maybe?”

Octavia muttered, “Magic horny pony, eh? She’ll fit right in.” Vinyl thwapped her a third time.

At this, Hina-rin lifted her shimmeringly goateed chin. “Vinyl Scratch! Though this does not feel like it’s evil or bad, why must you thump your neighbor?”

“Aw,” said Vinyl, “it’s just Tavi. She’s my very best friend in all the world and she knows I’m just keeping her from being snarky. You can tell, can’t you? Tavi, Kirin can sense good and evil. She’d be turning all scaly in the presence of evil and the mane and tail and fetlocks get bigger.”

“Does her horn stand erect, too?” said Octavia, her ears back. She ducked another clout from Vinyl’s corrective hoof.

Hina-rin snorted in amusement. “Most certainly not! What do you take me for, dear? A common pony?”

“My point being,” said Vinyl, “since I love you so much, Octavia, I could probably sit on you until you behave, and Hina’s kirin-senses wouldn’t find anything wrong with that. So watch it!” She stuck out her tongue at her friend, and giggled.

Hina pouted. “There’s no sense denying it: your company’s good. This town roils with chaos. My back turns to scales. In your presence, I am soothed.”

Octavia blinked. “Oh! Well, Vinyl and I don’t have hot and cold running stallions at our place, but you’re quite welcome to stay with us if you like. Come this way, you must be starved after your long journey. How far is Neighpon, anyway? I’m sure we still have some hay-cakes left, and we keep a lovely patch of nice fresh gr…”

She ground to a halt, staring at Hina’s hooves, which seemed to float delicately upon the very blades of grass without bending them.

“Oh my,” said Octavia, going pale. “Miss Hina… do you even eat? I’ve just offered you live grass as a snack. What must you think of us?”

Vinyl glanced sidelong at her, and then entreatingly at the Kirin. Hina cleared her throat again.

“You’re lovely ponies. I, too, enjoy grass. Perhaps not at the moment: my energies remain strong. But, thank you!”

Octavia couldn’t stop staring at the barely-bent grass blades Hina stood upon. “But you’re levitating, or something, rather than crush this other grass! You won’t hurt even a blade of grass!”

“Not needlessly, you silly!” laughed Hina, breaking the tension. “You know I can fly!”

Vinyl grinned. “Ha, got you! I know you’re not really flying, Hina-rin. You can stand on the faintest mist or rainbow! You breathed a little mist onto that grass, I saw you!”

“Got me there,” admitted Hina, luminous eyes twinkling.

“She wants to jump on Rainbow?” blinked Octavia. “I suppose with Ponyville’s magic bits, she’d be happy to oblige.”

Vinyl unexpectedly cringed—and replied, “Uh… maybe not so much. She wouldn’t like that, I’m sure of it. Kirin magic is much more refined and sophisticated than unicorn magic. I don’t think that would be a good idea at all.”

“I beg your pardon?” said Hina-rin, perplexed.

“Artifact magic,” explained Vinyl, blushing. “Unicorn pony tricks? Artificial penis?”

At this, Hina surprised them both. She whinnied, and stepped back, scales flickering into existence down her back, and she raised a cloven hoof protectively, which grew extra wisps of iridescent fetlock for her moment of alarm. Then, the defensive reactions faded away, and Hina hastily checked under her hooves and furtively straightened a tuft of stepped-on grass.

“No, though I thank you,” she said. “Really? Holy crap. I hope there are at least a few earth stallions about?”

“There are, there are!” protested Vinyl. “Don’t worry. I understand how Kirin are! I know you’re just looking for some earth pony loving, and who can blame you? That’s one of the best things about Ponyville, and you can tell just from the feel of the place that we’re kind and good ponies you’ll be comfortable around!”

Hina’s lovely ears were laid back slightly. “There’s something to that. Yet I sense evil.”

Octavia frowned. “Are you sure it’s not crazy you sense, Miss Kirin? Sometimes I think my dear Scratchie’s the only one in Ponyville not given to unicorn crazy. And that’s saying nothing of the pegasi, or most of the earth ponies. It’s never boring, I’ll say that much for it.”

“I’m not sure,” said Hina fretfully, but then Kirin and pony eyes alike were drawn to an unexpected sight.

Into the square came Rarity, but not in the usual way. Bearing an expression of extreme exasperation, she scraped along sideways, her horn brightly alight and her forelegs crossed petulantly. Behind her trotted a wall-eyed grey pegasus: her marefriend, Derpy Hooves, who seemed puzzled by the peculiar locomotion but not overly dismayed. Still, she pestered her fretful unicorn beloved. “But if you want to make me a cup of dandelion tea, Rarity, why are you doing that?”

“I tell you, Derpy, I’m not! Some cursed rock has my number. At least we’ll be swimming in gems.”

“But why’d you want to make me tea and then you rushed off sideways? How come you’re sliding around on your butt?”

“Because I haven’t a sled!” retorted Rarity angrily. “And when we’ve returned with the gems, you SHALL have dandelion ginger tea, otherwise those sniffles will become sneezings and you’ll be blowing your nose on my nice silks again!”

“But you give me the nicest silks on purpose, Rarity, when I’m sick!” protested Derpy, both ponies so busy arguing that they didn’t see the visitor.

“Because they’re soft and because I love you,” scolded Rarity, “but I’ve twelve orders to get out and haven’t time to weave new… oh!”

Her sideways progress had dragged her straight over to the little group, and planted her cheek against the Kirin’s silky, elegant butt-cheek. Hina turned her head, an amused smile playing across her muzzle, and inquired, “Treasure-seeking spell?”

Rarity stared back, stricken and blushing, as Derpy Hooves trotted up crying out, “Hello! I’ve never seen you before, you’re pretty! What are you?”

“This is Hina-rin, Derpy,” explained Octavia courteously.

“She’s a Kirin!” added Vinyl Scratch. “Rarity, what were you doing? Were you casting something, searching for valuables?”

Rarity’d backed off a step. “Well! I suppose I needn’t try to break her to bits and dig gems from inside. Hello, Hina-rin, I’ve heard of your kind in Neighpon. We’re honored, I’m sure. What brings you here?”

“Um… earth pony cock,” admitted the Kirin. “It’s just a little vacation, nothing more.”

Rarity blinked. “Do tell! I’m surprised my horn didn’t drag me to your vagina, in that case. Mind you, I’ve no earth pony cock, but all the same I make do rather well.”

“That is a possible outcome, to be sure,” said Hina blithely. “I’ve seen this dragging before. It’s when unicorn magic seeks beauty and riches.”

“It’s a damned nuisance, particularly if it doesn’t bring me gems,” grumbled Rarity. “All the same, I must be grateful, for it’s that which brought me my cutie mark.”

“Oh, those things,” said Hina. “And yes, you should be grateful.”

“For you? Or your visit?” suggested Rarity wryly. “I’ll grant that you’re pretty. I simply must try and mimic your coat in bespoke silk, the shade is exquisite.”

“I will pay my way,” offered Hina. “By that I mean, I seek fun… but I can work, too. I shall hunt down your evil!”

Rarity stiffened. “Come again?”

“This town is troubled,” explained the Kirin. “Much good, yet still some evil. It’s why I encourage you to show some gratitude.”

Vinyl eagerly explained, “Kirin are very sensitive to evil! They can’t abide it, or the needless harming of any living thing. They’re a moral beacon that helps us all aspire to be the best ponies we possibly can be, and it’s a beautiful gift that she’s graced us with her presence!”

“It’s not you I sense, I think,” explained Hina to an increasingly alarmed Rarity. “But evil’s afoot. Is your treasure-seeking, greed? Or entitlement? How good it brought you to me!”

Rarity gulped. The first time she’d been dragged by the horn to treasure, it had heralded the dawning of her cutie mark. In her exultation at this, she’d also laid claim to many things that hadn’t belonged to her: such as premature filly sexuality, and a first claim to the love of her father, and finally… an illegitimate foal, and the near destruction of her life and a decline into exile, masochism and debauchery. She’d nearly forgotten all this, somehow, but looking into the pearly self-luminous eyes of the Kirin, all that guilt came roaring back.

Then, grey feathers obscured her vision, just as tears threatened to do the same. Derpy had sensed her mood, as always.

“Don’t you call Rarity greedy!” protested the devoted pegasus. “Or a tile mount! You’re acting like she’s a bad pony and no way, nuh-uh! You take that back!”

Rarity gave a little shriek and struggled to evade Derpy’s wing-hug. “No, Derpy, please! Perhaps we should quietly go away right now, hmm? I am so sorry to have troubled you, I promise I won’t be greedy and won’t be dragged anywhere by my horn ever again…”

“WHOA!” came a scratchy little voice from above.

Down swooped Rainbow Dash in a prismatic streak. She slammed into the ground in her haste, bounced to her hooves, and trotted forward with a swish of her mane, gawking at the new arrival.

“What the hell are YOU? Wow! Are you, like, an weird unicorn who slept on her horn wrong? Uh, sorry if you didn’t notice but it’s kind of obvious. Horn check, before somepony takes an embarrassing picture and it ends up in the Foal Free Press!” Dash made horn-straightening gestures with a free forehoof, helpfully.

“Rainbow, please!” cried Rarity. “Be careful, don’t say rude things! This is a Kirin, and she’s hunting evil!”

Dash’s eyes bugged out. “Awesome! Can I help? Wait, first… why are you so freaked out, Rarity? She’s incredibly beautiful. You should be excited just to be around something that pretty, not panicking and blushing. Did something happen I don’t know about?”

Rarity blushed worse. “My horn lit up and dragged me across Ponyville and pressed my face to her rump, darling.”

A pause.

“BAAAAAhahahahaha! eep!”

Derpy Hooves wasn’t quite finished. “She didn’t mean it! Even if her horn drags her to valuables, that doesn’t mean she’s a greedy pony, don’t you call my Rarity names! Oh my gosh! Stop laughing, Rainbow Dash!”

“Derpy, no!” begged Rarity, beside herself. “For the love of Celestia, be calm, don’t be hostile to this creature, kirin can be terribly dangerous to the impure…”

A gentle cloven hoof touched her muzzle, a trace of scintillating fetlock wisping across her nose. Rarity’s eyes crossed as she focussed on it, then flicked in a panic to the Kirin’s waiting gaze.

Derpy pouted, sticking out her lower lip. “That’s right. Pet Rarity and be nice, ‘cos she’s… aCHOO!”

Hina blinked. “She’s a ‘unicorn’, surely? Not a choo? OH! Just a moment…”

Before Derpy could resist, the Kirin had loomed, reared… hugged. Derpy’s face was completely immersed in that glimmering, rippling mane, and then it expanded to immerse her whole head as her wings flapped in discombobulation.

“Breathe deeply, dear one,” commanded Hina-rin.

Derpy heaved a deep breath, at least in part from sheer surprise. She drew another, her off foreleg flailing weakly as the Kirin hugged her… and then, she stood in surprise as Hina withdrew.

“You’re welcome,” said Hina-rin, with just a trace of asperity.

Rarity’s eyes were wide, frightened. “What did you do to her?” she demanded.

“I…” began Derpy, and then snuffled. “Oooh! Thank you! How’d you do that?”

Rainbow Dash began to grin even more. “She came to Ponyville just to cure Derpy’s cold? I guess we don’t get a lot of evil around here, and that was it!”

Rarity was glancing back and forth between Rainbow and the Kirin rapidly. She gulped. “I thought you might harm her, or myself, Miss Hina-rin. Derpy is not clever, and I was terrified she’d become too cross with you, but instead you’ve healed her sneezes. That’ll save me some of my finest silks, you’ve no idea, she wads them up in great billows of snot-rag… but never mind that! You’ve been kind to the love of my life. May I ask why? She was being rather argumentative.”

The Kirin’s luminous eyes gazed into Rarity’s. “How could I do otherwise? Your pegasus is the essence of beauty.”

“Brace yourself, Derpy!” quipped Rainbow Dash.

“Huh, what? How come?” protested Derpy.

“She’s totally flirting with you,” teased Dash. “I think she wants to play!”

Rarity ignored them, in part because teasing Derpy Hooves was such a common Ponyville practice and Dash’s teasing of Derpy was never mean-spirited. Instead, Rarity stared deep into Hina’s eyes, searching them. “Derpy’s got a lovely mane, to be sure, and if one gets used to the eyes, she’s quite radiant. I get that. But… one doesn’t necessarily confer such a favor just because one wishes to get rumpy-pumpy, does one? Or possibly it’s just easy for one like you to heal such ailments?”

Hina serenely held Rarity’s questioning gaze. “Your beloved has one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever seen.”

Rarity trembled, tearing up. “Oh…”

“I don’t know what worries you,” said the Kirin, “but your beloved’s goodness, and your own, shine forth through all this. Do not fear.”

She gracefully reared and hugged Rarity, in turn. The scintillating mane seemed to pop and sparkle a bit as it enfolded Rarity, but Hina seemed unconcerned by this: it seemed that she was used to ponies with foibles and preferred to celebrate their finer points.

When she released Rarity, the elegant unicorn beamed tearfully for a moment and then burst into noisy, wailing crying.

“HEY!” cried Derpy. “Don’t you make Rarity get all weird and confusing like she used to do!”

She reared and made to confront Hina-rin, but then Rarity had intercepted her, hugging and calming her excitable pegasus and saying, “It’s all right, Derpy! Everything is all right, don’t fret. She likes you, that’s all that matters, she likes you…”

“Ah, Rarity, hon?” suggested Hina. As Rarity looked toward her, the Kirin pouted slightly and lifted her chin. “I feel your complexity. Walk the paths of good. That is all I ask. Your heart is no less exquisite, little pony mare. Be worthy of it!”

Rarity’s face twisted, her expression every bit as complicated as advertised. She smiled tearfully, nodded, and then sobbed, her face racked with earnestness, hugging Derpy tightly, and Derpy hugged her back, understanding none of it but reassured that all was well.

A new voice broke in on the scene.

“Greetings, and welcome to Ponyville, and indeed to Equestria. We’ve had no diplomatic communications with your ponies. Are things well in Neighpon?”

Down the road came Princess Celestia herself, accompanied by a very curious Twilight Sparkle and Trixie. Celestia’s wings flared out unconsciously as if she expected to swoop grandly down upon the scene, and then half-furled as if embarrassed at such grandiosity. Trixie tended to try and playfully tuck herself under Celestia’s wing when that happened, but Twilight had trotted forward even faster and was studying the Kirin in frank fascination.

“You’re right, Princess! It is a kirin, sometimes classed in Canterlot taxonomy as a mist demon. How’d you know?”

“When a locus of magic that powerful comes to town,” said Princess Celestia, “one can’t but notice. Hush, Twilight. Ahem! We greet you, jewel of Neighpon. Does some special occasion bring you to our shores?”

Hina-rin scuffed the grass with a delicate cloven hoof, caught herself, and surreptitiously straightened a blade of grass as Twilight watched entranced. “And I, you, Princess. Nothing so special. We may call it a visit?”

“Indeed we may,” said Celestia. “Is Ponyville to your liking?”

“The beauty and goodness of Ponyville warms my heart,” said Hina-rin, searching Celestia’s eyes. The two seemed to be staring awfully hard at each other.

Celestia’s eyes narrowed, ever so slightly. “Why is my friend Rarity crying, jewel of Neighpon?”

Hina’s eyes widened for a moment, and just for an instant she gave the impression of a young and inexperienced mare confronted by some authority figure. It passed.

“Your friend Rarity is good,” stated Hina-rin, lifting her chin. “I find no flaw in her that good hearts can’t mend. Her sex partner Derpy is sweet beyond all compare.”

“Hah!” crowed Rainbow Dash. “I knew she was hot for Derpy-butt!”

Celestia stayed undistracted by pegasus clamoring. She continued to stare intensely at the Kirin. Images of scales flickered over Hina’s body, as she bore up under the scrutiny, finding Celestia’s attention uncomfortable. Then, she sniffed the air, her curious horn scintillating fiercely for a moment, and her jaw dropped.

“Princess Winged Horned Mare?” she said, wonderingly. “May I inquire if you are a creature of Law?”

Celestia snorted. She glanced at Twilight, who knew. Twilight Sparkle, living a mortal life as a simple unicorn, had briefly shared the world of Alicorns with her Princess, and with Luna, Cadance, and even Discord (who’d turned out to be an Alicorn of Chaos, and very cute as a mare). To most Ponyvilleans, Celestia was Princess of the Sun, but to a select few, she was known as Alicorn of Order. It wasn’t much of a stretch to call that, Law.

“And if I am?” said Celestia guardedly.

Hina squeed in delight and darted forward, wreathed in smiles and that curious magic-goatee. She bowed, then bounced giddily upon the grass, then caught herself and straightened the grass blades again.

“We shall be great friends!” she cried. “No wonder your Ponyville is a place of beauty! Your effect is felt!”

Celestia stamped a hoof, imperiously, and the Kirin quieted.

“You’ve come here and judged Rarity, and Derpy, haven’t you?” pressed Celestia.

Vinyl Scratch trotted over, worriedly. “She liked them! Please, Princess Celestia, it’s a great honor for her to visit us…”

“They are so lovely!” protested Hina-rin. “You have done so well!”

Celestia glanced at Twilight, the unicorn who’d so long ago made her question her tendency to overprotect Ponyville. Twilight gazed back, all curiosity and fearlessness so long as she was with her much-loved Princess. Celestia lowered her head, thinking, then lifted it and studied the Kirin again. She considered her words.

“Miss Kirin.”

“Winged horned mare?” replied Hina, politely.

“I’m Princess Celestia.”

“I am Hina-rin.”

“We are honored, Hina-rin,” said Celestia, solemnly.

“The honor is mine,” replied Hina, formally.

“Is that in one of the books in the Starswirl the Bearded wing of the Canterlot Library?” demanded Twilight Sparkle. “It sounds really familiar!”

Celestia ignored her. She regarded the Kirin sternly. “Ponyville’s affairs are its business. You won’t find much evil there. Is it that for which you’ve come?”

Hina eeped. “No! Just the horse cock!”

Rainbow Dash fell over laughing. “I like her already!”

“And I like your town!” continued the abashed Kirin. “Your rule of law can remain! I merely visit! I’m sure the evilness won’t get too out of control!”

“See that it doesn’t,” chided Celestia. She hesitated, and added, “Have fun…”

“I’m sure that I will!” insisted Hina, earnestly.

“What was that about a rule of law?” said Twilight.

Hina glanced at her, apparently puzzled that a simple unicorn was questioning her as if equally powerful to the Winged Horned Mare, who was clearly an alicorn and somewhat important. She looked back and forth between the two, glanced at Trixie on Celestia’s other side, came to an entirely accurate conclusion, and promptly answered the Princess’s consort’s question. “My nature is law. I am its sceptre: its judgement. All chaos shall flee before me, lest it be destroyed!”

Celestia’s eyes bugged out. Twilight did a double-take, and then a wicked grin slowly crept over her face.

“Wanna bet?”

“Twilight,” said Celestia, “I think we’d better return to the castle! There are, ah, things to do. Lawful things, you know. Not chaotic in the least.”

“Hey, Rainbow?” smirked Twilight. “I think I like her too. But she’s in for a big shock, and I don’t mean the earth pony stallions.”

Rainbow’s eyes widened, and then she started to giggle. “All chaos shall flee before me, huh? Does she like chocolate milk at all?”

Trixie was studying the Kirin thoughtfully. “Princess Celestia? What is that horn made of? It looks so different from a unicorn horn, even an alicorn’s.”

“It is,” said Celestia. “As you can see, the Kirin horn doesn’t point forward like ours. Its physicality is never used at all, and in fact it is very brittle. The substance allows for an amazing transfer of thaumic bandwidth…”

“Is she more powerful than you?” demanded Twilight.

“Ah,” stammered Celestia, “I don’t think this is the time to discuss such things. We should go. One moment, however?”

She walked over to Rarity, who’d settled down but still clung to Derpy. Rarity looked up as her Princess approached.

“Now I understand what had upset you, Rarity,” said Celestia. “Remember, those of us who love you have known you for many years. Of course you have a good heart. So many of you in Ponyville do, and of course our visiting Kirin will love you just as much as we do.” She glanced sharply at Hina-rin, and resumed. “So, be of good cheer! I don’t think there’s anypony in all Ponyville that Miss Hina-rin would not like.”

Rainbow Dash burst in, irrepressibly. “But there’s a certain visiting draconequus who might just blow her m…”

“I SAID,” repeated Celestia, “there’s nopony in Ponyville who’d worry our visiting Kirin in the least, nor will there be, so let’s just leave it at that, shall we?”

Some way down the road, Mayor Mare peered at the gathering, and began trotting over to investigate. “Hello!”

Hina-rin bowed her head. “Yes, Princess Celestia. I see this is your domain.”

Rainbow Dash blinked, and got it. “Oh! Right, don’t mind me, nothing else visiting. We got our earth ponies, a few pegasi, unicorns, nothing else! Unless you count Fl…” she began, and then her eyes bugged out and she stared frantically at Princess Celestia.

Celestia gazed back levelly. “Wouldn’t you say that all our ponies in Ponyville, even the strangest, are deeply good? Perhaps, even, some more than others?”

Dash’s eyes were wide. She glanced at Twilight, who also went wide-eyed and startled. Both looked to Celestia.

“And certain pegasus mares are quite amazingly good and kind and gentle,” said Celestia determinedly, “and will be of no interest to our Kirin visitor. Besides, if I am any judge, she is likely not interested in our PEGASUS ponies, much less the mares. Did you not say, erm, horse cock, Miss Hina?”

Hina nodded. “If I may! So earthy and strong.”

“Oh, my!” said Mayor Mare. “Well, horses for courses, I suppose! What a… well directed visiting dignitary!”

“Aw yeah!” said Rainbow Dash, with a hoof-pump. “Maybe we can set you up with Big Macintosh! He has to be the best stud-pony in all Equestria. Are we gonna send you home with a foal and a big smile? Please say yes!”

Celestia was shaking her head urgently, waving hooves in protest, which puzzled Twilight. Hina, whose attention was on Dash, didn’t notice, but did answer.

“Oh, no, that’s not possible. Far too serious. I could not conceive out here.”

“I happen to know Big Red is all kinds of fertile,” suggested Rainbow Dash, but Hina wasn’t having any of it.

“This is just for fun. Pray don’t insult me?”

“Huh?” blurted Dash.

Princess Celestia cleared her throat. “She’s telling you the truth, Rainbow. I don’t know everything about Kirin, but I do know this: forgive me, Hina, but they’ll pester you until someone explains. Kirin reproduce with, ah, with magemelding. Our earth ponies won’t count: they can’t do that.”

Hina was nodding. “Of course not! No sort of pony. Only a Kirin can kindle life through a mage-meld.”

Mayor Mare was frowning. “Though it’s against my better judgement, if it’s unicorn horngasm you need, I suppose we could send for Lyra. I happen to know that mare can overpower even a… what?”

The Kirin had recoiled, with an expression of outright revulsion. “Did you not hear me? Earth pony only! That is different and piquant. The spurting of unicorns? Their raw magic force? Didn’t you listen? Kirin mating is magemeld! Weaving a foal through sheer skill! Not this… gross bestial magic-spurting!”

She paused. Vinyl Scratch was blushing and hanging her head, Octavia nuzzling her. Twilight and Trixie looked extremely offended, and Dash looked stunned.

“I suppose it’s fine for them,” admitted Hina grudgingly. “I’m sorry. It’s sensitive. We won’t do anything so… primitive and filthy. Magic’s a song, not a… gush.” She shuddered, elegantly.

Rarity couldn’t be seen: she was burying her face in Derpy’s wings and shaking, and Derpy looked pouty and cross.

“Some of us seem to like it,” objected Trixie. “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!”

“I’ve heard of unicorn crazy,” said Dash, “but are you kidding me? You don’t like doing it the unicorn way? It grosses you out, but you want to take big throbbing earth pony cock and that’s just fine?”

“Don’t judge me!” protested Hina-rin. “It’s my jam!”

“Oh, I get that!” said Dash. “But I’ve got a bunch of unicorn friends here and they’re uncomfortable now, ‘cos it’s like you think they’re icky!”

Hina looked forlorn. “It’s not that! It’s… close and yet not enough? The ravaging of force rather than sweet self-control? I am so sorry. It just seems grotesque. After all, no unicorn can meld like us.”

The words dropped into the waiting silence. Then, a clear voice broke that silence.

“Trixie?” said Twilight. “C’mere.”

Princess Celestia choked. “Oh, now, Twilight… no! Please, can you not… this is NOT diplomacy! Twilight Sparkle!”

Neither unicorn listened. As Hina-rin, the Kirin, looked on in mounting horror, Twilight Sparkle and Trixie Lulamoon concentrated, steadily weaving a glimmering magemeld like they’d done it many times before.

They had.

Hina staggered back aghast, as if they threatened to seize her horn with the magemeld and impregnate her: with another Kirin, this would of course be impossible in the absence of her cooperation, but the shocking obscenity of a unicorn magemeld seemed to break all the rules and the hapless Kirin had no idea what they proposed to do with it.

A small metal rod popped out of the air, and Twilight and Trixie sagged, spent and pleased.

“Here,” said Trixie wryly, and tossed the magic bit toward Mayor Mare’s mouth. Unthinkingly, she caught it, and then her eyes popped as she felt an equine penis surge into existence between her legs, her shape shifting violently to reveal a sudden new appendage in a green glow of unwanted transformation.

Mayor Mare screamed in complete terror and panic, spat the bit out onto the ground, and fled as if all the evils of the Everfree Forest were after her.

“TWILIGHT SPARKLE!” declaimed Princess Celestia. She glowered at the two quietly giggling, incorrigible unicorns, and then she drew a deep breath. “We are so terribly sorry, enjoy your stay, goodbye! Rainbow, Rarity, Octavia, Vinyl, over to you! As for YOU two,” she growled… and then, the alicorn Princess had taken to the air, her horn glowing brightly, the two giggling unicorns dangling by the scruffs of their necks, hooves curled up cutely. They soared up, bound for Canterlot, and soon were lost to sight.

Rainbow stared at the magic bit, lying in the dirt. “Wow. Usually those toys are a lot more popular, just saying…” She glanced over to see Hina-rin, cowering. “Hey. Hey! It’s okay, it’s just Twilight and Trixie being troublemakers, no big deal… hey whoa, what’s the matter?”

She fluttered over to the stricken Kirin, and said, “Can I give you a hug?”

Hina-rin nodded tearfully, and was promptly cuddled by warm pegasus forelegs as Rainbow snuggled her. The scratchy little voice betrayed Dash’s motherly wisdom, always incongruous and yet somehow so persuasive, practiced through continued effort on her own recalcitrant foal. “Now c’mon, what’s the matter, honey? I’m here. Let it out.”

Hina sniffled, and stared dreadfully at the magic bit lying mockingly in the dirt, as if it would bite her. Without turning her head, Dash said, “Rarity? Or Derpy, or somepony? Get that thing outta sight, it’s scaring her.”

“No, no, not really,” protested the Kirin. “It’s just that…” She broke off, giving way to tears again.

“I’ll take it!” offered Derpy. “Those things don’t scare me, they’re fun! Can I have it? I always have to borrow Rarity’s.”

Rarity nodded. “Good thinking, Derpy darling! Bring it home, there’s a good pony. I think we’ll be all right.”

Rainbow was still cuddling Hina-rin, and Vinyl and Octavia approached, Vinyl trembling. “Please, Hina-rin, don’t cry! Did a lot of evil enter the town? Or great chaos? Bad weather?”

“Hey!” objected Dash. “Weather patrol, on the case! You ponies are all like ‘oh, another nice day, ho hum’ but as soon as we pegasi have to bring a thunderhead through or something, it’s like it’s OUR fault…”

She trailed off, because the Kirin’s mane was popping and sparking around her as if her presence suddenly offended it. Hina turned her forlorn face to Dash, and put a gentle cloven hoof to her lips. “I don’t think she’s blaming you. Please calm your anger?”

Rainbow thought for a moment. “I will… if you spit out what’s bothering you. Don’t even try to cover it up, my kid gets like that and if I can outwait her I can outwait you, cutie! Exactly why is Twilight and Trixie being naughty, the worst thing ever? Is it about the magic bit? Those can be kinda scary, but they don’t blow up unless you use them wrong. And don’t you like things to be right? I think you and the bits are on the same side, there!”

Vinyl Scratch frowned. “Is that how those are made? Lyra had one. If I’d only known, I wouldn’t have let it near me at all. What are Twilight and Trixie doing? Are they getting pregnant from that? It’s kinda awful. Yikes!”

“Wait, what? Pregnant?” objected Dash. “The bits totally don’t make you pregnant. Believe me, I’d have noticed!” She boggled for a moment. “Whoa. I’d have, like, a whole herd of little hellions like Northern Spy, my kid. Yikes is right!”

Rarity’s brow was knit. “I think I may have it. Vinyl, you’re Neighponnese and you clearly find Twilight’s more advanced magic studies with melds upsetting. You see it as related to pregnancy, as does our Kirin, and she’s here to… hmmm! Hina-rin, may I ask a rather personal question? I promise you, it is in the service of good.”

Hina looked sad. “As your Princess Horned Winged Mare said, you’ll pester me regardless, so yes. Of course you may, dear.”

Rarity’s ears were slightly angled back at being the recipient of ‘dears and darlings’ rather than the producer of such pleasantries, but she pressed on. “Hina-rin, are you a virgin?”

Vinyl’s, Octavia’s, and Dash’s eyes widened. Hina hesitated, and then she nodded, her eyes tearing up again.

“Oh, darling!” said Rarity, with some satisfaction. “I quite see the problem. Don’t worry, Rarity will ensure you’re not triggered again! It’s so unfair, isn’t it? Our naughty unicorns will stay away and not offend you further. I’m sure Princess Celestia is also acting in your best interest.”

“Slow down,” ordered Rainbow Dash. “What happened?”

Rarity turned to her. “Let’s just say, what Twilight and Trixie did has more significance than you know.” She gulped. “Miss Hina upset me, earlier, for similar reasons. We can be sensitive about intimate acts, especially very personal ones. All that talk of spurting unicorns…” She shuddered. “When I was very young, you might say I sinned. You’ve heard the story, Rainbow, I shan’t re-tell it. Because the act is so significant, it hurt me very deeply that my first experience was… tainted.”

Hina’s mane had begun to sparkle ominously as Rarity got in touch with her youthful misdeeds, but it quieted. Rarity sat impassively, sad-eyed, accepting the reality of her history but transcending it with her everyday choices. Rainbow studied her. She and Applejack had heard the story of Sweetie Belle’s origins.

Rainbow’s eyes widened. Her own memories rose up, unbidden. Even while she cuddled the Kirin, that floating mane flared into a storm of sparks as Rainbow Dash revisited a day that reared up vengefully out of her past, almost forgotten. She’d fought with Applejack, because her pegasus attitudes about bodysex had led to her swishing her prismatic tail aside for Big Macintosh, and it’d come as a brutal shock to the earth pony mare who’d earned Rainbow’s wings forever. Rainbow had flown off, despairing, to remain chaste wing-wise but act out her feelings with some more bodysex, the wildest craziest bodysex she could find. And there had been that one Diamond Dog, out to rendezvous with a lover of his own kind, but willing to experiment…

The storm of glittering energy around Rainbow threatened to obscure her entirely, though the Kirin seemed sunk in gloom.

When that Dog had turned from his fucking to experimentally chew on Rainbow Dash’s wing, it was like her soul had been torn apart in an instant. She hadn’t meant to be unfaithful to Applejack, just to get a lot of body-screwing in. Yet in one incandescent burst of erotic release and guilt, she’d been damned. Her wings weren’t Applejack’s anymore, they were anypony’s—anything’s.

The seething, crackling storm of energies subsided, as Rainbow mastered her guilt. It hadn’t been the Diamond Dog’s fault, he knew no better. Dash hadn’t set out to give her wings to random passersby. It had just been an awful, painful time, and they’d gotten through it, with great determination, forgiveness and love. Dash had even learned to be slightly less wanton with bodysex—or at least to invite Applejack along and involve her in the fun. Complicated, but the right thing to do under the circumstances.

“Listen,” said Rainbow firmly to the mournful Kirin. “I think maybe I understand too. With me, with pegasi, it’s about the wings, you know? Maybe not everypony, I can only speak for myself. Well, I was always extremely awesome with bodysex, but I was a virgin. Nopony had my wings, I didn’t think anypony ever would. And I met Applejack, and one day I gave myself to her. And then there was this other day and s… something bad happened…”

Hina’s mane flared up again, and she trembled, looking miserable as her body reacted to intimations of evil. Dash blinked inside the flare-up, and then spotted the problem.

“Let me correct that,” said Dash. “I DID something with… well, with a Diamond Dog, okay?”

Rarity cringed. “Ew, Rainbow! Honestly!”

“Sh! Yes, exactly, honesty! Can’t you see how her mane was all sparking when I acted like it was just something that happened? And now it’s not when I faced up to me doin’ it?”

Rarity was making a face. “It’s not just that. I’ll have you know Discord once played with me and Derpy, and that was one of the forms he took.” She shuddered. “Such complicated times. He managed to trigger me. I thought I’d murder him, he’d vanished Derpy’s wings and she couldn’t understand.”

“Now who’s making the Kirin’s mane go all sparky?” accused Dash, as a storm of magic nearly obscured her from view.

Rarity’s eyes widened. “Oh my. Yes. We’d better not talk about that, Rainbow.”

Hina trembled. “Is all Ponyville awful?”

The next thing she knew, both Rainbow and Rarity were hugging and soothing her. “Indeed not!” insisted Rarity. “Princess Celestia promised it was a good place, and that nopony would come here that might disturb you with evilness or chaos, isn’t that right, Rainbow?”

“Hoo boy,” managed Rainbow Dash. “I guess we can make an effort! I think you need to keep some rooms in Carousel Boutique locked up for the time being!”

“Sh!” reproved Rarity. “Miss Hina-rin, Rainbow Dash and I have both told you that we’ve had experiences, related to our particular intimate sexualities, that we found disturbing. We can see that you found Twilight and Trixie, doing what they did, disturbing. Pray let me reassure you that they’ve no idea about making anypony pregnant in such a way, in fact I rather doubt they could if they wanted! They are unicorns, like I and Vinyl, and we are made fertile through the tacky magic-gushing you spoke of, and what you saw was NOT anything like Kirin reproduction. We’re sorry you had to see it, but it wasn’t that, it was something else. Making magic toys, nothing more. And Princess Celestia, too, understands your plight, and she removed those silly unicorns before they could offend further.” Rarity made a face. “Which is just as well, as I suspect they might have.”

Rainbow hugged Hina. “It’s okay to be a virgin! It’s okay to want to have a bunch of bodysex ‘cos you’re not ready for such a big thing. As a pegasus I so totally understand!”

“As a pegasus,” scolded Rarity, “you would.”

Hina still looked forlorn, but was glancing back and forth between the two ponies. “I’ve disgraced myself. To carry on in such a ridiculous fashion? I am here to help you all. Well, that and pony cock? I’m here for that too. But surely not to fuss and be a big pain!”

Rainbow hugged her yet again. “We’re here for you, Hina-rin! It’s okay if you’re not amazing all the time. It makes you kinda like us for a change!”

Hina frowned. “This unicorn magemelding? Unthinkable, obscene stunts? And to do so not to create a new life?” She grimaced. “How did I not just explode? Surely the evil must have incinerated me. And yet, there I was. Watching them.”

Rarity gave her a stern look. “It’s not evil to them, Hina.”


“No, listen,” reproved Rarity gently. “I saw you. As upset as you were, your magic didn’t react, even though it responded to my and Rainbow’s memories of guilt and bad choices. Your magic didn’t react because it’s not evil for Twilight to do things with Trixie that aren’t your concern. Princess Celestia will keep them from bothering you. Rather your loss, really, but I’ve noticed they spend more and more time at the castle and have come over all royal.”

Rainbow Dash snickered. “You think? All royal what, exactly?”

Rarity went scarlet. “Oh my! I didn’t mean that. Though it may be true all the same!”

“And,” said Rainbow smugly, “that’s not evil either, is it? Not to our Kirin, our Ponyville Kirin. Her mane isn’t even lighting up about it! She’s just a sex-mad virgin trying to get lots of bodysex to distract herself.” She eeped, as Hina booped her nose.

The Kirin was blushing. Oddly, it cast a rosy glow up into her horn, and the glacier-ice look turned more magenta in response. “Kirin are precious! Creatures of special value, beyond the ken of normal pony spirit! We predate all things. Kirin created the cosmos and the Equestria you enjoy!”

Dash was undaunted… and nothing about her smirking, provocative attitude was troubling the Kirin’s magic or moral judgement.

“And you can do all that AND ride a big earth pony cock here in Ponyville! Can’t you?”

Hina’s eyes widened. “I think so…”

“I know so!” exulted Dash. “This is gonna be a lot of fun. Don’t you worry, cute little Hina! We’re gonna show you a good time, aren’t we Rarity?”

“Oh, Rainbow,” chuckled Rarity. “She doesn’t seem to mind, I’ll say that.”

Vinyl Scratch chimed in, cheered by Hina’s rebounding mood. “Hina-rin will rejoice in the pleasure of all good ponies! We are sooooo honored, seriously dude, you have no idea how great this is gonna be!”

Dash was smiling. “I envy the stallions. Can I help warm you up?” She licked her lips, waggling her eyebrows.

Hina, however, wasn’t paying attention. Her horn seethed with internal light, as she thought hard: even her eyes glowed slightly from within. “This is good. Yet it’s not enough… I owe you good ponies more. I should help your Ponyville find its true joy!”

“Not just a joy,” said Rainbow, “more a way of life if ya know what I mean…”

Hina-rin was undaunted. “Yes! Yes, I can! I will help you learn! Just as you ponies helped me!” She took deep breaths, her eyes sparkling. “As a Kirin, I will devote myself to your lives!”

“And ride on a bunch of earth pony cocks?” suggested Rainbow.

Hina, rapt in contemplation of her destiny, nodded. “That as well.” She gave a happy sigh. “And slay your evil, of course.”

“You oughta let my kid Northern Spy help,” suggested Dash. “Especially now that she’s cured.”

“Cured of what?” asked Hina, curiously.

Rainbow met Rarity’s urgent glance, and gulped.


“Then, can I…” said Discord.

“No!” retorted Princess Celestia.

“Oh, Celly, please?” said Discord. “It sounds like she’d be a barrel of laughs. Very well, if I can’t go see her as Discord and turn her horn to a croissant, and I can’t go to her as my old Starswirl form and fuck her as one of the great stud-stallions of history, can’t I go to her in my natural form as Chaos? You don’t think she can hurt me, do you?”

Celestia sighed, petulantly. “No, Swirlie. Of course not.”

Twilight Sparkle was conferring with Trixie. “Are you sure? Trixie says she’s read some books which say they predate alicorns. And created the world and the Cosmos.”

“Neighponnese books?” suggested Celestia, wryly.

Twilight pouted. “Still… Damn it, Princess, it’s not fair! We want to study her. This book says she’s immortal and breathed all of the Cosmos out as mist under her hooves. We could test her breath. For Cosmos.”

Discord twinkled. “If she tests positive, can we arrest her for being excessively cosmic?”

Princess Celestia scrunched her nose. “I think Ponyville will have to take that risk. Honestly, Twilight, I’m sure they’ll enjoy her company.”

“But she’s an omnipotent superbeing that fights evil! What if she squishes Fluttershy? I never did cure Fluttershy of being a vampire!”

Discord’s eyes widened. “Oh, my.” Then narrowed. “You don’t say… I confess I’d assumed Fluttershy was no part of this, firstly because she’s undead and can’t be killed, and secondly because she’s the farthest thing from evil. Do you think the Kirin’s going to target her? If she does, I feel some very intense Chaos coming on…”

“She won’t,” said Celestia, hastily. “Put it out of your mind. Both because it’ll never happen, and because we’re not that far from Ponyville, you know. I’m worried about you, too, Twilight. Don’t worry about these things. Fluttershy will be fine, and the Kirin will not target her.”

“She won’t target her if her little cloven hooves are anvils!” suggested Discord.

“Swirlie!” argued Princess Celestia. “Listen. You know Fluttershy’s nature. We all do. She’s no threat to the Kirin, won’t even register. On the other hand, YOU are hinting at unleashing murderous vengeance, or at least terrible mischief. Twilight, I’ve literally watched you unleash murderous vengeance, and only Fluttershy’s intercession saved us all. Calm down! I swear, if you two get all worked up, that poor Kirin will sense it all the way out in Ponyville, and she’ll come galloping up here as fast as she can, full of duty to obliterate you for all that murderousness.”

Discord sagged. Twilight pouted, truculently. “And then what? She’s gonna wipe us out? With you, and Chaos, and me and Trixie magemelding, and the Elements of Harmony, and we can call in Cadance for added firepower if she’s not too busy screwing half the palace…”

Celestia sighed. “She’d be snuffed out like a moth in a bonfire, Twilight. I can’t allow that. Kirin are so rare already.”

“But they’re supposed to have created the world!”

Celestia lifted an elegant eyebrow. “And the book says they’re immortal? Who wrote that book? Do my eyes deceive me, or is it written by the great Hayneighhara, gifted yet exceedingly mortal Neighponnese unicorn scholar?”

There was a slight pause.

“Gifted, eh?” said Discord.

Celestia shook her head. “No, Swirlie. I didn’t have him, before you ask. And I didn’t mean that: contemporaries said nothing about his penis, exceptional or otherwise. I meant his writing skill, as you well know. My point being, why don’t you ask someone who was there at the time?”

Twilight clutched the book protectively, as if too fond of its tales to disrupt them, and so it was Trixie who said, “Are Kirin immortal, Princess Celestia?”

The Princess shook her head, sadly.

“Not at all. They’re exceptionally long-lived. The thaumic matrix of their horns allow for an extraordinary bandwidth and intensity of magic, as I said, and they’re rightly proud of this. Neighponnese unicorns have often flirted with worshipping them as Gods, and it’s understandable as they’re not in Tartarus or Elysium but actively walk among the Neighponnese, doing good deeds and casting judgement when called upon to do so. Nothing in Neighpon can stand against an enraged Kirin, certainly.”

“So they are very powerful?” said Twilight. “And this one, she’s powerful?”

“I hadn’t finished,” said Celestia reprovingly. “Their rareness is associated with their mode of reproduction. Please don’t meld in that creature’s presence again: Neighponnese records show evidence that Kirin have destroyed unicorns which learned to magemeld, claiming the unicorns were doing it for evil purposes. It’s unclear whether this was true, or simply a matter of unicorns trying to rise up against their masters, benevolent masters though they may have been. I may say that the history of this guided me when the Lulamoon clan sought to take control of the Sun from me and imprison me, so very long ago. Knowing the sad tale of the Neighponnese magemelders, I used reason and persuaded them to let me continue my duties, and I never had to harm a single talented unicorn.”

“It sounds like those Kirin were evil!” said Twilight.

“Neigh,” said Celestia solemnly. “I am sure in their case, the cabal was. What little I know of it, suggests the worst. It’s possible if the Lulamoons had succeeded, they’d have turned to evil too, and lost control of the Sun and their world. Teams of mortals have great difficulty taking the long view. I don’t blame the Kirin responsible for their choices: I’m sad with them, and in any event they’re long gone now.”

“Dead?” asked Discord.

“I didn’t say that,” replied Celestia. “Probably, but we know so little of their life cycle. They don’t proliferate, plus I’ve observed that when a new one appears, another might turn up missing. Some speculate that there’s an element of the phoenix: we know they magemeld to form a new Kirin, but it’s possible a living Kirin must sacrifice itself to kindle the foal. It’s even possible that each new Kirin is kindled by a magemeld that destroys both parent Kirin, and that’s why they’ve grown so powerful… that in this way, they move on to greater and greater heights of refinement and sophistication, each ‘generation’ inventing a new, smaller and better one and sacrificing itself, until they culminate in one Godlike Kirin who presides over the rekindling of the Universe, with all Equestria just a tiny speck in that vast magical birth.”

Two ponies and one draconequus gawked at her, stunned.

“Is that true?” gasped Trixie, in awe.

“No,” said Princess Celestia. “I met the fellow who made that theory up. He was a very nice Neighponnese unicorn, but he didn’t like alicorns very much and I guess he put me in my place, didn’t he? His fantasy final Kirin is far more impressive than I. People still tell his story, while my own theory that Kirin struggle to master the reproductive magemeld and often don’t succesfully go through with it, has been entirely forgotten. I do think it’s the younger, more impassioned Kirin who manage to do it, and as the older Kirin are venerated, there’s rather a social pressure for them to wait until they’re a few thousand years old and know they’re worthy of continuing their line. And by then, they haven’t got the skills. It is rather impressive that the meld they use always produces a Kirin in the classic sense, but there seems to be a sort of cascading feedback effect so that only deeply noble, pure Kirin can work the spell. And those often have other goals besides sexual intercourse, you know.”

“And younger Kirins are super horny but it stops them from being as noble?” suggested Twilight.

“The plural is also Kirin,” corrected Celestia. “I believe that stuck because they are so self-similar: one reason they are known to be such champions of Law is that they’re almost exactly alike. They see things very similarly and are predictable to a fault, depending on the raw power of their magic use and that extraordinary horn to prevail in any dispute, no matter what opponent they may face. The young ones are always painfully aware of the expectations upon them, and I’ve never seen a wicked or rebellious Kirin. I do wonder at times whether there’s an ancestral memory that’s passed on to new Kirin, such as our Ponyville visitor.”

Discord blinked, charmed. “New Kirin? We have a baby Kirin in town?”

“Oh, no! She might be a few hundred years old from the look of it. However,” said Celestia, “that still puts her in the prime of youth: you might say, the awkward years. She’ll enjoy the townsponies, perhaps defend them from some timberwolves or a hydra, and then move on when she feels Neighpon calling. She has responsibilities back at home, of course. She’s on holiday.”

The ponies and draconequus considered this for a while.

Discord said, “It sounds like you know all about them, Celly, and I can see why you like them. Very well. I’ll somehow avoid the temptation of playing with the Kirin, as adorable as the prospect might be. I would like to know one thing, however. Are you sure she’s no danger to Ponyville? I know, it sounds ridiculous to you, but as a representative of Chaos I’m concerned she might rather stifle things.”

“Or, a danger to us?” said Twilight. “You told us to avoid thinking bad thoughts. If she’s an adolescent, does that mean her magic powers are hard to control? I don’t like the sound of those special horns with the amazing thaumic matrix. We can get pretty destructive with just unicorn and alicorn horns, and her horn looked totally freaky and weird. I saw lights in there, I’m sure of it! Are you warning us that the Kirin can be more powerful than you? They sound like they might be Gods!”

“Oh, no,” said Celestia, “they certainly are not. Exotic, yes, perhaps a little full of themselves, terribly serious about their goals in life, but for all that they are just magical creatures like any other. And no, Twilight, the Kirin is not more powerful than I.”

“Good!” said Twilight Sparkle.