I'd Go Anywhere With You

by IcarusFics

Chapter 1: 1 - Even To Some Creepy Library?

No Griffon could say that Griffonstone wasn’t a sight to behold. Despite the city lacking its idol, life had begun to return to what used to be such a rundown slum of a city. There was still work to be done, but I felt more than a little pride as I walked through the streets.

If it weren't for those two ponies, not even I would have accepted this newer way of life, and I considered myself relatively welcoming prior to that day. After Gilda and I had made up and started our business together, we could see colour slowly returning to the drab dwellers and smiles became more common than scowls. I was beyond glad that I had given her a chance too, as the friendship I had with Gilda was now growing stronger by the day.

It didn't take long for other griffons to start following suit, and soon enough, not only was our business thriving, but so was the town. With the untrusting attitude of the Griffons fading away, they began to be more and more welcoming to others, strengthening bonds, creating friendships, and not to mention, boosting tourism.

The city was not without its problems. Not everygriffon was as open to the new way of life as others were, sticking to their ways and showing their disdain for everything and everygriffon. Some still touted that the city would never be the same again without the Idol of Boreas, and while others would be overjoyed to see it back, it was no longer thought of as the only way to restore our glory.

The pleasant smell of freshly baked scones wafted toward my nostrils, distracting myself from my thoughts and only filling my mind with one thing. Gilda. While I had been slow to learn, our friendship had grown speedily since we started working together. We both had our strengths and weaknesses, and we both helped each other work through them. The first few weeks were bumpy, but once we both felt able to put our trust in each other, our friendship began to blossom.

I smiled as I approached the market square, the smell of scones still the most intense scent in the air. From a distance, I could see a smiling Griffon hand out two scones to some pony tourists and wave them goodbye. She turned around and spotted me, waving in my direction as well.

“Hello, Gilda.” I smiled in greeting to my friend and business partner. “I trust this morning has treated you well?”

“You bet, Greta! These tourists can't get enough of these scones, not to mention Grunwald wants to come by later and pick up two dozen for the Griffons working on the reconstruction effort.” She said, flashing a grin at me as she pulled more steaming scones from the oven.

“You've been writing up the sales count, right?” I asked her as I put my own apron on and glanced at the paperwork.

“Of course. How could I forget after the lecture you gave me last time.” Gilda rolled her eyes playfully.

“I didn't doubt you, simply asking to make sure.”

“Well, aye aye, ma’am. Papers are all filled out. We've made about thirty bits just this morning, and the day has hardly started.” She smiled as I joined her in work. Gilda was a much better cook than she let herself believe, and my speciality with numbers had undoubtedly helped keep the business organised. Together, we were a great team.

As the day was drawing to a close, Gilda and I began to pack up the cart. The rest of the day had gone off without a hitch and we had earned ourselves an even larger amount than we usually did.

As we were finishing, Gilda wiped the sweat from her brow before turning to me.

“Hey, Greta?” I looked up at the sound of my name. “Did you feel like maybe heading to The Perch for some drinks tonight? I mean, if you haven't got anything better to do.” She smiled, rubbing the back of her neck.

“Hmm… while I would usually say no to drinking, I can't think of a better thing to do than hang out with my best friend after a long day.”

Her face lit up into a smile.

“R-Really? I mean, uh, sweet.” She stammered before righting herself and finishing up closing the stall.

We dropped the cart back at Gilda's home, which we had used as a “Home base” of sorts, before heading toward The Perch together. Despite the large amount of tourism the town had garnered, The Perch was pretty much a Griffon only establishment. They didn't kick any ponies out, but it wasn't exactly pleasant for a pony to see meals made of animal meat regularly served.

We entered the bar and found a booth to sit in. Gilda ordered our drinks for us, along with a small snack.

“So, I got a bit of good news yesterday.” Gilda said with a sly grin.

“Oh? I'm listening.”

“Get this; Last week, Grunwald and the restoration team found a library!”

“A library?” I gawked. “I thought the only library we ever had was right next to the castle, and that one’s practically empty now.”

“Well, it's kinda like a library. It was in some basement under an old house. Looks like the tenants kinda abandoned the place and left all these books behind. I know you like history a lot, so I asked Grunwald if you could take a look and he said yes!”

“W-wait, really?” My jaw dropped. “Really?”

“Yep! Told you those scones knew how to work their magic.” She grinned with a wink.

“Wh-when did he say I would be able to see it?”

“The place is pretty much abandoned, so I guess we could go there tomorrow together, if you wanted. It is our day off, after all.”

“G-Gilda, I don't know what to say except thank you!”

“Aw, it was nothin’ much. 'Sides, you're like, my best friend.” She said with the tiniest hint of a blush go her cheeks.

“By Grover’s beard…” I paled as I looked around the dark and dusty cellar. The book cases on the walls were hardly visible behind the layers of dust, grime, and cobwebs, even with the small torch I was carrying. Gilda let out a small cough as she accidentally inhaled some dust and sent even more into the air.

“This place is a dump!” She said after her coughing fit was over. I walked closer to one of the walls and shone my light on it, illuminating the dust covered decorations. The room was filled to the brim with bookcases, holding even more large tomes. Cobwebs dotted the corners and as the light from my torch passed over them, multitudes of bugs scattered around the room. On the wall was a large wooden carving, shaped like a Griffon in flight, holding onto a large mace. The design was old, very old. How long had this place been hidden away? With the age of the place, it's possible that even the previous tenants hadn't ever found this place. I turned to the bookcase and lifted my light up. The books were in surprisingly good condition despite the layers of dust covering them and I grasped one in a claw, holding my torch in my beak.

Mystical Flora and how to Grow it? Strange. I placed it back and picked up another tome. Great Rat Stew Recipes? Ew, no way.

“Hey, Greta, check this one out!” Gilda called from the other side of the room. I placed the book I was holding away before walking over and looking at the book in her claws. It was bound in what probably used to be expensive red leather and had a long string holding the covers shut.

“What is it?”

“I have no clue, girl, that's your forte.” She shrugged and handed it to me. “Nothing on the cover either.”

I took the old book from her and carefully untied the string. Slowly so as not to damage any delicate pages, I pried the cover open to the first page. It was claw or hoof written, the ancient pages stained with age and frequent use.

“Property of Gerat Grover, explorer and… prince!? G-Gilda, this… this is the journal of Gerat Grover!” I clasped the book in shaking claws and beamed at my friend.

“Uhh, who now?” She deadpanned.

“Gerat Grover, father of King Grover!”

“Ooooh. Why is he so important?”

“Gerat Grover was the first Griffon to map out all of Griffonstone. Prior to that, no proper maps of Griffonstone even existed. This is his private Journal, full of all his closest kept secrets!”

“Woah, chillax, G. Should I be worried about my journal?”

“Of course not, I wouldn't violate your-- Wait, you have a journal?”

Her cheeks reddened a little. “S-so what? Dash said she does it to help her c-collect her thoughts so I decided to do it too. Can we focus on the book?”

“Y-yeah, sorry. Uh, where was I? Oh yeah, anyway, it was rumoured that Gerat used to keep a journal where he mapped out anomalies around Griffonstone. Some of them were dangerous, so he kept them hidden to protect intrepid explorers from getting themselves into trouble. Let's read a bit more.”

I turned a few pages and found a date written above a large block of claw written text.

“Sixteenth of Celeste, six hundred and fifty two. Gilda, this journal is over three hundred years old!”

“Holy crap, that's like three of Grandpa Gruff’s age.”

“This is the first entry. In this journal, I have decided to document my travels around the City of Griffonstone. There are many undocumented places I will be documenting in this journal. I've kept them secret purely because of how darn headstrong Griffons are. Don’t want those idiots getting themselves hurt.”

“These caverns are enormous!” Gerat called out to the empty cave before us.

“P-please, Gerat!” I whispered harshly. “Keep your voice down! Who knows how fragile this cavern is. It could cave in. If it really leads to the bottom of the Abysmal Abyss, we're probably going to need to use this tunnel to get back. ”

“Ridiculous, Gavin! These caverns have been here for thousands of years. Why would they collapse from a little- Ow!” He clenched his forehead as a pebble fell and landed dead in the centre of it.

“Oh, curse this place! I know I'd much rather be sipping some cider right now, but noooo. You just have to have this insatiable desire to explore, don't you, Gerat!” He shouted to himself and I cringed as his bellowing echoed throughout the cavern.

“Let's just get moving, Gerat. With the amount of food and supplies we have…” I eyed Gerat’s quite small bag. “We only have four days to find the exit of the cave system, and four to get back.”

“We'll be fine, trust me! I have this all under control!” He said, more small rocks falling as he did.

“If we can even get back at all…”

“That’s not all there is, so I can only assume that they made their way through to the exit somehow.” I said, calmly closing the cover of the book. “Gilda, do you know what this means?”

“Uh, kinda? It means we got some important book, right?”

“Well, yes, but I meant what was in the book.” I shook the tome in her face.

“Some dudes are in a cave?”

“Exactly! But it’s the cave they are in that I care about! Remember how you told me that when Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie came to Griffonstone, you saved their lives but had to let the Idol of Boreas fall down into the Abysmal Abyss?”

“Yeah. What about it?”

I sighed and smiled at my somewhat inattentive friend.

“This book has directions to the cave they went in. The cave that leads to the bottom of the Abyss! Gilda, if we can find that cave, then we can find the Idol of Boreas!”

Gilda stared at me blankly before clearing her throat and grinning nervously at me.

“Uh… “We”?”

The past few days had been a blur of preparation. Luckily enough, our stall was popular enough that we could find some willing Griffons to work the cart while we were away. Worst case scenario and some emergency happens, I told them to simply leave the cart at Gilda’s. I'd like to not have to, but we'd got enough savings to dip into if the need arises.

Gilda had been hard to convince, but even she knew that the glory and pride Griffons currently had would increase tenfold if we brought back the Idol of Boreas. Not to mention, she would surely be showered by praise and adoration, something that Gilda had adopted from her friend Rainbow Dash.

With the treacherous terrain around Griffonstone, there was plenty of gear and supplies to be found in the various shops, even moreso now that business had started to pick up for everyone. We had purchased ropes, flashlights, hooks, and plenty of other adventuring gear, as well as copious supplies for the trip. Gilda had insisted on bringing some of our scones along with us, so I conceded and promised she could bring them if she carried them.

“Are you sure you've double checked?”

“For the last time, yes.” Gilda said as she zipped up her bag and glared at me. “Why is it so important that we not miss a single thing?”

“Because of literally everything. We're going on what is almost definitely a dangerous expedition to the bottom of what is considered the most dangerous place in Equestria. We double double check to make sure that we have everything we need, no matter what comes our way.” I nodded at her assuredly.

“Alright, fine. But I did double double check, so quit your worrying. Your expedition will be fine.”

I breathed out a sigh.

“I'm sorry I've been so worried about this trip, it's just… my well being isn't the only one on the line. I know you weren't exactly keen on this in the first place, so I would never forgive myself if something bad happened to you.”

“Hey, I'll be fine! Look at me, there's nothing but muscles, fur, and feathers on me. I'm the toughest Griffon you know!” She said with a cocksure grin. I breathed out another sigh. I knew she was right, but with so little proper information about the tunnels to the Abysmal Abyss, I had to be more than careful. A lot more careful than Gerat was.

“Are you getting this down, Gavin?” I barked at my assistant as he stumbled with the quill in his claws.

“Y-Yes sir!” He said with a chipper to his tone.

“Good. Anyway, since most griffons have more dust in their skulls than they do brains, it’s my job to find these places and find the best way to have Griffons avoid killing themselves. I swear, sometimes the only intelligent Griffons around are you and me, Gavin.”

“Th-thank you, sir.” Gavin muttered.

“So, today, as I have my assistant write this, we are buried underneath a collapsed tunnel. We were traveling through this cave, rumoured to be a passage to the bottom of the Abysmal Abyss itself when a… *Ahem*, large, ferocious rat ran past and… Startled me. Slightly.” I straightened up and cleared my throat. “Unfortunately, I bumped into this pillar and weakened the structure.”

“And now, we’re stuck.” Gavin finished.

“Yes…” I sighed heavily. “We are quite… intensely stuck.”

How could I be this stupid? I’ve led both myself and my best friend down into this cave, trapped us here, and now we’re going to die.

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