Hyoo-man Hunting

by little big pony

Chapter 1: The world is made up of two classes - the hunters and the huntees

Working at the castle was supposed to be one of the highest honors that a pony could hope to have. No other place was as well-founded or opulent, and no other castle could boast having rulers that moved celestial bodies. Some ponies tried their whole lives to become one of the very few that could say they worked there, others did their best to groom their children so that, perhaps, they might be lucky enough to work side-by-side with the princesses.

Raven Quill, personal assistant of Princess Celestia herself, had long ago lost these childish thoughts. Oh sure, the castle wasn’t the worst place to find employment. She was paid rather well, and had the kind of health care plan that made her the envy of her neighbors. She was also given a raise and a bonus the day before Hearth’s Warming every year. If she were to stick with her job for long enough, the unicorn also had a pension to look forward to. But, like every single job, there were drawbacks. Many of these drawbacks usually originated from her boss and her sister.

Today for example, Princess Celestia was scheduled to speak with some of the barons about an important land grant. The entirety of the equestrian nobility had been pushing for this meeting to happen. It had been scheduled months in advanced, and Raven had gone out of her way to make sure her boss’s calendar was completely clear. She had even gone out of her way to remind the princess about this meeting everyday for the past two weeks, and had even sent along a reminder note along with her highness’s evening tea.

There was no reason for anything to go wrong. It should have gone wonderfully, in fact, with the meeting adjourning at about eleven o’clock.

It was eleven thirty-five. Raven hadn’t seen hide nor hair of the princess. She had been racing around the entire castle trying to find her with very little luck.

To say that Raven was upset would have been a complete falsehood. Maybe during her first year working with the alicorn she might have been a little miffed, but now she didn’t even feel annoyed. She was used to her ruler’s nonsense and sudden burst of supernatural spontaneousness, much like parent with a sugar addicted child.

Princess Celestia and Luna were good rulers; kind and wise and just ponies that went out of their way to make the lives of their little ponies better. They were also a bunch of loony old mares. Maybe the looniest creatures that Raven had ever known.

The princess was no doubt stalking around the castle, doing something nonsensical and crazy. Sure, Princess Celestia might have insisted that it was important in some grand plan, or said whatever silly thing she was doing was utterly essential at that very moment, but she knew that it was a lie. She was doing it because she was bored, or it looked fun, or there was a pony that looked far too uptight and was in need of a good prank to brighten their day.

And so Raven, being the good assistant she was, was going to find her boss and she was going to drag her butt to the room where a bunch of grumpy nobles were waiting. Whether she wanted to or not.

“Oh, I’m gonna find her and give her a piece of my mind today… And I’m gonna do it too. I’m gonna walk right up to her, grab her by the ear, and drag her through the halls like the big filly that she is. Maybe then she’ll come to her meetings…”

A pair of guards saluted as Raven passed. She ignored them, her eyebrows furrowed and her nose scrunched up in professional annoyance. She marched down the hallway, toward one of the few places in the castle that she still hadn’t looked; the castle’s gardens.

It was the most popular retreat of both celestial sisters, as well one of the main locations for their shenanigans. With well-practiced ease, Raven navigated through rare and beautiful plants and ancient, priceless statues and artwork, searching for snowy white amidst all the colors. Sure enough, she spotted the princess in just a few minutes of searching and, as usually happened when she was forced to look for her boss in these wretched gardens, Raven found herself just barely holding back a groan.

Princess Celestia, Lady of the Sun, The Wise and Benevolent, She Who Ate Cake was perched up in a very small tree like some sort of large, furry pigeon. Her royal regalia was nowhere to be seen. Her tail had been tied up in a tight ponytail. Her mane was nowhere to be seen, hidden under what looked to be a hat with a bush glued onto it. Her usually immaculate coat looked like it had been doused in black powder. A pair of binoculars were held in the princess’s hooves, and she appeared to be staring at something across the garden.

Raven stopped in her tracks and just stared up at her. Her mouth fell open somewhat, and her eyes narrowed down to slits. Her tail flicked back and forth as she collected her thoughts, trying to think of the best thing to say.

“What in all that is holy are you doing up in a bucking tree?” she said.

“Keep your voice down, Raven, you’ll scare away the game,” Celestia said without missing a beat, leaning forward in her tree.

“Game? What game? No, you know what, that’s not important right now. What’s important right now is that you need to—”

The twinkle of magic and a pop was all the warning that Raven received before she found herself in the same tree as the alicorn. Naturally, she let out a squeak of panic, flailing as she began to lost her balance. Celestia, still looking through her binoculars, extended a wing and wrapped it around the mare, pulling Raven against her.

“Weeks of planning have finally come to fruition, my dear Raven,” Celestia said as the unicorn glared up at her.

“Your highness, you need to stop all of this nonsense. I’ve been looking everywhere for you so that you can—”

“What prey am I stalking, you say?” Celestia said, interrupting her.

It was only through her years of training and the fact that she didn’t have her resume fully updated that Raven didn’t push the mare out of the tree. “I didn’t say that—”

“It’s a very good question, my wonderful assistant,” Celestia said. “He’s a very rare breed. Terribly difficult to find. Also, a good deal smarter than he looks. Still, like all in the animal kingdom, he has patterns and weaknesses that can be exploited.”

Celestia offered Raven her binoculars, a warm, patient smile on her face. Raven’s eye twitched. Barely biting back a curse, she snatched them out of the alicorn’s hooves.

She knew that the princess was trying to drag her into her nonsense, whatever it was. She also knew that she should probably just push the two of them out of this tree so she could drag the millennia old child in her care. Unfortunately for her, alicorns were a stubborn sort. The second they had something in their heads there wasn’t anything to do but to try to make whatever disaster as quick and as damage-free as possible.

With that thought in mind, she looked through the binoculars, trying to find this “prey” that Princess Celestia was referring to. When she found him, standing next to a row of rose bushes, she couldn’t help but let out a groan. She let go of the binoculars, letting them drop toward the ground below so she could look up at her boss.

Celestia raised an eyebrow. “Speechless I see,” she said, teleporting the binoculars back with a pop before they could hit the ground. “It’s very understandable. Not many get the pleasure of seeing a creature like that in their lifetimes.”

Raven attempted to wiggle out from Celestia’s wing. Celestia held onto her firmly, and he add insult to injury and grabbed a bright orange hunting cap from underneath her other wing and placed it onto her head.

“Here. Now you’ll blend right in while we—”

“Your highness.”

“Yes Raven?”

Raven took a deep breath to steady herself. When it didn’t work, she tried again, closing her eyes as well and leaning back into the princess’s wing. It still didn’t make her feel any better, but at least for a half-second she didn’t have to look at the completely bonkers mare that somehow could run a nation as well as she did.

“Why in Equestria are you stalking Annyymous in a tree?” she asked, weighing each word that she said as if it were worth its weight in gold. “And why is there a table full of food near those rose bushes? And why are you using binoculars to look at him, he’s not thirty feet away. I can see him right over there just fine.”

We’re stalking some very rare and dangerous game,” Celestia corrected, looking across the garden toward the unsuspecting human, her face becoming the picture of seriousness. “And that is a bait stand of my very own design. Very clever, isn’t it?”

“Please don’t include me in this, your majesty. I just wanted to get you to the meeting that you agreed to come to weeks ago.”

“What is a silly meeting compared to the thrill of a hunt?” Celestia said, suddenly pulling her wing away from Raven and forcing the mare to desperately grab onto the tree branch to keep from tumbling to the ground as she pointed a hoof toward the air. “The act of pitting one’s mind against another, using every trick in the book so that you might, if you are lucky, see the pieces fall into place for just the right chance.”

The princess turned toward her, leaning over the smaller mare as she clapped her hooves together.

“I think it can wait for a while in lieu of something so grand, so thrilling, so pure?”

Raven simply raised an eyebrow. “Your highness, the nobles were very upset when I left them to find you. Can’t this wait for a few hours? Or maybe could you just not do this at all? Please?”

“I’m afraid that I can’t do that, my dear,” Celestia said, shaking her head. “That big buck over there is just about finished with the bait that I left for him. The second it’s gone he’ll disappear to harmony knows where and I’ll have to wait for another opportune moment.”

“He’ll disappear toward his room, Princess. If you want to play with him all you’ll need to do is go there,” Raven said, frustration creeping into her voice as she tried to take the hat on her head off so she could drop it to the ground.

The hat did fall a foot or two before being caught in a golden aura of magic. It was then lifted back into the air and settled neatly onto the assistant’s head. Raven’s eye just twitched.

The sound of a twig snapping floated through the air. Celestia perked up.

“Come, Raven. There isn’t any time to lose,” she said, nudging her assistant with the tip of her snout. “Be sure to step lightly. Hyoo-mans are shy and twitchy creatures. Anything too loud and he’ll be off.”

With the grace fit for a princess, Celestia quietly climbed down from the tree. When she noticed that Raven hadn’t moved an inch, she reached up and plucked the mare up like a babe. Raven, of course, wasn’t happy at all with this, but nevertheless allowed herself to be placed on the nice, safe ground.

“He’s going to see the two of us from a mile away, your highness. We’re not exactly dressed for stealth,” the unicorn said, gesturing toward her hat and bush on Celestia’s head.

“That’s where you’re wrong, Raven,” the princess replied. “For you see, I’ve studied my prey very closely.”

“…Have you?”

“Yes,” Celestia said with a nod. “I know indisputable fact that hyoo-mans love finger foods. Which is why the bait I’ve left out for him consists entirely of that.”

“Princess, will you please stop calling him a hyoo-man? You know as well as I do that—”

“Also, while the hyoo-man is able to detect movement very well, if somepony has neon orange anywhere on their person they are almost completely invisible to them,” Celestia said, tapping Raven’s hat with the tip of her wing. “Since I enjoy the thrill of the hunt far too much for such cheating, I’ve decided to give my prey a fighting chance and worn this. But enough talk, we have a hyoo-man to capture!”

With that, Celestia crouched as low to the ground as she should. She folded her wings against her sides as tightly as she could, and even though her ears were hidden under her hat and folded them against the sides of her skull to ensure that she was as unnoticeable and small as possible. She then looked up at her assistant, made some gestures that Raven couldn’t make heads and tails of, and began crawling toward Annyymous at what could only be described as a snail’s pace.

Raven watched her for a good minute, grunting and mumbling to herself like some sort of crazy mare. The longer that she watched the more that she could feel a sensation in the back of her mind. It was a tightening of something that she couldn’t quite describe.

Was it her sanity perhaps? Or was it her patience, which had been so tested time and time again? It might have even been some shred of hope that she had been clinging on to for all of these years.

Whatever it was, she could feel it tighten and tighten. She could almost feel this whatever it was from the tip of her snout to the end of her tail. It made her body tense and her fur stand on end. It made her want to shout and grit her teeth. It made her want to laugh and roll around on the ground like a little filly just like her boss. Raven gave her head a toss as she felt that part of her grow taunt. She snorted as she felt it snap.

That’s it!”

Raven marched toward Anny purposefully. She ignored Celestia’s hushed warnings, hoping over a row of orchids and ducking under some bushes.


Annyymous stopped shoveling his face with little finger sandwiches, standing up to his full height and looking around the garden.

Raven stomped a hoof. “Behind you!”

The human turned around in the direction of her voice. “Hello? Is anyone there, or am I just having a stroke?” he called.

“Anny, it’s me, Raven!” Raven said, walking over until she was just a hoof from him. “I’m sorry to bother you, but—”

“Raven? Where?” Anny said, taking a few steps back. “I can hear you but I don’t see you. Are you using some weird magic to get into my head right now, you silly little horse?”

“I’m not silly, I’m not a horse, and I’m right in front of you!”

Stuffing a little sandwich into his mouth, Anny squatted down. He narrowed his eyes, leaning toward until he was just an inch away from the unicorn. He stared for a good thirty seconds before a look of worry came to his face.

“You’re not a ghost now are, you Raven?” he asked, leaning back.

A wave of incredulity overcame Raven’s anger as she sputtered. “What?! Of course I’m not a ghost!”

“Are you sure? Because I could totally see you dying of some dumb office-related accident. Like you got your tail stuck in the paper shredder or one of those spooky paper clip removers got you.”

Raven did her best to voice what she was feeling, but it only came out as a jumble of nonsense. She looked down at herself, and for a crazy moment wondered if she was dead. She could have been dead and in Tartarus for some crime that she didn’t remember; it was the only thing that reason that she could think of as to why she was being tortured like this.

She gave herself a tentative poke, finding that she was very much solid. She then trotted in place, relieved to hear her hooves impacting against the ground. Raven let out a sigh, letting her shoulders sag.

Something at the top of her vision made her look up. It was the hat that Princess Celestia had given her. A frown came to her face as she looked at Anny, then at her hat, then at Anny. With some hesitation, she reached up and took the hat off her head.

Anny startled, eyes settling immediately on her. “Oh, there you are,” he said with a smile, reaching over to give her a pat on the head. “You nearly gave me a heart attack, making me think you were haunting me!”

“I, um… what?”

The human chuckled as, out of the corner of her eye, Raven could see Princess Celestia climbing onto the table behind them.

“So, was this some sort of prank or something? Or were you trying out a spell that lets you get around the castle without anyone seeing you?” Anny asked as Celestia got into pouncing position, her rump pointing high into the air and wiggling back and forth. “Whatever it was, it worked like a charm, I did see—”

Raven ignored the human, just watching as her boss narrowed her eyes. Celestia’s tongue stuck out of her mouth as she focused on Anny’s back. Her wings gave a few test flaps as her whole body tensed.

“—I bet it was Hoplite that put you up to this, didn’t he? That turd’s still mad from the time that I—”

Raven looked away. Shaking her head, she took two steps back. The table creaked, then buckled as Celestia launched herself off of it.


“What the—oomph!”

Both Anny and the princess fell into a heap of flailing limbs. Anny, obviously panicked, attempted to get away from the crazy alicorn attack him, but Celestia was having none of that.

With deadly precision, she wrapped both sets of legs around his body, pinning him in place. Her wings came next, wrapping around his body so that he couldn’t so much as wiggle without great difficulty. For the killing blow, pressed her muzzle against his throat and rubbed her nose against his Adam’s apple.

Feeling a wet snozzle on his neck, Anny froze. Terror turned into anxiety, which turned into confusion as Celestia lifted up her head and leaned down so that their noses were touching.

“Boop,” the princess said with a smug smile, before leaning back and quickly leaning forward to give him a quick peck on the lips.

Confusion turned to bemusement as the human let out a snort. “You’re silly.”

“I am not,” Celestia replied, kissing him again, humming in delight as he returned it this time. “I am a mighty hunter that has captured my prey. Now prepare yourself for all of the silly things that I’m about to do to you, as is my right being the victor.”

Celestia looked away from Anny so that she could properly thank Raven for being such a good distraction, and possibly even give the mare a raise for her help. But, to her surprise, Raven was nowhere to be seen. Raven, personal assistant of one of the most powerful, and crazy, ponies that have ever lived, was making her way onto the castle so that she could punch out.

Today’s worries could wait till tomorrow. She had a date with a bar and the strongest alcohol that was “legally” allowed in this city.

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