It snowed, on and off, for the rest of that winter. It was surely cold outside, colder than most could remember, from what we were told. I don’t think any of that bothered prince and I. We were married, which was a huge treasure all by itself for both of us. And we both absolutely enjoyed every second we spent together, regardless what we did, and we didn’t ever want that to change. And, I think, too, prince and I just got along so well together… More specifically, we both tried as hard as we could to put each other first. Honestly, that was what was going on. I quickly observed that one day, and mentioned that to prince. Maybe from our first days together, well we had to do that. I am not sure why, but that made us both cry and hug for a while. And we decided that we must never change that, or we would probably lose what we had, what we treasured. Then we cried some more… Realizing that was probably the basis though, guarding that, putting each other first, that suddenly became a very high priority for us. Well, I also mentioned that the real friend mares I met when I came here, that is what they were doing, how they treated me. So, we were just giving that same thing to each other. Well, putting my prince first, I don’t think that was very hard for me.

We practiced magic a lot. Well, I did. I think prince was my teacher basically, and he was very patient. He had me show him the spells I did know, and we practiced them together. He said that helped everything stay fresh in his mind, and of course, I needed a lot of practice. Again, I wondered, and asked prince of it was boring for him to watch me practice the same spell over and over again. His answer made me cry… “I… The only Unicorns I knew betrayed me, and I ended up hating all Unicorns. I dispaired of ever finding another Unicorn I could do magic play with… Then you…” Well, ok, so we both cried for a while after that. Maybe this is a Unicorn thing, being able to revel together in what makes being a Unicorn so special… It didn’t matter what specifically, as long as magic was flowing… I never questioned that again. And I was glad, because I had to practice a lot. Even with the basic spells I did know, prince had me work a bunch on the intentional side of magic casting. I think that is where I needed the most practice, connecting my intentions with manipulations of the magic necessary to achieve what I was trying to accomplish. He also blushed when he said that when I practiced magic on him, there really was a lot more motivation to get the intentions right. Then he said “Mmmmm…” Well, he didn’t need to explain anything more! I could tell… My prince absolutely loves it when I practice my magic on him!

Early on, prince did want to go into town, and we waited for a tolerably good day for that. He wanted to get writing materials; paper, ink and feathers to write with. He wanted to teach me new spells. And yes, visualizing a spell, the glyphs and marks, that is how Unicorns learn new spells. We have to see it. This trip made a bunch of sense to me. So, on a day we felt was tolerable, prince put me on his back, and we wandered into town like that. Our first stop was our magic teacher, in the library of the castle. Prince felt she would know where in town we could get writing supplies. And I think it was too cold even for the castle dragon! All we saw of him was a lump completely under his blanket in his bed. We found my magic teacher easily enough, and we explained what we were after. My magic teacher smiled, and asked if we had any, well, something to use to pay for what we wanted. I guess neither of us had even thought of that. Of course we didn’t have anything.

My magic teacher smiled again, and said this. “We generally try to make it a habit of acknowledging those who do truly beneficial things for our town, our kingdom. When you dumped that pushy Unicorn’s house over on his head and broke his horn, you probably saved hundreds of other horse’s lives, in the very least, and quickly averted many such similar confrontations, in other towns, culminating maybe with an attack on our leaders. I think we all understand why you wanted to quietly walk away, but we all feel that you should have access to anything you want in this town. Our leaders know what you did, and have decreed this. So don’t worry about paying for anything for a long time.”

Prince quickly put me down, and I hugged my magic teacher, and cried on her shoulder briefly. Prince felt really awkward, but she hugged him too. Then she said quietly “What you said that day about Unicorn magic being given to help others was a real eye-opener to all of us Unicorns gathered. We can only hope that all Unicorns feel that way… Thank you.” Prince worked at not crying. Then she looked at me and finished. “Besides, I think we all knew our hope here needed somehorse like you. We are all glad to see you both together, now.” Prince and I both cried softly together for a while. We felt exactly what my magic teacher said.

Still, my magic teacher tried to give us a bunch of writing stuff; prince explained we didn’t need a lot, not now. He just wanted to have the ability to write some spells out for my benefit. Starting to cry again, I mentioned that my prince was… We were practicing Unicorn magic a lot, since it was too cold for much else. And, with that… While prince and I looked at a magic book together, my magic teacher rounded up a bunch of other Unicorns from town, chasing her two adopted daughters out of their room to do that.

On that freezing cold afternoon, we all had magic fun together in the castle library, learning about spells, practicing some, and just enjoying being Unicorns together. And, of course, there were goodies to eat, to drink… Well, in all fairness, some of our other mare friends were there too. Even though they weren’t Unicorns, we all enjoyed being together. That made for a very fun afternoon, magic or not.

Every so often, the castle dragon would climb out from under his blanket, grumble, and go to the front door long enough to check the weather. When it started snowing again, we were done. Absolutely everyhorse hugged absolutely everyhorse else, including my prince! Then most everyhorse left. My magic teacher had wrapped all our presents up in a big blanket. She asked prince of he could carry it home… He just smiled. He had picked up that whole wagon with a house on it! Of course, he could carry our wedding presents home. As the wind picked up, and it began snowing harder, we slowly made our way home. It was slow, because we were walking into the wind. And my… our magic teacher had put the writing stuff inside the blanket. I had to be real careful, and hug prince tight and sit still, so I didn’t fall off, since he was using his magic to carry that big bundle of presents. But, we made it home safe. Prince gently set the presents in my… our room, for now. Then prince added a log to the fire, and laid us down in front of it. I was on his back, and, well, we both quickly warmed up again. I think that night, we fell asleep just like that.

But we did finally open our wedding presents, the next day. I think both our favorite was the big, warm blanket… Somehorse had made that for us, and it was easy to wrap the rest of our presents in there. But on a cold night, we could snuggle without our coats on… We also found a bunch more writing stuff, too! We really didn’t need to even ask… There were more oat pies and some bags of other yummy food. We had plenty to eat for a while. Oh, and I just know who got us this, two more matching hair brushes! There was also a fairly large, wide wood thing that I had no clue. Prince said it was for cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace. I looked at my… our fireplace… Yes, we needed that! And a small bottle… Prince picked it up with his magic… smelled it… “Wow, you smell nice.” I knew what it was. And… a nice warm coat for my prince, his size even! Such amazing friends… We cried together for a while…

Maybe a week later, my mare neighbor friend brought us another load of firewood. That was just a huge help… But she said the weather was fair when they started, and was just terrible by the time they got the wagon to our house. Prince quickly dumped the full wagon and turned it around with his magic, as my friend and her brother warmed up in front of the fire. We offered to have them spend the night, but my friend laughed, and said “Gettin’ back home will be a breeze with an empty wagon!” And she explained how to use the wide wood scoop. She said that the old ashes needed to be cleaned out of the fireplace occasionally. I was pretty sure ours needed that soon! She also mentioned that spreading the ashes around in the garden can help the plants. Then she laughed “Such an easy task for you Unicorns though!”

Prince was laying on his belly next to me by then. He jumped in right before I did. “Please…” he said quietly, then put his head down, a sign of respect. “Let us help you with tasks like that. I honestly meant what I said the other day. Unicorn magic is for helping others. Princess and I, we firmly believe that. Don’t hesitate to let us come help you. Even if its cold, we stay pretty warm when we travel, so it is just not a problem. We will help you any way we can.” This made both my neighbors cry, but we honestly meant all that. We all got up, then everyhorse hugged everyhorse. Then they left, and headed home. Well, it snowed for the next few days, so maybe it was good they didn’t stay. It would have worked either way. I think prince likes helping others like that, too, even if it might slightly inconvenience us newlyweds!

And our neighbor did run back over maybe a week later. She took us up on our offer about cleaning their fireplaces. They had let the fires die out, so we could scoop ashes. With me snug on prince’s back, we walked across the snow to her home. Well, they, their family was cold! Prince carefully made quick work of scooping the ashes from both their fireplaces. Then we sprinkled the ashes in her garden just like she wanted. She laughed and said it was better than using her teeth. And we got all that done without getting covered in ashes. Then prince got fires going again in both of their fireplaces, so her family could warm back up. I was on prince’s back all this time, usually hugging his neck. Well, prince put me down so our neighbor and I could hug some, then she hugged prince too. It was snowing pretty good when prince put me up on his back again, and we headed home. Our neighbor told us how to find it; the path was pretty simple. I didn’t mind the cold, the wind, prince and I together… And when we got back home, prince scooped our fireplace out, since our fire had died down too. I showed him where the garden was last year, and that is where the ashes went. We tried to stay up-wind since it was blowing pretty good by the time we got home. Prince quickly had our fire going again, and we snuggled together in front of our fireplace with me on prince’s back.

Well, all inconvenience aside… Most winter days went like this. First thing, we would gently brush each other’s hair. We loved starting our day cherishing each other in so simple a way! I could not see this ever changing. In the mornings, after that, we would do magic together, which mostly meant me practicing what my prince was trying to teach, to show me. He was serious about helping me get caught up with him and his magic ability, as much as was reasonable. He said a few times that he didn’t know how far I could progress. But he absolutely wanted to help me get as far along as I could. For safety reasons, we focused a lot on levitation magic, and prince… Soon, I could lift some pretty heavy things. And he taught me the few wind spells he knew. That is how you use magic to sweep stuff around, like into that wide, wooden shovel and such. My prince taught me all that!

Unless it was really windy or really cold, we usually went for a walk at some point near the middle of the day. We drank and ate, so we had to go… Then we usually walked down to the pond, although a few times we walked in some completely different direction for a while, then came back. I was always on prince’s back and wore my nice new coat for our walks since that kept prince and I both a lot warmer than walking side by side. Prince walked us slowly, and we just enjoyed being together. On one of those walks, our neighbor found us, and we walked over to her house and lit her fires again. Then we walked home. It was very calm, very relaxing, and being able to help others like that…

But, our evenings… We did magic all right, but under entirely different circumstances, and for entirely different reasons… We used our magic to give, to cherish each other, as prince pointed out. Our love was deepening so greatly with each passing day. We used our magic to convey in small measure how we felt about each other, by helping each other feel cherished. Prince wanted me to learn some wind spells because wind and levitation gently mixed together… Well, it just feels amazing. And it felt just as amazing to give that to my prince, too. We cried softly alot, giving and receiving. Obviously, some areas of our bodies are more sensitive, more pleasurable, and we found a few more areas on both of us that we didn’t know… But we were trying to save the most tender areas (prince called them that), at least, until we could give each other, well, everything. And we both agreed that would probably happen down at the pond, some evening after it warmed back up. We could hardly wait, and usually even thinking about that brought a shiver from us both. That didn’t stop us from giving each other what we could, which seemed like amazingly much. Our evenings were just so wondrously special. And it wasn’t just magic! So many ways, so many places just to touch! And every small new discovery, we would savor that for more nights than one. Like I said, we were in no hurry. We just took our time, and enjoyed each step. We knew that one day, hopefully soon… We could give each other everything.

————–

1. The Background Music for this entire story is entitled “The Divine” from the “Forever Today” add-on for the original soundtrack for the “Seekers of Adoulin” expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and is copywritten by Square Enix. Players of FFXI will recognize this tune immediately, and this tune is fitting since a lot of this story takes place in the dead of winter. Please purchase this tune, and play it softly in the background while you read each chapter.

2. This story, “CSR Princess” is vol. 14 of the Chronicles of Summer Rain, and is copyright 2017 by Shysage

 

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