"Ummm, hello?" Watercolor asked, looking into the jaguar knight's dressing room. "Pepperdance, are you in here?"
The mare glanced around, catching no sign of the warrior who had caught her eye. Instead, she saw quite a few interesting items that belonged to the stallion of her dreams. Various pictures of friends and family decorated the walls, while a small shrine with several candles sat in a small opening in the wall. As the Pegasus mare approached the Jaguar knight's dresser, she failed to notice the sounds of hooves trotting up behind her.
"Excuse me, senorita?" A strong male called out, causing the startled watercolor to spin around. "How may I help you,por favor?"
"Oh, caballero Pepperdance!" Watercolor bowed to him, trying to hide her blush. "I -I saw you out there in the fight, and I wanted to come back, and tell you how amazing I thought you fought out there." She put her hooves on her cheek. "My name is Watercolor, and I-"
"You were sent here to restore our city's most treasured artworks, called upon by our glorious Duke of Maretonia." Pepperdance interrupted, trotting up, and putting a hoof on the bashful mare's face. "I think it is a mucho bueno idea to have such a beautiful young Pegasus working on such a noble endeavor on behalf of our nation."
"Oh... oh my..." Watercolor replied, taken aback. "T-Thank you, that's really nice of you. B-but I think what you do is important, too. You fight for the honor of the ponies of Maretonia... even if your battles are a little on the brutal side."
"Eh, I know our gladiatorial combat might seem extremely violento and sangriento, but they are a symbol of who we are." Pepperdance explained. "When I step into that battle circle, I represent all the ponies of this land. Every move I make, every stomp and kick, is a way of expressing myself." He turned away, looking into the mirror in his dressing room. "For me, my fighting is liked a coreografiar bailar, where my graceful movements are my art form."
"You speak about your work with such passion!" The Pegasus mare said admiringly. "I've never seen somepony describing fighting in such artistic terms before!"
"Oh, yes!" Pepperdance agreed eagerly. "I see my combat as art form, a performance that is as beautiful to watch, as it is to perform."
"It sure is!" The Pegasus agreed, trying to hide her goofy grin. "I can really relate to being devoted to your art... so many ponies don't notice or appreciate me, or my art."
"Really, senorita? That is such a shame." Pepperdance shook his head sympathetically. "I'm certainly eager to see your art, and hear about everything you done. Would you care to accompany me to the semental al galope
restaurante so you can tell me all about it?"
"Oh, I'd love to!" Watercolor replied, rushing towards the door. "Let me go get my art portfolio from the castle, and I'll meet you at the restaurant!"
"I shall be waiting for you with open hooves, senorita." The jaguar knight replied with a smile. "I can't wait to see your work."
As the excited mare galloped out of the knight's dressing room, She failed to notice a griffin standing there, pointing an enchanted mirror in her direction. She also failed to notice the mirror glowing, and her reflection beginning to move on it's own. And after Watercolor had disappeared around the corner, the reflection emerged from the mirror, and followed the griffon out of the arena...
Meanwhile, Fiesta and Moonlight had followed Sunny Salsa to a large Maretonian ball court, which was packed to the brim with spectators. Looking around the ball court, Fiesta was slightly confused about what exactly was looking at.
"Hey, Sunny?" The party planner asked, looking over at the stallion. "I get that this is some kidna hoofball game, but what's de rules? why is dere a single hoop in the middle of de ball court? What are you supposed to do in this juego?"
"Oh, I never thought a pony would not know the rules of this game." The stallion replied, surprised. "Ullamaliztli pelota is the sacred Maretonian ballgame, and our most popular sport. See, it's played in a giant stone courtyard, like the one you see below us, with two stone ramps on either side, and a big stone ring in the center." He pointed a hoof at the sideways facing ring, and the stone ramps. "The two teams of ponies play the game- you can see the the Acacolto Jaguars down there in the gold, and the Coltcun monkeys over there in the red." He then pointed at the two teams. "The goal of the two teams is to get the ball through the hoop, and the team that scores the most points, wins!"
"Yeah, it's a really simple game, amiga!" Moonlight agreed. "an a whole lot of fun to watch!"
Sunny Salsa was proven correct, for as soon as the referee blew his whistle, the two teams jumped at the ball. One of the Jaguars knocked the ball in the air with his head, and a pony from the monkey team sent it flying back with a smack from his tail. The two teams chased the ball all over the ball court, occasionally even sending it bouncing up against the ramps on either side.
"Neither team is allowed to hit the pelota with their hooves." Moonlight chimed in, seeing the confused look on Fiesta's face. "And no unicorn magic or wings are permitted, either."
"I-I tink I remember dis game, from when I was really little." Fiesta replied, studying the players as they sent the ball back and forth. "But I really can't be sure..."
The back and forth ball battle continued for several minutes, until one of the Jaguars managed to send the ball through the large stone hoop. The large crowd burst into cheers, as Fiesta called out;
"Yeah, go Acocolto! My home town can't lose to those silly monkeys!"
"Wow, she's really getting into the game, isn't she?" Salsa asked with a smile, laughing at Fiesta's childlike eagerness.
"Eh, she's never seen one as an adult before, let her have her fun." Moonlight replied, staring at the Stallion curiously. "Say, sunny? I didn't notice dis before, but you look kind of familiar. Is your family around the royal court at the palace at all?"
"Uhhh, why yes, my dad and mom work at the castle. That probably where you've seen me." Sunny replied nervously, as if he were trying to hide something. "Say, aren't you one of the royal ladies in waiting to the duchess? I think I've seen you around the other ladies of court."
"Oh yeah, I'm around, always busy with something, they usually have me welcome foreign dignitaries and Royal visitors to court." She glanced back towards the game. "What about you? What do you do with your time?"
"Oh, I've been out of Maretonia for a few years, my parents sent me to Study at Canterlot university." Sunny replied, shaking his head. "Those Anglo ponies of Equestria, they think they're so smart, but some of the things they teach are mucho loco."
"Hey, not all the gringo ponies are crazy, Luna is a real princesa ." Moonlight said admiringly. "She's the perfect example of what a lady of the nobility should be... and I really want to be as graceful an' beautiful as her one day."
"But you are already graceful and beautiful as you are, senorita." Sunny told her, causing Moonlight to simply glow. "and your just as much of a lady as the other Cihuapilli that serve mi madre at the royal court."
"But I take it you don't like spending time at de royal court, do you?" Moonlight asked. "Is something going on there you think is mucho estupido?"
"Eh, I don't like the stance the court is taking on the el griffos." Sunny Salsa replied. "They think those feathered thieves are good friends and allies to Maretonia, just because we have a griffon in our nation's founding story. My father and the hidalgos at court cannot see what a threat they are to our nation."
"It sounds like you care about our country a lot, that's muy bueno." Moonlight replied, moving closer to the stallion. "is that what yo are most passionate about, senior?"
"I have always wanted to help my fellow Maretonians, and I disagreed with many of the decisions that came out of the royal palace." He clenched his hooves. "I've studied politics and diplomacy my whole life, so I could make a difference, I just hope and pray I the mistakes our beloved duke is making, leaves us enough of a country for me to make a difference to."
"Senior, you speak with such conviction!" Moonlight smiled, leaning her head against him. She whispered in his ear. "Say, Sunny? How about after the game is done, we escort Fiesta back to the castle. Then, we can go back to my apartment, and hacer lo que hacen las yeguas y sementales juntos."
"Oh, senoritas! I-I am so sorry!" The stallion suddenly sat up, pulling away from the mare. "Here, I swept you two off of your hooves, and here I never even asked you your names!"
"Well... well now's a good time to be asking us something like that, isn't it? You big huevón"! She glared at him, blushing furiously. "Since you FINALLY asked, my name is Moonlight, and this is mi amiga, Fiesta Flair."
"oh, those are some nice..." The stallion stopped, and his eyes went wide, as he stared at the other mare. "Wait, did you say, Fiesta Flair? From famila Flair the noble house of Flair Hacienda?"
"Si, I'm from Familia Flair." Fiesta replied, turning her head away from the game, and back to the other two ponies. "Why, is dere something my family did wrong or something?"
"Hidalga Fiesta, I don't know how to tell you this but..." the stallion shook his head in shock. "...But your family, they..." He grabbed her by the hoof. "Come on, you need to come with me, right now!"
Ans as the stallion pulled the surprised mare out of the arena, the angry Moonlight followed after them angrily, grumbling to herself; "¡Genial, simplemente genial! Por qué es cada vez que me encuentro siempre con un semetal sexy, otra chica siempre pone su atención!"