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"Et tu, Brute?"

― Julius Caesar

Breath 3: Episode 1
Breath3

I kept tasting my vanilla ice cream while looking at the town I have built. I was satisfied with it...But, I still wanted to go back to the town where I was banished from, and now the one I'm welcome again...kind of.

Celestia might've forgiven me, but the habitants were most likely to have not. I had traumatized the ponies of that town, and trauma is something that doesn't wash off quickly. It's a parasite that glues onto your soul and doesn't let go.

I headed back to my office, throwing the ice cream cone into the trash can. I grabbed the badge with my name written in it and put it inside my drawner and took out the other badge I spent the whole night working on.

The badge had a name. The name was "Redflower Purpleye".

"Sky!"

Speaking of the devil...

"Hi Red..."

"I just wanted to say goodbye and-"

"I'm leaving tomorrow, not today..."

"I know, but, I'm afraid I have to deal with some things right now and I won't have time to find you tomorrow and say goodbye, so..."

"What do you need to deal with?"

"It's school things...Being a teacher is harder than I expected..."

"Oh..."

"Well, goodbye Sky!"

She hugged me...I admit, I was getting tired of hugs...

I had her badge under my armpit.

"Red" I pulled it out, "look at this..."

"My own badge?! Oh my gosh, awesome!"

"I'm glad you like it, I spent the whole night working on it...it was frustratingly hard..."

"Oh, Sky, you didn't need to!"

I stared at her coldly...

"Well...Okay, you had to...Thanks, anyway!"

"No problem...You take care now, I'm heading to my room now...I got no sleep this night..."

"Okay! And, thanks again for trusting me in taking care of Christingham!"

"I just hope you know what you're supposed to do and not do..."

"I know what to do!"

"Are you sure?"

"Of course I am! I always paid attention closely to your work here! Oh, and...Thank you for fixing this place!"

"You don't have to thank me for everything..."

"Oh, I do...You made an outstanding job in this place...I lived in the old crappy Christingham for three years, and...man, it was though...You have no idea of how though it was until you came..."

"Right...Well, take care of yourself, your son and Christingham...I promise I will visit you, and not just because I want to see if you are doing a good job on governing Christingham but also because I will miss you very much..."

"As I said before, I'll miss you too..."

I nodded and walked to the door...

"Goodbye, Sky..." She said, as she smiled...

"Goodbye..." I said as I walked out...

---

I kept still in my bed, I was exhausted, but still, I couldn't sleep...I was nervous...

I didn't know what to expect when stepping back into Ponyville...

I kept imagining every single pony stomping me to death, or nailing me onto a cross and burning it...

It was at that moment that I noticed that I didn't want to die anymore...I was afraid of death...

Since I couldn't sleep, I got up and headed outside, grabbing a pack of cigarettes on the way. I sat on the stairs and started to smoke one.

"What do cigarettes taste like?" Little Gray suddenly asked behind me...

"You're not supposed to eat them..."

"So why do you put them in your mouth?" He asked as he sat next to me...

"To smoke them?"

"How does smoking feels like, then?"

"It...Feels good and bad at the same time..."

"Good and...I'm confused!"

"You have to smoke one to understand..."

"So, gimme one!" He put a hoof on the pack of cigarettes...

"No way, colts can't smoke..." I pulled the pack away...

"Aww, why?"

"Because it's bad..."

"So why do you smoke if it's bad?"

"Because it's addicting..."

"Oh...I'm addicted to candy!"

"I know that..." I said as I blew smoke from my mouth...

I noticed there was sudden silence...I looked at Gray and he had his jaw hanging and his eyes wide open...

"Did you saw a ghost-"

"ARE YOU A DRAGON?!"

"What..."

"YOU BLEW SMOKE, OH MY GOSH, HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!"

"By smoking..."

"HOLY MOLY, IMAGINE ME DOING THAT IN CLASS, EVERYPONY WOULD BE LIKE 'WHAAAAAAAAT' AND THEY WOULD NEVER MESS WITH ME AGAIN!"

"Or your teacher would simply give you the biggest scolding of your life for smoking in class, specially because you are just a little colt..."

"Oh..."

"Just wait until you're twenty years older, and you'll be free to smoke as many cigarettes you like..." I said as I got up and put the pack of cigarettes in the pocket of my vest...

"TWENTY YEARS OLDER?! BUT IT WILL TAKE SO LONG!"

"Patience is your friend..."

"GRRRRRR! I HATE BEING YOUNG!"

"You shouldn't...When you're an adult, you'll miss the times you were a little colt..."

"I won't!"

"Oooooooh, you will..."

I walked back inside the casino as he rambled behind me...I threw the cigarette in the trash can and went to the bar...

"Apple Cider, small, no lemons, ice..."

"As always, no?" The bar pony giggled...

"CAN I DRINK?" Gray suddenly appeared next to me...

"Urgh...no!" I responded...

"Why?"

"Because colts can't drink alcohol!"

"But, why?"

"Because it's bad for your health!"

"So why do you drink?"

I facehoofed so hard, I even got dizzy...

"Because...it's-"

"Dear, you can't drink alcohol because alcohol makes ponies dumb as they get older, and you don't want to get dumb, do you?" The barpony said...

"Of course not! But, why do you old ponies drink it, though?"

"Because it's addicting like candy and it tastes good! But, like candy, consuming it too much is bad! That's why we try to not drink too much cider in one day!"

"Ooooooh! I kind of get it now! Thanks!" After that, he left...

I looked at the barpony and cocked an eyebrow...It's been so long since I cocked it...

"See, you have to be patient and descriptive to deal with foals!"

"That's impossible to me, though..."

"Well, I didn't know you had a son!"

"He's not mine, he is the son of my partner that now will take care of Christingham, like I announced yesterday..."

"Oh, I saw that on today's newspapers! Do you trust her, though?"

"I do...She knows what she's doing...Atleast, I hope..."

"Well, here's your cider! It's on the house, this time!"

"Thank you..."

I drank it while watching Equestria's News on TV...Techonology was something that I never expected to exist, and I don't know whether I liked it or not...

The day passed very slowly, as I kept watching the news and chatting with the barpony...

---

I woke up on a chair, leaning over the table filled with papers that required signing...

I tried to sign a few more, but, I just dropped the pen and went to the bathroom...

I threw water on my face and stared at myself in the mirror...Wrinkles under my eyes told me that I was getting old...

Thirty years passed slow like a turtle...But still, fast as a hare...

When you think of the past, you have the feeling it passed quickly, but, it didn't. If you remember all the struggle you had to run through, you'll notice how time is slow and sadistic...

Time is a luxury that you CAN have, but, you'll regret having it. Time can be either your best friend or your arch-enemy...

I brushed my teeth and left the bathroom. I had everything packed...and by everything, I mean a thousand bits, a pack of cigarrettes, a lighter and a gun for protection...

Firearms have always amazed me.

I put on a shoulder holster with the pistol in it, hid it under a black jacket, grabbed the sack of bits and tied it to my waist and I left the casino with the barpony waving goodbye...I wished I could find Redflower on the way to bid goodbye to her as well, but, no such luck...

I called one of those wagons again while looking at the town I was leaving behind...

When the wagon arrived, I jumped in already saying "Ponyville". After ten boring minutes, the guy pulling the wagon stopped. Just stopped.

"...What's wrong?" I asked.

"Nothing..." He let out a quiet chuckle, "...Nothing at all..."

He took off the hitch. Then turned around and flipped the entire bloody wagon backwards with his front legs. I got up quickly and pulled my pistol, aiming at him.

"Freeze!"

He didn't listen, he pulled a knife from his waist...

"I said freeze!"

He turned around and stared at me with his blood thirsty eyes, seeking revenge for his lost relative...

"We can talk this out-"

"ENOUGH!"

A voice came from the skies, a shadow covered the sun above, I looked up trying to see who was it...

Little did I know that the angry stallion threw his knife. It flew past my face, making a cut on my right cheek...

I kneeled in pain...

"I SAID ENOUGH!"

I heard three thumps in front of me, I looked up to see three Royal Guards aiming their spears at the stallion...

And a major thump, as a big white alicorn landed in front of me...

It's been a long while since I saw her again face to face...

Celestia herself was standing before me...

She looked down to me...

"H-Hi..." I said...

"I am sorry for the one over there...Are you okay?" She asked...Her calm tone actually surprised me...

"Just a flesh wound..."

"I see...Good thing it didn't hit your throat..." She said as she looked back to the Royal Guards and the stallion, "How is he?!"

"Hooves are tied, madam! His wagon is coming shortly!"

Celestia looked back to me...

"So, I have a lot to apologize for, right?" I asked...

"You do...But you don't need to..."

"Well...I have a lot to thank for, then..."

"You don't need to, as well..."

"So...Why did you come here?"

"We were coming to take you to Ponyville ourselves, because...Well, you saw what happened...Even though you are forgiven, and I told every single Royal Guard to lay down and every pony in Ponyville to not attack you, many won't listen...They are hating you for the rest of their lives..."

"Oh...I think I'll stay in Christingham, the-"

"Negative! You have to go to Ponyville...We need you..."

"What?"

"I'll explain on the way..."

Suddenly, a big golden carriage came from the sky and descended in front of us, with Royal Guard pulling it...

Celestia and I jumped in and it started to fly us torwards Ponyville...

"What's wrong? Why am I so important?"

"We have problems related to the ones that sent your father to murder your mother..."

"What the hell do you mean?"

"Well, first of all, please don't curse...What happened is, that clan of assassins that ordered your father to murder your mother are something bigger than we thought they were-"

"Hold up, how do you know about my past?"

"Well...This is a long story...Skyblack, you're from a special family tree..."

"What?"

"You belong to a special kind of bloodline...You are a Holder..."

"...A Holder?"

"Holders are an extinct kind of ponies that happened via a biological disturbance that happened during a mating between a normal pony and unicorn, whose names were Frost Magicadam and Sunblaze Evee..."

"And?"

"Holders are basically unicorns without horns...But they can learn and manipulate magic that we never saw before..."

"Please tell me you are joking..."

"I am not...I am not the one for jokes...This is more serious than you think it is, Graymane..."

I didn't know what to say...I was somewhere between amazed and scared at the same time...

"Holders used to be considered an urban legend. The story that many tell is that Holders were ponies that fought evil and defended Equestria from the dark with their unique powers. They were black ponies that shot various kinds of magic through their hooves an-"

"Hold on a second...Why did nopony ever said I am a Holder, then?"

"That's another story..."

"Then, start telling me it, right now..."

"Alright...All of us knew you were a Holder...And we thought you knew you were one, too...The story that Scootaloo, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle told you was a lie...When they found out, it was a whole different thing..."

---

"Oh...my...Celestia..." Scootaloo said as she looked at the body of an unconscious urban legend in front of her...

"Isn't...Isn't he one those guys from that...story?"

"AH WANNA GO HOME!"

"Bloom, quiet!"

"B-B-BUT, IT'S A DEAD HOLDER!"

"Dude, this is...AWESOME!" Scootaloo ran to the body in front of her...

"SCOOTS, GET BACK HERE!"

"Why? It's a freaking Holder!"

"It might be a trap!"

Scootaloo stared at the Holder...it was breathing...

"HE'S ALIVE!"

"I can't believe this...It might be paint, though..." Sweetie Belle walked to the Holder, leaving a petrified Apple Bloom behind her...

Sweetie looked closely and passed a hoof on the Holder's cheek...No paint came out...

"All of his coat is covered in black...It can't be paint..."

"So, they actually exist?!"

"Looks like so..."

"THIS IS SO FREAKING AWESOME!"

Sweetie continued to inspect the Holder...

"He might be dying, though...We need to get a medic!"

"No, no, no, no, get Celestia here! Imagine her face when she sees that we found a Holder!"

Sweetie sighed...

"Apple?"

Apple Bloom was still petrified...

"Apple, are you there?"

"Y-Y-Y-Y-Yes..."

"Great. Go get Twilight here, so she can write to Celestia what we found!"

"O-O-Okay..."

Bloom took a step backwards and then, darted off to Ponyville...

Bloom banged on Twilight's tree house's door.

Twilight opened it...

"TWILIGHT, COME WITH ME, RIGHT NOW!"

"What ha-"

"AH SAID NOW!"

"Okay, okay!"

Twilight followed Apple Bloom to where she found the Holder...

Twilight was in a loss of words...

"I'm soooooo writing this to Celestia!"

"That's why Bloom brought you here!" Scootaloo said...

---

"This is the letter I received from her..."

A small papyrus flew in front of Skyblack...

"Dear Celestia,

You have no idea what I found with the help of the Cutie Mark Crusaders! I found a Holder! I'll write it again, a HOLDER! He's alive and breathing! Come here as fast as you can! You need to see this!

-Sincerely,

Your student Twilight Sparkle."

"I didn't believe her," the papyrus closed and flew away, "until I saw you with my own eyes..."

"But, why did she never told me? Why did nopony in this town told me?"

"Because, when we found you, I created a new law for Equestria that would last until your death..."

"What law?"

"A law that strictly prohibited all ponies from treating you like a god...You see, if I didn't create that law, every single pony in that town would come after you asking for autographs and various other things. I even prohibited the Elements of Harmony of treating you like a famous pony. The entire time, we were pretending that you were just a newcomer, because we wanted you to feel confortable in Equestria...If anypony broke that law, the pony would be jailed for years..."

"I...I can't believe you..."

"Look, Sky, remember that spa in Ponyville? Well, those mares were going to break that law by telling you are a Holder. Not only that, but they also wanted to, uh, well..." She cleared her throat, and whispered into my ear, "be the first ones to have sex with a Holder..." I was slightly disturbed... "Also," She backs away, and speaks in her normal voice, "why do you think Fluttershy was more shy than usual when she saw you? Was it because she loved you? Yes, but also because you are a Holder...Why do you think Rainbow Dash was more jerk-ish than usual with you? Because she was jealous of the fact you were more special than her. Why do you think most ponies in town got nervous when they saw you? Because you are a Holder..."

I never actually noticed how most ponies actually looked at me nervously...

"Half of my life was a lie..."

"It was...And I'm sorry for it...I should've told you...I cancelled the law, though. Not that's going to change much, anyway..."

"Well...What's the problem with Ponyville?"

"Oh, yes, almost forgot about that...The clan of assassins, as I said, were more problematic than we thought they were...We found out they weren't just a small group of dumb little murderers...They are a giant army of mercenaries that have more in their heads than just killing for bits...They are maniacs that want all the luxury and bits they can get, and that's why they want to take over Ponyville..."

"Can't you just easily kill them with the help of the Elements of Harmony?"

"I could if their army wasn't the strongest thing I ever saw in my life..."

"How strong?"

"Well...They have weaponry more advanced than ours, ponies that were simply born to kill, strong armory and most importantly, another Holder, and one that knows magic. Again, a Holder's magic is stronger than all of our magic combined..."

"What powers does a Holder can have?"

"Plenty, like shooting fire out of it's hooves, eletric bolts that can fry a pony in seconds, throwing boulders of various sizes, ice that can freeze a pony and some others...We don't know how many powers a Holder could have, but, they can also mix it to make it something even more powerful!"

"Wow..." For a second, I wanted those powers...

"We just have to find you the book, and make sure you know more powers than the enemy Holder..."

I nodded...And suddenly, she grasped onto my shoulders...

"Please...Help us..."

My life really had changed again, and this time, in just one carriage ride...I never thought I would be such an important pony in my entire life...

I didn't know what to say...I wasn't nervous anymore because of Ponyville's habitants...I was nervous due to this revelation I never expected...

I had questions that required answers...

"SKYBLACK!"

Celestia shook me...

"Sorry, I was thinking..."

"Oh..."

"But...In a form of apology to the damage I caused before to your town...I accept helping you..."

"YES!"

She hugged me...

Being hugged by a goddess...There's another thing I never thought that would happen...

"Oh..."

She let go of me and cleared her throat, blushing...

"Well, we arrived..."

"We did?"

The carriage landed abruptly, I almost fell off the seat if I didn't hold onto something...

"Yeah...We did..."

"Where are we going, now?"

"To Twilight's tree house. She'll help us find the book..."

"Don't tell me I'll have to take down the whole clan by myself..."

"Of course not! You'll have support from the Elements of Harmony!"

"That's better...Last question, how is this clan called?"

"From what I heard, it's Red Heat..."

My heart skipped a beat...

"That's the same clan that my father came to Christingham with!"

"Yep...And for killing your father, which was an important member to Red Heat, and some of their henchponies, you have a bad reputation with them..."

"I can't believe I actually had those wankers as my private army..."

"Bad word..."

"Sorry..."

---

The carriage stopped in front of Twilight's tree house. I risked looking outside of the carriage. I pulled the curtain and peeked out...

I think the whole town was around us...

Suddenly, Celestia pulled the curtain back...

"Sky, I'll come out and tell Twilight to open the door. When she opens it, wait for the signal!"

"What signal?"

"Eh, a wink..."

"Okay..."

Celestia jumped out of the wagon as two guards stood in front of it, and knocked on Twilight's door. She opened it...

"Oh, Celestia! Do you have him?"

Celestia stepped out of Twilight's way, allowing her to see inside the carriage...

She didn't smile or even waved...

Celestia stepped inside her house and looked back to me, and winked...

I ran out of the wagon and as fast as I could into the house, tripping onto the stairs and falling inside. I kicked the door shut...

I looked to the mares in front of me, they looked kinda frightened for coming in like that...

"Uuh...Sorry, I didn't want to get lynched..."

"You had the Royal Guard covering you, but, I understand your panic..." Celestia said...

"Well, Holder, I believe you already know everything?"

"Yes..." I said getting up...

"Nice! Now, we just need to find your book, but, we better wait until all the Mane Six is here..."

"When they shall arrive?" Celestia asked...

"I have no idea, our deal was too wait for the Holder to come and then everypony show u-"

Twilight was interrupted with the roof breaking above, startling us...

"Stupid wind..."

It had to be Rainbow Dash...

She looked at me while picking herself up...She definitely wasn't happy with my presence...

"Hi Holder..." She said in a cold tone of voice...

"Hi..."

"Now we just need AJ, Pinkie and Rarity..."

"SOMEPONY CALLED MY NAME?!"

Pinkie's voice echoed in the room, but we couldn't see her...

Until she slipped out of under the couch...

"I won't even ask..." Celestia said...

"WHAT'S GOING ON?!"

My ears weren't ready for Pinkie's excessive shouting, for sure...

"Pinkie, you keep shouting like that, and I'll go deaf before the eighties..."

"SORRY, BUT I AM SO HAPPY AND EXCITED RIGHT NOW THAT YOU KNOW YOU ARE A HOLDER SO I CAN SAY YOU ARE A HOLDER AND ALSO YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT WITH US AND AGAIN SORRY BUT I'M EXCITED I CAN'T STOP SHOUTING BECAUSE I'M TOO EX-"

"PINKIE, ENOUGH!" Twilight yelled...

"Sorry..."

"Now, we need AJ and Rari-"

"HOWDY, EVERYPONY!"

Applejack kicked the door open...

"Urgh...you ponies are going to demolish this house soon, like that..."

Applejack looked at me smiling...I was kind of surprised, since she actually proved she hated me when I was being dragged away by the Royal Guard in that day that I still wish I could forget...

"Howdy, Holder!"

In fact, she even extended me a hoof...

I shook it nervously...

"Let me guess...If I say Rarity, she'll come through the wall..."

No such thing happened...She just walked through the open door and closed it...

"Hello, girls and...stallion..."

Rarity was another one who didn't seem to be happy with my presence...

"Man, it's weird to be in a meeting without Flutters in the middle..." Twlight said...

"Yeeeeeeaaah..." Rainbow Dash coldly looked at me while saying that...

I looked down in shame...

"RD, quit being such a jerk to him...Yer know this is mostly Zecora's fault!" Applejack told her...

"Zecora's fault or not, he is the reason why Fluttershy is not among us anymore!"

"Let's...not start a fight now, please?" Celestia asked...

"I agree! We're not here to argue about..." Twilight sighed, "well, that..."

Guilt flooded my chest...

"I...I'm sorry..."

"Your sorries are not going to bring her back..." Rainbow Dash kept stomping me back into the quicksand...

"Dash, hush!"

"Fine, fine, jeez..."

I took a step back from the group...I was going back to the state that I was just escaping from...

"Holder?"

"Don't call me that..."

I walked to the window and looked outside...

The crowd was gone now...

I could just run out whenever I wanted to...

I heard whispers from Applejack behind me...

"RD, look what ya did!"

"I have no regrets..."

And with that, I had officially declared rivalry to Rainbow Dash...

"Hol-I mean...Sky..."Celestia put a hoof on my shoulder, "don't listen to her..."

"All I wanted was a normal life..."

I leaned over the window...

"I understand your grief..."

"Can't you just bring her back?"

"I'm afraid not..."

"Why not?"

"When a pony dies, I can't revert it..."

"Who can?"

"No one..."

I buried my face in my front legs and sighed...

"RD, if he rejects helping us now this will be entirely your fault!" Twilight yelled...

"I can take on the entire Red Heat alone, I don't need his help..."

"Dear, you'll be dead before you even touch one of their soldiers..." Rarity chuckled...

As they kept arguing, Pinkie and Applejack came to me and Celestia...

"Sky, crying won't change anything..."

"I'm not crying..."

"Sky, you're awesome! Cheer up! You killed a few but you'll save thousands if you do this for us!" Pinkie excalamated...

"Sky..." Celestia said, "Fluttershy is still visiting you in spirit form, right?"

"Rarely..."

"Rarely?"

"Her last visit was a month ago..."

"Odd...What about Autumn?"

"Same..."

"That's....I have to investigate that..."

"I think they forgot me..."

"Why would they?"

"I dunno...Maybe they found another crush on where they are right now and simply erased me from their heads..."

I had three hooves patting on my back now as I kept hearing Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow Dash argue in the background...

"Sky, yer might have murdered ponies, but...you're still mah friend...Ah was mad at you that day, when ya were arrested, but...Ah forgive ya!"

"Yeah! You aren't bad! That thing that possessed you was bad! It's not your fault, really!"

"Graymane, I am deeply sorry for having Fluttershy murdered...Believe me, you're not the only one in Equestria regretting past actions...I share your pain..."

Guilt still kept itself jammed in my thoracic box...

"You know what? You need a hug!"

Pinkie suddenly embraces me...

And then Applejack and even Celestia...

As I said before, I was tired of hugs...They simply didn't affect me anymore...

Also...I didn't trust them...They could all be faking friendship and just trying to comfort me so I can work for them. And after I save their little town, they could just backstab me...

That was when I got paranoid...

"Why should I trust you ponies, anyway?"

"Wha-?"

"I mean, how do I make sure that you all are just using me to save your dumb little town so that then you can all just stab me in the throat?"

"Sky, we...We would never do that!"

"Why so? I terrorized this town, I made each of you hate me and now all you could be doing is use me, so I can save Ponyville, because I'm a Holder!" I shoved them away from me, "Maybe this Holder thing isn't even true! You are all lying! You will all stab me in the back as soon as I step out of this door if I trust you ponies! You all just want to fool me! You fooled me in making me believe I was a normal pony! AND I WON'T BE FOOLED AGAIN!"

Every single pony in the room had their eyes wide open, jaw hanging and staring at me...I ran to the door, opened it and shut it loudly behind them, and ran as far as I could from the tree...

I had no idea of what I just did...and I didn't know if what I do was right or not...

The weather was getting cloudy and nopony could be seen...

I ran to the building where my apartment should be...But the thing was abandoned. Although, since I had nowhere to stay, I ran inside...

The place was falling into pieces. Nopony was inside it but myself. I ran upstairs, and by instinct, I ran to my room...

The entire thing was empty...

I simply crawled to a corner...And started thinking on what the hell I just did...

I actually just freaked out in front of Celestia and the entire Mane Six...

Now...Was it worth it?

Did I escape a shameful betrayal...Or did I just doom an entire town?

I hit my head on the wall behind me...

I should've never tried to leave Christingham...I should've stayed with Redflower...

I was so close to escaping depression...So close...


Episode 2.



Written by Jacket Mike.
Content available under the CC-BY-NC license.

Trivia

  • Frost Magicadam and Sunblaze Evee's names are obvious plays on the biblical characters, Adam and Eve.
  • Skyblack, when confronting the stallion who was pulling the wagon, says two lines, one being "Freeze!" and then "I said freeze!", while aiming a pistol at the guy while he slowly walked to Skyblack with a knife. This scene is a reference to Resident Evil 4, when Leon confronts the first Ganado in the game.
  • Skyblack says "Just a flesh wound..." to Celestia upon meeting her, referencing Monty Python.

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