The Kobold of Ponyville
Chapter V - The Devil wears Pink
Tak yawned loudly as he rubbed his eyes. He was getting bored now as Twilight’s questions seemed to never end. Twilight, on the other hand, was getting more and more wound up.
“Okay, Tak,” she sighed. “One last time. Do you have any idea how far away your home is?”
“Tak already said,” he grumbled. “Tak doesn’t know!”
“Twilight, I think that’s enough for today. Don’t you?” Fluttershy said, giving her friend a stern look.
“Yeah… I guess you’re right. I’m sorry, Tak,” Twilight apologised. “I’ve just never gotten a chance to speak with a kobold that’s so friendly before, in fact, I don’t think anypony has.”
Twilight offered her hoof to Tak who looked at it and bumped a curled hand on it with a smile, “It’s okay, Tak understands.”
Fluttershy smiled as Twilight got up and headed towards the door of the cottage before she stopped and turned around. “Do you think it’s best we introduce him to everypony else tomorrow, or should we hold off for a couple of days?”
Fluttershy tapped a hoof against her chin as she pondered the questions, “Tak, what do you want to do?”
Tak replied with a soft snore as he leant against Fluttershy's body, snuggling into her wing slightly. Fluttershy smiled down at him and held back a giggle before looking to Twilight.
“We’ll ask him tomorrow,” Twilight whispered. “Goodbye Fluttershy.”
“Bye,” Fluttershy replied.
“No, Ahuizotl, no...” Tak mumbled in his sleep.
Fluttershy gently extended her wing and covered the kobold with it as she closed her eyes and made herself comfortable.
“How in the hay is she this fast?!”
“Ah thought ah told y’all never to question how she works!”
“Girls, come on! You’re too slow!”
The cutie mark crusaders panted as they ran over the bridge towards Fluttershy’s cottage as fast as they could. They had lost all sight of Pinkie Pie and were dreading the worst. As they came around a bend in the path, the girls ran slap bang into Twilight and fell to the ground in a heap.
“Girls! Are you alright?” Twilight asked as she helped them up.
“Y-yeah, sorry about that, Twilight,” Scootaloo mumbled.
“Where are you girls heading off to in such a hurry?” the unicorn asked.
“Well, we were talking about Tak and cooing at Scootaloo because of her new coltfriend but then Pinkie overheard and ran out of the shop so we ran after her then we bumped into you and we really need to get to Fluttershy’s cottage!” Sweetie Belle squeaked out loudly in one breath.
Twilight’s eyes went wide as she stared at the filly, “Wait… Pinkie Pie?!”
“Uh-huh,” Applebloom replied solemnly.
Twilight immediately turned around and took off back towards Fluttershy’s house, followed closely by the three fillies.
Fluttershy’s eyes blinked open as a series of knocks came from the front door. She yawned and looked down to see Tak had moved from her body and was lying flat on his back and softly snoring. She smiled as she rose from the seat and walked over to the door as quietly as she could.
Fluttershy carefully opened the door to see Pinkie Pie standing on the doorstep with a large grin on her face. Her mane was flat against her side slightly and her pupils were the like pinpricks.
“Oh, good evening, Pinkie. What are you doing here?” she asked in concern.
“Hiiiiiii, Fluttershy…” Pinkie giggled. “I was just in the neighborhood and thought I’d drop by to see if I could meet your new friend!”
Fluttershy saw the twitch in Pinkie’s eyes and felt a feeling of concern for her pink friend, “Uh… Pinkie I-I don’t want to b-be rude but… he’s had a long d-day and… I wouldn’t m-mind if y-you came back tomorrow… if you d-don’t mind…”
“I promise I won’t be long, I just want to ask what kind of cupcakes he likes!” Pinkie giggled, ignoring her friends request.
“P-Pinkie…” Fluttershy started as she focused her confidence. “I said, no.”
Pinkie was about to continue begging when she caught sight of Tak’s sleeping form out of the corner of her eye and gasped, suddenly barging past Fluttershy who squeaked in surprise and darted to the sleeping kobold.
“OHMYGOSHYOU’RESOOOOCUTE!” Pinkie practically screamed at Tak.
Tak yelped as he jolted upright from the sudden noise and cried out in alarm at the pink face that was dangerously close to his. His little eyes widened in alarm as he stared into Pinkie’s eyes. Something about them terrified him and he could feel his body going cold.
“S-stay back!” Tak squeaked as he backed up into Fluttershy’s sofa.
“Oh don’t be like that!” Pinkie giggled maniacally as her eye twitched again. “We’re gonna be beeeeeeest friends!”
Tak’s eyes began to water as tears formed, “N-no!”
Something about this mare completely terrified him more than anything he had ever seen in his life. As he stared into her eyes, Tak felt all of his warm thoughts slowly vanish and a wave of dread and hopelessness take over him as if death himself stood before him. He scrambled for a pillow to hide only to cry out in panic as Pinkie grabbed his tail and tried to pull him back towards her.
Fluttershy—who had been dazed when she fell to the floor—shook herself off and gasped upon seeing Pinkie pulling Tak’s tail and snorted loudly as she glared in anger at her friend.
“PINKAMENA DIANE PIE!” Fluttershy shouted.
Pinkie jumped and dropped Tak’s tail and looked over to Fluttershy, her eyes and hair returning to normal once more. “Yes, Flutter—”
She stopped mid-sentence once she saw just how angry Fluttershy was, and her ears flattened to the sides of her head as the yellow pegasus stormed over.
“How dare you just barge in when I specifically asked you not to! And how dare you terrify my little Tak like that! You should know better, Pinkamena!”
Pinkie winced at Fluttershy’s words and lowered her body slightly. She backed up as Fluttershy continued advancing towards her.
“The poor dear has had a very tough time! He was nearly killed by a cockatrice! Tak is only just getting used to his new environment and you have not helped by terrifying him!” Fluttershy screamed.
Pinkie’s eyes filled with water and she sniffled before sobbing, “I-I’m sorry, Fluttershy… I-I just wanted to meet him…”
Fluttershy frowned and gently pulled Pinkie into a warm cuddle which the pink mare returned tightly, “I know, Pinkie. And I’m sorry for yelling at you like that.”
“I-I’ts okay,” Pinkie sniffled. “I was a big meanie and I deserved it.”
Fluttershy smiled and wiped a tear from her friend’s eye, “Will you apologise to Tak?”
“Of course!” Pinkie beamed as she suddenly returned to her usual self. “I’m sorry Tak—”
Before she could apologise, the front door was opened and Twilight ran in with three tired fillies behind her.
“Fluttershy!” she shouted. “Pinkie’s on her way and—” she paused upon seeing the mare already present. “—oh… hey, Pinkie.”
“Heya, Twilight,” Pinkie giggled.
“Is… everything okay?” Twilight asked.
Fluttershy nodded and smiled, “For now. Pinkie was about to apologise to Tak for her behaviour.”
“Sure was!” The pink mare grinned and turned to where Tak was sitting. “I’m sorry, Tak, for—”
She stopped mid sentence as Fluttershy's eyes went wide. Tak wasn’t on the sofa anymore.
“Where is he?” Scootaloo asked.
Fluttershy scanned the area before they heard a slight bang coming from the kitchen. They all ran in to see the back door was open, banging against the frame.
“Oh no…” Fluttershy whispered, covering her mouth with her hooves. “He’s run off...”
Tak panted as he ran as fast as he could away from the cottage, his chest heaving as he struggled to keep his breath. He had no clue where he was running and he didn’t care.
“Gotta get… away… from… pink… devil!” he said in between pants.
He pelted it over the stone cobble bridge that led into town without stopping and soon had darted into the middle of the town and hid behind a crate, panting heavily as he tried to catch his breath.
“Okay… Tak… thinks he… got away…”
Tak smiled as he rested his claws on his knees and looked up. He had run directly into an alleyway but now faced a calamity. He had no idea where he had actually run off to, nor knew how to get back. Tak nervously made his way to the other end of the alley and peeked around at his surroundings.
He immediately regretted it.
Everywhere he looked, there were ponies. Ponies on market stalls, ponies milling around, ponies going to and fro, everywhere. Tak felt his heartbeat increase as he stared at the large and imposing crowd of ponies and whimpered, his fears increasing by the second. He backed up slightly into a box that was larger than him.
“T-there’s so many… w-what i-if they’re like the pink devil?” he whimpered to himself.
Tak slumped down against the box and brought his knees to his chest and hugged them close, “Tak will wait here… wait here for Fluttershy… Fluttershy will come, come help Tak…” Tak looked up to the sky, seeing it was starting to get a little darker.
“Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!” Fluttershy panicked as she flew just above the ground and scanned her surroundings. “Ohh… Tak, where are you?”
She bit her lip and lowered her ears as she desperately tried to spot any sign of the little kobold. Nearby, Pinkie, Sweetie Belle, Twilight and Applebloom were searching towards the border of the forest to see any signs of Tak going back into the forest.
Scootaloo was near to where Fluttershy was searching and carefully scanned the ground for any signs of Tak. She gasped when she saw a distinctive foot print in the mud and spun around.
“Guys! I think I know where he went!”
Everypony turned to Scootaloo and gasped. Fluttershy’s eyes went wide. She knew exactly where he had gone.
Fluttershy took off as fast as she could towards the town, soon being followed closely by the others. Praying to Celestia that he hadn’t been seen by the other ponies and hadn’t come to harm.
Hold on Tak, we’re coming.
Tak jolted upright when he heard a bang and the sound of glass breaking coming from behind him. He peeked over the box and quickly hid again hearing the sounds of ponies nearby, clearly male from the sounds of their voices.
“You got our money, Pipsqueak?”
“Yeah, ‘fink we weren’t gonna come for ya, jus’ cos ya was in the classroom at lunchtime?”
Tak slowly peeked over again as the voices laughed, and he saw two tall colts towering over a smaller colt who had a cream coat with brown spots. The latter was shaking from fright as he tried to back away.
“Look, mates…” Pipsqueak started. “C-can’t I just pay you tomorrow?”
“Hmm…” the taller colts pretended to think. “Nah!”
The little colt shrunk back more as the two older colts started to advance on him, clearly intending to rough him up. Tak glared at the two, his fears starting to disappear as his anger increased. The two colts reminded him of the kobolds from his village who from time to time would pick on him, and he had longed for the chance to get his own back.
And now, he had his chance.
“Tak will show them… Tak will stand up to bullies everywhere, just like Daring Do does to Ahuizotl!”
Taking a deep breath, Tak pulled himself up on top of the box just as the first colt was about to strike the little one, “Leave him alone!”
All three turned to look and blinked in confusion at the small reptile. The two colts then looked to each and back to Tak before laughing to each other.
“Oh man! Dat lizard’s so tiny!”
“He’s smaller than that wimp, Spike!”
Tak growled as they continued to laugh, jumping down from the box and storming up to them, “Tak is not a lizard, Tak is kobold! Now leave him alone or else!”
“Or else what, runt?” one of the colts snorted.
“Or else you’re going to find out why Tak is the greatest,” the kobold replied with a confident smirk.
Pfft… as if!” the colt brushed him off with a wave of his hoof. “Green Leaf, get rid of the runt whilst I deal with this one.”
“Right,” the other replied as he smirked down at Tak.
He brought his hoof up and slammed it down onto Tak who quickly rolled out of the way surprising the colt. Before he could react, Tak launched himself onto his back and slapped the side of his face with his tail making Green Leaf yelp. Tak grinned and leapt off of him and darted away as Green Leaf tried to stomp on him again, before he darted under his body making the colt stamp again in frustration.
“Hold still!” Green Leaf snorted.
Tak smirked as he ran circles around the colt who desperately tried to stomp on him to no avail. Soon, Green Leaf found himself feeling dizzy, noticing this, Tak jumped and rammed into the side of his body making Green Leaf yelp and fall to the ground.
“Hah! Take that, no one can defeat the awesome—”
Tak cried out as he was struck by the other colt and sent flying into the wall. Pipsqueak on the floor gasped as he watched the creature that stood up for him fall to the ground.
“Wimp…” the colt snorted and turned his attention to the smaller one. “Now… your turn.”
Pipsqueak shook in fear as the colt came over to him slowly and closed his eyes. He opened them again suddenly when he heard the bully scream in pain and looked over to see Tak—some blood dripping from his snout—latched onto his leg with his teeth and growling.
“Get offa me, you freak!” the colt wailed as he shook his leg roughly.
Tak refused to let go and clung tighter with his teeth. Eventually, the colt was able to fling Tak off his leg and into Pipsqueak who was able to catch the kobold. Tak shakily stood up, standing between Pipsqueak and the colt and growled at him.
“Leave him alone!”
“You’re dead!” the colt screamed.
The three looked round to see who had cried and saw a yellow pegasus staring back at them. The colt’s eyes widened when the pegasus looked from Tak to him and glared at him with a face like thunder.
“Oh… Tak… where are you?” Fluttershy whispered as she looked around the town from the sky.
All she could see were the ponies who were still shopping at the market stalls and the ones who were heading off home for the evening. She began to worry more and more as she tried to find any sign of her little kobold.
A crash from a nearby alleyway caught her attention and she swooped down to investigate it.
What she saw made her blood run cold.
Tak was standing in front of Pipsqueak and glaring at a larger colt, but that wasn’t what she had caught sight of immediately. Tak’s left eye was slightly swollen it appeared and he had blood coming from his snout. Fluttershy quickly put two and two together.
All three turned to look at her and she could now clearly see the injuries on Tak’s face. She turned to look at the offending colt who was in turn looking back at her with a terrified expression.
“Dandelion!” Fluttershy snapped. “What have you been doing?”
“N-Nothing! I s-swear!” Dandelion lied.
Tak held back the urge to snicker at such a ridiculous name as Pipsqueak—having had enough—glared at Dandylion.
“You liar!” he cried.
“Quiet, runt!” Dandelion hissed.
“I think you better apologise and get home, Dandylion,” Fluttershy said with a stern look as Green Leaf groggily got up. “And you too, Green Leaf. I’m going to speak to your parents about this tomorrow.”
“Course you are… Shy Mare,” Dandelion grumbled.
“What was that?” Fluttershy growled.
“I-I said, I’m sorry Pipsqueak and Lizard guy!”
“M-me too!” Green Leaf added.
“Tak’s name is Tak,” the kobold glared.
Dandelion then quickly took off, followed closely by Green leaf. Just as Dandelion got to the end of the alley, he gave Tak a look that said ‘this isn’t over’. Tak huffed and smirked triumphantly then winced as Fluttershy landed in front of him wit a very disapointed expression.
“Care to explain, mister?” Fluttershy asked.
Before Tak could say anything, Pipsqueak rushed to his side, “Please, Miss Fluttershy, s’not ‘is fault! Tak saved me from a bashin’ from those oiks!”
“Is that true, Tak?”
“Uh-huh… Tak hates bullies more than anything and he just wanted to help... er... Pipsqueak.”
Fluttershy’s eyes narrowed, but she quickly forgot her anger and pulled him into a tight but careful hug “I’m glad you did something good, Tak. But don’t you ever, ever run away again… you scared me to death.”
Tak could see she had some tears in her eyes, and a pang of guilt washed over him as he returned the hug, “Tak is sorry… Tak just got scared by the pink demon.”
“It’s okay, Tak,” Fluttershy giggled and poked his belly. “And the ‘pink demon’ is called Pinkie Pie.”
Tak wriggled from the poke and grumbled before feeling a little tug on his tail and looked down to see Pipsqueak grinning up at him.
“Hey uh, Tak? Thanks mate! You’re awright in my books!”
“You’re welcome,” Tak grinned back.
Pipsqueak quickly raced off out of the alley leaving the two behind. Fluttershy carefully flew at ground level out of the alley, making sure to go the back way and towards her house carrying Tak in her arms.
“Would you be willing to give Pinkie another chance?” Fluttershy asked him.
“Only if you’re there… pink demon—” Tak paused as Fluttershy gently coughed. “I mean, Pinkie Pie still scares me…”
“Of course, Tak,” Fluttershy smiled. “I’m always going to be there for my little Tak…”
“Your little what now?” Tak asked, tilting his head.
“O-oh nothing, come on. I reckon we should get an early night, don’t you?”
Fluttershy’s answer came in the form of a soft yawn as Tak snuggled into her chest and closed his eyes, making the pegasus smile warmly down at him.