• Published 5th Jan 2019
  • 3,447 Views, 30 Comments

Redemption - Zael



Sunset and the Rainbooms: not just a simple forgive and forget - Third part of the Free/Sadness series!

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Disguise, or how to (not) cloak oneself

Arriving first in the Garment district, Sunset found herself submerged by tons and tons of different stores and boutiques, a spectacle to behold for one who wasn't accostumed with such redundant abundance. To an untrained eye, most stores were the same, with the same articles and the same decorations; Sunset never really had problems regarding her clothes: when she materialized in the human world, she already was clothed, probably a side effect of the magic mirror, and while it took no small effort to keep her clothes always clean, she managed to do it. Here though, clothes were almost unnecessary, and usually used only for grand occasions or particular situations, so she didn't understand the need for so many stores.
Strolling on the sidewalk, she thought more about the difference of clothes between the two worlds, and she remembered that even she in the end had to change her attire, not to mention basic human necessities like underwear or sleepwear and that a particular person helped her renewing her metaphorical wardrobe: Rarity.
But alas, after she evoked thoughts of her purple haired so-called "friend", also the bad memories of the Anon-a-miss incident came too with abundant strenght. She still couldn't believe her "friends" left her, and she still wasn't sure if she wanted them to make amends or if she wanted to just forget about them and ignore them. Trying to dissolve her doubts and her unpleasant memories, she entered one of the stores.
The interiors were quite refined, showing the excellent taste of the owner, and well complemented the dresses and the accessories displayed through all over the store. Nothing in particular though picked Sunset's interest, but she indulged a little bit, trying to explore every inch of the store. A meek voice called for her attention though:

"I'm sorry, dear customer, are you searching for something in particular?"

Sunset turned herhead to see an earth pony with a really light coat and a light cyan mane, looking at her: judging by her question, she worked here.

"Ah, not really: I was just looking around, but everything seems too much… fancy, I guess, for me. Not really your everyday clothes, if you catch my drift."

The mare smiled and replied:

"We keep the less elaborate clothes and accessories over there. If you could follow me, I'll be glad to show you!"

Sunset followed the other mare and found herself in a much more comfortable dimension when she saw all the clothes and accessories in that part of the store. She quickly surveyed all the items there, being much more interested in something practical instead of something luxurious: plus, while she did have still a quite high sum of bits even after paying the hotel, it would've been unwise to spend it all on a single dress. Sunset did find something that picked her interest, but she felt that something lacked on those items. Turning to the other mare, she asked:

"I know it might seem a bit strange and a bit uncomfortable request, but… do you have anything in leather? Please don't freak out!"

Knowing that leather was basically cured animal skin, in Equestria wasn't really a popular material at all. The mare looked at her with a strange but not disgusted expression, and answered:

"It's quite the question, to be honest. I'm not sure if we did even use that material at some point. I'll go fetch my superior. You're lucky she's here and not at her first store in Ponyville, otherwise I would've been completely unable to help you. If you can wait a couple of minutes, I'll be back with her as soon as I am capable."

Sunset nodded while the mare excused herself. She stayed there looking at the clothes and at the accessories for everyday: while their use was obviously different compared to the ornate dresses and their trinkets, she couldn't not believe that the same pony made them, looking at how well they were made. An almost familiar voice woke her up from her considerations:

"Well darling, it seems that our customer has rather interesting tastes after all."

"So you did work with leather?"

"Oh Coco dear, of course I have. While it's not one of my favorite materials, being cured skin, it's a sure hit for griffons and such."

Sunset could not believe her ears and cursed her bad luck: of all the clothes stores in the Garment District of Bronclyn she had to come into the one owned by Rarity. While of course she knew she wasn't "her" Rarity but her equine counterpart, her heart still skipped a beat at the sound of her voice.

"Welcome to my boutique, darling, I am its owner and manager, Rarity. And you are?"

Quick thinking, Sunset! If Twilight told her friends about me, they could swarm all over me, and I don't want or need any kind of shock therapy like that!

"Summer… Sunstone, the pleasure is mine."

"Now, miss Sunstone, my dear assistant was telling me you were searching for leathercrafted items, am I correct?"

"Yes."

"Not that I would personally judge, but may I ask why you seek such…, yes, exotic, items?"

Crap, I have to get the best excuse possible now, or she will get too inquisitive!

"Well, my hometown is near the Griffon lands, and due to trade and intercultural relations, I've come to like in particular their taste for leather. I did have a leather jacket when I was a filly, but unfortunately I've grown too much for it, and between my work and my travels, I did not really had the time to found myself another one."

Rarity nodded, answering:

"I see, that explains it. Well, I do have some samples just in case I had the particular client interested in it. Let me just go fetch it, darling."

Sunset smiled while Rarity went into what Sunset imagined could be the storage room, and returned after a couple of minutes with a large box wrapped with her magic. After opening it, Rarity took out several accessories, like bracelets and chokers, but the item which caught Sunset's attention was the last: a beautiful leather jacket which resembled the first one she had on the human world.

"I take it."

"Yes, unfortunately it's a bit rough since it was my first attempt to- wait, what? Could you repeat that, darling?"

"I take it. How much does it cost?"

"Well… since it's my very first complete item in leather and given the fact that I wasn't really that proficient working with it, the result being still a bit rough for my personal tastes… I guess, covering the cost of the material included, fourty bits? I know it's a bit high for such an old item, but leather itself costs much around here."

Sunset took out her pouch, and quickly she placed on the table four gold coins of ten bits each.

"Not a problem. Also, rougher is better when talking about leather, at least by my taste. I might've spent too much time with griffons I bet."

Sunset laughed a bit at her own lie, while Rarity and her assistant smiled. The purple maned unicorn took the four coins and gave them to her assistant.

"Coco, darling, go put them into the cash register, please. As for you, miss Sunstone, I am overjoyed I was able to please your tastes. I was hoping we could see each other again to discuss about griffon tastes to broaden my horizons a bit, but I have to return to my main shop tomorrow. What a pity. Oh well, thank you for your purchase!"

That was close, Sunset!

"Thank you for accomodating my request, I know it's difficult for ponies to work with some kind of materials."

After the pleasantries, Sunset quickly put on the jacket: a perfect fit. Maybe coming to Equestria was even a better idea than planned! She walked out of the store and resumed walking. She felt strange though. While of course other ponies watched her mostly curious because of her jacket, she felt that someone was directly observing and following her. Sunset started walking faster, as did her pursuer. Seeing a narrow alley, she quickly dove into it, stealthing herself in the shadows. Her pursuer followed her, only to find an empty alley. Carefully advancing, the pursuer passed Sunset's hiding place, and then stopped, trying to sense something. Sunset saw the larger frame of this creature, and quickly came out of this place reading a spell.

"State your business, creature! Why are you following me? Answer or I'll tear you into shreds!"

The pursuer turned around to face Sunset and said:

"My dear Summer Sunstone, you think I'm gonna let you go after catching up to you?"

Sunset shuddered. Only one pony knew her framed name, because she invented it to go in incognito outside of the Royal Castle in Canterlot to take a break without anyone noticing and leaving the maids and the guards all 'she's done it AGAIN', while calling herself Summer Flare.
The only one who knew that name was the pony she grew under and later betrayed her trust by running away.

"Princess… Celestia?"

Author's Note:

Damn, I'm LATE. Really, this should've gone up 10 days ago.
Blame me trying to find a job and having to spend most of the time at job interviews.
I'll try to rush out the next chapter by the end of this week but I can assure I WILL update before 9 february.

Sorry about the delay again. I wish I had a job already...

As always, any kind of criticism is accepted and I will try to answer to your comments as soon as I am able.