A kobold turns up in Ponyville after leaving his clan in search for adventures, but gets more than he bargained for when he runs into three mischievous fillies and a motherly pegasus.
Kobolds have a knack for cowardice and sadism. But not Tak.
Tak disagreed with how his race acted and yearned for something more out of life. After finding a book about a certain daring pegasus who had a thirst for adventure, Tak dreams of having his own adventures. Armed with his favorite spear, a makeshift bag and a determined soul, he abandons his clan and ventures forth into the unknown.
However, when he runs into a mischievous orange filly, a motherly pegasus and their friends, he soon finds himself caught up in something far bigger than he could ever imagine.
Thanks to my pre-reader and editor Vexy go give some of his work a look!
Cover art by me, background found on Google.
The Definitive Guide to Equestrian Races - The Kobold.
Although Equestria is home to a wide variety of creatures, few are quite as curious and elusive as the kobold. Unlike most other species - including their much larger cousins, the dragons - kobolds are not inherently social beings and prefer to avoid other civilizations due to what can be only be described as an instinctive distrust for most other creatures. Kobolds are reptilian creatures, typically standing at an average of between 2’-4’ in height and 30-40 pounds (14-18kg) in weight. As with the majority of species in Equestria, male kobolds have a slightly higher average height and weight than females.
Kobolds favour dark places such as underground caves or overgrown forests to build their homes. This is largely due to having a high susceptibility to changes in luminosity, and as such, they have a incredibly high sensitivity to bright lights and light spells. Living in tribes or small clans, kobolds are dangerously territorial. It is not uncommon to see them sending out patrols in a ten mile radius of their lairs, and they are never hesitant to capture any small creature that is foolish enough to wander too close. There have been the occasional reports of ponies being assaulted by travelling too close to a clan. A group of ten kobolds can swiftly overwhelm even an adult pony if they’re caught unprepared.
Much akin to the inherent affinity that all ponies have with magic, kobolds have the unique ability to see in the dark, which has proved vital in ensuring their survival over the years. The small size of a kobold can also be regarded as a beneficial trait as they have a much higher agility than their foe should they be forced into open combat.
Conversely, the kobold’s small size also puts them at an obvious disadvantage in combat, and as such kobolds will only hunt alone as a last resort; a lone kobold can be easily defeated by most larger foes. For that reason, kobolds are never seen alone when it comes to hunting, instead favouring large groups of up to ten members. When alone, kobolds become very cowardly when dealing with a foe that is stronger and will usually run away or resort to crude tricks to evade their pursuers such as leading them into thick undergrowth or towards uneven ground where their small size works in their favour.
Due to their unethical habits and the gratuitous distrust they have towards other races (the only exception being, bizarrely, the changelings), kobolds are rarely, if ever, seen in civilized society. Despite this, kobolds have been known to occasionally establish tenuous trade agreements with other races, a rather famous example being the Griffin-Kobold trade pact of DB49**. This is more likely down to a mutual benefit as opposed to any desire for diplomatic association.
Not much else is truly known about the kobolds as the records of their species vary greatly depending on the source. After much cross-referencing (and many close-encounters), this entry is a complete summary of what we know about the kobolds.
Tak let out a loud yawn as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and smacked his lips, his eyes easily adjusting to the dimness of his room. He’d been awoken from his dream by a loud bang that had come from outside of his hut. Grumbling to himself, he pushed himself up and headed to the door to investigate what had caused it.
Upon opening the door, Tak shivered as the cold winter air hugged him and a quiet sigh escaped his lips. As he looked about for the source of the commotion, he saw the rest of his clan arguing over what was now a mostly destroyed cart. Walking over to the others, Tak inspected the cart for himself. Sure enough, it was an Equestrian cart, the type that belonged to ponies.
“Latest raid then?” he asked one of the others.
“Yer,” the kobold grinned. “We caught them sniffing around the edge of our territory, so we took der cart!”
“And the ponies?”
“Nah, got away,” he sniffed nonchalantly. “Doesn’t matter, dis cart is worth more than them, anyway.”
“True, Tak will go get the chief,” Tak replied with a nod.
The kobold grunted as Tak turned and started to make his way to the large hut in the clearing. The clan wasn’t that large. In fact, it was a subsection of a much larger clan that was situated several miles north of where they were. The boss of the clan, Riddek, had sent Tak and the others south in order to have more security on the border of his territory.
Tak smacked his fist on the door of the large hut and waited. After a few seconds of silence, a loud grunt sounded from within, giving the signal that Tak was allowed to enter. Opening the door, he strode in.
The chief was a fairly plump kobold who was barely small enough to fit into the armor that he wore at all times. He raised his eyebrow and waved his spear in acknowledgment as Tak entered.
“What does Tak want?” he asked.
“Tak comes to tell you we got a cart with some goodies in it,” Tak replied.
“Good. Salec will go with Tak and see what we gots.”
With a nod, Tak led the chief out of the hut and towards the ruined cart where the others had already begun to relieve it of its cargo.
Tapping his spear on the ground authoritatively, Salec grinned as the others quickly stopped what they were doing and stepped away from the cart’s cargo. As he casually walked around the looted items, he carefully inspected each in turn, making crude comments occasionally and chucking smaller objects to the onlooking kobolds.
As Tak watched, he sighed quietly to himself. Raising his head upwards towards the sky, he let his mind drift away into a daydream that was not unlike his dream which had been rudely interrupted.
He’d been walking through the forest that he called his home. In one claw was his trusty spear, and in the other was an iron buckler. Instead of his normal attire - a basic tunic and a pair of shorts - he was wearing some beautifully crafted iron armor that was perfectly tailored to fit his small frame.
He’d been tracking down a strange, mysterious creature that had been spotted in the area and had decided to take it up upon himself to claim the bounty that had been placed upon its head. In the dream, he had tracked the creature to what he had assumed to be its lair inside of a large, dark cave. Tak barely even noticed the darkness surround him as he boldly strode inside, his eyes easily adapting to the lower light levels. He readied his spear and shield as the darkness swallowed him whole.
Before he’d even taken a few steps, the beast attacked. He couldn’t quite see the creature clearly as it attacked so fast. However, from what he could see, the thing was huge! Larger than anything he had ever seen before. Bravely, he had charged towards the beast, ready to plunge his spear into it - when his dream was shattered by that loud bang.
As Tak continued to smile at the sky, he was suddenly knocked over by an object colliding with him at high speed.
“Can’t Tak even catch a book?” someone called out as the rest of the clan laughed. Tak let out a loud groan as he shook his head. On top of to him was the large, green book that had recently smacked him in the head.
“Pay attention, Tak. Boss Riddek doesn’t like slackers,” Salec grunted. “Now go get rid of that. S’not worth anything to us.”
Tak sneered as he pushed the book off him. Being only 2’8”, a book - especially seeing as how this one was bigger than most - was almost the same height as him, and judging by the thickness, it was a very long and detailed book. Tak continued to grumble as he dragged the book beside him towards the edge of the small clearing where he and the others would throw their rubbish away. This was mostly just leftover bones from meals or items that they had deemed not valuable after one of their raids.
“An’ don’t be all day, you’s got a lot more work to do!” Salec’s voice sailed after him.
Tak sighed and walked past the others as they laughed at him. Unlike the other kobolds, Tak didn't just dislike going on raids or patrols, he hated them. Something inside of him just didn’t feel right when it came to doing the job, and instead he would remain at the camp and prepare for the arrival of whatever the raiders brought back. This meant cataloguing anything they wanted to keep and items that were to be sent to the boss. On the rare occasion that they captured a pony, griffin or any other creature unfortunate enough to get ambushed by their clan, Tak had also refused to take part in anything to do with the prisoner, simply ignoring them and leaving his kin to deal with it. Due to his reluctance to participate in nearly anything, he was always the one who had to dump every item that the chief deemed ‘useless’ in the nearby dumping ground.
As he came to the dumping ground, he was about to simply toss the book away when he caught sight of the cover. Curiously, he sat on his rump and settled the book between his legs and studied it.
Kobolds weren’t as stupid as most races thought they were; whilst being naturally gifted in the language of their cousins, the dragons, kobolds were not unfamiliar with the common tongue that was spoken in all corners of the known world. Even if they did speak in third-person most of the time.
On the front cover of the book, Tak could see three reptilian creatures he didn’t quite recognise swimming in the water. What he did recognise however was a pegasus in an odd-looking getup while she held onto a vine and a very beautiful sapphire stone. He squinted his eyes as he read what was written in big, bold letters just above the picture.
“Daring Do… and the Quest for the Sapphire Stone…” Tak read out loud softly.
Tak felt a grin form on his face as he looked around. Satisfied that none of the other kobolds were watching him, he quickly stood up and ran to a nearby bush and hid the book.
“Tak will come back and read you later,” he murmured to the book.
“TAK! WHERE ARE YOU?” Salec bellowed, his voice shattering the tranquil silence.
With a startled yelp, Tak turned tail and quickly darted back to the village in order to continue his job.
As night fell, the small kobold settlement was quiet, save for the few guards on night watch. Tak rolled over in his makeshift bed, unable to sleep; all he could think about was the book. After what seemed like an eternity had passed, he slowly got out of bed and crept over to his door. Turning the handle, he peeked outside. He could see where two of the four guards were standing and decided to try and sneak out of the camp and back to where he’d hidden the book.
As quietly as he could, he slipped out and made his way around to the back of his hut. When he was certain he was out of earshot of the guards. He scurried out of the camp and towards the dumping ground.
It wasn’t long until he arrived at his destination and, after a quick rummage in the bushes, he found his prize. With a happy cackle, he carried the book under his arm and carefully made his way back to the camp. Just as he was about to slip back in unnoticed, he heard a twig snap to his right and his head quickly spun in the direction of the sound. Taks eyes widened slightly upon seeing one of the guards.
“Tak? What you doing out?” the guard asked as he spotted him.
“Tak was just uh… going for a piss!” Tak quickly lied.
“Oh… well then… eh, whatever,” he grunted and turned around, heading back to his post.
Tak waited until he was out of sight before letting out a sigh of relief. Thankful that the guard didn’t spot the book, he made his way back into his hut without any further incident. With a big grin he picked up the blanket from the floor and made his way over to his chair. Sitting down, he wrapped himself up in his blanket and began to read.
“As Daring Do trekked through the tropical jungle…” he began.
As the sun started to rise over the land, the camp began to slowly awaken and prepare themselves for the new day. Inside Tak’s hut, however, the young kobold was still sitting in his chair, eyes glued to the book as he skimmed down the last page.
“And so, with Ahuizotl defeated, and the sapphire stone secured… the world was safe and sound once again, thanks to Daring Do!”
Tak gently closed the book and blinked a few times.
“That was… unbelievable!” he whispered to himself, hugging the book to his chest. “Why would Salec want Tak to throw this out?”
Loud banging on his huts door startled him from his daze, causing him to jump and drop the book with a thud.
“Tak! Get your scaley arse out here! We got work to do,” he heard one of the other kobolds yell from outside.
“Tak’s coming, keep your scales on!” Tak shouted back.
He yawned and quickly hid the book under the covers of his blanket before heading outside to get on with the day’s jobs.
The day went on as it normally would for Tak. He was always given the simple and boring tasks to complete around the campsite that the others wouldn't do themselves. Usually, he would grumble about being treated like a slave, but today it was different; despite the lack of sleep, he couldn’t stop thinking about that book.
He’d often stop to simply look out into the forest and sigh happily to himself. He imagined himself off on an adventure like Daring Do, fighting off vicious monster or recovering long-forgotten artifacts. Each time he slipped into a daydream, one of the other kobolds would have to give him a smack or sharp jab with the back end of a spear to wake him up.
Tak sighed as he took a seat on a nearby tree stump and looked back at the camp. As his mind wandered, he began to question why he was there. Why was he there? He didn’t enjoy his daily life, so what was keeping him there? Was it because of some strange loyalty? Or something else? Was this really all there was to his life?
Tak rested his head on his hands and yawned loudly, mumbling to himself as he closed his eyes. Just as he was about to fall asleep, he was pushed backwards suddenly and he let out a startled yelp.
“If you’re gunna fall asleep, Tak. Then jus’ go back to bed,” a kobold said.
“Really? Tak can go sleep?” Tak asked.
“Yeah, but your gunna do double your work tomorah!” he snickered.
Tak hissed at him and slowly made his way back to his hut, trying to ignore the jeering and laughing from the other kobolds. He growled angrily as he entered his hut, slammed the door shut and roughly grabbed the blanket from the floor, forgetting the book was under it. As he started to wrap himself up, he spotted the book and stared at the front cover. He felt as if Daring Do’s eyes were looking straight into his. In that split second, Tak came to a decision, one that would change his life forever.
“Tak will run away and have his own adventure!” he decided, hugging the book close to his chest. “Tak doesn’t need his stupid clan.”
As the moon shone down over the forest, the camp was as quiet as it was every night, save for a few guards. Tak, however, was not asleep. Having slept throughout the day he was now wide awake and full of energy, he’d already packed a small bag with some bits and bobs such as a few berries, a slab of deer meat, a single strand of cloth which he was fond of and a few gems.
He picked up his Daring Do book and stood it upright, tying a cord of rope around it before fastening it to his own body.
“No way is Tak going to leave this behind…” he murmured.
Once the book was securely onto his back, he hoiked the bag over his shoulder and retrieved his trusty spear from the corner of the room.
“Definitely no way is Tak leaving this behind,” he chuckled.
Satisfied he was ready, Tak made his way to the door and carefully opened it. Giving a careful glance out, he spotted all four of the guards near the other end of the camp happily chattering away to one another. Tak slipped out and made his way around to the back of his hut before silently slipping out of the camp and into the forest. The chilly air sent small shivers down his spine.
He was soon clear of his camp and smiled to himself with glee as he strode as quick as he could in order to put as much distance between him and the camp.
“Next stop, adventure!” he declared.
The sun slowly rose into the sky, covering the land in its first rays. The morning birds began to wake up and the sunlight penetrated through the leaves, leaving a distinctive shadow on the forest floor. As Tak walked through the woods, he began to whistle a merry tune to himself that seemed to echo off the trees around him.
Tak’s foot made contact with the snow as he entered a clearing, and he shivered from the cold touch. The fresh blanket of snow glistened in the brilliant sunlight, stinging his eyes a little. He’d never seen snow before; the thickness of the trees where he lived meant that snow rarely made it past the dense canopy.
He stared down at the white substance and bent down, cautiously poking it with his claw. Although it was cold, it was soft and light. Tak grinned mischievously as he grabbed a handful of the stuff and rolled it into a ball. Throwing it as hard as he could against a nearby tree, he laughed with glee as it exploded on contact and sent snow flying in all directions.
Tak rested his spear on his shoulder and began to march through the snow, kicking his legs up so the snow would go flying and over swinging his arms. Closing his eyes and listening to the sounds of his song and the crunch of his feet on the snow.
After walking for what seemed like several hours, Tak was now bored.
He had long since overtaken the winter’s snow and was now in a part of the forest that was instead damp with dew. Somewhere along the way, he had also stopped whistling his tune. Since leaving the clan, nothing had actually happened. Tak had expected that the second he entered the unknown that dangerous creatures would jump out of nowhere and he would have to fend them off, or at the least he would discover some form of cave where he could explore for hidden treasure. Instead, all that had happened was some time playing in the snow.
“Maybe… maybe Tak should go back…” he sighed. “This seems like it was a bad idea.”
His musing was interrupted when his stomach growled loudly, indicating it was time to eat something. Tak walked over to a downed tree and took a seat on the large tree trunk, whisking off the bag in order to retrieve his slab of meat.
Before he could sink his fangs into his tempting meal, he heard the bushes rustling behind him and instinctively dove for cover. Keeping himself hidden, he listened out for any more disturbances. Just as he summoned up the courage to poke his head out above the tree, an orange filly emerged from the foliage. What caught his attention was the attire she was wearing. It was the same as the strange clothing Daring Do wore on the cover of the book.
“Stupid Diamond, stupid Silver. So what if I don’t have one? I’ll show them!” she muttered to herself.
His attention on the filly was short-lived, however, when a second bush began to rustle. Both the filly and Tak glanced uneasily at the source of the commotion when a chicken popped its head out. Instinctively, Tak growled as he recognized the beast.
“Huh? A chicken? Maybe Fluttershy’s lost one—”
The small pony’s eyes suddenly widened in realization and fear as the ‘chicken’ stepped out, revealing it’s very unchicken-like body.
“A cockatrice!” the filly gasped and took several steps back until her flank hit a tree. The filly desperately looked about for a way to distract the cockatrice, but she was frozen in place with fear.
Tak trembled as he watched the cockatrice advanced on her. His mind screamed at him to do something - anything - but his legs had turned to jelly.
“What would Daring Do… do?” he hissed to himself..
The filly screamed as the cockatrice’s wings flared out, and Tak pushed all of his fears to the back of his mind. Letting out a loud, furious roar that startled both the filly and cockatrice, he leapt over the tree and charged at the demonic abomination.
The class was abuzz with noise as colts and fillies chattered or gossiped with one another. They had been separated into groups for a small project using crafts to make a final project for Miss Cheerilee when the bell suddenly rang out, signalling the end of the lesson.
Cheerilee smiled, “Okay, everypony! Please remember to clean up after yourselves, and I’ll see you tomorrow for the annual Ponyville Relatives Sports Day!”
The class excitedly tidied up, the chatter in the room only increasing in volume.
“I can’t wait until tomorrow!” Sweetie Belle squealed, “I get to spend the whole day with Rarity!”
“Well, you sure ain’t gunna beat me and Big Mac in the races!” Applebloom grinned.
“What about Applejack?” Sweetie asked.
“One of us has gotta stay on the farm to do the work, and Applejack took part last year, so she asked Big Mac if he wanted to this year,” she replied.
“Oh, that makes sense, I guess…” Sweetie Belle said.
“Can we just get this over with?” Scootaloo grumbled, “I wanna go home today.”
“You still mad ‘cos your parents aren’t gunna be here for the event?” Applebloom asked.
“Well yeah!” Scootaloo replied, “I mean, I know my dad’s got important business in Manehatten tomorrow, but my mum could’ve at least gotten one of the other veteran Wonderbolts to cover Spitfire at the academy!”
“Uh… isn’t that because all the senior Wonderbolts got food poisoning last night from that party thing they were at?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Well yeah… but… GAH!” Scootaloo groaned, “Rainbow could’ve gone with me but she’s busy as well!”
“Uh, Scoots?” Applebloom started, “Rainbow’s got food poisoning as well...”
“Right…” Scootaloo replied, blushing.
“Well, there’s always next year though, right?” Sweetie Belle said, trying to comfort her.
“Yeah I guess… I suppose—”
“Well if it isn’t the loser blank flanks.”
The three fillies looked over to see Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon walking over to them. They rolled their eyes as the two fillies approached and turned away to ignore them. Scootaloo, however, ground her teeth as the duo walked over.
“Hey! Don’t you losers ignore me!” Diamond sniffed.
“Look, Diamond Tiara,” Scootaloo started calmly, “we’re kinda busy here so can you go be rude and annoying somewhere else? Thanks.”
Diamond’s eye twitched as Silver Spoon’s jaw dropped, shocked by the response.
“How dare you talk to me like that!” Diamond snapped.
“Well, it ain’t any different to how you treat us!” Applebloom retorted.
“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle added.
“Well, you all deserve it!” Silver Spoon interjected.
“Why? Just because we don’t have a cutie mark yet?” Scootaloo asked.
“Exactly,” Diamond smirked.
Scootaloo was about to rise up to Diamond but remembered something Rainbow had told her.
“Whatever, just go away, annoying little fly… buzz… buzz.” Scootaloo replied, lazily waving her hoof.
Diamond and Silver stared at her in disbelief as Sweetie Belle and Applebloom burst out laughing. Scootaloo smirked, making a mental note to say thank you to Rainbow. The two fillies returned back to their table, grumbling to themselves as everyone else finished cleaning up.
“Okay, class,” Cheerilee sang, “I’ll see you all tomorrow!”
The class quickly dispersed out of the classroom, eager to get home for the weekend. Just as the Cutie Mark Crusaders were about to leave, Cheerilee called out to them.
“Scootaloo, can we talk for a moment?”
“Err,” Scootaloo looked at her friends. “I’ll see you later, I guess.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you just outside,” Sweetie Belle said and Applebloom nodded.
“Thanks, girls,” Scootaloo said with a smile and walked over to Cheerilee.
“Miss Cheerilee?” she asked.
“Are you okay? About tomorrow, I mean. I know how much you love taking part in the games each year and—”
“It’s okay, Miss Cheerilee,” Scootaloo interrupted, “my parents have already offered to take me to a wonderbolts show next week to make up for it. And besides, I can always take part next year.”
“Oh, well, I’m glad to hear that, Scootaloo,” Cheerilee smiled at Scootaloo, “I hope you will still come along.”
“Mhm, gotta support my friends, haven’t I?” Scootaloo grinned.
Cheerilee smiled again as she said goodbye to the orange filly who ran outside to rejoin her friends. The three crusaders then made their way through the town, discussing ideas for cutie mark schemes they could try after the following day’s races.
As they passed the Carousel Boutique, Sweetie Belle came to a stop and rubbed the back of her head in slight embarrassment.
“I forgot to mention... I said I was going to help Rarity this evening, as a thank you for her taking part in the games.”
“Oh, come on!” Scootaloo groaned. “We were gonna go to the clubhouse and brainstorm.”
“I know. I’m sorry! You two can still do the brainstorming though, if you like. I’m sure you two can think of something cool to do.”
“Yeah… ah guess,” Applebloom replied.
“Sweetie, is that you?” Rarity called as she opened the door, “ah! Hello girls, I’m so sorry for stealing her this evening.”
“Nah, it’s okay, Rarity,” Applebloom smiled, “like she said, we can do the brainstormin’ ourselves.”
“Yeah,“ Scootaloo sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Alright, well goodbye, girls. Have a good weekend, won’t you!” Rarity smiled. “I’m sure Sweetie will see you tomorrow at the sports day.”
“Later, girls,” Sweetie Belle said.
“Bye,” the Scootaloo and Applebloom mumbled in response.
They watched as Sweetie Belle disappeared into the Carousel Boutique before they started to head off towards the path from Ponyville to Sweet Apple Acres. As they headed down the road, they ran into Applejack who has been loading up barrels of apples ready to be shipped out. She wiped her brow before spotting the two fillies and waved over to them with a smile.
“Ah see,” the mare grunted as she hauled another barrel onto the cart. “Well, ah hope you haven't forgotten about your chores, little missy.”
“Oh, hook a fish and slap me silly, ah completely forgot!” Applebloom groaned.
“You gotta be kidding me…” Scootaloo sighed.
“Ah’m sorry, Scoots… ah gotta—”
“It’s fine, Applebloom,” Scootaloo interrupted.” I’ll just do some brainstorming and go home, I guess.”
“Alrighty, I’ll see ya later?”
The two said their goodbyes as Applebloom and Applejack headed back to the farm, leaving Scootaloo to walk to their clubhouse alone and annoyed. She soon reached the clubhouse and entered the building.
“Who needs them,” she complained, “I can get more brainstorming done then they ever could!”
“Why is this so hard?” Scootaloo wailed.
She had only been brainstorming for ten minutes and already she was out of ideas. Scootaloo walked over to one of the bean bags and flopped onto it, groaning loudly. Her eyes darted around the clubhouse in search of inspiration when they fell upon the bookcase they had filled with their favourite books. The girls all enjoyed very different books, but there was one series that all three of them enjoyed.
Scootaloo glanced at the cupboard that was near the bookcase and a small grin formed on her face as she remembered the present that she was given as a birthday present the previous year, and an idea popped into her head.
“There is no peril the brave and fearless Scootaloo won’t face!”
Scootaloo entered the Everfree Forest with a grin of determination on her face. She had picked up a fairly large stick and was wielding it like a machete in her mouth and was swinging it against the tall grass and bushes.
She was pretending she was Daring Do.
“The brave and fearless Scootaloo surveys her surroundings,” she announced through the stick, “even when danger lurks in every direction and only her skill with her trusty machete stands between her and her certain doom!”
Scootaloo swung the stick around her as if she was fending off wild animals and yelped slightly when it collided with a tree and snapped in half. She looked at the stick and groaned, discarding the piece in her mouth and sighed.
Scootaloo kicked a nearby stone into a tree and nodded as a satisfying ‘clunk’ came from her target. She trudged a bit further into the forest in the hopes of finding something exciting. She knew she wasn’t supposed to this far into the Everfree Forest, but right now she didn’t care.
“It’s not as if I even need to be at the sports day tomorrow,” Scootaloo sighed.
She continued to walk through the thick forest, marking trees so she know which way she came and occasionally tripping over the odd root.
“Stupid roots. I’ll show them. I’ll show everyone! Maybe I’ll get a cutie mark just like Daring Do’s! Mum and dad would be so proud, and it would make Rainbow so jealous!”
She chuckled to herself, lost in her fantasy. She imagined Rainbow Dash asking for her autograph instead. She leapt out of a bush, pretending to pounce on an invisible foe. She hissed when she toppled a little ungracefully and hurt her hoof.
“Stupid Diamond, stupid Silver. So what if I don’t have one? I’ll show them!” she muttered to herself.
She didn’t even notice the two little eyes watching her from nearby. There was a rustle that came from beside her in one of the bushes and she saw a chicken’s head poke out.
“Huh? A chicken? Maybe Fluttershy’s lost one—”
Her eyes suddenly widened in realization and fear as the ‘chicken’ stepped out, revealing it’s very unchicken-like body.
“A cockatrice!” Scootaloo gasped and took several steps back until her flank hit a tree. The filly desperately looked about for a way to distract the cockatrice, but she was frozen in place with fear.
Scootaloo screamed as the cockatrice’s wings flared out, but stopped when she heard a strange barking coming from nearby. Her eyes widened when she saw a small reptilian wielding a spear leap over a fallen tree and charge furiously at the cockatrice.
The cockatrice was as startled as Scootaloo was and didn’t react in time before the small lizard swung the spear it was holding into the head of the creature, causing it to squawk in pain and surprise. The little lizard didn’t give up and kept striking the cockatrice using the wooden pole of the spear, all the while barking out like an outraged dog.
Soon, the cokatrice recovered and pushed the lizard back with a strong gust of its wings. Just as the strange lizard prepared for a retaliation, the cockatrice turned tail and fled into the bushes. The small reptile panted as it glared after its fleeing foe before adopting a heroic pose and turning to Scootaloo.
“Are you okay?”
Scootaloo blinked at the lizard. It was yapping at her and appeared to be waiting for an answer. Was it trying to talk to her?
“Huh? A-are you trying to talk?” she asked.
“Oh yeah! Tak forgets ponies don’t speak same language,” the lizard replied with a laugh.
Scootaloo blinked again, not sure what to say to the creature before it spoke again.
“Tak said, you okay?”
She jumped up in surprise as she stared at the little lizard who tilted its head at her.
“U-uh yeah… w-who are you?” she asked.
“Tak, the greatest adventurer in the world!” he replied. “You?”
Scootaloo and Tak stared at one another for a while, Tak was waiting for her to say thank you to him and tapped his foot impatiently. Meanwhile, Scootaloo was trying to think of something to say.
“Well?” Tak said.
“Well, what?” Scootaloo replied.
“Aren’t you even going to thank Tak for saving you?” he asked.
“Huh? Oh! Yeah sorry, dude… uh… yeah thanks, you know?” she said.
Tak grinned and his tail wagged as he gave her a thumbs up.
“So… what are you, exactly?” Scootaloo asked.
“Tak is kobold,” he replied.
Scootaloo was walking alongside Tak as the two headed back out towards the edge of the forest. After a second brief silence, Tak’s stomach had growled loudly, and he searched his bag for his meal.
“Hey, where’s Tak’s meat?”
“You eat meat?” Scootaloo asked.
“Mhm. That nasty chicken-demon must have stolen it!”
“You mean the cockatrice?”
“Yeah, the cock-a-triss!” Tak said, testing the word.
“Hmm well, I think Fluttershy has some meat for her animals. Maybe we’ll find some there,” Scootaloo offered. “C’mon, I’ll show you.”
By now the pair had reached the edge of the forest and Tak had paused at the edge, “Who is Fluttershy? Is she part of your clan?”
“Er, she lives in my village, yeah. She lives just on the edge of the Everfree forest. You’ll like her.” Scootaloo paused as she realized that Tak suddenly looked very nervous. “Are you okay?”
“Tak is just… nervous,” he replied.
“Meeting ponies… Tak isn’t exactly sure how they will react.”
“Fluttershy? She’s one of the sweetest and nicest ponies you’ll ever meet! She’ll love you!”
“Tak’s not so sure…” he mumbled.
“Come on, I thought you were the greatest adventurer in the world,” Scootaloo teased.
“Tak is! Tak fears nothing!” he snapped, pounding a fist to his chest.
“Then let’s go!” Scootaloo ordered.
“Onward!” Tak cried.
Tak charged ahead of Scootaloo out of the forest with a war cry that would have every dog within a mile radius howling with him. The filly watch in amusement as he suddenly stopped running and turned around.
“Uhm… where does Tak go?”
Scootaloo giggled and trotted over to him.
“Come on, Tak,” she instructed, poking him with a hoof, “climb on.”
With a soft grunt and a small leap, Tak clambered onto Scootaloo’s back with a grin and pointed his little wooden spear forwards.”
“Onwards! Adventure awaits!”
Scootaloo shook her head as she started walking. Tak quickly got distracted by the surroundings as he stared in awe and fascination at everything around him, and the pair began walking down the path towards Fluttershy’s cottage.
Twilight was making her way back to the library from the marketplace. She had just finished purchasing some more scrolls and ink when something in the corner of her eye caught her attention. She looked over at the bridge that lead towards Fluttershy’s cottage and saw Scootaloo, she squinted her eyes and spotted the small creature on her back.
“What in the… that’s odd,” she muttered.
She rubbed her eyes and looked again, only to see that both Scootaloo and the creature had gone.
“Where did… I must be imagining things, Spike did say I was up too late last night with that study session,” she mumbled to herself.
She yawned and continued on her way back home, making a mental note to check any of her books to see if the creature she thought she had seen could possibly be in one of the volumes of Equestrian creatures she owned.
Tak blinked and shrugged his shoulders, putting it down to some silly pony thing. A short distance away, he could see a small building residing on the top of a hill. He assumed this was the home of Fluttershy.
“Fluttershy!” Scootaloo called out as they approached. “Are you home?”
Tak heard a squeak coming from nearby and looked over to see a yellow pegasus poke her head out from behind a tree.
“O-oh, Scootaloo it’s just you,” Fluttershy smiled as she slowly made her way over. “How are you?”
“I’m alright,” Scootaloo replied. “I, uh, have a friend I want you to meet.”
“I-is it a new f-friend from school?” Fluttershy asked, nervously retreating behind her mane.
“No, I met him in - I mean, near the Everfree.”
“Oh my!” Fluttershy gasped, her expression changing nearly instantly. “Is it a little critter?”
“Uh…” Scootaloo paused for a moment, “kinda?”
“Where is the little critter?” Fluttershy asked, a smile on her face.
“Tak? This is Fluttershy,” Scootaloo said turning her head.
Fluttershy tilted her head as she tried to peek at what was on Scootaloo’s back, but she could only see a tail dangling off the filly’s side. The tail was attached to a body that was currently hiding in Scootaloo’s mane, or at least, it was trying to.
“Tak, you okay buddy?” Scootaloo asked.
Tak poked his head out and glanced over at Fluttershy. The mare gasped loudly which prompted Tak to retreat back into Scootaloo’s mane.
“Is that your clan leader?” Tak asked with a quiet, nervous mumble.
“What? No, she’s a friend,” Scootaloo giggled.
He slowly looked over to Fluttershy whose eyes were wide and alert. Tak chuckled nervously and gave a meek wave before he was suddenly grabbed by a yellow blur and held onto tightly.
“A kobold!” Fluttershy squealed in delight. “Oh my goodness! you poor, poor little thing. What’re you doing so far away from your clan? Did they kick you out?”
Tak gasped in surprise as Fluttershy cuddled him close to her, he looked over at Scootaloo who was looking at him with a matching expression.
“Tak is confused,” he mumbled softly. “Is this normal for ponies?”
“I’m… not actually sure…” Scootaloo replied.
“You must come inside at once, I’m guessing you’re pretty hungry?” Fluttershy cooed.
“Tak is hungry… Tak hasn’t eaten today…” Tak murmured.
“Oh, we simply must get you some food. Would you like some fish?”
“You’d give Tak fish?” Tak gasped in awe.
“Of course,” Fluttershy giggled. “Come on, let’s get you inside.”
Scootaloo chased after Fluttershy as the mare carried Tak into her cottage, closing the door behind them.
“Spike? I’m home!” Twilight called out.
She closed the door behind her and took a few steps into the front room of the library before she noticed the rubbish had yet to be taken out.
“Spike, I thought I asked you to take the rubbish out before I got back.”
“Making toast!” Spike called from the kitchen.
“What but— fine,” Twilight groaned.
She was too tired to argue with the dragon. Ever since Spike had turned thirteen last year, he had developed some typical teenager traits that fillies and colts would often display.
“Butterin’ toast!” Spike replied.
Twilight rolled her eyes as she took a seat on one of the sofas.
“At least make me some,” she sighed.
Spike eventually came out with two trays of buttered toast. He handed one to Twilight and took a seat next to her, hungrily devouring his share. Twilight levitated a slice to her mouth and took a nibble just as Spike finished his.
“Sheesh, Spike,” she giggled, “you really should slow down, you’ll get the hiccups.”
“Nah, I’ll be fine. Dragons don’t get—” Spike was interrupted as he hiccupped with a loud squeak.
They stared at one another in complete silence, Spike’s eyes widening. Twilight grinned smugly.
“Don’t hiccup, eh?” she teased.
“I’ll go throw out the rubbish now…” he muttered.
She burst into a fit of giggles as Spike blushed. With a grumble, the dragon grabbed the rubbish bags and quickly walked out into the kitchen.
It wasn’t long before Twilight had finished her toast and Spike had left the library to go and help Rarity out over at the boutique. He had done the rest of his chores, at least. Twilight took her plate into the kitchen and put it into the sink before returning to the front room.
“Okay, time to find that book…” she muttered to herself.
After an hour of searching, Twilight had gone through several books on Equestrian races and hadn’t found anything of use.
“Come on, there has to be something that has what I saw in it!” she groaned in frustration.
She pulled a book off the shelf that caused her to cough as a cloud of dust assaulted her. After she was done with her fit, she looked over the cover and a large smile formed on her face.
“The Definitive Guide To Equestrian Races by Starswirl the Bearded,” she read aloud. “This is perfect!”
Twilight trotted back over to her seat, the book levitating behind her. As she sat down, she opened the book and began skimming over the contents page.
“Let’s see… ‘Giant’... ‘Human’... ‘Ibiki’... ‘Jackalope’... ‘kobold—” she stopped after seeing the entry picture and blinked, “ah, here we go!”
Her eyes scanned over the text as she muttered the entry under her breath, squinting as she came to the end. Suddenly her she jumped up in alarm.
“Oh no! If there are kobolds living nearby, it could cause some problems,” Twilight gasped. “Ponyville could be under attack! I must get a letter to the princess at once! The town guard must be alerted, just in case!”
Twilight rushed to the door, but suddenly she stopped herself. “Calm, Twilight,” she muttered, taking a deep breath and relaxing her shoulders. “I should go and see if that really was a kobold I saw with Scootaloo before I do anything rash.”
“Are you enjoying your fish, Tak?” Fluttershy asked.
Tak could only nod in reply and wag his tail happily as his mouth was stuffed to bursting with fish. He was sitting at the table in Fluttershy’s cottage, and in front of him was a plate of steaming, cooked salmon that she had made for him. Scootaloo and Fluttershy were sat opposite him at the other end of the table and eating some salad. The filly watched Tak with fascination, despite his lack of manners.
“Still weird to see somepony eat meat,” Scootaloo said.
“It takes some getting used to, I know. But we do live in a world where many creatures like griffins, dragons and even diamond dogs eat meat,” Fluttershy replied.
“True, some ponies seem to forget that a lot.”
Tak interrupted their conversation with a loud belch, causing Scootaloo to burst out laughing.
“Nice!” she smirked.
“What? Tak is just showing appreciation for good food,” Tak replied. Scootaloo only laughed harder as she realised he was being sincere.
“Aww, thank you, sweetie,” Fluttershy smiled to him, “I’m glad you like it.”
“Best meal Tak’s had in ages!” Tak grinned before digging in again.
Fluttershy giggled at the kobold’s large appetite, yet watching him carefully at the same time.
“You okay, Fluttershy?” Scootaloo asked as the mare stood on the spot for a few moments. “You kinda zoned out there.”
“Hmm? Oh yes, sorry, Scootaloo. I was just thinking,” Fluttershy mumbled.
“I was just wondering about his clan,” she sighed, quiet enough that Tak couldn’t hear her.
“What do you mean by ‘clan’?” Scootaloo asked with a tilt of her head.
“Well, from what I know of kobolds. They live in clans and very rarely ever leave them. If you find a kobold by themselves, it usually means they’ve been abandoned by their clan,” Fluttershy breathed sadly.
“How can you tell?” Scootaloo continued.
“When kobolds hunt or travel outside of their camps, they travel in groups rather than alone,” Fluttershy replied, “Going out alone is often very risky for them.”
“It’s because there are bigger things then kobolds,” Tak answered, making the pair jump, “Things that can smash kobolds into pulp.”
Scootaloo cringed at the idea of a kobold - or anything for that matter - being reduced to a pile of mush.
“How do you know so much about kobolds anyway, Fluttershy?” Scootaloo asked her. “I don’t think even Miss Cheerilee knows as much as you do.”
“Well, I’ve read a lot about them,” she replied.
She walked over to one of her bookcases and scanned over the books before pulling out a finely leather bound tome. Fluttershy returned to the table and placed the book down for Scootaloo to look at.
“The Definitive Guide To Equestrian Races by Starswirl the Bearded,” Scootaloo read aloud.
“Mhm, I saw it in a bookshop on one of my trips to visit my parents in Cloudsdale,” she explained, “I was curious and started reading it in the shop and simply had to buy it, I never knew Equestria had so many fascinating creatures and races.”
“So the book isn’t just about races like kobolds and ponies?” Scootaloo said, flicking through some of the pages.
“That’s right, Starswirl wrote entries about almost every living creature in Equestria. Even after all these years, the entries are surprisingly accurate. It’s one of Starswirl’s less well-known works. I don’t even think Twilight has a copy.”
At the mention of books, Tak stopped eating, and his eyes widened.
“Oh no! Tak forgot his book in the forest!” he cried in alarm.
“Whoa, calm down, dude. What’s the matter?” Scootaloo asked.
“Tak’s book! Tak must have left it in the forest,” he replied. “That nasty chicken-demon must have taken it along with Tak’s meat!”
“Chicken-demon?” Fluttershy asked. “You mean a cockatrice?”
“Yeah! That,” Tak nodded.
“Oh, you poor dear, what book was it? Maybe we can go to the library and—”
Tak didn’t wait for her to finish and instead hopped off his chair and bolted for the door.
“Tak won’t be long!” he shouted as he ran out.
“Tak, wait!” Fluttershy called out after him as she rushed after him. Pausing at the door she turned around. “Scootaloo, can you keep an eye on my animals for me? I want to go after Tak to make sure he’s okay.”
“Alright, Fluttershy,” Scootaloo nodded.
Fluttershy quickly left her home and flew in the direction of the Everfree forest. She could just see Tak sprinting away in the distance.
“I hope there isn’t a cockatrice this close to Ponyville,” she murmured under her breath.
Twilight quickly made her way through the town and towards the main bridge out of Ponvlle with the book sitting comfortably in her saddlebag. She’d decided to hurry to Fluttershy’s as she figured that that was where Scootaloo had been heading for. She still hoped that she had simply been seeing things due to her lack of sleep the previous night. That would make her day a whole lot easier.
However, a niggling thought sat in the back of her mind like a parasite. She’d only ever read about kobolds a couple of times many years ago - back when she lived in Canterlot - but she didn’t really give the entry much thought. She’d actually skimmed over it as she searched for more information about dragons, hoping to glean some knowledge from one of their close relatives.
She soon quickly found herself at Fluttershy’s house and knocked on the door, waiting for a response.
Twilight blinked, recognizing Scootaloo’s voice. She jumped when she heard a loud crash come from within followed by the sounds of squawking and Scootaloo crying out in alarm. Twilight quickly used her magic to force open the door and rush inside.
She was stunned into silence by what she saw.
Scootaloo was in the middle of the room, clinging onto a rowdy-looking chicken who didn’t look very pleased. The filly sheepishly smiled at Twilight who raised her eyebrows in amusement.
“I was trying to feed her…” Scootaloo chuckled nervously.
Twilight giggled as she helped the filly by levitating the chicken from her and placing it on the ground. The chicken huffed and fluffed its feathers before quickly running out of the front door and back to its chicken coop.
“So, where’s Fluttershy?” Twilight asked.
“She’s out chasing Tak,” Scootaloo replied.
“I see,” Twilight frowned, “Wait, who’s Tak?”
“Our new friend! And I think Fluttershy was being oddly motherly to him…”
“You’d better start from the beginning,” Twilight sighed.
What in Celestia’s name is going on…
Tak had arrived at the spot where he and Scootaloo had met, already searching desperately for his book. He clambered over the fallen tree with a grunt, using his spear to boost him.
“Tak knows it was around here somewhere...” he muttered.
Scanning the area, he spotted the book in question leaning against the tree he had been sitting on earlier. He grinned and quickly hopped down from the log he was on and ran over to the book, hugging it to his chest.
“Now Tak can go back and—”
He was interrupted by a hiss that came from behind him. Turning around he came face to face with a cockatrice. Tak glared at the abomination, noticing the bruising around its face. It was the one from earlier.
“What do you want? You already took Tak’s meat, you’re not taking Tak’s book!” he growled.
The cockatrice squawked loudly and charged at him suddenly, Tak barely had enough time to cry out before it rammed its head into him. He gasped as he was knocked back and collided with the tree log. As she got up, he goaned and rubbed his head. Glaring back at the cockatrice, he swallowed the lump forming in his throat as his earlier confidence started to fizzle away.
“S-stay back! Tak means it!” he shouted, trying to sound threatening.
The cockatrice gave another loud squawk and flapped its wings at Tak. The kobold panicked and threw his spear at it, hoping to kill it. The cockatrice, however, merely dodged the projectile as it sliced through the air. The pair watched as it embedded itself into a nearby tree.
Returning his gaze to the cockatrice, Tak’s heart sank as he realized he was completely defenseless. With his back pressed against the log, Tak gasped as he looked into the eyes of the cockatrice and started to feel a tingling feeling in his legs.
Tak looked down and began to panic as his legs slowly turned grey, the tingling feeling slowly running up his body. He whimpered as he tried to will his body to move, but it was to no avail. He shut his eyes tightly and gritted his teeth, waiting for the embrace of death.
He opened his eyes as he heard Fluttershy’s angry voice. Looking up, he saw his saviour standing on the tree he had climbed upon before and glaring down at the cockatrice.
“What did I tell you last time, mister?” she roared.
The cockatrice - much to Tak’s surprise - began to shake with fear and back away slightly.
“Now, unpetrify my friend this instant!” she commanded
The cockatrice nodded frantically and turned back to Tak, and the kobold felt the feeling stop and instantly vanish. Looking down, he realized his his legs had been freed.
“Now, go back to your home and think about what you’ve done!” Fluttershy scolded.
The cockatrice once again nodded frantically before it took off into the forest, disappearing into the distance.
“Are you okay, Tak? You’re—”
Fluttershy squeaked as Tak interrupted her by tackling her and hugging her tightly.
“Tak is free! Fluttershy saved Tak’s life! Fluttershy is best clan leader!” he cheered happily.
Fluttershy smiled and picked him up, returning the hug.
“You’re welcome, sweetie. But don’t run off like that again, okay? You might not be so fortunate next time.”
Tak nodded and quickly pulled out his spear before grabbing his book. Fluttershy saw the cover and giggled to herself.
“A fan of Daring Do are we, Tak?” she asked.
“Uhuh, she’s the best adventurer in the world! You know, besides Tak,” he replied with a grin.
She giggled once more and picked him up, allowing him to ride on her back as she started to make her way back to her home.
“Well then, seems we will have to go to the library at some point. Twilight has all the Daring Do books.”
“Wait, there’s more?” Tak gasped.
“Mhm,” she replied.
Tak cackled in glee as he cuddled into Fluttershy’s neck excitedly. She couldn’t help but smile to herself as the two reached the edge of the forest.
“So you’re telling me that Tak is a kobold?” Twilight asked.
“Mhm, I was walking in— I mean near the edge of the Everfree forest,” Scootaloo quickly corrected herself, “and we just bumped into one another before this cockatrice appeared!”
The filly grinned sheepishly at Twilight as the mare raised her brow in suspicion. “I see… and did he say anything about his clan?”
Scootaloo paused for a moment and tapped her chin with a hoof, “I don’t think so, Fluttershy said that kobolds are rarely ever alone. And if they are, that usually means they’ve been abandoned.”
Twilight frowned at this; on one hoof she wasn’t one hundred percent satisfied that there was no kobold threat to Ponyville, but on the other she felt sorry for Tak if he had indeed been kicked out of his clan.
“I think it’s best if we keep Tak hidden from the rest of the town in the mean time,” Twilight said.
“Why?” Scootaloo asked. “He isn’t going to hurt anypony.”
“That may be,” Twilight started, “but do you remember how they — we — reacted to Zecora?”
“Oh yeah… all the adults acted like she was evil or something, right?” Scootaloo asked her.
Twilight winced at the memory of their first encounter with Zecora, “Yeah… anyway, I want to avoid that incident again and try to introduce him to the town in a slow, sensible, non-alarming manner.”
Scootaloo nodded as the front door opened and Fluttershy walked in with Tak sitting happily on her back, holding onto her neck with one claw, and holding the book and his spear in the other.
Fluttershy saw Twilight and smiled at her, “Oh, hello, Twilight.”
“Hello, Fluttershy. Is that Tak?” Twilight replied, tilting her head to try and get a better look at Tak.
“Mhm, sure is,” Fluttershy smiled, “Tak, this is our friend Twilight.”
Tak’s eyes widened slightly and he hid himself in Fluttershy’s mane; he was a little nervous about the unicorn. He had seen what they could do first-claw and had learned to always be careful and cautious around them.
“Tak? Are you okay, dude?” Scootaloo asked.
Tak mumbled something into Fluttershy’s mane, refusing to show himself.
“Sweetie, it’s alright,” Fluttershy cooed reassuringly. “Twilight’s not going to hurt you.”
“Promise?” Tak mumbled.
“Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye,” Fluttershy said with a smile.
Tak was confused by this, given that Fluttershy had wings and therefore could fly and didn’t need to hope. But her tone was reassuring and he slowly peeked out to look at the unicorn who was watching him with fascination.
“Oh my…” Twilight whispered.
“Hello…” Tak replied with a slow wave, forgetting he was holding his book and dropping it. “My book!”
The book landed with a thud on the ground, the cover facing upwards. Twilight couldn’t help but giggle as the kobold leapt for the book and held it to his chest protectively.
“Tak, you should be more careful,” Fluttershy tutted. “You could’ve hurt yourself.”
“Tak’s fine, Tak just doesn't want to lose his book again,” he muttered.
“I see you’re a fan of Daring Do then?” Twilight giggled.
Tak forgot all of his nervousness and his tail wagged as he grinned at her, “How could Tak not be a fan?! She’s the best adventure ever. That is, until Tak replaces her.”
Twilight smiled, the fears she had of Tak were starting to slowly ebb away. However, she still needed to reassure herself that there was no danger to the town from kobolds nearby.
“Fluttershy, can I have a private word?” she asked.
“Of course, Twilight,” Fluttershy replied before turning to Tak. “Why don’t you and Scootaloo go outside and play for a bit?”
“Yeah, come on, Tak,” Scootaloo grinned. “We can pretend we’re in a Daring Do book!”
Tak grinned and quickly ran outside, taking the book with him. Scootaloo giggled and chased after him, leaving the two mares alone.
Twilight turned to Fluttershy looking a little concerned, “Did Tak happen to say anything about his clan? Scootaloo mentioned that you said they tend not to be on their own and that usually means they’ve been abandoned.”
“I didn’t want to intrude,” Fluttershy frowned slightly, “I can’t imagine what the poor dear must be feeling if he has been kicked out of his clan…”
Twilight noticed Fluttershy glance at the door in concern, “Well… I’m sure everything is okay. I mean, he looks happy, doesn’t he?”
“I suppose so… but I can’t help worry about him.”
“Why though?” Twilight asked, “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s lovely that your trying to help somepony. But I don’t understand what’s so special about Tak.”
Fluttershy smiled warmly at Twilight, “Because, he’s like a lost foal who needs somepony to watch over him. I don’t think I’d be able to forgive myself if anything ever happened to the poor thing.”
Both mares turned their heads as they heard the sounds of Scootaloo and Tak happily playing what they figured was a game.
Twilight smiled at the pegasus, “I think I understand, Fluttershy. But I’d like to ask him some questions though… just so I can be sure of a few things.”
“Alright, but if he starts getting uncomfortable, you need to stop,” Fluttershy replied before smiling nervously. “I mean, if that’s okay…”
The unicorn giggled at her friend and nodded, “Of course, I wouldn’t dream of going over the borderline like some madpony.”
Twilight and Fluttershy shared a laugh at the preposterous idea. They decided to go and speak to Tak when they heard a loud cry coming from outside.
“What in Equestria was that?” Twilight asked as she rushed to the door.
“And so, the brave and fearless Tak finds himself at his destination. The tree of Azakoph,” Scootaloo said with a low voice.
Tak stood in front of her, wearing Scootaloo’s replica Daring helmet and glared confidently up at the tall tree that was nearby, “Tak will find the lost amulet of the Elders, no matter what terror awaits Tak!”
Tak began to head towards the base of the tree when Scootaloo spoke again, “But, our hero fails to notice the dangerous creature lurking behind him!”
The second Tak turned round to see what she was on about, Scootaloo suddenly pounced on Tak with a giggle and began to relentlessly tickle him. The kobold began to laugh loudly as he squirmed in the pegasus’ grip.
“N-no!” Tak laughed, “y-you can’t d-do this to a brave a-adventurer!”
Scootaloo giggled but didn’t let up on her attack, “The mighty Tak, with no escape, must yield to the keeper of the tree. Scoota-zuul!”
“N-never!” Tak declared.
Using his smaller size to his advantage, he managed to wriggle out from under Scootaloo and reverse tackle. Relentlessly, he began to tickle her.
“W-what? N-no!” Scootaloo giggled uncontrollably.
“Tak will defeat you, foul creature! Tak will return the amulet to the Elders!”
“I-I surrender!” Scootaloo giggled before crying out dramatically, “Somepony help!”
“Stupid food poisoning…”
High above in the sky over Fluttershy’s cottage, Rainbow Dash was grumbling to herself as she flew towards her home.
“That cook’s cutie mark clearly didn’t know what ‘cooked’ meant… least the worst is over now,” she grumbled.
She groaned again as her stomach grumbled and she hesitated for a moment, “I think I should go back to the hospital, Nurse Redheart did say—”
“Somepony help!” a voice cried from below, interrupting her.
“That sounded like Scoots!” she gasped.
Peering down below, she could just make out the filly being attacked by something. With a growl, she suddenly dive-bombed towards the ground, all feelings of nausea disappearing as she focused on her goal.
“Hold on, Scoots! I’m-a comin’!”
“Okay, o-okay!” Scootaloo giggled, “I give! You win!”
Tak grinned in triumph as he got off Scootaloo and strode over to the tree proudly to collect the ‘amulet’. The amulet was the Daring Do book which he proudly took under his arm and marched back to Scootaloo who was still giggling, albeit slightly less.
“Tak told you, Tak is best adventure!” he smirked.
“Yeah, yeah,” Scootaloo smirked, giving him a pat on the back. “You just got lucky.”
Tak stuck his tongue out at her and she did the same back, “So what adventure do you want to do now? Want Tak to be the bad guy?”
“Sure, alright. Why not—”
Scootaloo was interrupted as she heard a whooshing sound getting louder and louder above her. Both Tak and Scootaloo looked up to see a blur coming at them, and at speed.
“Rainbow Dash?” Scootaloo squinted in confusion.
“Don’t worry!” Rainbow shouted, “I’ll get that monster away from you!”
“Monster?” Scootaloo muttered, before realising she meant Tak, “NO, RAINBOW. WAIT!”
Tak’s eyes shrunk as the blur known as Rainbow Dash got closer to the point where running was futile. He raised his book up to use a shield and closed his eyes, shaking in fear as he waited once again for the embrace of death.
He felt the ground vibrate slightly as the aforementioned Rainbow Dash landed, however, nothing happened. Tak slowly opened his eyes to see he was somehow still alive!
“Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!” Rainbow Dash squealed in a single breath. “You like Daring Do?!”
Tak slowly peeked over the book and saw a mare grinning at him, who only squealed again in delight seeing him wearing the helmet “Uh… y-yes… Tak l-likes Daring Do.”
Rainbow squealed and grinned goofily as she stomped her hooves in excitement, “That’s so awesome! You have to join my Daring Do fan club! What story do you like best? Ohmygosh, this is so awesome! I can’t believe I haven’t met you before! Do you have other friends who are also Daring Do fans? Do you wanna read my fanfiction? Ohmygosh! You’ll totally love it. I mean, it was written by me, duh, but also it’s got zombies and vamponies in it! What about your favorite book? Did you read about the time she—”
Rainbow Dash cut herself off as somepony coughed, interrupting her ecstatic fangasm. She slowly turned her head to see Twilight smirking at her and Fluttershy giggling quietly behind the unicorn.
“Who? This little guy?” Rainbow asked, pulling Tak into a hug and giving him a noogie. “We’re practically best buds now I know he’s a fan of the awesome Daring Do!”
“Tak is so confused…” Tak whimpered.
Scootaloo struggled to hold back her laughter as Tak wriggled from Rainbow Dash’s grip and face planted into the ground, eliciting a loud gasp from Fluttershy who rushed over to the kobold to see if he was alright.
“Oh my goodness, are you alright, Tak?” she squeaked, helping him to his feet.
“Tak is fine, just confused.”
Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow at Fluttershy. As the demure pegasus fussed over Tak, the kobold dusting himself off.
Rainbow edged closer to Twilight, “Hey, Twi?” Rainbow asked. “Why is Fluttershy acting all… you know.”
Twilight watched Rainbow twirl her hoof, trying to think of a word.
“Acting motherly?” she asked.
“Yeah!” Rainbow whispered, “‘That. Normally she ‘d have run for the hills at the sight of her own shadow, let alone seeing whatever the heck Tak is.”
“Kobold,” Twilight replied.
“Gesundheit,” Rainbow said.
Twilight rolled her eyes, “Don’t you remember what she was like with Spike back when we first moved to Ponyville?”
“True… maybe she just likes scaly things?” Rainbow shrugged.
“She said she felt sorry for him, as he may have been abandoned by his clan,” Twilight replied.
“Seriously? That sucks,” Rainbow frowned, “I can kinda understand being abandoned, sorta...”
Twilight nodded, “I think that’s why. You know how she is when it comes to those in need.”
Rainbow nodded as she and Twilight turned back to watch Tak — who was now riding on Scootaloo’s back — chase after a giggling Fluttershy as she ran away with the Daring Do book on her back. Twilight tittered as the scene finished and waved over to Fluttershy who nodded back at her.
“Tak, sweetie. Is it okay if Twilight asks you some questions?” she asked him.
Tak shrugged as he slipped off Scootaloo’s back and stretched, “Okay, what does she want Tak to answer?”
“Well, would you like to talk inside?” Twilight asked.
“Doesn't matter where Tak talks, as long as Tak can play again soon,” he replied, walking towards the cottage.
“I’ll try not to be long,” Twilight smiled, her horn glowing as a quill and parchment appeared.
He nervously took a step back as he watched the intimidating display of magic, “You sure you’re not going to… hurt Tak?”
“Of course not,” Twilight smiled warmly. “Would you like it if Fluttershy was with you?”
“Tak would like that,” he mumbled.
The trio entered the cottage, leaving Scootaloo and Rainbow outside.
“How you feeling, Rainbow?” Scootaloo asked with a little hope in her voice.
“Still not great,” Rainbow sighed, “After that getting so excited over Daring Do, I feel kinda tired. I’m gonna head home soon. I really could do with a nap after the whole ordeal with the hospital.”
“Oh… okay,” Scootaloo mumbled in disappointment.
Rainbow saw this and frowned, then an idea came into her head, “I know you’re sad about tomorrow, but you can always spend the day with Tak.”
Scootaloo’s head lifted quickly and a large grin found its way onto her face, “You’re right! Maybe I can bring him to meet everypony too?”
“Sure, sure,” Rainbow replied nonchalantly as her stomach groaned softly, “Want me to drop you off at Sugarcube Corner?”
“Okay!” Scootaloo grinned.
She clambered onto Rainbow’s back and held on tightly as the mare took off towards the town.
Twilight settled herself down on the armchair in front of the sofa and levitated a scroll in front of her. She smiled invitingly at Tak, “Okay, Tak. Are you ready?”
He was wedged comfortably into a pillow with a grin on his face, enjoying the softness the pillow provided, “Yes, yes. Tak is ready.”
Twilight floated the quill over her scroll and scribbled a question down as Fluttershy went into the kitchen, “Could you tell me where you clan is?”
“In a forest,” Tak replied.
Twilight blinked at his answer, “Okay… do you mean the Everfree?”
“Eh-ver free?” Tak tilted his head, “What’s that?”
“The… forest you came out of with Scootaloo?” Twilight asked.
“Oh!” Tak replied. “No.”
“So, do you know where your forest is, or what it’s called?”
He tapped his chin with a claw as he tried to think, “Tak came from small clan south of where main kobold clan was. They called the forest... ‘Palethorn’, I think.”
“Palethorn?” Twilight asked, “I’ve never heard of such a place.”
“Ponies call it something else,” Tak said.
“Which was?” Twilight pressed him.
His eyes widened as he watched Fluttershy walk back in carrying a small plate of fish, and he licked his lips. He wagged his tail and ignored her question. The unicorn coughed to regain his attention.
“Tak doesn’t know,” he replied, his eyes never leaving the fish, “Pony name for forest didn’t matter to Tak.”
The unicorn blinked again and sighed as Tak began chomping on the fish.
It was going to be a long, long evening.
Rainbow chuckled as Scootaloo explained her story through a mouthful of cupcake. They had arrived at Sugarcube Corner meeting up with Sweetie Belle and Applebloom, who had since finished their respective chores and were sitting in awe, listening to Scootaloo talk about her day with Tak. Rainbow’s stomach complained loudly and she bit her lip..
“And then, we played Daring Do at Fluttershy’s!” Scootaloo grinned.
“That’s so cool! Can we—”
“Sorry, Applebloom,” Rainbow interrupted before looking to Scootaloo, “you gonna be okay here, squirt?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Yeah, I’m gonna head home soon anyway. Don’t wanna freak out the foalsitter when she comes over later and finds me not there.” Scootaloo replied.
Rainbow snickered, knowing full well that Lily had a knack for overreacting sometimes to simple things. Even if it was a filly returning home one minute late after an agreed time.
“Alright, well I’ll see you guys later.”
She gave Scootaloo’s mane a ruffle before taking off out of the shop, leaving Scootaloo and the other two cutie mark crusaders to continue talking.
“So, when’re we gonna meet him?” Applebloom asked, leaning in.
Scootaloo took another bite of her cupcake, spitting out crumbs as she spoke, “Tomorrow. It’s getting kinda late and I wanna get back before my foalsitter gets grumpy with me for being late.”
“Ah guess so, ah needs to get up... early anyway…” Applebloom said looking to Sweetie Belle, cringing slightly.
“Yeah… me too,” Sweetie Belle added.
“Guys, it’s okay,” Scootaloo said, swallowing what was in her mouth, “I’ll bring Tak with me to cheer you guys on and introduce him!”
“Really? That’s awesome!” Applebloom grinned.
“I can’t wait to meet your new coltfriend!” Sweetie Belle giggled mischievously.
“W-what, he’s not my coltfriend!” Scootaloo protested.
Applebloom and Sweetie Belle giggled as Scootaloo crossed her front legs in a huff,
Unbeknownst to the three fillies who continued to giggle and chat away, a pink mare’s ear began to twitch as it honed in on their conversation. Her eyes went wide and twitched slightly when she heard the forbidden words ‘new’ and ‘friend’ and ‘introduce’.
That was her job.
With a sudden dash, she leapt over the counter and ran out of the building. The three fillies felt a gust of wind rush past them.
“Did… did you girls feel that?” Sweetie Belle asked.
“Yeah… what was that?” Applebloom said, looking to the door.
Scootaloo winced as she realised she had been talking about a newcomer to the town, in direct earshot of the one pony who would probably terrify Tak with her behaviour, “Guys,” she panicked, “I think we need to head to Fluttershy’s house. Right Now!”
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.
Tak yawned loudly as he brought a scaly hand up to block the rays of sunlight that crept through the gap of the curtains. He slowly sat up and stretched, popping his little back as he looked around to see where he was. He found himself in a large bed and realised he had been snuggling against the warm body of Fluttershy, using her wing as a duvet.
The kobold smiled at the still sleeping form of the pegasus mare and decided to do something nice for her. As quietly as he could, he slipped down from the bed and creeped out of the bedroom and down the stairs. Tak made his way towards Fluttershy’s kitchen and looked around.
“Now… Tak will make the best breakfast aside from meat… toast!”” he grinned.
From experience with raids, he had developed a taste of toast, especially when combined with jam or cheese. Aside from meat, Tak couldn’t imagine any finer food. One problem, however, was making itself well known to him.
Tak had no idea how ponies made toast.
The way he had always done it was by using a stick over a campfire and simply waiting. But that was because of where he lived at the time. He knew for a fact that ponies had an entirely different method for making toast.
Tak grumbled to himself as he tried to think of a way to make the meal. He knew of cookers but didn’t know if they were toast compatible. It wasn’t till he caught something shimmering in his eye did he look up to the counter and saw a small silver box glinting in the sunlight. He clambered up the drawer handles and gasped with a grin as he clapped his hands.
There, written into the silver plating were the words, ‘FlimFlam Co. Toaster.’
He had no idea what a FlimFlam was but he didn’t care, all he cared about was the fact he had found a device to make toast.
The next stage was to fetch some slices of bread and then figure out just how the contraption worked.
Tak surveyed his surroundings again and soon found a bag on the kitchen table that was clearly distinguishable as bread. With a quick movement, he scrambled down the drawers and rushed to the table, clambering up the chair in order to reach his goal. He took out two slices of bread and rushed back to the counter, frisbee tossing the bread up before he climbed back up and glared at the toaster.
“Right… now how does it work?”
He walked around the toaster in a circle as he tried to figure out what to do. Tak noticed a lever jutting out the side of it and gave it a firm push, jumping back as it clicked into place. He peered into the toaster and saw that some bended wires inside had started to turn red.
Tak figured that the toast must come from putting the bread inside the toaster and waiting for it to cook. With a grin, he quickly placed the bread inside the toaster and saw a dial next to the lever that displayed different numbers. He pondered for a moment what they could represent until he let out a gasp of understanding.
Clearly, they were levels of taste.
With a proud smile of his new found understanding for pony technology, Tak cranked the dial up to ten and sighed in contentment. He decided that he ought to pour Fluttershy a drink, given how dry toast could be.
Leaving the toaster alone, Tak clambered down the drawers and looked up at this next obstacle.
Unlike the toaster, he knew how this one worked having seen Fluttershy open it the previous day. Tak walked over to the nearby chair and gave it a mighty shove, slowly pushing it towards the fridge. He let out a grunt as the wooden chair scraped loudly along the floor, gritting his teeth as he neared his goal.
He climbed up the chair and pulled down on the handle and with a mighty tug and opened the fridge before clambering in, immediately spotting the butter as well as a carton of something called ‘apple juice’
Whilst he carefully began to take what he needed out, he was unaware of the smoke coming from the toaster behind him.
Fluttershy opened her eyes in a series of rapid blinks. She swore she had heard the sounds of something scraping the floor and yawned as she wiped the last bits of sleep out of her eyes, looking down to see if Tak was awake. Her eyes widened in alarm when she couldn't see the kobold anywhere nearby.
“Tak?” she called out.
She got no reply. Fluttershy quickly scrambled out of her bed, her mind starting to worry when she caught the smell of something burning. She sniffed the air and gasped.
“That smells like something’s burning!”
Fluttershy quickly took off down stairs, worried for the wellbeing of Tak and the animals in the house. She started coughing as she came to the base of the stairs, seeing the smoke filling the house. She quickly ran to her front door and opened it along with the windows, letting the animals escape the hazardous smoke.
Fluttershy then raced into the kitchen where the smoke was coming from, she flung open the windows to let the smoke disperse and started to flap her wings to help it along. Once the smoke had died down, she heard the sounds of scraping and turned around to see Tak carefully spreading butter over a slice of very burnt toast. He was so focused on his work he failed to see or hear the pegasus until she coughed loudly. He jumped then smiled at her sheepishly.
“Uh… Tak tried to make you breakfast, to say thanks for helping Tak,” he said. “Tak doesn't think it went well…”
Fluttershy sighed and shook her head. She knew she should be slightly mad at him but she couldn’t help feel touched as the little kobold as he smiled up at her nervously.
“Come here, you little devil,” she giggled and picked him up in a hug. “I appreciate the gesture, Tak. But I think from now on, no unsupervised cooking. Okay?”
Tak nervously chuckled as he looked at the ruined food, “Tak… thinks that’s best.”
“Come on, lets go sit outside whilst the smoke disperses,” Fluttershy said as she gently flew out of the house with Tak.
“Guys! Hurry up!” Rainbow cried out.
“We’re right behind ya, sugarcube!” Applejack yelled back with a roll of her eyes.
The girls, the cmc and Spike had met up earlier that morning in order to all travel to Fluttershy’s cottage in order to begin Tak’s introduction to the town. After talking to Fluttershy before she had gone to bed, Twilight and the pegasus had decided to start off with the last two members of the cmc, Spike and the rest of the elements before moving onto the rest of the town.
Rainbow was unusually excited, but it was probably because she wanted to continue her discussion with Tak about Daring Do and had brought along two of her books to show him. She giggled to herself as she came closer to the cottage and landed on the ground.
Rainbow tilted her head when she saw that the kitchen windows, living room windows and the front door was wide open. she could just about see a hazy, smoke like substance drifting into the air and outside the house sitting at her patio table was Fluttershy and Tak.
Rainbow noted that Fluttershy was rubbing Tak’s back who in turn looked downright miserable. As she approached, Fluttershy lifted her head and smiled to her friend.
“Of course,” Fluttershy said with a soft smile. “Why wouldn’t it be?”
“Well… for one your house looks, and smells like something was burning,” Dash said.
Tak cringed as Fluttershy gently stroked his back reassuringly, “Tak accidently burnt some toast her was trying to make me, that’s all.”
Rainbow nodded in understanding, “Right, well. The others are about to arrive so—” she stopped seeing Tak’s eyes grow wide. “You alright lil buddy?”
“T-there are more?” Tak asked nervously.
Fluttershy smiled reassuringly at him, “We talked about this last night, sweetie. Don’t worry, me and Rainbow Dash will be here. And remember, you promised to give Pinkie another chance.”
Tak swallowed and nodded, but that didn’t stop him from shuffling closer to the yellow mare. As if on cue, the rest of the group appeared around the bend in the road that led from Fluttershy’s cottage. Fluttershy smiled and waved to her friends as the cmc and Spike dashed ahead of the others.
“Morning everyone,” Fluttershy said.
“Morning!” the girls grinned. “Where’s Tak? How is he? Can we play with him?”
Spike raised a brow as the girls continued to speak in unison, “Dude, that’s creepy…”
“Tak’s fine, he’s just—” Fluttershy paused when she noticed Tak wasn't there. “Tak?”
She heard a muffled reply coming from behind her and felt Tak tighten his grip on her, confusing the pegasus as to when he got there without her knowing.
“Tak, it’s okay…” she cooed softly. “Please come out?”
Tak swallowed the lump in his throat and took a deep breath before slowly peeking his head out and blinking at the large mass—at least in his eyes—of ponies looking at him.
“Oh… he is adorable!” Rarity squealed, making the kobold flinch slightly.
Applejack chuckled, “Kinda reminds me of you, Spike.”
“He kinda does… sweet! I can have a new friend who I can relate to!” Spike said in glee.
Tak blinked, unable to see Spike from his position and tried to get a better look. He was stopped though when a sad looking Pinkie stepped into his vision. At first, he froze up, but then blinked in confusion seeing that her hair was completely flat against her body. He shrugged it off though, given he didn’t have hair and assumed it was a pony thing.
“Hey, Tak…” Pinkie said softly. “I’m so, so, so sorry about yesterday… can you ever forgive me?”
Tak bit his lip as he looked at her, then at the others who were watching him with bated breath. He looked to Fluttershy who was giving him an encouraging smile and he swallowed another lump that was forming in his throat.
“T-tak forgives you… just d-don’t scare Tak like that again…” Tak mumbled and smiled at the pink mare.
In an instant, Pinkie’s mane bounced back to its original look which only served to further confuse Tak. He looked to Fluttershy and she could clearly see his confusion and shook her head, giving him a clear and readable expression of ‘don't ask, we don’t understand it either’.
Before he could say anything, Tak squealed loudly as Pinkie pulled him into a near bonecrushing hug, her eyes full of tears, “Ohthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou! I’m soooooo going to throw you a ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ party!”
“Tak… can’t… breath!”
Before any of them could tell Pinkie to let go of him, she suddenly dropped him and ran off back towards the town with a speed that nearly rivaled Rainbow Dash. Instantly, Fluttershy was down to Tak’s level and helped him up, looking at him with concern as the kobold coughed and caught his breath again.
“Are you okay, Tak?” she asked softly.
“T-Tak is fine,” he wheezed. “Can’t be sure about Tak’s back though.”
Tak pushed his lower half of his back and cracked his spine loudly, hissing in contentment making Rarity and Sweetie Belle wince at the sound. Applejack and Twilight stifled a giggle at the two unicorns whilst Spike, Scootaloo, Rainbow Dash and Applebloom burst into laughter. Tak grinned and cracked his knuckles, once again making the two mares flinch in disgust.
“Tak, darling. Please don’t do thaaat!” Rarity whined and shivered. “It’s disgusting.”
As the others laughed, Tak couldn’t help but smile. He felt warmth inside of him and a weird feeling came over him… and he liked it.
And that’s when he finally noticed Spike.
Tak blinked at him and tilted his head, “Tak thought you said there was no other kobolds living here?”
“Well… there ain’t lil fella,” Applejack replied.
“So how do you explain him?” Tak indicated Spike with a claw. “Little bit chubby for a kobold though… taller than Tak would’ve thought possible.”
Spike glared at the kobold and snorted, some fire escaping his nostrils that made Tak’s eyes widen, “Hey! I’m a dragon, not a kobold!”
“... Y-you’re joking…” Tak gulped.
“He isn’t, Tak,” Fluttershy replied. “And you need to apologise for calling him chub—”
She was interrupted as Tak wailed and threw himself at Spike’s feet, “Tak is sorry, oh powerufl d-dragon! T-Tak meant no disrespect of c-course, Tak was j-just… blinded! Yes blinded b-by your radiance! Have mercy”
Everyone stared at the kobold in confusion as Tak continued to plead with the young dragon, almost on the verge of tears.
“T-Tak will do anything you ask, j-just please don’t incinerate and eat me!”
Spike was taken aback by this and took a few steps back, “Dude what the hay?! Why would I ever do that?!”
Before anyone could tell the kobold off, Fluttershy stood beside him in concern ready to protect him should an argument kicked off. It was then that Twilight suddenly remembered something that she had read in the book on kobolds.
“I think I know why Tak acted like that,” she said.
The group turned to look at her and waited patiently for her explanation. Twilight coughed softly and stood beside Tak.
“Kobolds are distant relatives of dragons, and because of how large and powerful dragons are, kobolds sometimes worship them as gods or as masters. I think he started to freak because he didn’t realise you are still a young dragon and was scared he would endure your wrath.”
“That true?” Spike asked as Tak nodded.
Spike stifled a laugh as he wrapped an arm around the kobold who flinched slightly from the contact, “You’re a riot, Tak! Don’t worry, I ain’t gunna hurt ya, were like cousins!”
“Y-yeah, cousins,” Tak smiled warmly.
“Though… having the title of god sounds good, wouldn’t you say so, Rarity?” Spike asked wiggling his eyebrows.
Rarity giggled as Twilight bopped his head and rolled her eyes, “Okay, romeo. Settle down.”
Tak smiled again, feeling the same feeling as before wash over him. He couldn’t describe it. It just felt… nice. Like he was at home here.
Fluttershy giggled and gave Tak a nudge with her hoof, “Now, lets get introductions out of the way, shall we?”
After introductions were over, Fluttershy went inside to make some tea and sandwiches for brunch—in her case and Taks, breakfast— and everyone settled around the front of her cottage. As Fluttershy brought out the tray, Pinkie came bouncing down the pathway with a massive grin on her face. She came to a screeching halt, sending dust into the air making everyone cough.
“Oops! Sorry,” she giggled. “Great news! I got the party arrangements all done~!”
“Pinkie…” Twilight started.
“Oh, it’ll be so much fun! Everypony is going to be there!” Pinkie continued, oblivious to the others worried looks.
“Darling… are you sure? Tak doesn’t seem to be so good around strangers…”
“And the cake! Oh my goodness you’re going to love it~!”
“Pinkie, are ya listening to us?” Applejack rolled her eyes.
“The music to! Oh my gosh, Vinyls said she’s gunna play for us!”
“Pinks, calm down will ya?” Rainbow said stifling a laugh.
“AND THERE’S GOING TO BE SO MUCH CONFETTI—”
“Pinkie!” Fluttershy shouted, finally getting the pink mares attention. “It sounds wonderful, but Tak is not used to large crowds of ponies, remember?”
“Oh… yeah,” her mane deflated. “I-I’m sorry, I just wanted Tak to be really welcomed into the town… I’ll go tell everypony the party is off for now…”
As Pinkie started to trudge back to town looking miserable, Tak watched her go and swallowed the lump in his throat for the third time that morning.
Do it for Fluttershy… do it for you… friends… for pony.
“Wait!” he called to Pinkie and ran after her.
Pinkie turned around and looked down at the little kobold, “What is it, Tak?”
“Tak… wants to go to the party, Tak is willing to try. For pink demon—” a sharp cough from Fluttershy interrupted him. “Uh… pink pony?”
Pinkie blinked at him and then smiled, her eyes watering and lip quivering as she picked him up into another hug, this time a gentle one, “Thanks, Tak…”
“So… are we going or what?” Tak asked. “Tak wants to see what this ‘cake’ tastes like!”
Pinkie giggled as she leant down to let Tak clamber onto her back.
“Onwards! To cake!” Tak cried and pointed to the town.
“To cake!” Pinkie cheered and reared up before trotting quickly towards the town.
The group started to chase after Pinkie, all smiling and chatting excitedly about the party.
“Guess I’ll leave these here then,” Rainbow grumbled, placing the Daring Do books just inside of Fluttershy’s house.
“Ya’ll have plenty of time to talk to Tak about Daring Do soon, Dash,” Applejack snickered as the two followed the group.
Twilight helped Fluttershy close her windows and door before smiling to her, “Tak seems to be doing well, don’t you think?”
“Mhm, I’m so proud of my little Tak!” Fluttershy giggled.
“You’re little Tak, eh?” Twilight teased. “How cute!”
Fluttershy stuck her tongue out at Twilight who blinked but joined in the giggling along with her friend as they made their way back to town.
As the group made their way towards town with Pinkie and Tak discussing the very important topic of cake, Fluttershy couldn’t help feel a little nervous. Twilight noticed this and trotted up to her friend.
“Are you okay, Fluttershy?” she asked.
Fluttershy sighed softly, “Sort of, I’m just worried about Tak. I mean, I know he’s trying his best for me, but I can’t help but feel worried about how this will turn out.”
Twilight nodded, “I understand, and nopony would feel bad if you were to take him home early should he start getting nervous.”
“Thank you,” Fluttershy smiled. “My main hope is just that he has a good time tonight.”
“We all do. The little guy is going to be in for a shock, that’s for certain.”
Fluttershy giggled as the two increased their speed in order to catch up with the others.
As they walked through the town, Tak couldn't help but notice the entire town was practically deserted.
“Uh… Pinkie?” he asked. “Where is everyone?”
“You’ll see, Tak,” she giggled. “Don’t want to ruin the surprise~!”
Tak gulped nervously and clung tighter to the mare’s head. Pinkie led the group to the town hall which had no visible lights. This only served to make the kobold even more nervous than he already was, however. Pinkie leant her head down and let the kobold slide off before turning to the others.
“Okay, Fluttershy, wait here with Tak. Everypony else, in!”
The group giggled as they entered the town hall. Tak swore he could hear more giggling and whispers in the darkness ahead of them, though. Fluttershy gently stroked his head with a hoof and smiled down at him.
“You okay, sweetie?” she asked.
“Y-Yeah, j-just a little nervous,” Tak replied.
Fluttershy leant down and nuzzled his cheek gently, “It’s okay to be nervous, sweetie. But I promise, you will like this. And me and your friends are going to be here for you, okay?”
Tak nodded and smiled up at the mare, before turning his attention to the doors and waited. The doors then opened and Pinkie’s hoof beckoned them inside. Tak slowly and cautiously made his way towards the door, waiting as Fluttershy held it open for him. He nervously poked his head round the corner and stared into the darkness. Thanks to his low light vision, he was able to detect that there were indeed dozens upon dozens of bodies standing in the darkness, the light from the door opening showing him a glimpse of their outlines. with a encouraging nudge form Fluttershy, he stepped inside into the darkness, only to be assaulted with light as the main lights were turned on.
“WELCOME TO PONYVILLE, TAK!” the room cheered.
Tak screamed and leapt up into Fluttershy, grabbing her neck tightly and panting rapidly as he shook from fear. Fluttershy giggled gently and gave him a reassuring cuddle as he took note of the room.
Dozens upon dozens of ponies from the town were in front of him, all with grinning faces, but the second they truly laid eyes on the kobold, the expressions varied between shock, interest, fear and excitement.
All around them were balloons, streamers and tables with food and drink, a large banner with the words ‘Welcome to Ponyville’ on them hung from the wall. Tak slowly got down from Fluttershy and took a step forward. The whole room seemed to hold its collective breath as the stared at the kobold.
“U-uh… hello?” he said with a meek wave.
The kobold swallowed a lump in his throat as he used every ounce of will he could muster to refrain his small frame from shaking violently. The five mares shared a look of slight concern, with Pinkie being the exception, beaming down at Tak with a large grin on her face.
“Huh, so that’s what a kobold looks like,” someone said from the crowd, “figured they’d be taller.”
“Hey!” Tak huffed and crossed his arms,” Tak is taller than most for his age!”
The voice giggled along with a couple others, “Easy lil dude. Meant no offence.”
A white unicorn stepped out from the crowd with purple shades on and grinned down at the kobold, offering a hoof.
“Names Vinyl, nice to meet ya!”
“T-tak,” Tak replied, gently holding her hoof to shake it, only to be roughly shaken by the unicorn who remained oblivious.
Slowly, other ponies from the group began to come forward and say hello the the kobold, however, Twilight noted that there were a fair few dozen ponies who remained back some with looks of fear and a couple with disdain. This was a fact not lost on Rainbow Dash either, the pegasus had seemingly scoured the crowd in an act of protecting towards Tak.
Fluttershy missed this, as she was watching the gathered crowd slowly enclose on the kobold who looked like he was on the verge of having a panic attack. Something the mare was all too familiar with.
“Uhm, could everypony give Tak some space? He’s still not so used to large crowds…”
The crowd complied and moved back a small bit in order to give Tak some breathing room. The kobold stood there for a moment, unsure as to what to do when he felt a gentle nudge on his back. He looked back to see Fluttershy looking down at him.
“Go on, sweetie,” Fluttershy smiled. “Go and mingle and have fun!”
“Okay…” Tak replied uneasily.
Tak nervously walked forwards, being careful to not knock into any of the ponies as he made his way into the centre. As he was looking around, he accidently bumped into a pony and looked up, seeing the cross eyed pegasus looking down at him.
At least, he thought she was.
“T-Tak’s sorry, Tak didn’t—”
“See me? Don’t worry, I have those moments to,” the mare smiled and helped him up. “The name’s Ditzy, or Derpy as some ponies call me.”
“I’m Tak… nice to meet you,” he smiled back.
“So how’d you like Ponyville so far?” she asked.
“It’s okay… a little big and k-kinda scary,” he nervously admitted.
The mare giggled and gave him a playful pat on his head, “Know the feeling, was scary when me and my daughter moved here a few years back.”
“Daughter?” Tak asked.
“Mhm,” she replied. “She’s my lil’ muffin. Why not go and play with her and her friends? They're over by the fizzy drinks.”
Tak followed the direction she was pointing and saw a bunch of fillies and colts—including the cutie mark crusaders and pipsqueak—and grinned.
”Okay, Tak will, it was nice meeting you!”
“Likewise, now scoot. go have fun!”
Tak smiled as he ran over to the foals, Derpy watching with a smile on her own face.
As Fluttershy smiled, watching Tak run over to the local colts and fillies before being interrupted by a gentle on her shoulder.
“Fluttershy, you sure this is a good idea?” Twilight asked her.
“Hmm? Why wouldn’t it be?” the pegasus replied.
“Cos of how the ponies were looking at him?” Rainbow replied as she joined in, “I mean, some seemed cool but… I ‘unno, some of the others seemed a little put off…”
“What do you mean?” Fluttershy asked.
“Just… keep an eye on him, that’s all. We all will,” Twilight replied, thinking it best not to worry the pegasus too much.
“Okay…” Fluttershy said with a nod, though feeling a little more concerned before looking back over to Tak.
As the foals chattered to one another, Scootaloo was the first to notice the kobold running over to them.
“Oh hey, Tak!” she grinned.
“Hey!” the kobold happily replied.
Tak noticed that amongst the cutie mark crusaders were several other fillies and colts. One colt he remembered from the other day.
“Alright, mate?” Pipsqueak grinned, offering the kobold a hoof to bump.
Tak looked at the hoof with a tilted head in curiosity, and in confusion. The others looked at each other and giggled as Pipsqueak snickered softly.
“You’re supposed to bump it with your own, Tak.”
“Okay?” Tak asked, still confused about what he thought was an odd gesture.
He curled his small clawed hand and gently bumped it on Pipsqueak’s hoof. The colt grinned again before wrapping one of his front legs around the kobold and began to introduce the others.
“You already know the three fillies over there,” he indicated the cutie mark crusaders who waved back at Tak, “but allow me to introduce the rest of me good mates. Firstly, Rumble, our athlete in training after his big bro…”
A grey pegasus with a dark grey mane and tail nodded with a smile.
“Button Mash, the gamer of our group.”
The earth colt was too busy playing with a device to fully acknowledge the kobold, merely grunting and offering a quick wave of his hoof. Pipsqueak rolled his eyes as he continued to introduce the others.
“Pinchy Punch, our resident imagination expert.”
“Hi hi!” a pink unicorn filly greeted with an enthusiastic wave, “maybe you can play with me and Uncle Bones some time?”
“Uncle Bones?” Tak whispered in confusion.
“Her imaginary friend is a weird skeleton wizard thing,” Pipsqueak whispered back before continuing.
“This is Dinky, apprentice muffin maker and the mailmare’s daughter.”
“Hey…” Dinky replied with a shy wave of her hoof and a smile.
“Aaaaand finally, Snips and Snails. Our resident… uh…” Pipsqueak said, scratching the top of his head, “yeah...”
“Yo, scaley dude!” Snails said, oblivious to Pipsqueak.
“Your kinda small for a dragon… like Spike!” Snip said with a simple smile.
“Idiot, he isn’t a dragon! He’s a kabold,” Snails told him with a bop on the head.
“Uh.. Tak’s a kobold, guys,” Applebloom said.
“That’s what I said. Kabold,” Snails replied.
“No, you said KAH-bold. It’s KUH-bold,” Sweetie said slightly irritated.
Snips shook his head in a quick motion, “Nuh-uh, he said it right, you guys didn’t!”
“Yeah!” Snails added.
“No, you said it wrong!” Applebloom said through gritted teeth
“Nuh-uh!” Snips and Snails said in unison.
“Ya-huh!” Applebloom and Sweetie Belle replied in unison.
“Yaaaaa-huuuuuuh!” Applebloom and Sweetie Belle said, drawing out the word longer.
Tak and the others watched with confusion and some entertainment as the four began to quickly reply back and forth each other, nearly overlapping one anothers sentences.
“Great!” Scootaloo grinned, “we got punch, fizzy AJ, this weird but tasty black fizzy stuff Pinkie calls Kolah…”
Tak tapped his chin as he pondered before shrugging, “Tak trusts your judgement.”
As Scootaloo nodded and went to fetch a drink for him, Tak heard a sound of disgust from behind him and turned around to see a pair of earth fillies, one pink with a tiara and one grey with glasses approaching him.
“Urgh, why would they let a disgusting animal into the town?” the pink one sneered.
“Yeah!” the grey one added, drawing out her reply.
Pinchy glared at the two, “What do you two want?”
“We just came here to see if the rumors of a monster being in Ponyville were true, not that its any of your business you freak,” the pink one replied.
Pinchy winced as she took a step back, only for Rumble to step forward.
“Hey, back off, Diamond. That wasn’t very nice,”
“Who asked you, you weakling,” the silver filly replied, turning her nose up at the colt, “just remember I beat you up the other day, so know your place.”
Rumble gritted his teeth. The only reason he hadn’t fought back was because he knew if he had hit her, she would have run off to tell Miss Cheerilee who wouldn’t believe Silver had started the argument.
“‘Eh! Easy now, Silver,” Pipsqueak said as he trotted in front of Rumble, “just leave us alone, alright?”
“Wot woz that?” Diamond replied in a mock Trottingham accent, “Sownds loike somepony buttin’ when they ain’t wan’ed!”
Pipsqueaks ears lowered a little as the two fillies laughed at him, “I-I don’t sound like that…”
“Oh, buzz off you—”
Diamond was interrupted by a now seething looking Tak, who walked right up to her and glared at the filly.
“Tak doesn't know who you are, but you’re pissing Tak off! Why don’t you two just piss off and leave us alone!”
“Look, Silver!” Diamond jeered, “the freak can’t even talk right!”
“He’s like a foal!” Silver tease.
Diamond began to laugh but squeaked loudly when the kobold suddenly jabbed a claw into her chest, pressing his snout against her face so his eyes were inches from hers.
“You’d better shut your mouth. Otherwise,” Tak pounded his fist into his palm, “Bap! Tak will shut it for ya,”
Instead of intimidating her to back down, as he had planned, Diamond Tiara instead wailed and pushed Tak away from her.
“Ew! It touched me! I’m going to get a disease!” she wailed and ran away, before shouting, “daddy will hear of this, you freak!”
Silver quickly ran after her friend as Tak merely snorted and rubbed his snout with a sniff and turned back to the others who were staring at him with mouths agape.
“What?” he asked.
“Dude, no pony’s ever stood up to her… well a couple have, but not like that!” Scootaloo grinned.
“Don’tcha think it was a little harsh?” Applebloom asked.
Tak shrugged, “Tak’s dealt with worse. Don’t think Tak did anything wrong?”
Tak blinked as the others looked above him with wide eyes. He tilted his head in confusion and was about to ask what was wrong when he felt something touch his shoulder.
A yellow hoof.
The kobold swallowed a lump that had formed in his throat suddenly and slowly looked up the hoof to see the unamused expression of Fluttershy.
“U-uh… hey, F-Fluttershy…” Tak chuckled nervously.
“Care to explain why I saw you threaten Diamond and Silver, Tak?” Fluttershy calmly asked.
Tak was about to respond when Pipsqueak stepped forward.
“Beggin’ your pardon, Miss Fluttershy. But he was just standing up for us again, like the other day.”
The other colts and fillies nodded in unison.
“She made fun of Pipsqueak’s accent,” Scootaloo said.
“She called me a freak…” Pinchy said softly, resting against the air as if something was there.
Rumble gritted his teeth and snorted, “And she called me a weakling.”
Fluttershy looked at the fillies and colts before sighing, “Tak, it’s good that you are looking out for your new friends. But you can’t just let your anger get the better of you, and you certainly can’t just threaten ponies. We’ll talk about your behaviour later, okay?”
Tak wanted to protest, but he felt that it wasn’t worth it and sighed, “Okay, Tak is sorry…”
Fluttershy smiled, “Now, come on. You need to apologise to Diamond.”
“But she—!” Tak stopped when Fluttershy raised her brow at him and groaned, “fine…”
The two made their way over towards where Diamond as now angrily talking to a very worn out looking stallion who seemed to only be half listening. As the mare and kobold approached them, Diamond pointed at them and glared angrily.
“There, daddy! That’s the freak!” the filly hissed.
Tak bit his tongue as he refrained from retaliating as Fluttershy gave the filly a glare, a look that was missed by Diamond’s father.
“Hello, Miss Fluttershy,” the stallion said, albeit a little wearily, “is what my Diamond saying true?”
Fluttershy nodded, “I’m afraid so, Filthy. I’ve told him to apologise to Diamond and to not do it again.”
“What prompted him to do it?” Filthy asked, giving the kobold a look over with a gleam of curiosity in his eyes.
“Well… it appeared that Diamond was, well, being very mean to the other colts and fillies.”
“I was not!” Diamond snapped, “how dare you accuse me of that you, you stupid—”
“Diamond!” Filthy interrupted with a glare, “that’s not how you speak to your elders, now apologise to Fluttershy and Tak.”
“But daaaaddy!” she wailed.
“No buts, Diamond,” Filthy replied, keeping his glare on his daughter.
Diamond glared back at her father before waivering and glaring at Tak, “Sorry.”
Tak grumbled and crossed his arms in annoyance, prompting the pegasus to give his back a little nudge. With another grumble, the kobold mumbled something.
“What was that, Tak?” Fluttershy asked.
“Tak is sorry, too,” Tak replied, a little louder.
“Apology accepted,” Filthy said with a smile before turning to his daughter, “now come one, Diamond. We’re going to get Silver and you two are going to go and apologise to the others.”
“What did I say, Diamond?” Filthy interrupted, “now come on!”
The filly grumbled as she and her father made their way over to where the other fillies and colts were, who had been watching the conversation with interest. Fluttershy smiled down at the kobold and nuzzles the top of his head.
“That’s my little kobold,” she cooed.
Tak grumbled and shooed her away as he huffed, making the mare giggle softly.
“Now, lets enjoy the party,” Fluttershy
Tak fistpumped the air before Fluttershy continued.
“But you are grounded, mister.”
The kobold blinked as he looked up at her in confusion.
Tak grumbled as he tapped the table with his claws over and over, his head resting in his other hand. He was staring at the clock that was hanging in Fluttershy’s kitchen as it slowly ticked. Tak sighed as he rested his head on the side of his head as he listened to the dull ticking sounds of the clock. He didn’t notice the sound of hooves gently approaching the kitchen.
“Morning, Tak,” Fluttershy greeted.
Tak merely grunted in response as he gave a flick of his hand gently.
Fluttershy giggled softly and nuzzled him gently, “Aw, don’t be so sad, Tak. It’s not like it will last forever.”
“Tak still doesn't get this grounded thing, Tak is always grounded ‘cos Tak doesn’t have wings!” Tak grumbled, flapping his arms for emphasis.
Fluttershy smiled and shook her head, “That may be true, Tak. But I’ve told you before that some words have more than one meaning.”
“Tak thinks that is strange,” the kobold replied as he lifted his head up upon hearing the sound of plates being taken out the cupboard, “Tak still doesn’t get why he is grounded though...”
“Because, mister. Whilst your intentions were good, you still got into a fight twice recently. And it’s only for another day, sweetie.”
Tak merely grumbled as he rested his head on his arms. Tak was still unsure to the concept of grounding, but from what Fluttershy had told him, it basically meant he wasn’t allowed to go out and play with his friends for a couple of days due to his behaviour.
Fluttershy hummed softly to herself as she began to cook some breakfast for herself and Tak started to drum his fingers on the table, his eyes half open as he idly stared at the opposite wall. His eyes soon lit up, however, as the smell of fish being cooked wafted into his nostrils and he began to wag his tail happily.
After a little wait, the meal was ready, and Fluttershy brought over the first plate which contained a few well cooked fish for Tak, before she brought her own over containing toast and eggs. Tak happily picked up a fish, ready to tuck into the delicious morsel. He stopped when he noticed Fluttershy pick up two items from beside her plate, one of which reminding him of a sword and the other of a trident. He watched curiously as she used the utensils to cut up her meal and delicately eat it.
Even though he had had a couple of meals with her, the kobold had not paid much attention to how Fluttershy ate her food. More often than not, Tak would only pay attention to his own meal, greedily and happily eating out of his own claws. He looked down to see that he had the same two silver items beside his own plate. After glancing up at Fluttershy once more, he placed the fish back on the plate and lifted up the two items, gripping them both in a tight fist.
Sticking his tongue out in concentration, Tak started to mimic the way Fluttershy cut up her food, albeit it somewhat badly. Fluttershy looked up from her food and smiled, finding Tak’s concentration adorable. The kobold began to grumble as he started to make a mess of his cutting and glared at the knife and fork as if he was silently blaming them for failing him.
“Tak, sweetie. Do you want some help?” She asked, placing down her own utensils.
“No, no… Tak’s got this!” Tak replied as she started to experiment with holding the knife and fork in a manner of different ways.
Fluttershy watched with her own curiosity. She hadn’t really seen a creature with fingers use utensils before. She had seen her friend Harry the bear hold a cup of tea in his claws, but never anything like this. Fluttershy would have continued to watch but she was interrupted by the sound of someone knocking on her front door. The pegasus delicately wiped her mouth before trotting out of the kitchen.
“I’ll be back in a moment, Tak,” she said as she left.
Tak grunted in reply as he concentrated on cutting up the fish. His stomach protested loudly at not being fed still, and the smell of the cooked meat was starting to drive Tak wild.
“Why do ponies use these accursed things?!” Tak growled
After failing again to properly get a good enough grip, he started to stab his fish with the fork angrily.
After he was done venting, he lifted it up, having spear the fish and started to bite around the fork, letting out a light moan of delight from the taste of the fish. The kobold tapped the table with his claws and his tail wagged, a happy smile on his face.
With the fish eaten, he looked at the next lot, then back at the knife and fork before inhaling sharply.
“Okay… this time for sure, Tak can do this. What could possibly go wrong?”
Fluttershy hummed to herself softly as she made her way through the living room, minding all the various small animals that were living in her home. She opened the door to see Twilight.
“Oh, hello, Twilight. What brings you here this morning?”
“Morning, Fluttershy. I was up last night thinking about what we could do to help Tak get better used to Ponyville, and I thought of something that should work out in everypony’s favour.”
Fluttershy tilted her head a little, “Oh? And what’s that?”
“Well… it’s something me and Mayor Mare have talked about, and we’d to discuss with it in her office with you.”
“The Mayor?” Fluttershy gasped, “Y-you’re not going to let Tak g-get into trouble are you?”
Twilight quickly shook her head, “Oh Celestia, no! Trust me, Fluttershy. I think you will like what me and the Mayor have been talking about.”
The pegasus looked back towards the kitchen and rubbed her leg softly, “Do we have to go right this second?”
“Well, I’d rather do this now before the authorities get wind of Tak being in town. You know how kobolds are not exactly seen as peaceful creatures. Well, with the exception of Tak that is obviously.”
Fluttershy lowered her ears at the thought of the authorities taking Tak away or worse. The pegasus bit her lower lip gently as she looked back towards the kitchen and then back at Twilight, “Okay… only problem is, Tak’s still grounded and I don’t want to leave him here by himself.”
Before Twilight could answer, they heard a familiar voice call from behind the unicorn. Turning around, Twilight smiled as she Rarity approach, a small box floating in her magic.
“Morning, darlings!” Rarity greeted, “isn’t it such a nice day today?”
“Rarity!” Twilight grinned, “Perfect timing! Can I ask you a favour?”
“Oh?” Rarity replied, “What sort of favor would that be?”
“Well, I need to discuss something private with the Mayor and Fluttershy regarding Tak. However, Tak’s grounded and Fluttershy is a little nervous about leaving him on his own.”
Fluttershy confirmed this with a nervous nod of her head.
“A meeting? Oooo do tell, Twilight!” Rarity asked, a glimmer in her eyes.
“No can do, I’m afraid,” Twilight replied,” Strictly between me, the Mayor and Fluttershy. You’ll know soon enough anyway.
Rarity pouted at being denied some juicy info but nodded her head anyway, “Fair enough, my dear. And let me guess, you would like it if I were to babysit Tak whilst you too have your discussion with the Mayor?”
“It’s not a worry, darling,” Rarity interrupted with a smile, “besides, I brought Tak a present.”
“A present?” Fluttershy asked curiously.
“Mhm, thought I’d make him a little something to wear, seeing as all he has to wear is those ghastly rags of his!”
“That sounds lovely, Rarity. I’m sure Tak will love them,” the pegasus smiled.
“Now off you two go, don’t worry about us. Tak and I will have a splendid time.”
Fluttershy smiled as she headed back into the house, “Just let me say goodbye to Tak quickly.”
The unicorns nodded as Fluttershy entered the kitchen, “Tak, sweetie. I’m just going—”
Fluttershy blinked as she stared into the kitchen. Somehow, Tak had managed to not only cover himself in bits of fish, but he had also was coated in a lot of red. The pegasus noticed that a bottle of ketchup was lying down without its lid on the table, the top pointing at a very confused kobold.
“Tak… what happened?” Fluttershy asked, trying to stifle a giggle.
“Tak… doesn't know. One moment Tak is mastering the cutting of the fish, the next Tak is covered in this red stuff! Tak saw you use it before on food so Tak figured he would try. Turns out the red stuff’s container was tricker to use than Tak thought...”
“But how are you covered in fish as well, sweetie?” Fluttershy asked as she came over with a tea towel that was resting on the counter.
“Tak… may or may not of slammed his fists in frustration after being coated in the red stuff, and may or may not of hit the plate making Tak’s fish smack into him…” the kobold sheepishly replied.
Fluttershy giggled gently as she helped Tak clean himself off, “Well, never mind, sweetie. Listen, I need to go into town for a while with Twilight. Rarity’s popped round to keep an eye on you for a bit, okay?”
The kobold grumbled, “Tak doesn't need a watcher, Tak can look after himself!”
“I know you can, but you are grounded remember?” Fluttershy smirked back.
“Yeah yeah…” Tak grumbled.
The pegasus gave him a gentle nuzzle, “Now… you go and get yourself washed up okay? If you hurry up, you can open the present that Rarity—”
“White pony got me a present?!” Tak asked excitedly, his tail wagging rapidly as he looked up at Fluttershy with big eyes full of joy.
Fluttershy gently booped his snout and giggled, “Rarity got you a present, yes. But you need to wash yourself before—”
Before she could finish, the kobold had lept from his seat and rushed towards the stairs, running up them as the pegasus smiled and shook her head before returning to the front door.
“Tak’s just cleaning himself off, Rarity. He won’t be a moment if you want to come in.” Fluttershy said.
“Cleaning himself off?” Rarity asked as she walked inside.
Fluttershy tittered, “He got a little messy when he ate his food, he won’t be long. Are you sure you two will be okay?”
Rarity smiled reassuringly at her friend, “Of course we will, everything will be fine. Now, run along you two. Do let me know how your meeting goes!”
“We will, see you later, Rarity.” Twilight replied.
“Bye, Tak. I won’t be too long!” Fluttershy called up the stairs.
She received a grunt in response, hearing the sounds of water coming from the upstairs bathroom.
Fluttershy and Twilight started to walk down the path, Rarity waving them goodbye before she entered the house and closed the door. She settled the small box down on the coffee table as she sat on the sofa and patiently waited for Tak.
“So, any clue as to what this meeting is about, Twilight?” Fluttershy asked.
Twilight smiled mischievously at her friend and shook her head, “Nope, not saying anything. Just trust me on this.”
Fluttershy frowned a little as the two continued their walk through the town, each passing second making her feel more and more anxious about the meeting. She knew that Twilight wouldn't lie to her about the meeting being bad, but she couldn’t help play the worst case scenarios through her mind as her anxiety started to build. The two soon came to the town hall and entered, Mayor Mare’s secretary, Scribble Books, who was sitting at her desk looked up and smiled.
“Hello! The Mayor’s in her office waiting for you,” she said cheerfully.
“Thank you,” Twilight replied, “Come on, Fluttershy.”
Fluttershy nervously followed her friend as she entered the Mayor’s office. Mayor Mare was currently writing something as she looked up at the two.
“Ah, good. Please, have a seat you two,” she smiled.
The two took a seat as Mayor Mare shuffled some papers and put them to one side before she addressed them.
“Okay, firstly. I know this is short notice, Fluttershy. But me and Twilight have been talking about this whole Tak business…”
“H-he’s not in any trouble is he?” Fluttershy asked, “You a-aren’t going to call the guard or—”
“Easy, Fluttershy,” Twilight giggled softly, “Let the Mayor finish.”
Fluttershy smiled sheepishly, “S-sorry…”
“It’s okay,” Mayor Mare chuckled, “As I was saying, we’ve been discussing the whole thing and I have something I want to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Fluttershy asked.
“Well, as you know. Kobolds are viewed by pony society as, well, threats. Much like how Diamond dogs are seen. At least to those who do know of Kobolds. Not that I’m saying Tak is, of course, he’s a little dear.” The Mayor said with a smile.
The pegasus nodded back. From her own reading of their species, she knew that kobolds and ponies very rarely got on with one another, and the state didn’t see them as fully fledged citizens due to how they acted towards ponies. Save for Tak, naturally.
“Anyway, after Tak was introduced to our town and for the most part the majority of the town saw how he was, well, different. Twilight here had an idea that she spoke to me about the morning after.”
“Oh?” Fluttershy asked, looking to her friend.
Twilight nodded, “Tak hit it off with all of us, and with the majority of the town to. So I had a word with Princess Celestia—”
“Oh dear! she’s not going to banish my little Tak is she?” Fluttershy interrupted, her voice full of panic.
Twilight stifled a giggle, “No, she’s not, Fluttershy. Don’t worry! I explained the situation to her and proposed something to her.”
“What’s that?” Fluttershy asked.
“Well, like the Mayor said. Pony and kobold relations have always been tense, with ponies thinking that kobolds were just feral animals like the diamond dogs. But that’s been proved to be wrong with Tak’s arrival, hasn’t it?” Twilight started
Fluttershy nodded as Twilight continued.
“So I suggested that we use it to help build a possible relation with the kobolds if we can get Tak accustomed to our way and in turn learn more about their ways. She agreed and is going to be coming tomorrow along with Princess Luna to speak with Tak. And, as long as you are okay with it, she sent me a couple of forms to give to the Mayor, to give to you
Fluttershy bit her lip as she processed the information. It did honestly sound like a good idea to her, it would certainly benefit both races. However, she felt she needed to talk to Tak about this as she felt the request may be a little bit too much for the little kobold. She looked over to Twilight with as much of a stern look as possible.
“Okay… I g-guess I could see that working for both of our kinds. I’ll still need to ask Tak if he is okay with it, though. And if he refuses it I don’t want a-anypony pestering him, okay?”
Both the Mayor and Twilight nodded. The pegasus smiled as she looked over to the Mayor.
“Okay, and what’re the forms?”
The Mayor smiled as she passed over two forms to Fluttershy. The pegasus took the forms and scanned over them both, one in each hoof, seeing the Royal coat of arms at the top of the forms got her curious and she began to read the words carefully. As she read, her eyes started to slowly open wide and her pupils shrank a little. Twilight tried to fight back a fit of giggles as her friend stared shocked at the papers, the pegasus’ mouth dropping as she shakily and slowly looked up to the Mayor who was smiling.
Rarity hummed softly to herself as she perused through a magazine Fluttershy had left on her coffee table. It wasn’t long before she heard the sounds of footsteps coming down the stairs and she placed the magazine back on the table before turning her head as the Kobold entered the room.
“Hello, Tak dear. I hope you’re doing okay?” She said with a small smile
Tak entered the room with his body wrapped up in a towel, clearly a bit too big for him, with his head poking out. Rarity giggled softly at the spectacle as the kobold looked at her with slight confusion.
“What? Tak was told you ponies use towels to dry yourselves!”
“Don’t worry, Tak.” Rarity said, “I’m guessing Fluttershy told you why I popped round?”
Tak grinned whilst nodding his head as his tail wagged under the towel , “Uhuh! She said you got Tak a present!”
“That’s right,” Rarity replied, “I just could not stand by, knowing you only had those, ghastly clothes you have.”
Tak pouted a little, “What’s wrong with Tak’s clothes?”
Rarity quickly shook one of her front legs, “I meant no offence, dear. I just thought you might like to have more than one pair of clothes, in case you get your other ones dirty.”
As she said this, her horn lit up and the lid of the box she brought came off and she levitated a series of clothing out. Tak stared in awe at the clothes, his eyes sparkling a little. Rarity had made a few shirts and shorts that took a kobold’s feet into consideration as well as what appeared to be wooly garments which Tak assumed were meant for when the weather got cold.
“So, Tak. What do you think?” Rarity asked.
“They are amazing!” Tak grinned.
“I’m glad,“ Rarity tittered, “wait till you see what else I made…”
“You mean there’s more?” Tak asked with a childlike gasp of excitement.
Rarity nodded and grinned mischievously as she levitated three outfits out of the box. Tak’s eyes went wider than he thought possible as he saw what she was levitating. His jaw opened and his arms went limp at the side of his body.
Floating in her aura, were three individual, kobold sized, replica daring do outfits. Complete with matching shorts and a pith helmet.
Rarity couldn’t help giggling as Tak stared at the clothes in shock, “I Take it you like—”
Tak interrupted her by tackling her and hugging her tightly around the neck, “Thank you so much, white pony!”
Rarity smiled and returned the hug, before using her magic to place the kobold down. “Why don’t you go try one of them on then, darling?”
Tak grinned as he took one of the Daring Do outfits and dashed into the next room. Rarity tittered again as the front door opened and Fluttershy entered with Twilight in toe.
“Welcome back, how was the meeting?” Rarity asked.
Fluttershy merely giggled with excitement as she held onto the papers she was carrying. Twilight chuckled softly and smiled.
“Perfectly, we just need to ask Tak something now.”
Rarity grinned, “He should be back in a moment, he’s just trying something on.”
Twilight and Fluttershy looked at the unicorn curiously before they noticed the clothing on the sofa and understood what Rarity meant. Tak soon returned, wearing his new outfit which made Twilight smile at the sight.
“Tak’s now ready for adventure!” The kobold declared.
“It suits you, Tak.” Rarity smiled.
“You look very cute, Tak,” Fluttershy said, nuzzling Tak’s cheek.
“Tak,” Twilight said, catching the attention of the kobold, “Fluttershy has something to ask you.”
“What’s that?” Tak asked, tilting his head curiously at the pegasus.
“Well, sweetie... I’ve been talking with Mayor Mare, o-our town’s Mayor. And we, along with Twilight have come to a decision regarding your residency in Ponyville”
The kobold simply nodded, not entirely sure what she meant by the word.
“Tomorrow, you’re going to be meeting Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. Our rulers,” Fluttershy continued.
“Roo-lers?” Tak asked, tilting his head, “Ponies name those measuring stick thingys?”
The three mare’s giggled at the kobold’s confusion, “No, no… they rule us. Like a chieftain or a King.”
Tak paused for a moment before he nodded, understanding what they meant.
“A-anyway... they along, with our Mayor, have given it the okay, as well as m-myself and… well.” Fluttershy paused for a moment and smiled warmly to the kobold.
Tak looked up at Fluttershy a little confused. He scratched his head under his helmet as he tilted it slightly.
“Guardian? What’s that?” he asked.
“Well, it’s l-like a mother, or a father. Someone who looks after you.” Fluttershy replied.
Tak nodded softly, remembering the days of his youth. He couldn’t really recall who his birth mother was, as his clan hatched their young at the same time and simply raised them all together. So the kobold didn’t really know that much about mothers or fathers.
“Tak sees… but, why would you want to be Tak’s guardian? Tak isn’t that special. Tak is just Tak!”
Fluttershy scooped up the kobold in her hooves and gave him a scowling look, “Nonsense, you are very special. And don’t let no pont tell you otherwise!”
Tak blinked as he was held to her chest. He liked the feeling of her fur on his scales. It was soft, warm and he had an overwhelming sense of serenity fill him up, making him smile. Fluttershy put him down as he paced the floor a little, deep in thought which Fluttershy found adorable. The kobold came to a stop and looked up to the pegasus mare.
“Okay, Tak would like you to be his mother!” Tak said with a grin, his hands on his hips.
The three mares looked at the little kobold shocked. They weren’t expecting him to say that and Rarity and Twilight both looked to Fluttershy who stared blankly at Tak.
“Fluttershy? Dear?” Rarity asked, “Are you alright?”
Slowly, the pegasus’ mouth formed into a very large and happy smile as her eyes slowly became wider and her pupils shrank to the size of pin pricks. Suddenly, she tackled the kobold who had enough time to let out a confused yelp as the pegasus scooped him up into her body and snuggled him close to her, twirling a little in the air.
“Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!” Fluttershy practically screamed as she cuddled Tak, “I’d be delighted to be your mother!”
“Can’t. Breathe!” Tak choked out.
“Fluttershy, you’re making Tak turn an interesting shade of blue,” Rarity said.
Fluttershy blinked before blushing and sheepishly giggling as she loosened her grip on the kobold, “S-sorry, Tak.”
“It’s okay,” Tak coughed as he smiled up at her, “Tak knows mother pony is only showing happiness.”
Tak yelped again as Fluttershy squeezed him again, squealing in pure delight as she held him close to her body again.
“Fluttershy,” Twilight coughed into her hoof, a little smirk hiding behind it.
Fluttershy sheepishly giggled again as she put the kobold down on the floor again, “Sorry…”
Tak simply smiled as he wrapped his arms around her as best he could and returned the hug, to which Fluttershy also returned it, albeit it more gently this time around. As the two hugged, Twilight nodded to Rarity and the white unicorn smiled as the two got up and silently left the the two alone.
After a while, Fluttershy smiled down at Tak and gave him a kiss on his head, “Come on, Tak. I think I should give you a quick rundown as to what to expect tomorrow.”
“Yes, Tak thinks that would be a good idea,” the kobold nodded with a smile.
The following day, the elements had gathered at Twilight’s home to await the arrival of the Princess’. The alicorn’s had made a mention to Twilight in a scroll that they were going to stop by the town hall to invite the Mayor to the talk as well as the local school teacher, Miss Cheerilee. They would then arrive at the library in the early afternoon to discuss their plans in more detail with the elements and Tak.
“Oh, this is so exciting!” Twilight squealed. “To think, we get to witness the historic second time event of a lifetime!”
“Uh.. Twi? They’re only havin’ a brief meeting with Tak, it ain’t that amazing. You know that, right?” Applejack replied.
The apple farmer suddenly let out a slight yelp as Twilight appeared in front of her, a huge grin on her face and her eyes sparkling.
“It is amazing! Only one incident in history has kobolds and another species acting peaceful! This meeting could lead us to have a better understanding of kobold culture, of how they live. Heck, it might even lead to our relations with the kobolds being dramatically altered for the better!”
Applejack blinked as she stared at the grinning unicorn, stealing glances to their friends as if to call for some kind of help. Rainbow Dash scratched her head as she tilted it at the unicorn.
“Yeah… whatever, Twilight. You should really calm down though…”
“But, why? There’s so many reasons to be excited!” Twilight squealed.
“U-uhm, it’s just, that… you’re kind of confusing and scaring Tak a little…” Fluttershy replied.
Twilight stopped and glanced over to the pegasus, seeing Tak peeking from behind one of her wings with wide eyes that held a mixture of confusion and terror about them. The unicorn sheepishly smiled as she chuckled softly.
“Uh… sorry about that, Tak.”
Tak lowered Fluttershy’s wing a little and shrugged, “It’s fine, though Tak still doesn’t get why purple horse is excited.”
“Twilight,” Fluttershy corrected with a boop to his nose with her wing, causing the kobold to scrunch his snout, “is the student to one of the Princess’. Princess Celestia.”
Tak nodded as Spike snickered and nudged his side, “Yeah, and she always gets over excited when she comes to visit.”
“I do not!” Twilight huffed.
“Not to be a downer, as the foals say these days. But you do get awfully excited.” Rarity said.
“Yeah, but—” Twilight began.
“You sure do! I think you get just as excited as I do when I throw a party! Just like how I’m super duper excited about the party this evening!” Pinkie giggled as she bounced on the spot.
“I mean, the last time they were coming down you made me help you in literally making the library spotless. You even teleported the furniture into another dimension so you could clean everything on a microscopic level.” Spike said as he tapped his chin.
“Oh! Oh! Don’t forget when she freaked out that one time when they had a meeting with that skinny wizard and the Prince was there!” Pinkie added as she flailed her hooves.
Everyone looked at the pink mare confused. Pinkie simply tilted her head back at them.
“What?” she asked.
Twilight shook her head and coughed into her hoof, “Okay… maybe I do get a little excited to see the Princess.”
The girls giggled as a knock came from the door. Spike walked over and opened the door to reveal Mayor Mare with both Princess Celestia and Luna behind her, as well as Miss Cheerilee followed by a few guards of both the solar and lunar branches.
“Good morning, Spike. May we come in?” Celestia asked with a warm smile.
Spike smiled back and stood aside to allow the mares in. Two of the guards remained outside as the other two followed the Princess’ inside. Tak saw the newcomers and immediately hid behind Fluttershy and started to tremble, the alicorn’s height intimidating him a little bit.
Celestia smiled as she saw the Kobold’s tail from behind Fluttershy and she smiled softly, “So, this is our new citizen is it?” Celestia tittered.
Fluttershy gently used her wing to scoot Tak out. The kobold was visibly shaking but had a nervous smile on as he waved.
“H-hello…” he mumbled.
Fluttershy giggled as she nuzzled his cheek, before smiling proudly, “Yes. This is my colt. Tak.”
Celestia smiled and leant her head down so she was level to Tak and smiled, “Well then, hello there little kobold. My name is Princess Celestia. I’m very happy to finally meet you.”
Tak mumbled something as he held his tail in between his claws.
Celestia giggled softly at his shyness and looked over to her sister, who walked over to be beside her sister.
“And I, little one, am Princess Luna. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
Again, Tak mumbled something before he suddenly took notice of both their manes. His eyes suddenly widened and his pupils expanded like a cats as he stared at them in wonder.
“Pretty…” he said.
Both alicorn’s paused for a moment then began to giggle as the kobold seemed to lose all sense of shyness and slowly made his way over to Luna, his arms outreached with his claws extended. Luna watched with amusement as he gently grabbed her mane and began to examine it, making chittering sounds of bewilderment and curiosity as he did.
“He’s certainly a curious little fellow, isn’t he?” Luna smiled.
Fluttershy giggled as Tak pushed his head into Luna’s mane and his tail went rigid before he emerged, his eyes seemingly wider than before and a look of awestruck on his face, his body lightly shaking.
“Are you okay, sweetie?” Fluttershy asked, her hoof to her mouth as she held back a giggle.
“Tak saw things that no kobold has ever seen… such wondrous sights.”
The pegasus shook her head as Tak made his way back over to her and sat beside her, using her body as a pillow as she lay on the floor.
“I know why the Mayor is here,” Rainbow began, “but why are you here, Miss Cheerilee?”
“You’ll soon find out,” the mare smiled.
Celestia tittered before she and Luna joined the others and sat down, “Now, Tak. Do you know why me and my sister are here?”
Tak wiggled his body as he got comfy, Fluttershy smiling as she watched him before the kobold looked up and answered.
“Well… purple horse—Twilight,” He corrected himself quickly, “said something about improving kobold pony relations.”
Celestia nodded, “That’s right. I don’t suppose you know of the history between ponies and kobolds do you, Tak?”
Tak shook his head, “Tak doesn’t know much…”
“Well, to keep a story short,” Luna began, “There isn’t a history between our species. The only time on record that , hat kobolds have ever, that we know of, interacted with civilized—”
Luna was nudged in the side by Celestia who gave her a scowl, Luna glared back before she continued speaking.
“Other cultures, is over eight hundred years ago when kobolds and griffins made a trade pact for resources as well as food supplies. Though, it only lasted a few months, it was a historic moment.”
Tak nodded slowly as he took on the information, looking back and forth between the two alicorn sisters who had opted to lay on the floor as to not intimidate the kobold.
“Usually, as I’m sure you’re aware, towards ponies and other species kobolds are somewhat….”
Luna twirled a hoof trying to find the right word that would hopefully not upset or offend the kobold.
“Aggressive, vicious and pretty much animalistic?” Tak offered, tilting his head.
The two alicorns looked at Tak in surprise before he shrugged.
“Tak isn’t offended about the truth, it’s just how kobolds are. Why would Tak be offended about something that is true and everyone knows about?”
“That’s very mature of you, Tak,” Celestia replied with a smile.
Tak grinned up at the alicorn as Celestia continued to talk.
“Anyway, because of this the relations between kobolds and ponies have always been rough. Resulting in times where pony caravans are raided by kobolds. Sometimes with… gruesome results.”
Tak nodded in understanding. More often that not kobold attacks on caravans, weather it was ponies or some other race, often resulted in injury or death to both parties. It was why kobold raider groups always went in huge numbers as to try and overpower the enemy with sheer numbers alone.
“Gruesome… ?” Rarity asked, looking a little green.
Luna nodded, “Indeed, death more often than not can occur during these raids.”
Applejack and Rainbow Dash snickered as Rarity’s cheeks turned a shade of green as she brought her hoof up to her mouth.
“Hey she looks like me after I’ve eaten too many sweets!” Pinkie giggled.
The group shared a small laugh as the unicorn struggled to keep her breakfast down before Celestia continued to talk.
“When Twilight first told Luna and I about you, Tak. We were honestly surprised that a kobold was being this friendly towards a species they often attack and had to come and see you for ourselves.”
Luna nodded, “Admittedly, one of the reasons for our visit is to confirm you are indeed non-hostile and a threat to our little ponies.”
“Tak understands,” the kobold replied as he stretched his limbs.
“However, I hope that by making you a citizen of our kingdom is a big enough gesture that shows we both believe you are indeed not a threat to our subjects,” Celestia finished.
Tak nodded as he smiled up at Fluttershy, receiving a nuzzle to the top of his head in return.
“So, what happens now then, Princess?” Fluttershy asked.
“Well,” Celestia began, “Luna and I think it would be a good idea if Tak was more involved with the activities in town, that’s why we asked Mayor Mare to bring Miss Cheerilee with us today.”
“Would you like to explain our proposal?” Luna asked the teacher.
Miss Cheerilee nodded and coughed into her hoof before talking, “Well, one of the things that we discussed to help Tak with being more involved with the town, is to show him how the school works.”
“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” Fluttershy smiled.
The teacher nodded as she smiled, “And personally… I was wondering if Tak would like to join my class?”
“Class?” Tak asked, tilting his head.
“Mhm,” Cheerilee nodded, “If I was to help you study about our society, history and everything else, I feel that it would benefit everypony in the long run. But only if you want to, Tak. No pony is forcing you to join.”
Tak stroked his chin as he thought about the idea, “Would Tak’s friends be there?”
Cheerilee nodded, “Of course! They’re all students in my class.”
The kobold tapped at his chin with a claw as he mulled it over before he swallowed a lump in his throat, “O-okay… Tak will give it a go. If it helps ponies and kobolds be friends then Tak can try it.”
“That’s my brave boy,” Fluttershy whispered with a smile as she nuzzled his head.
Cheerilee clapped her hooves together and smiled, “Excellent! I’d better go relive the substitute teacher and inform my little students about what’s going on. May I be excused please, your majesties?”
Luna and Celestia nodded back to Cheerilee who smiled and turned back to talk to Fluttershy.
“Fluttershy, could you bring Tak over when you are finished here? I’d like to properly introduce him to the class before tomorrow.”
Fluttershy nodded to the mare, “Okay, I can do that. I don’t think we have much left to cover.”
Cheerilee beamed as she got up and exited the building. Celestia smiled as she ruffled her wings a little and got comfy again.
“Okay, now we have that out of the way. We will be monitoring your progress over the next couple of months, Tak.”
“Why?” Tak asked with a tilt of his head.
“All of this is to show our little ponies and the world that kobolds are not savages. That they can easily live in peace alongside any other race,” Celestia explained. “If everything goes well, then we can open up the ideas of trying to come to a truce between not just kobolds. But other races who are somewhat on bad terms with ponies. Such as diamond dogs, the dragons and even the changelings.”
Tak noticed the elements faces turn a little sour at the mention of changelings as Celestia continued.
“Tak, what you have done by simply being friendly to ponies and accepting them as your friends, you have single handedly started of a chain of events that could one day bring true peace to all creatures on the planet. No long would ponies look at other races and feel fear or disgust!”
Everyone looked at Celestia as she now stood where she was originally lying down, her head looking up with a look of determination on her face and a hoof on her heart. Luna gently coughed into her hoof as Celestia shook herself out of her stand and then laid back down, blushing a little.
“What my sister is trying to say, Tak, is that this is the start of something that can change how ponies and other races see things,” Luna said.
Celestia meekley nodded and gave a sheepish smile.
“Well… Tak’s on board!” Tak grinned as he stood up, using Fluttershy’s body for support as he looked up at the two alicorns with determination.
Princess Celestia looked at the clock that rested on Twilight's shelf and clapped her hooves gently together and smiled, “Well then. That concludes everything I think. Luna and I shall return to Canterlot, are you sure you’re okay with the tasks given to you, Fluttershy and Tak?”
“Of course, Princess. We won’t let you down!” Fluttershy replied.
Tak gave the alicorn a toothy grin and propped his thumb up, “Tak will easily conquer this quest!”
Celestia smiled as she gently patted the kobold’s head with her wing, “Good, I look forward to our next meeting, little kobold.”
The meeting had carried on for another hour or so after Miss Cheerilee had left, with things such as further ideas and daily routines being discussed as well as a possible trip to Canterlot in the near future. Celestia and Luna got up before the the white alicorn turned to address Twilight, “Twilight, can I count on you to keep a record of how well Tak does? Let me know of any issues or whatever comes up?”
“Yes, Princess!” Twilight replied gleefully.
Smiling, the alicorn nodded and was about to cast a spell when she felt a tug on her leg. Looking down, she saw Tak looking up at her with a curious look on his face.
“What can I do for you, Tak?” the princess asked.
“Can… can Tak look in your mane too?” Tak asked as he held his tail and shyly wringed it.
Celestia couldn’t help but giggle and leant her head down to be level with the kobold’s, “Of course, Tak.”
Tak ‘s tail wagged wildly behind him as he grinned and stuck his head into Celestia’s mane. Fluttershy and the others watched with joyful expressions as Tak’s tail flicked about in random patterns before it went rigid and he pulled back, his eyes wide and his expression locked in a large grin.
“What did you see, Tak?” Fluttershy asked.
“Tak saw many, many cakes.” the kobold replied as he fell onto his rump, still grinning madly, “Tak wants cake.”
Rainbow and Applejack held down Pinkie before the mare could leap up and summon up some cake for the kobold, each mare giving the pink pony a look of ‘wait till they are done talking’. Celestia giggled as she raised her head back up and smiled.
“Now that the important business is concluded, I think it’s time for Tak to go and meet his classmates.”
“Sister,” Luna suddenly asked, “would it be better if everyday Tak sent you a report on how he was doing? Including what he did that day?”
“That’s a good idea, Luna,” Celestia replied before she turned to Twilight and Fluttershy, “is that okay?”
“Of course,” Twilight replied, “Spike and I don’t mind sending them to you once Tak’s done them.”
“And I don’t mind helping Tak, either,” Fluttershy added.
Tak looked between the two mares, not entirely sure what a report was. But they seemed happy about it so it must be something good.
“Very well then, we look forward to hearing from you. Take care.”
As everyone bowed to the Princess, the guards took positions around the two before both Celestia and Luna’s horns began to glow with their magic. In a bright flash, both alicorns and their guards had teleported leaving the elements and Tak by themselves.
“Right then,” Twilight said, breaking the silence. “I need to prepare myself and get ready to catalog Tak’s daily updates.”
Rainbow stretched and popped her wings a little bit, “I need to go and get some air time, so I’ll catch you guys later!”
The rainbow mare quickly zipped out of one of the windows as Applejack stretched her limbs and headed for the door.
“Ah still got one or two things to do at the farm before ah gotta pick up Applebloom, should see ya there later, eh, Tak?”
Tak tilted his head, not sure what the mare meant. Applejack was soon joined by Rarity who had to leave to do some work on a couple of orders before she too had to go and pick up Sweetie Belle, the fashion mare being followed closely by Pinkie. But not before she had slipped a small cupcake beside Tak without the kobold noticing.
Fluttershy giggled as she watched Tak do a double take between the cupcake and the pink mare before nudging him with her nose, “Well, sweetie. Let’s head over to the school so you can introduce yourself. Then we can stop by some of the shops and get you some equipment.”
“You mean like a new metal bit for my spear?!” Tak asked excitedly.
“No, silly. Like notebooks,” Fluttershy replied, stifling another giggle.
“Oh, okay,” Tak replied as he started to eat the cupcake.
Fluttershy lowered herself a little so Tak could clamber onto her back before the two said their goodbyes to Twilight and headed out into Ponyville, making a beeline for the schoolhouse. About three minutes into the ride, Tak licked his lips of the frosting covering his mouth before her wrapped his arms around Fluttershy’s neck tightly.
“So… will Tak be okay?”
“Of course, sweetie. Why do you ask?”
“You know why, mother! Tak is different!”
Fluttershy held back the urge to pick the kobold up and snuggle the living daylight out of him as he called her mother, “I know, sweetie, I know. But you’ll have your friends you made at the party, and Miss cheerilee is one of the nicest mares you will ever know. You can talk to her about any problems you run into.”
“Okay, that sounds fine.” Tak replied with a nod of his head.
The two carried on through the town in relative silence, Fluttershy occasionally greeting a passer by until the two reached the gates of the school.
“Okay, Tak. Do you want me to come in with you?”
The kobold nervously nodded as he got off the pegasus, “Tak would l-like that.”
Fluttershy smiled as they approached the building’s door. The kobold could hear a lively chatter coming from within the building and brought his tail round to hold onto nervously. Fluttershy gently knocked on the door and waited patiently. Tak could hear the chatter die down as someone shushed the other voices before he heard the tell tale sounds of hooves making their way closer to the door. The door opened and Miss Cheerilee appeared in the doorway, smiling down at the two.
“Oh, hello you two! I was wondering when you’d turn up.” she tittered, “Just give me a moment.”
Tak watched as the mare disappeared back into the building and heard her address the class.
“Okay, everypony. Our new student has arrived and I want you all to make him feel welcome, okay?”
“Yes, Miss cheerilee,” the class responded as the earth pony made her way back to the door.
“Okay, Tak. Would you like to come inside?”
Tak shook on the spot as he nervously bit his lower lip and peered into the building, getting his first glimpse of the class. He ducked back when one of the fillies saw him and let out an excited gasp before he looked up to Fluttershy.
“You’ll come in there with Tak, right?” Tak asked her.
Fluttershy nuzzled his head softly, “Of course. But I won’t be able to stay tomorrow though.”
Tak swallowed a lump in his throat as he nodded slowly, “O-Okay…”
“It’ll be fine, Tak,” cheerilee reassured him, “everypony who starts school gets nervous on the first day. And tomorrow, we have something fun planned.”
Again, the kobold nodded as he felt Fluttershy gently scoot him into the building. Following Miss Cheerilee, Tak made his way into the classroom and was greeted by excited chatter.
“Okay, everypony. Simmer down. This is our new classmate and I know, some of you already have met him but I’d like you all to welcome Tak to our class!”
Tak waved shyly as he offered a nervous smile. He was greeted by a mixture of greetings as he felt his confidence rise, especially spying Scootaloo and some of the other foals he had made a friend of. However, he felt his body goa little cold as his eyes met with the angry and hate filled glare that came from Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. He growled softly as he glared right back at the two fillies, something that was not missed by Cheerilee.
“Anyway, does everypony know what Tak is?”
“A kobold!” Scootaloo answered.
“Correct, nice of you too actually participate in a question, Scootaloo,” Cheerilee replied.
The class giggled as Scootaloo scrunched up her face and grumbled before the mare continued.
“As you know, Tak is staying with Fluttershy, and as a part of his learning experience of how we as ponies live our daily lives. He has volunteered to join our class so he may better his knowledge of our culture, and us of how kobolds live.”
“He actually volunteered to go to school?” Rumble called out, gaining a round of gigglesfrom his classmates including Miss cheerilee/
“Very funny, Rumble. But you know what else is?” she asked.
Rumble shrugged his shoulders as Miss cheerilee smiled sweetly at him.
“Eraser cleaning duties, which you’ve just earned.”
The class laughed as Rumble let out a groan of frustration, sticking his tongue out at some of the other colts as they teased their friend.
“Anyway,” Cheerilee said as she turned to Tak, “Is there anything you’d like to say, Tak?”
“T-Tak just wants to say Tak is… looking forward?” he questioned, looking to Fluttershy to see if he had phrased it correctly and received a nod in reply before he continued, “to g-getting to know you guys better and to learn stuff.”
“Why do you speak like that?”
Everyone turned to look at the one who spoke, Diamond Tiara, who was looking at the kobold with a condescending sneer.
“Diamond!” Cheerilee scowled, “Don’t be so—”
“It’s okay, teacher pony,” Tak interrupted as he glared at the filly, “Tak isn’t so easily hurt by words, Tak’s had much worse than that!”
Miss Cheerilee went to correct him, but a gentle nudge from Fluttershy, giving her a 'I'll explain it to him later' look on her face stopped her as one of the colts from the classroom called out.
“Like what?” Button Mash replied, tilting his head in curiosity.
Before Fluttershy and Miss cheerilee could respond, Tak had leapt onto the earth mare’s desk and smirked at the class as he lifted his shirt up and pointed to several large scars that covered his torso. Fluttershy held back a gasp, seeing the marks for the first time.
“See that?” he asked as the class nodded, their eyes wide in awe, “Tak got these defending his clan’s village from a big dog attack!”
“Course they are!” Tak replied, “Big dogs fight in packs and are huge with sharp fangs and claws, they’re bigger than ponies!”
“Do you mean, wolves?” Featherweight asked.
“Tak has heard big dogs get called that, yes.” Tak replied.
“You fought wolves?!” Pinchy gasped.
Tak nodded, “That’s right, it was a few years ago. Tak was only ten years old when it happened.”
“Only ten?!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed.
“That’s right,” Tak grinned.
“Can you tell us?” Pipsqueak asked.
Tak looked around the class who were all looking at him eagerly, their eyes wide and attention solely fixed on the little kobold. Tak could feel a feeling of smugness fill him as his confidence beat his initial shyness into the dirt.
“Okay, class. Maybe Tak can tell us next time. We really should—” Miss Cheerilee was interrupted by Tak as the kobold began his tale.
“It was dark,” Tak began, squatting a little as he kept his eyes moving around the room, making sure each colt and filly got a look at him, “Tak had just come back from a hunting party with our prey, a great feast of a bighorner!”
“Bighorner?” a colt asked.
“Large, grey monsters with a big horn on their face!” Tak replied. “Bighorners!”
The class varied in reaction times as they worked out Tak was referring to a rhinoceros as he continued.
“But Tak reckons that the smell of Tak’s clan’s prey caught the attention of the big dogs, drawing them out into surrounding us!”
The class stared in awe as Take picked up a meter ruler that Cheerilee used for lectures.
“Tak and his brothers formed a circle as the big dogs attacked!” He continued, using the ruler as a weapon, ducking and dodging invisible strikes. “We tried to stand together, but there was just too many!”
Fluttershy looked to Cheerilee, unsure if they should intervene. However, cheerilee’s expression told the mare that they should let Tak continue talking.
“Then what happened?” Applebloom asked.
“Though we were outnumbered, Tak’s brothers used their smallness to get an advantage!”
“And you?” Snails asked.
“At first, Tak was terrified, but somehow Tak found his courage and was able to join in the attack. But admittedly Tak didn’t last long.”
What do you mean?” Sweetie Belle asked him.
Tak smirked, “Tak charged at a wolf and plunged Tak’s spear into its chest! Tak still remembers how he felt when the blood spurted out and landed on Tak’s face! But Tak was immediately hit by its paw as it tried to get Tak away from it, sending Tak into a nearby tree and causing Tak to go to not only break Tak’s arm, but Tak fell asleep immediately,” Tak looked around before he pointed at his wounds again, “When Tak woke up, he found the wolf's claws had scared him and the wolf was dead. So were most of Tak’s brothers, the big dogs having ripped some of them apart. But the important thing was that Tak’s clan’s prey was safe and the few of us that were left!”
Tak grinned proudly as he rested his hands on his hips, looking around at the faces of the class.
“Tak later found out that Tak’s clan came to give reinforcements. And our numbers were greater than the big dogs so we won! We claimed not only the bighorner but we got a few new fur pelts for our houses. Not to mention all the tasty meat from the big dogs!”
As he looked around the room, he took in the different expressions they all had. Some, mainly the colts and a his friends, looked at him with wide eyes filled with awe. Others, simply looked at the little kobold with their jaws dropped, shocked at what happened in his story. The remainder of the class, most notably Silver Spoon and Diamond Tiara, had gre faces and were trying their hardest to not vomit. Tak tilted his head, confused to their reactions as Miss cheerilee, who had been silent with shock during the last portion of Tak’s tale, coughed into her hoof.
“W-Well, uh… thank you for that, Tak. That was… well, something.” Cheerilee said.
“Tak has more stories he can tell! Like the time Tak nearly got eaten by—”
“I think that’s enough for today, sweetie,” Fluttershy interrupted, ushering Tak off the desk.
“Anyway…” cheerilee said, coughing into her hoof, “As I was saying, Tak will be joining us tomorrow as a student so I want all of you to make him feel welcome and to help him out.”
Cheerilee smiled down to the kobold, “We’ll see you tomorrow then, Tak.”
“Tak can’t wait!” the kobold grinned as he walked out the door with Fluttershy, waving to the class who were waving back to him.
“Let’s go get you some school supplies, sweetie,” Fluttershy smiled as Tak clambered onto her back.
“Okay, everypony. Back to our lesson! Please turn to page three hundred and ninety four and we can carry on.” Cheerilee said.
As the the sounds of books being moved and opened filled the class, Diamond Tiara scowled and turned to Silver Spoon, the grey filly sharing the same look of annoyance and disgust on her face.
“I am not going to be in the same room as that thing,” she sneered.
“But what can we do about it?” Silver asked.
Diamond grinned wickedly as she pulled out her book, “Leave that, to me…”
“Fluttershy,” Rainbow Dash said, her voice carrying an hint of irritation on it, “He’s going to be late!”
“I know, I know!” Fluttershy replied, “but, but he just look so adorable! I need to take more pictures!”
“Yes! All the pictures!” Rarity added with a demented giggle.
“Oh lord…” Applejack mumbled as she facehoofed herself.
Tak blinked in confusion as he was kobold-handled by Fluttershy and Rarity, the two mares moving him about before taking pictures, with him wearing his replica daring do outfit and newly acquired brown backpack which just about fit the kobold, with a strange device he quickly learned was called a camera.
However, he preferred to keep referring to it as the flashy box.
As the two were doing this, Applejack and Rainbow Dash stood to one side clearly not amused by their friends antics as the blue mare kept looking back between the clock on the wall and her friends.
“Oh, I know! Let’s get one of him on your back, Fluttershy!” Rarity exclaimed.
“Oh my, yes!” Fluttershy happily agreed with a giggle as she pulled the kobold up onto her back.
As Tak’s eyes blinked rapidly from the flash of the camera for what seemed to be like the fifteenth time that morning, Rainbow Dash let out a very irritated groan
“For crying out loud, Rarity!”
Applejack, although equally annoyed as Rainbow Dash, couldn’t help chortle under her breath at the irritated pegasus.
“Ya know, Dash. Ah find it pretty amusing that you of all ponies are gettin’ frustrated at being late. Yer always late for anything that requires work.”
Rainbow Dash shot her friend a glare before snorting, “Well, yeah. But I don’t want the lil guy to be late! He’s gotta show up in his awesome Daring Do outfit and strut his awesome self and show his classmates he is just… well, awesome!”
“Uhuh,” Applejack replied.
Meanwhile, by the front door to Fluttershy’s cottage, the cutie mark crusaders sat impatiently as they watched their siblings bicker and chat away with their own expressions of irritation.
“Ah hate to say it, but Rainbow is right,” Applebloom said, “we are gunna be late at this point.
The other two nodded as Tak staggered over to them rubbing his eyes as he groaned loudly.
“Stupid flashy box is hurting Tak’s eyes!” he grumbled.
Scootaloo snickered and wrapped pulled the kobold into a one sided hug and noggied his scaly head, “You’ll get over it soon. So, you ready for your first day of school?”
Tak pushed the filly away as he let out a soft bark of protest, causing the girls to giggle, “Tak is ready for anything!”
The kobold grinned as he put his hands on his hips before turning to look back at Fluttershy and the others.
“Oh come now, Rainbow!” Rarity said, “Fluttershy is only ever going to get one chance to document little Tak’s first day of pony school!”
“Or, ya just want to take photos of him in your clothing, Rarity,” Applejack replied as Rainbow Nodded in agreement.
“Oh come now, girls. Do we have to argue? Can’t we just agree my little Tak looks so adorable?” Fluttershy asked.
“You two are just, URGH!” Rainbow groaned.
Tak looked back to the three fillies and rolled his eyes, “You know, that is, till these four stop their talking.”
“Hey, Applejack! We’re gunna be late!” Applebloom yelled, bringing a hoof to the side of her mouth.
He shout was ignored by Applejack and the other three as they continued to bicker amongst each other.
“Hey, Rarity!” Sweetie Belle chimed in, trying to get the unicorn’s attention. “Come on, let’s go already!”
Again, just like Applebloom the filly was ignored by her siste. Scootaloo let out a low groan, knowing full well there was no point in trying to get Rainbow Dash’s attention knowing full well that once the pegasus was in an argument there was little one could do to get her out of out it.
“Guys, I think we should just go. Not like we don’t know the way or anything,” Scootaloo suggested.
“I’d rather not be late,” Sweetie Belle added. “Again…”
Applebloom nodded in agreement, “Yeah, would look bad fer Tak if he was late. Come on, guys.”
Tak watched as the three left the building one after the other before he shot a glance over to the mares and back to the front door. He stood there for a moment, seemingly contemplating weather or not he should follow the three fillies.
“Come on, Tak!” Scootaloo called from the outside.
The kobold blinked before he turned to the group and offered a meek wave, despite none of them paying him any attention, and picked up the small blue lunchbox Fluttershy had prepared for him that was waiting by the front door.
“Well… bye bye, see you after school.”
And with that, The kobold exited the house and closed the door, leaving the four mares still bickering away with one another.
They day was starting to get into its full swing in the early morning as the residents of Ponyville began their daily routines. The market stall owners were reading up their wares ready to begin selling as fillies and colts walked with their parents down the main road of Ponyville heading towards the school building.
The three crusaders walked over the bridge that lead from the town’s market place towards Fluttershy’s home and the Everfree forest and stopped as they noticed that Tak wasn’t beside them. Scootaloo looked back to see him standing in the middle of the bridge looking a little nervous as his eyes darted from the marketplace towards where they had come from.
“You okay, bud?” Scootaloo asked.
“Y-Yeah, just… a little nervous,” Tak said softly as he slowly approached them.
“It’ll pass,” Sweetie Belle said with a smile, “just stick with us and the others today and you’ll be fine. We promise!”
Tak smiled as both Applebloom and Scootaloo nodded in agreement, “Thanks, Tak really is lucky to have friends like you!”
“Well, that’s what friends do, stick together and help each other!” Scootaloo replied, “And crusaders will be there for each other even honorary ones like—”
Scootaloo was quickly silenced as both Sweetie Belle and Applebloom rushed at her and pressed their hooves into Scootaloo’s mouth, earning a confused and muffled protest from the pegasus filly.
“Shh! It’s ah surprise!” Applebloom whispered at Scootaloo through clenched teeth.
Scootaloo pushed their hooves away and rubbed the back of her head sheepishly, “Oh yeah… sorry, I forgot.”
“Forgot what? Tak is confused.” Tak asked, tiling his head.
“Oh nothing, nothing. Just some crusader stuff, don’t worry about it.” Sweetie Belle replied.
The kobold stared at the three who did their best, and subsequently failed at giving an innocent grin to the kobold. Thankfully, Tak didn’t think anything of it and merely shrugged.
“Alright then, whatever.”
The three crusaders let out a sigh of relief as the four began to make their way down the road and towards the school.
As they walked, they received various different looks and greetings from ponies they passed by. Some like Red Balaton, the mare who ran the cherry and other types of fruits stand, gave the four a cheery greeting and wished Tak good luck on his first day of official pony kobold relations. This confused the kobold but he was soon informed that more often than not in a small town such as Ponyville, word and gossip gets around at a ridiculously fast rate.
However, some such as the three flower ponies eyed Tak with some degree of suspicion whilst others muttered under their breath as they watched carefully as the four walked by them. The crusaders felt uncomfortable under the gazes of the ponies that watched them walk by, feeling their eyes lock onto them as if they had committed a huge crime, but Tak didn’t seem to care too much. He had often seen ponies glaring at him during raids when he was with his clan so he was somewhat used to it.
Though, he was curious as to some of the words they used to describe him were. The kobold decided he would ask Fluttershy later on in the evening.
Soon enough, the school house came into view and already a mass of fillies and colts had gathered in the playground enjoying themselves before the first bell of the day rang out. The parents of the foals stood just outside, milling around and chatting to one another as the four approached. Just like in the marketplace, they were greeted by different expressions, however, unlike the market there seemed to be less negative looking expressions.
“Y’all see the others?” Applebloom asked.
Scootaloo squinted her eyes before she laid them upon where the group's other friends were, playing on the metal jungle gym and pointed with a hoof, “Found ‘em!”
Tak followed her hoof and smiled as he spotted Pipsqueak and the other friends he had made playing near the weird looking metal bar contraption and started to wag his tail. The four were about to pass through the gates when they heard the voice of a certain filly they all despised.
“See! I told you, mother! They are letting that thing into the school!”
They turned around to see Diamond Tiara with Silver Spoon nearby. Beside them was a mare with an exquisite mane and a string of shiny pearls around her neck, also sneering in utter disgust down at the group.
“Good, grief!” the mare exclaimed, “So it is true, they are letting little monsters into our schools!”
The three fillies glared at the mare and Diamond, recognizing her immediately as the aforementioned fillies’ mother. Unlike her father, Filthy Rich, who at most times was a pleasant enough stallion to be around, Diamond’s mother Spoilt Rich was another matter entirely. Spoilt by name and by nature,the mare was snobbish and stuck up and would always look down at everyone.
Tak swallowed a lump in his throat and did everything in his power to stop his small frame shaking. For some reason, this mare was giving off a bad feeling and every instinct in his body was telling Tak to be cautious or to run away. Either way, the kobold knew this mare was bad news.
“First my daughter must associate with these blank flanks. Now monsters?! I won’t allow this! Miss Cheerilee!” Spoilt all but barked.
From near the schoolhouse, Miss Cheerilee trotted over, struggling to show her irritation at having to speak with Spoilt Rich by faking a smile.
“Yes, what’s the matter, Mrs Rich?” she asked her.
“Just why are you allowing this creature, this freak!” she pointed a hoof at Tak, who shrunk a little as she did, “Into my daughter’s school?!”
“Well, Tak here is helping improve the relations between ponies and kobolds by—”
“Relations?!” Spoilt interrupted with an angry sneer, “Have you lost your common sense you stupid mare! It’s a monster! It has no place amongst the civilized world of ponies. Especially not in a place where fillies and colts are! Who knows what that freakish lizard will do to them!”
Much to Miss Cheerilee’s horror, some of the mares and stallions in the crowd muttered their agreements with Spoilt Rich, causing her to glare into the crowd around her. Tak swallowed a lump in his throat as he looked around him. He didn’t care what the fillies and colts would say to him as he had learned from Fluttershy that they were still learning how they should behave, this a fact proven that he had made friends with several of the fillies and colts.
However, something about the voice of this mare made him a very uneasy, feeling his body go cold and shake slightly as the mare pointed at him, shooting him a sneering glare every so often.
“You will never have a place in pony society, not whilst sensible level headed individuals like myself have anything to say about it you little vermin!”
Tak felt his eyes well up a little as his body shook. Her glare made his heart sink and his body go numb as if a snake had injected its venom into him. He instantly knew that unlike with Pinkie, this mare was evil, and nothing good came from her. For the kobold, he felt true fear as she glared down at him
“F-Fluttershy and her friends a-accept Tak…” Tak whispered, finding his voice.
Spoilt scoffed, “I hardly think so!”
“Yeah!” Diamond added.
“You are most likely just a little play thing to that pink haired coward,” Spoilt continued.
Despite everything that had happened up to that point, Fluttershy saving his life and taking him under her wing. Making friends with the crusaders and the other amres as well as some of the fillies and colts at the school. There was something about the words Spoilt said, the way she said them stabbed into Tak like a knife and he choked back a sob.
Her words were literal poison and were successfully sinking in and taking a hold of the kobold and he started to doubt everything, even with the evidence contradicting what the mare was spewing. Were they just mucking about with him? Tak knew that his kind wasn’t as clever as others, going from what little he had already seen of pony society, so for all he knew Spoilt could be right.
“S-Stop it…” he mumbled, wringing his hands together as he looked down on the verge of crying.
Spoilt leant down till she was nearly pressing her nose to his snout, her eyes perceiving directly into Tak’s with an ice cold glare that send his body numb.
“You will never be accepted.” she said coldly.
“Hey! Leave him alone!” Scootaloo shouted at Spoilt, getting in between her and Tak along with the other two crusaders, “You’re scaring him!”
“I’m scaring him?!” she scoffed, “Look at him, he’s a damn abomination! You should be the one scared of him, you silly little blank flank filly!”
Scootaloo glared at the mare with gritted teeth as Diamond Tiara held back a snicker from behind her mother. Miss Cheerilee gasped and angrily stomped up to Spoilt Rich coming face to face to her, much to the mare’s surprize.
“Mrs. Rich!” the teacher all but snarled, “How dare you call a filly that word! You are supposed to set an example to the young ones, not insult and degrade them like that! Why in all my years of teaching I have never seen such disgusting behaviour from a grown mare, you should be ashamed of yourself! And how dare you talk to Tak that way! Just because he is different—”
Spoilt Rich merely sniffed as she tilted her head up and interrupted the teacher, “Honestly, Miss Cheerilee. The little brats need to hear the truth about how the world sees them sooner or later, I’m just helping them.”
Miss Cheerilee flayed her ears back in anger and utter shock. “Mrs Rich—!”
“Enough!” Spoilt Rich interrupted her again, “I have made up my mind, as long as you dare entertain the idea that this freakish lizard attends here I will pull out all of my funding to your school and send my daughter to a proper, highly classed school for her education.”
Miss Cheerilee gritted her teeth in anger as she glared at the mare. As much as she hated to admit it, the rich family's wealth did help a major amount for the school and losing it would be a massive blow to her. However, she knew she had to do.
“Then take your filthy money, we can find funding elsewhere!” the teacher replied as she sneered at the mare, “I will not abandoning my principles of teaching anypony or kobold who wishes to learn here!”
Around her, the crowd of fillies and colts cheered along with a vast majority of mares and stallions as Spoilt Rich looked around her in shock. The rich mare snorted as she glared at the teacher who did her best not to shrink under the rich mare’s gaze.
“Why I never—!”
“What’s going on here?”
Spoilt and Cheerilee looked to their side to see Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash approaching her, each mare sharing a look of irritation which Spoilt equally returned as the four mares entered the circle the crowd had formed, snorting as she glared at them.
“Oh, I can’t wait to take some photos of him going into his class for the first time!”
“Maybe tone down the pics, Flutters. Don’t wanna embarrass the lil guy,” Rainbow snicekred.
Fluttershy blushed but giggled in a silly way as the four made their way through the market towards the school talking to one another. A short while after Tak and the crusaders had left Fluttershy’s cottage, the mares had realized they had gone and quickly followed after them, quickly making their way through the marketplace and towards the school house. It didn’t take long before they arrived at the building only to see a crowd of ponies gathering around something that was going on.
As they got closer and closer, they could hear two distinct voices raised at one another. One belonged to their friend Miss Cheerilee and the other to a pony they all knew too well and hated. Spoiled Rich.
“Enough! I have made up my mind, as long as you dare entertain the idea that this freakish lizard attends here I will pull out all of my funding to your school and send my daughter to a proper, highly classed school for her education.”
Fluttershy gasped, instantly knowing that the mare was clearly talking about Tak, as did the other three. They quickened their pace, gently pushing past the crowd as Cheerilee responded to Spoiled’s remark.
“Then take your filthy money, we can find funding elsewhere!” the teacher replied as she sneered at the mare, “I will not abandoning my principles of teaching anypony or kobold who wishes to learn here!”
As the crowd cheered around them, Spoiled glared angrily at Miss Cheerilee.
“Why I never—!”
“What’s goin on here?” Applejack asked as she and the other three entered the middle of the crowd.
Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity looked visibly irritated to see that it was Spoiled Rich who was in the centre of the commotion. Fluttershy, however looked eerily calm with a neutral expression on her face as they approached,.
“Nothing that concerns you, farm—You!”
Spoiled snarled as she stomped up to Fluttershy who was taken by surprise by the mare’s sudden movements and her ears flat and her eyes went wide as she shrunk a little, the rich mare’s sudden gaze and attention on her somewhat intimidating her..
“I demand to know just why you insist on that little lizard monster be in the classroom! Let alone keep it!”
“W-Well, my little T-Tak is,” Fluttershy swallowed a lump in her throat as she slowly found her courage, “is helping the relation between the kobolds and ponies, with the blessing of the Princess’ and—”
“T-The Princess’ approved of this mind boggling nonsense?!” Spoiled spluttered out in disbelief,
“Rubbish! Utter nonsense! I have never in all my days heard the most ridiculous thing ever. The Princess’ would never allow something like this!”
“Well, sorry to break it to you, lady. But they did, so get over it!” Dash replied.
Spoiled snorted as she turned her head away, “I still don’t believe you, the day the Princess’ allow a horrible monster into our society is the day I become ruler of Tartarus!”
“Didn’t that already happen?” Applejack replied with a smirk.
Spoiled snarled at the apple farmer as the crowd snickered at the remark, Dash barely containing her laughter as Rarity’s lip wobbled as she refrained from joining in. Spoiled looked around at the crowd instantly silencing them before she turned her attention back to the mares.
“Now you listen here! I don’t give a flying flitter that you are friends with the Princess’ irritating student. I will not stand for this and neither will others! I will not rest till that freak is thrown back to its own disgusting kind!”
Fluttershy gritted her teeth as she felt her body shake a little, not with fear, but with anger as Spoiled Rich spoke. A strange sound rang through her ears as she started to see red in her vision. She was about to speak when Applejack took a step forward to address Spoiled.
Everyone looked around to see that the kobold somehow managed to slip away and vanish during the commotion without anyone noticing. As the crowd muttered and began to look around them to try and see him, Fluttershy’s ears laid flat on the back of her head as she bit her lip.
“Oh no…” she whispered, about to take flight to try and find him.
“Good,” Spoiled Rich sneered, “Hopefully the little abomination has run away back to its own vermin like a good little freak.”
“Why I oughta!” Applejack growled as she and Rainbow Dash made a move towards the rich Mare.
Miss cheerilee, Rarity and some of the crowd were about to speak when there was a loud and sudden smack followed by a scream of pain as the body of Spoil Rich felt to the floor hard and gasped as she held her hoof to her face, looking at it confused as a few droplets of blood ran down her nose.
Applejack ,Rainbow Dash, Rarity and the others all stared with open mouths as Fluttershy stood above the rich mare panting fiercely with her hoof in the air and visibly shaking, her eyes filled with rage as she glared down at the mare, finally having had enough of the rich mare’s insulting attitude.
“Don’t you dare call my Tak an abomination! You hear me?! You so much as ever come near us again so help me I will make you wish you were in Tartarus!”
“How dare you, you—!”
Spoiled was interrupted as she felt her eyes shrink to pin pricks as she was met with the terrifying staring eyes of Fluttershy looking down at her. Her body went ice cold as she felt herself clam up as her body trembled a little.
“What? What were you going to say? Huh?!” Fluttershy continued as she brought her face close to Spoiled’s, “Finish your sentence, I dare you…”
Spoiled swallowed a lump that had formed in her throat, she tried to speak but the words wouldn’t come as she continued to cower slightly under Fluttershy’s stare. Fluttershy was about to speak again when she felt a hoof on her back and looked out the corner of her eye to see Dash beside her.
“Flutters? T-That’s enough… she isn’t worth it,” Rainbow Dash said.
The mare noticed that Rainbow Dash was looking at her with a seriously concerned look, as were Rarity and Applejack and other ponies in the crowd. Some of them looked shocked and a couple seemed to show some small look of fear. Fluttershy panted softly as she took all the faces in before she looked at her own hoof and then back down to Spoiled who was still in a state of utter shock.
With a soft gasp, Fluttershy went to try and help the mare to her hooves. “O-Oh my gosh! I-I’m so sorry, I don’t know what—!”
“G-Get your filthy hooves off me, you animal!” Spoiled shrieked in rage as she got to her hooves herself, “You will regret laying a hoof on me you, you brute!”
Fluttershy winced as the mare stormed past her and made her way through the crowd leaving the ponies to mutter to one another.
“Mother…?” Diamond asked, the filly confused as to what had just happened.
Fluttershy looked around at the crowd who were looking at her with their mixed expressions and felt her heart racing before a hoof gently rested on her back. She looked to her side to see Applejack giving her a reassuring smile.
“Come on, Fluttershy… we need to go and find Tak.”
“Were coming too! Tak needs us,” Scootaloo spoke up.
“Alright, but stick with us alright?” Applejack replied, “We won’t be too long, Miss Cheerilee. You understand?
The teacher blinked and shook her head out of her shock as she realized she was being spoken to, “T-That’s alright, I’ll get the others in the classroom and we will wait for you to come back.”
Fluttershy then took off into the sky followed closely by Rainbow Dash Rarity and Applejack as well as the three crusaders. As they left, Miss Cheerilee ushered the rest of the fillies and colts inside as she watched the mares leave.
Tak panted as he ran past one of the many houses before finally stopping as he leant against the wall. During the argument, the kobold had lost his nerve and had seen an opportunity to get away and had slipped through the distracted crowd he had slipped away from the crowd, getting away from the mare as fast as he could.
Tak put a clawed hand on his chest and felt his heart rapidly beat as sweat formed on his brow. The kobold had been on the receiving end of harsh words and hate filled glares from ponies, and other beings, beforehand during his time with his tribe. And each time he just shrugged it off or laughed alongside his brothers. Even when he attended his party, he was still able to shrug off some of the looks her was given, albeit he was still a little nervous and scared.
But with this mare, it was different. Tak was no stranger to fear, from the cokatrice to being in a new environment, he had experienced it a lot. But with Spoiled he truly felt afraid to the point he thought his life was in jeopardy.
You will never be accepted…
Tak hugged himself as he gritted his teeth and clenched his eyes tightly as the mare’s harsh words rang over and over in his head. Why did they hurt so much? He knew she was lying, she had to be. Everything pointed to that outcome.
But then why did a small part of him feel like she was telling the truth?
“Maybe… maybe scary pony was telling the truth?” Tak asked himself softly.
The kobold shook his head as he slumped down and held his head, “No! It has to be a lie! Why would they treat Tak like that if they didn’t care for Tak?!”
Tak felt some tears form in the corner of his eyes as he tried to force Spoiled Rich’s words out of his head, to remove the vision of her hatred filled eyes glaring down at him like he was nothing. So caught up in his head, he didn’t notice someone walking in front of him as he let out a strangled sob.
The kobold lifted his head to see Spike standing a few feet away, looking at him confused with a pile of books in his claws.
“What’re you doing over there? I thought you’d be super psyched to—” Spike stopped when he notrioced that Tak’s eyes were a little puffy and he had tears in the corners of his eyes. “Tak, you okay, bud?”
“T-Tak is fine,” he replied, wiping his eyes quickly and giving Spike a grin filled with fake confidence, quickly standing to his feet and putting his hands on his hips “Tak is just… playing a game! With Scootaloo and the others!”
Spike set the books down gently as he chuckled, “Dude, you’re a horrible liar, you know that right?”
Tak snorted as he looked away before he finally let out a long sigh and slumped down the wall a little, sniffling.
“Scary pony said things…”
“Scary pony?” Spike asked.
Tak nodded, “Other ponies called her Spoiled...”
“Ah, that scary pony,” Spike said faking a retching motion, “Not a fan of her. So, what did she say?”
Tak mumbled something as he looked away again, causing Spike to smile and shake his shoulder a little, “I may be an awesome dragon, but even I don’t have super hearing, Tak. Gotta speak up.”
The kobold refused to look at Spike. There was a moment of silence before the kobold felt the dragon’s hand on his shoulder and looked back a little to see Spike smiling softly at him.
“Talk to me, Tak.” the dragon said softly.
“She said stuff about Tak… about you guys.”
Tak sniffled as Spike wrapped his arm fully around the kobold and pulled him a bit closer.
“So what did she say exactly?”
There was a brief silence between the two before Tak spoke in a quiet, hushed tone. “She said Tak don’t belong… with you guys, that Tak is a freak and that… that m-mother doesn’t… doesn’t...”
Spike frowned as Tak held back a sob and pulled his knees up to his chest before he continued to talk.
“T-Tak’s heard mean things before from ponies captured back with Tak’s tribe, Tak’s even had threats and hate-filled looks given to Tak before, you know? But this pony… s-something just…”
Tak mumbled off as Spike rubbed his shoulder reassuringly.
“You know what, Tak?”
“Spoiled is talking out her flank.”
“W-what do you mean? Do ponies have another mouth out of their flanks?” Tak asked with a sniffle.
Spike chuckled and shook his head, “No, forget I said that. What I meant was, she’s just talking utter rubbish.”
Tak sniffed and looked up properly at the dragon as Spike continued.
“Me and the others and the guys you made friends with at the party. We all care about you, dude. Who cares if you’re different? I’m different as well remember?”
Tak nodded as Spike smiled.
“You’re going to get ponies that will look at you differently like Spoiled Rich. But hey, wanna know something?”
“What?” Tak asked.
“Ponies did the same to me when I first came to Ponyville with Twilight. Some still do.”
The kobold nodded as Spike continued.
“And you know what else?”
“What?” tak asked again with a sniffle.
“I don’t care. Because I have some of the greatest friends I never thought I would meet here in Ponyville. And even better still, I have a new best bro who is the basically the same as me!”
“Who’s that? Is there another dragon?” Tak asked him with a tilt of his head.
Spike laughed and shook his head, “I’m talking about you, Tak. We’re more than buds or cousins, we’re like brothers, you know?”
Tak sniffled and smiled as Spike smiled back.
“It’s still early days, Tak. But as early days go you have made some new friends who I know will always care for you. Me, Twilight the cutie mark crusaders and the others, we all care for you.”
Tak felt the corners of his mouth form into a small smile as he wiped his snout with his arm.
“And wanna know something?”
“Fluttershy doesn’t just care about you, she loves you. None of us have ever seen her act the way she does around with you. In a short few days you’ve made a massive impact on her life even more than Twilight did when she and the girls defeated Nightmare Moon. And it shows, Tak.”
Tak felt his smile grow larger as he looked to Spike who smiled back at him.
“So don’t ever think for a moment she doesn’t care about you because believe me she does and will always care for you. She adopted you for pete’s sake!”
Tak wiped his snout one more time before he grinned at the dragon, “Thanks… Spike.”
Spike returned the grin, “Don’t mention it, Tak. We are all here for you when you need us. And if anypony gives you more trouble, you send them to your bro Spike! I’ll soon set them straight!”
Tak laughed as Spike brought his fists up in a fisticuff manner and pretended to punch the air, as Spike continued to fight the air a voice above them caught their attention.
“I found him!”
They both looked up just as Rainbow Dash landed onto the ground soon being followed by Fluttershy.
“Oh, Tak. There you are!” Fluttershy exclaimed as she dashed over to him and scooped him up into her hooves. “My poor baby, are you alright?”
Tak smiled as Applejack, Rarity and the crusaders came round the corner and joined the group, “Tak is now. Spike made Tak feel better.”
Fluttershy smiled as Applejack, Rarity and the crusaders came round the corner and joined the group, “Thank you, Spike.”
“Ah, shucks. It was nothing, just looking out for my bro Tak.”
The mares smiles as the two reptilians gave one another a thumbs up.
“Well that was very good of you, Spikey,” Rarity cooed as she gently ruffled his spine, making him sigh happily.
The others snickered as Fluttershy placed the kobold down on the ground and smiled gently, “You ready to go back?”
Tak nodded as he grinned up at Fluttershy, “Tak is more than ready!”
“Come on then,” Fluttershy giggled as she let him climb onto her back, “Miss Cheerilee is waiting.”
As Fluttershy, Tak and the cutie mark crusaders began walking off in the direction of the school, Rarity, Applejack and Rainbow Dash looked to one another before speaking in a hushed tone.
“What was that about earlier?” Dash asked.
“Beats me, Dash… but ah think we need to inform Twi’ about this, ah’ve never seen Fluttershy act like that before, let alone hit a pony.” Applejack replied.
“I agree… that was not like her at all.” Rarity added.
“What was not like her?” Spike asked as he picked up his books, looking to the mares with a tilted head.
The three mares looked between one another before Rarity stepped forward with a warm smile and ruffled the spines on Spike’s head once more.
“Oh nothing, Spikey. Now be a good drake and run along now. I will be sure to tell Twilight just how good of a friend you were to Tak today,” Rarity replied.
Spike smiled goofily as he sighed happily and waddled away, humming happily to himself as the three mares began to walk after Fluttershy and the others.
Tak fidgeted on his chair, grumbling as he tried to get comfy on the slightly bigger than himself furniture. Beside him, he could hear Scootaloo and the other two crusaders snickering softly as he did so. Finally, for what the little kobold felt was an eternity, he finally got comfortable. His tail slunk downwards through the gap between the seat and back part of the chair. However, he now found a new problem.
Being a bit smaller than his fellow pony classmates, at least, from a width perspective. The kobold looked a lot smaller than he was compared to the large pony sized desk he was sitting at. This earned another round of snickering from his friends to which he simply stuck out his tongue as he pulled up his backpack and began to scramble inside it to take out his various bits of equipment.
Placing down his notebook and pencil case, Tak caught a whiff of his lunch inside its little tupperware lunchbox. The kobold’s stomach growled loudly as the delicious aroma of tuna and sweetcorn filled his nostrils. However, before he could even remotely eat the scrumptious food, he heard a delicate cough and looked up to see Miss Cheerilee giving him an amused smile.
“There’ll be plenty of time for lunch later, Tak. Right now, we have lessons to attend to.”
“Tak can’t have his food when he wants?” he asked.
“Afraid not, lunch is at twelve thirty, about two hours away.”
“T-Two hours? That’s like… two one hours!” Tak exclaimed with a shocked gasp.
The class erupted into a fit of giggles and snickers as Miss Cheerilee shook her head, but still smiled softly.
“That’s correct, Tak. Now, shall we get started?” she asked the class, “Can anypony tell me what we were talking about last lesson?”
Several hooves shot up into the air along with several demands for Cheerilee to pick them. The teacher pretending to struggle with her choice as she scanned the sea of stretched limbs before she settled on a small filly a couple rows ahead of Tak.
“We were learning about algebra!” the filly replied.
“Correct, Songflower. Now, everyone turn your books to page twenty-five and read through to page thirty-five. Tak, you are not required to read if you don’t want to, this lesson is more of an observation for you.” the mare began, “Your task is to note down your experiences in the classroom for today I’ve arranged for a tutoring programme with Twilight for you to help you quickly learn more about our lessons, she’ll be coming to pick you up after lunch. Okay?”
“Yes, teacher pony!” Tak replied enthusiastically.
“It’s, Miss Cheerilee, Tak,” Cheerilee said with a soft smile, “Little colts and fillies address their teachers by Miss or Mister, not their name. I thought Fluttershy explained this to you yesterday?”
“Mother did, Tak is sorry, Tak’s still getting used to remembering ponies names and stuff,” Tak apologized, rubbing the back of his head.
“That’s alright, Tak. There’s no harm done, now as I was saying—”
“Why are you called Miss Cheerilee, though?” Tak interrupted, tilting his head, “Tak doesn't call mother, Miss fluttershy. Or Purple—Tak means, Twilight.”
The classroom was filled with the murmurings of the foals and colts, confused as to why Tak was talking back to Miss Cheerilee like this. The teacher looked around and coughed into her hoof, getting the attention back of her class as she clearly tell he wasn’t trying to wind her up or heckle her, as some of her students did from time to time and was genuinely confused and curious as to their way of why someponies used titles.
“Well…” Cheerilee began, “firstly, please don't interrupt me when i’m speaking, that’s being a little rude.”
“Sorry,” Tak replied sincerely, smiling sheepishly.
“That’s okay,” the mare giggled softly before continuing, “I’ll try and explain it as simple as best I can. It’s simply a way to show respect.”
Tak nodded softly as he gasped softly and started to scribble inside of his notebook as the mare continued. For any pony looking, they would have difficulty reading his writing as he was only proficient in writing in his native tongue.
“But why do ponies not call each other miss or whatever? Why is it just to you?” Tak asked.
“The reason why most ponies you will notice, even ones my age or older, will call me Miss Cheerilee because it’s a form of respect for what I do. Teaching the younger generation to help them with their future.”
Tak nodded as he scribbled away some more, his tongue sticking out in concentration as Miss Cheerilee continued speaking to him.
“Most ponies respect one another regardless as is our society's way, and will now and again refer to them as Miss, Mrs, or Mister depending on whom they are addressing. But this doesn't mean that everypony does this all the time, though, as we as a society are very friendly towards one another for the majority of the time so most of the time we just don't use titles. But in some cases, such as myself for example, we do because it’s a show of respect for what they are doing.”
Tak stopped for a moment, rapping his chin with his pencil before tilting his head, “Then why does everyone call Pinkie’s guardians Mister and Mrs Cake? Do they teach colts and fillies?”
Miss Cheerilee sighed as the class snickered, this was going to be a bit more difficult to fully explain. She looked at the clock and gasped, noticing the time having gone much quicker than she had though.
“I’ll let Fluttershy explain it to you in better if you like, Tak. I’m afraid we’ve spent a bit too much time talking about this.”
“Alright… Tak’s still confused and finds it odd…” he replied as he propped his head on one of his hands.
“I think it’s odd you talk in third person,” Diamond Tiara sniffed snootily.
Some ponies snickered as Diamond Tiara hoof bumped Silver spoon, as the crusaders and Tak’s other friends gave Diamond
“Diamond!” Miss Cheerilee scolded. “Apologize at—”
“Tak talks like this because Tak was brought up differently,” Tak replied, interrupting Miss Cheerilee, “Just like how you were brought up to be a complete jerk!”
The class broke into louder snickers as Tak stuck his tongue out at the offended filly who’s face went a shade red with anger. Miss Cheerilee let out a low sigh before coughing loudly into her hoof, getting back the attention of the class
“Tak, there’s no need to respond to her rudeness with your own. Both of you need to understand that I will not be tolerating any kind of mean behaviour towards other classmates, now both of you apologise to one another this instant.”
“Sorry,” both of them mumbled out.
The mare let out a weary sigh, making a note to pass on what had happened to Fluttershy and Filthy Rich. She took a seat at her desk as she looked back at Tak and smiled softly, regaining her composure.
“As I was trying to say, everyone please turn to page twenty five and we shall begin.”
“Yes, Miss Cheerilee!” the class replied in unison.
“Miss Cheerilee?” Tak called out.
“Yes, Tak?” she replied.
“Can… can Tak have a go at this… ‘al-gee-brah’? Tak wants to fit in.”
There were a few snickers from the other students, including his friends who knew how this was going to turn out.
“I don’t know… it’s not exactly an easy thing to get right into. Especially seeing as how we are already a quarter of the way through…”
“Tak still wants to try!” Tak snapped, looking at the mare with an annoyed, yet determined expression.
Miss Cheerilee giggled softly, admiring the kobold’s enthusiasm, and decided that the kobold would not give up the idea so easily. Nodded, she walked over to Tak with a copy of the math textbook on her back and handed it to him. The kobold grinned, his tail wagging behind him as he opened it and turned to what he thought was page twenty five. Miss Cheerilee corrected it, turning it from page forty seven to twenty five.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you, Tak. You can stop at any time you want, though, and carry on with your observations.”
Tak grinned and nodded at her as she made her way back to the front of the classroom.
“What could possibly go wrong?” Tak asked himself.
Tak scanned the pages, desperately trying to take it all in. However, with each new line his tail wagging became slower and slower and his pupils shrank more and more. Eventually, he could feel his scales on his head dampen ever so slightly with sweat.
What in the name of the great monster lords is all this scribbles?!
“Tak? You okay, dude?” Rumble asked with a whisper as he leant over.
“U-Uhuh…” Tak replied, slowly turning to his friend and giving a very unconvincing thumbs up.
Rumble returned to his own book, as Miss Cheerilee scribbled some numbers on the black board before turning around and clearing her throat and smiling to the class.
“Okay class, who can tell me how to solve the equation, minus five x plus twenty equals twenty five?”
As some of the class eagerly tied to get her attention with their answers, and some of the others pondered for a moment. Tak stared at the board, his tail rigid, his eyes wide and pupils small as sweat ran down his head.
“Oh, globbits...” he softly whined.
The bell to the classroom rang loudly, letting every colt and filly know it was the best part of the day. Lunchtime. Miss Cheerilee looked up to the clock and smield as the classroom filled with excited chatter from the foals.
“Alright, class. Go outside and enjoy your lunch break, I’ll be out shortly once I finish up a few bits. Play nice!”
The last bit, she shot a glare towards Diamond, who seemed to not notice as the class rushed to get outside into the midday sun. The cutie mark crusaders were about to head out when a low groan of despair stopped them. They looked to where it had come from, to see Tak laying back on his chair with his head lolling behind it, his eyes rolling about.
“Tak? You okay buddy?” Scootaloo asked.
“Urrrrgh…” Tak groaned back.
Applebloom looked at Tak’s notebook where he had been writing down his observations. Despite the different language he had been using, there were clear signs illustrated helpfully by crude pictures, that Tak was utterly thrown by the algebra lesson.
“Is he okay?” Sweetie Belle asked.
Applebloom giggled, jabbing his book, “Ah think the lesson broke him.”
The other two snickered as Applebloom reached into Tak’s backpack and pulled out a sandwich, “Come on, Tak. Luuuuuunch~!”
Tak suddenly stopped groaning as he smelt the intoxicating aroma of the tuna in his sandwich and shot up quickly, filled with renewed vigor, “Tak is up! Tak is awake! Tak is hungry!”
The fillies giggled and ran out of the classroom with their own lunches and Tak’s lunch box, Sweetie Belle using her magic to hold the sandwich in the air.
“Come get it!” Sweetie Belle teased.
Tak let out an excited bark, his tail wagging as he lept to his feet and gave chase, ignoring the giggling coming from Miss Cheerilee as he ran outside with his arms and claws stretched out in a grabbing motion.
Eventually, the girls led him to a nice shady spot under a tree and stopped, giggling and panting as the kobold soon caught them and dived for his food. He stood up and held the breaded treat high in the air with one hand as a victorious grin formed on his face.
“Tak is victorious! Tak will now devour his reward!”
The fillies shook their head as the settled down to eat their own food. Sweetie Belle was about to eat her sandwich but stopped, watching Tak rip into his like a wild animal.
“Don’t kobolds have manners?” Sweetie asked.
Scootaloo shrugged, tearing into her own sandwich micking Tak,, “It’s just a sandwich, Sweets.”
Sweetie Belle was going to argue, but decided not to bother, “I guess so…”
“That looks like fun!” Applebloom snickered, “Let's pretend to be kobolds.”
“Weray ahmeadph oph oo” Scootaloo replied with her mouth full.
“Eww, Scootaloo! I can see what you’re eating, grooooss!” Sweetie Belle whined.
Scootaloo swallowed, “That so? Wanna see it close up?”
Sweetie Belle shrieked as Scootaloo took another big bite of her sandwich before opening her mouth and quickly leaned near her face, making Applebloom and Tak laugh loudly.
“Urgh, are you eating fish? That’s disgusting!”
“Yeah, only animals eat other animals!”
The four turned to see Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon looking at them with pure disgust, all four internally groaning.
“Go away, Diamond,” Scootaloo said with a glare.
“I shan’t, I have every right to go where I want to,” she replied with a sneer, “unlike that thing. Mother says it has no place in civilized society.”
“It should go back to the wild where it belongs.” Silver Spoon added.
All three crusaders gritted their teeth and glared angrily at the two fillies who had broke into a chorus of laughter.
“Just, get lost!” Applebloom shouted, “stop buggin’ us!”
“Or what, country girl?” Silver Spoon jeered, “You gunna make us?”
Applebloom growled as Silver Spoon mocked her accent, rising to her hooves along with her friends. She was about to speak when she noticed Tak was still sitting down, tail wagging and humming as he happily ate his food.
“Uh… Tak?” Scootaloo asked.
Diamond glared at the kobold, “Is it ignoring me?!”
“Mmmm tasty fish is best fish…” Tak mumbled as he swayed his body.
The three fillies exchanged looks as Diamond snorted and got closer to Tak.
“Hey! Freak!” she shouted, “I’m talking to you!”
Again, Tak ignored her, which only made the pink filly even more angry as she stomped the floor and walked right up to Tak and was nearly touching his snout. So caught up in her rage, she failed to notice Tak giving the crusaders a quick wink as his mouth formed into a smirk.
“Don’t ignore me! I am Diamond Tiara! I am your better! Don’t you dare—MMMPH!”
Diamond Tiara’s eyes when wide as Tak suddenly shoved half of his sandwich into her open mouth with an innocent smile.
“Diamond wants to try some fish? It’s good for you!” Tak smiled.
The filly screamed in horror, albeit it a muffled scream, as she frantically spart out the chunks of bread and meat, her eyes wide with fury as she snarled down at Tak, “I-I’m telling my mother about this you, you monster!”
Diamond turned around and ran back towards the classroom with Silver Spoon close behind her. The three fillies turned to look at Tak slowly, mouths agape as Tak let out a loud and satisfied belch.
“What?” Tak asked, tilting his head with a mischievous smile, “Pinkie told Tak that sharing is caring, isn’t it?”
There was a small pause before all four burst into laughter. Until, a loud call from the classroom caused them to immediately stop.
The group grimaced and slowly turned back to the building, seeing an unamused Miss Cheerilee standing beside a smug looking Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. The teach raised a hoof and beckoned Tak and the others to come over.
Miss Cheerilee sighed as she rubbed her eyes with her hooves. In front of her, sitting in chairs that were as far away as possible on opposite sides of the room, was Tak and Diamond Tiara. All the other foals had gone home, bar Tak and Diamond as they were in detention. A result of the spats they had with one another during lunch, right up until the last class of the day.
It had only been a few hours since Tak had shoved his fishy lunch into Diamond Tiara’s mouth, and since then the two had been at each other's throats during each class, with Miss Cheerilee having to stop the class in order to scold them.
During Equuish, Tak had thrown several spitballs at Diamond making her shriek like a banshee, during geography, Diamond had walked behind Tak and used her earth pony strength to pull Tak’s chair from under him. The two were even going at it more than Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon would have spats with the Cutie Mark Crusaders during classes, which was quite often.
Miss Cheerilee couldn’t believe it. The two had been so disruptive, and on Tak’s first proper day, that she had had enough.
The last straw was when she had only stepped out the room for a moment during art class to fetch something from the store room when she had returned to find the class at the back of the room and the entire room itself in a mess with desks and chairs strewn about.
Tak was sporting a, albeit badly done, makeover complete with lipstick, blush and eye shadow whilst Tiara was covered in types of different coloured paints and her mane was spiked into a punk mohawk. The two were slapping at each other with their hands and hooves whilst looking away, trying not to get hit in their own faces.
The class, needless to say, found it hilarious.
Miss Cheerilee, did not.
After the incident in art, she told them they would have to be held back after class for detention. She then rang both Fluttershy and Filthy Rich about what was going on and the two parents were currently on their way to speak with Miss Cheerilee, and the mare was hoping they could resolve the issue one way or another.
“Okay…” she started with a weary sigh, “I’m going to speak to you both, and I want you both to listen. Do not interrupt me at any point, please. When I'm done talking, then you can talk but only if I have asked you to, understood?”
The two didn’t acknowledge her or even move in their seats, remaining looking away from one another with their arms crossed and heads turned upwards. Miss Cheerilee’s left eye twitched as she stared at the pair and felt her patience very, very quickly fade away and be replaced by its angry cousin.
She brought her hoof up and slammed it as hard as she could, which being an earth pony, meant it cracked and sent a loud bang resonating throughout her classroom. Both Tak and Diamond Tiara leapt out of their seats, startled and quickly turned their attention to the teacher.
“I said,” Miss Cheerilee said again in a calm tone, “Understood?”
“Y-Yes, Ma’am!” the pair replied in unison.
The mare smiled, inhaled and exhaled as she nodded her head. “Very good.”
She paused for a moment, shuffling a few bits of paper on her desk before she addressed the two.
“It’s only been one, one day. And I am appalled by your behaviour. I have never in all my years of teaching, seen a pair go at it as quickly and as much as you too have. And over the most pointless things!”
She turned to look at Tak.
“Shoving food into her mouth, and throwing paints at her?”
Tak looked away slightly as Diamond Tiara snickered, before stopping as soon as Miss Cheerilee’s stern and irritated gaze fell upon her.
“Forcing makeup on him, and remove his chair with your earth pony strength?”
Tak grinned as Diamond looked over and glared daggers at him before both turned back to Miss Cheerilee as she once again banged her hoof on the desk, albeit not as hard, and glared at the pair of them.
“You both need to buck up your ideas and pretty soonish.” she said. “At this rate, I will have no choice but to exclude you both from our annual school trip to the Canterlot gardens next week!”
Diamond gasped softly. She loved the Canterlot gardens trip. She always loved travelling to the capital and seeing the sights, and each year her father would take her around the shops after the school trip had ended and there was no way on Equus she was going to miss out on the trip because of a lizard.
The filly glared daggers at Tak who had turned his attention to Miss Cheerilee and tilted his head on confusion.
“What’s a ‘school trip’?” he asked.
“Oh, that’s right. I forgot to tell you the other day, I’m sorry, Tak.” Miss Cheerilee replied, “Essentially, all it is is that as a class we go out and visit different locations to learn more about the world and to see what there is. The Canterlot gardens are famous for their flowers, wildlife and their statues.”
Tak nodded and started to wag his tail slightly in excitement. He liked the idea of this trip thing, and was curious to see what a statue was.
Miss Cheerilee smiled before blinking and shaking her head, remembering she was trying to punish the two and returned to staring at the two with a stern gaze.
“Now, when your parents get here, we are going to talk this out and we are going to come to an agreement, understood?”
The two mumbled their replies before Miss cheerilee raised her hoof to slam it onto the desk for a third time before both quickly sat upright and faced her.
“Y-Yes, Miss Cheerilee!” they cried.
The mare nodded before turning her head to the door at the sound of the school’s main door being opened, she got up to leave and greet the arrivals and left Tak alone with one another. The silence that followed was heavy and tense, the atmosphere ready to spark into something horrific. Both kobold and filly returned to glaring at one another from across the classroom, each one dairng the other to make a move on the other.
“This is all your fault, lizard!” Tiara hissed.
“Oh, bite Tak’s tail you spoilt brat,” Tak hissed back.
As Diamond glared at Tak, she replayed what Miss Cheerilee had said about being excluded from the trip over and over in her mind. Why should she have to miss out on going to Canterlot because of Tak?
Suddenly, an idea came into her mind and a smirk grew across her face as she coughed into her hoof, getting Tak’s attention.
“Okay, Tak. Here’s the deal, alright? I hate you, and you hate me. Right?” She started.
“Tak doesn’t hate you, Tak just thinks you're really, really annoying.” Tak replied.
“Oh, uhm… okay then? I guess I don’t hate— wait, I’m supposed to be mad at you!” Diamond huffed.
Tak snickered as Diamond forced her irritance down and coughed into her hoof again, once more getting Tak’s attention.
“Look. I don’t hate you, alright? I just find you annoying as well, just like those blank flanks. Okay?”
“And Tak finds you annoying.”
“Right, I got that. So… I find you annoying, and you find me annoying. That’s fair to say, yes??” She asked.
“Tak thinks that’s about right, yes,” Tak agreed with a nod of his head. “Though Tak thinks you’re a bigger annoyance.”
“Whatever,” Diamon replied, dismissing him with a wave of her hoof,” the point is, we find one another annoying, but you want to go on the school trip, right?”
“Well duh, Tak’s never been on a trip before! Well, except for the one Tak took to get here from Tak's clan, that wa sa very long trip and Tak thought—”
Diamond growled softly and interuppted Tak by bangning her hoof on the desk to stop him rambling on about something she didn’t care about. “Focus, Tak! Now heres—”
“Focus on what? Tak doesn’t have seeing eye glass thingies or a tehlee-scohpe like Twilight.” the kobold interrupted , tilting his head.
Diamond slapped her forehead and pulled her hoof down her face and groaned in annoyance. “No you stupid lizard, focus on what I am saying!”
“Alright you don’t have to yell!” Tak yelled back
“Oh for the love of— Just, just shut up for a moment, okay?” Diamond asked.
Tak closed his mouth as Diamond let out a frustrated sigh before she inhaled and exhaled to calm herself down.
“Right. I find you annoying, you find me annoying, we both agree on that, yes?”
Tak stared at her not replying as she gritted her teeth as she fought to suppress another wave of insults at the kobold.
“You can answer me when I ask you a question, idiot!” Diamond said.
“But you said—.” Tak started.
“I know!” Diamond shouted, her eye twitching a little, “I know what I said, but you can answer me back, okay?!”.
“Okay.” Tak replied.
Diamond let out a sigh before groaning, “As I was saying, I find you annoying, you find me annoying, yes?”
“Yes,” Take answered.
“And you want to go on this trip as much as I do, yes?”
“Yes,” Tak replied.
“Good. Now, listen closely. I have a cunning plan…”
Diamond beckoned Tak over who obliged before she began to whisper to him her plan to get them both off the hook.
Fluttershy frowned as she got nearer to the school building and let out a sigh, “Oh, Tak… why are you behaving like this?”
She sighed again as she got up to the door when a sound from behind her caught her attention and she flicked her ears up before turning around to see a worried looking Filthy Rich. Fluttershy felt a tinge of nervousness wash over her, as she hadn’t seen the stallion since the party and it was only that morning she had struck his wife for insulting Tak to her face, and the mare was unsure how he was going to act.
“O-oh, hello, Mister Rich,” Fluttershy said with a nervous smile.
“Hello, Fluttershy.” he replied with a warm smile.
The two awkwardly stood there for a moment with Fluttershy biting her lip.
“U-Um… about e-earlier, with your wife. I—.” Fluttershy started before Filthy interrupted her with a raise of a hoof.
“From what I heard my wife was… more than ghastly with how she acted. I am sorry about that, I just wish it hadn’t come to, well, what it did.”
“I’m sorry to, Mister Rich. I-I don’t know what came over me and—”
Filthy raised his hoof to interrupt her again, “It’s alright, I’ll just chalk it up to a parental protective thing. Why, I know I would have done the same, well… something similar I suppose, if some stallion was insulting my little filly.”
Fluttershy smiled at this and felt a wave of relief wash over her before Filthy Rich chuckled sheepishly.
“Though… next time I will take action. Assault is no laughing matter, after all.” Filthy added, giving Fluttershy a stern look as she nodded.
“I u-understand, I won’t do it again,” Fluttershy replied.
Filthy's expression softened as he smiled and nodded, “Oh, and it would be best if you stay away from my wife for the time being. My dear Spoilt tends to hold onto grudges. For a long time.”
“Don’t worry. I have no plans to go anywhere near her,” she replied, “Though, please make sure sure she stays away from my little Tak.”
Filthy nodded, “Agreed. Now… let’s see if we can’t get this little incident sorted. I would like to put all this behind us and see if we can’t get our little ones to get along.”
Fluttershy nodded as the two made their way to the door before the stallion coughed and nervously smiled at her.
“Oh… and please don't’ tell Spoilt I called her ghastly. I’ll never hear the end of it.”
“My lips are sealed,” Fluttershy replied with a soft titter.
They entered the building and were greeted by Miss Cheerilee who smiled at the pair.
“Hello, Mister Rich, Miss Fluttershy. Thank you for coming in, and I’m sorry this isn’t for a pleasent reason.”
“It’s fine, Miss Cheerilee. Both me and Fluttershy just want to try and resolve this as soon as possible. I think it won’t benefit anypony if this nastiness carries on, especially when there’s the potential for history making in the process of kobold and pony relations.”
Fluttershy and Miss Cheerilee looked at the stallion who chuckled.
“I... was curious after the party and had a conversation with Twilight about the whole thing. I must say it sounds very interesting.”
Fluttershy nodded before looking back to miss Cheerilee, “We hope they haven't caused you too much trouble?”
Miss Cheerilee let out a heavy sigh, “If I’m honest, I’ve never seen students act this badly before. Even when the crusaders, Diamond and Silver have their moments it’s not this bad. Heck, even then it wasn’t till a week or so until trouble happened. This is the first day!”
Both Fluttershy and Filthy looked at one another as Miss Cheerilee regaled them with the day's events, each incident making the two ponies cringe in horror.
“Oh… my,” Fluttershy said.
“I know my Diamond is… difficult, sometimes,” Filthy said, “And she’s not to fond of Tak, but this is just ridiculous… do you have any idea what we can do?”
“Well, I’ve already told them both that if they keep up this behaviour, I’m going to exclude them from coming with the class on our annual trip to Canterlot to visit the gardens.” Miss Cheerilee said. “I think that alone may help them buck their ideas up, everypony enjoys that trip so much.”
Filthy nodded, “I know that my Diamond enjoys it greatly, we go shopping afterwards which always makes her smile. That’s more than enough I feel to make her behave properly.”
“The trips’ next week? Oh my goodness I almost forgot about that,” Fluttershy gasped.
“Oh, yes,” Miss Cheerilee said, “I’m sorry, I forgot to tell you the other day when we spoke with the Princess’. I’ve explained to Tak briefly about what it’s about, and I can tell that he’s eager to go on the trip.
“That should do it, that’s something Tak would probably be eager to do. Not to mention, we could tell him that his behaviour makes his task of helping the relations between ponies and kobolds look bad. I think he would definitely think twice then.”
Miss Cheerilee smiled as she nodded, “Well, either way. I want to give the pair a chance first, so I’ve told them that we are all going to try and resolve this right here and now.”
“Good, I just want to put this nasty business behind us and see if Diamond and Tak can at least be civil with one another. Who knows, maybe we can get them to give being friends shot?” Filthy said.
Fluttershy nodded with a warm smile, “I think I’d like that too. Tak loves making new friends and I think they can both probably find something they both enjoy to bond over.”
Miss Cheerilee smiled back as she turned and began to lead the two towards the classroom. As they got closer and closer, they could hear the slightly muffled voices of Tak and Diamond talking to one another. They couldn’t make out what was being said, but it sounded like they were agreeing on something.
Miss Cheerilee looked back to Filthy and Fluttershy who looked just as puzzled and curious as she was about what was going on. Slowly, Miss Cheerilee pushed open the door to her classroom and they stepped inside, stopping when they saw a curious sight.
Tak and Diamond were standing up and they had one anothers hoof and hand together and were shaking them quickly, large smiles on their faces.
“So, I am very sorry, Tak!” Diamond said, a little louder than normal and with a weird tone to her voice.
“Yes, Tak is also very sorry. Sorry, Diamond!” Tak replied with the same weird sounding tone in his voice.
The filly noticed Fluttershy, her father and Miss Cheerilee and beamed up at them with what was clearly a forced smile, “Oh, hello, father. Miss Cheerilee, Fluttershy. What pleasent timing!”
“Yes, pleasent!” Tak added, not sure what the phrase meant.
“Hello you two, are we interrupting?” Filthy asked with a smile.
“Why, we have buried the hatchet, father!” Diamond replied, “Me and Tak have settled our problems and are now friends. Isn’t that right, Tak?”
“What?” Tak asked before Diamond nudged him in the ribs and gave him a quick scowl, “O-Oh, yes. That is right, best of friends!”
“No need to punish us! We can go to the trip together. As f-friends!” Diamond added.
Tak pulled Diamond into him with his arm around her neck so their cheeks were pressed together. Diamond began to shake, feeling the reptilian scales on her own body sent shivers down her spine. Both the kobold and filly put on an obviously fake smile as they beamed up to the three.
Filthy and Fluttershy and Miss Cheerilee all smiled warmly at the display, seemingly oblivious to the act that was being presented to them. Miss Cheerilee took a few steps forwards and leaned down to be level with them. A short silence followed as she simply smiled at them, making both Tak and Diamond sweat a little.
"Nice try, you two.” she said flatly, “but we weren’t born yesterday. Now sit down, we’re going to sort this out and nip it in the bud.”
“Oh globbits,” Tak grumbled.
“Dang it!” Diamond said, pushing Tak away from her.
The three elder ponies simply shook their heads as the kobold and fully resumed sitting as far away from one another as they could and crossed their arms and huffed. As Filthy and Fluttershy went and stood by their respective foals, Miss Cheerilee sat back at her desk and sighed.