The Age of Light; Reign of King Scorch

Third Year - Black Winter

Fourth Year - Reformation

Within the walls of Castle Char there were a great many raised voices that overlapped one another. The Main Hall was crowded with Flame Ponies of all social standings, the commoner Flame Ponies, the Noble Flame Ponies, and even Senator Ponies voicing loudly their opinions on the matters concerning the aftermath of the Black Winter. Even the head family members of the houses of Hearth, Coal, Tinder, and Incandescence had turned up.

"You let spiders enter our Kingdom unchecked and unchallenged! Kidnapping our friends and family!" A Flame Pony shouted angrily.

"What sort of King kneels to our enemy?" Another Flame Pony shouted his question.

King Scorch stood at the top of the staircase. The steps were lined with Royal Guard Ponies to act as a barrier between him and his ponies. Insults and criticism were being shouted from all directions, the anger of the Flame Ponies were almost palatable. Scorch remained silent to their jeers and cries, knowing that his ponies were scared and needed to voice it in their own way. There was a lull in the shouting as the crowd started to part for several , noble looking, Flame Ponies to emerge. Scorch knew them well, for it was the head of each major Noble Family that had once welcomed him into their homes as a guest.

"Lord Scorch, the House of Incandescence, along with the Houses of Tinder, Coal, and Hearth, have moved to withdraw our support in this failing war with the Orc!" Lord Incandescence declared aloud for every pony to hear. "I encourage any Flame Pony that values their family's lives over a failing war to consider leaving these fields and find opportunities elsewhere."

The Main Hall exploded into talk, supporting this idea.

"What of the spiders? It is impossible to travel with them at our doorstep!" A Flame Pony shouted.

"I, as well as the other Noble Houses, are planning on creating a new commune further south of here. It will be far from the Orc's reach, where we will not be saddled with a false King to misguide us through these troubling times." Lord Incandescence explained, garnering the support of many common Flame Ponies around him.

Scorch remained silent at these words. With no objection to be had, Lord Incandescence and the other head of the Noble Houses retreated from the Main Hall bringing many Flame Ponies with them. With much of the mob of Flame Ponies dispersing, Scorch himself retreated back to his Throne Room where he could sort things out with his Council.

There were already voices in deep discussion coming from within the Throne Room as Scorch proceeded along. His Council already in closed session without his knowing, coming to a decision on their issue just as he entered the room.

"We will need to act fast if we are to regain the confidence and trust of our Flame Ponies. There is already talk of abandoning the Fields to find a place to live elsewhere with some of the Noble Houses." Scorch explained hurriedly, striding his way over to his throne.

Silence followed Scorch's words, no Flame Pony on the Council spoke, every pony looking uneasy.

"What? What is it?" Scorch asked looking around at them.

"The Council… has decided to disband, my Lord." Razgar said quietly.

"Disband?" Scorch asked in disbelief. "No… n-n-n-no you can't, there is still so much to do! The Orc will be back, and with greater numbers! This is the time to be coming together, not giving up!"

"Apologies, my Lord, but we have already agreed upon this notion, and will be taking our chances with this new commune that the Noble Houses are entertaining. Perhaps there we can start over." Rascal replied solemnly.

"You can't just give up!" Scorch shouted in protest.

"My Lord, you were the one that gave up, after bending the knee to the Orc." Elise explained.

Scorch watched as his three Council members excused themselves from the Throne Room, and headed for the door. General Molten, being among the Council, removed his helmet placing it upon the ground in front of Scorch's hooves. Shaking his head in disappointment, Molten followed the others to leave the Throne Room.

"Molten!" Scorch shouted, fearing the loss of his General.

The General did not turn around, nor did he give pause to his Lord's voice. The Council members left the Throne Room, leaving Scorch alone with not but his thoughts and the looming threat of his failing Kingdom. A rage began to swell within Scorch, shouting in his misery, cursing everything and every pony, he threw fire to every corner of the room. Releasing all his frustration out at once, smashing the General's helmet to scrap with his hooves, before striking the throne so hard with his wing that it broke the bone of his wing and smashed the stone that kept the seat together. With his throne lying in rubble, Scorch sat down within his empty Throne Room and thought to himself. Night had started to fall, nothing but the flames of Scorch's mane illuminated his dark world.

"I wish you were here, father." Scorch whispered to himself.

Several hours had passed. Scorch having spent each moment determining his place in Equestria, the choices he had made thus far and the choices he would have to make in the days to come. The confidence he once had in himself had been openly mocked by his own Flame Ponies, his efforts to find peace were met with hostility, and now he was endanger of losing his entire Kingdom to fear.

"What am I going to do?" Scorch asked quietly.

Hoof steps softly echoed off the corridor walls, as a Royal Guard Pony stepped into the Throne Room.

"My Lord, Captain Warrick Hearth reporting, sir." Captain Hearth said aloud, announcing his presence.

"What is it?" Scorch asked bitterly.

"You have a guest, my Lord." Captain Hearth stated.

"A guest?" Scorch asked, surprised by the notion turning his head to look.

There, standing beside Captain Hearth, was the mare from 'Hot and Smoldering Choices', Glow Sunbeam. Her hide was a greyish white, her flames so yellow that it resembled the sun, and her cutie mark was that of a beam of light breaking through clouds. She stood with a hat in her hoof, a nervous smile upon her face, trying her best not to notice the mess lying about.

"You never came to pick up your hat." Glow stated, holding up the hat. "I found it in the back, it had your name on it but you never came to pick it up. It's only a year or two late and we don't normally deliver, but I thought I'd make an exception; seeing as you're the King and all."

"Ahem." Captain Hearth cleared his throat as if to remind her of something.

"Oh, right! My Lord." Glow added, quickly bowing her head.

"Glow?" Scorch asked looking mystified.

Scorch got to his hooves, turning towards her, wide eyed at her presence. Not once had she ever agreed to come to the Castle, not for a tour, nor for dinner or parties, but there she stood with hat in hoof.

"What happened to your wing?" Glow asked sounding concerned, noticing its bent shape.

"My Lord, shall I get a doctor to come take a look at that for you?" Captain Hearth asked promptly.

"What?" Scorch asked, finally pulling his gaze from glow to look at Captain Hearth." No… no… I'll be fine. Thank you for showing Ms. Sunbeam to me, Captain."

"My Lord." Captain Hearth replied, turning on a hoof and excusing himself from the throne room.

Glow looked rather awkward, unsure of what to say or do, and merely holding the old but new hat Scorch had forgotten to pick up.

"I… I think you should get that wing checked out." Glow said slowly, trying to make small talk.

"Why have you come here?" Scorch asked looking rather confused by her being here.

"Me? I was just bringing your hat?" Glow asked, holding it up to him.

"Why are you not rallying against me like every other ponies?" Scorch asked, looking rather perplexed by this.

"Well… I…" Glow mumbled, fiddling with the hat. "I actually wanted to apologize."

Scorch simply gazed at her. Almost unable to believe the words he was hearing.

"Why?" Scorch asked.

"When the spiders came… they took my parents and brought them into the Dark Marsh; just like so many other ponies." Glow began, still fiddling with the hat. "I was very angry with you, wondering how you could have let this happen."

Scorch felt his stomach flop. His heart ached hearing these words.

"I-I-I-I-I-" Scorch began to stammer.

"I watched you plead to Grog for their safe return, for every pony's safe return. A King begging for the same return of his ponies, caring neither for pride or reputation, but just every pony's safety." Glow continued.

Scorch watched as Glow smiled at him.

"I always thought you were a spoiled pony that cared for only himself, but I was wrong. My parents are safe at home now because you put the safety of every pony first." Glow said looking relieved.

"It… it was Princess Celestia that saved-" Scorch began.

"You could have raised your army to march upon the Dark Marsh, you could have burned it to the ground, but it would have endangered every captured Flame Pony that Grog still had. So you chose to have Princess Celestia sneak in and rescue every pony, the best way to ensure the safe return of every pony." Glow continued, cutting him short.

"Glow… I… it…" Scorch mumbled, unable to form words to argue her point.

"So I wanted to say that I am sorry, Scorch, for misjudging you." Glow said, bowing her head to him.

Glow felt a hoof touch her cheek, glancing up she could see Scorch doing his best not to become emotional. She felt his arms come around her, hugging her tightly, his breathing short and raspy; as if trying hard not to cry. Glow found herself comforting him, only guessing at how difficult things have been since Black Winter, unable to fathom the toll it must have had on him.

"Thank you, Glow." Scorch whispered after a while.

Separating from her, Scorch took a step or two back to compose himself. He watched as Glow held out his hat to him, it was bowler hat, one that made him choke back a laugh; suddenly sounding distressed again.

"Is something wrong?" Glow asked, sounding worried once more.

"I… uh… I had this one… um… made for my… for my Dad. He said he wanted one, just to try out, because I had some many, he was curious to find out what was so special about it. I… never came to get it… because he… he died shortly after." Scorch explained, taking a few pauses for breaths.

"I'm so very sorry for your loss." Glow said sympathetically.

"You- You- You know," Scorch started up again, doing his best to smile. "I wished-I wished that my father had been here to help me earlier today, and I guess he sort of is."

Glow didn't know what to say. It was clear that Scorch was overwhelmed by everything that had happened, and he was finding some comfort in her being there; along with the memories of his father. It was surprising to see the King of the Ashen Fields so vulnerable, but it only solidified Glow's view of Scorch.

"What are you going to do now?" Glow asked, glancing over at his demolished throne.

"I suppose I should clean this up." Scorch remarked, glancing around at the room.

"Are you going to rebuild your chair?" Glow asked curiously, motioning behind him.

"I'll have to, but it wasn't all that comfortable to begin with." Scorch replied, shaking his head at the idea.

"Then this is the perfect time to make it how you want it to be." Glow suggested.

"Yeah, I could make it just how I… how I… want it… to be?" Scorch asked slowly, a light suddenly going off inside of his head.

"Yeah, you could have a nice cushion to sit on, or perhaps a throne that reclines when you get tired." Glow offered, thinking about it.

"Glow! You're brilliant!" Scorch exclaimed.

Glow felt Scorch kiss her on the cheek, his enthusiasm depicted with the huge smile he wore. She felt her mane flare at this, not believing the audacity Scorch had to do such a thing, but found herself unable to put any of these feelings to words as she stood frozen from embarrassment. Scorch was too excited to realize he had kissed his special some pony, already talking to himself of a new structure that was needed to rule the Ashen Fields.

"Every pony that has worked under me compared me to my father. What I need is ponies that are younger, more driven, and want to work with me then against me." Scorch explained to her. "I'll appoint a new General, one the soldiers can rally behind, and I'll disband the Council, so he will only have to speak with me for the defense of the Fields. Without the Nobles slowing us down, we can begin work as early as tomorrow morning."

"Cool, cool." Glow mumbled, face still rather flushed.

"Glow." Scorch said to her, approaching her once more.

Glow felt him take her hoof, holding it gently in his own as he looked right into her eyes; she could feel her heart doing summersaults.

"Y-Y-Yes?" Glow stammered, feeling her mane flare.

"Will you have dinner with me?" Scorch asked, his own face starting to flush.

"Th-Th-This again?" Glow asked, trying to feign annoyance as best she could.

"This is how I want it to be." Scorch said, face flushing even more. "With you by my side."

Glow was sure that her face was more red then white at this point, unable to look him in the eyes anymore she turned her head and pulled her hoof away from him in a huff.

"Don't get any funny ideas, it's just dinner." Glow replied, turning to leave; refusing to look back.

"I'm not hearing a 'no' this time." Scorch called out with a smile.

Glow simply nodded her head in response; refusing to speak to him further.

"This Saturday? Just after sunset?" Scorch called after her.

Scorch watched as Glow's flames disappeared through the doors at the end of the corridor. His smile never left his face; as if some cosmic force had seen his dismay and brought to him the very pony that was able to lift his spirit. The door at the end of the corridor opened once more, another flame appeared but this one belonged to Captain Hearth who was returning to the Throne Room.

"My Lord, I insist that we have the wing checked out before it starts to swell." Captain Hearth stated, insistently.

"General Molten has resigned his position as acting commander of our army." Scorch stated, once more stepping upon the crushed helmet his former General had left behind as he approached Hearth.

"I-I-I wasn't aware the General-" Captain Hearth began, shocked to hear the news.

"I've read the field reports of the battle of Black Winter. Your name was mentioned several times; praised as the hero." Scorch continued, standing before him.

"There were many other ponies that deserve more of the credit, my Lord." Captain Hearth replied, trying to remain humble.

"I also read the names of the ponies we lost that day, the ones that didn't return from the Dark Marsh." Scorch said solemnly. "I also saw the name Hearth, written there."

Captain Hearth did not respond this time, nor did he look up at his King; the silence spoke volumes of Hearth's sadness.

"The Ashen Fields is without a leader, one willing to defend it and all those who call it their home. The Orc will return and with it, a legion of spiders that will destroy our way of life." Scorch began, appealing to Hearth's quiet anger.

"I will burn every spider that would dare shows its face again in this Kingdom." Captain Hearth stated confidently, pushing down his silent rage. "This I promise you, my Lord."

"The Kingdom of Flame Ponies has little faith in their King right now, but with your help I believe we can still win this war with the Orc." Scorch stated.

"What would you have me do, my Lord?" Captain Hearth asked bravely.

"I would have you become my General, the Commander of my armies, the defender of this Kingdom, and the backbone of our pride." Scorch declared.

Captain Hearth looked surprised by this. The idea of rising from the rank of Captain to General was unheard of, let alone a place where the King himself could simply make this decision.

"The-The-The Council usually votes on-" Captain Hearth began to stammer.

"The Council has been dissolved, you will report to me directly from this moment forward. Your plans, your tactics, your orders will come directly to me for approval from now on. That is, if you accept this position." Scorch explained.

Hearth didn't know what to think, the idea, the task was daunting. The reformation of the entire Flame Pony army training, the Kingdom's defenses, and the battles that was to come seemed overwhelming if not impossible for him to fathom.

"I understand that you will need time to think this over, Captain Hearth. Please have an answer for me by tomorrow night." Scorch stated, stepping past him and heading down the corridor.

Hearth stared at the ground, thinking of back on the night of Black Winter, how easily the spiders had overtaken the Kingdom. How disorganized the soldier ponies were, how scared every pony was, and what was lost that night. Grinding his teeth in anger, thinking of his little filly at home that would grow up without a mother, Hearth turned around immediately towards his King.

"I'll do it!" Hearth shouted decisively.

Scorch stopped short at these words, turning back to look at Hearth who looked committed to what he had proclaimed. He nodded his head towards Hearth in his understanding.

"Shall we get started, General Hearth?" Scorch asked him.

Almost a week had passed with General Hearth now leading the Flame Pony army, having sought the King's consent several times over to make safe the Kingdom. Having already earned the trust of his fellow soldier ponies, General Hearth was starting to win the hearts of the Noble Houses as well. With the House of Hearth seated within such a position of power and respect, Hearth's father was able to convince the other houses of trusting in his son's abilities to lead. With the idea of a commune still fresh in the ideas of many Flame Ponies, General Hearth made personal visits to many shops and forges to personally request requisitions to aid in the defense of the Ashen Fields. General Hearth's personality had always been warm and inviting, nearly every pony knew of the tragedy that had befallen him with his late wife, and it inspired many to believe in him and his devotion to the Kingdom.

News of the Council's dissolve had worried many Flame Ponies at first, but the concerns voiced to General Hearth during his visits were brought directly to the King's attention. No more Council members deeming what was important, what was necessary, and what was worthy of the King's time. The Flame Ponies voices were finally being heard, and the King was listening. For some, they wanted more patrols, others wanted reinforced walls for their homes, and some requested compensation for what had been lost. The approvals of many of these things were met with haste, yet the need of a pony capable of handling the finances of the Kingdom and its fiscal future was needed to ensure stability. Upon the recommendation of General Hearth, of a childhood friend, Scorch met with a pony by the name of Argo Fleece.

"Don't be nervous when you meet him." General Hearth mentioned to Argo.

Escorting Argo to the Throne Room, General Hearth was nervous for his friend who looked even more so but refused to acknowledge it.

"I'm not nervous! In fact I feel that I am overqualified for the position." Argo stated quickly.

"King Scorch is looking for young, hard-working ponies to serve the Kingdom, Argo. I thought of no better pony to put forward, but you must convince him of this." General Hearth warned him.

"I've handled your father's finances since we were in grade school, Hearth. I believe my abilities will speak for themselves." Argo stated feeling belittled.

"Your abilities are not going to be what he is questioning, Argo. It is you character." General Hearth explained to him.

General Hearth brought Argo to the doors of the Throne Room, he gave him a minute to compose himself before opening the doors.

"Ready?" General Hearth asked.

"Ready." Argo replied confidently.

Pushing the doors open, General Hearth escorted Argo down the corridor into the Throne Room where King Scorch stood staring out through the windows at the Ashen Fields.

"My Lord, Argo Fleece is here to see you as per your request." General Hearth announced to him.

"Thank you, General. I appreciate you taking the time to set this up." Scorch replied.

"Of course, My Lord." General Hearth stated.

Bowing his head, General Hearth excused himself from the room leaving Argo alone with him. Argo stood silently, nervous to be standing before the most powerful Flame Pony in the Ashen Fields. Scorch turned from the window, approaching Argo, stepping around his newly remodeled throne.

"General Hearth recommended you over a very long list of Nobles, providing me with impeccable credentials of your work, and spoke very highly of your abilities to multitask." Scorch stated.

Argo didn't respond.

"I can see that you are familiar with mannerisms concerning nobility. Speaking only when posed a question or offered to speak your mind." Scorch mentioned, sounding slightly impressed.

"My Lord, may I be blunt with you?" Argo asked.

"By all means." Scorch replied.

"You'd be stupid not to make me your Treasurer." Argo replied.

Scorch's eyes widened in surprise.

"I'm not the bleeding heart that Hearth is, I care little for what you think of me personally, but I know that any pony besides me handling the finances of this Kingdom's future will be in jeopardy. Quite frankly your father was the pony that inspired me, his golden age for Flame Ponies was the greatest in Flame Pony history, and from what I've seen you've all but let his Kingdom flounder. General Hearth seems to believe in your reformation of the Ashe Fields, and if you are going to succeed with this you'll want me watching every last coin that passes through this castle." Argo explained to him.

Scorch simply stared at him, Argo could feel himself becoming anxious. He wasn't about to pretend to care, to be chummy and nice, he was being himself and wanted him to know what that would mean.

"Mr. Fleece, I would ask that you continue to be frank with me about any matters you deem important. Being the new Treasurer can be a bit overwhelming at first, but I feel that you can help me create a future even grander then the one my father left behind." Scorch stated.

A sudden wave of relief washed over Argo, his heart jumping for joy at the idea of working alongside his friend; helping in shaping the future.

"Thank you, my Lord." Argo replied humbly.

"Feel free to get started tomorrow, but your office is ready and available to you today if you wish." Scorch stated.

Argo bowed his head, turning to leave, wanting to see his new office and the work that awaited him.

General Hearth waited outside the Throne Room doors. Nervous for Argo, knowing that he was a tough pony to get along with. The doors opened and Argo stepped out to meet a worried looking Hearth.

"Can you show me where the Treasury is?" Argo asked flatly.

"You got the job?" General Hearth asked in surprise.

"Was there ever any doubt?" Argo asked, sounding rather pompous.

General Hearth hugged Argo suddenly, his happiness for his friend was too much not too share, but Argo found it hard to return the excitement. Stepping away from him, General Hearth motioned him to follow.

"So... you going to ask Helena out on a date yet?" General Hearth asked curiously.

"I'm much too busy to be trying to start a relationship with some pony." Argo stated coldly.

"Yeah, but she was the pony that swindled you out of three bits." General Hearth mentioned.

Argo's face flushed red.

Scorch could hear the faint echoes of their conversation resonating down the corridor of the Throne Room. He smiled to himself, thinking of how well these ponies were going to work together. Returning to the Throne Room window, Scorch watched the fortifications recommended by General Hearth being constructed along the edges of the fields. The wounds of Black Winter were still fresh for many Flame Ponies, their anger and bitterness towards him were justified in Scorch's mind, but he knew that this reformation would be vital in securing their future.

Several months had passed since Scorch had put his plan to reform the Kingdom into action. The lack of a Council proved to be very affective in turning a corner in terms of the needs of the Ashen Fields and its ponies. Scorch answered to no pony, his ears and eyes were that of Burning Sand, General Hearth, and Argo Fleece, who reported to him directly for the needs of his Flame Ponies. Within these last few months the Orc named Grog had refused to show itself, legions of its spiders attempted to breach the walls on several occasions, but could never breach. Laws had been placed upon every Flame Pony, roads were closed to them at night, every strong and able Flame Pony were required to become Solider Ponies, if only to protect themselves and family; those that wished to remain such soldiers would be taken without question.

This reformation had taken shape; the mindset of every pony had already begun to change. Scorch made no attempt to hide himself within the walls of Castle Char, publicly appearing for speeches, and inspections concerning the fortifications to the outer walls of the Ashen Fields. The Noble Families were first to speak of the good the King had done for the Kingdom, having denounced him publicly, they attempted to earn back favor with their King by any means necessary. With the thoughts of resettlement a laughable memory to many ponies now, the Noble Families were keen on pairing the King with one of their own. Without the Council pressuring the King into finding a special somepony, namely from one of the Noble Houses, Scorch was able to ignore all of the Noble Families requests for dinner, or his presence in general.

There were attempts to reform the Council, members met with Scorch several times, insisting their presence was needed to ensure the Flame Ponies had a voice in the Throne Room. Each time Scorch denied their return, the old senators could not gain support from the citizens for they had seen the merits of a Scorch's rule produce results without them. Flame Ponies were once more content with their safety, having deflected their blame to the aging regime that had relaxed within the Wise King Phoenix's rule, hampering King Scorch's ability to lead. Feeling that the young King was wrongfully blamed for lesser ponies mistakes, the Flame Ponies were once more siding with their King, and placing their trust with him again.

With the threat of spiders attacking down to merely a weekly nuisance, Flame Ponies were able to distract themselves once more to the day to day things that had once amused them before. Namely, the mare from 'Hot and Smoldering Things' that had been seen frequenting the castle during the months passed. At first the rumors were harmless, it was simply business that had brought her there, but with her visits becoming more frequent over time, the rumors began to spread like wildfire. There were some outlandish rumors to be had among certain ponies, the one every pony seemed to agree upon was that the King had found his future Queen.

"Bring back the Council." Glow stated, sounding rather firm with him.

Glow Sunbeam was following Scorch down the corridor of the East Wing, having just shared a late lunch with one another, but carrying their discussion along with them.

"I'm not having this discussion with you again, Glow." Scorch stated, flatly.

"You can't be the only pony who has a say on what goes on around here." Glow insisted.

"General Hearth and I have operated this way for nearly six months now, every decision has been for the benefit of the Kingdom and its ponies. I don't see why I need to have a meeting every time there is a problem or an issue." Scorch replied, sounding annoyed with the idea.

"Scorch," Glow said stepping in front of him; placing her hoof on his chest to have him come to a stop. "You and the others have done an unbelievable job with this reform, but there needs to be ponies that you can turn to. Some ponies that can put things in perspective for you. Ponies to bounce ideas off of, ponies that can challenge your ideas and perhaps offer you better ones."

"That is what I have General Hearth, Burning Sand, and Argo Fleece for. They tell me everything I need to know." Scorch replied.

"One manages the money, the other manages the politics, and the other manages our safety. No pony manages the citizens. The Council was their way of having their voices heard." Glow explained.

"The Council was filled with Nobles that sought to better themselves then their fellow ponies. I cannot trust any pony to speak on their behalf without wondering if they are really speaking for themselves." Scorch remarked, his mane flaring slightly at the thought.

Scorch stepped passed her. It was difficult for Glow to argue with him, in reality he was the King and she was just a citizen Flame Pony. The reason she could speak so frankly with him was because of their relationship, but she knew that the affairs of the Kingdom were not her concern. Even if she did feel the need to put her two bits into his business from time to time.

"What about an Advisor?" Glow asked aloud.

"An Advisor?" Scorch asked, almost scoffing at the idea; turning back to look at her.

"A pony that is simply here to give you advice." Glow offered to him.

Scorch opened his mouth to speak, but closed it quickly; the idea still bouncing around in his head. Glow could see that she had entertained him with the idea, having to deal with one pony over a Council seemed like less of a hassle.

"You would still make the decisions on everything, but you would at least have some pony beside you who could advise you and your choices." Glow stated hopefully.

Scorch seemed nod at this notion, unable to argue the point.

"I will consider it." Scorch agreed. "But I will only consider a pony of your choosing."

"My choosing?" Glow asked in surprise.

"If I'm going to have a pony telling me what to do, it should at least be a pony you'll be willing to take advice from as well." Scorch replied.

"Why would I need to?" Glow asked curiously.

Scorch stepped closer to her. Nearly face to face. An all too familiar smile stretched across his face that Glow knew so well; her face flushing. Over the course of these months, Glow's feelings for him had grown, so much so that it was impossible for her to deny it, even to herself.

"Glow…" Scorch began to whisper to her quietly.

"Are you really going to ask me to marry you again?" Glow asked sounding annoyed.

Scorch seemed like he got the wind knocked out of him; his own face flushing from this. He quickly rebounded when she leaned over to kiss, a kiss so loving that it made him weak at the knees. As she parted from him, he could see her smiling warmly at him. Now walking past him, Glow headed down the corridor leaving Scorch rather flustered and at a loss for words.

"You never know, Scorch, I might say yes one of these days." Glow said aloud.

"Really?" Scorch asked in surprise, turning around quickly.

"I'm considering it." Glow stated teasingly; refusing to look back.

Scorch watched Glow descend the stair case at the end of the corridor; the light from her flames disappearing from sight. Still mystified by her words, Scorch started to punch the air excitedly, silently screaming to himself in unbridled joy at the idea of having Glow as his Queen. It wasn't a definite yes, but she hadn't said 'no' this time around; which was enough to have the King of the Flame Ponies dancing in the Eastern corridor over that small victory.