“And what a pleasure it is to see you too, Somby,” Discord said cheerily, twisting his curvy form over and around Sombra’s dark crystal throne. Sombra watched the chaos spirit through slitted, unfriendly eyes. Turning to the court, he ordered them gone. Prior experience with this troublesome guest had taught him no good would come out of being made a fool of in front of his slaves and servants. Then, with a flicker of green, he nudged the sharp, black corrupting crystals the throne was carved out of.
“YEOUCH!” Discord screeched, leaping back. Frowning, he looked down at several nasty, deep wounds throughout his serpentine form. Sombra watched him emotionlessly, except for a passing smirk of satisfaction at the gaping wounds he had inflicted in the beast.
“My throne is neither yours nor your plaything, spirit,” he growled, slipping into its seat with an elegant, flowing move while Discord moved away, floating back down the stairs to a more respectful distance. “State your business and begone with you.”
Discord ignored him for the moment, snapping his fingers to produce a glass and a pink cloud over it which rained down chocolate milk neatly into the container. He tipped it to his lips and drank. The liquid ran out the holes in his body caused by Sombra’s sharp crystals and his whole form shivered and wiggled like jello. “Oh, that tickles!” he exclaimed, then looked down. “Well, that won’t do at all, Somby. I’m getting my wonderful drink all over your nice carpets!”
While the spirit of chaos plugged up his gaping wounds and banished the stains, the King felt his already thin hold on his temper slipping. If he ever found a way to bind this creature, he would keep him as a pet for his little Cadie. Then another thought which had occurred earlier, came back to his mind. “Why aren’t you in Canterlot, harassing those wretched princesses, Discord? Do they bore you already?”
Discord gave a melodramatic sigh, rolled his eyes onto the floor and retrieved them with his tail. “Points for you, Somby,” he congratulated. “The are SO BORING! Especially Celestia!”
For the first time since Discord had entered the castle, Sombra chuckled. “A cataclysm of fire and brimstone from Tartarus would bore you if it lasted more than an instant. That you have taunted them for - what, a hundred moons now - is of more interest to me than your gnat-like attention span.”
“Haha, you are so insightful today, Sombra,” the chaos being crooned. “And speaking of boring, bored now.” He looked around. “So where is that adorable little filly sprite of yours?”
As if on cue, the little princess ran into the room from a side entrance, quickly followed by her wetmare as she tried in vain to catch her. The pink filly stopped short when seeing not her father, but Discord. Her eyes went huge.
“Forgive me, your highness,” the nurse apologized, bowing her head. “She is too fast for me sometimes.”
A smile cracked his sour expression at the sight his daughter’s fascination with the patchwork pony spirit. “She is too fast for many of the servants,” he agreed. “Wait until I teach her how to shift into shadowform. Then your duties as her chaser will effectively be rendered - “
He paused, distracted as Cadie moved towards Discord. Discord grinned, certain if she were used to her father’s mouth full of fangs, his would hardly be any more frightening. “Ah, speak of the little darling! And what would you be wanting for Hearthswarming Eve, you little bundle of pink cuteness?”
She fixed her innocent eyes on his mismatched red ones and said simply, “My mother.”
Discord’s face fell, literally, sliding down his chest to his feet where it continued to looked chagrined and almost as red as his glowing eyes. “Err, well, um, yes, I suppose you would…” he floundered, the face growing legs and arms, climbing its way back up to its proper place on his face. Then his eyes lit up in a way Sombra disliked intensely.
“Discord…” Sombra growled in warning.
“But Somby…” the spirit whined. “It would put a smile on the child’s face to have her mother…”
“SILENCE!” the dark pony commanded.
Cadie looked up at her father with a confused look. “Daddy, could he - “
Sombra leapt from the throne, wrapping his pink daughter in a greenish aura, rendering it soundproof. “Tartarus take you, Discord!” he yelled, blasting his direction with his magic.
Discord warped his body to avoid the crimson beam. “You won’t make father of the year in the Empire with that attitude, now Sombra,” he chastised the angry shadow king.
Plunging the room into darkness as he shifted into shadow, the king’s emerald green eyes turned to Cadie. She had seen him do this before, of course, but not in such anger. He could see her mouth, “Daddy?” to which he shook his head sadly, launching an amnesia/sleep spell over the little crystal prison. Cadence drifted off in slumber, sliding to the bottom of the dome where Sombra took a moment to materialize a blanket around her, which she snuggled into, along with her favorite toy crystal pony mare. Another quick spell banished her back to her wetmare’s arms, parting his darkness enough she could leave with the child, conveying to her mind she needed to get the princess back to the safety of her room.
With that accomplished, Sombra rematerialized back into flesh, turning his back to Discord, stalking back up to his throne.
“You need some parenting lessons, Somby,” Discord huffed, annoyed. “She never smiles, you deny her her mother - “
“Get out of my kingdom, Discord,” the king of shadows snarled.
“At least make her laugh, for Celestia’s - er sorry, for someone else’s sake,” he babbled on. Again, his eyes lit up in a way the king wanted to wipe off his face with a strategically placed crystal spike. “I know!” He was in the process of snapping his fingers when Sombra shifted back into shadow, launching himself at the chaos spirit.
Sombra knocked the wind out of Discord as he tackled him. The fingersnap came from somewhere else and the king realized too late it was from that blasted prehensile tail coming out of the creature’s spine. In a flash, Sombra felt his form constricted by something severely confining to his shadow essence. It reacted by coalescing and condensing back into flesh pony form.
The two landed hard, Sombra astride the snake-like spirit of disharmony. He launched another spell to shield his umbrum form from Discord’s invasion of his personal space, then quickly followed with binding the creature’s shadow to his will, pinning it to the ground and thus Discord with it.
When the lanky being discovered it could not teleport itself out of Sombra’s unforgiving magical grip, he produced a white flag, along with a sheepish grin of surrender. “All right, all right!” he relented. “I give up. You win, Somby.”
“And I should take your word for this surrender why exactly?” the umbrum asked in a pleasant tone that made Discord shiver in fear.
“You shouldn’t, I suppose,” Discord muttered. “But you currently have me at a distinct disadvantage and could toss me out of your kingdom at your leisure, so what advantage is there in lying to you now?”
“Any advantage you can seize the moment I release you. I am not a fool, spirit.”
“True.” He looked over his captor. “but it is also true that you have been so busy with me you did not notice the little present I just gave you.”
As if on cue, Sombra’s coat began itching. He recalled the constricting feeling and the sudden weight on his torso, but had been too engaged with thoughts of impaling Discord to be distracted by it. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the sight of bright green - as bright as his eyes. He looked down.
The sight made him shriek and leap off his captive prey.