“Have a nice day,” Twilight chirped to Flash sentry and opened the door to the guest room. She stepped in and closed the door after her, before turning towards the bed. She didn’t see Sombra laying there, which was rather odd. He usually was still sleeping at this hour. She saw that he had been laying on the bed though, because the covers were in a big bundle in the middle of the bed. Twilight’s horn glowed and she quickly made the bed without even looking at it. She then noticed that the nightstand was toppled over. She walked to it and frowned. It had a big crack in it’s side. Again her horn glowed, and the nightstand rose back to it’s feet. She thought what has upsetted Sombra so that he had started to rampage in his room. She turned around. And where was he? She walked towards the bathroom door and heard the water running. He was probably in the shower. Twilight thought that she’d wait for him to finish, but after a moment she decided that she wanted to know the reason for Sombra’s grumpiness. Besides, ponies were naked most of the time so seeing him in the shower was nothing too weird. Right? She still heard the water running.
She nodded to herself and knocked on the door before slowly opening it. The door creaked and Twilight pushed her head from the gap between the door and the doorframe.
“Sombra, explain to me wh…” Twilight started but stopped when she saw him. He was indeed in the shower, standing under the water. He stared calmly at Twilight with his red eyes, his long mane straight from the weight of the water, clinging to his face and neck. His wet coat was gleaming and it was pressed tightly against his body… His well formed body. He was rather muscular pony. Not like Bulk Biceps, no. His muscles weren’t formed by bodybuilding… They were a lot like Big Macintosh’s, results of hard work. His chest was wide and Twilight could clearly see the muscles in his side through his skin. They connected to his strong backside. His legs were strongly built too, with his big black hooves clattering against the tile floor of the shower. Twilight found herself starting to blush and her eyes went wide. Sombra was still staring at her, waiting for her to continue.
“I’m so sorry!” Twilight suddenly squeaked and quickly pulled herself away from the gap, slamming the door shut and propping her back against it. She panted and her ears were folded against the sides of her head. The wild blush was still visible on her cheeks. Twilight kept leaning into the door and thought about what had just happened? Seeing Sombra like that had made her… get rather excited. Twilight didn’t have too much time to think about it though. She could hear the water going off in the bathroom. She yelped and vanished in a bright purple flash, just before Sombra opened the door. He could still smell the electricity in the air. He chuckled and brushed the wet mane from his eyes before retreating back to the bathroom.
* * *
After about ten minutes Sombra came down to the living room where Twilight Sparkle was. He had dried up his mane, tail and coat, brushed his fangs. He had used some extra attention to make himself look as good as possible, in hopes of making Twilight Sparkle feel uncomfortable around him. The thought made him chuckle. To his amusement, his predictions proved to be true. Twilight Sparkle seemed to be rather tense around him as he walked to sit on the opposite side of the long table in the living room. He eyed the mare that seemed to be looking everywhere but at him. Sombra smiled wryly.
“May I inquire the reason of you suddenly appearing into my bathroom?” Sombra asked, holding back a snicker when Twilight started to blush again.
She squirmed on her place a little, before stammering, “I-I wanted to know the reason for you breaking furniture in my castle.”
Sombra’s wry grin disappeared when the events of last night came back to him. He didn’t answer to her, and just rose up from the sofa and walked towards the kitchen. Twilight Sparkle noticed the sudden change of his mood, and rose up too. She walked after him, asking, “Is something bothering you?”
“Besides being stripped of my title as a king and being turned into a worthless peasant?” Sombra asked, glancing daggers at Twilight. She was surprised by the sudden outburst from him, and stopped in to the doorway that lead to the kitchen. Sombra was clearly annoyed by something. Something he wasn’t telling her. Hmm…
“Anything else?” she asked, narrowing her eyes. Sombra opened the refrigerator and started to look for something to eat, not saying a word. Twilight frowned and said, “If there’s something that makes you upset, I want to know it. I won’t let you ruin the day of others with your sulking.”
“Hah!” Sombra exclaimed loudly, shutting the door of the fridge. He looked at Twilight with irritated expression. “Who else’s day can I ruin in here!? There is nopony else than me and you and that damn dragon in here!”
Twilight was about to say that the guards were there too, but then a sudden idea came to her mind. How long had Sombra been there? Couple of days? And before that he had been in that prison cell for a while. Twilight realised that he hasn’t been outside for all that time.
“Oh…” she said slowly, earning a scowl from Sombra. “You are being grumpy because you haven’t been able to socialize with other ponies in a while!”
Confusion spread onto Sombra’s face. That he hadn’t expected. Where did she even get those ideas? Why would he want to ‘socialize’ with some plebeians? Twilight started to smiled like she had just gotten the best idea in the world. She trotted to the kitchen table and sat down to a chair, looking at Sombra.
“If that’s the case,” she started and Sombra looked at her with the confusion still on his face. She motioned him to sit down before continuing, “We can change today’s lesson a bit.”
“Today’s lesson?” Sombra asked when he sat down.
Twilight nodded and said, “Yes. The one that was marked into your calendar that we made when we were making the study program. You do have it somewhere don't you?”
Sombra did have it somewhere. In his room’s trash bin that is.
“Anyway, we can change the lesson into a bit more practical, so that way we can go out and spent some time outside. I can show you around the town if you like,” Twilight said, levitating a bowl and a box of cereal towards herself. Sombra liked the idea in some way. He was tired of just sitting in the living room, doing nothing. He still didn’t know what the ‘lesson’ he was supposed to learn was.
“What is the subject of our ‘lesson’ this time?” Sombra said with a sarcastic emphasis on the word lesson. Twilight poured some cereal into her bowl and said, “I thought that you’d know.”
“I don’t,” was Sombra’s answer.
Twilight frowned and asked, “Haven’t you looked at the study program at all?”
“Hrmh,” Twilight grunted. She then said with an annoyed tone in her voice, “Today’s lesson is about good manners. I must say that completely ignoring your study program is a good example of bad manners.”
“I can’t help myself,” Sombra grinned, earning a deep sigh from Twilight. Sombra then asked, “How are we going to change the lesson into more practical like you said?”
Twilight perked up and said, “I was thinking that we should start from greeting. So while we are out, you will say ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ to ponies who passes us.”
“Never.” Sombra quickly retorted.
“I wasn’t asking,” Twilight said, narrowing her eyes.
Sombra glared at her, asking with his cold voice, “And what if I refuse, Twilight Sparkle?”
Twilight’s horn started to glow and Sombra’s eyes widened in horror.
* * *
“Come on. It’s not that awful,” Twilight snickered at Sombra, who walked with his head hanging low. He had never felt so embarrassed in his entire long life. Ponies stared at him, but not with the fear he deserved. He saw them laughing at him, holding back snickers and giggles. On that moment he wanted to die, or that the ones who laughed at him would do that actually. Even the nice weather didn’t cheer him up, it almost made him feel even more angry by the second. Sombra looked downwards to the band that hung around his chest. It had words ‘Under reformation’ printed onto it with big black letters. He had tried to take it off when Twilight first time made it appear around his chest, but every time he tried to take it off, the letters grew in size. He soon realised that he would only make things worse by fighting, so he had accepted his defeat and so they had left to the town.
If the embarrassing band around his neck and those ponies laughing at him was left out, he was enjoying the bright day. It felt good to be out of the castle and away from the mocking eyes of those stained glass windows. He didn’t show it, but he liked the feeling of the small breeze on his coat that made his mane flow a little. But for his great displeasure, the embarrassing band around his neck and those ponies laughing at him weren’t left out. They ruined the few pleasures he had had, making the day awful for him.
“Ooh!” Twilight exclaimed quietly when an older blue coated mare with pink mane came to her view. “There’s mrs. Cake. She always greets me where ever we meet. I bet it has something to do with me being princess.”
“Really?” Somba asked with large amounts of sarcasm in his voice. Twilight didn’t pay too much attention to his remark.
“Now do like I told you,” Twilight whispered to Sombra as mrs. Cake came closer to them. She had a wide, warm smile on her lips, but seeing Sombra made her a bit nervous. Twilight wasn’t sure if mrs. Cake knew who Sombra was, but the ‘under reformation’ band around his chest and his overall menacing look were enough to make anypony feel uneasy around him.
“Good morning princess Twilight Sparkle,” mrs. Cake said and gave her a deep nod that resembled almost a bow. She then glanced at Sombra, but quickly turned her gaze back to Twilight when Sombra actually looked back at her. Something in his eyes made Cup feel rather nervous.
“I see you have a… friend with you. May I ask his name?” mrs. Cake spoke with a nervous smile.
Twilight smiled back at her, making the older mare feel a bit more at ease. Twilight then looked at Sombra, but Spoke to mrs. Cake, “Good morning mrs. Cake. This is my newest student. -” Sombra snorted “- Go on, introduce yourself.”
Sombra looked back at Twilight with a deadpan look, before shrugging and quickly turning towards mrs. Cake. He leaned closer to the smaller mare and spoke with cold, almost angry voice, “My name is King Sombra, the tyrant of The Crystal Empire, the slave king, the stallion with heart as black as night… Do you want to hear more?”
Mrs. Cake seemed to shrink under his gaze. Her ears were folded backwards and she muttered with just barely audible voice, “N-No thank you. I-I think I left the o-oven on.”
She quickly packed away and said to Twilight without breaking her stare from Sombra, “Have a nice day princess Twilight.”
With that she dashed off towards Sugarcube Corner with speed that surprised Sombra. He didn’t know a mare with her figure and age could run so fast.
Sombra didn’t have a lot of time to ponder about it though, because he was suddenly jerked downwards by his ear, making him yelp from the sudden pain. He growled and looked at Twilight Sparkle, who was holding his head at same level with her’s with her magic.
“That wasn’t nice!” she said with angry frown on her face.
“She asked, I answered,” Sombra replied calmly. He then grimaced as Twilight twisted his ear with her magic.
“You know that’s not what I meant!” Twilight said. She then sighed and continued, “Let’s try that again, shall we?”
Sombra gave her a sour look, in which Twilight replied by saying, “Don’t make me summon flowers into your mane.”
“You wouldn’t,” Sombra said with wide eyes.
“Try me,” Twilight challenged with narrowed eyes.
Sombra stared daggers at Twilight for a moment, before simply nodding. Twilight let go of his ear. Sombra straightened his neck with a audible crackle. He then muttered, “So what now?”
“We’ll find somepony and you will say ‘good morning’. That should be simple enough,” Twilight answered and they started to walk forward. She then added with mocking tone, “Can you manage to do that?”
“Why do I have to practice useless things like this?” Sombra asked and folded his ears when somepony laughed at his appearance again.
“Because if you don’t have the basic knowledge about being nice to other ponies, how do you think you can learn about friendship? Being polite to other ponies is a big part of friendship,” Twilight lectured him, earning only a roll of eyes from Sombra.
“There’s Ditzy Doo. She’s always friendly to everypony,” Twilight said and nudged her head towards the mare in question. Sombra turned to look towards the direction and saw a gray pegasus mare with blonde mane and tail. She was facing the other way from Sombra.
“Let’s go,” Twilight hurried and started to walk towards Ditzy Doo. Sombra sighed and followed her, thinking about different ways to scare his next target. The pegasus seemed to have quite petite build, while Sombra was just the opposite. Surely just his size would be enough to make the poor thing tremble. Sombra smiled wryly, which did not go unnoticed by Twilight Sparkle.
“I promise you,” She started, and then held a small, threatening pause. “If you make her sad, I will do something horrible to you. She’s being bullied around the town, and she doesn’t deserve any more mocking from you.”
That sentence made Sombra look at Twilight with a raised eyebrow. He noticed Twilight’s strange expression when she was looking towards the grey mare in front of them. She looked almost sad. This made Sombra’s grin disappear.
He and Twilight stopped couple of steps behind Ditzy Doo, and Twilight cleared her throat. The gray pegasus turned around when she heard Twilight’s voice. When Sombra saw the mare’s face, his expression changed into a surprised one. Ditzy Doo was a pretty little thing, but her golden eyes looked strange to him. It took a moment before he realised that she had a bad case of strabismus. Her golden eyes didn’t look in the same direction. Her right eye looked at Twilight and him, while her left one stared past them, making it hard to look her in the eyes. It was clear why someponies mocked and bullied her.
“Oh hi Twilight!” she exclaimed and closed her left eye to see better. Sombra didn’t know why, but he felt the same goddamn burning in his chest when he looked at Ditzy Doo.
“Hello Ditzy,” Twilight greeted her. “I was just walking with my new student and thought that maybe I should drop by.”
“That’s so nice of you. I’m so happy that you didn’t become all snobby and stuff when you became a princess,” Ditzy chirped happily.
“So who’s your buddy?” she asked and turned to smile at Sombra, not looking scared at all. It made speaking hard to Sombra. Ditzy looked at the silent stallion for a moment, before turning towards Twilight and asking, “He doesn’t speak too much, huh?”
“He normally does…” Twilight said, almost as surprised as Sombra was himself. What was wrong with him? Something in seeing that wall eyed mare smiling made him feel more than just uncomfortable. He felt bad.
“I… King… ugh…” Sombra muttered, not remembering what he had to say. He somehow didn’t feel like scaring that goofy looking mare in front of him. He quickly glanced at Twilight Sparkle, who had a confused, but in the same time curious look on her face. Sombra cursed on his mind, he was going to regret this…
“Good morning,” he said with defeated voice, his ears drooping a little. In the corner of his vision he could see Twilight smiling a victorious smile.
“Morning,” Ditzy said with a smile. Then Sombra was silent again.
“So what’s up?” Ditzy asked, tilting her head. Sombra opened and closed his mouth couple of times, not knowing what to say. He then looked up and remembered Twilight speaking something about the weather being a good way to break the ice or something.
“It’s…” Sombra started, clear discomfort in his voice. “It’s a nice day.”
Twilight covered her mouth with her fetlock and snickered, all while Ditzy Doo was clueless about Sombra’s strange behaviour. She looked up and said, “It sure is nice! I like sunny weather. And rainy weather, and thunder, and clouds. I like all kind of weathers. Everything’s nice.”
There was a really short silence, before Ditzy asked, tilting her head a little, “What’s your name big boy?”
Sombra was dumbfounded by her boldness. She clearly didn’t know him.
“King Sombra,” he answered slowly.
“Ooh, a king!” Ditzy exclaimed and her eyes had some kind of a strange excitement in them.
“We have reformed a princess and a god of chaos, but not a evil king yet…” she started, then held a small pause and looked at him with her good eye. “Yeah. That’s awesome.”
She then flapped her wings once. “But I really need to go now. It was nice meeting you.”
Twilight nodded and then looked at Sombra and asked, “And what do you say?”
Sombra glared daggers at her, but forced out just barely audible reply towards Ditzy Doo, “Have a... nice day.”
“Yeah, you too big boy!” Ditzy said happily and nudged him in the chest with her hoof. Then she left Twilight Sparkle and Sombra, who felt like the last pieces of the dignity he had left had been ripped away from him.
“That went really well!” Twilight exclaimed happily, her wings quivering a little from excitement. She was about to say something, but Sombra started to walk away quietly. Twilight sighed and trotted after him.
“What’s wrong now?” she asked. “You are being all grumpy again.”
Sombra was silent.
“Come on!” Twilight shouted, sounding annoyed. “Stop being like that! We’re making progress! It’s a good thing!”
That was the thing. They were making progress, which Sombra didn’t want. He had his own plans, and none of them included actually learning anything from Twilight Sparkle. It was scary almost. He getting all mushy with a wall eyed peasant. Why was he acting up like that again? Why did Ditzy Doo, of all ponies make him feel like that. She was just the local laughing-stock.
Sombra suddenly stopped mid-step, his right front-hoof still in the air. He blinked couple of times, his eyes wide. Dear Celestia, was it compassion that he was feeling towards the gray pegasus. No no no! It was bad. He knew that he couldn’t afford to feel compassion towards anypony. It was a big problem considering his plan. What if he started to feel compassion towards his enemies? No, he had to be ruthless and merciless.
“Are you alright?” Twilight suddenly asked, pulling himself away from his thoughts. He turned to look at the purple mare, seeing that she had a worried look on her face. Sombra felt the same terrible feeling of compassion when he thought how much Twilight would be deceived when he finally would put his plans to action. This was bad.
“Yes!” he quickly answered, looking away from the mare. “I’m just… Getting a headache.”
“Oh! I have a spell that’ll take it away,” Twilight said and her horn started to glow. “There! All better?”
Sombra cursed in his mind.
“Yes,” he said slowly. “May I ask you if I could go back to my own personal chambers now?”
“Aww,” Twilight said, clearly annoyed, “You were doing so well! Why stop now?”
“Because I don’t feel like doing it anymore,” Sombra said and turned to look straight ahead of himself.
Twilight was about to say something, but knew that he wouldn’t change his mind, so she just said, “Okay. I’d say that you’ve done enough for the day.”
“Agreed,” was all that Sombra said, before starting to walk towards the large castle that towered over the other houses.
“Are you hungry?” Twilight asked when she caught up with him. Sombra nodded.
“What would you like to eat?” Twilight continued. Sombra thought for a moment, before turning to look at Twilight.
“What would you like to eat, Twilight Sparkle?” he asked with his slippery voice, as politely as he could. He saw how Twilight’s eyes started to sparkle and a small smile appeared onto her face.
“Let me think...” she started and rubbed her chin with her hoof. “I would love some fried beetroots with potatoes and gravy.”
“Well,” Sombra said and gave a sly smile towards her. “Then we won’t be eating that.”
Twilight Sparkle’s expression changed from happy to surprise, and then into angry one. Sombra couldn’t help himself but to laugh mischievously. He then looked at the purple alicorn next to him, and saw that she looked angry. She held her nose up and didn’t look at him. It made him feel a bit bad about himself. He bit his lower lip and cursed mentally.
“Would it please you if we ordered something from the restaurant?”