• Published 8th Apr 2014
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Shadow's Enigma - Note Sketch

With his dark past heavy on his mind, Sombra is put to the test as he begins a reformation process. Though his mind is no longer crowded with the influence of dark magic, his heart is none the lighter. Let the test begin.

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24. Things Get Complicated

"So do you think you can make it?" Twilight asked her friend a Celetia maintained herself in the background, gazing at the peaceful scenery of the outside of the boutique.

"Why of course darling." Rarity responded almost immediately. "Is every pony else going?"

"Well I asked Fluttershy and she agreed, haven't spoken to Pinkie, Applejack, or Rainbow Dash yet."

"Perfect, I can go get Pinkie and you can just focus on Applejack and Rainbow."

"Are you sure? I was hopping we could all just meet up with Sombra and Luna together."

"Nonesense, it would save time for all of us and isn't that what we want? As much time together as possible?"

"Well I suppose you're right..." Twilight agreed reluctantly, though she couldn't exactly refuse with her friend already pushing her out. As Twilight saw her friend run off in the direction of Sugarcube corner she rejoined the sun goddess whom was quietly observing a small flower. "Jeez, it sure seems like Rarity is in a hurry to get every pony there..."

"Don't worry, we'll see her again soon enough, how about we go to your other friends to see if they want to come along too?"

Twilight nodded to Celestia's gentle toned request. As they headed off she couldn't shake the feeling that something was just...off about Rarity. The white mare, on the other hand, couldn't be more ecstatic. She rushed over to Pinkie's home, the plan conjuring in her head couldn't be more perfect.

"Pinkie? Are you there?" Rarity asked out to her friend's window. Sure enough a puffy maned mare poked her head out to the sound of her name.

"Oh hi Rarity!" She answered back with a smile. "What brings you here?"

"Why don't you come down and I'll explain on the way."

"On the way? Where are we going?" The pink mare asked as she began to make her way out. It did not take long for her to navigate her homes interior and quickly make it outside to talk face to face with Rarity.

"We're going to perform that little experiment I was talking to you about."


Picnics. It seems that Sombra's life has been revolving around these outside lunch events quite a lot these past few days, probably more than he'd ever think he's ever take part of. A groan escaped him as the cloud that had been blocking the sun from his visions slowly moved away, placing the dark stallion back in the heat of day.

"Thou art not a fan of the sun?" Luna asked as she took a sip of her drink.

"As cliche as it might sound, no, I am not. I spent most of my time in darkness and I had hoped to keep it that way."

"Surely thou jest? Thou art reformed now are thou not?"


The answer caused the moon goddess to look at him in confusion. "But thou doth not seem interested in causing chaos."

"Nor do I feel compelled to do good either."

"Fair assumption. Still, thou hast taken a step forward in reformation."

"My question is, does Equestria really need a mage of the dark arts? Seems counter intuitive to have one such as me around if peace and harmony is what you're after."

"We have no answer that may satisfy thee, We fear."

"No pony does, don't worry about it."

Sombra took a sip of his own drink as the duo sat in silence. Currently, they had been left behind while Twilight and Celestia rounded up the elements of harmony for their little get together. He wasn't particularly interested in socializing, but it seems that the sun goddess had no intention of allowing him to disengage from other ponies like he had liked. He has had nothing but a headache anytime she had gotten involved in anything he wanted, she always seemed to twist it in strange ways.

"Doth thou have something on thine mind?"

"Just dreading the event to come."

"Thine horrors are ill placed. Twilight Sparkle's friends are plenty 'fun', thou shall see."

Sombra sighed. "But all I wanted to do was speak to Celestia about Sparkle, this whole event seems like a waste of time."

"Our sister doth have a 'one track mind', once she is set on a goal she shall not give up on it."

"And what, pray tell, is her goal?"

"Thine reformation."

Sombra planted his hoof between his eyes as an annoyed expression befell him. "Doth she really need to do this?" Sombra said, but quickly shut his mouth as he realized he accidentally mimicked Luna's speech pattern, causing her to giggle.

"It seems We have an influence on thee."

"Yeah well, it can't be helped when we spend most nights together."

"Thou should watch thy tongue, such a statement is awfully suggestive."

"Oh please, we're alone right now, be sure that I would watch my word choice much more when the 'guests' arrive. I have no intention of making the hole I've dug myself into any larger."

Again Luna giggled. "Hole? Thou art strange indeed."

Sombra turned his head in annoyance. His patience had already been running low and the constant tease was no helping his mood. "I've heard that statement many a times in my life time."

Again the retreated to silence as they waited for their friends. Though Sombra had to admit, if he had to stay trapped in constant conversation with some pony, he'd much rather it be Luna than any pony else. After all, she was the first pony to try to help him while under the heavy influence of his dark magic.

Sombra sniffed the air around him, raising his nuzzle as he did. His strange gesture made the princess giggle.

"What art thou doing?"

Sombra looked around but couldn't place the direction of the scent around him. "Nothing...I just smell vanilla." He said, giving up on his search. It wasn't necessarily a top priority for him right now, especially not if it wasn't the stench of a changeling.

"Thou hast a sensitive snout?"

"I trained myself to be perceptive of smells. It's come in handy plenty of times in the past."

Accepting his answer, Luna dropped the subject. Though it would seem like a strange skill to develop for a modern day pony, this was surely something she could relate to from a thousand years ago. They remained in silence once more but Sombra couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched.

"How peculiar..." Rarity said to herself as she and Pinkie hid in a bush a few yards away. Using binoculars to spy on Sombra and Luna, they observed their interactions.

"Whats so strange about that?" Pinkie asked, putting down her binoculars. "It just looks like they're just sitting down talking."

"Can't you see it? Sombra and Princess Luna have perfect chemistry." Rarity said as she began to look at detailed hints of her statement. "They both seem enjoy each other's company and despite their rather different personalities, they seem to be rather okay with each other's presence. I'm afraid that perhaps you might have more competition than you think."

Rarity's statement did nothing to build confidence in the pink mare's heart. As she heard her words she could feel a small constriction in her chest over the stallion sitting next to what most would consider the 'perfect mare.' After all, who wouldn't jump at the chance to be with a princess?

Sombra once again raised his head, this time for a slightly different reason. His eyes sparked in small purple blazes as he felt some pony's fear feed his power. The strange flames upon her friend's face made the princess give him a puzzled look.

"Doth thou realize thine face is set ablaze?" She asked at the rather come stallion in front of her despite the strange burns at his eyes.

"Don't you remember? These flames are fed on fear and hatred, some pony nearby must be feeling pretty afraid right now..." Sombra said as he began to stand up.

"We presume thou wish to find the source?"

"For curiosity sake, yes." He said as he began to walk off in the direction be thought the pony whom was so afraid was in.

"We shall accompany te." Luna shouted as she began to catch up to Sombra. "We would rather not stay alone for the duration of thy adventure."

"Please, it should not take very long."

Sombra and Luna began to make their way into the woods nearby and they walked, a strange array of smells filled the stallion's nostrils. He kept his comments to himself for courtesy sake, but he couldn't help but feel there was something awfully familiar about the smell. As he had expected, once he had reached the origin of the fear he consumed, no pony was there. He surveyed the area as a soft hum escaped him in.

"Something of interest?"

"Yes..." Sombra responded as he knelt down to touch at the dirt. "Still warm, some pony had been sitting here." He looked up over the bush and noticed that the picnic blanket off in the distance. "Looks like we've been watched..."

"Were we now? Doth thou hold a secret admirer?"

Sombra's mind quickly ran to the image of Pinkie and Fluttershy and his eyes narrowed in annoyance as he finally connected the dots. "I certainly hope not...."

With that their small trip was over and they decided to head back to the picnic area only to find that they suddenly had some company. Sombra remained stoic as the sun goddess and the elements of magic and kindness waited for them at their former location.

"My my, a young health stallion and a beautiful mare walking out of the woods like that would give somepony the wrong impression." Sombra heard somepony say....a male voice. A sudden feeling of alarm befell him a he searched the area for the one who spoke.

"Oh Discord, leave them alone, I am sure it isn't what you're implying." Fluttershy said out, but as far as Sombra could see, to an invisible being.

"Discord?" He asked himself out loud. Suddenly he felt a claw at his shoulder as a draconequus materialized from thin air. Sombra jumped to the side as muscle memory took over him, suddenly taking a defensive stance.

"Oh my, did I startle you?" Discord asked with a grin on his face. Sombra did his best to regain his composure as he began to stand at ease, but the sight of such a mix matched creature didn't allow him that luxury. He didn't respond, but that didn't stop Discord to continue the conversation. "How I've been wanting to meet you King Sombra."

"I am no longer a king." Sombra said as he tried to walk past the draconequus, but Discord would not have it as he twisted his thing dragon body to coil around Sombra and once again stand in front of the dark stallion.

"Yes yes, taken down by the lovely elements of harmony, no?"

"No, it was the power of the Crystal heart."

"Of course of course, like Chrysalis right? Love sent you flying away. Speaking of which, didn't the queen of the changelings pay you a visit?" Discord said as he placed his head inches away from Sombra's with a sly expression on it. Sombra pushed him back with his hoof and replied.

"Yes, what's your point?"

"No point at all, just trying to get to know you!" Discord said as he disappeared as if he was just popped like a balloon only too 're-pop' into existence behind Sombra as he picked him up in a hug. "After all, we reformed baddies need to stick together."

Sombra did not hesitate to summon a crystal pillar behind him, quickly slipping from Discord's grip, leaving him hugging the pillar instead as the dark stallion stood on top of it. Discord did not have time to react before the pillar grew spikes that would have impaled him had he not twisted his long limps and thin body to avoid the sharp skewers.

"Woah woah woah, that could have seriously hurt me!" Discord proclaimed as he slithered away as a snake before turning back to 'normal' a few feet away. "Why would you do that?"

"Sombrie doesn't like hugs." A peppy voice stated from the distance. Pinkie and Rarity were coming close to the picnic area with a box of sweets on hoof.

Everypony greeted each other in a cheerful manner and once all the hugs were made, Twilight spoke up.

"I thought you two were going to get here before us." She said as she looked over at what the duo were carrying.

"I know dear, but Pinkie Pie wanted to bring some cupcakes for all of us, after all, it has been so long since we've all hung out together." Rarity said with a smile.By this time Sombra had retracted his pillar and was on ground level.

"Thou hast something against hugs?" Luna asked as she come close by to the stallion brushing off his suit, the jacket a little wrinkled by Discord's grip.

"I simply do not feel comfortable getting 'hugged'."

While everypony else had gathered around Pinkie to get a cupcake from here and Rarity, Sombra and Luna remained back a few feet to converse, nothing against the sweet being given out, but simply did not want to be part of the group ganging up for a mere cupcake. Pinkie glanced to see them speaking calmly and her smile lost some of its curve.

They DO seem to have good chemistry.... Pinkie thought to herself as she put up a facade while every pony grabbed one of her homemade sweets. Rarity noticed her friend's ever so subtle change in attitude and began to think to herself. Finally, after the group thinned out, the dark duo came up to Pinkie for their share.

Sombra made eye contact as he spoke to the pink mare. "So, you made these just now?" He asked as he used his magic to grab one.

"Y-Yeah." Pinkie said, trying her best to remain her happy self despite how close her crush was to Princess Luna whom did not seem to mind having her wing brush against Sombra.

"I see, you should invite me next time, it was fun last time we baked." He said as he took a bite from the cupcake. He turned around and began to make his way back to the blanket that had been laid down on the ground for their convenience.

The cupcake isn't warm, it was not freshly made...Pinkamena still has a strong scent of vanilla on her...she was the one spying on me. Sombra thought as he tried to paste the clues together. But why did the flames of fear spark? Could it be the loophole I found? But what is Pinkamena afraid of? He laid down on a small corner of the blanket, with every pony else already immerced in conversation around him he was left alone to his own thoughts, that is until Luna came by next to him as she sat at his side. Sombra's eyes widened as a surge of some pony's fear came over him...Pinkie's fear Don't tell me...Pinkamena is jealous of Luna? Sombra asked himself as he turned to look at the moon goddess eating away at her sweets.

"Tartarus damn it..." Sombra said softly to himself.

Author's Note:

Wow, this chapter took way longer than I had expected. I don't know how many times I rewrote everything! Sorry ya'll had to wait so much.

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