• 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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3. The Sweet Smell of Vanilla

Sombra and Pinkie once again walked side by side , well, one walked the other hopped. It did not take long for Pinkie to quickly forgive Sombra's small teasing at her. Just like before, everytime they walked passed some pony whispers would be heard, though the dark stallion had ignored them the first few times, they were definitely starting to annoy him.

"Remind me, where are we headed this time?" He finally asked, mostly to have the sound of his voice drown out the outside noise from the murmurs.

"Well, everypony pony is really busy in the morning so I thought I could introduce you to the ones that aren't so busy."

"Huh..." Sombra said as he looked around. It was mid morning so everypony was busy. Maybe this would be a short list of ponies, which was perfectly fine by him. He wasn't exactly in the mood to talk to new ponies, especially after the little incident in the boutique.

Pinkie didn't seem to mind all the attention she was getting from being around the ex tyrant, it seemed that word traveled fast around Ponyville and soon the whispers and murmurs increased with more ponies coming out to see them. It was almost like a two pony parade, only with no screaming and cheering. Just awkward stares and whispers.

"Hi Carrot Top!" Pinkie called out to an earthpony not too far from them. She had a saddle on with some gardening supplies but as she turned to look at the pink mare she quickly shrunk down.

"Oh uh...hi Pinkie..." She hesitantly said as the duo walked closer to her. Sombra's stoic persona seemed to make her uncomfortable.

"Sombrie, this is Carrot Top, that's just a nickname though, right?" Pinkie said as she turned to look at the orange maned mare.

"Y-yeah, I'm Golden Harvest, but everypony calls me Carrot Top." She said meekly, trying her best to keep a friendly face. Truth be told, the only reason she had not run away was because Pinkie made it seem like this dark menacing figure was okay in a sense.

"Well I am not just 'anypony', I guarantee you. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Golden Harvest." Sombra said, holding his head high and making Carrot Top seem even smaller than she was. Pinkie continued to smile as she looked back and forth between her two friends.

"Oh uh....okay. I uh, have to get going. I'll see you around Pinkie? still alive I hope" She said before running off. Where to, it didn't matter, the mare just wanted to get away from Sombra. As she ran, his flame seemed to spark a few times before a smile faintly formed on his face.

"That wasn't very friendly you know." Pinkie said with what he would called a frown, though it was odd. It was almost like she was criticizing him for how he said things instead of what he did. He quickly caught on to what she was trying to say.

"Golden Harvest is such a graceful name, I'd hate to dishonor it by calling her 'Carrot Top' instead."

"Okay, I see what you mean, but she likes her nickname." Sombra simply grunted at her, just to show he acknowledged what she said before continuing to walk through the surprisingly quiet streets of Ponyville. The sound of Pinkie hopping would be the only noise that could be heard as they went on their way, mostly because they were now leaving town to some outside place.

"Did you not say we were to visit a friend of yours?" Sombra asked as he look a look around.

"Yeah, we're going to go see Fluttershy!"

"I have never heard a more character describing name."

"Yeah, she is pretty shy, but she's come a long way from her timid self! Soon she might have to change her name like me!" Pinkie said as she giggled to herself. This made Sombra quite curious, in all his time, he had never heard of some pony changing there name willingly like so.

"So what was your name prior to the change?"

"Oh, nothing too different, Pinkie is just more of a nickname. My full name is Pinkamena Diane Pie."

This certainly made Sombra stop dead in his tracks. He did not expect this bouncy pink mare to have such a name, especially her middle name, Diane.

"Everything okay Sombrie?" Pinkie asked once she realized he was a few feet behind. It took a little nudging to get him to come back to.

"What? Yes, yes, I'm alright." The dark stallion said once he was snapped back to reality. "You have...quite a full name." He finally said as he began to walk forward again.

"Yeah, my family is a little old school." The mare said with a giggle. From there on she carried on and began to tell him about her family, something he clearly wasn't interested in, but he nodded every once in a while to feign his attention to the topic. It was better for Pinkie to go into a monologue instead of having to converse with her. Though he wouldn't have had to suffer through it very long, they soon reached a cottage which he presumed to belong to this 'Fluttershy'.

"We're here!" Pinkie said as she hopped up to the door and knocked on it a few times. Sombra had barely gotten to the door when it opened, almost like a chemical reaction, Sombra's eyes light up in a burning combustion which shocked even him. Fluttershy who had just opened the door quickly shut it as she screamed out.

"Its Sombra! It's King Sombra!!" The yellow pegasus screamed from behind the door.

"Sombrie! That wasn't very nice! Turn down your purple fire thingy!" Pinkie shouted as she turned around towards the dumbfounded stallion. He remained this way until he finally realized what it was that happened, the mare who had locked herself in her home was so full with fear of him that she single handedly given him more fear to draw his power from than the entire crowd back at Sugarcube Corner. He couldn't help but smile as the gears in his head began to turn, but just as quickly looked off and began to walk away.

"It really isn't my fault. These flames run on fear, I can't help it if your friend is afraid of me." He said rather joyfully. Though not happy with the answer, Pinkie didn't really have much she could say. If what he said was true, it certainly wasn't his fault.

"Umm Fluttershy?" The pink mare asked as she propped her ear up to the door. "Sombra is okay, I'm suppose to reform him!"

"That's impossible! He's King Sombra! You saw how powerful he was last time we met him!" Fluttershy's voice was anything but soft and sweet at this point, making it a quick point to Pinkie that she was indeed terrified of him.

"Aww come on, give him a chance, I've gone around town all morning and he has had yet to attack any pony." Pinkie proclaimed as she puffed out her chest, though that claim was certainly not worded correctly for the shy mare who still kept her door shut. Again Pinkie spoke to try to convice her to open. "Come on, at least give Sombrie a chance! He said it was cause you're so scared of him that his eyes lit up like fireworks, so if you're not scared of him he won't scare you!"

"Though that make logical sense, I highly doubt the concept will be very effective for her." Sombra said form a few yards back. Pinkie ignored his comment as she continued to speak to Fluttershy.

"Come on, pleeeeeease? I'll get you some of those muffins you like!"

"Now you're bribing? Remind me who the 'bad guy' is here." Sombra said, poking fun at Pinkie who held a very unamuzed expression towards him.

"Pretty please Fluttershy? I promise he won't hurt you!" Silence fell over the duo as they waited for a response. Sombra was about to speak, but was stopped when he say Pinkie raise a hoof, as if asking for more time. Finally, after what seemed for ever, the door to the cottage creaked open ever so slightly. An eye peeked through and as it fell on Sombra his eyes sparked again causing her to shut the door out of shock. Again they waited for a while before Pinkie knocked again only to have Sombra's eyes burst again.

"Hey! Fluttershy didn't even open the door this time, you are doing it on purpose!" Sombra simply pointed up at the second floor window to have Pinkie see a moving curtain.

"She peeked from up there. These flames react on their own. " He said as he turned around again, this time making his way back to town.

"Hey! Where are you going?"

"Back to the library, your friend clearly doesn't want to meet me."

Pinkie wanted to call out to him to stop, but she quickly looked back at the cottage one more time before realizing he was probably right. She sighed softly before placing both hooves to the side of her nuzzle and shouting.

"I'm sorry he scared you Fluttershy! We'll be back later once you feel like you can talk to him, until then I'll keep him away from you!" She finished and ran towards Sombra who had already gotten pretty far ahead of her. As she left, the door opened slowly and Fluttershy poked her head out. A worried look spread across her face as she saw the pink mare trot away.

The rest of the way back to the library was rather uneventful, not to mention silent, which surprised the old king. He actually wanted to ask the mare what was wrong, but decided against it because one, he did not really care. And two, it would break the oh so lovely silence he finally got to enjoy.

"Think she might ever get to talk to you? You know, without her freaking out I mean."

Sombra's expression sunk as she spoke. He certainly did not want to talk. For some reason though, it only made Pinkie talk more. "I mean Fluttershy is really fragile, it's no wonder she can't help but be afraid of her, and I don't blame her either, you do look pretty scary." After a quick sigh Sombra finally spoke.

"If you find me so 'scary', why is it I don't sense a single strand of fear in you?"

"Well duh, its cause I know you're not a bad guy!"

"And how did you come to that conclusion?"

"Cause you volunteered to become reformed! you wouldn't if you were a bad guy silly!"

"And what makes you think I volunteered?"

"Cause you came here with Celestia!"

"And how do you know I wasn't forced to come, stripped of my dark magic, and a prisoner to this reformation?"

"Cause I can tell that you want to be a good guy! I can see it in your eyes." Pinkie's sudden appearance surprised him. She almost seemed to have materialized right in front of him as she grabbed a hold of the sides of his head, looking at him straight into his eyes. His stoic expression remained as she gazed at him. "I can see it clear as day!"

"And what if you're wrong? What if I'm fooling you into a false sense of security and biding my time to strike? What if when I do I destroy everything and everypony you care about?" Sombra asked as he tried to plant a seed of doubt within the young mare's heart, which seemed to work. Pinkie's smile lost some of it's curve and the flames upon Sombra's eyes flickered as she soon felt a small sliver of terror enter her.

The stallion couldn't help but smile as he did what he did best, spread fear in pony's hearts, but before he could gloat in his own glory, a strong scent of vanilla overwhelmed him. He froze as he realized the pink mare had just wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug, her puffy mane pressed against his muzzle. Pinkie smiled softly as she hugged the rather tall stallion, the flames in his eyes all but went out as he tried to react.

"Then I'd hug you and tell you that's no way to make friends." Pinkie said softly as her words found their way into Sombra's ears, her breath sending a jolt down his spine. Quickly, he grabbed a hold of her and pulled her out of the embrace before stepping to the side, his head angled down slightly to hide a faint blush appearing at his cheeks.

"Don't do that again." He mustered out before walking again. Left behind, Pinkie quickly regained some hop in her step as she followed close behind.

"Okie dokie loki!"

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