• 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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31. Pranks!

"What?!" Pinkie screamed as she heard her friend's idea. It had been a few days since Rainbow Dash had returned to Ponyville and she was not liking Sombra one bit. Always butting heads, but it had been mostly one sides as Sombra simply brushed her off.

"Come on, lets prank Sombra." Rainbow said, a deadly grin upon her face.

"You're kidding right? You wanna prank the ex tyrant of the Crystal Empire? The Sorcerer of dark magic? The pony who went head to head with Princess Celestia and Princess Luna? Are you crazy?!" Pinkie responded, still unable to believe her friend would even suggest it.

"Of course I'm serious! I mean think about it. How do you know this guy is really reformed? What if he is just biding his time, waiting for us to lower our guard and then strike when we least expect it? If we catch him in his lie now, we can avoid being blind sided!" The blue pegasus said, trying to find a convincing purpose to her suggestion.

"I don't know...."

"Come oooon Pinkie, I know you want to see Sombra break out of that stupid serious look he always has. Doesn't it annoy you? That he doesn't ever smile or laugh? I'm sure a good prank will get those things out of him if he is reformed, and if he isn't then we would have caught him in his lie."

Pinkie began to think. Sure Sombra never did anything other than keep his stoic expression, and every time he did show emotion, it was usually to cry or frown. It would be nice to see him laugh and smile for once. He had been the only pony she couldn't get a smile out of, mostly because she didn't really try to do so, Sombra didn't exactly seem he'd like it, though that was when had just met. He was different now.

"Okay. Let's try out a small prank, but nothing too bad, we don't want to cause trouble."

"So something to just test the water huh? I've got just the thing!"


"So now I have to meditate?"

"Yes, you've gone through several rounds of training where I feed you dark magic. You need to cleanse your body of the foreign magic within or it can mess with your own magic, and perhaps other things." Sombra said as she circled around the purple mare. He had cleared out a small room in the library used some of his magic to dim the light, creating a cozy dark place for her.

"I'm telling you it would be better if you just taught me how to drain dark magic on my own."

"Not yet Sparkle."

She sighed as she heard him say those words for the twelfth time since their training had begun. It had been hard on her having to hold back so much, hard and frustrating. Twilight wanted to engross herself in her studies like she usually did, but she also understood where he was coming from. Still, there was a difference between moderation and just being slow, and right now Twilight began to think that it was the latter.

Brushing the thought out of her mind, Twilight closed her eyes and got back to her assignment, meditation. She wasn't new to it, she hard learned how to do this already from Zecora and done it a few times with Sombra, but it only meant it was something she already knew, meaning it was no challenge for her. And if it was no challenge meant it was boring to her.

"I'll leave you to it." Sombra said as he began to make his way.

"Where are you going?"

"Just to get some water." He said as he opened the door out, light shined in and made Twilight shut her eyes at the sudden intensity. Sombra quickly stepped out and closed the door behind him. As he did however, he staggered to the wall. His legs could barely hold his own weight from how tired he was. Though he wasn't just exhausted from late nights and teaching, he was drained of power. It had been much too long since he acquired a good amount of dark magic and was running on fumes.

He would never let Twilight know how weak he felt, after all, it would not help his image, but more than that, it would not go with the facade he puts up. Sombra took a deep breath and regained some control over his limbs, quickly getting back into proper posture, head high and chest out.

As he walked to the kitchen Sombra pondered on ways he could perhaps gain some more dark energy for him to maintain himself on, at least until the Gala. He thought of perhaps going to visit Fluttershy, after all she was the main pony he could feed off of.

No...That mare has long ago stopped being afraid of me. And I'd rather not complicate things by visiting some pony for no reason.

Sombra made it to the sink and used his red aura magic to open the faucet, getting a cup he allowed the water to fill the glass container.

I could go and scare a filly or two, that would give me enough energy for a while. He thought as he took a drink of the now full cup. No...that would leave a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention ponies would not let me near their kids again, and I do so enjoy being around those children.

Sombra let out a sigh of satisfaction as the water began to hydrate his throat. A small victory over the sicking feeling his body was experiencing.

It's no use. There isn't any way of absorbing dark magic without hurting some pony else. Looks like I really don't belong in a peaceful world after all. Sombra thought as filled his glass again and began to make his way back to his student but as he walked, he heard soft whispers.

"This will be so awesome!" Rainbow Dash said as she placed a bucket of water on the door hinge. A simple trap for whoever opened the door, the sudden movement would cause the bucket to collapse onto the poor victim and get soaked.

"I don't know..." Pinkie said, still very unsure of how everything would work out if Sombra fell to their prank.

"It will be hilarious, just you wait."

Sombra quickly and quietly made his way to Pinkie's side and took a sip of his water. "Pulling a prank?"

The sudden voice shocked the mare, but remained surprisingly quiet. She looked back and forth between Sombra and Rainbow who was too thrilled with the prank she set up to see that their victim was already outside.

"Uh...Yeah..." Pinkie said in a hushed voice. "Just a friendly prank on a friend." She said with a nervous smile, hoping that Sombra would not be too angry with them. To her surprise, Sombra simply took another drink of his water and sat calmly next to her.

"So you ready Pinkie?" Rainbow Dash asked without looking back at her.

"Uh, yeah."

"Okay, here goes." The pegasus said as she began to clear her throat. "Help Help! Please some pony! I need some help!" She shouted out as loud as she could. A large amount of cluttering was heard as the sound of hoof steps were heard echoing closer, tripping over themselves and bumping into objects. Finally The moment of truth came and the door in front of them swung open.

What happened next was as everypony expected, the one who opened the door was drenched with water as the bucket fell on their head, a horn poking out from having pierced through the bucket. Rainbow began to laugh hysterically as Pinkie sat, a face of terror staring at the alicorn.

"Bahahahaha!" Rainbow continued to laugh, oblivious to the fact that it wasn't Sombra who was pranked. "You probably don't like your horn now do you?" She asked as she poked at the purple horn sticking out, laughing at how it was stuck but as she pointed out, she realized it wasn't the red spike she was expecting.

"Rainbow Dash...." Twilight said in a soft voice that had some held back anger. "What were you thinking!?" She shouted, her anger tearing the bucket of her head, her eyes erupting into purple flames. Rainbow Dash fell to the ground as the flames illuminated much of the room, purple lights shining on every pony's face.

Rainbow Dash, a little frightened from the flames, but more so at seeing her friend angry, took back to the air and flew out through a window, quickly leaving every pony behind. Sombra proceeded to chuckle at the mare's reaction and slowly made his way to his student.

"Now now Sparkle, you should calm down."

"Were you in on this!?"

"Of course not, just happen to be at the right place at the right time." Sombra said as he walked up to his student. He licked his hoof and put out the small flame that Twilight had ignited on her mane by her outburst. "You really must be more careful, with your recent training in dark magic, your emotions are unstable and can set your flames off."

Twilight narrowed her eyes at him, not exactly in a pleasant mood for a lecture. She, however, took a deep breath and tried to calm herself, exiting the room to go dry off and get back to her meditation, leaving just Sombra and Pinkie to themselves.

"Pinkamena, if you wish to prank Sparkle, do inform me before hand. Your friend might have some trouble with her temper while she is getting used to her magic." He said as he began to walk away, but stopped at the door's opening. "But I must admit, it was rather comical." He said before finally walking off to get a mop to clean up the puddle of water.

Pinkie was in shock, mostly because she wasn't exactly sure how to react. Sombra might have a sense of humor after all, he did laugh when Twilight was soaked. Well, it was a chuckle, but that was probably the best she'll ever get out of him. Pinkie grinned to herself as she left the library in search of her rather frightened friend. For the first time, Fluttershy wasn't the most scared pegasus in Ponyville.

With Twilight back to her 'studies', Sombra was left to clean after Rainbow's mess. Using his magic, he gently brushed the mop he found back and forth on the ground. Though it was a simple task, it was still tedious for him, still very weak from lack of any dark magic in his system. Still, Sombra wasn't about to let something so trivial mess with his everyday life. If he was to take part of being a modern pony, he could not have a 'full tank' all the time, if at all.

"You don't have to do that." Spike said as he walked to the tall stallion. "That's my job around here!" He said with a small laugh. Sombra blinked a few times, just now registering that someone had spoken with him.

"Huh?" He asked blankly.

"I said, I do the cleaning around here, you don't have to worry about this stuff." Spike said as he grabbed the floating mop, taking over for Sombra. "I've lived here with everypony for over a year, I'm used to all the mess they make."

"R-Right." He said, leaning on the wall close by. To any pony seeing him, it would have just looked like he was 'acting cool' by the stance he took, his legs crossed over at the opposite hoof and the shoulder pressed against the wooden wall, but Sombra was simply trying to keep his balance. "So what should I do then? Sparkle is busy with her meditation and no pony seems to be coming to the library today."

"Jeez, you'd think you and Twilight switched places. You help out here whenever you can here in the library and she broods in a corner about dark magic now."

"...Are you saying that everypony thought I was brooding?"

"Uh...How about you go out into town?" Spike said, avoiding the question. "It isn't good to stay indoors all day."

"There isn't a reason to go out."

"Then make one. In Ponyville something is always happening. Just explore a little and see what you can find." Spike said as he began to move away, mopping where he saw water. "When you first got here all you wanted to do was leave the library, now we can't get you to step outside."

"When I first got here...I wasn't all me."

"Yeah, you were all brooding."

Sombra narrowed his eyes in annoyance at the smirking dragon. Slowly he got back to his hooves and made his way out. The small drake only grinned as the dark stallion left the library. He probably would never admit it, but he cared what others thought of him, and Spike knew very well that he was itching to break the routine of the everyday. Two birds with one stone.


"He planned it!" Rainbow Dash shouted from her cloud up high.

"Oh come on Dashie, you don't have to be embarrassed that you were scared!" Pinkie teased from below.

"I wasn't scared! I...I was just retreating because the plan didn't work out!" Rainbow said as she poked her head from the cloud, her face red, thought whether it was of anger of embarrassment, no pony would ever know.

"Well, Sombra thought it was funny, so I guess he isn't trying to fool us after all." Pinkie said as she turned on her heels to walk away, but she had barely taken a single step when Rainbow Dash flew and landed in front of her.

"No way! He was probably just laughing cause he enjoys pony's suffering! We have to prank him again!"

"What? Again?"

"Yeah! And I've got a better prank in mind this time!" Rainbow said as she rubbed her hooves together while laughing to herself. Pinkie felt sweat run down her head as she struggled to maintain a nervous smile on her face. Any pony would say that she was the 'bad guy', if they saw her acting like that.


"Good Morning!" A mare said as she waved at Sombra. The tall stallion waved back, though rather hesitant to do so. Things were just s strange to him still.

"How's you day so far?" A stallion asked as he walked past Sombra.

"Just fine thank you."

"Care for a free sample?" Another mare asked as she waved out a treat she was selling.

"Perhaps at another time."

Sombra had immediately regretted falling into the small dragon's reverse psychology in leaving the library, after all, the main reason he did not want to go was because these towns folk were strange in their behavior towards him. One day they hate and avoid him, the next they give favors for his tickets, and now they all seem to have forgotten all about them.

Sombra sighed as he himself wished he had forgotten about those Tartarous forsaken tickets. They have been nothing but a headache since they appeared. He couldn't just choose not to go either, now that he is so low on dark magic he needs to go. He was almost too lost in thought to realize he was in a collision course with a mare. Breaking out of his daze, he stopped just as he was centimeters away from bumping into her.

"A thousand pardons, I was lost in thought." Sombra apologized, and began to walk around the mare until he heard her voice.

"Oh it's quite alright, what were you so lost in thought about?" Fluttershy asked with a smile. Sombra took a few steps back as he realized who he was speaking to.

"Uh...I was just thinking about the Gala..." He responded with a half truth. Not really willing to speak of his dread about the upcoming decision he needs to make. Both stood quiet for a minute, and though everything was alright on Fluttershy's part, Sombra was feeling rather awkward with just standing around saying nothing, but for better or for worse, he was suddenly knocked off his feet by what seemed like a rainbow.

"Umpf!" Was the only sound that came out of Sombra as the wind was knocked out of him. Rainbow Dash, who has knocked him over, took advantage of his muteness to insert a thermometer into Sombra's mouth, one that by the temperature, he could tell had been preheated.

"Sombra! There you are! How could you leave the library when you're sick!?" Rainbow Dash shouted out for all to hear. Sombra tried to answer, but was still unable to say anything.

"Sombra is sick?" Fluttershy asked as she flew over to the duo.

"Yes! Just take a look at this!" Rainbow said as she showed her friend the thermometer. "His fever hasn't gone down one bit!"

"Oh goodness, how could you push yourself like that?"

"I...*cough*, I'm not." Sombra said as he pushed the cyan pegasus off of him, finally able to speak. But as he tried to get to his hooves, he lost balance due to his physical weakness. This was definitely taking place at the most inopportune moment for him.

"Just look at the poor guy, he can't even stand up straight." Rainbow said, holding back a laugh. Sombra threw her a glare, but knew that he was unable to do anything at all, he had fallen for her trap.

"A thousand curses upon thee." He uttered under his breath, Sombra's olden nature taking over him for a second. This could not end well.


Sitting down with her eyes closed, Twilight sighed in boredom. This meditation was truly testing her patience, and at this point, there was very little for it to test. Thinking that perhaps a break was in order, she stood up and began to walk out of the dark room, but as she reached the door, she heard Spike speak from the other side.

"Oh Jeez! I almost forgot about Rarity's birthday!" He shouted as he ran across the hall.

Twilight stood still as the gears in her head began to turn. Quietly, the mare began to follow Spike to where he was. Peeking over the edge of the the door, Twilight looked over at her dear friend.

"Sombra did say it was painless....and that I had already done it once..." She said as purple flames began to spark out of her eyes. "Any kind of fear works...right?" She asked herself as she began to focus her attention on Spike. As if her very being was being lifted from stress and weariness, Twilight felt dark magic begin to drain into her like a breath of fresh air. She quickly stepped back and leaned on a close by wall. Looking down at her hooves, Twilight smiled to her self.

"I could get used to this."

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