• 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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36. The Grand Galloping Gala (pt 3)

"Aren't these just lovely?" Rarity said as she approached some unusual flowers, not yet in bloom. They were white and shaped like a thin five pointed star.

"The flowers have not yet come into bloom, once they do, they shall truly be a beautiful sight to behold." Luna said as she began to show every pony her garden. She had not lied in that part, she had indeed been working on a special kind of flower.

"So when will they bloom?" Twilight asked as she took a closer look. "They don't look like any flower I have seen."

"Of course not, for We have created them."

"You made them yourself?" This time a high pitched voice asked.

"Yes, one that blooms at night."

"But flowers and other plants need the sun to grow, how could they bloom at night?" Twilight asked, completely confused by the oddity in front of her. It simply did not make logical sense to her.

"While it is true most flowers require the sun, I made these to specifically bloom in my moon's radiance."

"Do you have a name for it yet?" Fluttershy asked, she too joining Twilight in her close inspection.

"Not as of yet. Though We do not wish to make it too extravagant. A modest name would suffice."

"How about just the Moon Flower?"

"Hmm, simple and just to it's beginnings. Yes! We love it. Do you hear dear Moon Flower? Thy name hast been chosen." Luna said to the delicate flower, her love and care for it in clear view.

"A small flower that needs the dark to fully blossom..." Fluttershy said to herself as stallions came into view. She smiled as she saw Sombra and the others walk their way. "Reminds me of some pony."

"Hi love." Shining called out to his wife. She turned to see him and a soft smile spread across her face.

"Hey there, what took you guys so long?"

"We got...caught up with Blue Blood." Shining said while looking away.

"He didn't do anything he'll regret did he?" Rarity asked, she was already too familiar with the stallion to know he would not have a change of heart since last year.

"He did, and I'm sure he already regrets it." Sombra said, a small grin upon his face. The feeling of victory over the poor unexpected stallion still fresh on his mind.

"Don't tell me you guys fought."

"I am more civilized than to start a brawl at a party, but I am sure he won't live down the embarrassment of being publicly humiliated any time soon."

"You didn't."

"I did."

Every pony remained quiet for a moment before they all bursted into laughter. As much as Blue Blood had gotten on their nerves, none had the actual courage to tell him off themselves. Sombra, of course, cared little for his reputation as of late, so he did not hold any punches.

"Umm, Sombra." Fluttershy began. "Would you, I mean if you don't mind...Do you think you could accompany me to the gardens out by the fountain? I want to go see the animals there but don't want to go alone."

Sombra raised a brow at the fidgeting mare who could not seem to keep still despite her best intentions to do so. "I suppose I've nothing else to do." He said as he took a quick glance at Pinkie who was pouting at her pegasus friend.

"Great!" Fluttershy almost shouted out in excitement.

"Lead the way." Sombra said as he gestured the mare to go first. As the left Rarity approached the pouting mare.

"I didn't expect her to actually make a move, less so this soon into the night." She said, surprised at her friend's actions.

"Jeez! If this keeps up, I won't be able to spend any time with Sombrie."

"Worry not fair Pinkie Pie, the night is still young." Luna said as she placed a wing around her. As she tried to comfort the pink mare, Rarity couldn't help but wonder what the Moon Goddess's role was, after all, she always seems to be on Sombra's side.

"Princess Luna, I don't mean to pry, but what is your relationship with Sombra exactly?"

Luna smile as she looked over at the silhouettes of Sombra and Fluttershy, now too far away see them clearly. "That of friendship We suppose would be the right word."

"Just friendship?"

"Well, We must admit that Sombra is quite the splendid stallion and that we share many interests and similarities, but in the end, what I feel doesn't really matter now does it?"

"What do you mean?" Pinkie asked, raising her head to Luna.

"One cannot win over a heart that has already been conquered. It is Sombra's choice to pick who he wishes to be romantically involved with, not any pony else's, don't you agree?"

"I suppose you're right..." Rarity said as she glanced at Pinkie.

"Though, that does not mean one cannot try." Luna said with a wink. "After all, all is fair in love and war."


Finding a quiet spot near the garden fountain, Sombra and Fluttershy sat down as they waited, though for what, Sombra wasn't entirely sure.

"Pray tell, what are we doing?" He asked, looking around a the quiet surrounding.

"Well, last time I was here I got super frustrated with the garden animals because they didn't seem to like me."

"That's hard to imagine. I've read about your feats when it comes to animals."

"Yes well, I know now I just went about it the wrong way."

"So what is the right way to go about it?" Sombra asked, but before he could get a response, he felt something land on his head. Calm and slowly, he glanced up to see a small red bird sitting on his head.

"The trick, is getting them to come to you." Fluttershy finally responded with a smile. Before they knew it, many birds of all colors and sizes began to flock around them. Most of them, however, landing on the stoic stallion who didn't seem to mind them using him as a perch. "They seem to like you."

"No idea why." He said as he looked around, trying the best he could not to move to rapidly.

"You're just so kind and gentle with them. You're the same with kids too!" Fluttershy said, remembering the stories she heard of Sombra.

"I just treat them best I know how. Children are easy to read. Innocent and fragile. I was born into a world of war and misery. I want to preserve the innocence of children lest they go through what I went through."

"And the birds?"

"I guess they just think my mane is a nest." Sombra joked. As he began to interact with the animals, Fluttershy couldn't help but blush at him and how good he was with animals, or at least the birds.

Sombra had been away from the main party, meaning that his flames had stopped their combustion, something the birds seem to appreciate. One of the smaller ones, a bird who by the looks of it just learned how to fly, landed on Sombra's muzzle. Standing at the edge of the last white arrow on his black mane, they stared at each other blankly for a while, Sombra's stoic expression competing with the bird trying to break him out of it.

The small bird swayed back and forth and made small faces at him in an effort to get a reaction, but the dark 'perch' was not amused. The only response he received was the raise of an eye brow. Finally the bird gave up and sat down in disappointment, causing Sombra to chuckle.

"No one beats me at a staring contest small one." He said with a slight smile.

As Fluttershy and Sombra continued to sit with the birds surrounding them, they heard the echo of hooves passing close by, and by the sound of it, getting closer. They were just two ponies from the party who too wanted to get away. A stallion trying to court a mare by the motions of them.

Even though the other stallion seemed calm and collected, Sombra's eyes began to spark into flames, proving otherwise. The stallion was afraid of messing up his chances with the mare. Fluttershy noticed his flames began to come out and gasped because the sudden combustion would surely scare the birds away. To her surprise, however, the flock of birds didn't even budge. Even the one sitting on Sombra's muzzle seemed alright with the dark flames extending out from his eyes.

"Oh my, I thought they would fly away."

"I did too." Sombra said as he glanced around to the birds. "Seems they don't care that they could turn into fried chicken in an instant." As he spoke, the small bird blew a raspberry at him. Fluttershy giggled as she saw them interact.

"Still, maybe dark magic just doesn't bother them." Sombra said as he picked up the small bird and put them down. "Honestly speaking I don't know all that much about dark magic other than how it works and what I can do with it. It's origin and even meaning in our world is a mystery to me."

"You'll figure it out one day."

"Yeah, maybe."

"Well what have we here?" A voice interrupted their conversation, a voice both of them recognized for different reasons.

"Discord?" Fluttershy asked out with a smile.

"Who else could it be?" One of the birds asked out, it's eyes yellow and red like the original body. Still smiling, Fluttershy hugged the small animal before Discord turned back to return the embrace.

"You're a little late." She said, pulling away to talk.

"You're friends would not leave me alone."


"Applejack and Rainbow Dash. They think that I would cause a mess, but really, I can't top the chaos you all made from the year prior." As he said this, Fluttershy blushed, remembering her...moment from the last year.

"This I have to hear." Sombra said from the ground, still a perch to many birds.

"Nonononono-"The mare began, but it was too late, Discord had already used his magic to bring out a screen to start a movie. A small countdown. After that, a quick successions of mishaps began to come into view. First Pinkie taking her partying a little overboard for a formal gathering followed by Applejack's cake being thrown towards Rarity and Blue Blood. The stallion used the white mare as a shield, and in retaliation, Rarity began to throw bits of cake to the groomed prince, in his stumbling, he knocked down a statue that Rainbow tried to keep from falling, but to no avail. After the fall of many pillars around the hall, everything became rather quiet as every pony looked around at the chaos.

"That does seem rather 'messy'." Sombra said with a chuckle.

"Oh we haven't even gotten to the best part yet." The draconequus said as Fluttershy burst into the hall.

'You're going to LOVE me!' The Fluttershy in the screen shouted out as animals ran away from her and into the hall. The one in the real world did her best to hide behind her mane as embarrassment took over.

"Is this what you meant by 'frustrated'?" Sombra asked the beet red mare.

"Yes..." She said meekly. The two 'reformed villains' did their best to hold back their laughter knowing that Fluttershy probably would not take it very well, but it was still rather humorous to see her act in such a strange opposite to her usual personality.

"There you are!" A voice shouted out as a rainbow bolt landed near the trio.

"Slow down Rainbow!" Another voice shouted as it came close to them.

"It seems I've been found again." Discord said with a smile as Rainbow Dash and Applejack approached them, causing the birds that were on Sombra to fly away. He looked disappointed as they went away.

"Ah should have guessed ya would be with Fluttershy." Applejack said as she fixed her hat that had gotten out of place from running.

"Fluttershy! What are you doing with Discord and Sombra?" Rainbow asked out, almost aggressively.

"Well, I just wanted to spend some time with Sombra and then Discord came by and-" Fluttershy had began, but quickly grew to a stop as her friends raised an eye brow at her. "I mean, it's just that Sombra saved me and...and." Fluttershy fumbled with her words. She wasn't exactly ready to tell others of her crush, especially now in front of Sombra. As she tried to get a word out, Discord leaned over to the dark stallion who was getting to his hooves.

"This is our chance to get away."

"And leave Fluttershy behind?" Sombra asked the chaos god.

"Who has a better chance of coming out unscathed? Fluttershy against her friends or us?"

"Point taken."

With a snap of Discord's fingers, the two of them were gone, leaving behind the mares who were not all too pleased with being juked around.


"Awww, where's Sombrie?" Pinkie asked out as she slouched on the table she and her friend were at, the rest of them were off enjoying the party, leaving just her and Rarity behind.

"Patience Pinkie." Rarity said as she took a sip of her drink. "I'm sure that Sombra will be here an second now to sweep you of your hooves." She said with a smile.

"Ha ha, very funny. You know Sombrie isn't that kind of stallion."

"You never know, he might surprise you."

"Well I do like surprises." She replied with a giggle. "But he's probably having lots of fun with Fluttershy, I can't compete with her."

"You're not giving yourself enough credit dear."

"But Fluttershy is cute and graceful and kind. I'm just kinda...me." Pinkie said as she gestured to herself, but unknown to her, Sombra and discord materialized behind her, the dark stallion only catching the latter part of her statement.

"And is there something wrong with you Pinkamena?" He asked nonchalantly.

"Wha!? Where did you come from?!" Pinkie shouted out in shock. Sombra didn't seem fazed in the slightest by the situation, he took a seat next to them.

"We just barely escaped from a life or death situation." Discord said with a grin before taking notice of the others near the refreshments and proceeded to fly away to pester Twilight and her family, all in good fun no doubt.

Noticing who was left at the table, Rarity stood up and began to make her way to the others as well. "I'm quite famished, I'll go get something to drink." She said, giving an excuse to her actions.

"I could get it for you if you wish." Sombra said, but his offer was denied.

"Goodness no. You said you just escaped a deadly situation, you should rest." She said as she stuck her tongue at Sombra in a teasing manner. His only response was return her gaze with annoyance.

Pinkie and Sombra were left alone in awkward silence, mostly for Pinkie who was not ready for the situation at hoof. Sombra, however, was more interested in the dancing ponies close by. They had a clear view where they were sitting and Sombra was ery much enjoying their graceful movements.

"Do you like to dance?" Pinkie asked, noticing the dark stallion looking over at the dance floor.

"I'm just...melancholy. This entire situation, it reminds me of my time as king." Sombra said before looking away. "I must sound like a broken record, always bringing that up."

"That just means you were really passionate about being king."

"Not really, I just-...I suppose old habits die hard." He said as he went back to looking at a dancing couple.

"It's always nice to look back and enjoy the good old times." Some pony said from behind them. Agatha stood close to Sombra who had trouble looking at her in the eye.

"H-Hello Agatha."

"It's good to see you Sombra."

"I find that hard to believe." He said as he stood up to greet her properly. "I was quite rude to you last we met, and even more so before then."

"Nothing an apology won't fix." Agatha said with a soft smile. Sombra returned the gesture as he bowed his head.

"I'm sorry for acting the way I did. It was wrong of me."

"Apology accepted." She responded with a small laugh. "Really though, you're much too formal with me. Aren't we suppose to be friends?"

"I suppose we are." Sombra said with a light chuckle, glancing to the pink mare watching them, he gestured Pinkie to stand up. "This is Pinkamena Diane Pie, my reformer."

"It's nice to meet you!" Pinkie said in a cheery voice.

"The pleasure is all mine. I must say, you did a wonder with Sombra in bringing him back to his old self."

"Well...I don't think I really did all that much. Sombrie here just kinda figured it all out on his own."

"Sombrie?" Agatha said, giving Sombra a jestful look.

"Don't ask." He said, avoiding the question. "But Pinkamena is simply being modest. Her presence alone helped me."

"Say, Princess Luna's moon is beautiful tonight, how about we all go out and talk in the courtyard. It will certainly be less crowded than here." Agatha requested. Pinkie and Sombra looked at each other before nodding, there really wasn't any reason to stay inside anyway, and by the look of things, more and more ponies were beginning to come into the dance hall.

Walking outside, they were greeted with a delightful breeze that allowed them all to get a breath of fresh air. Pinkie was the first one to run ahead and spin around looking at all the pretty decorations. It was part of her career to know how to decorate for parties, but this was something on another level for her.

"Having fun?" Sombra asked as Pinkie bumped into him, dizzy from spinning.

"A blast Sombrie" She responded, looking up at the stallion. They remained still until Pinkie realized that they had been staring into each other's eyes for a little too long, causing her to blush slightly making her break eye contact. Agatha smiled as she saw them interact, their care for one another apparent for all to see, probably all but each other. In her distraction, the old librarian didn't notice a white stallion walk by her.

"Though 'Sombrie' isn't his name now is it?" Blue Blood asked as he came close to the duo. Sombra instantly recognized the voice and turned around with an annoyed expression.

"That's right, to you it's Sombra." He replied dryly.

"But even that isn't your real name, right?" Blue Blood stated as he dropped a folder filled with many different files on the ground between them. "At least, not the one you were born with....Elite Blood."

Sombra stood still as he stared at the stallion smirking at him. Slowly he turned to face him and calmly looked at him, not willing to fall into his taunts.

"I managed to find quite a few interesting things about you. You'd be surprised what kind of stuff our records keeps up with, even from a thousand years ago."

"That's enough Blue Blood."

"I was wondering why you knew so much about my heritage, then I found a few documents that spoke of a strange member of my family. Born of an Earth Pony mother and a Unicorn father, Elite Blood was given the birth right of becoming a prince as part of the Blood linage, like me."

"Be quiet Blue Blood."

"But because he was just a half breed, his magic was not able to compete with the others of his family, and so one day he was excommunicated in what was then called, 'The Endless Winter Wild Lands'. Dishonored and stripped of his title, he was left for dead, never to be heard from since then."

"Silence Blue Blood!" Sombra shouted out, finally unable to hold back his anger. "I am not Elite Blood anymore, I am Sombra!"

"Yes, I suppose you are. But which Sombra are you hmm? Sombra the savior of Ponyville? Or Sombra the Tyrant of the Crystal Empire?" Blue Blood asked, still trying to push the buttons of the stallion who was using all of his will power to restrain himself from murdering the white prince in front of him.

"S-Sombrie?" Pinkie asked as she looked at the stallion trembling in anger. By this time, many ponies were beginning to come into the courtyard to see who it was that had shouted, among them were the other of the elements and royals who were surprised to see Sombra and Blue Blood facing off.

Liking the large audience he managed to get from the confrontation, Blue Blood took a step forward towards Sombra. "I here by challenge you to a Duel of the Blood. How about it Elite? Care to put your weak magic to the test?"

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