• 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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37. The Grand Galloping Gala (pt 4)

"Are you mad?!" Sombra shouted out as he confronted his Blood relative.

"Mad? Of course not, I'm just acting as any Blood would. After all, I have been the last of my kind for years, who would pass up the opportunity to fight another after such amazing news?" Blue Blood responded, and unlike Sombra, held a smirk that only made him want to tear it off of him.

"You can take him!" Rarity shouted, cheering for her favorite of the two. Sombra only scuffed at her voice, using his magic to pick up the folder between him and Blue Blood and tossing it in their direction. Twilight didn't waste time and caught it mid flight, opening it and skimming through it. Many ponies gathered around her until she found what Sombra wanted her to see.

"When a Duel of the Blood is challenged, neither party can refuse..." She began to read out loud. "The duel must continue until a winner is decided by either forfeit...." Twilight stopped mid sentence and looked up at the two stallions. "Or death..."

As she finished her sentence, many ponies around her gasped. What was Blue Blood thinking? Something like this had no place in their peaceful world, even less at a party like this.

"This is a public execution." Sombra said as he swung his arm in a disapproving gesture.

"This is a duel. And no pony can stop it now, not even Celestia. She gave her word that we Bloods could fight one another when ever we wished, after all, that was their only condition for 'staying in line'."

"He's right." Twilight said as she continued to read the documents. "This is a legal duel between two...Bloods." Twilight said as she looked up at Sombra. She couldn't really believe that he and Blue Blood were related, even less that he was considered 'weak' by his family.

"Now then Half Breed, shall we get started?" Blue Blood asked, his devilish smirk still plastered against his face. Keeping his head lowered, Sombra thought for a while. He couldn't exactly refuse as a Blood, but he was stripped of his name, he wasn't part of the lineage technically. His gritted his teeth in frustration, baring his fangs as he did.

"Sombrie?" Pinkie said in a hushed voice, a little too soft for Sombra to hear.

"Let's get this over with, Blue Blood." Sombra said as he raised his head, stomping down on ground, black crystal erupting from the ground around them in a circle, giving them an arena.

"Indeed, Elite Blood." The white counter part responded as he stood tall and his chest out. Jerking his head to the side to move some of his blonde mane, Blue Blood began the assault on Sombra by sending out a small blue energy bolt to the sky. Sombra knew this technique, readying himself, he awaited for the queue he had studied ages ago.

"Lets see you deal with this Elite." Blue Blood said as the bolt exploded, letting down a rain of thin energy shards. A single touch of the shards would cut and burn on the spot. One of the advanced spells of the Bloods, one Sombra was much too familiar with.

"You have to do better than that Blue Blood." Sombra said as a Crystal Pillar extended from the ground behind him, once high enough, the tip expanded into a plate shape, shielding the entirety of the attack.

"Chee." Blue Blood scoffed, his smile finally gone. "Then try this on for size!" He said as he took a grounded posture, charging his blue magic into his horn with all his might. Again, Sombra recognized the technique, causing him to open his eyes wide. While Blue Blood continued to charge up, Sombra raised himself on his hind legs before stomping down will a great deal of force, causing the surroundings to quake.

His flames in full throttle, Sombra used his strength to summon out his red crystals all around him just as his opponent set off his attack. The blast was as he had foreseen, a straight blast the size of a full ground stallion. The Red Crystal pillars were used as mirrors that managed to reflect the large attack onto one another, finally, after the blast lost some of it's momentum, bounced it off into the night sky, where it exploded in a brutal light show. Many of the spectators looked in awe at the lights in the distance.

"What were you thinking?!" Sombra shouted out. "That spell could have leveled all of Canterlot Castle!"

"Is that true? I didn't realize I had that kind of power." Blue Blood said, ignoring what the consequences his actions could have brought to those around him. "Maybe now that we have one another, we can help each other grow stronger." He said with a smile.

"You fool!" Sombra shouted as he felt himself start to lose his composure. Again he clenched his sharp teeth again. "Have you no sense of nobility? What kind of royal would endanger the citizens of the kingdom he lives in?"

"Please, as if any pony sees me and their Prince. You said it yourself, I am simply 'Celestia's nephew', and nothing more."

"Because you haven't given them a reason for them to think of you as something else!"

"Enough talk, this is a duel!"

"Quite..." Sombra said, getting into a battle pose. "And as our contract as Bloods say....we aren't allowed to hold back. On guard!" He shouted, giving his opponent a heads up, it was now his turn to be on the attacking side.

Running as fast as he could, Sombra dashed in a straight line to Blue Blood, something the white stallion thought was a mistake. Blue Blood used his first spell once more, this time directed straight at Sombra. Exploding mid flight, it expanded and curved towards him. In response, Sombra shifted his physical form into that of a smoke cloud, completely passing through the spell while simultaneously raising up the edge of the arena to keep the shards from hitting the spectators.

Engulfing Blue Blood in the black cloud, he began to cough as he tried to gasp for air to breath. Feeling that his opponent was staggered for long enough, Sombra reconstructed himself behind the white stallion and with a hearty kick, slammed his hind hooves against Blue Blood's back, knocking him back a few meters.

"There are benefits to being half Earth Pony." Sombra said as he slowly turned around to face the stallion struggling to his hooves.

"You dare disgrace a duel of magic with a simple buck?!" He shouted in anger, his mane out of place and messy.

"You're implying that a Duel of the Blood was graceful to being with."

"How dare you! Elite, you may only be half a Blood, even you should hold respect to your heritage."

"My name is Sombra!" The dark stallion shouted as they both of them sent out a charged bolt of magic, though Sombra only used his normal supply of inner magic, the bolts clashed in red and blue in the center of the arena, sending out sparks of purple as their magic intertwined.

Taking this chance to fix his mane, Blue Blood jerked his head as he got his blonde mane out of his face. His opponent, however, was no where to be found. Looking around, Blue Blood, nerves were beginning to falter, the absence of Sombra only making him viable for a sneak attack.

"You run and hide?!"

"Blue Blood." Sombra's voice called out from all around him. "You and I were born in different time periods. I was raised into war, and you into royalty. I know how to fight through experience, you studied your spells and tactics. You are outmatched." He said, a shadow moved across one of the crystal pillars in the arena. The white prince continued to look around in desperation, constantly turning in circles, unaware of the shadow leering in the crystals.

"Show yourself coward!" Blue Blood shouted out. Just as he turned around once more, Sombra appeared in front of him, staring him down.

"Who's the one afraid here?" Sombra asked, his stoic expression unwavering as Blue Blood's eyes turned to see his dark counter part, his mind suddenly filled with terror. The sudden eruption of his flame shone brightly against Blue Blood as sweat began to fall down his forehead from his fright.

They remained locked in position as Blue Blood struggled to move, but his fear did not allow him. He was frozen, and unable to react. In any pony's eyes, the true victor was already apparent. Sombra could kill him now and win; be rid of him, but he didn't.

"Give up Blue Blood." Sombra said, not willing to shed any blood this day.

"N-Never!"He shouted back at him, jumping a few meters backwards and beginning his assault again. sending out various bolts of blue magic, easily reflected by Sombra, erecting and degrading pillars of crystal to match the attack pattern. "A true Blood would die before admitting defeat."

"And that is exactly why you are the last one."

"We are the last ones!"

"I am not Elite Blood!"

"Do not deny your heritage!" The blasts escalating with each shout, Blue Blood finished his volley with one last charged attack, the same one as before. Just like previously, Sombra readied his red Crystals to reflect the attack, but what he did not anticipate, was the sudden appearance of a pegasus by the edge of the arena.

"W-What's going on?" Fluttershy asked as she peeked over the crystal hedge Sombra had place down. The sudden sound of her voice made Blue Blood turn his head, and with his horn redirected, his attack too changed angle.

"Get down!" Pinkie shouted as she ran up to Fluttershy and tried to get her out of the way, but it was too late, the spell was cast.

A large explosion was seen as both Pinkie and Fluttershy were seen make contact with the attack. Blue Blood stood in awe as the area around the impact was torn apart and destroyed.

"Fluttershy! Pinkie!" Twilight called out, but before she and her friends could run to their aid, a small whimpering behind them drew their attention. In Discords arms laid Fluttershy who had been teleported by his magic to the safety of his arms.

"And Pinkie?" Rarity asked the chaos god.

"I did not expect the pink mare to run to her, I only used my magic on Fluttershy." He responded, glancing over at the smoking area of the impact in a serious manner, something very unlike him.

"Amazing!" Blue Blood shouted. "I never really used my magic before. It is no wonder we Bloods were so feared."

"Blue Blood!" Sombra shouted from inside the smoke. Using the end of his coat as a fan, Sombra blew away all the smoke and debris around him, Pinkie safe in his arms. "Do you not realize what could have happened?!"

"Chee, casualties are common in Duels of the Blood." He responded as he waved his hoof.

That was it, Sombra's patience and restrain had run dry. It was one thing to start a petty fight, but another entirely to put others in danger. Erecting a pillar behind him as he came to his hooves; using it as an extension of the ground, he extended another pillar from it, propelling him towards the prince at high speeds. Twisting his body around, Sombra used his hoof to grab a hold of him by the mane and slamming him overhead by the shear amount of momentum the dash had granted him.

Using more pillars, he would lift the stallion from the ground only to slam more into him, each time he fell, he would only be brought back to his hooves by force. Finally Sombra used a larger pillar to hit him and push him while simultaneously erecting another one for him to slam into after he was propelled.

Bloodied and bruised, Blue Blood struggled to his hooves as he laughed to himself. "Yes...that's how a true Blood fights!"

Sombra walked slowly towards him as the staggering stallion tried to counter attack, but the any bolt or blast sent his way was block by black crystals allowing Sombra to take his time getting back face to face with his relative. Once in close range, Blue Blood took to a hoof fight and tried to land an attack on Sombra, but the dark stallion grabbed the hoof and twisted him around, holding his arm behind his back. Slamming Blue Blood through the crystal pillar that had kept him in place before and landing hard on the ground, the white stallion looked up as Sombra summoned crystal spears that floated in mid air as he readied his final attack.

"That's right Elite, give me a Blood's death. There is no better way for one of our kind to die than in combat!" Blue Blood shouted out as he saw the pointed spear shin in the light.

Sombra was ready and willing to end it, to just finish him off, but as he panted from his assault, he noticed Pinkie in the reflection of his crystal shards. A horrified mare who stared at him with sad eyes. Taking a moment to look around, every pony spectating shared the same expression. One of fear and horror, a familiar situation he had been in before....as a Tyrant.

With a final shout into the night sky, Sombra slammed his spears down, the crowd quiet as they saw his actions. "I am not like you Blue Blood!" He screamed at the still alive stallion, his spears only piercing the ground around him, locking him in place, trapped in dark crystal. "I am not a Tyrant anymore!" He said as he turned around, walking away a few meters.

"Do not kid yourself Elite! We all saw your glee as you fought with all your might. You are a Blood through and through!"

"No! I am not..." Sombra said as he turned his head, looking at his handy work. The once neatly groomed Blue Blood laid in a puddle of his own blood, his white coat barely visible over the bruises he got. "I forfeit, I will not kill you...or any pony for that matter!" He shouted into the heavens as he continued to make his way out of the arena, repelling the crystal around them to signify the end of the duel. Pinkie, happy at the choice he had made, ran to him.

"Sombrie!" She said happily. "I'm so-" She began but stopped when she noticed him with his head lowered. Gritting his teeth, Sombra gently pushed Pinkie out of the way as he continued to walk, every pony quickly moved out of his way as he walked by. Sombra could feel it...their fear for him, the fear of a Blood, the fear of a Tyrant.

Using his dark magic, Sombra became a cloud of smoke and flew up into the dark sky where his presence disappeared from view. Pinkie looked up after him and stood still as her friends rushed to her side.

"Pinkie are you okay?!" Rarity asked.

"I-I'm fine, but Sombrie, he..."

"He is struggling." Discord interrupted, getting a strange glance from every pony around, Fluttershy, who he was still carrying, softly came to her hooves.

"D-Do you think he is alright?"

"Him? What about Blue Blood?! Look how he left him." Cadence shouted, not too happy about what happened to his adopted family member.

"He had it coming!" Rarity shouted. "How could that brute challenge Sombra to a duel after just finding out they were related?"

"Who is the brutal one?" Cadence asked out.

"Dear please, Rarity is right, Blue Blood was kinda asking for it." Shining said, trying to defend his new friend.

"But just look at what he can do! Even if Blue Blood did deserve it, it doesn't change the fact that Sombra is dangerous."

"No he's not!" Pinkie shouted, her voice about to crack and her eyes watering. "Sombrie saved me! He's saved every pony here at least once! He is a good stallion, he is reformed! We can't keep holding him responsible for some of his past actions or he'll never get passed it!" She screamed out. All her friends remained quiet as they tried to take in what she said.

"I...I....I have to go find him!" She said before running off. Those she left behind continued to be silent as they thought about Sombra.

"He...he did choose not to kill Blue Blood." Cadence said. "Plenty of times he could have just killed him and end it. I suppose he just wanted to give Blue Blood a chance to surrender himself." She said, trying to find some sort of reason to Sombra's actions.

Twilight remained quiet as well, but for different reasons. Holding her chin with her hoof, her thoughts ran rampant as she remembered just how powerful Sombra was in that fight. Nothing Blue Blood did even came close to scratching him. As she was in awe of his power, Twilight's eyes flashed red, a smile slowly spreading across her face.

"Twilight?" Shining asked out to her, knocking her back to reality.


"We're going to go look for Sombra too, are you coming?"



Staring off into the night sky, Sombra sat on a tower's roof in solitude. He couldn't get the frightened faces of the ponies out of his head. Sombra shook his head violently as he struggled to rid himself of the image in his mind. Giving up, he let out a sigh and simply sat quietly awaiting for night to pass, however, as he ran still, a strange scent came over his sense. He quickly jumped down and landed in front of a mare who wasn't too surprised to have him just pop up like that.

"You caused quite a bit of chaos." The mare said with a soft smile.

"What are you doing here? I spared you once, don't think I will do it again."

"Oh? I thought you said you wouldn't kill any pony." She teased, moving around him and brushing her tail against his muzzle.

"I doubt Changelings count, Chrysalis." Sombra said with an annoyed voice, moving away from her.

"I come in peace, I promise." She said, facing him again.

"Just what are you doing here? Feeding I presume?" Sombra asked as he moved around to inspect the form Chrysalis had taken to hide her identity. A small mare with a bright blue coat and a neatly combed purple mane. Her dress was nothing to write home about, but as a changeling, the idea was not to draw any attention so it made sense.

"A different kind of feeding." She said as she began to walk away, gesturing him to follow. Hesitantly, Sombra did so. "Our last encounter left me with a thought that perhaps we could live in harmony, ponies and changelings."

"I doubt it, you feed on us." He replied without looking at her. He was more focused on where ever
she was trying to bring him to.

"But I have been experimenting ways of feeding without killing, after all, everything deserves to live, right?" She asked with a smile. Sombra simply glanced over at her, his mood in no better condition than before. "But enough about that, you have something on your mind, want to talk about it?"


"I suppose I probably wouldn't be the right pony to talk to." Chrysalis said as she continued to lead Sombra somewhere. "But you really should get it out of your chest. It isn't a good idea to harbor all those feelings inside you." She said, turning a corner and pointing at a pink mare running around like mad. They exchanged glances as Sombra sighed. "Go on, I know you want to speak to her."

"And just how do you know that?"

"I feed on love, so I can tell where one's love is nested."

"You boast too much." Sombra said as he stepped towards Pinkie, still unaware of the duo.

"And you're too uptight." Chrysalis said as he made his way to the mare. She smiled as she went back to around the corner.

Pinkie glanced around in a panicked manner, no doubt looking for what was right behind her. In her sudden movements, she accidentally bumped against Sombra who remained still, his expression stoic, though his eyes with a hint of sadness in them as he looked down at her.

"Sombrie!" She shouted out. "I'm so glad I found you. I-"

"Why are you looking for me?" Sombra asked out, interrupting her.

"Well...I didn't- you." She began, struggling to come up with a coherent sentence. Taking a deep breath, Pinkie gathered some courage to speak. "I saw that you were sad and wanted to be there for you!" She shouted to the stallion just inches away from her. Despite the sudden ear jerker, Sombra still remained silent as he thought of what he should do.

"Pinkamena..." He said as he stared into her troubled eyes.


"Let me tell you a story of a Banished Prince."

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