• 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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4. Dark Magic

Sweat began to run down the small dragon's face as he watched the menacing figure in front of him. Though he stood still and gave no hint of attacking, Spike felt no more safe than if he was surrounded by wolves while covered in barbeque sauce. The awkward stare from one another persisted for quite a while before a voice interrupted them.

"Sombra, stop bothering Spike!" Twilight, who was currently shelving some books with her magic said, calling over to the duo just under the stairs. The old king said nothing and did nothing, his glare never wavering and it only made Spike more nervous. Was he angry about what had happened last time? The little baby dragon was quite possibly the only reason Sombra was defeated and was stripped of his title as 'king'. That was certainly something any pony would hold a grudge for.

"Sombra!" Again the alicorn called out, this time it did seem to get through to him and he silently turned around to look through the books on a nearby shelf. Twilight only sighed as she saw Sombra occupy himself.

He had not been here more than half an hour, but he was already wearing her patience thin. Whether it be getting in the way or not doing as he is told, he was more of a nuisance than anything else. Pinkie had long been gone, she had work to do at Sugarcube Corner and the ex tyrant was not allowed to go anywhere if he wasn't in her company, so instead of lounging around the catering store and scaring costumers away, he was to stay at the library until Pinkie would come and be his escort.

"So...uh." Spike said as he started to reshelf books not too far away from Sombra. The dark stallion used a red aura to levitate a book from the shelf, not responding at all to the dragon. This only made him more nervous towards this armored stallion. When the princess had come by he was still asleep and was not there when Sombra had made his entrance, good thing too lest some catastrophe might have ensued. Twilight readied a saddle and turned to her assistant, a paper of sorts being levitated towards him.

"Spike, I have some errands I have to attend to, won't take more than an hour. If anything happens use this rune to contact me. All you have to do is talk to it and I'll hear." The purple mare smiled as Spike grabbed a hold of it, then completely changed her expression as she threw a glare at Sombra who simply ignored her. "Don't be afraid to use it, even if you don't think it's important."

"Why not send the dragon to do the errands if you're so afraid of me doing something." Sombra said as he kept his eyes glued to a book he had just opened.

"Because Sombra, Celestia asked me to try to carry out my daily routine as if nothing was wrong. What would the ponies here think if I was suddenly confined to the library on your behalf? They would come to think of you as a threat, only feeding you more power." Twilight's rant persisted against the old king, with each word she would take a step closer, closing the gap between them as she came head to head with Sombra. She had managed to fly subconsciously and was a foot or two off the ground as she stared down at him, but Sombra was not intimidated so easily. He raised his head from the book and stared at her blankly before speaking.

"I am sure Princess Celestia vouched for me already, did she not? If anything, I would get my power from you, not the ponies. It's obvious how afraid you are of me." Sombra said as the flames from his eyes flickered. Twilight's face grew red with anger. She was ready to blast him through the wall, he was powerless at this very moment, why wait until he was strong enough to fight back? This was certainly not something she was willing to wait for.

Spike, who had been standing close by, opened his mouth out of surprise. What he saw in front of him he did not want to believe. Sombra chuckled as he too saw Twilight, her sclera no longer white, but a sickly green with red irises, a small purple flame exiting the sides of her eyes.

"You are a natural." He said. Confused, it took Twilight a moment to realize that she had unknowingly began to use dark magic. Quickly, she flapped her wings to push herself back and pull herself away from the hatred that she had succumbed to. "Perhaps you aren't afraid of me, you're just afraid of what you can become in my presence." He finished with a muffled chuckle before returning to his book. Taken aback, Twilight tried her best to regain her composure before waving her hoof at Spike and speaking.

"Just...make sure to use that rune if anything happens." She said before quickly getting out of the library, leaving the two of them behind.

"What did you do to Twilight?!" Spike quickly asked, almost completely sure it was Sombra's fault.

"Me?" Sombra began, again without lifting his gaze from the book. "You were there were you not? When she used dark magic the first time? After all, you would not have been able to get to the crystal heart without its use. You witnessed it, how she must have taken to dark magic like fish to water." Again a soft chuckle was heard resonate form him. "It is not my fault if she can't control her magic."

Spike was distraught, he didn't know what to do with this information. He couldn't exactly argue, some where deep inside of him he knew that Sombra was right. Even back when the Everfree Forest was invading Ponyville, Twilight used dark magic as substitute for alicorn magic. No pony said anything back then, but he was sure every pony present thought the same thing.

"Say..." Sombra said, finally breaking the silence that had befallen the library. "Where do you keep all the books on history?"


Twilight's breathing had drastically increased. She wasn't sure what had just happened, all she knew was that Sombra was right in one regard, she really did not want to be around him. Coming to stop, she took a moment to catch her breath and try to straighten herself before proceeding on to her destination. Though, she wasn't exactly in the mood to follow through with her errands. For now, she would just wander the town to clear her head, but her mind was anything but calm.

As the new princess walked, she was happily greeted by many of Ponyville's citizens, most of which were in the middle of work themselves but spared some time to talk to her. It was the sort of attention she wasn't used to, but it was nice to be so warmly welcomed. As she spoke to them, her mind persisted in recalling Sombra's words.

"You are a natural"

Twilight remembered her time back in the Crystal Empire, when Sombra was trying to break though Cadance's shield and attack. How she had used dark magic to open the stair way to the crystal heart. She was so happy that she had been able to pull it off. It was almost like a sense of empowerment from having used that kind of magic. Her teacher had shown her briefly that even a princess could use it, so it didn't even click in her brain that it could even have any sort of consequences. She was wrong. When Twilight had reached the door at the bottom of the stairs she subconsciously used dark magic to open it, but she didn't know why exactly. Using dark magic seemed to have triggered a boobie trap of sorts that caused her to witness her biggest fear.

The princess cringed as she recalled being so terribly distraught at having her teacher forsake her and cut ties with her. It was almost too unbearable for her back then. If it had not been for Spike, who knows how long she would have stayed in that state, or it would have even ended. The trick to opening that door was in using light based magic, something Twilight could easily do once she regain consciousness, but it begged a question, why was it locked behind a door with a light based key? Sombra only used dark magic, so why did this door specifically have such a twist? Twilight was brought back to reality when she heard a rather happy voice call her.

"Twilight!" Pinkie practically screamed. as the purple mare looked over, her friend was waving her whooves frantically trying to get her attention. With a soft smile, she walked over to say hi. "Jeez Twilight, how far into lala land were you?"

"What do you mean Pinkie?"

"Well, I called you like fifteen times, you must have had something really important on your mind silly. So how is Sombrie doing?" the alicorn took quick notice at how she had possibly had walked around the same block a few times and almost laughed at herself.

"Oh, he's fine I'm sure. I had Spike look after him and left a way for him to call me if anything went wrong. Why the sudden interest? You were with him not an hour ago."

"Oh you know, I'm just kinda worried. This is probably really hard on him, being placed in such a strange environment and all." Pinkie said, rubbing the back of her head as she looked away. This made Twilight furrow her brows.

"If you ask me, he's taking it rather smoothly, too much so for my liking." This caused the pink mare to smile before turning on her heels and heading back to work.

"Oh just give him a chance, he might surprise you." She said with a large grin.

"Deja vu." Twilight said, recalling Celestia telling her the exact same thing to her.


"H-Here are all the books on history we have..." Spike said, placing the last five books he found on the table where Sombra was quietly reading. The stallion waved his hoof in acknowledgement, not wanting to break his concentration. "Why do you need all these books for anyway?"

"I have been locked away for a thousand years, there is a lot for me to catch up on. Have any day to day news articles on major events?" Sombra asked, raising his head from a book as his eyes read line by line.

"Uh...some, not many. If you want more you might want to head to Canterlot, they have all the newspapers filed up for some odd reason." Spike said as he took some books off the table, presumably the ones Sombra was already finished reading. It was really weird for the dragon to see him read, it was almost like he was watching Twilight hard at work, he definitely gave off the same vibe anyway.

"Hmm, chances of me going to Canterlot are slim, do you think you could get some of them to this library?" Sombra asked, this time finally raising his head and putting the book he was readying to the side.

"I could, yes, but that would take a lot of work. There are a lot of papers I have to sign and file and-"

"It is your fault I am even in this predicament. I believe you owe me at least this much." Sombra said, his voice almost cutting straight into Spike's chest as the sound entered his ears. He was right, it was, in a way, his fault Sombra was even here to begin with.

"A-Alright." Spike said with a sigh before walking off and getting started on the long list of things he had to do, now even longer than before. Once the baby dragon was out of ear shot, Sombra spoke to himself.

"So Miss Sparkle, it seems you were quite the gifted unicorn..." He said as he put down one of the few news articles that were currently in the library. It was a headline about Twilight and her little outburst while taking the entrance exam for the academy for gifted unicorns. The old king leaned back and rested his eyes as he proceeded what he had read. A sigh escaped his lips as his mind began to slow and sleep overcome him. "Gifted unicorns huh? Things never change..." Sombra managed to say before his exhaustion took over.

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