• 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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6. Time to Foalsit! (pt 1)

"GOOD MORNING" A high pitched voice called out. Sombra, who wearily opened his eyes, smelled a faint scent of vanilla in the air. It was soon apparent that it was coming form the soft mane pressing against him as Pinkie nudged him with her head. "Hurry up sleepy head!" Using a hoof to push her back, the old king sat up and popped his neck, not in any sort of mood to deal with the mare.

"What are you doing here?" He asked as he glanced outside, still dark and no more than an hour or so since he had returned to sleep.

"I'm waking you up, isn't it obvious!?" Pinkie said with a giggle before she bounced from one end of the room to the other. "I have a very long day at work today, so I wanted to make sure we could spend as much time together as possible, isn't that great?"

Sombra stared blankly at her, his face held an expression somewhere between stoic, and unamuzed. Without saying anything, he laid back down and covered himself with the large blanket from head to hoof. Not taking a no for an answer, Pinkie bites onto the covers and yanks them off of him, but proceeds to blush as she looks at his exposed coat.

"O-oh wow, you look kind of naked without your armor on..." Pinkie managed to say as Sombra forced himself up again.

"What does that say about you?" He responds, placing a hoof to his head as he massages his forehead, trying to wake up. A moment of silence falls between them before the mare finally decides to jolt out and slam the door.

"I'll just wait out here until you're dressed!"

His eyes half open from both exhaustion and annoyance, he pondered to head back to bed anyway, but the insufferable mare had taken his covers with her, so he tiredly stood up as a yawn escaped him. Sombra walked to the corner of his 'room', to a small closet that had been recently installed, no doubt by that baby dragon, the claw marks on the wood a dead give away. It was strange, the room had been cleaned from tip to bottom by the smell of it, the aroma of cleaning products still lingered in the room, but it begged the question, what did a library need such a big room for and what was it used for before he arrived? The room was not as large as he was accustomed to back in the Crystal Empire, but it was still no storage closet.

Once he reached the closet he used his magic to open it to reveal his armor and cloak which he put on rather quickly. He hesitated, however, once he saw his crown. His mane hung loosely over his forehead as he gazed it at and pondered if he should put it on. After all, a king is not a king without a kingdom to rule, so he did not need a crown now did he?

"Are you almost done?" Sombra heard from his door, a slight tone of boredom in Pinkie's voice. Pushing his doubts aside, the old king placed the crown on his head, pulling his mane back to the luscious flow that it was used to, and with that made his way to his room's door. As he used his magic to turn the knob, but before he could actively open it, it swung open, Pinkie had placed her head against the wooden door only to accidentally fall on her back once it was no longer holding her up. With a nervous smile she looked up at the dark stallion who only raised and eyebrow at her.

"Hey! Breakfast is ready!" Sombra heard Spike shout from elsewhere in the library.

"Uh, coming!" The pink mare said as she got back on her hooves.

"Isn't it a little early for breakfast?" Sombra asked as he began to follow Pinkie who had already began to make her way over to the drake.

"Yeah, but we better eat now since we won't have a chance to do so later, so I asked Spike to make us something last night when I came to drop by the basket of treats."

"Why won't we have a chance to eat later, if I may ask."

"Cause we'll have our hooves full with Pound and Pumpkin Cake."

"And who are they?"

"The foals I have to foalsit!" This made Sombra stop dead on his tracks. Foals, why did it have to be foals? He had not noticed that they had already made it to the kitchen where an annoyed baby dragon had been waiting for them.

"What took you guys so long?" Spike asked as he distributed the plates for every pony. Obviously not too thrilled with having to get up so early, a trait both he and Sombra seem to share at the moment.

"Blame Pinkamena, she was too infatuated with my 'naked body', as she put it." Sombra said as he sat down.

"Don't say it like that!" Pinkie screamed out as Spike nudged her with his elbow while giving her a smug smile. "I was just saying that you look different without your clothes on!" The Pink on her face only turned more red as she tried to explain herself, but it didn't seem to work very well. Spike laughed at her expense as they all sat down to eat.

Sombra eyed his plate, a curious dish to be sure. It was some kind of flat circular bread in two to three stacks. He saw how Pinkie completely drenched hers in syrup and was about to do the same until he noticed Spike use much much less than her. He decided to find an intermediate between the two and as he poured it paid close attention to how they ate. Being behind the times, he had to make note of everything as to keep his manners up to date, though he believed that savagely gulping down his food like Pinkie was doing was probably not the correct way to do it.

Instead, he did as Spike, using a knife to cut the 'bread' into bite size pieces and eating them with a fork. As he took his first bite he could feel his pupils dilate. It was the most delicious thing he had ever eaten, and he had eaten quite a few delicacies in his time as king. He would have thought that this kind of food would be served when hosting for an ambassador from a far away place.

"Pray tell, what is this food we're eating?" He asked the purple dragon who had just taken a sip of his milk.

"They're called pancakes, we have them all the time for breakfast, never had them before?"

Sombra shook his head as he stared down at his 'pancakes', again taking another bite. His mind began to race as he thought about if this was a 'casual' meal, then the delicacies of today must be even more delicious. His mouth watered at the thought and he almost broke form his stoic state, if it hadn't been from a voice calling form behind them.

"Hurry up you two, if you take much longer we'll be late." With a quick turn of his neck, Sombra saw one of the many sights that he has come to despise from his stay at Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle.

"You are coming with us?" Sombra asked with a deep frown on his face.

"Of course I am, I'm not leaving you alone with foals, and honestly speaking, the only reason I'm letting you go at all is because having you caged up here would be counter productive in 'reforming' you." Twilight said as she turned around to place a saddle on her. Suddenly, he was no longer hungry.


"Are you sure the library will be fine without you?" Pinkie asked as she hopped next to Sombra and Twilight, both wearing an expression of annoyance.

"Yes Pinkie, it's usually not busy in the mornings so Spike can take care of it for the few hours we'll foalsit for." The alicorn said as she shifted her glance at Sombra for a mere second, a second long enough for him to notice. "Now, are you sure Mr. and Mrs. Cake are okay with having Sombra there with the foals?"

"Yep! I asked them yesterday, though at first Mr. Cake was against the idea, when I told him you were coming too he seemed to calm down a little."

The trio were met by a lot of the 'early birds' of Ponyville, who all had mixed feelings about seeing them. On one hoof, they were happy to see their new princess, on the other, Sombra. Nothing else was needed to be said. Pinkie seemed oblivious to their discomfort and greeted every pony she met like usual. Sombra himself had mix feelings. He could feel his flames of fear rise slowly as he began to store his dark magic, but he did not seem to like having such a happy-go-lucky mare blocking their fear of him so easily. Thankfully, they soon arrived at Sugarcube Corner, the Cake's home. With a quick knock at their door, they were greeted by Mrs. Cake, her mane a mess and her eyes weary and tired, no doubt a long night for her.

"Oh Pinkie, you're back, good. We were about to...to...leave." Her expression changed as she looked up at the tall stallion who stared down blankly at her. Her voice suddenly shaken and her mind dry, Ms. Cake seemed to have lost herself to fright as she looked up at Sombra. He could feel his magic rise slowly as she continued to see him, internally he smiled but he was quickly taken aback when Twilight nudged him on the shoulder. With a quick glance to her it was obvious she wanted him to 'ease' her into not being afraid of him. Though every cell in his body wished to continue to drain dark magic from the blue earth pony in front of him, he knew that he could not defy her...yet. With a sigh, he began to speak.

"My name is Sombra, I am in Twilight's care at the moment and Pinkie here is suppose to help me...'see the light.' It is a pleasure to meet you." Sombra said as he reached for Mrs. Cake, raising her hoof to place a small kiss upon it. The gesture seemed to have brought her back into reality only to have her blush slightly as an inaudible sound escaped her mouth.

"Hey! Mrs. Cake is married!" Pinkie shouted at Sombra whom backed away to give the mare some space.

"Calm down Pinkamena, I was just greeting her." He said as he brushed off the glare both she and Twilight were giving him. They were allowed in and soon afterwards found out why Mrs. Cake looked so tired. It seemed that they had a very large order to fill. A huge pastry stood in front of them.

"Wow Pinkie....That's a huge cake..." Twilight said as she sweated slightly.

"Yup, I helped make some of it lastnight, but Mr. and Mrs. Cake stood up all night to finish it."

"That's right, now we need to deliver it to Canterlot by noon so, we'll have to leave the kids behind for a few hours, You can handle it right?" Mrs. Cake asked as she began to prepare the pastry for transportation. Mr. Cake soon joined them and greeted every pony, all except Sombra, which he didn't mind. Sombra would rather not have any more interactions. The preparations were soon complete and they were off with a final goodbye to the trio who proceeded to sit at the living room for a while.

"The kids should be asleep right now, so lets stay quiet until they wake up." Pinkie said as she hopped from one place to another, looking for something to entertain herself with. Twilight nodded in agreement as she took out a book form her saddle to read while time passed. Sombra, on the other hoof, was more intrigued by the vast amount of pictures all around. In his time, if one wanted some sort of physical representation of an event, they needed to have it painted. These photographs hung across the walls were very nice and detailed, at least for some pony used to paintings. Still, they did not seem to have the same feeling of creativity. He was quickly brought back to reality when Pinkie suddenly popped in front of him.

"Whatcha looking at?" She asked, even though it was obvious. Sombra decided to humor her and answered.

"In my time, there were no such things as pictures." He said as he pushed the mare to the side so he could see the frame again. "In my research of modern time I came across an article about the first camera that allowed for instant framing of a scene, I found it amazing how far technology had come."

"Want to have you're picture taken? I have a camera upstairs!" Pinkie said as she too looked at the picture on the wall. Most of them were taken by her, so it was nice to have some pony to appreciate them every once in a while.

"No thank you, I still prefer the old method of having your portrait painted."

"Do you paint?" Twilight asked, suddenly curious as to Sombra's view on art. He was still just 'The Tyrant of the Crystal Empire' to her, she wasn't used to seeing this side of him.

"I've tried my hoof at it once, yes. Nothing to boast about." Sombra said, his eyes not breaking contact with the pictures. Silence fell the room again, but this time it was quickly broken by a loud shriek. The stallion cringed as the cry pierced his ears.

"Oh no!" Pinkie cried out as she ran to the foals who had suddenly began to scream and cry. "What's wrong? Are you hungry? Do you need your diaper changed?" The pink mare asked frantically. She hated to see any pony without a smile, so having children cry was always hard on her, and like always, she tried her best to get them happy again. As Sombra began to step towards the room where they were at, he was stopped by Twilight.

"Uh, it's best if you hang back here. Don't want them to cry out even more when they see you." She said. Though he wanted to protest, he simply nodded and went back to take a seat. Finally, running out of ways to try to calm them down, Pinkie ran quickly into the kitchen and brought back a large sack of flour. The next few sound was that of a popping noise followed by laughter.

"Phew" Pinkie said as she walked back into the living room, her entire body white as a ghost.

"Uh, Pinkamena, why did you bathe yourself in flour?" Sombra asked as he stared at her.

"Oh, they like it when that happens. It might be a waste of flour, but it gets them happy so it's okay." Pinkie responded with a giggle. Her white coat was quickly taken off of her when Twilight used her magic to clean her up. The stallion was confused to say the least. Was this normal for this time period? Or simply something Pinkie did? He continued to ponder on the thought as silence soon returned and peace reestablished.

"So...did you paint a lot before you became a ty-...king?" Twilight asked as Sombra lifted his gaze from a magazine that he had found nearby.

"Yes." He answered, though the alicorn wanted to know than just that.

"Like what?"

"Landscapes, portraits, stuff of the like." He again responded dryly. Pinkie had gone to wash herself of the flour and had just returned.

"So whatcha talking about?" She asked as she took a seat next to Sombra on the couch, who proceeded to use his magic to push her back a few inches.

"Oh, just wondering how Sombra painted is all." Twilight said as she returned her gaze to her book, catching the hit that he did not want to talk about it.

"Ooooh, cool. So what did you paint?"

"Like I said, portraits and-"

"Did you pain anyone in particular?"

"Uh...yes..." Sombra responded hesitantly.

"Who who who?!"

"A mare I knew a long time ago."

Pinkie gasped as she suddenly jumped to conclusions, but before she could say anything else, again the foals began to cry. With a sigh she stood back up and spoke bleakly.

"I'll get the flour..."

As she left the room for the kitchen, Sombra too stood up, his hoof steps muffled by the children screaming and Twilight deep into her book to notice him move. By the time Pinkie had returned with the bag of flour, she noticed that the crying had stopped, but more so, that Sombra had disappeared.

"Uh, Twilight? Where did Sombrie go?" As her words left her mouth, Twilight quickly jumped up and screamed.

"The kids!" They both hurried into the foals room only to see it completely black, no doubt work of dark magic. The room was dead black and both mares freaked out. Twilight's horn began to glow and with a powerful light, dispelled the darkness only to find a remarkable sight.

"Be careful Sparkle." Sombra said as he gently rocked the foals with a dark magic aura, both sound asleep. "If you suddenly turn on the lights like that you might wake them." Sure enough, Pumpkin and Pound's eyes wrinkled as they began to cry again, but a soft hum of the old king seemed to calm then down as the gentle and warm aura wrapped around them. As if a bed sheet, the dark magic surrounded them as they were slowly brought back into their dreams and gently set back down on their cradle. Sombra gestured them to return to the living room and once the door was shut, Pinkie hugged Sombra.

"Oh my gosh! I didn't know you were so good with foals!" Her excitement was met with a hoof to her mouth to stop her from talking and pushing her away.

"Do you want to wake them again?" He asked as he made his way back to his seat.

"Why did you use dark magic like that?" Twilight asked, a little curious and disturbed by how just 'evil' magic could be so gentle and carrying.

"Let me ask you something Sparkle, why are children afraid of the dark?" Sombra asked as his eyes returned to the magazine.

"I don't know, cause they can't see and it's scary to them?"

"Wrong. Truth is, children aren't scared of the dark, they are scared of what is in the dark, but if you show them that there is nothing there and that the darkness is only there to help embrace them in their dreams, they won't scream and shout."

Twilight wanted to protest something, anything. It felt wrong to her to have darkness win so easily, but then again he was right and there was nothing to fight about. She too was afraid of the dark once, thinking that monsters hid on the dark corners of her room, but once she learned that there were no monsters she was no longer afraid. Pinkie took a seat next to Sombra again as she looked at him with a sparkle in her eyes. Twilight couldn't help but admire the stallion, if only for a moment.

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