• Published 8th Jun 2014
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Shadowy Love - FinnPony



King Sombra, the tyrant of Crystal Empire is back, only to be imprisoned by princesses and put through reformation with Twilight Sparkle as his teacher. Can somepony with heart as black as night be reformed? Twilight believes so.

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Chapter 1 (Revised)

Author's Note:

To everyone new who is reading this; the three first chapters are a bit rough and not so well written, but I hope that the chapters get better after the first three. Thank you for reading.

Shadowy Love
By FinnPony
Chapter 1

Emptiness. No light, no darkness, no nothing. Just emptiness. Was it some kind of purgatory? Or maybe it was hell. No. There would have surely been others if that had been the case. No. There was just him. All alone in the vast emptiness. No body, no form, no nothing. Only his thoughts were there. And oh how dark they were… He didn’t know how long he had been there. He had stopped counting days after reaching two thousand, five hundred and fifty-six. So he had been in that… void for more than seven long years, his mind getting weaker and his thoughts getting even more grim as the time passed on. Oh how many times he thought about the ones who put him in this wretched place. Those six mares and that damn dragon. For him he had some special plans. Plans that many times included different kinds of ideas of how to use red-hot knives to bring great discomfort for the little menace. Even though he had a special place in his dark heart for the poor dragon, he hadn’t forgotten the other fools that had caused his current state. Princesses, especially that princess of love. Ugh. Only the thought of her made his rage grow. Then there were those six mares. The elements. Oh how he hated them. The one called Twilight Sparkle. She was the one who passed all his traps and had violated the sanctity of his stairs. Stairs were made to walk, not to slide. It had been a dirty trick from her. Then, last but not least, those dirty plebeians of The Crystal Empire. How dared they rise against him, their only ruler. Their king. His mind kept cursing all of them for a while, before returning to the starting point, thinking if he was in some kind of hell. No. There would have been others in there for sure. It was no hell. How long had he been there? More than seven years, that he knew. He also remembered those who put him in there… How he hated all of…

Suddenly he felt something. He felt something. He hadn’t felt anything for more than seven years. Now he felt a breeze. Breeze that started to grow into a storm. The emptiness started to slowly part away to something that resembled a thunderstorm that almost made his sensory system to go on an overdrive. He started to feel even more. His senses started to come back in violent spasms. He could see colors. He could feel something that was much more intense than anything he remembered. What was it? Pain? Yes. It was clearly just that. He would have enjoyed the fact that he was once again feeling something, but of course the feeling had to be pain. But to feel pain you must have a body, so that meant that he was going back to existence. The feeling of pain started spreading across his body. He couldn’t help but laugh as he realized that he had beaten death.

* * *

The room was dark and the cold stone walls were wet from condensed water, making the whole room feel rather unpleasant. There was only one light source in the room. A high powered floodlight that was pointed straight towards the center of the room, where a lone curved, red horn was laying on the cold floor. Beyond the spotlight there were three alicorns and a unicorn in his royal battle armor. The purple color of his plate armor and the blue crest on top of his helmet were indicators of his rank as the captain of the Royal Guard. He was Shining Armor. Three princesses stood next to him in their formal outfits too. The pink coated alicorn called Cadence stood next to her husband. Her long mane was violet with golden and rose colored stripes and her purple eyes were nervously glancing towards Shining Armor. Luna and Celestia stood a bit further away from those two. Their faces had a stern look on them and their manes seemed to flow in calm wind, though they were deep underground. Luna’s starry mane cast a small amount of light around her. The light reflected from the chest plates of the guards that stood by the room’s walls. There were many of them. All of them were unicorns and personally picked by Shining Armor. They all had their spears with them, but their real weapon was their strong magical abilities.

There was a long and deep silence in the room. It was so thick that you could feel it. Everypony was staring at the lone horn in the spotlight, like waiting for it to do something. It never did. Princesses and Shining Armor looked quickly at each other, before returning their gazes back to the horn.

“Should we start?” Shining Armor asked slowly, without breaking his stare from the horn. Princess Celestia took a deep breath and sighed before answering with a simple nod. Shining Armor didn’t waste time and ordered with his authoritative voice, “Spears in front! Whatever happens, keep your magic ready. Use it only when I command so!”
Without a word all the guards stepped forward and lowered their spears towards the horn. The atmosphere in the room was getting even more tense by the second. Celestia cleared her throat and announced, “Let’s proceed.”

Cadence gave a quick nuzzle to her husband’s cheek before she stepped back and joined her fellow princesses. They gave quick looks to each other before nodding in unison. Then they closed their eyes and their horns started to glow, each in their own color. Soon three beams of magical energy collided in front of them: Two blues and one golden. They melted into a one solid stream of golden magic aura, that slowly slithered towards the horn like a giant golden snake. Soon it touched the surface of the red horn, immediately wrapping itself around the lifeless horn and lifting it to the air. The tip of every guards spear followed the horn while it climbed up towards the ceiling, stopping just about thirty centimeters above their own heads. There it hung, in an invisible string as the golden magic ‘snake’ started to absorb into the horn. Soon it was fully gone into the red horn, that kept levitating on it’s place.

“Get ready!” Shining Armor said when a small breeze could be felt in the room, and every guard in the room perked up. As if on cue the horn started to glow reddish light. Soon the horn started to pour black smoke from the part where it had been cut off. The breeze turned into a strong wind that started to spin around the horn, making the black smoke to start spinning downwards. There were loud gasps among the guards when the horn started to grow. Soon it was an its full length. It didn’t stop there. Now they could see the top of a skull starting to appear. They watched as a white skeleton started to form in front of them. Celestia saw how some of the guards had terrified looks on their faces. She could relate. It wasn’t a pretty sight at all. As soon as the skeleton was ready and it’s hooves touched the ground, it collapsed, startling a group of guards. What happened next was something out of nightmares. Shining Armor felt his stomach turning as the muscles and internal organs started to form onto the skeleton. As soon as the muscles started to form, that nightmarish thing on the floor started to twitch. Cadence pressed herself closer to Luna, who had her ears folded against the back of her head. The thing on the floor jerked and as its vocal cords and lungs began to form, it started to growl and gasp for air. Some of the guards were now shaking on their places, but they kept their pose, spears aimed towards the thing. Suddenly a hollow, raspy laughing filled the room. It came from the thing on the floor that was now forming it’s skin. A dark grey coat started to grow on it’s newly created skin and a thick, black mane started to grow on it’s head. It flowed down to its shoulders and for a moment the raging wind in the room played with the black mane.

Then everything stopped. On the floor laid a unicorn brought back from death. His eyes were closed, and for a moment it seemed like he was still just a lifeless body. Then he slowly took a deep breath, clearly savoring the feeling. The guards raised their spears to a fighting stance, and for a moment in the dark room only the slow breathing of the stallion on the cold floor. He then slowly moved his front hooves under his body, starting to lift himself onto all fours. The tips of all the guards spears followed near his face, but he still didn’t open his eyes. He stood still in the middle of the spotlight. There was long silence again. Celestia, Luna and Cadence all shared nervous glances with each other, before Celestia said with her calm voice, that was this time clearly forced, “Can you hear me?”The dark coated stallions eyes opened quickly, and instantly a deep blue magic flowed from the corner of his eyes. His eyes were frightening. They were green and his red irises were fixated towards the princess Celestia. She bravely returned the stare, not even blinking. The stallion’s eyes moved towards her sister, who too returned the stare with her ears still folded. When his stare reached Cadence, his eyes went wide. He growled and revealed his teeth… Or fangs actually. Anger was clearly visible on his face as he took a step towards her, only to feel a coldness of a blade pressing against his throat. He saw a sword held in a light rose colored magical grasp. He soon noticed the wielder, and his mind was filled with even more rage. No other than Shining Armor stood there, glaring angrily at him.

“One more step towards her and you’re finished… Sombra.” Shining Armor hissed and lifted the blade a little, making him wince. Sombra stared at him, but saw no hesitation in Shining Armors eyes. They kept staring at each other for a while, before Sombra let a dark chuckle escape from his lips. He took a step backwards and returned his gaze towards the oldest princess.

“This is quite an unpleasant reception for an old friend, Celestia,” he said with his slippery, yet cold voice that made the guards feel nervous.

Celestia frowned and said, “You never were our friend.”

“Maybe,” he answered slowly. He was looking around himself. He was clearly in Canterlot, or under it to be exact. He would have recognized the dungeons if they would have been in The Crystal Empire. All the good times he had spent in those dungeons. He returned to look at the two sisters and said, “But enough about our relationship. May I inquire why I have the honor of meeting you again? I thought that you would have been happy with me staying dead.”
T he princesses quickly looked at each other. Sombra used this time to have a better look at his surroundings. He wasn’t going to stay here long, he needed a way out.

“I never thought that I would say this but…” Celestia started. “...But we have decided to give you another chance.”

That surprised Sombra greatly. After a moment of confusion he started to laugh again. It made Celestia frown. Her wings twitched a little and she asked, “What is so funny about it?”

Sombras laughter died down, but he kept smiling evilly.

“It is just so… amusing,” Sombra answered. He looked towards Cadence and asked, “And where did you get such a crazy idea from? Hmm?”

Cadence didn’t look him in the eyes. He liked it. He could feel that she was scared of him. Sombra chuckled darkly again and turned towards Celestia, waiting for an answer. Celestia sighed and then said slowly, “Every other enemy of the nation has been granted one chance to change their ways.”

One chance,” Shining Armor repeated and lifted the sword a bit more again. Sombra snorted angrily and gave him a threatening look. It was then when he noticed a glint of light reflecting from something behind Shining Armor. He realise that it was a door. Surely it was magically sealed. He wouldn’t be able to open it, but surely one of the guards would.

“Has any of my fellow comrades actually accepted your proposition?” Sombra asked with a smirk.

Celestia returned it and answered, “Yes. Discord for instance has turned to the good side. He uses his powers for good now.”

She didn’t get the surprised reaction from him that she wanted. Instead Sombra just sighed, clearly not surprised.

“I never met him but what can you expect from a person who has been trapped into a stone for so long. It can make anypony go crazy. No wonder he started to use his powers for ‘good’,” Sombra said with sarcastic emphasis on the word good.

“At least for most of the time he use them for good,” Luna added.

Sombra didn’t give any attention to her. He then continued with low voice, “How about ‘Queen’ Chrysalis?”

“She and Tirek declined our offer...” Luna started, but Sombra cut in with an annoyed look on his face.

“Please… Adults are talking.”

That made all of the princesses frown, but Celestia decided to continue, “Yes. I understand Chrysalis’ point. Her kind needs to feed on love to survive, so she couldn’t accept the offer. Tirek in other hoof was just too stubborn to accept it.”

“What a surprise,” Sombra said a bit amusedly.

Luna gave him a threatening look and said coldly, “Another thousand years in Tartarus should change his mind.”

There was a quick stare fight between them, but Sombra decided that she wasn’t worth wasting anymore time with. He instead turned back to Celestia and asked, “And what if I don’t accept this generous offer?”

He felt how the edge of the sword under his chin rose again. It stung and soon there were couple drops of blood running down the wide blade of Shining Armors sword.

“I’m afraid that you won’t leave us any choice, Sombra,” Celestia said, sounding almost sorry for him. That made Sombra chuckle. He pushed his chin against the sword, so that it cut more deeply into his flesh. From the corner of his vision he saw Cadence wincing at the sight.

“I don’t remember you being like this Celestia… Ending somepony’s life without even thinking twice… Don’t get me wrong. I find it quite... charming.” he spoke slowly with constant grin on his face. None of the ponies in the room answered to him. That made Sombra laugh heartily. His laughing echoed from the walls of the small room, and he was still chuckling a little when he asked, “Are you even sure that you can do it if necessary?”

He felt the sword quickly jerking upwards, making him jump a little. He turned his head slowly towards the white coated unicorn. Sombra was starting to get rather fed up with the tough guy act Shining Armor was trying to pull. Maybe it was a good time to put end to it.

“I guarantee I can,” Shining Armor said with stern look on his face.

Sombra’s grin grew wider when he said in low tone, “You can try.”

With that he exploded into a big cloud of black smoke, startling everypony around him. Shining was quick to react and swung his sword towards the spot where Sombra had stood, but the sword just went right through the smoke. All the guards were charging their horns and some of them even managed to shoot the magic projectiles, but they didn’t have a target and the shots just ricocheted off the walls and bounced in the room for a second before disappearing.

“Stop firing! You might hit the princesses!” Shining Armor commanded as he backed up against the wall with Cadence behind her. Celestia and Luna were both trying to cast illumination spells but the smoke was too thick for their magic to actually do something.

“It’s no use sister! I can’t see him!” Luna cried and looked at Celestia for help.

She was looking as panicked as Luna herself, but she kept strong and said, “Sombra! You can’t get out of here!”

They heard deep laughter. It came from all directions around them, not having a real source where to aim. Then they heard Sombra say with an loud, echoing voice, “Oh Celestia… you are underestimating me…”

“Protect the princesses!” Shining Armour shouted and soon there was at least seven guards around Celestia and Luna.

That made Sombra laugh again. Then he shouted with roaring voice, “Fear me!”

With that all of the guards, including Shining Armor’s eyes turned green and their pupils shrank to the size of pinpricks. They started to shake and soon a couple of them fell to the floor and started to cry.The princesses were frightened seeing their subjects like that. Luna quickly knelt in front of the nearest guard and tried to calm him down. It didn’t take long for Shining to collapse on the floor too, crying out loud, “Cadence! Cadence don’t leave me! Please!”

“Shining! Shiny I’m right here!” Cadence screamed and knelt next to her husband. He was still crying and his eyes were full of fear. Celestia was trying to locate Sombra in the thick smoke, without succeeding. She cursed out loud and used all her willpower to make her spell more effective, the light from her spell still didn’t cut through the black smoke well enough. She saw Luna looking at her for help but for her horror she saw a toothy grin and a pair of greenly glowing eyes behind her younger sister. Celestie let out a terrified cry and send a magical projectile towards the widely grinning smile, only to see it fade away before the shot hit it’s target. Then they heard another cold laugh.

“It has been fun playing around with you dear princesses, but I have a empire to conquer,” Sombra’s voice spoke.

Suddenly they heard Shining asking, “What!? If I open the door you won’t go away?”

“No!” Celestia cried, but Shining didn’t hear her. Luna had heard that too, and they both started to sprint towards the door, but they were too slow. They heard the heavy door creaking open, and immediately Sombra’s laughing filled the room again. The smoke disappeared from the room through the doorway, taking the the sound of laughter with it. Sombra rushed down the torch lit corridors, extinguishing every torch he passed. The guards that dared to stand in his way were either pushed down by the brute force of Sombra’s shadowy form, or swept into terrifying nightmares. Sombra reached a long spiralled staircase that lead upwards. There was light coming from the top of the stairs. Sombra heard guards coming after him in the corridors. The metallic clanking of their horseshoes echoed in the dungeons. He smirked and flew against the staircase, dissolving into it’s structures. A good ten meters of the staircase turned into a black, shiny crystal, before shattering like glass. Sombra emerged from the remains of the staircase, before starting to fly upwards. The guards wouldn’t have stood a chance against him, so he wouldn’t have needed to break the stairs, but he liked the idea of them getting trapped into the dungeons for a little bit longer. It had been just for his own amusement. It didn’t take long for him to reach the end of the spiralling stairs. He was greeted by more guards. Sombra sighed annoyedly. When were they going to learn. The guards had little time to react before all of them were caressed by his dark magic, their worst nightmares coming to life in front of them. Sombra decided that the fastest route would be straight up. The shadowy form he was in started to take shape. Sombra’s head emerged from the smoke, ten times bigger than normal. His long, sharp horn pointed upwards, and he let out a loud roar before pushing himself through the ceiling.

Meanwhile in the crowded streets of Canterlot, ponies were going on with their daily businesses in peace. The market around a fountain that was shaped like the two sisters was full of life with vendors shouting their offers to the passing ponies and foals running between the many stands, all while Celestia’s sun shone as bright as ever. Everything seemed to be normal. But then the ground started to shake. Everypony stopped on their tracks and some of the mares started to scream. Foals quickly ran to their parents, who held them tightly. Then everything stopped as quickly and abruptly as it started. Scared ponies glanced at each other, before sighing from relief. Then, without a warning, the fountain exploded into a big cloud of white dust, sending big pieces of rock flying around the market. Now everypony was screaming and ducking behind the stands, trying to cover themselves from the flying debris. When the pieces of fountain stopped raining, there was a moment when everything was quiet. Soon couple of curious ponies lifted their heads from behind the stands to see better. The big white cloud of dust was still hanging in the air, but it started to fall down slowly. First they saw a big red horn slowly appearing from the dust. Then two big green eyes with red pupils staring at them. Last they saw a grin of long, razor sharp fangs. Sombra slowly rose from the remains of the fountain, everypony too scared to do nothing else than stare at him. He chuckled faintly before letting out a ear hurting roar. Now a full panic seized the whole market, screaming ponies running everywhere. Sombra watched the puny ponies running away from him in fear. He kept laughing at them for a moment, but he had more important things to do. He flew high up in the air and turned to look towards the frozen north. He smiled victoriously for a second, before starting to fly towards his empire.

* * *

The sight in the room was terrifying. All the guards were either crying or shaking on their places, white as a sheet. Celestia and Luna stared at the opened door and Cadence was petting the mane of crying Shining Armor.

“We must go after him!” Luna said to Celestia who nodded. Luna then quickly turned towards Cadence and said with a sad look, “Take care of the guards and send a letter to Twilight immediately. We will go after him. Tell her to catch up as quick as possible and tell her to get the elements. We have to do this right this time.”

Cadence nodded and kept petting her husbands mane. She then looked up and sniffed, “But where do I tell her to go?”

“You know where he is going,” Celestia said with grim voice before she and Luna vanished in a bright flash, leaving Cadence alone with the guards and her sobbing husband in the darkness of the dungeons.