• Published 8th Jun 2014
  • 11,558 Views, 802 Comments

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 4

Shadowy Love
By FinnPony
Chapter 4

The train rocked gently as it made it’s way towards Ponyville through the hilly landscape. The sun shone brightly, making the temperature in the train car slightly uncomfortable. Especially when the train car was stuffed with guards. Hoofcuffed Sombra was sitting between two guards on a bench opposite from Twilight Sparkle. Besides her sat that cyan pegasus called Rainbow Dash. The rest of her friends sat on the other side of the aisle, trying to be as silent as possible. Sombra liked the deep silence, he hated it when puny ponies like them tried to converse with him. It was like talking to small foals. He shifted on his place a little, making the two guards immediately tense up. He could smell the fear on them. They practially reeked of it. A small wry grin appeared on his lips and he suddenly turned his head towards the guard on his right in a quick motion, almost making him drop down from the bench. Sombra chuckled amusedly and continued to stare in front of him.

His gaze caught the cyan pegasus staring right at him. Sombra returned the stare, but unlike others, she did not look the other way. She was tough and didn’t smell of fear like everypony else in the crowded train car. She was stupid enough to not be scared by him. Her cerise eyes kept staring at him, like she was daring him to look away. He did not do that. Instead Sombra slowly started to smile, revealing his fangs. He saw the mare’s ears fold a bit backwards, before she looked another way. That made Sombra chuckle victoriously.

“Okay, that’s it!” Twilight suddenly exclaimed quite angrily. Sombra gave her a deadpan look. Twilight was looking annoyed when she continued, “You stop scaring my friends right now!”

“I wasn’t scared!” Rainbow protested but winced when Sombra turned to look at her again.
Twilight didn’t mind her friend and continued, “If we want to get along, we need to have some rules!”

Sombra snorted when she said that, making Twilight glare at him annoyedly. She then sighed and continued, “When we reach Ponyville, You will act nicely towards the townsfolk. You will not go scaring them in anyway. Am I clear?”

“Ponyville?” Sombra asked confusedly. “I thought that ‘princess’ like you would be living in someplace a bit more… Appropriate for a mare of your rank… And not in some backwater town like Ponyville.”

“Backwater!?” Rarity exclaimed from her place in shock. “Why Ponyville most certainly is not a…”

She was silenced with a single look from Sombra. That made Applejack grunt angrily and she rose up from her place and stomped in front of Sombra.

“Ah know Twilight here wants us to get along n’ all… But if I hear another bad word about my hometown from you, I’ll kick yer flank so hard that your mother will feel it,” she hissed, her accent growing strong as she spoke.

Sombra narrowed his eyes and said slowly, “I’d like to see you try... hillbilly.”

Applejacks eyes went wide and she was about to give him an flank whooping of a lifetime, but suddenly she was hauled back to her place by purple magic. Sombra turned towards Twilight and was about to say something, but couldn’t open his mouth. It was sealed shut with magic.

“I you don’t have anything nice to say, you can keep your mouth shut!” she snapped at Sombra, her horn still glowing. Sombra just rolled his eyes and started to stare in front of him again. He could feel the hate in the train car. He liked the feeling. The next thirty minutes went in complete silence. Only the clanking sound of train’s wheels was heard. Everypony just tried to calm down from the small incident earlier. Sombra could tell that it wasn’t working. Occasionally everypony glanced at him angrily. It made a little proud smile appear on his lips. It fuelled everypony’s hate toward him, a feeling he savored.

“Next up Ponyville!” he suddenly heard conductor announcing from behind him. He twisted his neck to see towards the way they were going and what he saw made his eyes wide, and if his jaw weren’t magically shut, it would have dropped to the floor. In the middle of the normal looking town stood a large tree like building with castle on top of it… Made completely out of crystal. Sun’s light reflected from it’s surface and hit his eyes, but he couldn’t take his eyes off from it. The crystal called him. The castle got bigger as they got closer. He could see the flag waving at him in a slight breeze. It had a symbol resembling Twilight Sparkle’s cutie mark stitched into it. The roof was made of gold, and over the tallest tower levitated a big crystal, shining almost as brightly as the sun itself. Sombra had to look away from it, so he wouldn’t become blind. His gaze soon went back to the castle though. It was just so… magnificent.
The train slowly glided to the train station, where a bunch of guards were waiting for them. Sombra was still so baffled about Twilight’s castle that he didn’t even notice the train stopping. Others noticed his awed expression, and as they started to went towards the exits, Applejack could contain herself from whispering into his ear, “Quite a backwater, eh?”

That made Sombra snap away from his trance. He folded his ears to the back of his head and growled at her, but it only made Applejack tilt her stetson to the back of her head and laugh.

“Okay Sombra,” Twilight said as she stood up from her bench. “I think you are pretty excited the see the castle, aren’t you?”
Sombra was silent, but rose up quickly. Twilight snickered and started to lead the way. Sombra followed her clumsily, his front hooves still cuffed.

* * *

The insides of Twilight Sparkle’ castle was as impressive as the exterior of it. The throne room where they stood was amazing. There were seven thrones made of crystal in a circle. Six of them had symbols in them. Sombra realised that they were the cutie marks of Twilight and her six annoying friends. The last throne was right next to Twilight Sparkle’s, and it didn’t have any symbols in it. Sombra didn’t pay any attention to it, and continued to examine the room. The walls were deep blue, and big crystal windows filtered the sun’s light into every color of rainbow. There were four big pillars of crystal shaped as the branches of a tree, climbing towards the round ceiling, connecting in the middle of it. Confusion spread on Sombra’s face when he saw a throne on the ceiling. He gave Twilight a questioning look and she started to snicker.

“Oh that is Discord’s throne. He didn’t like the idea of it being on the ground. He said that it was dull,” Twilight explained while covering her mouth with her hoof as she giggled.

Sombra turned back to marvel at the design of her castle. He kept looking at the room for couple of minutes longer, before turning towards Twilight and saying, “When are we going to start?”

Twilight blinked couple of times, before understanding what he meant. She then smiled and said, “We can start right away if you want!”

“Agreed,” was all that Sombra said, before following Twilight deeper into the castle. Twilight motioned to the guards who were standing near the entrance, so they would stand guard there. Both of them saluted and turned towards the door.

When they started to climb up towards the upper floors of her castle, Twilight asked, “What do you think?”

“About what?” Sombra asked calmly.

“About the castle,” Twilight said and looked at him over her shoulder. Sombra was astonished by her castle, but he wouldn’t give that to her.

Instead he just shrugged and said, “It could use more stairs.”

That made Twilight snort and frown annoyedly. Sombra chuckled quietly.

They soon reached the living quarters. There was a big, round living room with two long sofas and couple of armchairs around a long pinewood table. Long bookshelves covered almost the entire wall of the room. The floor there was covered with fitted carpet to make it more comfortable to walk on. There was couple of pictures and paintings on the deep blue walls on the spots that weren’t covered in books. On the opposite wall from the sofas and armchairs was a big fireplace with two big bean bags in front of it. Sombra looked up and saw a big chandelier hanging from the middle of the round ceiling. The windows around the chandelier were made of crystal glass, and they had big stained glass picture of her friends and their adventures. All the friendship in the room made him shudder in disgust. He saw a doorway leading to another room, that he recognized as a kitchen. There was a staircase leading into another floor.

“This is the living room,” Twilight told him. “That there is a kitchen and on the second floor is my bed chambers and the guest room where you will be staying. If you like to read, you are free to borrow any book from the shelves.”

Sombra walked around the bookshelves. He noticed that all the books were just fiction and romance novels, cookbooks and other useless literature like that. The whole shelf that was named ‘The theory of magic’ was empty, just like the shells like ‘Magical artifacts of Equestria’ and ‘The history of Equestria’. Sombra looked at Twilight with raised eyebrow. Twilight chuckled nervously and said, “All those books are moved to my own personal study.”

She pointed to the direction, and Sombra saw a doorway to the study. He walked towards it, only to bang against an invisible wall. He held his muzzle and cursed loudly, causing Twilight to grimace. Sombra rubbed his sore muzzle and glared angrily towards Twilight.

“Heh…” Twilight mumbled and rubbed her front legs together nervously, “Princess Celestia asked me to lock all those books away from you.”

Sombra rolled his eyes and stared towards the study. He somehow felt that there he would find whatever the thing he was looking for was. Something that would help him to gain access to powers beyond his wildest dreams, but first he would just need to get there, so now he just had to follow his plan and play along.

“So…” he started and walked to one of the long sofas around the table. He laid onto the sofa. He let out a small groan of comfort. The sofa was much much more comfortable than the stone bed in his cell. He made himself feel comfortable, before saying, “I am ready to begin my first lesson.”

That made Twilight giggle. Sombra looked at her with one raised eyebrow. Twilight stopped giggling, and said with a smile, “Oh no. First we need to make a complete study program!”

“Study program?” Sombra asked confusedly. Twilight hopped to the armchair that was next to the sofa and her horn started to glow. Soon Sombra saw a big pile of papers, quills, couple of inkwells and many long parchments flying from her study in purple magic aura. They fell to the table with loud bang that made both of them jump couple of inches into air.

“Now we start planning!” Twilight announced, her wings flaring open and her eyes full of excitement.

* * *

Sombra had done more checklists, planning sheets, diagrams and double-checklists than he had done in his whole long life. Every time he closed his eyes he saw checklists. Every time he opened his eyes… he saw checklists. Twilight was beaming as she wrote more and more things for him to learn into a parchment that was longer than the pinewood table. Sombra’s head drooped now and then, his eyelids feeling heavy. It was hard to stay focused into the job at hoof. He wasn’t sure how long time ago he had stopped actually listening what Twilight was telling him. He just kept grunting his answers. Trying to stay awake was his top priority at the moment.

“And then when that is done, we can start double-checking the list one…” Twilight said and glanced at Sombra, noticing how his eyes were closed and his head rested on the back of the sofa.

“Are you tired?” she asked with a teasing smile, making Sombra wince out of his rest. He shook his head to clear it and forced his eyes open.


“Are you sure? You look pretty sleepy,” Twilight snickered. Sombra shook his head, but then he yawned loudly, cursing out loud right after. Twilight snickered and put down the quill she had in her magical grasp.

“Maybe we can call it a day for now,” she said and looked at a clock that hung over the doorway to kitchen. The clock was five past eleven. She hadn’t even noticed how fast the time had passed. She smiled and turned back towards Sombra, who was again leaning his head against the back of the sofa. She cleared her throat and Sombra jerked awake. He grunted and rubbed his eyes with his fetlock. He looked at Twilight with and she saw how he struggled to keep his eyes open.

“I am tired…” Sombra admitted with defeated voice. Twilight chuckled and said, “Well maybe you should go to bed the?”

“It’s strange…” Sombra continued, half asleep.

Twilight gave him a puzzled look and asked, “What’s strange?”

“I haven’t been tired in more than thousand years…” Sombra told her and yawned again. “But after I lost my powers I have started to feel hunger and tiredness again…”

Hearing that made Twilight ponder on something. She tapped her hoof against her chin and examined the sleepy stallion in front of her. She then leaned forward on the armchair and asked quietly, “Sombra, why did you lose your powers?”

“I don’t know,” he lied. Even he was sleepy, he would not fail to keep his thoughts on his mission. It was important part of his plan to make Twilight think that he was as unknowing about the loss of his powers as Twilight.

“Maybe it was that wretched ‘magic of friendship’ of yours,” he said, imitating Twilight’s voice poorly.

She frowned and said, “Somepony’s getting grumpy.”

Sombra grunted and rose to all fours. He staggered a bit when he stood straight. Then he gave Twilight a annoyed look and asked, “Where are my personal quarters?”

“Personal quarters…” Twilight giggled. “Here we call it ‘guest room’.”

Sombra didn’t bother to say anything. Instead he stretched his neck, making it crack awfully. Twilight grimaced and she too rose up. She stretched her wings and could feel tiredness in her too. She flapped her wings couple of times before saying, “Your room is upstairs, just follow me.”

Sombra did as he was told and followed Twilight into the second floor. There was a long corridor with many doors. Twilight walked in front of him, counting the rooms as she went. She stopped at the seventh door on the right and opened the door.

"These are your ‘personal quarters’,” she said with teasing tone. Sombra didn’t answer but bluntly walked past her into the dim room. There was a big, comfortable looking bed and nightstand besides it. Window was large, it too made from a crystal glass. There were thick curtains on both sides of it. On the ceiling was a lamp made from crystal.

“I’ll leave you be now,” Twilight announced from the door. Sombra didn’t answer. Twilight then said a bit more loudly, “Good night.”

Sombra didn’t answer. He could hear Twilight grunting in the doorway, before closing the door.

The room got a lot more darker, and Sombra felt his mind getting fuzzy from the tiredness. One thing kept spinning in his mind though. How could Twilight Sparkle be so hospitable towards him? If he were in her place, Twilight Sparkle would be rotting in a dungeon right now. That mare kept surprising him with the way she thought. Was she really thinking that he could be reformed with ‘the magic of friendship’? He didn’t complain though. He got a comfortable looking bed and food to eat… And soon he would get something much better... Sombra yawned again and slowly made his way to the bed. He poked it with his hoof. It was soft. So, so soft. It made a shutter crawl up his spine. He quickly pulled back the blanket and slipped under it, letting a satisfied sigh escape his lips. The bed was soft and it caressed his body. He immediately felt his eyelids closing on their own. He hoped to get a good night’s sleep... But somehow he knew that he wouldn’t.

Author's Note:

Finally the fourth chapter is out. I'd like to thank all the people who helped me. Thank you all.

In this chapter I wanted to show that Sombra likes crystal, and that without his powers he is just a normal pony.

I will be publishing another really short chapter later today.