• Published 1st Sep 2014
  • 18,872 Views, 1,824 Comments

Sweetie's Shadow - Note Sketch

Looking for a way to get over her fear of public speaking, Sweetie Belle borrows an instructional book from Twilight's library to help out. One thing leads to another and some how ends up binding King Sombra to her as her shadow...

  • ...

4. King of Chess

"I cannot believe you destroyed the school!" Twilight shouted at their new 'friend' who was less than happy to be scolded. Laying down on his stomach and crossing his front hooves in disinterest, Sombra looked back with dull eyes as he waited for her to finish her rant. "Nothing? You won't say anything?"

"What else is there to say? I may be a 'Tyrant', but I'm not a liar. It's true, I was the catalyst for the destruction of the school, though my only intention was to cause some havoc to make every pony leave. After all, that was what the child asked of me." He responded as a yawn escaped his mouth.

"I didn't tell you to destroy the school! I just said that I wanted to go home!" Sweetie Belle said back. To this, the old king raised an eye brow, after all, there was a small piece of information she left out.

"And?..." He question, pushing her to keep talking.

"And for some pony to make it so I don't have to do my presentation...." The white filly said softly as she looked down.

"I doubt that calls for the destruction of the school." Rarity said as she sat by her sister. "So don't start making it Sweetie Belle's fault all of a sudden."

"I'm not. But the curse she put on me sent a wave of pain across my body. I was obligated to act and fulfill her wish unless I wanted to be in constant pain. So I did the first thing I thought of. Can you say for a fact that you would think clearly while under pain?" Sombra asked as he placed a hoof to his neck to help pop it. Relieving some tension from the cracking of his bones, he once again made eye contact. "So yes, I did this, but I would not say I was exactly 'at fault'."

"H-He's right..." Sweetie Belle admitted as she began to step forward towards Sombra. "It's not his fault, it's mine." Since Sombra was laying down, he and Sweetie were able to see face to face as she stared at him with regretful eyes. She simply felt horrible about the blame being put on him.

"Okay, maybe your words made him act, but you weren't the one who brought the school bell down, breaking apart the school and trapping Diamond Tiara under it. Do you know how hard it was for us to get that off of her?"

"I didn't plan that." Sombra said as he gestured with his hoof. "That was just icing on the cake, right?" He asked as he looked down to the filly.

"Yeah! I mean no!" Sweetie Belle said, mostly due to the glare her sister was giving her from her response.

Chuckling at the scolding Rarity was about to give her sibling, Sombra smiled as he spectated the scene in front of him, though another pony wasn't exactly thrilled to have him so entertained.

"You just love causing trouble don't you?" Twilight asked with an annoyed frown.

"Who? me?" Sombra asked out, though his body language still spoke 'bored'.

"No, the other Tyrant of Darkness."

"Oh, you really must introduce us, I am sure we would have a lot to talk about." Sombra said as he held a cheeky smile. Popping his bones by twisting his neck back and forth, he stood up to stretch.

"You're very frustrating, you know that?" Twilight asked out as she was the dark stallion take everything happening like just another day.

"Then just kill me again. Nothing's stopping you." He replied before laying down again. His actions were like that of a lion. Proud and powerful, so powerful perhaps that he didn't need to show his strength in posture and glares, those around him just knew and gave him the space he wanted. He could then just relax in the domain granted to him by those around him.

"What?!" Sweetie Belle asked out as she overheard. "You can't kill him!" She shouted as she ran over to the stallion, her encroachment on his territory an annoyance to him, though there wasn't very much he could do about it. "Isn't once enough?!" She finished as she looked over at the pair of mares who had been responsible for Sombra's death.

"S-Sweetie Belle, I'm not one for violence, you know that. "Rarity began. "But this is the Tyrant of the Crystal Empire we're talking about. We can't just let him wander around like that."

"I'm not 'wandering'. I am bound to this filly." Sombra clarified as he glanced down at Sweetie Belle who was still too close for his comfort.

"Yeah, I've been thinking about that..." The young alicorn said as she inspected Sombra up and own. "And I think I have a solution."

"Do you really?" The white mare asked.

"Just give me a second..." Twilight replied as she began to focus her magic. Beginning to glow in her purple aura, Twilight's mane waved from the intensity of her magic. Slowly Sweetie Belle was pulled away from Sombra who was still laying down with disinterest in anything around him, though a little more happy to have his 'territory' back.

Finally, in a bright flash of light, a bolt of energy shot out of Twilight's horn. Though aimed directly at him, Sombra didn't move, or even flinch. Instead he just yawned as the magical bolt came ever closer. Exploding in front of him, the purple magic Twilight had thrown out erupted and spread into a cage of sorts. Surrounding the dark stallion in his place, it gave him enough room to stretch about, but little else.

Taking a moment to look around at his new environment, Sombra shrugged and then rested his head on his hooves as he continued to relax.

"What is that?" Rarity asked as she looked at her friend's handiwork.

"It's a force field that should keep 'King' Sombra trapped in there." Twilight responded with a sense of pride, puffing her chest out as he looked over at the 'trapped' stallion. "Its mystical properties block magic, so he can't even use levitation from in there."

"What of what happened earlier? Won't he return to Sweetie Belle's side if they get too far?"

"I think we should be okay as long as Sweetie Belle doesn't leave the house. I believe that's the maximum amount of distance they can be apart before he is rubber banded back to her.

"Are you alright in there?" Sweetie Belle asked as she came close to the cage of light.

"From one prison to another." He responded. "It makes little difference which one I'm in, I still don't have the ability to move about freely." Sombra finished with a dry voice before turning his head over. The filly looked at him sadly as her ears flopped down against her head.

"Now we just have to wait until Princess Luna and Princess Celestia come to see what they want to do with Sombra." Twilight said as she began to lead her friends out of the room.

"Oh, they're coming?"

"I haven't told them what happened yet, but I asked them to come by for something to discuss. They said they could arrive tomorrow."

"Oh isn't this just wonderful Sweetie Belle?!" Rarity asked out as she lifted her sister with her magic to spin her around happily, quickly making their way out together.

The words became muffled as they left the room and shut the door behind them, leaving Sombra to his thoughts. Slowly opening his eyes half way, he looked around the room without moving his head. Different feelings began to plague his mind as he went over what had happened today.

"Why did I save that filly?" He asked himself as he thought about the crumbling school. "I could have gotten rid of my 'master' in one fell swoop and be free." Sombra voice spoke softly.

So why did I save her?

He thought, his mind slowly drifting off into sleep. Sleep, something he hadn't gotten in what seemed like an eternity. Was he tired because Sweetie Belle had left the room? Or was the exhaustion from forcing one self back to land of the living finally catching up to him?


"Daddy?" A voice asked out as Sombra looked around a grass land. The images were blurred and unfocused to him. As if everything was in slow motion, every time he turned his head after images were left behind.

"I'm here." He responded softly.

"Daddy? Where are you?" The voice asked out again.

Again Sombra turned his head to look for the voice of the pony calling out to him. As he glanced around the wind moved the tall grass back and forth in a hypnotic manner. Nothing was heard however, no natural sounds, not the grass rustling, not even the whistling of the wind, just that single voice that he was so focused on.

"I'm right here." Sombra said once more.

"Daddy where are you? I'm scared." The voice called out again, but as the echo of the resonated in the slow ever slow scenery, the sky began to glow a bright shade of orange. The sun was going down.

"I'm here!" Sombra called out again.

"It's getting dark. I'm scared."

"Come to me. I'll keep you safe."



"Mister Sombra?" A soft voice called out, waking the dark stallion from his slumber. Looking up from his hooves that served as a pillow, Sombra saw Sweetie Belle standing on the other side of the cage. Sighing and lifting his head to face the filly, Sombra once again placed a hoof to his neck as he popped his bones.

"What is it filly?"

"Oh, I just never thanked you."

"For what?"

"Saving me. I could have died back there when the school was falling apart."

"Yes you could have."

"So uh, thanks." Sweetie Belle said awkwardly. She didn't exactly know what to say, and the circumstances they were under weren't exactly helping either. Slowly looking up at Sombra quickly made eye contact, she stared into his red eyes, his thin pupils easily able to scare most fillies, but not her.

"Was there something else?" He asked, not wanting to stay locked in their staring contest.

"Oh, not really." She said as she looked away. Again silence. "A-Are you alright in there?"

"In this cage?"

"Yeah. I mean, it's kinda small for you, right?"

"So you would put me in a larger cage if it was up to you?" Sombra asked as he once again leaned his head on his hooves.

"That's not what I meant!" Sweetie Belle shouted out. "I just...don't like seeing you in there like that."

"Like what?"

"Like if you were some dangerous creature."

"I am a dangerous creature." He responded, causing Sweetie to frown.

"So why did you save me then?" She asked him, a question he didn't have an answer for. Staring back at her, Sombra looked over in a glare at first, a glare the softened into sad, melancholy eyes. It was as if he found himself in a moment of weakness. It was quiet once more as they eyed one another.

With a sigh Sombra broke eye contact and instead looked around. By the darkness outside the window, it was clear it was past dusk. How long had he slept? The lights were dim since the only light source was the one given off by the cage, perhaps Sweetie Belle sneaked in here in night, no doubt her sister wouldn't have allowed her to otherwise.

"Wanna play a game?" Sweetie belle asked with a smile.

"What kind of game?"


"You know how to play chess?" Sombra asked with a soft chuckle.

"I've played a few times!"

"And how, pray tell, do you think we can play chess if I can't use my levitation magic to lift the pieces?"

"Like this. Become my shadow!" Sweetie Belle said, with a large grin. Lifting his head just in time to feel himself begin to melt into the ground, Sombra's essence became a shade that quickly slid under the cage he was in and merged with Sweetie Belle's shadow. "Okay, come back out." Not even getting a second to adjust, the shade jumped out from the ground and solidified into Sombra as he found himself standing all of a sudden.

"That can't be good for my body..." He said as he stretched his limbs out, testing out all his joints. Taking a glance behind him to see the cage he was been in, he raised an eye brow as a compliment escaped his mouth. "Clever girl."

"Here we are..." Sweetie Belle said with a strained voice. Looking over in her direction, Sombra saw her struggling to reach a box at the top of a shelf. Barely able to get a hold of it, she tugged on it though because of the awkward position she was in, wasn't able to get it to move. In a strong pull, she managed to move it, but ended up underestimating her force and instead threw it backwards.

In the air the box opened up and all the chess pieces began to fly out. Closing her eyes as she waited for the loud crash the chess board and pieces would make, Sweetie Belle remained still in a flinched position. Nothing, it never landed. Slowly she opened one eye lid to peek out and see how bad the damage was but was instead met with a different scene.

"How long do you plan on staying over there?" Sombra asked as he placed the chess pieces down on their spots. He had caught the flying chess game with his magic while it was zipping through the air and was now busy trying to place everything down neatly. The box they were in could double as a board and he was quickly separating the black and white pieces.

"Woah, how'd you do that?" Sweetie Belle asked as she ran over and sat down on the opposite side of the board.

"Any unicorn can catch something with their magic." He replied as he set down the final piece.

"I can't..."

"Then let me clarify. Any adult unicorn can use their magic like that. Now, which color do you want to be?" Sombra asked as he lifted the two king pieces. "White or black?"

Sweetie Belle took a moment to think about it before smiling. "Well that's obvious! My coat is white, and your mane is black." She said before taking the white king and placing it down on the board on the spot it belonged.

Sombra chuckled as he saw Sweetie Belle explain her reasoning. It was innocent to say the least. "That means you go first."

"Okay!" She said as she moved the pawn in front of her rook two spaces forward.

Sombra responded in kind, moving a pawn of his forward two spaces to clear a path for one of his bishops. The sound of the pieces hitting the board was all that was heard as the two ponies took turns in moving their pieces, though Sweetie belle seemed to be more focused on simply advancing her pawns forward and ignoring the other pieces.

"I'll take your pawn." Sombra said as he moved his bishop over and tipped the white pawn over. By coincidence, the bishop landed two spaces in front of Sweetie Belle's knight whom she quickly moved forward to try to take his black bishop in a sort of 'vengeance'. "You can't do that." He quickly said to her action.

"Why not?"

"Knights aren't allowed to move like that. They can only move in 'L' shapes, like so." Sombra said as he moved her knight to all possible locations it could travel to.

"Oh okay..." She said as she looked over to her rook that was in an 'L' shape motion away from his bishop. She quickly made the same mistake and moved a piece in another's moving pattern.

"You can't do that either. Rooks can only move up, down, left, and right."

"Only in those directions?!"

"Well...yeah, but they can move as many spaces as they want."

"That's kinda cool." Sweetie Belle said as she lifted her bishop. "And this one? How does this one move?"

"I thought you said you played chess before."

"I did, but with my sister...and something usually came up mid way through and we could never finish. I never got to move the back row..." The filly said as she motioned to the pieces she was clueless about. Sighing, Sombra rolled his eyes as he began to think it better to simply end the game here. But as he opened his mouth to speak he noticed the rather saddened eyes of the white filly as she looked over at her pieces.

She had all the intentions of playing if only she knew how, it was all clear to see. Grunting in annoyance, Sombra did something he never thought he'd ever have to do. Give some pony the tools they needed to win against him...

"Bishops move in diagonal motions, though like the rook, can move as many spaces as they want. The Queen, is your most mobile piece in the game. She can move in any straight direction as many spaces as she wants as well."

"Oooooh, that's cool! But what about the king?" She asked as she lifted her white king to Sombra.

"The king is the most important piece in the game, he-"

"Can he move to any spot in the board?" Sweetie asked with big hopeful eyes.

"No, he can move in any direction he wants, but only one space."

"What!?" She asked out, her voice cracking into a squeak. "But you said he was the most important piece!"

"He is, because if your king is captured, you lose the game." Sombra spoke softly as he looked down at the board. Placing his own black king piece next to Sweetie Belle's he made it seem like they were staring off against each other. "The reason they only move one space is because the king is the tactician. He commands the others to move on the board to win."

"But I thought I was the one telling the pieces where to move."

"You are. In the game of chess, you are the king, the tactician, the one the other pieces put their faith in to lead them to victory, even if you tell them to move to a spot where they will be picked off by the enemy. All is for the good of the king, the good for you, and the good for the Kingdom."

As Sombra spoke, his eyes became dull. He messed around with the pieces, like if he was acting out a story with them as his puppets; Sombra move them to emphasize his points. It certainly helped Sweetie Belle understand, but it was almost like if Sombra was talking about something other than chess as he acted out the play.

"When you tell a piece to move, they move. When you tell a piece to capture the enemy piece, they obey. You know best, you know how to win."

"But...I don't. I didn't even know how they move on the board." Sweetie said with soft eyes as she looked down at the board at all the white pieces that were under her command.

"That's what chess is all about. Thinking ahead and winning by knowing when to move in and attack, and when to retreat and make sacrifices. No pony is good when they first start. It takes practice, patience." Sombra responded as he once again moved all the pieces to their starting locations. "So, do you want to play?"


Once more they began to play. This time Sweetie Belle had a better grasp of the game, and to be fair, she did move her pieces in a better tactic than she did at first. Though every pony knew what the outcome would be. Slowly Sombra took all her pawns. Her knights and bishops were next. All that was left was her rooks, queen, and king.

"Check." Sombra said softly as he moved his bishop into position where it could capture the white king. It was a phrase Sweetie Belle had grown used to hearing since this was now the seventh time he had called out a check.

In response to the check, Sweetie Belle moved her queen to block away the path and keep her king safe. Sombra moved another of his pieces to prepare for another check, but as the filly thought about her next move, a smile grew on her face. Looking over at the rook she had not moved since the game had started, she carefully picked it up and moved it to her king where she replaced it with her rook. Gently setting the king down beside the rook.

"That's interesting." Sombra said as he raised a brow.

"It's called castling right?" The white filly asked as she looked up at her opponent.

"Yes it is. How did you know about that move?" Sombra asked as he moved his bishop to take the rook who had replaced the king. Sweetie Belle captured the bishop with her queen as she continued to converse.

"I read it once a long time ago. As long as you haven't moved your rook or king, you can push the king out of the way."

"You indeed used the tactic well, but it still won't help you. Checkmate." Sombra said as he placed his queen to the final spot on the board, the white king had no way out, he was captured. Despite losing, Sweetie Belle couldn't have a bigger smile if she tried.

"I know, but I'm really happy anyway!"

"I can tell, but why? You just lost the game."

"Why? Because I finally finished a game of chess! I don't care that I lost, I finished the game!" She said as she jumped up in glee. Watching her bounce around, Sombra couldn't help but be plague with different thoughts. Was this really the first time she finished a game of chess? How many times had she began one only to be paused so that she could have such a reaction.

Suddenly a thud was heard. Looking over to where Sombra had last seen Sweetie Belle, he saw her on the floor as she slept with a smile.

"D-Did she fall asleep mid jump?" He asked himself as he felt a bead of sweat run down his head. "You are one strange filly...."

Slowly making his way to her, he looked down at Sweetie Belle who breath peacefully on the floor. It looked like it was perhaps the most comfortable bed she could lay on by the smile she bore. With a sigh, Sombra leaned down and gently bit the filly's nape as he began to carry her. With soft hoof steps, Sombra walked around the house as he looked for her room. It wasn't particularly hard to find given it was the room he had been summoned in. He knew what he was looking for.

Slowly opening the door to the pink room Sweetie Belle had, he moved towards her bed where he began to tuck her in. Softly placing her on the warm sheets of her bed, she curled up into a more comfortable pose as she felt the covers come over her body. Having finished what he had come to do, Sombra began to make his way back to his 'cage' where he would spend the night.

"Good night daddy." Sweetie Belle said in her sleep. The words rung loud in his head as he suddenly turned to look at the peaceful filly. She didn't say anything else, she was fast asleep, but it didn't stop him from simply staring back. Slowly, he began to move back to her bed side where he looked down at her with soft eyes.

"Good night...you insufferable filly."

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