• Published 26th Sep 2015
  • 9,574 Views, 165 Comments

Can You Find it in Your Heart? - Ravenmane



As broken as he is. As unforgivable as he acted. Could anyone find it in their heart to care for a tyrant such as King Sombra?

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20 - The One Where Sombra Remains Calm

New Moon 12, 3350

These past few weeks have shown more trying times than favorable. It is kind that the citizens are less weary but it does not cause Celestia’s occasional visits to relent. I see these visits of hers detrimental to her position of governance more than the similarities of the protectiveness of a mother hen. I do still comprehend her protectiveness, but it undermines her ability to govern to simply visit and ensure that I am not slipping into my old ways.

Much like Celestia, Discord seems to visit in a questionable frequency. If I didn’t know better than I would think his “overprotectiveness” was forced by an external force. Perhaps I am truly overthinking it but it may be time to act more on Luna’s advice if only to–

The sound of a pebble clacking against Sombra’s window drew his attention from his journal. Even in his morning haze, he knew there were several things wrong with the notion.

“I can see above all plausible buildings and there is no proper vantage to reach from the ground,” Sombra murmured as he slowly made his way to the window.

Upon opening the window however, Sombra was greeted by a grappling hook followed swiftly by a very nervous pink pony.

“Sombra,” Pinkie said as she hurried in, “you’ve got to help me!”

“Good morning to you too Pinkie,” he replied.

“Sorry. I need your advice on something. Something I know you’re really good at.”

“This ‘something’ is what exactly? It isn’t dangerous is it? I know what I would be considered ‘really good at’ but you need to give me more information.”

“It’s a ‘top secret’ secret. I need to know how to keep it a secret.”

He sighed. “Well, you’ve already blown the first suggestion I have for you by telling me there’s a secret like that. My amended advice is to tell only one other pony.”

“And if I can’t?”

“To put it mildly, there is no ‘third best’ when it comes to secret-keeping. Tell me, what happens when you betray a friend’s trust?”

“But this is serious!”

“What happens?”

Pinkie frowned and lowered her head. “Losing a friend’s trust is the fastest way to lose that friend forever.”

Sombra nodded and smiled as he tilted Pinkie’s face so she once more looked at him. “Have you told anypony?”

“Only Mrs. Cake but she already knew. I only found out because she dropped the letter it was on.”

“Can you tell me if I should be concerned? You know, like how I was indirectly forewarned about Celestia and had time to prepare for the encounter.”

“Probably, but I hope not. Are you expecting anything negative happening?”

“In case you haven’t been paying attention, I seem to still have powerful enemies. I call them that not from mutual animosity, but merely what they could do to me and those I want to prove I care about. I can understand Discord, but Celestia? She is not a pony I would recommend making angry.”

“I know, she threw you through a wall on sight. How’s the back by the way?”

“Everything’s back to normal. So, what should I be concerned about?”

“Do you promise not to tell?”

Sombra nodded.

“Do you Pinkie Promise?”

“Do I what now? Do you mean if I swear not to tell another soul?”

“Yes. That. Do you swear not to tell another soul?”

“My lips are sealed Pinkie.”

Pinkie leaned in close to her shadowy friend and whispered something that made him go pale. A casual magical act added one final line to his journal entry:

There appears to be a curious wrinkle today…

*****

“I am not sure how it truly impacts me Pinkie. Not directly at least.”

“But it sounds like they’re coming here. Aren’t you worried?”

“I see it much like Celestia: an inevitability. I did not expect it so soon, but I doubt any walls will be harmed in this encounter.”

“Here’s hoping Sombra, but I should get going.”

“Use the stairs Pinkie,” Sombra said as he held the pink mare back from the window, “you’re suspicious enough with a grappling hook and a climb like that one. Oh, and could you head to White Lightning’s and get me a peace offering? Shining Armor would be nice to have on my side, even if it’s just to calm his wife down.”

“Gotcha, one peace offering as soon as I can get it. You can pay me back right?”

“Something we can share Pinkie, like a six pack or something. I’m not asking for that top-shelf nonsense. I can reimburse you so just try to be discreet.”

“But couldn’t you–”

“Yes, but if they are indeed visiting then I would be at a disadvantage if we were to meet on the street. Think of the citizens of Ponyville. It was a poor, albeit inevitable, thing to have an aggressive encounter so close to Hearth’s Warming. Now, how about starting the new year that way as well?”

“No, I guess not.”

“My point exactly.”

*****

As Sombra made his way downstairs for breakfast, Spike was the first person he encountered. Much to the unicorn’s surprise however was the confusion on the young dragon’s face.

“What was Pinkie doing in the castle so early,” he asked.

Sombra smiled as he tried to recover from the surprising change in his usual morning routine. “I suppose she was merely being Pinkie Pie. On a more refreshing note, I’m happy you decided not to greet me with a scowl today.”

Try as he might, Spike found himself hard pressed to give Sombra his usual morning scowl. “Well yeah, but I’m just sick of Twilight getting on my case about it is all.”

“Sleep well last night?”

“Yeah. Did I catch you by surprise?”

“Well, more than Pinkie had. She came in through my window and roused me faster than jabbing my side with a hot poker could. She said something that made little sense and then left.”

“Getting used to that,” Spike asked smugly.

“As much as anyone can expect to. She’s not a pony I suspect any to be prepared for at all times.”

“Her sister seemed to.”

“Yes, but that’s family. As her friend, can you say you’re ready for anything she could do?”

Spike paused, he had been ready to answer but found it surprisingly difficult to answer honestly. “You’re right, I don’t think I can be ready for her to do just about anything.”

“Good, I’d hate to be the only one. Are we done with this line of conversation then?”

“Yeah,” Spike looked at Sombra carefully. After a moment of seeing no more than the unicorn’s cheerful smile, Spike smiled in return. “I’m not saying we’re friends or anything, but–”

“Ceasefire,” the unicorn suggested as he offered his hoof.

“Deal,” replied Spike as he bumped his fist with Sombra’s waiting hoof.

*****

I still feel out of place here, thought Sombra a short while later. Twilight had apparently had her friends convene in the castle for some announcement he wasn’t aware of. He had his suspicions to be sure, but his mind had diverted more of its usual focus towards what Pinkie had confided.

“So what’s the news Twi,” asked Rainbow from her nearby seat. She quickly glanced over towards Sombra then to Twilight. “Something involving your guest?”

“Well, somepony special is coming to visit Ponyville. I asked Sombra to come because it is important he knows.”

“This isn’t another visit from Celestia is it,” asked Rarity. “I can still feel the tension from last week’s appearance.”

Twilight shook her head. “Shining Armor and Princess Cadance are visiting.”

Every eye turned to look in Sombra’s direction. He wore a pensive look as he made his way to the table. “I understand everypony’s concern, but after the rather invasive appearances from Discord and Celestia’s unsettling visits, I think I can rationally cope with them. If I had misgivings, I would be airing them. At the very least, I don’t expect any physical violence from them. Still, perhaps it would be wise to keep any encounters to a minimum.”

“I’d agree, but they’re planning to stay for a few days at least. You have to eat sometime and socializing helps even you out.”

“It evens me out?”

Applejack gave him a deadpan stare. “Last time Twilight said you were spending time alone ‘ah could see a light all the way from my room back at Sweet Apple Acres in the dead of night.”

“I wished to remain isolated for everypony’s safety,” Sombra countered. “I knew what I was doing but I was not expecting that drastic of a reaction. I already said that I’d be more careful with saltpeter in the future. One error does not make me dangerous on my–”

“You do talk to yourself a lot,” interrupted Fluttershy.

“There’s a voice of temptation and I need to silence it. Would you like to have it and be considered crazy instead?”

“Um, no.”

“If everyone would rather I keep my head down and lay low then I’ll do my best. Perhaps a visit to the old castle would be best for all parties involved?”

Despite the vigorous nods of their friends, both Pinkie and Twilight remained still.

“How about we just get it over with,” suggested Twilight.

“Best to get off on the right hoof,” added Pinkie.

A thin smile grew on Sombra’s face from the notion. Well done Pinkie, he thought.

“I suppose so,” he said as he followed along. “This meeting is bound to happen so all the better to get it over with now. Yes,” his eyes shifted towards Pinkie, “it seems to be the best course of action that I can see.”

“If there’s nothing else I need to go and get something Twilight,” Pinkie quickly added.

“Wait, we have time to get this sort of thing ready. They’ll be here tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow. Got it. Need to go!” With nobody ready to stop her, Pinkie vanished from the room.

“Is it just me or is Pinkie acting stranger than usual,” commented Rainbow Dash.

“She seems as normal as I’ve seen her,” replied Sombra. “Trust me, I’ve had some experience in understanding strange ponies and she is fairly normal by comparison to Starswirl.”

“Well, I think I have everything planned already. Cadance and Shining Armor will be staying on the far side of the castle from Sombra, just to keep animosity as low as I can make it. Even with that, I hope everypony can help me out. I don’t think any of us wants another pre-Heath’s Warming shouting match in the streets.”

“Or a straight up brawl,” added Rainbow. “I mean, can you imagine the kinda damage Princess Cadance might do if she goes all fury and hate on Sombra. Or what about your brother Twi, that wouldn’t end without one of them heading to the hospital.”

“I’m sure you don’t mean to say that as though I’m not here,” commented the unicorn calmly, “and I do grasp the gravity of such an outcome. I don’t suspect she has sufficient power to kill me outright, as Celestia would if she so chose to unleash it, but the danger it would pose to Ponyville is something worthy of our attention. Much like Celestia, I have no intention of fighting back and I worry what the collateral damage would be should I defend myself. In Shining’s case, a hospital visit seems like one possible outcome. One I would prefer to avoid if at all possible.”

Twilight looked around the table. “Anypony have any suggestions?”

“Perhaps dividing them, some form of peace offering to one in the hopes of easing the other.”

Rarity smiled. “It sounds possible, I do have some ideas that may appeal to Princess Cadance but she may think you’re just trying to buy her off.”

“How about just some ‘guy thing’ for Shining Armor,” suggested Rainbow. “I mean, you know how a stallion’s mind works so find some common ground with him instead of appealing to a princess who might want to settle things violently.”

Sombra looked to the apprehensive alicorn. “Twilight, do you think your brother would resort to violence or try to hear me out?”

“I think he could hear you out if you had something to distract him enough.”

*****

“But back to what we’ll have to do outside of any potential conflict,” Twilight said as she led everyone through the castle. “When I found out they were coming to visit, I gathered everything I thought of that Shining liked when he was a colt.”

“So a nostalgic surprise,” asked both Sombra and Rarity simultaneously before laughing at their combined conclusion.

“Exactly and I hope he likes the work I put into it.”

“Do you think Cadance will approve of the arrangements?”

“Sombra, I’m guessing here. Much like you, I don’t think they want a room fit for royalty. This is them visiting so I think casual is better.”

“Do you think it wise to decorate with things suited for a colt? What of something more mature? Something they can enjoy as adults. Perhaps something less… gender biased at the very least. Before I get a question, I like my room as it is: suited for a scholar and avid researcher in the properties of magic. When I haven’t been trying to make friends, or at least friendly acquaintances, I’ve considered returning to my roots as a positive use of my time.”

“‘Yer roots,” asked Applejack.

“Before I was a king, I was in love. Before that I loved uncovering the secrets of magic. There was a certain wonder from discovering something new, something that might benefit everypony.”

“‘An’ instead you–”

“I don’t need to be reminded all the time. I don’t like the thought of being remembered for my failings Applejack. I’ll probably regret more of my contributions to magic than things you’ll accomplish in your life. Yes, I do mean to include saving Equestria on numerous occasions.”

“Is it just me or is he taking this thing with Applejack way too seriously,” Rainbow Dash whispered to Rarity.

Comments ( 35 )

7365603 I'm glad you're giving it a shot. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

7365629 pinkie.mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/rsz/mlfw8236_small.jpg

7365644 ...
...
Damn, I missed a mistake...

EDIT: Oh, you're commenting on Sans, who pointed out the mistake initially.

So this meeting is finally coming to pass. I really have no idea what to expect but all I can guarantee is that a few choice words may appear when they meet eventually. By they I mean Sombra and just Shining. Assuming they get their discussion time. If ots Cadence... overtly aggressive female instinct perhaps? One has to wonder how much research she did on Sombra if any on how he ruled before.

This story is great, all the detail and plot has kept me wanting more from the first chapter. I have loved the idea of him wanting to change from the start, over all wonderful job can't wait for more.:twilightsmile:

7367110 Chapter 21 (The One Where Things Get Complicated) is roughly 1/3 complete as of the posting of this comment so here's hoping I don't take a few months to release it. I kinda do that a lot so I'd like to break that habit at least for a while. :twilightblush:

Chapter 22 might get to the ship proper but no promises. As you could probably tell, I like to build up to it instead of the "bam, here's the ship" method.

7490206 I know it was rather jarring to have that perspective change and I did everything I could think of to make it work back when I wrote it. Hindsight tells me that I could've done them as separate chapters but I would still have a mental debate regarding it.

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Just to let everyone know ;~: this story is now Canceled. He died 2 weeks ago due to a severe seizure in side of his head ;~:. I loved him very muchie and I am sad my love passed away. :~:

He made this story for me... ;~: a very long time ago.

7766229 I'm so sorry about your loss my sympathies go out to you I don't know if this sounds selfish but maybe you should finish the story for him that way we will always remember him even though he is not in this life and has gone to the great beyond to take the next Journey and if you need anything even a talk just talk to send a message to me and I'll be there to talk to you I think any of us will be there to talk to you if you send us something is so sad to see a great Arthur die I'm sorry I cannot replace him as I said before my sympathies go out to you I am so sorry:fluttercry: I would try to honor his memory by remembering him so that his memory will never die and I believe one of the best ways to honor that memories to finish the story for him so that others may enjoy him and may know him even though they never met him I never met him but I believe that he was a good person and that he made people feel good about themselves and he made you feel good and that this story was an excellent piece of work and now that he's dead he may never see the end of it I think you should honor him by finishing it if you need someone to talk to you can always email me

THIS IS AWSOME! PLEASE UPDATE SOON!

i'm sorry for your lose. thats very tragic

May he rest in peace, and forever dream of the light. I'm sorry for the loss of, as far as i can tell, such a kind person. (sending hugs):eeyup:

NEW CHAPTER. NOW. please?

8208085 yes ;c he was my love and had a episode. a sudden unexpected death by seizure. ;c

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 I'm so sorry about your loss my sympathies go out to you I don't know if this sounds selfish but maybe you should finish the story for him that way we will always remember him even though he is not in this life and has gone to the great beyond to take the next Journey and if you need anything even a talk just talk to send a message to me and I'll be there to talk to you I think any of us will be there to talk to you if you send us something is so sad to see a great Arthur die I'm sorry I cannot replace him as I said before my sympathies go out to you I am so sorry:fluttercry: I would try to honor his memory by remembering him so that his memory will never die and I believe one of the best ways to honor that memories to finish the story for him so that others may enjoy him and may know him even though they never met him I never met him but I believe that he was a good person and that he made people feel good about themselves and he made you feel good and that this story was an excellent piece of work and now that he's dead he may never see the end of it I think you should honor him by finishing it if you need someone to talk to you can always email me

Damn, just read an amazing story full of feels only to read the comments and find out he passed. Mother Nature really is taking all the good ones.

Ok, I haven't even started the story yet, (i will in a few hours or so) but I LOVE the description,
Can we please change the subject - celestia
That killed me.
:rainbowlaugh:

P.S.
Also, I regret hearing about the loss. I I'm deeply sorry for the loss of a loved one, and I wish him peace.

Cccccooonnnn...tttttttttttiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnn...uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuueeeeeeee...:pinkiecrazy:

DELET THIS. THIS IS STUPID. REEEEEEEEEE

This story looks dead. Should I bother reading?

Added this to my fav and like. hoofs cross that you write more. :pinkiehappy:

found this
read this
liked this
read through the comments and find myself saddened to know this will never be finished.

Anyone who wishes to continue this is welcome too. I plan to do so one day... If I can just pick up the pen. Thanks to all who enjoyed my loves work. I'm happy to have known him. <3 rest in peace love. ;'')

I hope to see this updated soon; you are a good writer my good sir.

Hope you update soon!!

This is amazing but... is it gonna update anytime soon?

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The answer is no.Six years. God bless him. Amen.

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Do you know what happened to the author?

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Someone commented that he was dead.
If you believe in God, say it with me: God bless him. Amen.(Make a cross on your chest)🙏

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