• Published 1st Sep 2016
  • 1,571 Views, 74 Comments

Temor - Askre

Twilight and friends must prevent Sombra's heir from resurrecting his father.

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Chapter 14. Hypocritical leaders.

Author's Note:

We actually dial back a little in this chapter to the point where Temor goes upstairs to talk with Starlight while Sombra talks with Ira.

Next chapter, Sombra learns what would have happened had things gone a little differently.

Chapter 14

“Come in,” Starlight called when there was a knock on her room. The door opened, revealing Temor standing there.

“Oh sire, uh has the High Shadow left?” she asked curiously and stepped away from the desk she where she had been jotting things down on a paper scroll.

“Not just yet, she needed to talk with somepony before she left,” Temor explained, not lying strictly speaking, just omitting it was the ghost of his dead father. “She suggested I went up and talked with you. She thinks I should stay here and lay low and learn about modern Equestria while my enemies search for me and she makes the final preparations to resurrect my father.”

“Oh she did?” Starlight blinked for a moment, then smiled. “But of course, whatever the High Shadow commands, I obey. We will need to do something though first, just so the villagers don’t get suspicious.”

“As much as I would love to get rid of that book on my flank, I’m not replacing it with that equal sign,” Temor growled, remembering how his father said it suppressed magic.

“Oh, no, no, no,” the mare quickly assured him, then she grinned deviously, turned so her side was visible to the prince. She then grabbed a cloth nearby and rubbed it over the equal sign on her flank, revealing an actual cutie mark underneath a layer of light purple and gray colors.

“Wait, you still have your cutie mark?” Temor arched his brow, then watched as Starlight applied powder with the same color as her coat on top of the mark, concealing it, before grabbing a paper with an equal sign cut out in the middle of it and applied gray powder, through it, recreating the equal sign cutie mark on her.

“Why of course. The cutie mark removal spell takes away a unicorn’s magic. I need my magic to perform the spell and protect my village,” Starlight shrugged lightly.

“That is hypocritically sadistic,” Temor remarked, before smirking. “Stop it, Starlight, I might just actually begin to like you.”

“I figured you would approve,” she chuckled and looked him over. “Granted with your cape on, your mark is concealed, but want a powder job just in case it’s gets a little breezy while you stay here?”

“Actually, I wonder if an illusion spell would do the job.” Temor glanced at his cape-covered flank. He fired up his horn, lifted the cape up, revealing the book cutie mark on his flank. The stallion sneered in disgust, before applying magic. Slowly the image seemed to fade away, leaving his flank bare, then a lighter gray equal sign cutie mark appeared where the book used to be. “There, that should do it. Since I wear a cape, a paint job would probably just get smudged anyway.”

Starlight had watched the whole process a bit stunned, then she slapped her forehead with a hoof. “Illusion spell, of course, why didn’t I think of that? You know how much powder I go through because I need to reapply it after I take a bath?”

“I can imagine,” Temor said. “Now then, since I’m staying, I need housing for me and my slave.”

“Oh well, I have the rule that new members stay in my house for a little while, so the villagers will think nothing of it if the two of you stay here,” Starlight informed him.

Temor nodded. That solved that problem. He made a mental note to do a similar illusion spell on Emerald, just to keep up the façade. The unicorn was actually looking forward to sleeping in a bed after those nights of lying on the hard ground.

“Is the High Shadow really your aunt?” Starlight suddenly asked as she approached.

“Yes, she is my father’s sister. I do not know how she is alive, but she is.” Temor noted a bit of excitement sparkling in the mare’s eyes. “Anyway, Equestria, what can you tell me?”

“Oh right.” The mare cleared her throat and composed herself, reminding herself that this was the founder of the order she was a member of and the High Shadow had told her that he would resume leadership upon his return.

“Well, like I told you earlier, we are rather remote out here, so we don’t get all the news that happens outside the village. I will tell you though what I can,” she said.

Temor nodded and sat down. Starlight then proceeded to tell him what she did know of Equestria and how things had changed in the past thousand years. The stallion did note that there were gaps in her explanation. She would refer to Celestia’s champions, but clearly was unsure who they were. He arched his brow when hearing that Discord had been released but was put back in stone by them. What he found though most interesting was hearing of the failed changeling invasion.

Oh come on, Aunt Chryssy, you could have saved us a whole lot of trouble if you had succeeded in that, Temor groaned internally, allowing himself to refer to the changeling queen with the pet name he had for her in his thoughts. He had surprisingly fond memories of the changeling queen when she had visited the empire a few times, even if she wasn’t really his aunt, he liked to view her as that considering some of the magic spells she had taught him.

The Crystal Empire – Sombra’s reign.

“If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t believe it.” A haughty voice addressed King Sombra sitting on the his throne. The king only gave the owner a casual glance. Entering the throne room was Queen Chrysalis. The tall changeling had a mocking smirk on her black muzzle as she stared at the young colt sitting by the throne. Behind her came three smaller but armored changelings.

“Are you actually playing daddy now?” the queen asked, shifting her gaze towards the dark unicorn.

“I have adopted an heir, yes,” King Sombra simply said. “Is there a reason for your visit Chrysalis?”

“Chaos reigns in Equestria, hate and fear rule the Crystal Empire, a changeling can barely find any love around the place anymore,” the queen snorted. “I don’t suppose you can spare any for a starving hive?”

“Now why would the monarch of hate and fear have any love to spare?” the king asked mockingly. The two royals now stared at each other eye to eye, frowning hard.

Temor glanced between them, furrowing his brow, still not quite sure what to make out of this new visitor. He remained silent, not wanting to disturb his father. He was surprised when the two royals eased their frowns and started laughing.

“You haven’t changed much at all, have you, Chrysalis,” King Sombra grinned now before gesturing a hoof to colt. “This is my son, Temor. I took him in a few years ago.”

“Oh aren’t you kind,” Chrysalis smirked and looked at Temor again. She then put a hoof on her chest. “Well little prince, you have the honor of gazing upon the Queen of the Changelings. I’m Chrysa…”

“Why do you have holes?” Temor asked, tilting his head. “They look stupid.”

“Such impudence.” For a brief moment Chrysalis looked enraged, but she almost instantly changed it to a smirk. “I like him. Reminds me of his father.”

“I have taught him well; however, I do expect him to show more respect towards our allies!” Sombra said, giving Temor a slight glare.

The colt flinched. “Sorry, father,” the boy apologized.

“Changelings can change into any form they want. Queen Chrysalis has lent me the service of her drones several times to serve as spies for me. Valuable allies like that are hard to find and as such we do not insult their appearance, even if it may look strange to us,” King Sombra wasn’t quite finished with his lecture, though he did ease his scowl.

“I understand, father.” Temor bowed his head a little.

“Speaking of valuable allies, it was not just jest when I said there was little love to find. With Discord causing chaotic misery down south and you doing your thing here, it is starting to become harder for my subjects to find any love to suck out of creatures,” Queen Chrysalis spoke up, looking now more serious. “Since we are so valuable, you will forgive me if I expect you to aid us in this matter.”

“That is a reasonable expectation and granted, though I rule in hate and fear, love is still around here. The slaves have families and friends. I suppose I could spare a few for your hive, I do not quite know how feeding on love works for your kind, but I suppose though that it might taste bitter after years of desperation and fear,” the king turned his attention back to the changeling.

“Eh, beggars can’t be choosers. How many do you think you can spare?” Chrysalis shrugged.

“Take fifty. Adults only. I’ve recently come to appreciate how valuable foals are for the future and I’d rather they grow up and to be trained to be better slaves than the current set of adults,” Sombra told her, giving Temor a glance.

Chrysalis chuckled, not escaping her why the king suddenly had this new found appreciation for the younger generation. She glanced back at Temor, the colt unflinchingly stared right back.

“How long have you had him?” she wondered. The boy looked about ten or eleven.

“It’s been almost five years now,” King Sombra looked at Temor. “There were some difficulties at first, but they have been mostly rooted out by now.”

“My father is teaching me to be strong and powerful,” Temor stated, puffing his chest a little where he sat. Sombra smirked at that and glanced over to Chrysalis who was rubbing her muzzle thoughtfully.

“You certainly have a good teacher for that,” the changeling queen dropped her hoof down, grinning slightly. She valued the alliance with King Sombra and now wondered if she had a way to strengthen it. “You know, Sombra, I could teach your boy a thing or two that might come in handy later.”

King Sombra narrowed his eyes a little, if there was one thing he did know was that Queen Chrysalis was very crafty and even he only trusted her so far. In turn she probably only trusted him just as much. Then an idea came to his mind.

“Temor, wait outside the throne room,” he ordered his son. The boy nodded, rose up and bowed to both him and Chrysalis before heading out. Sombra then used his magic to shut the room.

Temor looked back, shrugged and sat down outside the throne room. Further down the hallway he saw Emerald peeking from behind a pillar at him. The colt, quickly shook his head and pointed to the closed throne room, signaling that his father was not done with him and he was to wait.

Emerald nodded and disappeared. The colt sighed a breath in relief. He’d so far managed to hide his friendship with the filly from his father, but it was risky business for them to meet and play.

The young prince didn’t need to wait for too long. Soon enough the throne room opened again and Queen Chrysalis and her entourage started walking out, closely followed by King Sombra.

“Temor, you are to accompany Chrysalis while she selects the slaves she will be feeding off of. She is going teach you for a little while,” Sombra addressed his son.

Temor frowned a little, but obeyed and hurried to follow the changelings. He glanced back when he heard his father say. “You know what to do, Chrysalis.”

“Have no fear, Sombra. Rooting out love is one of my specialties,” Queen Chrysalis responded back, causing Temor to wonder what they were speaking of. The colt though quickly shook it off and continued to follow his new teacher.

Equestria – Present day

“And that’s about it from what I do know,” Starlight finished her brief explanation of Equestria.

Temor nodded in response, though he had only been half listening. Most of the information had sounded unimportant to what he was trying to achieve. His mind also drifted a little to the past back when he had first met Queen Chrysalis.

“I better go downstairs and do the same illusion on my slave,” he glanced at the back of his flank. Surely Ira and Sombra had finished talking by now. Starlight agreed and the two left the room and headed downstairs.

As he had figured, Ira was no longer downstairs, only the spirit of his father. Starlight was already heading to the kitchen, so since she wasn’t looking. Temor motioned to his father that he was stepping outside. Sombra nodded and floated after him.

They found Emerald resting by the saddlebags just outside the house. The she immediately rose up to bow for her master when she spotted him.

“We are going to be staying here for a little while, laying low while our enemies search for us. I need to cast an illusion spell on your flank so you appear to have the same cutie mark as the other villagers,” Temor explained to her, but kept his voice low, since there were a few ponies outside in the village close enough to Starlight’s house.

“Very well, my lord,” Emerald simply said.

“When you’re done with her, my son, send her inside. I need to speak with you. Just have her tell Starlight that she’s supposed to prepare whatever bedroom you will be staying in,” Sombra told his son.

Temor only slightly inclined his head in a nod, before he made sure nobody was looking. Then he quickly cast an illusion spell on Emerald that made it look like she now had the equal sign cutie mark.

“Take our stuff inside and tell Starlight that you are to prepare the bedroom I’ll be staying in,” he then ordered. The crystal pony bowed her head, picked up the saddlebag and entered the house.

Glancing back, Temor felt it was safer to just head to the back of the building to be out of sight from the village. Once he was sure they were alone, he looked at his father.

“My sister advised me to convince you to grant Emerald her freedom,” Sombra began, raising his hoof that he wasn’t finished when Temor opened his mouth to say something.

“Let’s consider our options here. Our enemies are not just looking for you, they are also looking for Emerald. They probably don’t even consider the fact that she saved you on her own volition and followed you willingly. Even if they did think something along those lines, they would just consider her brainwashed or under mind control,” the dead king continued. Temor clamped his mouth shut and listened, but with a frown.

“We can test her loyalty to you with this. If she stays in your service, then she is truly loyal, if she opts to leave, well that’s that, we honestly do not need her at this point. We have reached allies that can aid us to a far greater extent,” his father then pointed out.

Sombra could see that Temor was not quite sold on this idea yet. The king shook his head, his son was just too used to service, being waited on and having a personal slave to order around.

Perhaps it was a mistake to have Queen Chrysalis remove the love he had for her as a friend back when they were children, the king thought. Great, one more regret to add to the pile.

“The two of you used to be friends,” he suddenly just flatly stated.

“Wait what?” Temor blinked in confusion.

“The first four to five years you were with me, you befriended a slave. You never confessed to me what slave that was. I always suspected it was one of the foals the slaves had and when I realized there really was only one mare in the castle that had foals, I narrowed my suspicions on her,” Sombra somewhat reluctantly began to explain, just knowing this would blow up in his ethereal face.

“Why don’t I remember any of this?” Temor asked, granted now that he thought about it, some memories were far fuzzier than others from those first few years.

“I suppressed the memories and Queen Chrysalis removed the love to these memories,” Sombra said and just waited for the eventual explosion.

“So that’s why she saved me and followed me willingly?” Temor glanced at the house before returning his attention to his father. “How do you know it was Emerald?”

“Before we reached the village, just after we first reached Equestria. I spotted her poking around in one of the saddlebags. She was caressing one of the toys you thought I didn’t know about. How could she get one of those without knowing exactly where they were? She no doubt is the one who gave you them in the first place,” his father answered. “Hold on, I think I have just enough power.”

Sombra’s horn began to glow and Temor suddenly felt like something clicked into his mind. It was suddenly flooded with memories of Emerald as a filly, the games they used to play, the notes they wrote each other. When he was done the King looked much more faded than before, having used a lot of the power he had already accumulated.

“I didn’t want you to be friends with a slave, a crystal pony. I had other plans for you and felt she would impede the process,” Sombra said, sounding much weaker. “I am really sorry.”

“Father?” Temor frowned at first, then he blinked when Sombra just simply vanished from his eyes. The prince rushed over to the spot where the king had been. “Father, where are you?”

“Must… rest… I’ll… be back…” he barely could hear Sombra’s voice somewhere around him. Temor frowned and closed his eyes, when he concentrated he did still feel the presence of his father, but it was very weak.

“Wait if he suppressed the memories, why didn’t he know from the start it was Emerald?” Temor wondered. Then again we never spoke each other’s names out loud, only mentioned them in our notes and to him one slave just looks like another. Wow, this is weird, I suddenly know this.

Temor stopped to think this over, going over these new old memories. Now he understood though when Queen Chrysalis had demonstrated how changelings suck out love, by taking a tiny fraction of it from him without hurting him. That must have been the time she removed the love attached to those memories.

Suddenly the prince started laughing as he realized something. Although the process had certainly removed him from his friend, it had on the flip side, protected Emerald. Granted she had still been a slave and eventually been made into his personal slave, she had at least never been severely punished for daring to speak to the prince.

I hated my father for the first few years, because I didn’t understand that he was just making me strong and giving back to me what my lineage had lost through centuries of interbreeding. Can I really resent him for inadvertently protecting my friend? He reasoned in his mind.

“Oh right, he has a point though. I probably should grant Emerald her freedom… Oh I just realized what we did together when she was older… agh… are you even supposed to do that with friends…” Temor sat down and started rubbing his forehead. “Alright… clean thoughts… clean thoughts… I didn’t know and well, she was a slave… I’m not making it sound any better.”

“Okay first things first, free Emerald, second thing have Emerald get her own bedroom,” Temor rose up, quickly shaking his head as old memories clashed with certain others ones to try and clear his head, then trotted back to the front of the house.

End chapter 14