• Published 17th Nov 2016
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King Sombra Wants Back Inside His Empire - naturalbornderpy



King Sombra wants back inside his Empire. And he's willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

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Using Words!

Shining Armor should’ve seen it coming. Really, he should’ve. Although he had no possible way of doing so, he should’ve broken all the laws of time and space and peered down the blackened abyss of all-consuming knowledge in order to tell himself just what lay ahead that day.

Anything to prepare him for what was coming.

His day had started out great; warmly sandwiched between his perfect wife and perfect little daughter, all three sleeping soundly throughout the night for what must’ve been the first time in weeks. Even Shining’s morning coffee had been perfectly perked to perfection: a little strong, a little sweet, served piping hot. (A few terms Cadence had used on the stallion over the years, he thought to himself with a sly grin, as he later pissed out that very same coffee not thirty minutes after drinking it. Coffee had that effect on everyone, though.)

Truly, Shining Armor had never felt more content in all his life. Until…

“Captain! Captain Armor, I need to speak with you most urgently!”

Shining grunted and gave a little shake. Then he washed his hooves and popped open the door to the Captain’s private lavatory. “Yes? What’s so important that all of the Empire needs to hear you yell about it?”

At the moment, the guard he spoke to appeared more than agitated and alarmed. Almost as if instead of ingesting his normal morning coffee, he’d opted for an espresso enema instead.

“It’s…” the guard began gamely, as beads of sweat trickled down his cheeks. “It’s returned! It’s back and it’s even worse than before!”

Shining raised an inquisitive brow. “It’s? So it’s a thing?” He scratched at his chin. “Is it Reading Week already? I haven’t even finished that book from last year. I know Twilight passed that mandatory reading bill only last month, but—”

The guard surprised him by tightly grabbing his shoulders. “Okay, so maybe it’s not an it, but a he! As in… he has returned!”

Clearly, Shining wasn’t getting it. “Discord?”

The guard shook his head.

“Tirek?”

Repeat head shake.

“Diamond dogs?”

Once again.

“Flim and Flam?”

Encore head shake.

“Hmm.” Shining pursed his lips. “Alright. Then let me ask you this: has either Queen Chrysalis or Nightmare Moon had a sex change that we know about?”

The guard raked two hard hooves down his face. “Captain! The pony I’m talking about is—”

***

“Sombra?” Shining asked earnestly, once he’d made his way to the top of the circular wall that surrounded the entire Crystal Empire. “King Sombra? I must’ve completely forgotten about him.”

The same guard from earlier had trailed him up there. “Seriously? You do remember that at one point this was his Empire, right? You’re even sleeping in his old bed right now!”

Shining wrinkled his nose in disgust. “I am? Those sheets have been washed, right?”

The guard only shrugged.

“That would explain all those black hairs I keep on finding,” Shining murmured to himself, before a loud and overwhelmingly guttural voice let itself known.

Captain Armor! I have come to hold palaver with you!

The three dozen or so guards stationed atop the wall shivered and whipped around. Shining followed their example, angling his head over the smooth crystal railing in order to glance down below. Sixty feet down and a good twenty paces away from the Empire’s gigantic wall stood the ex-tyrant known as King Sombra, clad in a blood red blanket and little else. Around his head was what appeared to be a makeshift crown pieced together by bits of crumpled aluminum foil and tape.

Where he got those materials in the middle of Frozen North was anyone’s guess.

As the seconds ticked by, more and more guards turned their attention to Shining, curious of just how to proceed. Shining felt his neck and cheeks flush, but only for a moment. Sombra was clearly outnumbered and ill prepared. And what else?

“No dark cloud of vapors today, Sombra?” Shining called down, a thick edge to his voice. “I must say you look a lot more solid than the last time we met.”

Far, far down below, Sombra furrowed his brows and absently glanced at his torso and legs. “Well, I guess I have been working out a bit. Lots of walking. Chopping down trees for firewood. Cardio and all that.” He tipped him a wink. “Thanks for noticing, by the way.”

Shining sighed. “No, what I meant was… you know what? Never mind. I don’t even care. The better question is: what are you even doing here? Why in Equestria would you come back to this place?”

Sombra surprised Shining with a half-sided grin. “Isn’t it obvious? I’m here for my Empire, of course.”

Rolling his eyes, Shining signaled his archers to let their arrows loose. From the tip of the wall soared forty-two sharp crystal arrows, each one aimed at either Sombra’s eyes, throat, or genitals. Miraculously, he managed to dodge all but one, ducking and weaving his way around them like some ballet dancer listening to three musical tracks concurrently. When all was said and done, he turned to survey the damage and shrieked.

One of the arrows had pierced the blood red blanket resting on his back.

“My blanket-slash-tent-slash-cape!” he wailed, before facing Shining on the wall again. “You fiend! You better have someone inside there that can stitch him back up, Shining! My blanket’s name was the Red Baron and he kept me warm at night when no one else would!”

Shining rubbed at his forehead with a hoof.

Death and isolation has not served Sombra well, he thought dourly.

He called down again, “Well, clearly you don’t have any magic anymore; otherwise you would’ve stopped those arrows in midair, or better yet turned yourself into smoke and simply floated over this wall without any hassle whatsoever.”

“What was that?” Sombra replied, his voice oddly high given his normal blues-singer-with-a-throat-disease-like tone. “King Sombra with no magic? Since when?” He waved a hoof in the air nonchalantly. “I mean, it’s not like my horn was violently ripped from my head and hurled Celestia knows where, all so some random jackass of a pony or donkey could trip over it and later add it to their personal rock collection. Please, Shining! Think before you speak! I’m just, you know… saving my magic! For super special occasions.”

“And returning to your old stomping grounds doesn’t count as a special enough occasion?” Shining asked him dryly.

Sombra appeared at a loss for words, until he randomly pointed above Shining’s head. “Shining, look out! It’s coming right for you!”

Taken back by Sombra’s more-than-odd appearance and mannerisms, Shining regretfully spun himself around to check, only to slump his shoulders in annoyance once he heard Sombra laughing like a loon back down on the snowy ground.

“That sure was a close one, Shining!” Sombra cried, as he held both hooves to his clearly-pained belly. “Your stupidity almost hit you square in the face!”

Shining signaled for another round of arrows to be let loose. This time, Sombra didn’t even have the chance to dodge (he was still too busy laughing until his tears froze to his cheeks). Thankfully, the arrows created a perfect circle around him. Much to Shining Armor’s chagrin.

He glared at his row of archers. “Seriously, guys?”

One of them anxiously scratched at a leg. “Sorry, Captain. Although, technically, this is our first real threat. And honestly not all that threatening.”

“Still there, Captain Shining?” Sombra cooed.

Shining stuck his head on the cold railing and glanced down. “Not by choice.”

Sombra chuckled. “Good. Because here’s what I want: I want back inside my Empire.”

“So you can rule it again?” Shining questioned.

“What? Of course not! Is that all you think I do, Shining? Go after Empires for the sole purpose of conquering and ruling over them with an iron hoof?”

“Yes.”

Sombra frowned. “Then you don’t know me at all, my good sir! Why… I have many wonderful hobbies that occupy my time! Like telling others what to do, skull collecting, ironic torture sessions, sending wedding cakes to recent divorcees, kite flying, whips, both for professional and private use, snow eating, rigging elections, blaming bad smells on others nearby, outlawing sundaes on Sundays—”

Shining held out a hoof. “Stop. Please, just stop. You’re giving me a headache so bad it feels like there are crystals being slowly shoved inside my eye sockets.”

Sombra peered up at him expectantly. “So you’ll let me back in then?”

“Why would I ever do that? Use that demented brain of yours, Sombra, and think for a moment! I don’t want you in here. Cadence sure doesn’t want you in here. And I’m more than certain at least ninety-nine percent of the population that resides in here doesn’t want you back.”

“I’m sure my old friend Jim would want me in back,” Sombra replied happily. “Go ask Jim what he thinks. And make sure you tell that worthless piece of dirt to go get back to work before I skin him alive.” He chuckled. “It’s an inside joke between us. Saying that really gets under his skin.”

“Jim’s still in therapy because of you,” Shining told him briskly. “Extensive therapy. He’s not ever likely to recover fully.”

Sombra furrowed his brows. “Is he in therapy because he misses me so much?”

Shining choose to ignore that last part. “Moving on, I have a kid now, Sombra. So why would I want you and my daughter in the same city? Plus—”

“Ha! That means you had sex!” Sombra blurted out randomly.

“Umm. Anyways,” Shining continued on, “we have you more than outnumbered and you don’t even have any magic! So unless you can somehow pierce through our three-foot-thick crystal gate or find some magical unicorn sneakers that allow you to leap over tall buildings in a single bound—you are not getting in here!”

Finally, Sombra’s smirk slid down his face. “So that’s the way it’s gonna be, huh?”

Shining nodded. “Yep. I honestly thought you would’ve seen this coming.”

Sombra lowered his head. “Fine. Then I will do something I didn’t think I would have to. I will now use the most powerful weapon in all of ponykind: words.”

Sitting on the cold, wet snow, Sombra gazed up the Empire’s immense wall with his front hooves pressed together. His lower lip jutted out, quivering in the icy wind. As his eyes shimmered, his pupils grew wide.

In hardly a croak, he murmured, “Please?

And that was all.

From side to side Shining looked around, trying to gauge the situation along with his fellow guards. They only shrugged in return. They were just as confused as he was.

Shining called down, “Was that it?”

“Uhh…” Sombra paused to contemplate. “Pretty please?”

“Gonna have to do better than that, Sombra.”

Reaching under the blanket known as the Red Barron, Sombra scooped out a glass jar loaded with small, floating red fruit. He smiled earnestly. “Pretty please with a cherry on top?”

Shining closed his eyes in pure annoyance, hopeful that if his brains suddenly turned into mush they’d exit out his ears or nose and not out through his eyelids. “Did you honestly bring an entire jar of cherries across the Frozen North just to say that?”

“Of course not!” Sombra corrected. “They were to put on top of my apology.”

A full minute passed; Shining staring at Sombra deadpan the entire time.

“That blast of pure love really scrambled your brains, didn’t it?” he asked openly.

Sombra only nodded. “Along with my testicles. Boy, did those things ever soar for miles and miles! In opposite directions, too!”

“You’re still not getting in here, Sombra,” Shining reminded him.

“But why? I said ‘please’ and everything! I even said ‘pretty please’!”

“But are you even sorry for what you did?”

Sombra scowled. “So that’s what this is about—an apology? To admit that I was wrong and you were…” He paused to gag, close to vomiting. He let out a rather acidic burp. “Right.”

“It couldn’t hurt,” Shining replied. “I know admitting mistakes always makes me feel better.”

Perhaps that’s only because you were born a mistake,” Sombra muttered under his breath, before catching himself. “But alright! Fine! One warm-and-buttery apology coming right up! Fresh from the Sombra oven! Also known as my magnificent mouth!” He hesitated, thinking. “Although, truth be told, I’ve never actually done one of those before. But I can’t imagine them being too hard to perform. Let’s see here…”

Once more, Sombra shuffled into his best ‘forgive me’ stance, kneeling in the snow.

“Shining, I’m…” he started off well enough, although it seemed as if the last part of his sentence was seriously getting jammed in his throat. “Shining, I’m sss… I’m shh… I’m—”

“It’s pronounced sorry, Sombra. It’s not that hard. You can do it.”

“I’m getting there!” Sombra roared back. “It’s not like I taught myself how to speak properly only a month ago, you jerk!”

But try as Sombra’s might, it didn’t seem as if that last word might ever leave his lips—at least without a fight most severe. Slowly, trails of blood began seeping from both his nostrils and mouth, and eventually his eyes. He coughed hard, shooting a crimson snowflake out onto the snow.

I’m…” Sombra’s eyes had become stained red, the veins in his neck throbbing grotesquely. He hardly drew in air anymore. “SORRY!” he finally screamed, before collapsing face first into the snow, half-buried with his rump sticking out.

And so Sombra dies, Shining thought morosely. Again. And to think a single apology was all it took.

“Can… can I come in now?” Sombra asked from where he’d collapsed, enveloped in fresh white powder. “I’m cold and want hot chocolate. With marshmallows.”

“No,” was Shining’s terse reply.

Sombra sighed. “You know I’m coming back tomorrow, right?”

Author's Note:

So this might end up anywhere from 5 - 10 chapters long. Chapter lengths from 500 words to around this length. (Think "Fluttershy Wants In Your Pants", but with Sombra wanting inside his old Empire.)

Cadence and Flurry Heart will make appearances, as will others. This will remain DUMB. Think Wylie Coyote trying to catch the Road Runner type of ridiculous. :facehoof:

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