• Published 8th May 2021
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Dark as Chitin - LostBox

I can hardly remember anything for the life of me, though I feel I should. Why is there a voice in my head?

  • ...

Chapter 30: Proxy (Revised)

Hours Earlier...(Segment Music)

Luster Dawn awoke slowly by the ring of a bell and the chimes of whistles, an elder pony trying to nudge her awake.

"Young miss, is this your stop?"

Luster Dawn jolted upright before grabbing her bag in her magic and bolting out of the train cart after thanking the senior.

She had arrived at the Crystal Empire, but nothing seemed amiss. Figuring that since she had come all this way, she would at least stick around for a bit. The Crystal Empire was a nice place in itself with a lot to see and experience after all.

For about two hours, Luster Dawn enjoyed her time at the touring. She had only ever visited a few times and those were when she was a filly, so she remebered any of it. Just as Luster Dawn was about to call it a day and head back to Ponyville, she got the sudden feeling that something was extremely wrong. Without warning, she was hit by a powerful wave of nausea, and through her blurred vision, she could see everypony around her collapsing to the ground.

Luster Dawn found it hard to breathe but at the very least, she was still conscious, her necklace shining brighter than it ever had before. Waves of some form of dark magic rang throughout the Crystal Empire. Attempting to use her magic to fend off the waves, she found that she was unable to muster any. Feebly, she slowly made her way toward the focal point of the waves, desperate to find the cause, to see if she could stop it.

As Luster Dawn reached a certain point, she had realized that she had walked all the way to the location of the Crystal Heart. Yet, the Crystal Heart wasn't in its proper place, instead, there was an uncanny floating shape in its place. No matter how hard Luster Dawn tried to focus on the shape, she couldn't really make out any dimensions. It almost seemed to be absorbing the light around it, like a rip in space.

A wave of dark energy closed in on the cube, vanishing into it before another wave pulsed outward. Every time the waves passed over her, more of her energy seemed to drain. Before she could reach the cube, Luster Dawn collapsed to the ground, a small crack forming in Celestia's Embrace.

A few minutes earlier...

Cadance, Shining, and Flurry Heart arrived at the Crystal Empire by flying carriage after a long day of crisis talk. They all wanted nothing more than some rest, but rest would not come.

As soon as Cadance stepped out of the carriage, she knew something was wrong. The Crystal Heart had recognized her as the Crystal Empire's primary ruler, thus their magic was linked. However, the only magical signature Cadance was receiving right now was nothing short of ominous.

"Shining, something's wrong!"

Before Shining Armor could reply, a bright flash of light appeared beside him. Practically everypony from the council meeting had suddenly appeared beside them.

Chimera's POV...(Segment Music)

"We need to move quickly, I have a very bad feeling about this. Everypony spread out, look for anything suspicious." Twilight determined.

I pointed a hoof at gigantic rings of dark energy. "How about that?"

"Oh, Faust," Twilight muttered.

A sudden thud drew everyone's attention. It was Discord, he had collapsed to the ground, looking terribly sick. Fluttershy was the first to cater to him.

"Discord?! What's wrong, what's happening to you?"

Discord waved a talon dismissively as he stood up. "I'm fine, Fluttershy, I'm just feeling a bit woozy. This is just a bit more chaos than I'm used to handling is all," he said, wiping a bit of sweat from his brow.

Every pony only looked at Discord with worry.

"Please, your pitying expressions aren't doing anything to make me feel better."

"We're just worried is all," Fluttershy interjected.

"We should get going, it has to have something to do with these waves," I said, spreading my wings out in preparation to fly.

My mother placed a hoof on my back, looking at me with worried eyes. "Be careful, I'll be on nearby if you need me."

I nodded only saying one phrase in response. "I love you."

I took off toward the Crystal Empire at a speed far faster than ever before. It was as if I had become one with the air around me, and my magical control and output were way more efficient. Was this because of my mother?

Stopping above the Crystal Empire, I looked over my shoulder, noticing that everypony had stopped just beyond a certain point. They looked exhausted, unable to get any closer, yet I wasn't having this issue at all. Strangely enough, I had noticed that the sky was growing darker, but that made no sense. The sun had just risen not too long ago. I turned my attention to the waves, tracing them to their point of origin with my eyes. I was horrified to see that the entire streets of the Crystal Empire were littered with the bodies of ponies. That's when I noticed it, or rather, her. Dawn was unconscious before an altar, an altar with some strange item floating above it. That was the source, the waves were retracting to and expanding from that strange object.

As quickly as possible, I flew toward Dawn, landing beside her. I turned her over, placing an ear to her chest, relieved to hear that she was still breathing. Groggily, she opened her eyes to look at me.


"Dawn, it's me, Anon," I said as I held her.

She smiled weakly before pointing a hoof at the mysterious object. I looked at it and then back her before nodding.

"I'll take care of it," I stated, taking notice of her necklace. There was now a small crack in it, and it was glowing abnormally bright. It had one of the strongest protection spells on it, what could have cracked it? That's when it hit me, Dawn was the only pony in the Crystal Empire that was still conscious. It had protected her. I couldn't help but give a silent thanks to Faust for the accidental proposal earlier.

Standing up, I trotted over to the uncanny object, inspecting it closely before making a move. No form of magic seemed to work on it, faced with no other options, I reached out to grab it with my hooves. Just as I was about to reach it, I felt a sharp pain in my chest reaching toward my back.

Though my body was in shock, I tilted my head down slowly only to see a thin spire of onyx crystal piercing my chitin, green blood dripping down its length. Using a repulsion spell, I broke the crystal and leaped away from the object.

From the shadows of the altar, something emerged. It looked like a stallion cloaked in shadows, its eyes overflowing with dark magic. What's even stranger was, through those eyes, I couldn't discern any sort of emotion.

"Who are you?!" I shouted as I healed my wound with magic.

The figure didn't reply, instead, choosing to remain quiet. Just as I was about to ask anything else, a large wall of jagged crystals rushed out of the ground towards me. I grabbed Luster Dawn in my magic and flew away backward, narrowly maneuvering around black spears moving at terrifying speeds. Whoever this was, their aim was deadly accurate, and they definitely had no intentions of talking. After getting a certain distance away, the figure stopped attacking me. The shadowy figure turned their eyes toward a group of unconscious ponies maybe fifteen meters away from me. He wouldn't...

Jagged black crystals rushed toward the ponies like an inexorable speeding train. I diverted all of my power into creating a barrier around the civilians, only for it to be broken through with relative ease. I extended a hoof out, rushing over to the ponies as fast as I could when suddenly another barrier with a purple hue formed around the unsuspecting ponies, stopping the raging crystals in their tracks.

That's Twilight's magic, I was sure of it. Looking up at the sky, I saw Twilight floating above the Crystal Empire eyeing the shadowy figure with disdain. She was enveloped in a veil of her magic, sparkling brightly. Twilight teleported beside me, still looking at the figure.

"Evacuate everypony you can, be quick," Twilight instructed without looking away from the figure.

I nodded to Twilight before levitating maybe thirty ponies, including Dawn, with my telekinesis and flying them out of the city. It seems like she and that figure have some history I didn't know about. I could see Celestia, Luna, and multiple pegasi in costumes with lightning bolts on them carrying unconscious ponies out of the city as well. The pegasi were enveloped in a magenta glow, which I assumed allowed them to withstand the waves without issue. It was distinctively Twilight's magic, she really was something else. Despite the strained situation, I couldn't help but smile at the sight of my mother carrying ponies out of the Empire as well.

Third Person POV...

Twilight's eyes weren't deceiving her, it was Sombra, back from the dead. One of the few ponies she couldn't save.

"Sombra, what are you doing!?" She yelled, demanding an answer.

While still looking at him, Sombra vanished from his spot, leaving the princess to stare at a strange otherworldly object. "You still remember me, good, because I certainly remember you," Sombra said, appearing behind her without any indication.

Twilight felt ominous magic from beneath her, narrowly teleporting out of the way as a large spire of black crystal rose from the ground, reaching towards the sky. The spikes were relentless as they seemed to home in on Twilight's location no matter where she went. Taking to the sky, the crystals started shooting from the ground like arrows, yet Twilight was able able to maneuver around them with ease. Sombra caught Twilight in his magic, dragging her to the ground toward a bed of spikes. Twilight aimed a powerful combustion spell at the ground, blowing the crystals away and putting up a barrier just before landing.

"I have to thank you, princess. Were it not for you, I wouldn't have been given the privilege of tasting death or acquiring this power," Sombra said as Twilight felt something freezing wrap around her legs.

Looking down, she saw that pitch-black shadows had snaked their way around her legs. Twilight hadn't sensed any form of magic when this happened, she was having trouble understanding how it was possible. It was as if the shadows were their own being. Twilight conjured an enormous amount of magic to escape, using a plethora of spells, but none of them worked. The shadows held her firmly in place. Any attempt to teleport only brought her back to the same spot.

Sombra walked up to Twilight, no change in his demeanor whatsoever. "As grateful as I might be though...you still took everything from me," Sombra said, venom laced in his voice.

Twilight simply glared back at him. "You did all of this to yourself."

The shadows beneath Sombra stirred, rising from the ground; a nebulous black mass formed themselves into what looked like hands. One hand reached atop Twilight's head gripping her crown before crushing it and tossing it aside.

"Now, I'll take everything from you."

Given no other options, she charged a magic beam spell before shooting it at Sombra's body. Instead of hitting him dead center, his body turned into shadows, the magic dissipating into him. He looked down his body, then back at Twilight apathetically. The shadows began to churn until then formed blades of darkness. One blade swiped swiftly across her right foreleg but she didn't budge. It hurt her, yet, she couldn't give in to his sadistic intentions. As a princess, she felt that she couldn't bend to his will. Taking a swipe at her other foreleg, she put a barrier up only for it to be cut through like butter. Despite this, Twilight did her best to remain standing. Twilight had realized that the shadows were just like the domes, they ignored magic almost completely.

Sombra let out a noticeable sigh of annoyance, looking down at the ground. He then glared at Twilight from the corner of his eyes, raising the shadows high above her head. Looking up, Twilight noticed a familiar changeling flying in the sky. It seemed to be charging some kind of magic. Right as Sombra was about to bring down the shadows, an explosion rang throughout the sky of the Crystal Empire. Faster than anypony could see, Chimera had collided with Sombra's side using his hind hooves, white lightning shooting out on impact, launching Sombra through several buildings.

"Princess, are you alright?!" Chimera yelled.

For a while, Sombra laid under the debris, dumbfounded by what had just happened.

"Is this pain? " He wondered to himself

It certainly wasn't a pleasant feeling. Unlike the coldness he had grown accustomed to, his left side of his barrel felt like it was almost burning.

"How was this possible? I should be completely intangible to all forms of attack, I confirmed this for myself," Sombra stated.

"Impossible...that being is...possessed by an otherworldly soul," the entity explained.

"An otherworldly soul?"

"Yes, it means their soul doesn't operate under the sovereignty of this universe. Meaning...it can likely wound you. You'll need to be careful."

"I was...harmed. That lowly creature dares strike me...for that princess no less."

"The hour is nigh, my child. You cannot afford to lose now."

Chimera's POV...

"Thanks for the save," Twilight said tiredly, as she healed her wounds.

No matter how much magic she used, however, her wounds wouldn't heal beyond a certain point.

I nodded, acknowledging her gratitude. "Princess, I have a strong feeling that thing's the proxy. It seems to nullify magic, and that psychopath was protecting it, we need to destroy it. Wait, who was that guy anyway?" I explained as I pointed at the abnormal shape.

Twilight and I walked toward the cube, although Twilight was constantly looking over her shoulder.

"That was Sombra, an old foe of mine. Chimera...you are the only one that can deal with this. I have the impression that it's similar to those barriers. You have to be the one to do it."

I nodded understandingly before reaching out apprehensively to grab it, taking it off its podium. Once I did this, the dark waves seemed to stop altogether. My hooves felt abnormally cold when holding the cube, and it made me feel paranoid. I could tell for sure now that its shape was at least a cube, as I could make out the edges with my hooves. I pressed on it a little to get a sense of how dense it was, a few prismatic wisps shooting out as a result.

Upon seeing this, I had a flashback to Faust. "They...will perish, likely unable to rest even in death."

Was this what she meant? Will all of Equestria be consumed and trapped like this? Occupied with my thoughts, I hadn't noticed that the sky had grown even darker than before. Looking upward, I saw pitch dark shadows, stretching across the surface of the sun, an indicator that time was running out. Before I could finish inspecting the cube, it was snatched out of my hooves by a shadowy tendril that whipped past me. I turned around only to see a slightly peeved Sombra holding the cube beside him within his shadows.

Luckily, at this point, everypony must have realized that the waves were no longer present as backup had arrived. Celestia, Luna, Cadance, Shining Armour, Thorax, Discord, the elements of harmony, my mother, Dawn, everypony had shown up. Sombra must have realized that he was outnumbered as his ego was beginning to crack. His eyes began darting all around as if panicked. I really thought he would give up until he started laughing. Abruptly, he stomped his hooves into the ground, a massive pool of shadows opening below him. Everypony open fired on Sombra to no avail, instead, the shadows only grew larger.

Rushing toward my mother and special somepony, I deployed the strongest barrier spell I could on them and used repulsion to push them away. The next thing I saw was a wall of black that seemed to last only a few seconds. When I could see again, I had realized that I was suspended in the air, my body numb all over. Looking at the ground, I could see that mostly everypony was being held down by shadowy whips. Luna, Twilight, and all of the pegasi managed to evade. Celestia looked drained and was unable to evade the shadows. Wait, if that was the attack, then why was I so high up?

My eyes drifted further below me; there were multiple onyx spires impaling my torso, forehooves, and hindlegs. On the ground stood Sombra, looking up at me with indifference written across his face. Suddenly, the spires dissipated into magicules, my body falling to the ground at high speed. I formed a barrier around myself midair but was caught in Sombra's magic and thrown through several buildings, my barrier shattering and debris falling on me.

Using healing magic on flesh wounds was one thing, but I could tell I had sustained serious damage to my vital organs. I wasn't going anywhere for a while, and yet, I had to. He's stronger than me in practically every way. I needed something that would give me the edge over him. While passively healing, I closed my eyes, focusing on a way out of this. I have to get to the proxy and destroy it which could probably be done through striking it, but Sombra's a serious problem. It seems that nopony else can touch him, let alone get near him because of the shadows. I was lucky when I hit him, managing to land a blow through a surprise attack. Wait...surprise attack.

Third Person POV...

"Annoying pest, I should confirm that it's dead. It's immune to my shadows, but my magic still works on it. If that's the case, then I'll just have to blast it to oblivion," Sombra thought to himself.

"Once it's disposed of, nothing will stand in our way," claimed the entity within Sombra's mind.

With the full intention to finish the job, Sombra's crimson magic began to spiral around his horn, hints of black in it, as it concentrated to the tip of Sombra's horn. Aiming his horn at the last building the otherworldly soul had gone through, he prepared to fire.

To his dismay, several ponies stepped in front of the line of fire, each one defiantly placing a barrier up, Twilight and Chrysalis at the front of it all. Sombra felt something hot begin to boil inside of him, anger. With a rage-filled grunt, Sombra fired a gigantic blood-red beam at all of them, the ground shattering beneath him, a fault line forming in the path of the beam.

The blast's sheer magnitude was almost overwhelming, all the ponies could hope for was the Sombra ran out of magic, but he didn't seem to be letting up. Little by little, layers of the barrier began shattering. Just as it was down to its last layer, Sombra smiled to himself, readying himself to finish off all of the ponies. With a final push, Sombra suddenly felt something hard connect with his lower jaw, causing his head to recoil backward, the beam flying off into the sky and exploding in a flash of red light. Many of the ponies collapsed, exhausted after the life or death struggle, while Sombra could only look around confused.

Something had struck him, something he couldn't see, nor sense with his magic. Again, Sombra was struck much harder across his left side, the prior injury making itself more pronounced. The attacks began to pick up until Sombra was being relentlessly attacked from every angle was a series of invisible strikes. The only indication anypony had that Sombra was being attacked were flashes of white lighting and the damage Sombra was taking.

"Enough!" Sombra yelled as a pool of shadows opened below him, a wall of crystal surrounding him.

Sombra was breathing heavily now when he felt something cold dripping down his muzzle. Using his right hoof, he wiped his muzzle only to see a large blotch of black liquid on his hoof. It was blood, his blood. Sombra's eyes widened in surprise.

"To be wounded to this extent..." Sombra muttered to himself in disbelief.

While in a state of shock, Sombra hadn't realized that the attacks had yet to stop. Without warning, something collided with Sombra's back from above with tremendous speed, the resulting shockwave shattering his crystal walls.

Chimera's POV...

By using a refraction spell, I can wrap light around myself, essentially becoming invisible under normal circumstances. I understood that I could probably be sensed with magic, so instead of allowing my magic to flow, I compressed it to its utmost limit with it becoming a magic core.

It was working, Sombra couldn't defend himself from what he couldn't see or sense. He was now lying on the ground his magic no longer detectable. Was he dead? I stood there glaring at him for any sign of movement but sensed nothing. The darkening of the sky caught my attention once more. The sun looked like it had been eclipsed, and the shadows were now spreading toward Equestria. Time was running out. I ran over to the proxy which Sombra had dropped not too far from his body and picked it up.

Picking it up in my hooves, I began striking it, white streaks of lighting and prismatic wisps shooting out of it. With every strike, the cube seemed to shoot out fewer wisps. Raising my right hoof to strike the cube once more, my foreleg was stopped before I could bring it down fully. Something had grabbed me from behind, the cube falling out of my hooves. Wait, I knew what this once, I was in a full nelson. Looking over my shoulder I could see Sombra smiling sadistically. No matter how hard I tried to shake him, he wouldn't budge. My body started to feel like it was burning.

"You again!?"

"You've become quite the thorn in my side. It's no matter, I've already won after all. Even if I die, my revenge will be fulfilled. I just have to ensure that you die along with me," Sombra stated.


"I'm taking you to Tartarus with me, this little game is over," Sombra said as he laughed.

Realizing what he meant by this, I knew I had no way out.

"Princess! It's time for plan B!" I yelled at Twilight.

Third Person POV...

Twilight looked at the scene before her, taking time to process what Chimera had just said. After seeing Sombra's body beginning to glow bright red, Twilight snapped out of her trance, instructing her alicorn companions to gather around her. At this moment, a very sickly-looking Discord appeared beside them. All of the figures joined hoof in talon, and talon in paw, forming a circle. Twilight's eyes closed for a brief second before shooting open, now glowing pure white. The figures began floating as a ray of prismatic light shot out of the center of them and into the sky. The ray seemed to hit the sky before bursting out into a wave that spread all across Equestria; the entire sky now looking like a rainbow.

The rainbow closed in on Equestria before fading away, all of the casters collapsing to the ground, looking exhausted, all except Discord. Discord looked way better than he did before, if not a bit worried.

Chimera stood there looking at all of them with confusion, everypony was still there.

"Why are all of you still here?!" Chimera screamed at them, Sombra now glowing brighter.

Twilight collapsed to the ground tiredly. "The proxy...it didn't work."

All at once, every creature in Equestria saw the sky consumed by shadows black as coal, a terrible feeling of dread coming forth from deep within their beings.

Luster Dawn and Chrysalis hadn't even noticed the sky turn black, their eyes were focused solely on Chimera. As Sombra grew brighter, Chrysalis got an idea. Turning to Luster Dawn on her left, Chrysalis took Celestia's Embrace in her magic and shot it around Chimera's neck using her magic. Though all of Equestria had gone dark, a single flash of red light illuminated the darkness, consuming the Crystal Empire.