Sombra’s Interesting Quest

by Badguy400

First published

King Sombra and his pals are needed once more.

Sombra was currently watching over the Cake Twins, when suddenly he was summoned by the Royal Crystal Empire family for help again. With that; he, his friends, and his new recruits have went off to save the world. Unfortunately; their quest won’t be without consequences. And there will be trouble along the way.

Prologue: Here we go Again

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King Sombra; now having been known as; “savior of all of Equestria”, is currently babysitting the Cake Twins; (whom are currently about a little older than Flurry Heart, but with a few issues of their own... . More will be explained in the story).

King Sombra is playing with some plushies with Pumpkin Cake; whilst also trying his best to curb Pound Cake’s effort to “pound” him. It is in fact friendly of course, and all in good play... . But... knowing how rough Poundcake can get when playing; he’s not taking any chances... . And so with that; King Sombra has Poundcake pinned between his backhooves; (gently of course since he’s still young), and is trying his best to hold him down there so he would quit trying to hurt him playfully. It’s working... mostly. But eventually Pound will break free... . Just he waits.... .

And now; onto the story... .

“Mmm; Poundcake.” Pumpkin Cake whined whilst looking at her twin brother... . “He’s not a bad guy no more... . So why’re you huwrting him?...”.

Poundcake simply replied with; “who says I’m hurting him? He can handle it; right big guy?” Poundcake said as he patted Sombra’s lower back whilst still being pinned by him.

King Sombra then replied; “hehe, yeah... . I guess so kid; hehe... . But still; rules are rules. And you can’t exactly break the rules; can you?”

Poundcake looked down and replied; “no...” but soon gets up slightly and says; “but I can still try to break you... right?”

Sombra chuckles a little, then says; “maybe...” and picks up Poundcake. “But then again; you’re still too young... . And you will be hurt if you try to hurt me pal; got it?”

Poundcake sighs, then says in defeat; “I’m sorry... .” and then began to look down at the ground in shame.

Sombra sighs, then says; “it’s alright bub. Now here... .” He then proceeds to give Poundcake a hug; albeit to his dismay, and embarrassment.

“Sombra.. quit it...” Poundcake began to whine. “I’m not a baby anymore... . I’m a grown stallion already... . Let me go... .”

Try as he might; Poundcake just can’t seem to wiggle himself out free... . With a sigh in defeat; he gives in, and hugs King Sombra back. “There; I hugged you. Can I go now?”

Sombra turns to Poundcake, and says; “I don’t know.... . You didn’t exactly ask me nicely you know... .”

Poundcake said; “what?” in disbelief, and then continues with; “cmon!”

Sombra clears his throat, and says; “now now kid; it’s not that hard, really... .” Poundcake then crossed his arms; not wanting to talk to the heroic king anymore, and then turns away from him... . With that; King Sombra then says; “alright kid; look... . How about you ask me nicely, and say please afterwards; okay?”

Poundcake replied with; “no!” and turned away once more.

With that; King Sombra then states; “how about this... . You ask me to release you nicely; saying please and all that... . And then I’ll consider letting you go... . Kay? How’s that sound?”

Poundcake; having enough of King Sombra’s child games; simply states; “no! And you can’t make me!”

King Sombra sighs, chuckles, and then states; “alright then...” and sets Poundcake down on his lap. “Though because of that; you’re not getting released... . Not until you start being nice again... . Hehehe.”

Poundcake; with no other option; simply sighs loudly, turns to King Sombra, and then says; “okay.... . I’m sorry.... . Can you let me go now?...”.

King Sombra then says; “and what’s the magic word?”

Poundcake mumbles under his breath; causing King Sombra to say his name, and repeat his question... . After a few long seconds; Poundcake sighs, and with the most baby-ish face he should muster, asks; “please?” in a almost babyish tone... .

With that; King Sombra says; “sure...” and let’s go of Poundcake. But before he could let Poundcake off the hook; Sombra asks; “and then?...”.

Confused; Poundcake turned and asked; “what?”

King Sombra cleared his throat again, and says; “and what do you say after you’ve gotten what you wanted?...”.

Poundcake pouted, crossing his forehooves, and meekly says; “no..” under his breath.

Sombra then called Poundcake’s name again, and repeated the question again.

Furious; yet not wanting to make things worse between him and Sombra; Poundcake sighs, and then says; “thank you...” even though it was soft to hear him say... .

King Sombra then asks; “what?” and gestures for Poundcake to say it again.

With the most pouting; yet angriest face he could muster; Poundcake says; “thank you!” and sits down on the ground in anger.

Satisfied; King Sombra then says; “you’re welcome”, and sits down next to Poundcake... .

Having enough antics for one day; Poundcake begins to ask; “so can I go now?” Sombra then says; “yes you can..” and gestures Poundcake to move along... .

But; before he could move on; a knock came at the door. Curious as to who it is; King Sombra got up, and opened the door for the pony at the door. Apparently; he wasn’t expecting a certain filly to return... . And oh boy; was he having second thoughts about opening that door... . He just kinda wish he hadn’t... but he did. Already! “Oh well...” he thought. “At least things can’t get any worse... . Right?...”.

Oh how he could’ve wished that he kept his mouth shut... .

Chapter One: The Escape

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“Hello..” a certain chess cutie marked filly greeted.

Not wanting to be rude; despite the fact that he wants to and all... King Sombra has no choice but to force out a smile, and say; “ah... hey... friend... . How’s it going?”

The little filly strolled inside, then says; “great”, and goes to interact with the Cake Twins. King Sombra closes the door, and follows behind; wanting to figure out what his “friend” wants... .

The twins looked at the little filly, and Pumpkin Cake says; “uh... hi?... .”

The filly then says; “hi”, as well, and sits down on the floor with the twins.

After a few minutes of awkward silence; one of the Twins spoke up. “Uh... hey there... miss... .” Poundcake said a little awkwardly because of the silence.

“Hey”, the filly said enthusiastically.

Pumpkin Cake then asked; “so... what brings you here Cozy Glow?”

Sombra joins in and asks; “yeah... . Why’re you here?”

Cozy Glow clears her throat, stands up, and takes out a scroll to show them. “This scroll here is why I’m here.”

Sombra thinks, and asks; “so what? I’m getting messages from a prankster again?” All three of the ponies looked at Sombra with raised eyebrows. And then Sombra replied; “it happened before. So why not?”

Moving on from the awkward silence; Cozy Glow then began to read the scroll out loud:

“Ahem! Dear King Sombra... . I’m sorry to inform you, but we need your help again. You see; Flurry Heart has gotten captured by bandits this time; not by yetis. Not to mention that me and my beloved husband: Shining Armor; have been captured by the bandits too. So; I’m asking you once more for your help into saving Equestria once again.... . I would highly recommend that you meet this with the utmost urgency... . I fear that at this rate; Equestria will never be the same again... .

So; I ask you this just once.. . Please oh please help us! Please... . We really don’t wanna perish. And we really don’t wanna become target practice for our enemies... . So I ask you this; please help us. Or else Equestria will be destroyed... . I’m afraid that their attack has begun.. . Help us; now!

Sincerely; Princess Mi Amore Cadenza.

P.S. the Crystal Empire is where me and my family are held. Please hurry!


With nothing to spare; King Sombra then took the scroll from Cozy Glow, and gathered around with the three foals. “Alright, so here’s what we gotta do”, King Sombra began. “We gotta help them be rescued by an enemy force. Is that clear?”

The three foals nodded, but then Poundcake asked; “w-wait... . If this is real... . Then where’s Pinkie Pie?” Pumpkin Cake got worried, and asked the same question as her brother once did.

With that; Cozy Glow said; “well.. . They’re either captured too.. . Or they’re gone.. . Yeah.”

Sombra got a little disappointed, and said; “well; we don’t know that yet do we?”

Cozy Glow then replied; “yeah... . But it could happen; right?”

Sombra then replied back; “yeah... . But I wouldn’t think of the worst case scenario; okay? Right now; we just gotta focus on the positives. And get our stuff ready. Something tells me that this is just the beginning of our new adventure together...”. Cozy Glow got excited, and squealed at the thought. But soon blushed, and apologized shyly. King Sombra then said; “no worries..” and got up. “Alright... . Let’s go save Equestria!”

Chapter Two: An Unexpected Visitor

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King Sombra; now at Twilight’s castle with the others; has sent the Cake Twins and Cozy Glow to await for him somewhere in the castle to gather his belongings, and to await further instructions. Once Sombra has gathered his belongings once more; he then begins to sharpen up his weapons for battle, and to count his inventory; making sure that he isn’t missing anything during his last adventure with Flurry Heart.

Meanwhile... in Twilight’s bedroom... .

“Ugh; I’m so bored!” Pumpkin Cake said in slight discomfort and boredom. “We’ve been waiting here for what seemed like hours! When’s he coming back?”

Cozy Glow rolled her eyes, and then said; “well... . He did say to wait here for him while he gets his stuff right?”

Pumpkin Cake blushed a little, and then says with slight embarrassment; “y-yeah?”

Cozy Glow then replied; “well there you go... . Besides; knowing King Sombra; he’ll most likely bring some stuff with him that he’ll need to help us fight off those bandits out there... .”

Poundcake got a bit worried, and then said; “w-what? B-bandits? B-b-but why?”

Cozy Glow then replied; “because friend; King Sombra’s the only one who knows how to fight out there... . And besides... . He was the one that helped me and the other villains defeat those yetis, and become heroes for once.

Poundcake went speechless for a few seconds, and then says; “wait... that was him?”

Cozy Glow then replied; “mhmm. And all of the other villains too... . Well... me, Discord, and Queen Chrysalis; hehe.”

Pumpkin Cake then said; “wait... . Queen Chrysalis helped out too?”

Cozy Glow nodded, and then said; “yes sir... . She helped us through and through. Well... not at first; I mean... .”

Both twins looked at each other, and then Poundcake starts to say; “well... alright then... . But wait... . If you and the other villains helped us... . Then what happened to Tirek?”

Without a moment too soon; King Sombra entered the room with all his stuff packed together in a backpack of sorts, and then says; “Tirek was still set in stone when we were helping Flurry Heart back to her homeland.”

Pumpkin Cake thought for a little bit, and then said; “maybe... . But why? I thought he was gonna help y’all too?”

Sombra sighs, but then says; “I don’t know kid... . He might help us... . Or he might try to betray us, and gain all of his strength back through any means necessary... . Either way... he hasn’t been out of stone sleep for quite a while... . And I don’t think that he’ll be out of it anytime soon; okay?”

Pumpkin Cake sighed as well, but says; “I guess so... . But wait.. . How’ll we know if he won’t do that to us?”

As if on cue; Tirek stepped into the room, and says; “well... child. If I were to do that, then none of y’all would still be here if I did haven’t I?”

Suddenly; all eyes turned to Tirek in both surprise, and horror; knowing that the centaur Tirek, has been awakened from his stone sleep. Who knows what he’ll do next? And who knows what horrors might await for the new heroes if Tirek were to be on their side, or not.... .

Chapter Three: The Attack

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“T-tirek?!” Cozy Glow said in both surprise and shock. “W-w-what’re you doing here?!”

Pumpkin Cake then asked; “yeah.. what’re you doing here? I thought you were still a statue?”

Tirek sighs, then says; “well... like all the other statued villains; I was freed as well... . But by whom? I don’t know either... .”

Sombra then says; “alright”, and nodded his head. “Do you have any fighting experience?”

Tirek chuckled, then said; “plenty. Why do you ask?”

Sombra sighs, then says; “because... pal. We’re gonna have to fight some bandits, and save Equestria. That’s why.”

Tirek snickers, then says; “what, you serious?” clearly thinking that this must be some kind of joke.

Sombra; already annoyed enough as is; used his shadowhand to pull Tirek close to him, and says; “yes... buddy. And if not? Then we can kiss our enemies, and ourselves good riddance. Would you want that?” Sombra then pushed Tirek to the wall; which cracked on impact, and awaits for his response.

Tirek; having heard the threat loud and clear; nodded in agreement, but then says; “wait... . So what’s in it for me?”

Cozy Glow then flew close to Tirek, and pulls out a medal from behind her back. “This is a medal. It’s what happens when you save Equestria.. .”

Tirek then replied; “I do?” and scratches his head in confusion.

Cozy Glow replied back; “eeyup... . Oh, and once you get that medal; you’ll also be given the title as a hero, and then will no longer be thought as a villain before. Doesn’t that sound fun?”

Tirek took a few minutes to think that over, and then says; “possibly... . But; how will I know that this isn’t some sort of plot to get rid of us?”

Sombra sighs again, and puts his shadowhand on Tirek’s chest. “Look pal; if we were to be in a plot against us, then we wouldn’t be here talking to you now would we?”

Tirek; feeling slightly embarrassed; nonchalantly rubs the back of his head, and then says; “I guess not... .”

Sombra then says; “exactly”, and then pats Tirek’s chest for good measure.

Tirek is speechless for a few seconds, but then says; “wait... . If it isn’t a plot against us, then how could you know if all of this isn’t real? Like; what if this was all a lie to get us to be betrayed for a while?”

As if on cue; an arrow crashed through one of the windows, and embedded itself into the wall behind him.

“Would that answer your question?” replied Cozy Glow.

“...yes.” Tirek replied. “Let’s get outta here.”

Sombra covered the doors in front of them, and said; “wait. I think I can hear them entering the castle.”

Cozy Glow snuck up close to King Sombra, and then asks; “you sure about that?”

Sombra then heard a boom outside; as if the doors to the castle has been breached. “Yes... I’m sure about that... .”

Just then; a voice can be heard shouting out commands. “Spread out! Loot everything that’s deemed valuable! And leave no witnesses behind! Is that clear; soldiers?”

The so called soldiers did a salute outside of the room, and then shouted; “sir yes sir!” in unison.

Cozy Glow; hyperventilating, and breathing heavily; is currently trying to process what’s happening right now... .

But; before she could; King Sombra grabbed onto her, and the rest of the others with him before teleporting all of them outside of the castle.

With everyone out of the castle; King Sombra then looks back at the front of the castle, and then says; “crud... . I knew that this was true after Cozy Glow has read that letter.. .”

Tirek; who is frightened, whispers; “okay.. it’s true. But... how’ll we know that it isn’t some sort of hoax?”

Cozy Glow; now annoyed by Tirek; grabs him by the fur of his chest, and then whispers loudly; “what? You think that these bandits are here because they’re hired by someone? Not a chance!”

Sombra nodded, then says; “Cozy’s right, but we gotta be careful... . They could be everywhere by now.”

Pumpkin Cake poked at Sombra to get his attention, and then says; “uhh, guys?” and pointed to a squadron of bandit soldiers awaiting their commander’s orders.

Sombra; whom already knows the gravity of the situation; blantly states; “aw crud... .” and awaits for the bandits to try to leave... .

Chapter Four: A New Enemy

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“What are we gonna do?! We’re doomed!” Poundcake said as he’s hyperventilating... .

Before the story resumes; I forgot to mention that King Sombra has telported them to the train station. Now; onto the rest of the story... .

Pumpkin Cake; not wanting to get caught. And not wanting to hear her brother hyperventilate anymore; has decided to put a hoof to his mouth, and shushed him.

“Quiet!” she began to whisper. “Do you want us to get caught?!” Poundcake shook his head no, and pointed to his covered muzzle.

With that; Pumpkin Cake has put her hoof away from her brother’s mouth, and then says; “exactly!”

After what seemed like hours; despite it being just a few minutes; King Sombra has returned to the group; (after scouting the area whilst in shadow fog form), and brings the group some bad news... .

Before he could get to that; Cozy Glow asks; “well...? What is it?”

With that; King Sombra said; “I was getting to that”, and cleared his throat. “Okay... . I got some good news, and some bad news. What news do you wanna hear first?

Poundcake reluctantly raised his right forehoof, and asked; “the bad news first...?”

Sombra nodded, then says; “well... . The bad news is that all of Ponyville is filled to the brim with bandits; aside from the train station we’re at.”

Pumpkin Cake nodded, and then asks; “and the good news? What’re they?”

Sombra says; “oh”, and handed out some baggage. “These are your supplies. They’ll have everything we need in order to survive this journey. Tirek?”

Tirek putted a hand in front of himself, and then points to his back; which surprisingly already has a backpack strapped to him, and says; “no thanks; I’m good.”

Sombra; surprised and intrigued as to how Tirek was prepared; blantly says; “good job. But... how’d you get all that stuff? And where?”

Cozy Glow cleared her throat, and then says; “it was me... . You’re welcome.”

Sombra then said; “nice”, and pats Cozy on the head. She giggled at that gesture, but blushes and looks down with blush on her cheeks whilst shuffling one of her backhooves that’re crossed with each other.

Once Sombra looked around to see if the coast was clear; he then starts to ask; “so; anyone know how to get to the Crystal Empire without alerting the bandits?”

Before neither one could answer; Cozy Glow looked shocked, and pointed behind Sombra; “Uuh, Sombra? Who’s that?”

Before he could have a chance to respond to her question; he was struck in the back of the head, and knocked out cold. Having to have saw what struck him; Cozy Glow and the others backed away whilst Tirek and Pumpkin Cake used their magic to bring King Sombra close to them.

Without missing a beat; Poundcake starts to ask; “uuh, guys? What do we do?”

Without second thinking; Cozy Glow then shouts; “run!” and took off away from the train station following the tracks. Soon the others followed suit, and carried King Sombra off with them.

With the coast now clear; they stopped to catch their breaths... .

Once they caught their breaths; Cozy Glow then asks; “what was that?... . And who knocked him out?”

Tirek was thinking of something, and then he responded; “no idea, but he looked important... . I saw his insignia on his chest... . It looked to be an eye in an amulet. But I have no idea what that could mean exactly... .”

King Sombra then woke up, rubs the back of his head, and then says; “that insignia was a symbol for one of the greatest bandit groups known to this world: The Eye of the Horizon.”

The others looked shocked, but then Cozy Glow; whom isn’t shocked at all, and mostly confused, asks; “what kind of name is that?”

Sombra sighs, and then begins to explain; “it used to be a band of soldiers who used to work for Princess Celestia... . Back then they were called the Call of the Phoenix... . Their insignia was different too. Instead of an eye; it was the sun itself shining everywhere; along with a Phoenix in its shining glory... .”

The others said; “woah”, in unison, and gestures for King Sombra to continue.

King Sombra then continued; “Now that they were decommissioned; these guys had no choice but to resort to banditry and vandalism for a living... . And to possibly make a profit out of it too... .”

Poundcake got confused, and asked; “wait... . If they were the good guys, and they resorted to villainy... . Then why in Equestria would they ever wanna be bandits in the first place? Why can’t they just do an easy job to help make a living?... . That’s what I would’ve done; if I was one of them... .”

Sombra sighs, and then says; “true kid... . But then again; they’re not known for “soft jobs”. Once they were tasked with doing something awful back then; they took it. And oh boy did they do it well... .”

Pumpkin Cake started to whimper, but then asks; “but why? They’re good; right? So why are they doing this?... .”

Sombra sighs again, then says; “let’s just say that there’s some things that just simply can’t be explained... okay?”

Defeated; Pumpkin Cake whines, then says; “okay”, before moving close to King Sombra and leaning against him for comfort. With that; King Sombra then wrapped his shadow hand around Pumpkin Cake, and gave her a hug. “I’m sure that you’ll be fine”, he commented.

After what seemed like hours; Poundcake got up, and then said; “well; I’m bored. Where should we go now?”

Thinking; Tirek had an idea, and proposed; “why don’t we go to the Everfree Forest?... . Grogar’s lair hasn’t even been touched since we defeated him... . So I say we go there, and ensure that we will win this; right? Albeit once we come with a plan first of course... yeah.... .”

Sombra; approving of this proposal; says in agreement; “it’s a deal... .” But then stops in his tracks and says; “but wait... . How are we gonna make it there without the bandits spotting us?”

All of the others thought for a minute, before Cozy Glow got up and raised her hoof. With being picked by King Sombra; Cozy Glow got in front of everyone, and proposed; “I’d say we go to the Everfree Forest by magic; huh? What do you say?”

Sombra nodded, but then said; “I guess so... . But how’re we gonna do that without getting caught before we teleport?”

Out of nowhere; Queen Chrysalis teleported in front of their eyes, and got ready for a fight with some bandits by aiming her crossbow at the nearby ones. Before anyone could say anything, she then starts to say to them; “no time to explain; just go.” Sombra; worried about his friend, says; “but chrysy?...”. Without a moment to spare; Chrysalis interrupted and shouts; “go!” before preparing to fight off the bandits, and fired off a bolt; which struck a bandit in the head, and knocked them out cold... . With time to spare; the others got up, and left to the Everfree Forest; leaving the once changeling queen, behind to fend for herself so they can be safe... .

Once they made it to the forest, and checking to see if the coast was clear, Cozy Glow; also worried about her friend, says; “we gotta go back! They’ll hurt her...”. Sombra sighs, and then says; “I know kid... . But we can’t right now. She gave us an order, and we have to follow it; okay? Besides...”. Sombra kneeled down to Cozy’s level, and says; “...if we hadn’t fled when she ordered us to; we’d most likely have been captured by the bandits like her, or worse; perish.”

Cozy Glow gulped; having just heard of the thought, and says; “you’re right... . I’m sorry.” Sombra patted her head, and says; “no worries... . Now then... where is the lair?”

Tirek; lost for words, says; “I forgot... .” Sombra facepalmed, and then said; “you what?” Tirek then explained; “I’m sorry okay? It’s been so long since I’ve been a statue... . You gotta give me time; honest... . You gotta give me a chance; please... . You just gotta... .”

Cozy Glow; not wanting to hear anymore of Tirek’s begging, says; “alright, enough! We’ll give you time to think about it. But hurry up... .” Cozy Glow then looked behind the group, and says; “...because I have a feeling that Chrysalis attacking those bandits was no joke... . And that this won’t be the last time we’d ever see her, or those bandits again... .”

Pumpkin Cake turned to look at Cozy Glow, and asked; “how can you be so sure?... .” Cozy Glow then turned to face her, and says; “because; like those yetis in our last adventure; those bandits are just the beginning... . Trust me... .”

Tirek; not wanting to waste anymore time says; “alright; here goes nothing... “ and starts thinking as to where the lair is... .

Chapter Five: An Awful Night

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It’s been three hours, and Tirek hasn’t even been able to begin as to know where the lair is; or even how to search for it... .

Not wanting to waste anymore time; Sombra sighs loudly, and says; “screw it; let’s just wing it and start moving.”

Before he could begin moving; Cozy Glow stopped King Sombra by putting a hoof around his, and says; “wait..” before beginning to hug him tightly. “I’m scared...” Cozy Glow said with a little whine.

Not wanting to hear Cozy’s whining either, King Sombra picks her up, and says; “well... it’s either that, or we get captured by the bandits. What do you think?” Not wanting to make a fuss; Cozy Glow hugged him tightly again, and hid her face in King Sombra’s shoulder... . King Sombra sighs, and then says; “don’t worry bud; we’ll protect you.” Cozy Glow looked up at Sombra, smiles, and says; “yay”, before laying her head back onto his shoulder with a smile... .

With the Cake Twins snickering a bit; Pumpkin Cake starts to ask; “has she always been like this?... .”

Sombra sighs, and says; “yeah... and so what? She may be villainous... but she’s still a little filly... . Got that now?... .”

Pumpkin Cake blushed, and bashfully said; “sorry”, before looking away. Cozy Glow then said; “it’s okay”, and went back to holding onto King Sombra... .

After a few minutes; Tirek sighs, and says; “alright... let’s go... . It’s gonna get dark soon; so we need to hurry... fast.” With no time to lose; King Sombra says; “alright... let’s go.” and walks off ahead of the group so they’ll follow behind him... .

Once they were in the forest; Cozy Glow got a little scared, and hid her face in King Sombra’s shoulder.

After a few minutes; the sky went completely dark, and then Cozy Glow began to whine a little; due to the fact that the entire forest is now dark, and that’s since it’s dark; there could be a possibility of an attack of any kind; albeit from bandits, or from the creatures of the Everfree Forest... .

After a few more minutes; Tirek spotted a skull like structure in the horizon. Knowing what it is; Tirek stops the group, and says; “hey look; I found the hideout. Let’s go!”

Before Tirek could get ahead; King Sombra stopped him with a shadow arm grabbing onto one of his, and then says; “wait.... something doesn’t feel right... .”

Pumpkin Cake got behind of Sombra, and asks; “what do you mean?” Sombra turned to her, and replies; “I don’t really know.... but I think that we’ve been followed... .”

Before anyone else could add in to that reply; Poundcake got a little nervous, and says; “uh guys...” before pointing out the shadows that’re being shown from within the hideout.

With what he saw; King Sombra shouts quietly; “rats!” and then backs away a bit. “I knew that something didn’t feel right; the bandits have taken over our hideout!”

Tirek got confused, and says; “what? How did they know that? There’s no way that they could possibly know about that! Unless...”.

Before Tirek could finish; Sombra finished for him. “Chrysalis... . She told them about that place.... . And yet.... I can see why sadly...” he said as his tone began to sound grim.

Pumpkin Cake got in front of him and asked; “what’s wrong?” Sombra then replied; “the bandits must’ve captured Chrysalis, and might’ve tortured her for information... .” Pumpkin Cake gasped, and then Sombra continued; “exactly... . And knowing her; she’s probably either still alive somehow... or worse... .”

Poundcake got a bit frightened, and then asked; “worse? Worse how?... . What could be worse than that?” Sombra then replied; “either she’s gone for good, or being forced to join the bandits in their conquest... . Either way; we have to get out of here... and then make a plan for rescuing her and the others... . Not to mention all of Equestria as well; okay?” Poundcake sighs, and then says; “okay... sorry for bringing that up... .” Sombra then wrapped a shadowarm around him, and then says; “don’t worry about it... . I’m used to dark and grim situations... . I can handle it.” Poundcake then asked; “are you sure?” Sombra then replied; “I’m sure”, and then gave Poundcake a hug to make him feel better.

After another few minutes; Pumpkin Cake then walked around to her brother and Sombra, and then asks; “so... what are we gonna do now?...”.

Cozy Glow whined, and then started to say; “I don’t know... but I’m scared!” and hides her face in Sombra’s shoulder again. Pumpkin Cake snickered a bit, and then asks; “why?” Cozy Glow then replied; “because there’s scaries in hewre...” and then hugs King Sombra tightly while being carried. Pumpkin Cake then replied a little teasingly; “ooh... don’t worry wittle one. I’m suwre we can stop those big old meanies; wight?”

Sombra cleared his throat, and then says; “not helping”, to Pumpkin Cake. She cleared her throat as well, and then says; “sorry; got it”, and moved away from them slightly. “Good”, Sombra said. “That’s good”, before looking at Cozy Glow, and trying to calm her down.

Before anyone else could say anything; Tirek saw the shadows getting bigger from within the structure, and then says; “uuh guys?” before pointing it out to the group.

Seeing what’s happening; King Sombra says; “alright; let’s go.” and directs the others away from the hideout to get away from the bandits... .

Once they got to the edge of the forest again; they looked to see if the coast is clear, and then Pumpkin Cake says; “so.. what do we do now?” King Sombra looked around again, before responding; “I think maybe we should go back to Sugarcube Corner. Who knows? Maybe it’s been ransacked, and the bandits have left it already; you know?...”.

This time; it was Pumpkin Cake’s turn to say; “hey; not helping”, and frowned. Sombra took note of it, and then says; “right; sorry.” and looks ahead again to check and see if the coast is clear... .

Once he confirmed that the coast is clear; King Sombra gestured the group to group up, and held out a hoof to stop them for now. “Alright”, he began. “The coast is clear. Now; let’s get going before the bandits look for us in one of their patrols.”

All agreed, but Pumpkin Cake tapped on his shoulder, and then asked; “wait; what’s that?”

Sombra saw what she was pointing at, and then said to Pumpkin Cake; “I really don’t know... but we gotta move. Knowing bandits; they’ll occasionally trick any passerby into unknowingly helping a “lost” citizen. Next thing you know; boom! They’ll ambush the passerby, and then take all their belongings; even their carriages if there is one.” Pumpkin Cake then said; “oh.. right. Sorry...” and then hid back in the bushes with the others near the edge of the forest.

After a few long minutes; King Sombra stood up, and then said; “alright; let’s move”, before getting out his spear, and advancing out of the bushes.

But before he could; Cozy Glow stopped him, and then said; “wait; look. Who’s that?” King Sombra then looked to where Cozy was pointing, and then said; “oh no... that’s not good... .”

Before anyone could react; the figure spotted them, and came towards them. With that; Cozy yelled out; “run!” having their cover already blown, and ran to Sugarcube Corner bakery. The rest followed suit soon afterward... .

Chapter Six: Ambush

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The others were being fired upon by bandits; with the arrows narrowly missing them with each shot. Suddenly; one of the arrows shot at Sombra, and nailed his crown to the front door of the bakery. After Tirek opened the door for the group, they all went inside; with King Sombra getting his crown back, and closing the doors behind them... .

Now that the group has made it safely inside the Sugarcube Corner bakery; Tirek and Poundcake went to the back to barricade the doors; while King Sombra followed suit with the front door and windows.

Meanwhile.... .

“Woah.... . That was bad.” Pumpkin Cake said as she’s hyperventilating a little. “You’ve said it”, replied her brother from afar. “I don’t think I’d ever forget about that... .” Cozy Glow; whom is frightened; whimpers, and says; “I’m scared...” and starts sucking on one of her fore hooves. Seeing this; Pumpkin Cake approaches Cozy Glow, moves her close to her, and then says; “ah don’t worry about it; you’ve got your friends to help you out; right?” Cozy Glow was whimpering a little, but then nods and lays her head down on Pumpkin’s lap. With that; she pets Cozy’s mane, and pulls her close to her. With that; Cozy Glow smiles, and snuggles up to Pumpkin Cake with a smile while still sucking on her hoof.

Once they checked to see if all the windows and doors were locked; Poundcake, Tirek, and Sombra then went back downstairs to give the others the good news once they’ve locked all the doors and windows of the Cake Twins’ room. King Sombra began; “alright; so we have good news, and bad news... . Which news do y’all wanna do first?”

Looking at each other; Pumpkin Cake reluctantly raised her hoof, and asked; “can we listen to the good news first?” Her brother then replied; “sure... . The good news is that we still have our stuff.” Poundcake’s sister beamed with pride, and got all excited. Looking a little grim; Poundcake then began; “however...” before sitting down. Pumpkin Cake caught wind of it, and just looked on in anticipation as to what her brother is about to say... . Poundcake then said; “the bad news however... is that all of our hard earned money; plus allowances, are gone.”

With that; Pumpkin Cake started to whine this time, and says; “what? Noooo. That was our hard earned money... . They can’t do that... .” Sombra sighs, and then says; “unfortunately; they can.. . Because they’re bandits, and we’re their victims... .” With a sad look on her face; Pumpkin Cake then looks down at the ground, and pouts with tears in her eyes.

Seeing this; Poundcake then went to comfort his sister, and says; “I know... . But so what?... . Once we’re through with those bandits; we’ll be able to get our lives back to normal ey? What do you say?... . Sniffling; Pumpkin Cake wiped her nose, and then says; “yeah... I guess so...” with a slight determined look. Also looking determined; Poundcake then says; “exactly”, and pats his sister’s back just once; albeit a little hard due to his strength. Feeling that; Pumpkin Cake said; “ow..” with a slight chuckle while looking at her brother with a smile. “That hurt... .” Poundcake snickers, then says; “so what? At least you know what those bandits would feel like once we’re through with them. Am I right?” Pumpkin Cake responded with; “right”, and returns the favor. With that; the two began play wrestling, and stopped while laughing.

Snickering a little too; King Sombra then says; “alright you two.. that’s enough. Save that for the enemy; okay?” Both Twins looked at each other, and nodded back at Sombra. He then continues by saying; “alright then; *clap*. Now; let’s get something to eat, and then bed... . We need all the energy and strength we can get if we’re gonna save all of Equestria. Am I right?” The rest of the group said; “right”, and looked determined as well. “Right”, began Sombra. “Let’s do this... .”

Chapter Seven: A not so Good Night

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Once everyone was finished with their food; they all went upstairs to figure out on what their bed arrangements would be like for the night... . However; before they could decide that; they’ve decided to check one last time to see if the entire bakery was secured and safe. Once they were sure; they went back upstairs to the Cake Twin’s room, and began to figure out on what the arrangements for the night is gonna be... .

“Hmmm”, Poundcake thinks while rubbing his chin. “I think maybe we should sleep on our own beds, but.... . I don’t know where the rest of them are gonna sleep.” Pumpkin Cake replies; “me too. And we don’t necessarily have any guest beds or bedrooms to spare... . We only have just our room, and our parents’ room. And we can’t exactly let anyone sleep there of course... . Who knows what’s in our parents’ bedroom?... .” King Sombra chimes in, and says; “maybe some personal stuff that only they can see; am I right?” Both Twins nodded and said; “right”, in unison.

Meanwhile; Cozy Glow and Tirek were in the bathroom getting ready for bed. Cozy Glow is brushing up her mane; while Tirek is brushing his teeth. With who’s toothbrush; we’ll leave it up for you to decide... . “Hmm”, began Cozy Glow. “I’m not so sure that coming here was such a good idea. I mean... as much as I like this place and all... I can’t really seem to think of this as a great place to live... ; if there’s more than just the twins, their parents, and Pinkie Pie of course... ; right?” Tirek stopped brushing his teeth to ask; “wait a minute... . How do you know all that?” Cozy Glow blushed, and said; “remember when I said that Luna usually gets me calm whenever I have a nightmare to King Sombra?” Tirek nodded, and then Cozy Glow continued; “so not only that, but she also lets me out of my cage for a while to explore with her; albeit with close supervision of course... .”After a long pause; Tirek said; “makes sense”, and continues brushing his teeth.

King Sombra then went to the bathroom door with the Twins, and starts to say; “you guys; I think I know where our sleeping arrangements are gonna be.” Cozy Glow paused brushing her hair, and then says; “really?” with sheer excitement. “Where’re we gonna sleep?” Poundcake and Pumpkin Cake then shuffled a little, and then Pumpkin Cake started to say sheepishly; “this next part... you won’t like it... .” Tirek spitted out the toothpaste from his mouth into the sink, and then says; “well?... what’re you waiting for?... out with it.”

Cozy Glow is sleeping alone in Pinkie Pie’s room; while Tirek and King Sombra are sleeping in Pinkie Pie’s party planning dungeon; (or basement. Whatever people call it)... .

“So..” began Sombra. “This.. is... comfy... . How’re you holding up over there?” Tirek stretched his arms and hooves, and then replies; “never better...” sarcastically. “How’s your end of the dungeon?” Sombra then replies back; “living the dream...” while sighing and relaxing in his sleeping bag with his arms crossed behind his back with a smile. Tirek just shook his head and asked; “you’re enjoying this; aren’t you?” Sombra then replied; “so what? I’m used to sleeping situations like these... . Aren’t you?” Tirek said; “not really”, and tries to stretch his arms and hooves out some more. Sombra starts thinking, and says; “tell you what. If I get you some sleep medicine from the Cake’s medicine cabinet; will that calm you down?” Tirek replied; “I don’t know about that... . But I’d say go for it.” Sombra gets up, then says; “be back in a flash”, and goes to get Tirek some sleeping pills.

However; once Sombra was about to reach for the medicine cabinet; Cozy Glow whimpered from behind him, and starts rubbing one of her eyes due to sleep and from having tears forming in her eyes due to fear. With that; Sombra turned around, and asked; “what’s the matter kid; can’t sleep?” Cozy Glow whimpered; now rubbing both of her eyes, and says; “I’m scared... . I don’t wanna sleep by myself... .” Sombra blinked, and then says; “what? Why? You’re too old to be sleeping with others beside you. Go back to bed.” But this didn’t persuade her one bit. Instead; Cozy Glow began to whine, and then starts sniffling from not having any sleep. Leaving no other choice; Sombra looks for the sleeping pills, takes the bottle, and then picks up Cozy Glow with his magic. “Fine”, he starts. “But make too much of a fuss, and you’re going back to your room; understand?” Cozy Glow nodded, and laid her head on King Sombra’s shoulder while sucking on one of her forehooves. King Sombra snickered, and then said; “you really are a baby aren’t you?” Cozy smiled, and snuggled up close to him. “Alright now”, began Sombra again. “Let’s get to bed...”.

Morning has arrived, and everyone woke up with a stretch. Well... almost everyone... .

“Owie.... . My brain hurts... .” Poundcake whined while getting up from his own bed. Pumpkin Cake followed suit, and then says; “yeah... me too. What happened last night?...”.

King Sombra and Cozy Glow entered their room, and gave them an explanation... . “You were sleep fighting again, and we’ve had to restrain you two.” King Sombra explained. Both of the Twins saw slight scuffle and scratch marks on each of their bodies. With that; Cozy Glow continued; “don’t worry; it’s bound to happen eventually.. right?...”. Both of the Twins nodded, and apologized to them and each other. “None taken”, King Sombra replied. “Now then... who’s hungry?”

Chapter Eight: A Sort of Thought Out Plan

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After breakfast; the group decided to formulate a plan on how to rescue Flurry Heart again, and how to get rid of these bandits for good once they know what they’re up against... .

“So.... . What’s the plan?” Pumpkin Cake said whilst thinking. “I have no idea. But eh, we’ll think of something.” King Sombra said whilst thinking as well. “Well, whatever it is, can it wait? I’m hungry again... .” Cozy Glow whined. King Sombra sighs, and then says; “well that’s what you get for when you’re picky with your food; okay?” Cozy Glow was about to say something, but whimpered and looked down in shame. Tirek then sighs, and says; “okay; look. How about we go and see if anyone else is out there... . I mean; who knows?... . Maybe there’s still some ponies out there who’ll help us... . Right?” Poundcake then said; “well yeah, maybe... . But I don’t know... .” Sombra then replied; “let’s just get Cozy something to eat, and then we’ll think of a plan once everyone’s calmed down. Alright? What do you say?” Everyone agreed, and then went their separate ways for now.

After a few minutes have passed; the group regrouped in the living room, and began to devise a plan... .

King Sombra sat down, and says; “Okay, so; we have countless bandits around the area... and lots more throughout Ponyville. Anyone know on how to get rid of the bandits? Or at least on how to sneak past them?... .” Cozy Glow raised her hoof, but stopped and shuffled her back hooves in slight shyness... . With that; King Sombra sighs, and then says; “does anyone actually have any ideas? Or should I come up with the ideas?... . Anyone?... . Great... .”

Poundcake then looked like he had an idea, and shouts; “I got it!” Pumpkin Cake turned to her brother, and asks; “what is it?” Poundcake then replied; “okay; so we’re in the Sugarcube Corner; right?” All nodded and gestures for him to continue.

“Well; we could try to escape. But we also need to know how without being seen... .” Poundcake then points to Tirek, and then says; “you; go up to Pinkie’s room, and look for our way out from the balcony.” He then points to his sister, and says; “you; go to the kitchen and grab anything we could use for supplies, weapons, and or rations for us to take with us.” Lastly; Poundcake points to Cozy Glow, and says; “and you. Stay with King Sombra, and make sure that you two are prepared. Oh, and to ensure that the doors and windows are locked. Okay?” Both Sombra and Cozy Glow nodded, and then went to check the perimeter for any breaches or openings. Meanwhile; Poundcake went to his toy chest, and then went searching in there. “Meanwhile, I will check and see if I’ve gotten any toys I can use as a distraction for the bandits. This is gonna be fun...” he said to himself.

Once everyone is back together; Cozy Glow laid out a map, and starts pointing out some pathways and secret shortcuts. Meanwhile; King Sombra and the Cake Twins take count of how many supplies they have, and how many things they have to use as either weapons or distractions. As for Tirek; he passed out because he saw something that made him frightened... . A little butterfly... .

“So...” began Cozy Glow. “What do we do now?... .” Pumpkin Cake thought for a minute, and then replies; “I don’t know... but I think we should hurry this up. Who knows? Maybe the bandits might come back here as a precaution... . Or they’re coming back to see if the bakery is cleared out of anyone else in here... aside from us...”. Sombra says; “true... . But I wouldn’t count on it... . Me and Tirek are usually good on handling bandits... . And also making sure that they don’t find us either... . Okay?” Pumpkin Cake nodded; “okay”. and went to go find her brother so she can help him with something... .

After a few minutes; the twins returned to the living room once more to discuss the plan with the others... .

“So; what are we gonna do?” began Pumpkin Cake. Cozy Glow got in front of her, and then replies whilst moving her hoof on the map on the table; “I think we have to go to either one of these secret passages so we won’t get noticed by the bandits.”
King Sombra then said; “okay... . But how are we gonna get past them without them noticing us?... . And besides; it’s daylight out. We’ll stick out like a sore hoof. We’d be caught... .” Poundcake then places a noisy plushie on the table, and replies; “we use our old baby plushies to create a distraction. Sombra nods in approval, but says; “might work... but what if it’s too much of a distraction?... .” Poundcake then replies; “then we’d run as fast as we could. Simple.” Sombra nodded again, and says; “alright. So; we’re good on this plan?” All nodded their heads, and then Sombra continued; “alright then... let’s do this.”

Chapter Nine: A Poor Planned Execution

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Night has fallen around Ponyville. Like always, it’s quiet. Albeit a little too quiet since the bandit’s arrival. The group were just passing time by doing their own things whilst waiting for nightfall; as King Sombra instructed once they thought of a plan. Unfortunately; what the group doesn’t know is how badly the plan is gonna go. How bad? Here’s how... .

“Alright”, began King Sombra. “The sun is down; we should be able to move onward if we’re ever gonna sneak to the Crystal Empire together. Anyone have any questions before we leave?” Cozy Glow raised her hoof, and then Sombra pointed at her so she could speak. “I’m not so sure... . You sure that this plan will work? I mean... what if it doesn’t?” Poundcake wrapped a hoof around her back, and replied; “it will Cozy; don’t worry about it. It’ll be fine; trust us. Okay?” Cozy Glow got a little scared, and asked; “maybe... . But what if?...”. But before she could finish her sentence; King Sombra chimed in, and says; “relax kid; it’ll be fine. And if not, then we’ll find a way; okay? I promise.” He then wraps a hoof around Cozy Glow too. And pats her back for good measure. Feeling better; Cozy Glow nuzzled up to Sombra, and thanked him. King Sombra then replied; “no problem”, and picks her up to give her a hug.

Once Tirek has ensured that the coast was clear; he motioned for them to get ready to leave. However... .

“K-king Sombra?” Cozy Glow asked in slight discomfort and fear. Sighing; King Sombra says; “it’s fine Cozy; I promise.” Cozy Glow was about to say something; when King Sombra interrupted her by saying; “And if it doesn’t, then we’ll find a way. Okay? It’ll be fine; trust us. And hey..” he began as he went out the door. “What’s the worst that can happen?... .” With that; everyone from the group followed him outside, and waited for King Sombra to give them the go ahead. “Alright,” began Sombra. “Let’s go to that bush over there, and see if we could get a better vantage point on what we’re dealing with here. Sound like a plan?” All nodded, but Cozy Glow asked; “w-what if it doesn’t work?... .” Sombra sighs, and then replies; “like I said bud; if it doesn’t work, then we’ll find a way out of this situation. Okay?” Cozy Glow nodded, but then said; “okay.... . But I won’t like it... .” Sombra replied with; “no one will. Now; let’s go before...”. But before he could finish; he was cutted off by a spear being pointed towards his chest. Slowly; King Sombra rose to his backhooves, and raised his forehooves. With that in mind, the others followed suit; as they were having spears directed at them as well. With no other way to get out of this situation; King Sombra uttered; “aw crud”, and was escorted by the bandits to a cage carriage; along with the others in his group... .

Chapter Ten: Captured

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It was dark... really dark. The cage that King Sombra was thrown into was very dark. There’s barely any light that could seep into the cracks of King Sombra’s cage. He could hear cartwheels turning and moving; as this cage he was in was moving in a carriage. Suddenly it stopped, and one of the bandits went to the cage to inspect it and see if the, “precious cargo”; was secured. With that; the bandit gave the all clear, and then the cart moved once again. This went on for several more minutes; as the bandits surely had made their “fortress” almost impenetrable; by any means necessary. Finally; King Sombra heard something different; chains, and lots of them. Before he knew it; the chains wrapped around the cage he was in, and he was hoisted up into the ceiling; left to dangle there along with the other captives in this hideout.

Many hours passed, before an important looking bandit stepped into the room, and says; “listen up here you miserable filth. We are here for one thing, and one thing only; to plunder and steal all of your riches and valuables. Now then... I may have been a little cruel to y’all for when we first arrived... . And yes I know that we’ve also separated y’all from your families through any means... . But just know that I don’t envy taking y’all’s lives away, and I most certainly don’t enjoy hurting anyone. However... since I’ve met some resistance from y’all; that unfortunately had to make me use my final resort. Now then! We can either get along fine, or we can remain as enemies, and make y’all’s lives way worse than we already are... . Follow our rules, and you’ll be spared... . Do not, and y’all will perish. So; with that; I bid each and everyone of y’all a good day!” With that little speech out of the way; the important bandit then turned to leave the room, and shutted the doors behind them; leaving the prisoners lonely with each other, once again... .

Many more hours have passed, and King Sombra can hear so many ponies or creatures either getting dragged out of their cages due to their fear, or their screams for when they’re led elsewhere, and are being hurt in anyway shape or form by any means necessary. However; once King Sombra has woken up from his slumber once more; (since he could barely sleep in a cage); he was then lowered onto the ground, and then the cage door opened up. “Get out!” the bandit guard commanded. He did so, and was immediately dragged out and planted onto his back hooves. “Start walking!” the other bandit guard commanded. “Or you’ll be sorry.” Sombra; having no other choice; followed the guard’s orders, and follows the third guard while he’s being directed by the other two. After a few minutes, he was planted down onto a table, and then chained to the chair of it. “Do anything funny and you’ll be sorry.” One of the bandit guards whispered before leaving him alone.

Soon after the guards left to keep watch; Cozy Glow, Tirek, and Chrysalis sat alongside him, and gave King Sombra an extra tray so he could eat something. “We’ve heard that you were imprisoned into one of the worst rooms in this place. So we kinda figured that you wanted something to eat; assuming none of us had anything to eat since we arrived... .” Cozy Glow said in slight discomfort. King Sombra sighed in relief; knowing that his pals were alright, and then says; “thank you Cozy; I really mean it.” Cozy Glow smiled, and said; “no problem”, before beginning to eat her meal.

With Tirek looking all around; he turned to Sombra, and asked him; “so; have you figured out what this place is? And or how we can get out?” Sombra sighs again, but this time in defeat, and says; “sadly... I do.” Cozy Glow and Tirek leaned in to hear what Sombra had to say... . “This place is known as the Lockout. A notorious, awful prison. Created just to house the worst of the worst. Even if you were to commit a minor crime against the Crystal Empire, and or other kingdoms; you’ll be very unlucky to receive a one time only stay in this place if there’s a chance.” Cozy got confused and asked; “but why?” Sombra sighs again, and then says; “because unlike the Canterlot dungeons; this prison makes Canterlot seem more merciful. You see; it wasn’t like this at first.. . It was old; decrepit looking... and abandoned; due to it having really harsh guards, and terrible living conditions for their prisoners... . Not to mention that it was the Crystal Empire’s first prison, and the ponies that created it don’t even know first thing on how to run it... . But ever since those bandits took over; this once abandoned prison, is now back and fully operational... . Now that the bandits are the ones in charge; I highly doubt that we’ll make it through this in one piece... . And I highly doubt that we’ll make it out of here too... you know?” Cozy Glow nodded grimly and said; “okay... . I guess that makes sense...” and sits back down to continue eating her meal.

Once some time has passed; another guard; (this time in full body armor), reports; “alright now. Lunchtime is over! Eat or take whatever food you can get, and scram on outta here!” With no time to lose; King Sombra and everyone else gathered what they could in the lunchroom, and scrambled out so they wouldn’t be punished. Once the coast was clear; everyone was directed back into their cages, and locked up to be kept there for a little while longer... .

King Sombra was sent back to where his cage was located. Meanwhile; Tirek and Cozy Glow were directed back into their own separate rooms with their cages. And as for Queen Chrysalis... . She’s sent back to her; “special chamber”, to be evaluated, and “corrected”... . Once he heard Queen Chrysalis’s shouts of pain; King Sombra knew that this will be an uneasy ending for him and his friends... . Time will only tell if they’ll make it out of there in one piece... . And they’re counting on it too.

Chapter Eleven: Breakout

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It’s been a week since Sombra and the others have been captured... . Cozy Glow and Tirek were forced into manual labor to ensure that the fort’s walls and doors were in mint condition. King Sombra was forced to train new bandit recruits on how to engage and take down a potential target; should the need arise. Queen Chrysalis was forced to become the lunchroom’s new lunch mare. And lastly; the Cake Twins; despite their pleas not to; were forced into manual labor too; in a kids only faction. That way; should a grownup need assistance; the kids will arrive to either sort out the problem, or finish the work; since there’s certain things that small hooves, or other appendages can do that grownup sized ones can not; like fixing small gears and switches for instance.

It’s been a grueling six hours since he’s been tasked with training, and helping the bandits with some other stuff. King Sombra was just about to pass out from exhaustion, but the bandits wouldn’t let him; under the threat of lesser meals, and more hard work if he did so. With that; he did all he could, and kept on moving; (or working in this case). “I’m never going to hear the end of this...” King Sombra began. “I really wish that my pals, and Flurry Heart and her family are alright... . It’s been awhile since I’ve seen them. And knowing Flurry Heart; she’s a fighter, sure... . But she’s also prone to crying and or throwing tantrums if she were to do something that she doesn’t want to; like working for bandits for instance... .” He took a deep breath, then continued in his mind; “I hope she doesn’t cause too much trouble... . Who knows what those bandits might do to her... and how her parents might react if she does... . Oh... I can’t bare to think what’s gonna happen if she’s not okay... .” Sombra was about to finish his thinking; when suddenly he was thumped in the head from one of the bandits; whom demanded that he’d pay attention or else. With that; he nodded, and got back to work.

After what seemed like forever; (despite it being only five minutes or so); King Sombra was notified that it was time for his break. With that; he thanked the bandit in charge of watching over him, and went to go and see if the others were on break too. To his surprise; he saw that Tirek and Cozy Glow were on break as well, but unfortunately looked a little worse for wear. With that in mind; he approached them, and asked; “y’all okay? You looked like death... .” Tirek sighed in exhaustion, and replied; “yeah... . And it seems that way too.” Sombra then turned to Cozy, and asked; “what about you? You okay?” Cozy Glow was panting heavily, and then replied; “never better...” before going back to panting some more. After another five minutes; the bandit captain from the training portion of the fort said; “break’s over y’all. Back to your sectors.” Cozy Glow whined, and then asked Sombra; “when are we gonna make it out of this?... .” Sombra sighs, then says; “soon kid; soon... .”

Chrysalis was busy washing the dishes; when suddenly she saw someone that she’d never thought she’d see... . It was Cadence. Alongside her however; was a worn out, and exhausted filly named Flurry Heart. And to her dismay... Flurry Heart doesn’t seem to be potty trained yet; as she’s still in diapers; which is unfortunately noticeable due to the fact that it’s drooping down while she’s still wearing it. With a sigh; Chrysalis came to them while still behind the counter, and says; “well... long time no see... . How’s the work going so far?” Cadence; already exhausted from her day, says blankly; “oh... hey Chrysalis... . It’s good to see you too... I think. W-what’re you doing here?” Chrysalis replied with; “locked up here with my friends and forced to work. Can I get you anything?” Cadence nodded, and ordered the Equestrian salad from the menu. Flurry Heart however; tugged onto her mom’s leg, and whines; “I’m hungwy... .” Cadence sighs again, then says to Chrysalis; “you think maybe you can make her something extra that’ll help get her strength back up? She hasn’t gotten to eat for who knows how long since we got here... . And I think she’s starting to grow weak. You think maybe you can help her?” Chrysalis sighs, then says; “I’ll try... . But I can’t make any promises though... . If I’m caught sneaking out extra food for the prisoners again; I’ll get my flank whooped, and then get locked up for a week without food.” Cadence then said; “it’s okay... . Any food you can give us right now will suffice. Thank you.” Chrysalis nodded, and said; “coming right up!” before going to the kitchen, and preparing their meals.

Poundcake and Pumpkin Cake; having been filthy from the work in the mines, looks up at the sky, and sigh in defeat; knowing that there’s no way out of this place. Well... not yet anyways.

Poundcake sighs again, and then says; “I wish Sombra was here... . He’d know what to do in a time like this.” Pumpkin Cake followed suit, and then said; “me too. And I also hope that Cozy Glow’s okay... . I mean sure she was a villain in the past... . But I’m so worried about her... . And.... . I don’t know what to do if anything were to happen to her.... .” Just then; the work whistle blew; signifying that it’s time to get back to work. With that; Poundcake carried his pickaxe on his shoulder, and said; “well... back to work. Hopefully we’ll find something useful in the mines. But for now; let’s get to it; okay?” His sister sighs, and then Pumpkin Cake said; “okay....” before following suit, and starts to sniffle before entering the mines. “I hate this...” Pumpkin Cake whined before beginning to work again.

After a harrowing five hours; the group all met back at the mess hall; with some others following suit.

“C-chrysawis?” Flurry Heart began while looking at her. “W-what’re you doing hewre?” Chrysalis sighs, and then replies; “I’m trapped here with my buddies”, while pointing to all of her friends. “What are you doing here?” Flurry Heart sighs as well with a frown, and with her ears down too before replying; “being forced to work on a job i no wike,” and then pouting afterwards. Chrysalis chuckles a bit, sighs, and then says; “hey; it’s not all bad. Once this is all over; I’m sure your parents will allow you to work on a job that you do like; okay?” Flurry Heart pouts some more, then chuckles before saying; “owkay; you wight; hehe.” Chrysalis smiled too, and says; “that’s what I figured,” before eating her dinner.

As soon as the group were finally looking to have gotten along with each other; (despite the fact that they already have); it was soon cut short by a bandit guard saying; “quiet now! No talking or else!” Soon after that, he then also pushed away the others from the table; before stating out loud; “and in fact; no eating together as a group! All workers are to eat at their own sector‘s tables, or they’ll be Tartarus to pay! Is that understood?!” Cozy Glow whined, and demanded an explanation. Just then, a female bandit guard said softly, but authoritatively; “listen y’all; it’s just the rules; okay? No need to cause a fuss about it; alright? Now then; either follow the rules, or get sent back into your rooms with no chance of having food again the next day. Is that understood?” All of the group unfortunately nodded, and started to separate from the table. “Good”, the female bandit continued. “That’s good...”.

Few hours went by, and the group has been sent back into their rooms. Reason is that dinner time is over, and that there was a fight that broke out between different inmates. So with that; the inmates were removed from the mess hall, and then everyone was sent back into their rooms as a precaution. Cozy Glow and Tirek both went back to their sector’s rooms. Cadence and Flurry Heart were sent back to their rooms as well in their own sector. The Cake Twins were sent back to their rooms as well. And lastly; King Sombra was sent back into his own room too; with someone else joining him. With that; King Sombra was thrown back into his cage, and so was the other prisoner. With them in their cages securely; the bandits locked up the cage, and went back to their normal guard posts.

After King Sombra got up and dusted himself off, he turned to look at the prisoner that’s with him, and then began to say; “so... they got you here too huh? Hm... . Why’d you do that?” The prisoner then replied; “because that guy had it coming... .” The prisoner had a fading white coat with blue hair with streaks, and a shield cutiemark with purple stars on them.

Knowing who it was that started the fight, King Sombra then asked again; “no; I meant why’d you start that fight back there? I mean... I know that you don’t start fights all willy nilly Shining Armor; so what was that all about?” Shining Armor then took a deep breath; before replying with small tears in his eyes; “because I can’t take it anymore.... . And.... I wanna go home... .” Sombra sighs, then puts a hoof to his shoulder before saying; “I know you do kid, but you can’t do that. I mean... you wouldn’t want to go back to the torture chamber again; do you? I mean... what would your wife and daughter say? Like; what would Cadence and Flurry Heart say; hm? What do you think?... .” Shining Armor sighs, and then says; “I don’t know... . But I know that they wouldn’t like it... .” Sombra then wraps a shadow arm around him, and says; “no... they won’t. But hey; if it makes you feel any better; I’m thinking of a way to bust all of us out of here; okay? But first we gotta get some rest; alright?” Shining Armor sniffled; having been a little down since he was a bit traumatized from being captured for too long, and then says; “alright... I’m in.”

Sombra then pats his back, and says; “that’s the spirit”, before laying down on the ground to try to fall asleep. Shining Armor followed suit; before asking; “so... what’s the plan?” Before passing out; King Sombra says; “I’ll think of something”, and falls asleep. Shining Armor followed suit, and fell asleep as well.

Morning arose, and it seems that all is quiet; albeit too quiet.

King Sombra woke up in a daze, and looked around before saying; “where is everyone?” Just then, a bandit guard opened the door, and threw him out of the cage. “Get up!” the guard demanded. “I said; get up!” Sombra was then picked up, and had his back smacked before the guard said; “now move it!” With that; King Sombra followed orders, and moved to where the guard is directing him.

Soon he was directed to a room, and then was promptly seated in a chair before getting chained to it. “Sit down; don’t move!” the bandit guard commanded. “The commander will be right with you.” Puzzled; Sombra looked to the guard, and asked; “the commander? Who’s this commander?” However; the bandit left, and locked the door behind them. Eventually; Sombra heard a chair turn around, and then heard a familiar voice greet him saying; “greetings old friend. Long time no see... .” Stunned; Sombra turned around; knowing who it was, and says; “you....” before making direct eye contact with his long lost enemy before him.

Cadence and Flurry Heart were busy eating at a table in the fort’s lunchroom; when suddenly they saw someone that they’d never thought they’d see ever again. With excitement; Flurry Heart blurts out; “daddy!” and leapt from her chair to give Shining Armor a hug. With a chuckle; Shining Armor replies; “it’s good to see you too kid”, and hugs his daughter back. Cadence however; wasn’t too fazed by it; as she had seen him before; just not in a good state. “Well; I guess you’re feeling better now...” she replied. With a chuckle; Shining Armor replied; “yeah, hehe. Sorry about that... .” Cadence scoffed it off and patted a seat next to her. With that; the Royal Crystal Empire family are back together again. “So;” began Cadence. “How was your beating?” Shocked by this; Flurry Heart looked up at her dad in disbelief. Looking sheepishly; Shining Armor replied; “it’s been okay... . Sombra and his pals actually helped me out.” Stunned; Cadence looks at her husband with wide eyes, and says; “they’re in here too? How’s that possible?” Just then; Cozy Glow sat on a seat next to Shining Armor, and says; “because we were ambushed before we could come up with a foolproof plan to rescue y’all... . But sadly that didn’t work out.” Shining Armor shook his head; “I guess not”, and nudged Cozy Glow closer to him. With the villains with them; (aside from King Sombra); Flurry Heart began to ask nervously; “is sombwa owkay? Wewre is he?” After a brief pause; Cozy Glow began to explain... .

With utter disbelief; King Sombra slammed his shadow arms on the table in anger, and says; “it was you that started all this?!... . Why?!” Also in anger; the bandit commander stood up abruptly from his seat, and says; “because Princess Celestia wouldn’t give me a promotion after a mission I’ve undergone!” Confused; Sombra then asks; “what was the mission?... .” Sighing; the bandit commander sat down, and says; “it’s a long story... . You wouldn’t wanna know... .” Feeling rather smirky; King Sombra says; “you’re right, I wouldn’t,” and sat back down as well. “But regardless; I still want to know... . I’m curious.” The bandit commander began to sigh again, and began to recall his last mission with Princess Celestia.... .

“I’m so tired... and hungry....” Pumpkin Cake started to whine. “It’s alright sis,” Poundcake began. “We’re just about done with our work today. I’m sure that there’s nothing else for us to do; right?” Just then; a bandit guard stopped the two of them, and says; “you two; stay where you are. You’re being redirected to the lunchroom for a job. You got that?” Pumpkin Cake whined again; not wanting to work anymore. Sighing; Poundcake; being the big brother he is to his sister; stepped in front of her, and asks; “what’s the job we’re being sent to?” The bandit then replied; “it’s an easy job really; clean up the messes, and wash all of the dishes once the lunchroom is empty. No biggie. And besides..” the bandit began as they pulled Poundcake close to them. “It’s an easy job; one that you two can’t mess up. So with that; you two are gonna have an extra worker with y’all. Doesn’t that sound like fun?” Not liking the answer; Poundcake nodded sarcastically, and starts to hold onto her sister’s hoof. “Alright;” the bandit commanded. “Let’s go!” And with that; they’re off... .

In disbelief; King Sombra leaned back in his chair, and said; “I’m so, sorry... . I.... I didn’t know... .” The bandit commander banged both of his hooves on the table, and shouts; “of course you don’t! No one knows the struggles I’ve been through!” After that outburst; the bandit commander got up from his chair, grabbed onto King Sombra by the neck, and then pulled him close so he could hear what he has to say. “Now; here’s what’s gonna happen. You are going to come with me, and behave. Got it?” Sombra nodded, but asks; “and what happens if I don’t?” With that; Sombra was face planted onto the table, and the bandit commander shouts; “that will happen, and more. Is that understood?!” Sombra nodded, and was picked up. “Good!” said the commander. “That’s good...”.

Queen Chrysalis was currently cleaning some dishes; when suddenly she saw the Cake Twins. “Oh... . They got y’all too huh?” Both of the Twins whined and nodded before beginning to help Queen Chrysalis wash the dishes. Sighing; Queen Chrysalis thinks to herself; “can this day get any worse?” Unfortunately for her, it had; as she then saw the bandit commander with King Sombra. Something tells her that this will not end so well... .

“Ladies and gentleponies or creatures; welcome! To your worst; nightmare... . Now; here’s what’s gonna happen!... .” While the commander was busy giving a speech; Flurry Heart saw her best friend again, but in a bad state. Seeing this; Flurry Heart was gonna cry; when suddenly Cadence brought her daughter close to her, and says; “it’ll be fine sweetie. I’m sure that King Sombra will be alright; okay?” Flurry Heart nodded and said; “owkay”, before looking on in despair as her best friend was in a chokehold by the bandit commander.

After the speech; King Sombra was thrown back to his friends, and the bandit commander left. But not without giving King Sombra a punch to the gut first; which caused him to buckle and fall to the ground in pain. With that; the commander left, and King Sombra was in pain. “Alright...” he began. “Here’s how we can get out... .”

Next day... .

All was well in the bandit’s fortress surprisingly... . Why? This is why... .

“Alright guys; all clear on the plan?” Cozy Glow said whilst grouping together with the others in the lunchroom. They all nodded their heads and looked determined. “Alright”, began Cozy Glow. “Let’s do this... .”

After a few minutes to make sure the coast was clear, and that there wasn’t that many guards in the area; Cozy Glow then stood up, and then shouts; “food fight!” before tossing a chunk of mashed potatoes at Shining Armor. With that; he retaliated, and threw some of his own mashed potatoes back at her. Without so much of a warning; everyone in the lunchroom is throwing food at each other, and is just over all having a surprisingly amazing time.

After the guards try to contain the chaos, the group all then took that as their signal to make their escape.

“We’re gonna make it!” Poundcake said as he’s excited; knowing that this will definitely be the end of the horrible pain and torture that he’s been through from hard labor working in the mines.

However; before the group could reach the exit doors; they were stopped by the bandits teleporting in front of the door, and then getting out their spears; pointing at the group with them so that way they won’t leave.

Seeing a problem; King Sombra said; “aw crud,” and braces himself on what’s to come... .

Chapter Twelve: The Problem

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Surrounded, and seeming like the end is near; the group all huddled together, and cautiously looked around for an opening, or an opportunity to exploit. Sadly, there isn’t any. And what’s worse is that the bandit commander is accompanying the guards. Because of that; the bandits have good command of the situation, and is basically ready for just about anything really; even an escape.

It seems like a few hours have passed; (despite it being only five minutes). Everyone by the front door is staying still; just waiting for an opportunity to exploit. Without thinking; King Sombra blurts out; “so; what now?” Feeling confident; the bandit commander said; “well first; we’ll imprison y’all for a while without food. Secondly; we’ll hurt y’all very severely. Thirdly; we’ll make y’all work twice as hard than ever before. And lastly; we’ll make the rest of your life so miserable; that you’d be begging for us to use these spears.” After that; he performed an evil laughter.

Cadence; having heard this voice before too just like Sombra has; paused to figure out what was the voice that she knew before.... . However; before she could say anything; her husband: Shining Armor; beat her to it, and says; “you!... . H-how could you Flash Magnus?! I thought you were a goner?!”

Feeling a hit to his pride; he jumped in front of the group, and shouts; “oh you wish that I was! Just so that way your precious commander can take all the glory for herself!” Confused; Shining Armor asked; “what are you talking about? What glory?” Flash then said; “do you really wanna know? Or are you just as clueless as I once was?” Without missing a beat; King Sombra says; “I’ve heard of your story already, but I wanted to hear it again; just because it’s interesting. Right?” With a sigh, Flash Magnus replied; “right”, and began his tale... .

“When I was the new drill sergeant for Princess Celestia’s army; I thought I had it made... . The pay was good, I made a lot of new friends, and then I had a secret love interest. That is until she sent me and my legion on a secret mission: to eradicate and destroy any possible targets that’re around the Everfree Forest... . And so with that; I putted my own personal needs on hold, and accepted the mission. Little did I know that this mission was gonna be my legion’s last... .”

Before he could continue, King Sombra asked; “so if your soldiers all perished, then how did you survive?” With a sigh; Flash Magnus continued; “by doing what was necessary: to ditch my fallen comrades, and to plot my revenge on Princess Celestia for ever having me to accept that mission! I mean sure the previous missions weren’t bad... . Just mostly peaceful ones, and peacekeeping as well. But that one final mission I undertook; it was horrible... . Just horrible... .” Sombra then asked; “wanna continue?” Flash Magnus nodded, and continued his story.

“So after my legion’s fall; I knew what I had to do... . I escaped the area, and then I began to plot my revenge. First I had to recruit some common criminals, and ex-soldiers. Next; I have to supply them with weapons and armor. Thirdly; I had to train them. And lastly; I have to build a fortress.” Before he could continue again; King Sombra said; “and that’s where we come in huh? To help you finish your dirty work?” Feeling sheepish; Flash Magnus said; “well.... maybe a yes and no... .” Sombra then said; “come again?” Flash Magnus then said; “yes because I haven’t finished the fortress yet. And no because I’ve finished one fortress, but not this one.” Cozy Glow then said; “wait a minute; there’s more than one?” With a sigh, he nodded, but replied; “yes, but it’s not really meant to be a fortress though... . It’s meant to be a prison; like it once was before.” Cozy Glow nodded, then said; “okay”, before going back to being scared... .

After what seemed like hours; (despite being five minutes again); King Sombra looked at Flash Magnus, and says; “you know pal; you really don’t have to do this. You can just get Celestia to help you, and maybe apologize to you too... that’s all. I mean; I would’ve gotten Twilight: my archenemy; to apologize to me if I were to be given the chance. Right?” Cadence then said; “As much as I hate to say it; he is right about that.” Feeling a little infuriated; Flash Magnus shouts; “enough!” and slammed his hoof to the ground. He then continues by saying; “I’ve had just about enough of your feeble attempts to distract me!” With that; the bandits raise their spears once more, and then Flash Magnus asks; “any last words?” before unsheathing his sword from his holster. Sombra smirked, then said; “just one”, before giving out a signal. With that; the front doors bursted open, and an entire army of Crystal Empire guards were at the ready: ready to attack any threat that lied before them. With a quick unsheathe of his sword; King Sombra shouts; “charge!” and began to attack the bandit guards. With that; the others followed suit; bringing out their own weapons to get ready for a fight.

Hours passed, and it seemed that the group was winning; (especially the Crystal Empire royal legion). That is, until... .

“I will get you!.... .” Flash Magnus said as he’s gotten his spear raised, and was charging full speed at someone in the group. Before that could happen; somepony got in the way of it, and saved them. With that in mind; Flash Magnus was then taken down by somepony else, and the fighting has stopped. With their adversary defeated; Flash Magnus was about to lash out, but fell and passed out due to so much pain that he was in.

With the bandits surrendering; (unfortunately with a few of them gone missing due to escape); King Sombra approached Flash Magnus, picked him up, and threw him into a waiting carriage which contained a cage. With a salute; the soldiers left, and the doors to the bandit prison was closed again. However; right before he was about to celebrate with the group; he remembered something, and rushed back to the group as quick as he can.

When King Sombra got back to the group; it was bad... . There, lying motionless in Pumpkin Cake’s hooves, was her brother: Poundcake; battered and bruised, and not looking so well. While the others were looking around for any more bandits that could still be in the prison; King Sombra, Chrysalis, and Flurry Heart went to Pumpkin Cake, and tried to see if Poundcake was alright. Unfortunately, he wasn’t. And then Poundcake drew his final breath before passing out. With a sniffle; Pumpkin Cake fixed her brother’s mane, and began crying. With that; the rest of the group got back, and saw what happened. Seeing what’s happened; the younger ones in the group began crying alongside Pumpkin Cake; especially Shining Armor. Reason is because he knew Poundcake very well over the years. And knowing that his daughter’s best friend was gone, and that his daughter’s best friend’s sister was there; he was pretty much basically an emotional wreck at this point. And he just couldn’t take it. Mainly because he’s a soldier. And he’s not usually known for taking losses very easily; especially if it’s one of his daughter’s friends as well... .

However; just before the group were about to say their final goodbyes; Poundcake woke up, and then asked what happened. With joy and relief; Pumpkin Cake hugged her brother tightly, and then just started bawling. Flurry Heart and Cozy Glow joined in too, and began bawling as well; as their friend was okay and alright. Meanwhile; the grownups were just ecstatic. And began hugging each other as well because they haven’t lost a member in their group; so to speak. And so; after the group had finished getting emotional; King Sombra opened the door for them, and went with them back to the train station to return home. But, just before he did so; King Sombra took one last look at the prison, and never looked back again as he began to move again with the group, and was happy that it was all over... .

The end.

Epilogue: The Warm Welcome Home

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Once the group arrived back at Ponyville; Pinkie Pie shouted out; “surprise!” and fired her party cannons so that the other ponies in hiding can come out, and welcome their heroes back home.

Meanwhile... in the Cake’s bakery... .

“Welcome back!” Pinkie Pie shouted while blowing on a noisemaker. Chuckling; Sombra said; “thanks kid; it’s great to be back.”

Cozy Glow was getting bored, but then Pumpkin Cake tapped on her shoulder, and asked; “hey; cozy; wanna help me dress my brother in a dress?” Hearing this; Poundcake denied that offer. However; before he could make it official; he was magically grasped by his sister, and led into their room with Cozy Glow.

After a few hours; the party was going great. Until... .

King Sombra sighs while looking out of the window in despair. Seeing this; Twilight; whom was also in the party; stopped talking to her friends, and went to see what the problem was. “S-Sombra?” she began. “W-what’s the matter? A-aren’t you gonna enjoy the party?” Sombra then sighs, and says; “to be honest kid; not quite.” Twilight sat down and asked; “wanna talk about it?” Sombra sighs again, sat down, and says; “well... ever since I founded out that Flash Magnus was the bandit leader... I was almost blown away.... let alone shocked even... . How does that even happen?” Twilight sighs, and then says; “I don’t know either... . But what I do know is that those bandits are gone. And that you’re still here; along with the others. Right?” Sombra said; “right...” before going back to looking out the window. Twilight; wanting to make her old enemy not be so gloomy anymore; then says; “look; whatever it is; I’m sure that it’s nothing; okay?” Sombra then says; “I guess...” but was cut off by Twilight putting a hoof to his mouth. “But nothing; okay? Look; let’s just enjoy this party, and then we’ll talk about it afterwards; okay? What do you say?” Sombra was hesitant and says; “well...” before seeing Flurry Heart arriving with two cups of punch while wearing a cute little dress. Seeing this; Sombra smiles, then says; “okay... . I guess I can tell you afterwards; alright? But it’s gotta be our little secret; got it?” Twilight picked up one of the cups of punch from Flurry Heart and says; “got it”, before drinking the punch down in one full gulp. With that in mind; Sombra followed Twilight, and danced the night away with her and Flurry Heart.

Right at the end; all seems that everything was going great, and it was. Until... .

Flash Magnus is currently locked up in his prison cell; mumbling to himself on how he’s gonna get his revenge. Suddenly; his cell door was unlocked, and he stood up. Seeing who it was that freed him; Flash Magnus began; “w-what are you doing here? I-I thought that you weren’t here anymore... . I-I thought...”. But before he could continue; the mysterious being putted their appendage to his mouth, and the mysterious being said; “but nothing!... . You are to continue your work, and to ensure that these beings are to not be together anymore! Else we’ll be stopped for good! Is that understood?!” Feeling a little nervous; Flash shakily said; “y-y-yes master... . B-but how can I... .” But before Flash could continue again; he was given a nice plate of grub; fit for the royal family of Canterlot, and the Crystal Empire as well. With that; the mysterious being said; “enjoy...” and left without a sound. Chuckling evilly to himself; Flash Magnus began eating, and began thinking on how to get his revenge. And with that; the story ends... . Until next time... . The end.