1. Prologue: The Machinations of Fate by MrDestiny80
2. Chapter 1: King's Gambit by MrDestiny80
3. Chapter 2: In the Grip of Evil by MrDestiny80
The following story takes place in a slightly alternate timeline, inspired by the Crystal Empire future in the season five finale "The Cutie Re-mark". The action happens at the beginning of season three, replacing the events in the two-part episode "The Crystal Empire". All events which occurred in the series prior to that episode are unaltered.
"Given the choice, whether to rule a fading empire, or to challenge the fates for another throw of the dice, a better throw against one's destiny, what was a king to do?"
"More than a thousand years ago, I took command of the Crystal Empire, giving it the stalwart and resolute monarch it deserved. In my infinite generosity, I decided to offer its citizens the immeasurable privilege of serving me."
"Feeble and foolish, they refused. Determined not to let anything stand in the way of progress, I turned to despotism and slavery. The end always justifies the means, after all. With boundless pride I watched as my empire grew and relished the thought of one day uniting the whole world under my hoof."
"However, fate decided it would play a cruel cosmic joke. Out of sheer jealousy, and by some twisted miracle, the two alicorn princesses which ruled over the neighboring kingdom of Equestria managed to assault my castle and vanquish me."
"Little did they know of the power that I truly possess. Although my physical body was shattered, my spirit remained unscathed. Before the princesses could do any more damage, I tore open a portal in time and flung my empire into the future, hoping to one day return and take back what was rightfully mine."
"After my resurgence, I was amused to see what awaited me: admiringly persistent, the two alicorn sisters still wanted to take control of my dominion and even sent a young princess and her inept consort to prevent me from regaining power. Their attempts to shield the Crystal Empire from my dark magic were … laughable, and soon I was able to reassume physical form, reuniting my loyal subjects with their beloved monarch."
"As retribution, I released my armies onto Equestria, igniting the most glorious war the world had ever seen. Despite my superior tactics and impeccable leadership, I was unprepared for the new world which awaited me, and condemned to watch as the unthinkable unfolded before my very eyes: the Crystal Empire was losing the battle."
"My enemies displayed an inconceivable amount of willingness to fight on, and with the aid of alicorn magic and their so-called 'Elements of Harmony', they managed to secure victory after victory and push my armies back. Now, only the Crystal Castle stands, the last remaining bastion of my once mighty domain. As I look outside my windows every morning, seeing the tide of Equestrians getting ever closer to my seat of power, I cannot help but wonder if my palace will become my tomb. With but a hoof-full of my most loyal soldiers at my side, the rumors I keep hearing of my time coming to an end seem to be turning into a reality."
"The reasonable thing to do would be to surrender and try to negotiate my survival … but only weak fools do reasonable things. I am not some mere mortal, clawing my way through this world for a few scraps; I am King Sombra, omnipotent ruler of the Crystal Empire and all-mighty lord of the shadows. Against all odds, I shall triumph."
"I will not accept my fate! I choose to laugh in the face of destiny and risk everything on one final gamble, one last throw of the dice. Even though I can hear death whispering into my ear, I choose defiance!"
"But does one every truly have a choice? One can only match, move by move, the machinations of fate, and thus defy the tyrannous stars."
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left."
"Drive them back! Do not give in! We cannot let Canterlot fa…" the last words uttered by Nightsilver, before an arrow pierced through his helmet, staining the ground below with crimson spots and the hearts of his comrades with terror. A month ago, the handsome young pegasus shed tears of joy as he put on the golden armor of a Canterlot guard and gazed at himself in the mirror, astounded by how well it complimented his silver fur and amazed at the stallion he had matured into. Becoming a royal guard had been his life's dream, and his soul burned with the desire to protect his homeland, especially since the dreaded war had begun. Now, all of his hopes and dreams had been shattered by the cruel reality of combat, his lifeless body constituting a grim testament to the viciousness of the empire's soldiers.
All around the battlefield in front of Canterlot, Equestrian soldiers were scrambling left and right, desperate to protect their city from the dark tide of enemies. What started out as a normal day had quickly shifted into a chaotic nightmare as, out of nowhere, hundreds of crystal ponies emerged outside the walls of the capitol and began laying siege to the city. The majority of Equestria's army had been dispatched to strategic regions deep within the Crystal Empire, leaving only a small fraction of the royal guard to defend Canterlot.
A thundering symphony of clashing swords, shattering shields, breaking bones and sinister screams filled the mountainous landscape, as the Equestrians fought, determined not to let anything happen to the jewel of their kingdom. Barely able to stop their legs from shaking, young and inexperienced stallions and mares were clumsily throwing spears and launching arrows towards the horizon, while their more battle-tested brethren charged forward, taking on the full might of the advancing enemy army.
The Crystal Empire's elite troops stood before Canterlot's walls. An insidious gathering of the most brutal and bloodthirsty skirmishers the world has ever seen was carving its way through the Equestrian forces, advancing towards the seat of the power of the princesses of the Moon and the Sun.
On the left flank, crystal ponies fully clad in black armor, adorned with sharp spikes and wielding immense spears were marching in formation, creating an unstoppable tide of death. With great precision and speed, they pierced the heart of any enemy brave enough to approach them. They were led by a unicorn who levitated four sharp longswords, wielding them with supernatural talent, as if they were an extension of his own body, delivering a whirlwind of thousands of cuts.
On the right, terrified royal guards were fleeing, gazing back in horror as their comrades' heads were being bashed into the ground by a freakishly huge earth pony wielding a massive bronze war-hammer. The very earth itself shook when his weapon hit the ground. The vicious stallion let out a demented laugh after every pony he would kill, relishing in the sound of his opponents' bones crumbling into dust. At his side stood even more grotesque monsters: repulsive abominations with holes in place of their eyes, ragged fangs and hideous crystal scales over their bodies, resembling animated pony corpses. These creatures rushed forward with demonic speed, viciously tearing through any pony unfortunate enough to cross their way.
As the Equestrian troops scrambled into phalanx formation, pointing their weapons forward, hoping to stop the enemy's advance, a rain of daggers descended upon them. From the dark clouds overhead, sharp blades fell with impeccable precision, targeting the weak spots of their armor and shattering their defensive line. Upon looking towards the sky, a royal guard saw the source of the barrage: a squad of pegasi cloaked in ebony, blending in the dark clouds. Their commander plunged from the heavens like a bolt of black lightning, her slender figure barely visible in the sky. She launched a blade which pierced directly through the skull of a young mare in the Equestrian army, coming out the other side and landing in the throat of the stallion behind her, ending both their lives.
With fear and despair taking root in their minds, the defending soldiers fled back towards the main gate, planning to make a final stand there.
In the ensuing chaos, a retreating recruit was pounced on by one of the eyeless monstrosities, plummeting to the ground and dropping his sword. Blunderingly picking his weapon up with shaking hooves, he looked towards his otherworldly oppressor with utmost dread, as tears of desperation began running down his face. Knowing he stood no chance against his foe, the stallion closed his eyes and said a silent prayer to Princess Celestia, wishing for a swift death. Moments later, he heard the creature's ghastly howl as it leaped towards him, lunging at his throat with its deformed teeth.
The sound of shattering crystals then echoed across the battlefield, as the rhythmic march of the dark army of the Crystal Empire stopped. Surprised that he was still able to breathe, the frightened stallion found the courage to open his eyes, only to witness the creature's rotting corpse in front of him. Its body had been sliced cleanly in two and the dark crystals which covered it had dispersed into thousands of minuscule shards. He then heard a voice which filled his young heart with hope and lifted the spirits of the entire Equestrian army, "Remember your duty soldiers. Stand your ground! We shall not let the shadow win this day. Put your faith in the light!"
Out of Canterlot's gate, its most prolific defender had appeared: general Golden Aegis. The general had defended Canterlot for more than fifty years and was an unmatched military commander and warrior, having had his skills tested in more than one hundred battles. Although many have said the pegasus should have retried years ago, Golden Aegis refused to permanently sheath his sword. Despite his age, his tall and elegant body was adorned with muscles and complimented by a shining golden armor and a massive shield strapped to his left foreleg. Throughout the years, his once light blue fur had become darker, and his mane and beard had become grey. In his right fore-hoof he wielded a board-sword made of pure gold, with a blade as wide as pony. With one swing of this magnificent weapon he was able to shatter the repulsive abomination to bits. He appeared as a shiny beacon of hope for the Equestrians, bringing with him a squad of elite soldiers, all ready to die before allowing the enemy to set one hoof in their beloved city.
Inspired by the presence of such a hero, a fresh sense of hope and honor blossomed in the hearts of the royal guards, who grasped their weapons tightly and pressed their hooves firmly into the ground.
Lifting his sword high up into the air, Golden Aegis addressed the enemy, "Have you come here seeking to find a defenseless city? The only thing you shall find … is your end! Before you stand the armies of Canterlot, and we fight with the blessings of the princesses themselves! We are all prepared to perish a hundred times before we let anything happen to them. We shall purge your filth from our lands and send you crawling back to the shadows from which you came. This city has stood for thousands of years …"
Before he could finish his speech, the half severed body of a royal guard flew through the air and landed a few feet in front of Golden Aegis, and a deep dark voice boomed across the battlefield, "And it shall fall while under your protection!"
The Equestrian army looked towards the horizon and saw the enemy soldiers sculling left and right, making room for somepony to pass. The soldiers' legs shook as the air seemed to grow thick with the very stench of death itself and the skies darkened. Suddenly, Sombra, the king of the Crystal Empire, emerged in front of his troops, his demonic green eyes fixated upon the royal guards. An arrogant smile adorned his face, his pitch black mane and elegant red cape fluttering in the wind, while he took slow steps towards the general.
Upon seeing the monarch out in the open, Golden Aegis clutched his sword with both fury and passion, as he had secretly been hoping for a shot at Sombra. Lifting his head high, the general addressed his opponent, "Sombra, you are a blight which we shall purge from this world! The blood of hundreds of Equestrians stains your hooves. You hid in your castle while others fought for you and even now you cringe behind your soldiers. Come forth coward, fight me and face your justice!"
Sombra's only reaction was a condensing huff, as he reached for the ground and tore off a piece of his own shadow, shaping it into a black scythe. Twirling it around, he addressed the royal Canterlot army, "Many have indeed died in this war … and many more will. Your city's fate is inevitable! Should you stand against me, your end will be gruesome and agonizing. However, if you lower your weapons and surrender, I might be considerate enough to grant you a most generous gift ... a quick death!"
Numerous Equestrian soldiers shook their heads in doubt, cringed by the cruelty displayed by the barbarous Sombra, while others spat in disgust, unwilling to give in to the king's threats.
Golden Aegis paid no heed to Sombra's taunts. He just stood his ground and signaled his troops to do the same. Experience had taught him that a short temper was one of the most exploitable flaws a soldier could have.
Unfortunately for him, some of the stallions under his command did not share this knowledge and, in the heat of the moment, decided to make their mark upon history. With ravenous bravado, they charged forward, yelling atop of their lungs, "Your reign of terror ends today!" Ignoring their commander's orders, they attacked Sombra head on, hoping to bring the conflict to an end with just a swing of their maces.
Pleased to see his enemies display such an amateurish behavior, Sombra easily dodged one of the attacks and used his scythe to block the others. Demonstrating impressive combat skills, the king then swung his weapon, aiming directly for the weakest portion of the soldiers' armors: their joints. In a split second, the stallions fell to the ground, crippled by pain, not able to move their legs. With two more slashes of his dark scythe, the king took their heads and left them broken and dead.
The Equestrian army watched with horror as their comrades fell before Sombra's wrath. Unwilling to share the same fate, they obeyed the general and held their position, refusing to break formation.
After menacingly licking the blood clean off his blade, Sombra gazed at Golden Aegis in the same way a hawk stares at its unwitting pray, and abruptly lunged himself at demonic speed towards the pegasus. The king's troops remained behind, apparently entertained by their master's dauntlessness.
In preparation for the attack, the general ordered four of his most bulky lieutenants to form a shield-wall, while the other ponies were given the signal to take several steps back.
Sombra's speed and strength were supernatural. In what seemed like mere moments he had reached his target and struck the shields with such force that he put a dent in the metal. Noticing that the lieutenants were still standing, the king lit up his red horn and summoned sharp crystal spikes from the ground which pierced through the shields, shattering them to pieces.
Hoping to go on the offensive, the four ponies lashed onto Sombra, but he created a red force field around himself and pushed his attackers right off, sending them flying several yards away.
Taking advantage of the current situation, Golden Aegis silently signaled some of his elite soldiers to go around the back, thus creating a circle around the king. In order to distract Sombra, the pegasus commanded his archers to fire a volley of arrows towards him.
Unimpressed, Sombra conjured a wall of black flames in front of him, which singed the projectiles.
Despite the gravity of the situation, Golden Aegis donned a smile, realizing his plan had worked. The brash Sombra had charged in hastily on his own, and now the army of Canterlot was all around him. The king had nowhere to run.
Pointing his sword towards Sombra, the general threatened, "Your arrogance has proven to be your undoing Sombra. Look around you! The armies of Canterlot are everywhere. You have fallen into my trap. There is no escape. Surrender, you are surrounded!"
Analyzing the battlefield, Sombra witnessed that Golden Aegis was telling the truth; he was indeed circled by the Equestrian army. Still, not one soldier would take a step towards him. Gazing into their eyes, he saw the terror which lingered in their hearts, betrayed by their shaking hooves and the drops of nervous sweat dripping from their foreheads.
Pointing his scythe towards Golden Aegis, Sombra replied, "All I am surrounded by is fear … and dead ponies!" With draconic determination, the king charged towards the old pegasus, preparing to end his life.
Seeing his foe approaching, Golden Aegis readied his shield and prepared to block the attack, but, much to his surprise, instead of attacking him, Sombra quickly shifted direction and charged towards the left striking down an unsuspecting soldier with a single blow. As the other nearby ponies swung their swords and spears towards Sombra, he utilized his dark magic to sprout several tenebrous tentacles from his shadow which wrapped around himself, forming a crystal cocoon which protected him from the incoming attacks.
Unwilling to miss out on any of the carnage, the army of the Crystal Empire marched forward, rushing towards the location of their king.
Hearing his troops closing in, Sombra shattered his crystal cocoon, sending out a wave of razor-sharp shards which pierced through the nearby Equestrian soldiers. He then spun around with his scythe, carving through the armor of three nearby royal guards.
Golden Aegis ordered the ponies stationed on the walls to fire the ballistae at the enemy army, but before his troops could act, they were attacked by the Crystal's Empire pegasi which overran the battlements and engaged them in close-range combat. The ponies on the ground were doing their best trying to hold back the bulk of Sombra's soldiers, but despite their fervor and tenacity, it was a fight they could not win.
As the battle raged on, a vicious crystal pony jumped towards Golden Aegis, thrusting his dirk towards the old stallion's throat. After easily blocking the attack, the general ended his opponent's life with a single swing of his massive broad-sword, severing the crystal pony's torso in two.
Seeing that his comrades were outnumbered and outmatched, Golden Aegis knew that there was only one way out of this. Fixating his gaze upon King Sombra, the pegasus prepared to engage in combat with the tyrant, because killing him was the only way in which he could end the conflict with an Equestrian victory.
Flapping his wings, Golden Aegis dashed into the air with tremendous speed and flew towards Sombra, swinging his weapon down upon the king's head. Without even flinching, Sombra lifted his black scythe and intercepted the general's blade with his own, stopping it mere inches from his forehead.
Shaking his head in disbelief, Golden Aegis took a few steps back and gasped in awe, "That is impossible … I have crumbled entire walls with a swing of my sword. How can your weapon withstand such an impact?"
Smiling sadistically, Sombra playfully pointed at his scythe and responded, "Shadow-steel is far more stubborn than stone. Allow me to demonstrate!"
With that, Sombra lunged himself towards the old pegasus and aimed for his head. Noticing the attack, Golden Aegis parried it with his sword.
A mischievous grin appeared on Sombra's face, witnessing his enemy doing exactly as he had anticipated. Knowing that both Golden Aegis's massive sword and shield had to weigh a lot and realizing that, even with all of his strength, the general would not be able to react fast enough, the king quickly lifted his left foreleg and summoned a shadow-steel claw out of thin air, aiming it towards the old pegasus's heart.
Golden Aegis watched in horror as the weapon pierced his golden armor as if it was nothing, and made its way into his ventricle. Staring at Sombra with utmost hatred, the general wanted to lower his foreleg and slice the king in two, but found himself unable to feel any of his limbs. He suddenly sensed that he could not breathe anymore, and his gaze grew darker and darker.
Taking vicious delight in his opponent's agony, Sombra began slowly twisting the claw in the wound, snickering at the general's inability to react. Approaching his snout to Golden Aegis's ear, Sombra taunted the old pegasus one last time, "You thought your gold would protect you, but for your foolishness you have paid the iron price!"
After guarding the kingdom for more than half a century, the old stallion's watch had ended. Facing his enemy, Golden Aegis tried to curse the foul monarch one last time, but was unable to spew anything other than grunts of pain. As blood dripped down his shining armor, the pegasus fell to his knees and closed his eyes, leaving this world the same way in which he had spent most of his life: in battle.
The royal army watched in horror as their commander dropped to the ground. His once glistening golden armor, which had radiated hope for more than a hundred battles, was now shattered and covered in perfectly perpendicular streams of blood, representing one of Sombra's most sadistic works of art.
Despite the loss of their beloved leader, the general's remaining lieutenants refused to give in, and kept fighting back, determined not to let Canterlot fall. "Do not give up! The battle is not lost yet. Think of your families, think of your foals. We must protect them!"
The other soldiers didn't share their optimism. Horrified by the fall of their battle commander and unable to cope with the unstoppable black tide of crystal ponies, most of the royal army could not find the strength to carry on. Many started to flee, either desperately heading towards Canterlot's main gate, begging their colleagues to open it and let them return into the city or trying to make a run for it. Others just dropped their weapons and knelt, pleading for mercy from their opponents, only to receive a violent death at their hooves.
With insidious joy in his black heart, Sombra set his sights on the final barrier that lay between him and his prize: the great gates of Canterlot city.
Witnessing that they had secured their objective, Sombra's three commanders approached him, and the hulkish earth pony inquired, "Shall I order these maggots to chop down a tree and make a battering ram so we can crush this puny door, my lord?"
Pointing towards the sky, the slender pegasus mare interrupted, "It would be much easier for my pegasi to fly above and try to take control of the gate from the other side. We could then open it and let our forces through."
With a cold monotone, the sword-wielding unicorn proposed, "Digging under the gate might be the fastest way."
Shaking his head, Sombra dismissed the suggestions, "Save your forces' strength. They shall need it when we invade the city. Since I am the king, it is only fitting that I open the gates myself."
Looking around, Sombra could see Equestrian soldiers fleeing, terrified of what was about to happen to them. He could sense their desperation, he could taste their fear and he could feel his dark powers growing. Determined to shatter the barrier, Sombra began channeling shadow magic into his horn. Feeding off the misery and pain which surrounded him, he conjured a massive energy beam which he fired at Canterlot's great gate, fracturing it to pieces.
The explosion made a sound so powerful, it echoed throughout the entire capitol, signaling that its darkest hour had arrived. Upon seeing their city's final defense tumbling, the ponies inside began running for their lives. Soldiers abandoned their post, scuttling towards the barracks, unprepared for the evil which they faced. Stallions and mares rushed frantically to the others part of town, grabbing whatever they could carry.
With a demented glee in his eyes, Sombra gazed at the city which would soon be his. A shining jewel of elegance and beauty, Canterlot was ripe for the taking. Staring towards the horizon, he fixated his sights upon his ultimate prize: the royal castle, the bastion of his two most hated enemies. Behind him, the army of the Crystal Empire followed, screaming like mad as they fantasized about what carnage they would soon bring upon the helpless ponies which dwelled within.
Gathering his generals, Sombra commanded, "Rolling Thunder, I order you to take the Tenebras and secure the western portion of the city. Crush any resistance you encounter and do not let anypony escape! Iron Brand, go with the Penumbras and secure the east. Silent Night, since you are the fastest, take the Dagas Obscuras and fly towards the north. Get there as quickly as possible and seal off any escape paths. We cannot have our guests leaving the party!"
The commanders bowed their heads and rushed to execute their master's orders, alongside the several hundreds of soldiers which poured through the shattered gate.
A torrent of crystal ponies swept through the streets of the once tranquil city, swiftly dispatching any opponents brave or foolish enough to stand in their way. A wicked symphony of screams and lament filled the alleys, accompanied by the sharp sound of steel clashing against steel.
With utmost clam, Sombra made slow yet steady steps towards Canterlot Castle, enthusiastically twirling his scythe through the air, anxious to once again meet the princesses muzzle to muzzle.
Hectic hoof-steps and panicked voices could be heard throughout the castle, as the servants and nobles rushed to escape, knowing that it wouldn't be long before the enemy would barge in through the doors. The once opulent and impeccable hallways of the castle were now teeming with discarded papers, fallen suits of armor, abandoned books and other such paraphernalia.
With a look of extreme fear in his eyes and barely drawing a breath, the royal advisor raced towards the throne room, desperate to reach the princesses. Fighting to make his way against the wave of fleeing stallions and mares, he pushed on with ferocious determination.
Upon reaching his destination, he hastily flung open the doors, gasping desperately for air before proceeding to address the alicorn sisters, "My princesses, the town has been attacked and the invaders are making their way here. You have to flee Canterlot and get to safety."
After rubbing his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming, he was left speechless by the sight which greeted them. It was an image nopony had seen in more than a thousand years: the princesses clad in battle armor, holding their weapons high and donning a warrior's look on their faces.
Celestia's golden tunic shone as bright as sunlight, melding perfectly together with her helmet. Her hoof-plates were so sharp they pierced the very floor of the palace. In her fore-hooves she held one of the greatest weapons ever forged: the spear Solarion, the Fury of the Sun, said to have been crafted from an ancient metal in the very heat of the shining star itself.
Luna's attire contrasted and complemented her sister's marvelously. The mare's ebony and blue fur was protected by a sleek dark armor, forged from a unique mix of black silver and onyx. Her helmeted possessed a peculiar accessory: a sharp silver horn, parallel to her own. Thin yet sturdy platinum leggings protected her limbs without hindering her mobility. In her hooves lay the magnificent long-sword Nightingale, the Whisper in the Dark, lean as a piece of paper yet strong enough to cut through steel as if it were butter.
Shaking his head in disbelief, the royal advisor pleaded, "Your highnesses, what are you doing? You cannot hope to fight these monsters. You have to run!"
With a serious tone, Celestia responded, "Are you expecting us to flee without a fight. If we abandon our city and our subjects in their time of need, what right do we have to rule?"
Giving her sister a look of admiration, Luna continued, "These vandals attacked our homes and killed our brothers and sisters. For their transgressions, they shall pay dearly. We will not let Sombra defile our beloved Equestria!"
Cringing his teeth and tearing his mane out in frustration, the advisor insisted, "But, princesses, there's hundreds of soldiers out there. Nopony knows where they came from or how they got here, but they have already seized half the town. If they manage to capture you two …"
Gazing at her spear, Celestia interrupted, "Let them just try! If they are foolish enough to take us on, they will face the full fury of the Sun and Moon. This war will be over by the end of the day!"
Refusing to listen to any more suggestions, the sisters marched forward, heading towards the entrance of the castle with raging courage shining in their hearts. From outside, they could hear the woes of their subjects, as their beloved city was besieged.
Enraged, Luna protested, "For every blow they deal, we shell retaliate with a hundred."
Donning a cold smile, Celestia added, "Hell hath no fury like a mare scorned … let alone two!"
Giving her sibling a stern yet affectionate look, Luna lovingly put her foreleg on Celestia's shoulder and proclaimed, "So much time has passed since we were on the battlefield together. Whatever happens out there, know that there is no pony else I would rather have by my side! Come dear sister, let's see what these cowards are made of and …"
Before Luna could finish her sentence, the front door of the castle burst into pieces and a thunderous boom echoed across the main hallway. A thick cloud of smoke and dust came in from the outside, obscuring the sisters' view.
Eager to engage the enemy, the princesses grasped their weapons firmly and awaited for the horde of invaders to pour in, but, much to their surprise, and eerie still was all that greeted them. Keeping their vigil, Celestia and Luna shared concerned looks as they waited for the smoke to clear.
Suddenly, the silence was broken, and a sinister voice filled the room … an all too familiar voice, "How long has it been? A thousand years, maybe more? Too long, far too long. I owe you two and important debt, which I intend to repay in full!"
In the next moment, the princesses' most hated enemy trotted in through the shattered door of the palace. Much to their surprise, Sombra was alone.
Even though Celestia felt appalled by Sombra's arrogance, she could not help but thank her lucky stars for this opportunity. This was their best chance to slay him and end the war. Pointing her spear towards the king, Celestia exclaimed, "Sombra, you should have cowered in your dark castle and accepted your fate, it would have been much easier for you. The atrocities you have committed will not go unpunished. You will regret ever coming here!"
Giving Celestia a condescending look, Sombra replied, "On the contrary, just seeing your angelic eyes makes the entire trip worthwhile. Long have I waited ... to extinguish their light, PERMANENTLY!"
Drawing upon his dark powers, Sombra conjured two razor-sharp crystal bolts which he launched straight at the sisters' throats.
Acting on instinct, Luna yelled, "Look out," and swung her sword with enviable agility, shattering them to pieces.
In the very next instant, a piercing shriek roared through the corridor as a jolt of abyssal lightning headed towards the princess of the night. Realizing there was not enough time to react, Luna let out a gasp of frustration and lowered her head, hoping to absorb some of the blast with her helmet.
As she braced for impact, Luna heard her sister's voice, "Don't worry, I've got this."
Gazing forward, she saw Celestia had cast a force field around them. When the bolt hit it, it got reflected into three smaller blasts, which flew across the hallway, creating deep cracks in the floor and walls of the grand corridor and causing the room to shake.
Sporting a patronizing smile, Sombra applauded sarcastically and addressed the princesses in a mocking tone, "I see you haven't lost your touch. Delightful. I was actually hoping this would be a challenge!"
Disgusted by how lightly her opponent seemed to be taking the fight, Celestia lashed out, "You dare mock us, you mangy cur!"
Lifting an eyebrow, Sombra retorted, "Now, now my dear, there is no need for such vulgar language. It is unbefitting of a princess. If you insist on hurting me, do so with your weapons, not your words!"
With a cold grin, Luna commented, "Gladly," and immediately flew into the air and lunged at Sombra, pointing her sword directly at his chest.
Moving at demonic speed, Sombra dashed out of the way and swung his scythe in retaliation, only for Luna to block it with her blade.
Looking his left, the king saw Celestia charging towards him, spear-in-hoof. Reaching for his shadow, Sombra tore off another small bit and then brought it near the base his scythe. As it touched the weapon, the small shade began to shift, materializing into another blade, offering the king a double-edged reaper. Surrounded by the two sisters, Sombra spun his scythe, masterfully blocking their incoming attacks. Demonstrating enviable skill, he continued to fight, with one end of his weapon defending against Luna's flurry of blade swings and with the other, blocking the strong attacks from by Celestia's spear.
Noticing that their attacks could not get passed Sombra's defenses, Celestia began gathering prismatic energy into her horn. Anticipating what was about to follow, Sombra sneered mischievously as he quickly teleported away. In the very next moment Celestia launched a solar burst, which, much to her frustration, only succeeded in singing the floor.
Appearing several yards away, Sombra taunted, "That was predictable. You used the same spell the last time we fought as well. Have your skills not improved at all in over a thousand years? Perhaps this battle will actually do you some good."
Furious, Celestia replied, "There is one good thing which will come out of it, your death!"
From her horn, Celestia released three glowing orbs. Imbued with light magic, the projectiles flew through the air in a chaotic spiral pattern, as they made their way towards Sombra.
With supreme clam, the king waited until one of the orbs was a few inches away from him and then quickly slid backwards, sneering as he saw the sphere hit the floor. Noticing the second one coming in fast from above, Sombra quickly conjured a shadow bolt and flung it towards the incoming threat. As the two orbs made contact in midair, their opposite magical essence nullified each other and both of them dissipated. Setting his sights on the final prismatic sphere, incoming from the left, Sombra realized he had no time to cast another spell, so he swung his scythe, deflecting the attack. Celestia's orb flew towards the top of the room, hitting one of the opulent chandeliers attached to the ceiling, sending it tumbling down over the king's location. With great agility, Sombra rolled on the floor and avoid the impact, mere moments before the chandelier smashed onto the ground.
After surviving Celestia's spell untouched, Sombra donned a grimace of condescendence, felling practically invincible. However, while his focus had been on avoid the orbs, Luna had been preparing her own attack. She had conjured three magical circles, situated one in front of the other, which channeled air through them at an impressive speed, creating a wind tunnel. With gale-force on her side, Luna lunged forward like a black arrow, with her sights set on the vicious king.
As the princess dashed past him, she swung Nightingale at his chest, cutting clean through Sombra's silver armor and creating a sharp cut into his torso.
Gasping with pain, Sombra lifted his hoof and touched the wound, his eyes filling with pure rage as he felt the blood running down his abdomen.
The king's groan was music to Luna's ears. Gazing with pride at the red liquid dripping from her sword, Luna threatened her opponent, "Next time, I shall aim for your throat!"
No longer amused, Sombra's look and posture had changed. The demented sparkle in his eyes was now replaced by a tranquil yet calculating stare. The patronizing smirk was gone, and in its place stood an enviable poker-face.
Grasping his scythe tightly, Sombra lauded the princesses. "Well struck! You are indeed very powerful and cunning. I can see why your subjects venerate you so much; they practically worship you like goddesses. Tell me … do you goddesses bleed?"
Surprised by the king's statement yet unwilling to partake in his deceitful games, Celestia and Luna simply refused to respond and pointed their weapons towards Sombra, anxious to strike in tandem.
With a grim tone, Sombra replied to his own question, "You will!"
In the next instant Sombra lunged himself high into air, keeping his sight focused on his two enemies. Drawing upon one of his most insidious abilities, Sombra admonished, "Let's see how powerful you are when the light abandons you. Behold ... infinite darkness."
The king's shadow began to expand, tenebrous tentacles spreading out of it and engulfing the entire room in a pitch-black blanket. In what seemed like an instant, every single sparkle of light disappeared, and the hallway became darker than black.
Having had one of her five senses rendered useless, Celestia could feel her heart thundering in her chest. Unused to fighting like this, and bewildered by the extent of Sombra's shadow magic, she protested, "What foul sorcery is this?"
Drawing on the magic of the Sun, Celestia channeled all the prismatic energy she could muster into her horn, creating a luminescent beacon with which she tried to pierce the darkness. Much to her horror, even with all her power, the light she had created barely allowed her to see a few feet away. Feeling afraid, she turned to her sister, "Luna, can you see anything?"
"Only you, nothing else," replied Luna, as she clenched her sword tightly and waited. Having been surrounded by darkness most of her life, Luna was nowhere near as scared as Celestia, but even she had to admit she had never witnessed such absolute obscurity. Gazing at her sister, Luna herself began feeling doubt when she noticed how Celestia's look of determination and shifted into a confused stare.
Suddenly, Sombra's voice whispered from across the room, "You are afraid … good!"
Trying to pinpoint the origin of the sound, Luna rapidly fired a crescent-moon-shaped bolt towards one of the corners of the hallway but, much to her dismay, the only thing she hit was a shade.
A mischievous laugh echoed through the chamber, as Sombra spoke once again, this time from behind the two sisters, "No, not over there, over here."
Tired of her enemy's taunts, Celestia spun around and released an arcane torrent, hoping to wipe Sombra off the face of the world. However, just as before, all that the spell hit was a shadowy decoy.
Letting out an irritated huff as she felt a volcano of rancor building up in her guts, Celestia forcefully tapped the floor with her fore-hoof as she continued to illuminate different parts of the room, hoping to find her foe, but to no avail.
Moments later, another sound appeared, "I am over here." Before any of the sisters could even react, Sombra's voice rung again, this time from the opposite corner of the hallway, "Also over here." An instant later, three more sinister echoes pierced the ears of the alicorns, "Here … over here," "I am right here," "Behind you!"
As drips of nervous sweat ran down her forehead, Luna spun around aimlessly, a mix of confusion and timidity displayed on her visage. A few minutes ago, confidence shone in her heart. Now hesitation clouded her mind, as it seemed she and her sister were surrounded by an endless number of foes. Frustrated, she cried out, "Where are you, you monster?"
A tenebrous echo resonated in the room, as all the shadows hiding in the darkness responded in unison, "I'm EVERYWHERE!"
Sombra rubbed his fore-hooves together and perversely licked his lips, as he gazed with sinister delight at the confused sisters, from the dark corner in which he was patiently lurking, delighted to see that his shadow clones were proving to be the perfect decoys. Anxious to repay the princesses for wounding him, he conjured two crystal shards and launched them towards his foes.
As the razor-sharp projectiles tore through their flesh, scratching their legs, Luna and Celestia could barely contain their cries of pain, as their hearts sank deeper and deeper into a pit of despair.
Seeing how perfidiously efficient her enemy's tactics were and irked at how ineffective her countermeasures had proven to be, Celestia grinned her teeth so forcefully they almost cracked. Casting away patience and logic, she let out a violent yell and began firing solar beams left and right, aiming chaotically, hoping to eventually hit Sombra.
Luna tried to reach out to her sister, urging her to calm down, but Celestia seemed unwilling to listen. All Luna could do was to be an unwilling spectator at her sibling's tumultuous spectacle of exasperation. Realizing that if this continued Sombra would eventually win, Luna closed her eyes and began to focus, thinking back to the many challenges she had faced when patrolling the night skies. Suddenly, a cocky smile appeared on her face, as a brilliant idea crossed her mind.
Turning towards her sister, Luna yelled, "Celestia, please lower the light!"
Celestia's frustrations grew exponentially, as the stew of rage and malice brewing in her heart was now seasoned with confusion. Unable to understand the logic behind her sister's request, she protested, "Are you serious? We will be completely blind!"
With a brash sneer and conceited stare, Luna retorted, "Have you forgotten that you are talking to the princess of the night?"
Despite her bewilderment, Celestia felt herself calming down, as her sister radiated confidence with the tone of her answer. Putting all her faith in Luna, Celestia did exactly as her sister had asked, hoping that whatever plan she had hatched would prove to be effective.
Surrounded once again by complete darkness and absolute silence, Luna closed her eyes and listened. Having had to face numerous foes during her nightly patrols, she had learned to use all of her five sense in battle.
From his hiding place, Sombra felt his heart pump with delight, as his enemies seemed to be giving up. Wishing to strike the final blow, he began summoning two extremely sharp shadow-steel daggers.
As Sombra's dark magic twisted the matter around him and formed the blades, Luna's ears twitched. In the grim tranquility of the pitch-black hallway, Luna's keen hearing had picked up Sombra's aggressive heartbeat and rapid breaths. Pinpointing his location, Luna firmly grasped her sword and began taking slow but steady steps.
Much to the king's delight, Luna had turned his back on him, and was walking in the opposite direction from where he was hiding. Drooling with satisfaction, Sombra grabbed one of the blades and threw it towards Luna's back, tickled pink with the poetic irony of hitting her in such a spot with a dagger.
As she heard the weapon flying through the air, Luna stopped walking, overjoyed that her plan had worked. Turning around, the princess swung her sword and shattered the projectile, much Sombra's dismay. In the very next instant, she aggressively turned her head directly towards the spot the king was hiding in, gazing at him like a vicious predator. Using her telekinesis, she guided Nightingale through the air at great speed, aiming it at her enemy.
Puzzled to realize he had been discovered, Sombra did his best to dodge the attack, but had little time to react, as the sharp blade tore through his leg-plate and scratched his foreleg.
Turning towards her sister, Luna shouted, "Celestia, aim under the stained glass window with Nightmare Moon on it!"
Without hesitation, Celestia let out an immense solar beam towards the spot her sibling had indicated. She had walked through this hallway a million times before and knew exactly where everything was, despite the pitch-black shroud blanketing the room.
Sombra dropped his scythe and looked in horror at the burst of energy heading towards him. His instinct was to use his shadow speed and dodge, but as the put pressure on his foreleg in order to run, the fresh wound he had received took its toll, and he found himself unable to flee. Not knowing what else to do, he lowered his head and braced for impact.
Sensing its master was in danger, Sombra's shadow refused to let the king fall. Tearing itself off the walls of the grand hallway, it wrapped itself around Sombra as fast as it could, creating a crystal cocoon.
As the sunburst hit, it singed much of the protective barrier, but failed to completely shatter it.
The infinite darkness which had taken hold of the room was now dispelled, and the pristine light of day once again shone through the marvelous stained glass and touched the princesses' faces. Pride glistened in their hearts, as the sisters gazed before them and saw a smoldering crystal shell.
Anxious to finally end it, Luna leaped forward and used her magic to levitate Nightingale back into her forelegs. Letting out a fearsome yell, she swung her sword with immense passion, shattering the cocoon. As the dark crystal broke into a thousand pieces and crumbled to the floor, it revealed only the half-singed mantle of the shadow king.
With a mixture of hope and worry in her voice, Celestia asked, "Is he dead?"
Gazing at the remains, Luna saw no blood, bone or ash. Frowning, she asserted, "I don't think so. Be on the alert dear sister!"
The two alicorns grasped their weapons tightly and soared into the air, analyzing their surroundings with great vigil, knowing the battle was far from over.
Suddenly, Luna noticed an adumbral serpent, crawling onto the floor, slithering for the exit. Knowing it had to be Sombra's shadow-form, she yelled "Over there!" and lunged at it with her sword. "Sombra, you cannot escape justice!"
Suddenly, the eyes of the shadowy serpent began glowing green, as they were fixated upon Luna. The room began to shake and a giant crystal pillar erupted from the ground, plunging towards the two sisters. As it aggressively pushed forwards, it brushed passed Luna at tremendous speed, violently knocking her down onto the floor.
Seeing the massive crystal heading towards her, Celestia struck it with her spear, but that failed to stop its brutal advance. As her weapon was knocked away, she watched helplessly as the crystal continued to expand. The tip of the ragged pillar pushed against her armor, pinning the alicorn next to a wall. Caught between a literal rock and hard place, Celestia pushed back into the wall and struck the crystal pillar with her hooves, trying to break free, but was unable to shatter it.
While she squirmed, Sombra materialized himself on top of the pillar, mere inches away from her face. Enjoying his enemy's predicament, the king gloated, "The guardian angels of Canterlot, about to be vanquished in their own heaven."
Now willing to give in, Celestia protested, "Your threats are empty Sombra. Shadows always fade in the light," but the nervous sweat running down her brow and the doubt reflected in her eyes betrayed her true emotions.
Desperate to escape, Celestia tried to conjure a spell and shatter the crystal, but Sombra quickly zapped her, preventing that from happening.
With wicked glee, he grabbed her muzzle with his fore-hoof and kept it steady in place, as he summoned a shadow-steel war-glaive. Staring down upon Celestia, Sombra taunted, "You are trembling … how interesting. It seems that even in the very heart of heaven, angels can still feel fear!"
Luna finally managed to open her eyes and regain consciousness after her impact with the crystal pillar. Shaking her limbs in hopes of relieving the pain coursing through her body, she looked up and saw Celestia's predicament. Refusing to let anything happen to her beloved sister, Luna immediately grabbed Nightingale and teleported near Sombra, blocking his war-glaive with her blade. Desperate to get the fiend away from her sister, she launched a volley of blows against the king.
Barely able to block Luna's agile attacks, Sombra was forced to teleport away, emerging in the middle of the room.
Finally away from Sombra, Celestia drew upon her magical energies and let out a fierce arcane explosion which shattered the crystal pillar.
Determined to end the battle, Luna conjured several ethereal swords which she flung towards her foe. To make sure he could not evade, she pointed Nightingale forward and spiraled towards Sombra, her flight pattern making her nearly impossible to hit.
Knowing a defensive maneuver was needed, Sombra called upon one of the most devastating spells in his arsenal and surrounded himself in a barrier of black flame. When the mystical swords touched it, they were immediately singed. Grinning sadistically, Sombra patiently waited for Luna to share the same fate, as she rushed towards his dark inferno at great speed.
Horrified to see what had happened, Luna tried to flap her wings backwards and stop her descent, but her speed was already too great to avoid the impact. Desperate, she cast a teleportation spell, but without enough time to concentrate on the destination, it shifted her several feet behind Sombra and just a few inches away from the ground. Because of her momentum, she aggressively hit the floor, dropping her sword and tumbling several yards away.
Eyeing Luna like a voracious shark, Sombra lowered the fire-shield and rushed towards her with his war-glaive, anxious to take advantage of her failure.
Concerned, Celestia quickly landed behind Sombra and fired a cosmic wave towards him. As the projectile came inches away from Sombra's back, his shadow seemed to have a mind of its own and grasped his legs, making him fall to ground.
The wave flew over Sombra and hit the unfortunate Luna, just as she was clumsily trying to get up. The blast was so powerful it knocked her helmet right off, flinging the unconscious princess of the night back down on the floor.
Grabbing her mane with her fore-hooves, Celestia shed tear after tear, unable to believe what had happened. With a sobbing voice, she asked, "What have I done? Luna, are you alright?"
Luna did not respond. She just lay motionless of the floor, her scattered mane covering her face.
Thankful for what had happened and unable to believe his luck, Sombra got up and faced Celestia. A sadistic sneer adorned his face, as he stated, "I had no idea you could be this dishonorable Celestia. You would have shot me in the back?"
With a mix of disgust and bewilderment, Celestia inquired, "How did you see that coming?"
Laughing, Sombra pointed towards his shadow and responded, "I didn't ... but my friend here did! And speaking of friends, you have just taken yours out. Such carelessness!"
Huffing angrily, Celestia charged at Sombra with all of her might, pointing her spear directly at his throat. In retaliation, the king swung his glaive and intercepted her attack. As the two weapons clashed, each opponent pressed on as hard as they could, hoping to shatter the other's defense.
Furious, Celestia gazed at Sombra with utmost repugnance, hatred burning in her eyes as she pushed down on Solarion with all her might. Her look was in complete contrast with the clam and cold smile displayed on the king's visage, as he looked back at the princess, staring directly into her eyes. To Celestia, it simply seemed as if Sombra was trying to intimidate her, but, in reality, he had a far more sinister plan.
As Sombra continued to make eye contact with Celestia, his sorcery was working its way through her brain, reading her dark thoughts and amplifying her doubt. Due to the recent tragic event she had unwillingly caused, her heart and mind were plagued by regret and misery.
Suddenly, Celestia began hearing voices in her head, "You hurt her, you monster!"
Puzzled, Celestia shook her head and tried to focus on the battle. Much to her horror, the voices continued, this time louder than before, "You hate your sister! First you banish her and now you try to kill her. You want her dead. You want what she has. You want the Sun and Moon all to yourself!"
Sensing herself going mad, Celestia leaped backwards and surrounded herself with a force field, hoping to make the voices go away. However, it was too late. Sombra's magic had penetrated her mind, and this allowed the king to project dark visions into her head; visions of her killing her own sister, images of Luna sobbing at her feet while Celestia drover her spear through her heart.
With streams of tears running down her face, Celestia covered her ears and yelled, "No … I would never do that. Shut up, shut up! Stop it! Get out of my head!"
Laughing condescendingly, Sombra retorted, "The truth hurts, doesn't it my dear?"
Feeling the world crumbling around her, Celestia drew upon her inner range and let out a tremendous wail "Enough!" Her fury, combined with her unstable state caused the princess's magic to unwillingly conjure a massive solar eruption.
Proud of his accomplishment, Sombra calmly created a black crystal wall, shielding both himself and the unconscious Luna.
After her violent tantrum, Celestia had seemingly regained control of her mind, the dark voices no longer ringing in her head. Drawing heavy breaths to calm down her rapidly beating heart, she pointed at Sombra and threatened, "This time, when I destroy you, there will be NOTHING left!"
Yawning, Sombra retorted, "Don't make promises you cannot keep, sweet princess. You are outmatched … and also outnumbered."
With that, Sombra disappeared for a moment into the shadows, and three identical copies of himself emerged. The king and his shadow clones surrounded Celestia, delighted by her confusion.
Grasping her spear tightly, Celestia cried out, "Your pathetic parlor tricks and illusions will prove useless," as she lunged towards the Sombra on her left.
With one swift blow, she cleaved clean through his armor, but as she struck, the king dissipated into black dust right before her eyes. Her ears twitched as she heard another Sombra lunging towards her from behind. Preparing to turn around and strike, from the corner of her eye she noticed that the third Sombra had begun to channel energy into his horn. Taking a gamble, she ignored the attack from behind and, instead, pointed her horn towards the third copy of the king.
As the second Sombra reached Celestia, he struck her with his war-glaive, only for it to pass right through her body. Smiling, the princess realized that she had made the right choice and released a scorching blaze towards the final clone, knowing it has to be the real one.
Before he could cast his spell, Sombra was struck by blistering flames which burned clean through his armor, singing his flesh. As his demented yells filled the room, Celestia's face donned a smile of satisfaction, as she mockingly proclaimed, "It's better to burn out than fade away."
Practically purring with satisfaction, Celestia gazed with delight while Sombra rolled on the floor in agony, the flames turning his flesh into ashes. She was determined to enjoy every second of his suffering but, much to her dismay, moments later the king vanished before her eyes, turning into a cloud of black dust, just like the other two shadow clones had done.
Celestia's satisfactory grin turned into a gasp of horror, as she realized she had been fooled. What she thought was Sombra had proven to be just another illusion, which had simply pretended to be in agony. Thinking back, she scratched her head and pondered, "How can this be? They were all illusions?"
Suddenly, Sombra appeared behind Celestia, stepping out from the shadows in which he had been hiding. With a wicked tone, he whispered into her left ear, "It seems plenty can be done with petty illusions," before proceeding to blast her with an immense jolt of abyssal lightning, stunning the alicorn and sending her tumbling down on the floor.
The perfidious monarch had shifted into the shadow realm and, instead of coming out himself, he created three illusions which he sent out to fight the princess. While Celestia had been distracted, he had slipped out and quickly cloaked himself, sneaking behind her, waiting for his chance.
And now, he had done it. Both sisters lay motionless on the floor, their weapons scattered and their once pristine armors smudged by the marks of the battle.
Looking at the graceful bodies of his two defeated foes, a slew of perfidious ideas began flowing through Sombra's mind. Licking his lips perversely, the king whispered, "Vae victis."
To prevent Celestia and Luna from being rescued, Sombra encased the unconscious princesses in crystal cages, before proceeding to zap their horns, covering them in tiny crystal shards which hindered their magic. Knowing that he would have time to play with his pray later, Sombra decided to inspect the rest of the castle, hoping to find more nobles he could take as prisoners.
As he trotted around the corridors and chambers of the royal palace, Sombra could not help but marvel at their elegant and welcoming design, in complete contrast to the somber and menacing aspect of his own fortress. Looking around, the king expected to find numerous stallions and mares of royal birth cowering in their rooms, but, much to his disheartenment, Canterlot Castle appeared to be empty.
Staring out a window, he saw a scene which filled his black heart with sadistic pride: his forces were scouring the city, crushing any pony who stood in their way. Crystal Empire soldiers marched through the streets, brutally wounding any royal guard or peace-keeper they came across, confiscating all weapons and forcing everypony else into their homes. The grand opera and theater were burning and many monuments to the princesses and other heroes had been shattered.
Despite his satisfaction, Sombra knew there was no time to celebrate. If he could not somehow seal off the city, the bulk of the Equestrian army would arrive in less than two days and take Canterlot back, undoubtedly taking vengeance upon its occupants.
As he made his way past the royal bedrooms, he stopped for a moment, as he could hear a distinctive rattle. Opening the door, he noticed the sound had gotten stronger. Looking around, he saw a daintily decorated room, overflowing with opulence and boasting a purple and white chromatic. Approaching the bed, he heard a frightened gasp.
Drawing upon his magic, Sombra created a powerful telekinetic wave and directed it beneath the bed, sending the pony which was cowering under it flying through the room. Judging from the aspect of the chamber, the king had expected to find a fair damsel. Much to his surprise, before him stood a white stallion with a blond mane, still wearing silk pajamas despite it being well passed mid-day.
Even though the stallion was a unicorn whose appearance showed signs of royal birth, his attitude was most inappropriate for a noble, as he cowered on the floor and whimpered, spouting unintelligible babble.
In an odd way, Sombra was amused. The way in which the stallion trembled, practically cuddling up like a foal as the king took slow yet heavy steps towards him, was a refreshing change of pace for Sombra, who had just fought one of the hardest battles in his life against two extremely determined opponents.
After conjuring his favorite weapon, the shadow-steel scythe, Sombra began to playfully twirl it around, looking down with condescendence upon his unfortunate pray.
Before Sombra could say anything, the white stallion began sobbing, imploring, "No, no … don't kill me. Please … please … I'm important, please … no!"
Intrigued, Sombra asked, "Really? How important are you?"
Between hiccups, wails and desperate gasps for air, the stallion replied, "I am the prince. You cannot kill a prince … please! It is forbidden by the laws of war. I am the prince and …"
Before his victim could finish his sentence, Sombra brutally picked him up by the mane and slammed him next to the wall, putting the blade of his scythe right next to his throat. Staring the white unicorn dead in the eyes, the king exclaimed, "Any pony who must repeatedly say 'I am the prince' is no true prince."
With his heart thundering in his chest as he felt Sombra's cold steel against his skin, the frightened stallion pleaded, "But I am. I am Blueblood, prince of Equestria …"
Carefully looking at the young pony, Sombra retorted, "Blueblood. Yes … I believe my spies have informed me about Equestria's prince. But, I find it hard to believe that you are him. You don't look much like your mother, princess Celestia, and your attitude …."
Trembling, Blueblood interrupted, "She is not my mother, she is my aunt. I am her closet living relative, you can check the royal records. Please, you have to believe me … I am the prince!"
Laughing arrogantly, Sombra stated, "So, in over a thousand years Celestia could not produce an heir. I don't know what is more pathetic, that absurd fact, or you! Even if you are the prince, I have captured both your aunts and I don't think the ponies of Canterlot care more about you than about them. So tell me … is there any reason why I shouldn't just sink this scythe in your throat right now?"
Upon hearing those words, Blueblood felt the world crumbling around him. Never in his privileged existence had he ever been in danger, let alone in a position where his life was at stake. Filled to the brim with horror, all the prince could do was shiver, as he spat out a pathetic plea, "No … please, I implore you, don't kill me. I'll give you gold, jewels, anything you want, just spare my life. I beg you!"
Unimpressed, Sombra sarcastically proclaimed, "Such generosity … I have always wanted gold and jewels."
Disappointed by how pathetic his prisoner seemed, Sombra pushed his blade further into the prince's throat, creating a small sharp wound on his pristine skin. Relishing Blueblood's increasingly cringe-worthy cries for mercy, the king commented, "I have to go secure the city, and since I cannot find much use for you, I am afraid that I must …"
"I can help you," cried out Blueblood, desperate so save his life.
After a patronizing chuckle, Sombra indulged his victim, "I know I shall regret wasting more time, but how can YOU possibly aid me?"
Struggling to gather his thoughts, yet determined to do anything needed to survive, Blueblood continued, "I can help you secure the city … just please spare my life! I can be useful."
The mixture of contempt and disgust on Sombra's face had now shifted to one of intrigue, as he demanded, "Go on…"
"The city has been under attack before. In order to help protect it, the princesses have created a guardian orb, to defend against outside invaders. Once activated, it will create a magical barrier around Canterlot, shielding it against outside intruders," replied Blueblood.
Much to his surprise, Sombra found this information quite useful. Removing his scythe from the prince's neck, he asked, "Where is this orb located, and how can I use it?"
After rubbing his wound with his fore-hooves, Blueblood retorted, "In the highest tower of Canterlot Castle. It requires a lot of magical energy to activate and it does take time for the force field to form. There is catch though, the barrier works both ways, meaning nopony can get out or it."
Upon hearing the news, Sombra's face lit up with mischievous joy. He could not believe the fortuitous hoof fate had dealt him. This device was exactly what he needed to make sure Canterlot would fall under his grasp. Looking at his victim, the king realized that Blueblood might possess even more valuable information and was not as utterly useless as he had initially thought.
Just as the prince was begging to calm down, Sombra swung his scythe and struck a spot on the wall mere inches away from his throat, clipping away a bit of his mane. The impact was so strong that the weapon's blade pierced clean through the solid stone. Horrified, Blueblood yelled in a high-pitched voice, louder than a frightened filly, and curled up on the floor.
Lowering his head, Sombra threatened, "I will find out if this … orb … actually exists. If you leave this room, or if I discover that you are lying, I will come for you … and when I do, your neck will the least painful place my blade will go in, understand?"
Unable to find the courage to respond, Blueblood merely nodded his head rapidly and continued to sob.
After pulling his scythe out of the wall, the king went directly for the tallest tower, aggressively breaking down any door in his wake. When he finally got there, his eyes lit up as he saw a dark blue orb in the middle of a peculiar room.
Realizing that if he would ever lose control of Canterlot he would lose the war, and very likely his life, Sombra knew what he had to do. Drawing upon all of his remaining power, he fired a massive stream of energy towards the sphere, powering it up.
After the artefact was fully charged, it began blanketing the city in mystical dome, which slowly fell down from the sky, making its way towards the edges of the town. Looking outside, Sombra could see the magical veil spreading across the horizon. Judging from its speed, the king estimated that the barrier needed at least several hours to reach the outer walls of Canterlot, explaining why it could not have been used to protect against his surprise attack. Fortunately for the monarch, time was now on his side.
Going towards the tallest balcony, the place from which Celestia would often address her subjects, Sombra looked down upon the city and relished the thought that he would soon have total dominance over Canterlot.
The king's gambit had worked. He had bet everything on a risky plan, but it had paid off. The city was now his.
Using the king's voice, a spell very similar to the princesses' Canterlot voice, he addresses his newly acquired subjects, "Ponies of Canterlot, rejoice. Your city has joined the glorious Crystal Empire and your benevolent king has graced you with his presence. Should you chose to be wise and cooperate, I shall honor you with mercy. Should you choose stupidity and oppose my forces, I shall smite you all down. If you are still clinging to a false hope of rescue, know this: your princesses are captured and your city will soon be completely impenetrable from the outside. Allow me to welcome you all to the new world order!"
Gazing down upon the once peaceful city, Sombra was overjoyed as he sensed the desperation and anguish of its denizens, negative energies which only served to fuel his dark powers even more. Triumphant, he stepped down and walked back towards the hallway.
Soon, he would have a city to run … but first, there were two mares which he had to take very special care of.
"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
The entire world seemed to be spinning, as Luna opened her eyes, awakening from her unwilling nap. A sharp pain roaring across her body greeted her, as she wobbled around, clumsily trying to get up. The princess let out multiple groans while she rubbed her forehead, hoping to ease the discomfort.
Trying to remember where she was, an image of King Sombra fiercely rushing towards her with his war-glaive flashed before Luna's eyes. Startled, she yelled, "Sombra, we won't let you ..."
The calm voice of her sister interrupted the princess of the night, "Luna, relax. He is not here. We are alone. I am so glad to see that you are finally awake."
Luna glanced around the dark room and saw Celestia looking straight at her with a warm smile on her smudged face. Puzzled, she rubbed her eyes, as she noticed a chain around her sister's neck. Luna tried to approach Celestia but, much to her unpleasant surprise, after she took a few steps forward, she felt her neck being yanked and heard an unsettling metallic rattle. Gazing back, she saw a thick steel collar wrapped around her throat, fixated to the wall with a massive chain.
At that moment, Luna's heart thundered in her chest, as a whirlwind of fear and confusion soared through her mind. Turning towards her sister, she asked, "Celestia, what is going on? Where are we?"
Concerned for her sibling, Celestia retorted, "Calm down dear sister, do not strain yourself. We have to ..."
With nervous sweat dripping down her forehead, the agitated Luna interrupted, "We have to get out of here right now!" Tugging on her chain with all her might, she sensed her frustrations growing exponentially, as her efforts proved in vain. "Come on ... snap already!"
Visibly disturbed, Celestia intervened, "Luna, stop that! You'll only hurt yourself. Could you please just ..."
Refusing to listen to her sister, Luna continued to desperately fight against her bindings. Realizing she was making no progress, her mind turned to the one source of undeniable power alicorns possessed. "How can you just stand there sister? Let's use our magic to ..."
Celestia's eyes widened with concern upon seeing what her sibling was about to do. Pointing her fore-hoof towards Luna, she begged, "No! Luna, don't try to cast any spells or ..."
Celestia's pleas fell on deaf years, as the stubborn Luna began channeling energy into her horn, hoping to blast the chain to pieces. Before she could conjure even the faintest spell, Luna felt a painful jolt coursing through her entire body. Caught by surprise, she let out a high-pitched yell, much to her sister's horror. Puzzled, she inquired, "What just happened? Never mind, I'll try again ..."
Huffing angrily, Celestia demanded, "You mustn't do that. Just calm down and ..."
Just as before, Luna refused to heed her sister's advice and attempted to cast another spell. This time, an even more intense shockwave surged through all of her muscles, causing the headstrong mare to fall to the ground. Out of irritation more than curiosity, she asked "How can this be?"
Moments later, she felt a sharp pain resonating through her horn. Worried, Luna moved her fore-hoof above her head and touched it, but what she discovered made her frustration turn to horror; she noticed tiny crystals attached to her horn, which seemed to borrow through it. Disturbed, she cried out, "What ... what is wrong with my horn? Maybe I can rip these things out ..."
Noticing the continuous harm Luna was causing to herself, Celestia yelled atop of her lungs, "Could you just shut up for five seconds and listen to me?"
The scream was so powerful, it echoed throughout the small room for more than a minute. Its tone was so brash that it finally managed to catch the attention of the stubborn Luna. Shocked, she turned towards her sister and noticed her irritated grunt. Surprisingly, instead of becoming even more terrified or concerned, Luna felt herself calming down. Seeing Celestia like this reminded her of when they were fillies, since her big sister would often have to resort to yelling to stop her wild shenanigans.
For the first time since she had woken up, Luna could think clearly. Looking around the room, she noticed they were in one of the jail cells in Canterlot Castle. Realizing she should listen to her sister, Luna sat down on her flank and gazed at Celestia, a distinct look of guilt appearing on her face. With an apologetic tone, she stated, "Forgive me Tia, it's just that ..."
Upon hearing those words, Celestia's grunt turned back into a warm smile. Delighted to see that her sister had finally listened to reason, she pleaded, "It's alight Lulu. Please, don't try to cast any more spells. The more you use your magic, the deeper those dark crystals will sink in and the more it will hurt. That chain is not going anywhere either. Believe me, I've tried. Let's just come down for now. We have to think about our next move?"
Unsure of what had transpired, Luna asked, "Next move? How did we even get here? What happened to Sombra? Is the city safe?"
Upon hearing those questions, Celestia lowered her head and huffed heavily, a salty tear falling from her right eye. With a trembling voice, she gave a hesitant answer, "Luna, I am so sorry, but I have failed. Sombra got the better of me and we both wound up here."
Still curious, Luna continued, "How did he defeat us? The last thing I remember was him charging towards me, and then ... a bright light. Nothing else."
Celestia remained silent for a moment, avoiding her sister's gaze. Deep inside, she blamed herself for what had happened. Between timid sobs, she managed to muster a response, "It was all my fault. I launched a foolish attack and he dodged, so I hurt you by mistake. After that he, he ... he just had stronger magic and defeated me."
Her sister's tears did not coerce Luna into feeling any sorrow or mercy, only annoyance. Grinding her teeth and stomping the floor with her hooves, she lashed out, "And now you chose to sit here and cry about it. Our subjects need us. Help me break loose and we can ..."
With a bleak tone, Celestia claimed, "It's pointless. The best thing we can do is ..."
Upon hearing her sister speak like that, Luna felt a torrent of rage gushing through her guts. With an irritated tone, she accused, "Pointless, how can you give up without even trying? It is ..."
Before Luna could say another word, Celestia looked at her like an angry mother at her misbehaving foal and yelled, "Do you really think I haven't tried?"
Unlike before, this time Celestia's harsh answer did not calm her sister down. Luna felt genuine remorse as she saw her silbing's expression, unable to recall the last time she had seen her this mad. Acknowledging she might have stepped over the line, Luna immediately shut up, humbly bowing her head, offering her sister a silent apology.
An unsavory stew of regret and asperity simmered inside Celestia's heart. She had no intention of making her beloved sister feel upset, yet given the gravity of their current predicament, she had been forced to react in such a way. After wiping away her tears, Celestia declared, "I am sorry Lulu, I should not have yelled."
Not wanting to hide the truth any longer, Celestia lifted her right foreleg, revealing the fresh wound she had on it. With a sincere yet sorrowful tone, she confessed "I tried to pull on the chain, to cast all the spells I could think of, to break the lock with my hoof, to scratch my horn on the wall ... nothing has worked. Trust me when I say the best thing we can do, is to calm down and analyze our options!"
After hearing her sister out, Luna tried to put a fake smile on her face, hoping to ease the tension. "I hate to admit it, but you are right. So, do you know what happened to the city?"
Looking outside the small window of their cell, Celestia replied, "About half an hour ago, the loud noises coming from outside ceased ..."
With a shimmer of hope shining in her soul, Luna exclaimed, "So our armies have repelled the attack and ..."
Not sharing her sister's optimism, Celestia just frowned and kept silent. Seeing the lugubrious look upon her sibling's face made Luna abandon her elation and acknowledge the harsh truth.
With a grim tone, Celestia stated, "I think we can assume that our fair Canterlot is in that tyrant's iron grasp. I pray that our subjects are safe."
Luna's imagination began to run wild with dark images, as she pondered what Sombra's vicious soldiers could have done to Canterlot's citizens. Feeling her stomach churn, she spat in disgust and complained, "This is ... unacceptable. We cannot just sit in here while those monsters do who-knows-what to our subjects."
Looking outside the window, Luna shed a tear, irritated by how powerless she had been rendered. Unable to think of anything, she turned to her sister's wisdom, "But what can we do?"
Knowing that all was not lost, Celestia answered, "Things aren't as hopeless as they seem. Canterlot lies in the very heart of Equestria. In less than two days, our armies will surely make their way back here and retake the city. Sombra will have nowhere to run and he knows it. He will show up here very soon and try to negotiate."
Trembling with anger, Luna interrupted, "If he dares show his face in here, I will put my horn right through his heart."
After offering several slow claps, Celestia gave her sister a condescending look and replied in a satirical tone, "Bravo Luna, what a good idea! I'm sure it will prove most effective. Why didn't I think of that?"
Rolling her eyes, Luna stated, "Oh, come on Tia, spare me your sarcasm. How can you even suggest negotiating with that lowlife? You cannot reason with monsters like him ..."
With a cold yet brutally sincere tone, Celestia continued, "And yet we have to! Whether we like to admit it or not, until our forces arrive we have little chance of escape, therefore we must do our best to survive until then and keep the city as safe as possible. You don't want our subjects to suffer, do you?"
Taking her sister's word to heart, Luna admitted, "That is the last thing I want! We won't let Sombra lay a hoof on them. We will make it perfectly clear to him that if so much as a single hair on a single pony's mane is touched, he will get no quarter once our army arrives."
After taking a second to think, Celestia added, "Although I perfectly agree with you dear sister, I think we could be a bit more diplomatic and offer to ..."
Stubborn as ever, Luna interrupted, "We mustn't show ANY weakness. It is Sombra who is in dire need of our mercy, and he must understand that. How many soldiers does he have ... a few hundred maybe? For how long do you think they will be able to hold Canterlot? Its citizens alone outnumber them ten to one. If we show any sign of fragility, he will exploit it to no end."
Seeing her sister's determination ignited new hope in Celestia's heart and brought a smile to her face. Chuckling, she responded, "I am surprised the blast actually rendered you unconscious, considering how headstrong you are!"
Unsure whether or not that was a compliment, Luna lifted an eyebrow and gave her sister a puzzled gaze.
Amused, Celestia continued, "Still, you are absolutely right. We shall demand to speak to Sombra and insist that he abides by our terms: no harm will come to any citizen of Canterlot."
After nodding her head, Luna added, "What about him? His sleaziness knows no bounds, he will surely try to get a full pardon."
Donning a serious expression, Celestia answered, "We shall promise him a fair trial, as any citizen would get."
Huffing with irritation, Luna protested, "The only fair sentence for that scum would be for his body to be diced up in a million little ... did you hear that?"
Before she could finish her sentence, Luna heard a rhythmic tapping sound, which got louder and louder by the second. Both alicorns could immediately identify it as the sound of approaching hoof steps.
Changing her tone to a whisper, Luna inquired, "Somepony is coming. What do we do?"
Turning her head towards the barred door of the cell, Celestia replied, "As discussed, we stand firm and demand to speak to King Sombra ..."
At that very moment, a deep voice echoed throughout the dungeon, "I shall take your demand into consideration!"
Out of the darkness of the dungeon's corridor, King Sombra had finally appeared, his demonic green eyes lighting up the tenebrous chamber in an unsettling and otherworldly ambiance. A mischievous smile lay on his face as he fixated his gaze upon the two sisters, smirking at their current predicament. His silver armor glistened in the dim light, with a thin scratch across its middle portion standing as a testament to the battle he had just won. Despite it being half-singed, Sombra's cape still emanated an undeniable aura of regality, as it elegantly covered his broad shoulders.
Struggling to mask their emotions, Celestia and Luna gave the king silent stares, as they mentally prepared for the upcoming confrontation. Knowing how cunning their captor could be, both sisters kept their eyes fixated on Sombra, as he slowly opened the cell door.
When he walked in the air went out, and every shadow filled up with doubt. Sombra's presence alone practically radiated malice, making even the most courageous soul feel uneasy and vulnerable. From the king's appearance, the sisters could tell only a short time had passed since their battle, fact betrayed by the still fresh wound on Sombra's leg, which he didn't even taken the time to bandage.
Both amused and delighted to see the alicorn princesses chained up before him, Sombra grinned perversely as he slowly shifted his gaze back and forth between the two sisters, vulgarly licking his lips. After several minutes of tension-filled silence, he decided to break the ice, "I see both of you are finally awake. I hope you like the accommodations. If you don't it's your own fault, I picked the most spacious cell your castle had."
With a stone-cold stare and a strict tone, Celestia retorted, "Spare us your mockery Sombra, as per the laws of war, we invoke irue negotium, the right to negotiate, and demand ..."
Upon hearing those words, Sombra burst out in a patronizing laugh, much to the princesses' irritation. With a condescending voice, he proclaimed, "You demand? I don't think either of you are in any position to make demands. Your city has fallen and you have lost your freedom. There is no reason for me to indulge any of your delusional requests. As for the 'laws of war,' they are more like ... guidelines than actual rules."
Squinting her eyes in rage, Luna thumped the floor loudly with her fore-hoof and burst out, "I would suggest you listen. Your empire lies in ruins and all your settlements have been conquered. As soon as our troops return and free this city, you will have nothing left. Do not think you are at an advantage here Sombra!"
Intrigued by that statement, Sombra took slow steps towards the younger princess. Ignoring Luna's defying glare, he walked passed her and grabbed her chain, giving it a hard yank. Grinding her teeth with rage, Luna moved her head in the opposite direction, causing the shackles to rattle as they stretched at their limit.
Staring at his victim, Sombra pointed out, "I am not? As far as I can see, naive princess of the night, I am not the one in chains. That seems like a pretty big advantage to me."
Frustrated, Celestia did her best to keep her temper in check, and replied with utmost calm, "You are a prisoner too Sombra, you just don't realize it. I don't know how you managed to get here, but Canterlot has now become your jail cell. You know just as well as we do that you have nowhere else to run. For how long do you think you can keep this city under your control, a day, maybe two? And after that ... what will you do?"
Celestia's words had shifted Sombra's smile into a serious grimace. Switching to a firmer tone, she continued, "As I was saying, I demand the right to a negotiation. If you promise not to harm any pony in Canterlot and treat all of your prisoners with the dignity they deserve, then we shall guarantee you and your troops a fair trial."
A moment of absolute silence followed, as Sombra stared at the floor, pondering his captive's request. Huffing heavily, he moved towards the small cell window, overlooking the once beautiful city, and gazed outside, the thousand mile stare glistening in his eyes. Abruptly turning around, he answered in a threatening tone, "You asked me how long I think I can keep control of Canterlot. Forever, if I have to. Your subjects aren't as loyal as I initially thought. One of them pointed out the location of a guardian orb, which I already used to shield the city. As for the rabble inside its walls, my soldiers will quench any flame of resistance."
Refusing to be intimated by Sombra's harsh words, Luna insisted, "As princesses of Canterlot, we shall remind you that any act of aggression against our subjects will be considered a war crime, and there is but once sentence for war criminals. For as long as your army dwells within our city, they shall ..."
Just as before, Sombra suddenly burst out in mocking laughter, offering sarcastic applause as an accompaniment. After wiping away a tear of joy, he exclaimed, "Forgive me, but your feeble grasp of reality provides such amusement. Princesses? Your subjects? Your city? Such things do not exist anymore. Canterlot is now MINE. Its citizens are MY subjects, and if they dare disobey their king, I shall deal with them accordingly. As for you two, you are mere prisoners, nothing more!"
In spite of the brutal cynicism of Sombra's answer, Celestia was determined not to give in. Raising her voice, she argued, "You think you may hold all the cards, but you don't. You have a hoof-full of troops guarding a city which hates you, protected by a barrier which cannot hope to hold back the armies of Equestria. Despite your delusions, you have nothing!"
With a cold smirk, Sombra replied, "Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hoof!"
The king's response exponentially increased Luna frustration. The young princess could not believe how stubborn and unwilling to cooperate their captor was. Fully aware of how deliciously ironic it was for her to have to convince a headstrong pony to listen, Luna decided to shift the tone of the discussion. "If you are not willing to negotiate, why have you come here? To gloat?"
Shaking his head, Sombra replied, "No, I came here to give an order. Celestia and Luna, your king commands you to address the ponies of Canterlot in the public square and remind them that they are citizens of the Crystal Empire. As such, they should swear loyalty to me. For your services, I shall consider sparing your lives."
Upon hearing that, Celestia smiled arrogantly. This time, it was her turn to irritate Sombra. Huffing with amusement, she commented, "If that is the reason of your visit, then you are wasting your time. The Sun shall rise from the west before that happens!"
Visibly upset by that answer, Sombra's tone shifted to menacing one, as he coldly replied, "Perhaps you have mistaken my politeness, for weakness. That was not a request, it was an order!"
With newfound courage brought on by her sister's poignant response, Luna lashed out, "An order from who? You are not in charge here Sombra! You may have us in chains, but the free ponies of Equestria will forever oppose you. Power alone does not a king make."
Giving Luna a vengeful stare, Sombra warned, "Power!? You have no idea of the power I truly possess. Do you know what I can do to this city? I can wipe it off the face of the world with a mere thought."
Unintimidated, Celestia interrupted, "If you had wanted that, you would have done it by now. Both of us know that your hostages are the only thing keeping you alive. I would suggest you respect iure negotium and accept your fate. I promise you a fair trial."
Knowing how vindictive the king could be, Celestia expected Sombra to throw a punch or cast a harmful spell. Much to her surprise, his reaction was the complete opposite. He just nodded silently and began scratching his chin, seemingly considering Celestia's proposal.
After a few seconds, Sombra's face suddenly lit up and a suspiciously warm smile appeared on it, as he cheerfully replied, "All right, I am convinced."
Both princesses' mouths dropped, and Luna rubbed her eyes, unsure of whether or not she was dreaming. With bewilderment, she watched as Sombra approached Celestia and unlocked her chain, taking the collar off her neck. For a brief moment, Luna wanted to jump for joy, actually thinking that their plan had worked.
Celestia stretched her neck, hoping to ease the pain, grateful to finally be rid of her shackles.
With a chipper tone, Sombra suggested, "Come my dear princess, let us ... negotiate!" as he extended a hoof, seemingly as a sign of friendship.
In the very next instant however, his smile turned into a monstrously sadistic smirk, as his shadow encoiled itself around Celestia, tying her forelegs and hind legs together. Both horrified and appalled, the princess struggled with all her might, fighting against the tenebrous bindings. Despite her above-average stature, no matter how much she tried, she could not muster the necessary strength to escape. Losing her balance, Celestia tumbled to the floor.
After stroking Celestia's smudged face with his hoof, Sombra chuckled mockingly and lit up his horn, using telekinesis to drag Celestia out of the room, enjoying her struggles and protests.
Upon seeing Sombra's gesture, Luna felt her entire body tremble with rage. Yanking her chain so hard that her neck practically snapped off, she tried to rush to Celestia's defense, but only succeed in amusing the king, as she once again proved unable to break free from her shackles.
With utmost loathing and disgust, Luna yelled, "You impudent cur, let my sister go at once! How dare you ..."
Not even bothering to stop, Sombra replied in a smug tone, "Come now my dear, don't be so impatient. I promise that as soon as I am done with your sister, I am coming back for you."
Moments later he and Celestia were gone.
Furious screams echoed throughout the dungeon, as Celestia fought back against her oppressor, unwilling to be a helpless victim.
With great haste, Sombra dragged her to a large room in the lowest level of the dungeon. After opening a massive iron door, he brutally threw the princess inside, sending her tumbling several feet away. Having fulfilled its purpose, Sombra's shadow untangled itself from Celestia's legs and returned by the king's side. A ferocious boom echoed through the cavernous chamber, as Sombra closed the door, locking himself alone with his prey.
Furious, Celestia quickly leaped back on her feet. Looking around, she noticed she had been placed in a make-shift torture chamber, which had undoubtedly been prepared beforehand. Several insidious instruments were lined up on a table in the middle of the room, while racks, metal harnesses and other such peculiar contraptions lay on the floor. Celestia donned a worried look, baffled by the fact that such devices actually existed in her castle.
For Sombra however, the room was a playground, and he trembled with anticipation like a foal in a candy store. It hadn't been easy for him to gather all the necessary interrogation tools, but now, after taking another moment to admire his own handy-work, he decided it was well-worth the effort.
Anxious to get started, Sombra stated, "Fitting place to negotiate, don't you think? Although, to be honest, your torture chamber is pathetic. I have more interesting instruments in my bedroom than you do in your entire dungeon."
Staring the king directly in the eyes, Celestia replied in a strict tone, "Unlike you Sombra, I have no need to torture my subjects!"
Upon hearing that, Sombra let out a large gasp and theatrically placed his hoof over his heart, shedding a fake tear. With a comically high-pitched tone, he retorted, "I am so misunderstood. I abhor violence. I dream of a world where all ponies live in peace and harmony. Every action I do, I do in order to make that dream become a reality. For example, the two of us should be in harmony. I will give you an order, and you shall obey it! You shall follow me to the center of Canterlot where you will make a proclamation demanding its citizen to swear allegiance to me. See, no bloodshed, no pain, just happiness and friendship!"
Rolling her eyes, Celestia exclaimed, "Your sarcasm is as subtle as a tap-dancing buffalo. You may not care about your subjects, but I do. I have a sacred duty to serve and protect them, and I shall not betray them in their darkest hour!"
Taking slow steps towards Celestia, Sombra inquired, "And how do you plan to accomplish your duties from in here? Do you enjoy having a chain around your neck? Just cooperate, and I shall set you free!"
Holding her head up high, Celestia proclaimed, "A chain of iron breaks over time, but the shackles of treachery last an eternity!"
Celestia's response only succeeded in irking Sombra, as he huffed angrily, disapproving of her bravado. Despite the truly lamentable predicament she was in, the princess radiated inner strength and confidence, her face boasting a defiant glare. Her words emphasized the devotion she had to her subjects and underlined her determination to keep them safe above all else. All of those qualities were traits which Sombra despised, as they represented unacceptable bumps on his already difficult road to controlling the city.
The king had initially hoped Celestia would be disheartened upon seeing the numerous macabre instruments he had prepared and that she would think twice before continuing to oppose him. However, although Sombra had wished for a simple discussion, he had also planned for a much more interesting scenario.
Fixating his gaze upon Celestia like a ravenous predator, Sombra proposed, "Let's find out how easy it is to break a chain of iron!"
In the very next moment, Sombra drew upon his shadow speed and dashed in front of Celestia, appearing mere inches away from her muzzle. Without giving his victim any time to react, the king forcefully wrapped his arm around her throat, dragging her to a nearby torture device. It was a simple yet effective tool: two long and sturdy iron bars were fixated into the floor, several feet apart. Each bar had two steel collars attached to it, one at its base and one high above the ground.
Sombra rapidly grabbed Celestia's forelegs and lifted them into the air, binding them using the two restraints at the top. The princess tried to pull way, but all of her struggles proved to be powerless against the king's iron grip. Hoping to end his captive's insistent squirms, Sombra tied Celestia's hind legs to the metal poles, forcing her to keep them spread. Moving towards the wooden table in the middle of the room, Sombra returned with a long piece of rope. Positioning himself behind the captive Celestia, he grabbed her wings and pulled them together, binding them to her back.
Much to her discomfort, Celestia was now trapped in a rather unusual position for a pony: her forelegs were extended above her head, and her hind legs were bound several feet apart, making her body resemble a big white X. The collars around her ankles prevented her from moving her limbs, causing great discomfort as they dug into her flesh with every tug. Her chest, abdomen and feminine parts were in full view, showing off all of her slender curves. Although she had recently been through a battle, her neatly groomed white fur betrayed her regal status and her multi-colored mane radiated grace, as it majestically flew down across her back.
Revolted by her current situation, Celestia grinned her teeth and grunted with rage, her eyes mirroring her inner hatred. She hadn't expected Sombra to be so intrusive from the very start, and yet, somewhere deep in the back of her mind, a voice kept telling her to try and push for a civilized negotiation.
Hoping to appeal to her captor's decency, considering he had any left, Celestia protested, "Sombra, what is the meaning of this?"
Slowly moving his hooves up and down the iron bars which kept the princess in place, Sombra donned a perverse smile and answered, "I am merely negotiating, my sweet Celestia. I abhor repeating myself almost as much as I abhor violence, but sometimes both those things are necessary. Will you cooperate?"
As determined as ever, Celestia exclaimed in a rigid tone, "I shall not betray my subjects, if that is what you are asking!"
With stone-cold calm, Sombra suggested, "I urge you to reconsider!"
Before the princess had time to respond, Sombra gathered dark energy into his horn and let out a jolt of abyssal lightning, directing it at his captive. As the electricity surged through Celestia's body, it pinched every nerve she had, causing intense spasms of pain. The metal shackles around Celestia's forelegs only served to amplify the current, much to Sombra's perfidious delight.
After recovering from the shock, Celestia shook her head, unable to believe what had happened. Her tormentor's action were unacceptable. He had shifted from mere threats to full-on torture, basically throwing away any chance of a reasonable discussion.
A grim and vindictive expression suddenly marked Celestia's face, as she demanded, "Have you gone mad?"
With hint of nostalgia in his voice, Sombra placidly replied, "A long time ago ..."
His remark was quickly followed by another jolt, launched directly at Celestia's chest. This one was more intense, constricting all the muscles in the princess's body, forcing her legs to cramp and brush against the cold metal of her shackles. A warm tear fell down Celestia's face, as she harshly expressed her discomfort, the sound reverberating of the walls of the torture chamber and constituting a sadistic rhapsody for the corrupt king.
Celestia took a little longer to recover from this shock, huffing multiple times before she found the strength to speak again. Practically foaming at the mouth with rage, she insisted, "Sombra, stop this barbarism at once. It is against the laws of war to torture prisoners."
Demonstrating enviable nonchalance, Sombra pointed out a brutally honest fact, "And yet, here we are?" before proceeding to zap Celestia yet again. As he sensed the slight aroma of burnt fur beginning to fill the room, he leaned in and whispered, "Will you obey your king?"
Every fiber of Celestia's being resonated with profound resentment for her perfidious tormentor. Drawing upon her last ounce of self-control, she gazed at Sombra with enough ferocity to cut through steel, and, with a district hint of madness in her voice, threatened, "Sombra, listen to me, and listen well. Since I am feeling merciful, I shall forgive this insolence. But, if you continue, I shall brand you a war criminal, and as soon as my army takes back the city, you shall see what fate befalls war criminals. If you dare harm me, or any other pony, one more time, you shall forfeit any rights."
Sombra drew his head back a little and widened his eyes, visibly moved by the intensity of Celestia's anger. For several seconds he stood motionless, gazing at the princess as she twitched, more out of anger than pain. Without saying a word, he took slow steps towards his captive and extended his hoof, fiddling with the restraint keeping Celestia's left foreleg tied to the metal bar. A perfidious smile appeared on Sombra's face as he could sense the princess's struggles diminishing, suggesting she believed he would accept her proposal.
Extending his other foreleg up in the air, Sombra used his telekinesis to levitate a small whip – similar to a crop – in his hoof and, with surgical precision, struck Celestia on the left check, leaving a small scratch just under her ear. With disdain, he commented, "Guess I forfeit."
A volcano had erupted inside Celestia, unleashing a torrent of enmity and rage. Pushing her head forward, she tried to poke Sombra with her horn, only for the king to take a step back and chuckle at his captive's fruitless endeavor. In retaliation, Sombra offered two more lashes, drawing a red X right under the princess's neck.
After spitting towards Sombra, Celestia vowed, "You will pay for this. I shall remember every blow you strike ..."
Enjoying his captive's threats, Sombra interrupted, "Then allow me to make this a truly memorable event."
A flurry of whips followed, as Sombra struck Celestia's forelegs, hips, abdomen and then went lower, releasing stinging blows over her nipples. Demonstrating impressive endurance, Celestia refused to scream and just clenched her teeth as much as she could, only letting out slight moans and huffs. Even though the red marks on her pristine skin ached significantly, she was determined not to give Sombra any satisfaction by acting like a helpless damsel in distress.
Glaring at his captive's exposed body, now covered with scratches and dripping with sweat, the king felt a strange sense of pride, as he admired his artwork. Grabbing Celestia's muzzle, he forced her to look him dead in the eyes and exclaimed, "Now do you understand, Celestia? The only 'law of war' is that the victor makes the laws. The pain will continue for as long as it takes. Make this easy of yourself and just submit!"
After pulling her head away, Celestia coldly replied, "You think this is pain? I have lived more than a thousand years and have been through more than you can possibly imagine. This barely tickles!"
Chuckling, Sombra proclaimed, "Forgive my performance. I promise to try harder."
With rapid steps, the king walked behind Celestia. Enjoying the view, he gently moved his hooves over the princess's sleek back, much to her ire, before giving her several more lashes, starting from her upper back, then going lower and lower, ending with three parallel smacks on her rumptious flank. Primarily out of indignation, Celestia let out a slight yell as she pushed her rear forward, hoping to get her flank as far from the sadistic king as her bindings would allow.
Sombra then focused his sights on Celestia's cutie mark and delivered three blows on each side, creating a stylized 'S' over the symbol of the Sun. As a finale to his concerto of whippings, he struck Celestia right between her hind legs, hoping to hear her squeal. Much to his unpleasant surprise, the princess just clenched her thighs and grunted, apparently anticipating the hit.
Fascinated by his captive's endurance, Sombra admitted, "I must say I am impressed. It seems you are quite well acquainted with pain. It will be very fun to find your breaking point!"
After shaking her head to get rid of some of the tears which she had involuntarily shed, Celestia exclaimed, "You will grow old long before you make me bow!"
Knowing a change of pace was in order, Sombra went to the wooden table in the middle of the room and picked up a metal forceps. Returning to his victim, he grabbed one of Celestia's feathers and plucked it right out of her wing. The pain resonated through Celestia's bones, reaching her brain and forcing her to loudly express her excruciation in order to decrease the tension.
Hoping he would soon obtain what he wanted, Sombra picked another father and began yanking, rotating it several times before separating it from the wing. Closing her eyes, Celestia shed several salty tears and screamed, doing her best to focus her mind of happier thoughts, in hopes of resisting the agony.
Leaning towards Celestia, Sombra pulled on her ear and murmured, "Your screams will eventually turn into pleas for mercy. It's only a matter of time. Why not just do the sensible thing, and submit?"
Tired of listening to Sombra's incessant taunts, Celestia lashed out, "Your techniques are pathetic. I have suffered a lot worse than this. Whippings, scratches, beatings ... there is nothing you can do to me which hasn't been done before."
After hearing those words, Sombra's eyes light up with perverse joy, as the specific phrase uttered by Celestia had given him a most insidious idea. Throwing away the forceps, he quickly moved in front of the princess and, with a wicked glee and fiendish tone, said, "Really? Maybe there is one thing ... the thing I am best at!"
Celestia could feel her heart pounding agitatedly in her chest, as she observed Sombra heading back to the wooden table filled with horrific tools. A slew of dark visions ran through her imagination, while she thought about what he could have meant. What sinister torture would await her next? Would she be placed on a rack and her bones stretches so much, they would crack? Would she have to witness her skin being burned by a molten iron brand, forever scarring her flesh and her soul? Would the cold sensation of sharp steel echo through her body, while Sombra cut off one of her wings? Whatever it would be, Celestia knew she would not like it, and the anticipation drove her mad.
Upon reaching the table, Sombra neatly placed the forceps and whip alongside the other torture instruments and didn't touch anything else. Turning around, he walked towards Celestia and reached for her bindings.
Afraid that Sombra would tighten them so much that they would crush her ankles, Celestia tried to pull her forelegs away but, much to her bewilderment, after the first tug, her left hoof was free. Gazing at the king, she saw him undoing her chains, releasing her from confinement.
Celestia's immediate reaction was to rub her ankles, grateful she had been set free. However, she knew better than to think her suffering was over. Just a few feet from her stood Sombra, a wicked smirk on his face as he ravenously gazed directly at her flank.
Hoping to end the agonizing anticipation, Celestia inquired, "What do you intend to do?"
With a deep voice, Sombra retorted, "I want to play a game!"
"I have no time for games," continued Celestia, unwilling to partake in the king's amusement.
Switching to an eerily jovial tone, Sombra added, "Oh ... but this is a very fun one. What is your favorite food?"
Unable to hide her confusion, Celestia sketched a puzzled stare and raised an eyebrow, "Is this supposed to be a sinister mind game?"
Playfully shaking his head, Sombra promised, "Not at all. It is just an innocent question. Indulge me, what is your favorite food?"
Unsure of what was going on, but unable to come up with an better plan, Celestia decided to cooperate, at least until an opportunity for her to escape would arise. Reluctantly, she answered, "Very well, I shall play along. Cake!"
Clapping his fore-hooves, Sombra affirmed, "That's the spirit! 'Cake' is the magic word. Just like other prisoners I have had, you do not want to say 'I submit' because you are too proud. So, instead, you can say 'cake!' You should have no problem doing that, since it is your favorite food after all. When you say 'cake,' it means that you are ready to execute my command and I have won the game."
Lifting an eyebrow, Celestia commented, "So that's it? It does not seem like a very interesting game. What if I just shut up?"
Taking slow steps towards the princess, Sombra added, "Aaa ... but here is where it gets good. You see, while your objective is not to say 'cake,' mine is to do everything I can to make you say 'cake,' got it?"
Upon hearing those words, Celestia backed up several steps. The demented spark in Sombra's eyes unnerved the princess, so she gazed frantically around the room, trying to look for something she could use to escape.
Sombra, on the other hoof, looked more determined than ever. With his right fore-hoof he was repeatedly tapping the floor, betraying how inpatient he was to get started.
Approaching his muzzle to Celestia's, he proclaimed, "Let the games being!"
Before the princess could react, Sombra reached out and grabbed her snout, pulling it closer to his own. With ravenous passion, he stuck out his tongue and forcefully penetrated Celestia's mouth, closing his eyes upon feeling the sweet taste of her own delicate tongue. Delighted by the sensation, Sombra moved all around the princess's mouth, touching every corner, before proceeding to wrap his tongue all around Celestia's.
Wanting to get in even closer, the king grabbed Celestia's nape with his other hoof and dragged her head closer, pushing his tongue deep inside her throat. The soft embrace of the princess's flesh, the sweet aroma of her saliva and the hint of perfume emanating from her mane drove Sombra wild, as he started feeling an all-to-familiar tingling in a very special part of his lower body.
Shocked and repulsed, Celestia tried to pull away, but her head was too firmly held in place. Her skin crawled as she felt Sombra's tongue intruding in her neck. She shook her muzzle left and right, but found herself unable to escape the forced kiss. Furious, she lifted her right hoof and punched the king's cheek.
Caught by surprise, Sombra flinched and lost his grip. Ceasing the moment, Celestia's pulled back with all her might and managed to get her muzzle loose.
After taking a deep gulp, she spat in disgust and wiped her snout. Sombra's gesture had caught her completely off guard. Never in her life had she experienced something which made her feel so violated. Trying to figure out what the king could be planning, her mind mustered up the most insidious scenario. Revolted, she yelled, "What do you think you're doing?"
Sombra moved his hoof near his lip and noticed a small drop of blood falling from it. The hit he had received had been more powerful than he had initially anticipated. Smiling perversely, he swallowed, overjoyed by the unique aroma which danced in his mouth, as the tangy taste of his own blood mixed with the sweet fragrance of Celestia's saliva.
Gazing with mad desire towards the princess, Sombra exclaimed, "You seem surprised. How interesting, it seems that, despite your age, there is something new which I can show you. And we are just getting started!"
Unwilling to find out what others plans he had, Celestia dashed forward, swinging her hoofs at Sombra. She threw a powerful punch with her left foreleg, but he easily dodged it. Upset, she tried a rapid right jab, but Sombra blocked it.
Trying to take advantage of her superior size, Celestia lowered her head and attempted to poke Sombra with her horn. Without even flinching, Sombra lifted his head and intercepted the attack with his own horn. The two ponies clashed, each of them pushing against their opponent.
Staring down at the king, Celestia protested, "Just when I thought you couldn't skin any lower! You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into Sombra. I've dealt with scum like you before!"
Irritated by the condescending look on Celestia's face, Sombra said, "You are looking down upon me, yet our eyes do not meet!"
Using his dark magic, he shifted his shadow and conjured four tentacles which grabbed Celestia's legs. Pulling aggressively, they spread them apart, making the princess fall belly-down to the floor. In order to make sure she would not move, the tenebrous limbs wrapped themselves around Celestia's body, keeping her pinned down.
Now Sombra gazed down upon the princess, satisfied with the poetic irony of the turnabout. Arrogantly, he decreed, "This is where your eyes meet mine! From now on, this is the level from which you shall look upon me!"
Celestia didn't respond. She didn't want to waste her energy arguing. All her attention was focused on trying to escape the grip of the shadowy tentacles. Lying on the floor with her legs spread apart made it difficult for her to get a grip, so she struggled like crazy, trying to get at least one of her limbs loose. As she aggressively twitched, sweat began running down her body, sliding off her curves and making her slender figure even more alluring.
Captivated by the spectacle Celestia was unwillingly offering him, Sombra decided to move in for a closer look. He extended his leg, rubbing his hoof all over her back, slowly moving from her neck all the way down to her flank, chuckling as she squirmed and protested.
Enjoying the feeling of her tender skin, Sombra went lower, groping Celestia's thighs. Despite her regal status, the princess had an impressive athletic figure, lean muscles adorning her body. Sombra calmly moved his hoof over every inch of Celestia's loin, taking his time to feel each individual muscle and every single curve, fascinated by how vigorous yet feminine they felt.
With sincere admiration, he stated, "You have taken superb care of your body Celestia. It is a temple of feminine beauty."
Focusing his gaze on Celestia's head, Sombra leaned down and buried his muzzle deep in her mane, taking a strong sniff. An elegant hint of perfume still lingered in princess's hair, and it drove Sombra wild with lust as it penetrated his nostrils.
Looking upon Celestia's appetizing muzzle, Sombra reached for it but, when he got too close, Celestia's lashed out and tried to bite him. Sneering, the king retracted his foreleg and commented, "My, my, aren't we playful."
Feeling himself getting ever more aroused, Sombra shifted his sights upon Celestia's most alluring part: her flank. Moving near the princess's rear, Sombra extended both his hooves and simultaneously rubbed both sides, stroking them in perfect symmetry. Lifting his hoof, he struck Celestia's flank, spanking her so hard that the sound echoed throughout the room.
Enjoying his victim's scream and the jiggle of her butt, Sombra delivered three more spanks, each one harder than the last.
Despite the humiliating endeavor, Celestia did not protest. Secretly grateful that Sombra was distracted, she focused all of her strength in her right foreleg, pulling with all her might against the tentacle holding it in place. After many agonizing attempts, she finally managed to make the shadowy limb snap, causing Sombra's shadow to retract.
Pushing on her foreleg as strong as she could, Celestia mustered enough strength to pull herself free. Quickly getting up, she extended her hind legs, kicking Sombra in the chest, and then ran towards the table in the middle of the room, grabbing one of the knives which lay on it.
Turning towards her captor, Celestia pointed the blade forward and threatened, "If you think I will just whimper and beg like a defenseless filly, you are gravely mistaken!"
With a smirk of superiority on his face, Sombra answered, "My sweet Celestia, no matter how much you fight back, it will be well worth my effort!"
Relying upon his supernatural speed, Sombra rushed towards Celestia, stopping inches in front of her muzzle. As he delivered a blow with his left foreleg, the princess ducked and swung her knife, aiming for his throat. Using his magic, Sombra fired a small shadow bolt from his horn, which hit the blade, shattering it into pieces. In the next instant, he created a massive telekinetic wave which threw Celestia several yards away, making her land on her back.
Not wasting a moment, Sombra ravenously charged at the princess and threw himself on top of her, pinning her forelegs down with his own. As his chest pressed against hers, Sombra's armor dug into Celestia's flesh, putting pressure on her abdomen, making it difficult for her to breathe.
Desperate, Celestia struggled valiantly, fighting the king's grip while fiercely gasping for air.
Filled to the brim with sadistic lust, Sombra felt himself getting more aroused than he ever had in his life. Celestia's cries and futile efforts excited him, and he could feel every inch of his skin trembling with desire. Sombra's cock grew fully erect, throbbing between his hind legs. Pushing himself forward, the tip of his penis touched Celestia's vagina, much to his perfidious delight. The warm feeling of her opening made his dick grow even harder, sending spasms of pleasure throughout his body and torrents of horror throughout Celestia's mind.
Gazing with insane passion into Celestia's eyes, Sombra lowered his muzzle and voraciously licked her face, huffing heavily as he tasted her sweat-covered fur.
Staring back at Sombra, who was drooling like a mad dog, Celestia recoiled in horror. Never in her worst nightmares had she imagined such a lurid fate would befall her during this terrible war.
Sickened, she argued, "Has every shred of sanity you had left abandoned you! Do you realize what you are about to do?"
With a psychotic grin, Sombra responded, "I am about to do what every stallion in Equestria has dreamed of doing … unless, perhaps you would rather have cake?"
Hearing that proposition nearly made Celestia throw up in disgust. Her skin crawled with repugnance, as she realized that to Sombra, this was all just a sadistic game. He was willing to discard any shred of dignity, to violate any rule and resort to any means, no matter how insidious, in order to achieve his demented goals.
As the princess of Canterlot, she knew that, above all else, she had a sacred duty to protect her subjects. More than a duty, she loved the ponies of Equestria with all of her heart, and would do anything to keep them safe. However, despite her honor and commitment, Celestia's tearing eyes betrayed a very intense sentiment: absolute terror at the thought of being raped. Gazing with repugnance at the monster which loomed over her, she could not help but tremble at the idea that his penis would soon invade her flower.
Throughout her many years, Celestia had judged stallions and mares who had committed some truly heinous deeds, but none shocked her more than rape - the notion that a pony could force themselves upon another, violating their body and mind, all for a few minutes of perverted pleasure. In her nightmares, she would sometimes see stallions forcing themselves upon her, only to awake screaming. The princess had been secretly grateful all her life that she never actually had to witness such an insidious deed, and yet, here she was, lying helpless on the floor, about to be defiled. A voice in the back of her mind begged her to give in. She could save herself from a most gruesome fate and all she had to do was make a proclamation. She would not have to suffer if she would just submit.
As that thought ran through her head, an explosion of remorse coursed through her very soul, as she gazed at Sombra and his abhorrent smile. Celestia hated herself for even thinking to give in. How could she condemn her beloved subjects to pledge allegiance to such a demon?
Drawing upon all the courage she had, Celestia yelled "Never!" atop her lungs, and then lifted her neck, giving the king a brutal head-butt.
Startled, Sombra quickly pulling his head away. Irritated that his perverse amusement had been disrupted, he channeled dark energy into his horn and blasted Celestia with abyssal lightning, stunning her muscles for several seconds.
Gazing upon his victim, he commented, "You are really good at this game, but I am afraid I cannot allow this virtuous concerto of defiance to continue. I am planning on enjoying your splendid body, after all."
Twirling his hoof in the air, Sombra drew upon his shadow magic, causing two small black crystals to erupt from the floor, near each of Celestia's legs. As the shards grew, they wrapped themselves around her hooves, pinning them in place, creating crystal shackles, much more durable than the tenebrous tentacles.
With a heart filled with rage, Celestia screamed and cursed, as she struggled against her new bindings. Unlike before, the restraints didn't even flinch, keeping her tied down in spread-eagle position, vulnerable and in the grip of evil.
Staring with ravenous appetite at Celestia's luscious figure, Sombra stated, "Such a perfect body. They say that beauty will save the world. Let's see if it will save you!"
Lifting his hooves, Sombra grabbed his crown and rapidly took it off his head, throwing it in the corner of the room with a total lack of concern. Reaching for his shoulders, he undid the bindings on his armor and removed it, letting it fall to the floor. With grate haste he discarded his leg plates and then went for the last article of clothing he had on, his red cape, casting it aside with insouciance.
Sombra's body was now fully exposed, and it was a sight most mares would see in their wildest of west dreams. His tall stature and broad shoulders stood as testaments to his strength, making the king seem like he could take on a hurricane and not flinch. His grey fur and finely-quaffed black mane radiated both mysteriousness and regality, resembling those of gallant knights. His rock-hard abdomen was covered in muscles, so perfectly symmetrical that they would put any sculptor's greatest work of art to shame. The bright red hue of the wound on his chest complemented his fur perfectly, almost as if it had been placed there on purpose, just to make his body even more alluring. His massive cock bulged between his legs, fully erect and begging for attention.
Celestia gazed upon the stallion which was looming over her exposed body, staring at her with his unsettling green eyes and a sadistic grin on his face. Despite his masculine beauty, all the princess could see was an abhorrent monster, a vicious predator about to have his ways with her delicate flower.
As the king approached the opening between her legs, Celestia pleaded, "Sombra, please listen to reason! You don't have do this! Just stop this madness right now and I swear I will pretend like nothing happened. I will seek no vengeance nor will I allow it to affect our negations in any way."
Switching to a much more menacing tone, and with an insane spark in her eyes, she continued, "However, should you continue, no matter where you will run, no matter in what hole you shall hide, I will find you and I will make you regret the day you were born. Just stop this right now ... and I will forgive you!"
With a cold smile and extreme nonchalance, Sombra responded, "You ask me to stop, but your wish is far beyond my power! Only you have the ability to end this. Just say the word, and I promise this will be over. I will not lay a hoof on you or your sister. We will go the town square, you shall make the announcement and that will be the end of it."
Lowering his head, Sombra took out his tongue and gave Celestia's pussy a passionate lick, delighted by the tangy aroma of her snatch. Enjoying her squirms, he gazed directly into her eyes and asked, "So ... my sweet Celestia, what do you want?"
A moment of complete silence followed, as Celestia closed her eyes and pondered, knowing it was time for her final decision. Nervous drops of sweat fell from her forehead as her agitated heart thundered in her chest. After gulping heavily to clear the lump which had formed in her throat, she opened her eyes and, with a determined look and a stern tone, responded, "I want you to die!"
A sadistic smile appeared on Sombra's face, as he confessed, "I was hoping you'd be foolish."
Barely able to contain his cravings any longer, Sombra leaned forward and pushed his entire body on top of Celestia's. His chiseled abdomen pressed against her suave torso, making their grey and white furs form a make-shift yin-yang symbol. His hind legs came in-between hers and pushed against her inner thighs, spearing them apart even more, granting him unobstructed access to her sex. His forelegs wrapped themselves around her neck and muzzle, firmly holding them in place, while his tongue danced all over her face, licking every single inch. Pushing himself forward, the tip of his rock-hard cock touched her vaginal lips once again. Desiring to tease his captive, Sombra shook his flank and spun his member around, rubbing it all around her labia.
Clinging to the little strength she had left, Celestia tried to close her hind legs, but was unable to even move them, as the crystal bindings seemed indestructible. Powerless to even move her head, all the princess could do was cringe and prepare herself for the nightmare which would follow.
Repulsed, she demanded, "Stop it you demon! Get off me at once. I will not permit you to do this! You have no right!"
Forcing his captive to stare him right in the eyes, Sombra whispered, "Vae victis!" and pushed his flank forward, making his penis penetrate the warm and dry opening.
The king shivered with delight as he felt his long fleshy rod invading Celestia's reluctant hole, brutally forcing its way in. Her vagina was like silk, a smooth and delicate veil wrapping itself around Sombra's throbbing cock.
The stories which often circulated around Equestria and the Crystal Empire, that the princess of the Sun was as pure as the day she came into the world, that her innocence had never been taken away, proved to be mere fabrications. Still, despite her age, her pussy was rather tight, much to Sombra's enjoyment.
The first penetration of his captive's flower had exceeded all of Sombra's expectations. Desiring to go in even deeper, Sombra pulled back a little and then moved his flank forward aggressively, pushing himself forth so much that his pelvis practically collided with Celestia's. His member went through the princess's labia, penetrating deep inside her vagina, practically reaching her worm womb. Feeling like he was in paradise, Sombra huffed with pleasure as his body shook, sweat dripping all over his dark fur.
For Celestia, the experience was an unbearable nightmare. Her vagina was dry, unprepared and unwilling to be penetrated. She felt no pleasure as Sombra's dick entered her sex, only pain. When the second brutal thrust came, her entire womb screamed, sending torrents of pain across her body.
Grunting with agony, she lashed out, "Take it out, take it out ... now!"
Her pleased fell on deaf ears, as Sombra ignored her, much to preoccupied with his own selfish exaltation.
Out of instinct, Celestia tried to scream again, this time hoping to rely upon her Canterlot voice, but as she attempted to use that spell, an arduous shock resonated through her body, amplifying her agony and serving as a brutal reminder that her magic would be of no use.
Blood pulsated through Sombra's cock as it aggressively pistoned Celestia's flower, each thrust more merciless than the last. The king could feel her discomfort, he could sense her hole tightening, but it only served to fuel his perverse lust. The more Celestia's vagina tried to close itself up, the more force Sombra used, delighted by the intense friction between his hard dick and the princess's soft insides.
Between heavy breaths, Sombra commented, "Rather tight for a thousand year old cunt. How long has it been since you've shared your bed with a stallion? What's wrong Celestia, no more eligible suitors?"
Celestia ignored his taunts and turned her head away, refusing to even look at her tormentor anymore. Closing her eyes, she tried to think of happier thoughts in hopes of alieving the torment she was going through.
Now that he was no longer looking his victim in the eyes, Sombra focused his gazed upon Celestia's slender chest. Allured by its feminine beauty, he stuck out his tongue and delicately licked her fur, making slow circulation motions. With every second he would go lower and lower, taking great precaution as not to miss a single spot on her angelic body. The sensation tickled the princess, causing her to involuntarily flinch as she bit down on her tongue, attempting to remain silent.
While his tongue was busy, Sombra's fore-hooves decided to do some exploration of their own. They gently moved across Celestia's lower abdomen and thighs, delicately caressing her skin as they slowly slid down her appetizing curves. Upon reaching her flank, Sombra groped it with brutal force, enjoying his partner's screams and squirms.
Celestia's opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling, a salty tear falling down her face as she silently prayed, hoping for a miracle. Her legs burned with pain as they fruitlessly struggled against the crystal bindings. Spams of discomfort emanated from her flank, as the king aggressively groped and spanked it. If her vagina could speak, it would yell so loud that its cries would be heard even in the Crystal Castle.
Hoping to shield herself as much as she could, Celestia tried to move her thighs closer together and tighten her sex, desperately trying to prevent Sombra from fucking her so deeply.
Her efforts however only served to amplify Sombra's pleasure, as he gasped with delight, overjoyed to see that Celestia was now pushing back. Her pussy seemed even tighter, and his penis rubbed against it so hard its skin was starting to peel off. The pleasure was so tremendous, drops of precum began to fall.
Amused by Celestia's tactics, Sombra taunted, "Ingenious strategy Celestia, tightening yourself up like that! I am sure it will prove very effective!"
The princess grunted with frustration, as Sombra increased the frequency of his thrusts, rubbing so hard against her that the fur on her hind legs was starting to fall off. Unsure of what else to do, Celestia just decided to endure as much as she could, determined not to give in.
Hoping to diminish Sombra's sadistic pleasure, she exclaimed, "You think this will achieve something? If you believe I will yield just because you resorted to this, then you truly are a fool!"
Slowing down, Sombra lifted his head and gave his victim a perfidious yet seductive stare, as he promised, "Are you not enjoying yourself my dear? What an unacceptable faux-pas on my part. Allow me to correct this immediately!"
In the next moment, he shifted his attention to her nipples, slowly twirling his hoof all around their contour. Sticking his tongue out, he delicately licked them, rotating it clock-wise, seeking to stimulate them. Sensing them getting harder, Sombra put his lips around the top-most left nipple and gently sucked on it, much like a new-born foal trying to get milk from his mother.
His left fore-hoof stroked Celestia's thigh as it slowly moved down. Upon reaching a sensitive spot in her lower hind leg, Sombra firmly yet elegantly pressed it, causing her limb to twinge with unexpected pleasure. With his other fore-hoof, Sombra went near Celestia's neck and gently touched her nape, skillfully rubbing a specific spot on it.
Lighting up his horn, Sombra fired a very precise and controlled electrical jolt at Celestia's clitoris, stimulating it, sending spasms of satisfaction through the princess's tensed body.
Having slowed down the speed of his thrusts, Sombra's cock was now pleasantly penetrating Celestia's vagina, causing her opening to loosen up and her lips to moisten.
Celestia could feel her temperature rising and her entire body relaxing. Her brutal contractions of pain were slowly being replaced with pleasant tingles, as her womb gradually welcomed its visitor.
A mixture of irritation and bewilderment clouded the princess's mind as she grinned her teeth and closed her eyes, refusing to believe she could actually take pleasure from this.
Seeing that his partner was resisting, Sombra suggested in a warm and alluring voice, "Relax Celestia. Give in to the pleasure. Indulge yourself!"
Shaking her head, Celestia protested, "You are only deluding yourself if you think you are giving me and pleasure!"
Chuckling, Sombra pointed out, "You are a very bad liar Celestia. If you are not enjoying this, then why are your nipples hard?"
Celestia simply ignored that comment and looked away, sickened by the reaction her body was having. She hated to admit it, but no stallion had made her tremble like this is a long time. Despite his brutality, Sombra also displayed great skill and experience when it came to knowing what makes a mare tick, having expertly stimulated several of her pleasure points.
Seeking to take his work to fruition, the king pulled out and lowered his head, bringing his tongue close to Celestia's vagina. Sniffing deeply, the intoxicating smell of her aroused sex filled Sombra's nostrils, driving him mad with lust. Drooling with desire, he extended his tongue and voraciously began licking Celestia's labia, replacing the intense sensation of a rock-hard cock with the more gentle touch of a skilled tongue.
With near-surgical precision, he moved his tongue all around her opening, first clockwise then counterclockwise, hitting all the sensitive spots, before proceeding to stick it inside her pussy. Switching to vertical movements, Sombra penetrated her vagina as deep as he could, pushing his tongue in and out.
Feeling Celestia's thighs trembling with delight, the king moved his left fore-hoof towards her clitoris. He then delicately squeezed her clitoral hood, putting increasingly more pressure on it.
Rivers of sweat began flowing down Celestia's forehead, as she gasped for air, desperately trying to cool herself down. Her silent grunts had turned into moans of pleasure, and her entire body was shaking, enjoying every second of Sombra's intrusive yet stimulating actions. Her heart thundered in her chest and her vagina burned with passion, as she felt herself approaching climax.
A shroud of embarrassment blanketed her mind, when she sensed her vaginal juices flowing. Was this really happening? Was she about to cum from being raped? How could such a deplorable activity give her pleasure? Her brain was crying out with disgust, ashamed of what was about to happen, but her body was dancing with carnal lust, grateful to be led to the peaks of ecstasy.
Unable to hold it in any longer, Celestia's hind legs began shaking aggressively while she squirted, her clitoris seemingly exploding with pleasure. Moments later she came, giving in to the pleasure while simultaneously yelling out in anger, "Noooo ..."
As the stew of female fluids came out, Sombra greedily licked them, taking great precaution as not to spill a single drop. Their zesty aroma was an absolute delight for the king, representing both a limitless carnal delight and an unprecedented psychological victory over his reluctant sex partner.
After swallowing, Sombra stared Celestia dead in the eyes and, with a distinct hint of condescendence in his tone, commented, "You are most welcome! It seems you needed that."
Celestia felt her heart breaking in two, as she saw the arrogant grin upon Sombra's face. Is shame could kill, she would die a thousand deaths. With the moment of ecstasy having passed, the princess was now feeling only humiliation and remorse, unable to believe that her body had succumbed to her enemy's perverse invitation.
Refusing to give Sombra any more satisfaction, she spat in his direction and exclaimed, "Don't flatter yourself, you pathetic coward. That was merely an involuntary reaction. The only way in which you can pleasure a mare is by leaving her the hell alone!"
Playfully shaking his head, Sombra replied, "Tisk, tisk ... such ingratitude. Well, if it was just an involuntary reaction, mind if I have one?"
Before Celestia could respond, the king got back on top of her, anxious to address his painful erection. Pushing his hips forward, he penetrated the princess yet again. This time, however, his penis went in much easier, smoothly sliding down her lubricated opening.
Hoping to achieve release, Sombra increased the pace of his thrusts, shoving his cock in as deep as he could with every single motion. His balls bounced, hitting Celestia's butt with each insertion.
Gazing with profound fervor at his partner, the king perversely licked his lips and asked, "Were you never curious how you taste?"
In the next instant, Sombra grabbed Celestia's muzzle and forced her mouth open, aggressively sticking his tongue deep inside her throat. As their lips touched, Celestia could feel the pungent aroma of her own juices dancing in her mouth.
Holding Celestia's head firmly in place, Sombra shoved his tongue even deeper while moving his hips forward aggressively, pushing his cock inside her womb at the same pace. The sensation was so intoxicating, he felt his balls starting to empty. Hoping to enjoy every last second, he quickly moved his flank back and forth, rapidly ramming Celestia's pussy with his cock, as drop after drop of cum flowed out of it. Finding himself on the peaks of ecstasy, Sombra huffed like a wild animal as his whole body trembled with passion, while his juice filled up Celestia's vagina.
After the last drop came out, Sombra slowly lifted himself up and gazed at his prisoner. Noticing her shaking body and seeing the cum leaking out of her sex, the king's heart filled up with malignant pride.
With a patronizing grin, he claimed, "Had I known it would be this enjoyable, I would have conquered Canterlot centuries ago!"
Reaching for his now flaccid member, Sombra gently stroked it, congratulating it on a job well done. Twirling his fore-hoof in the air, he retracted the crystals holding Celestia's legs in place.
A minute of dead silence followed as Celestia stood motionless on the floor, staring into nothingness. Without saying a word, she rolled over and got back on her feet, shaking her rear in hopes of getting the semen out of her hole. Despite the horrible experience she had just had, her face was stern and cold and her expression lacked any emotion.
Deep inside, Celestia was weeping. Never in her life had she been through a more traumatizing ordeal. The very thought that she had just been raped, that her most private regions had been violated against her will, appalled her to the very core. Even though it was over, she could somehow still feel Sombra inside of her.
Despite the pain and humiliation coursing through her soul, she knew that she had to be strong. If Sombra would do anything to win, she would have to do the same. No matter what, she would have to endure, to be strong and not give in. Her subjects depended on her, as did the whole of Equestria.
Glaring at her oppressor, she squinted her eyes and, with a brutally sincere and vindictive tone, promised, "When my soldiers retake the city, I shall personally castrate you!"
Looking down, Sombra grabbed his balls and fondled them, chuckling as he contemplated Celestia's threat. With a calm tone, he replied, "Let's not worry about the future for now. Let's focus on the present. Our little game is not over. You have not said the magic word yet! So, is there anything you would like to tell me? Or would you rather wait half an hour and then we can start round two?"
Without the slightest hint of fear in her voice, Celestia pointed out, "You're a bad gambler Sombra. You played your trump card far too soon. Now you have nothing left to take away from me!"
Donning a grim look, Sombra asked, "Do you really think you have nothing left to lose? How adorably naive of you. Allow me to show you, how low the pit of despair can really go!"
After channeling energy into his crystal horn, Sombra fired a magical bolt at the floor. Moments later, a pony-sized cross appeared, made from the darkest crystal Celestia had ever seen. Using telekinesis, Sombra grabbed the princess and slammed her body against the construct, tying her forelegs and hind legs to it. Drawing upon his sorcery, he conjured numerous small crystal shards which he attached to specific points on her body.
This time, Celestia did not protest. It wasn't because her strength was spent, far from it, but she knew that if she would struggle, all she would do would be to fuel Sombra's sadistic delight. Without the use of her magic, she could not hope to prevent the king from restraining her. Calmly, she spectated as her body was bound to the cross, now resembling a giant T. When the crystals were attached to her skin, she expected to feel pain but, much to her bewilderment, the shards just stuck to her fur without causing the slights bit of discomfort.
Glaring at his pray, Sombra commented, "Do you know what makes shadow crystals unique? It is their ability to absorb magic ... or, more specifically, in the case of the lovely jewels covering your body, to dissipate it!"
Coking an eyebrow, Celestia asked, "Is your little crystallography lesson supposed to intimidate me?"
With an insidious grin, Sombra continued, "Allow me to add some anatomy courses to the curriculum. I presume you haven't noticed, but those crystals are attached to all of the pain points in your body. Once I zap them, they will stimulate every nerve you have. Imagine the worst pain you've ever felt, times a thousand. Well ... soon you won't have to imagine!"
Holding her head up high, Celestia yelled out, "That will be nothing compared to the pain you have already caused!"
Donning a gloomy tone, Sombra threatened, "Speak bravely Celestia. Soon, you'll know what true torment is. Permit me to show you one of my proudest inventions: the veil of agony!"
In the next instant, Sombra gathered an impressive amount of magical energy into his horn and released an arcane wave towards Celestia. When the crystal covering Celestia's body sensed the approaching energy, they absorbed it completely and began to resonate, sending painful shockwaves through each of the pressure points to which they were attached.
With every one of her pain sensors stimulated, a tidal wave of agony flowed through Celestia's body, travelling from each of her nerves to her brain. Even though the princess had mentally prepared herself for a tremendous amount of pain, what she experienced exceeded the limits of what she thought was possible. Her body felt as if a million demons were tearing it apart, pulling from every direction, shattering her very sanity. The sensation of anguish was so great, that her brain could not even think of anything else, barely able to even process the endless flow of misery.
She felt pain from body parts she did not even know she had. Agonized, she screamed so hard the entire room reverberated.
Sombra ruthlessly gazed at his unfortunate victim, enjoying her endless wails and fjords of tears. Leaning in close to her ears, he whispered with an alluring tone, "I can end the pain. I can make the suffering go away. Do not attempt to fight it, because it WILL kill you! Are your subjects worth that much to you? You are an immortal alicorn and they are mere mortals not worth going to your grave for. Give in to the agony ... and submit!"
In spite of the endless avalanche of anguish rushing through her mind and body, Celestia had heard Sombra's dark promise. Unlike before, this was not an issue of overcoming humiliation, this was a matter of life and death. Deep inside, Celestia knew that she would not survive much longer, as the pain was tearing her body apart.
Thinking of her beloved Equestria, her loyal subjects and her dear sister, Celestia somehow mustered the strength to give a final defiant response, "A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once."
After saying those words, she let out an earth-shattering scream, having reached her limit. Closing her eyes, she dropped her head and stopped shaking, her motionless body nearly falling off the crystal cross.
Sombra felt his heart thundering in his chest and his eyes widened, as he gazed upon the inert princess. With nervous sweat falling from his forehead, he desperately babbled, "No no no ..."
Drawing upon his shadow magic, he immediately cast a spell which shattered the crystals and the cross, ending the agonizing shocks and sending Celestia's body plummeting to the cold floor.
Between timid breaths, Sombra summon a thin crystal mirror and placed it directly under Celestia's muzzle. With trembling hooves, he held it in place for more than a minute, hoping for a miracle.
Suddenly, he noticed the mirror getting foggy, as a gentle gust of air blew upon it. Lowering his head, Sombra approached his ear to Celestia's nose. Much to his relief, he heard a faint breath, followed by another one several seconds later. After wiping his soaked forehead, he let out an enormous sigh of alleviation.
Gazing upon Celestia, his face betrayed a feeling of admiration, as he confessed, "It seems I lost. Game over! Well played Celestia, well played!"
Reaching for her motionless body, Sombra grabbed Celestia with the same care with which one handles a newborn foal and placed her on his back, slowly heading towards the door.
Another warm tear hit the floor, deepening the puddle of sorrow which had formed beneath the princess of the night. A deafening silence was all Luna could hear, and it scared her so much that she couldn't even breathe anymore.
Since her sister had been taken away, a dark symphony of screams, cries and laments had filled Luna's ears, as the echoes of Celestia's torment danced through the cavernous halls of the dungeon.
Initially, a vicious storm of rage thundered in Luna's mind, as she heard her sister's first yell. Furious, she tugged against her chain, while her imagination conjured the most insidious scenarios.
As the concerto of sorrow continued, Luna's anger slowly turned to fear. The intensity of her sister's yells made her skin crawl while their tonal variation suggested Celestia was enduring a vast number of different tortures. Fearing for her sibling's safety, Luna began to move around nervously, praying that somehow Celestia would be alright.
As the cries continued to echo, the fear for her sister mutated into a more selfish concern. Luna's wild imagination got the better of her, and thousands of horrific images fluttered through her mind; images of Celestia getting hurt, tortured or even worse. A dark voice inside her mind then whispered, "When Sombra is done with her, what do you think he will do to you?" As a veritable picture-show of perfidious scenes waltzed in her head, Luna nearly threw up, imagining herself being mutilated by the merciless tyrant.
However, for the last ten minutes, all Luna had been doing was to silently pray and weep, as she gazed towards the heavens. Her sister's screams had abruptly stooped, and the princess of the night assumed the worst had happened. Feeling the world crumbling around her, Luna kept staring at the door, knowing that sooner or later, she would find out the truth.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by the sound of approaching hoof steps. Unwilling to expose her fear, Luna wiped away her tears and tried to put on a stern look. Moments later, through the barred door of her cell, she could see Sombra walking in with Celestia lying motionless on his back.
Upon witnessing this, Luna felt an explosion of anger in her guts, and immediately lashed out, "What have you done to her, you monster? When I get my hooves on you I will ..."
Unwilling to listen to such empty threats, Sombra lifted his hoof and uses telekinesis to squeeze the princess's neck, forcing her to shut up as she desperately gasped for air. With utmost care, he lay Celestia down on the floor and bound her neck to the wall.
Turning towards the rambunctious Luna, he released the telekinetic grip and, with a sadistic tone, affirmed, "I understand your frustration. You had such a desire to spend some time with your beloved king, but were unfairly forced to wait. I know I promised that soon it would be your turn, but I just had soooo much fun playing with your sister that I didn't realize how much time had passed. But fear not, I promise you that tomorrow, you will have my undivided attention."
After rubbing her neck to relieve the pain, Luna stared at Sombra with utmost hatred and vowed, "Cherish this day Sombra, for it will be your last. Come tomorrow, I will kill you, I promise!"
Chuckling, Sombra warned, "Don't make promises you cannot keep, my dear!"
After that he quickly went outside and locked the door, taking one last look at his captive princesses.
Alone with her sister once again, Luna took a look at Celestia's body and noticed the red marks all over her flesh. Foaming at the mouth with rage, she turned towards the door and yelled atop of her lungs, threatening Sombra and all of his minions, promising them a most gruesome fate. Her screams echoed throughout the dungeon for many hours into the night.
Walking back towards the throne room, Sombra huffed, a mixture of regret and delight churning in his heart. On one hoof, he had failed to coherence Celestia into doing his bidding and was now forced to come up with another way to keep Canterlot under control. On the other hoof, he had just been through one of the most pleasurable experiences of his life, having literally fucked a goddess.
Smiling, he whispered to himself, "It's good to be the king!"