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A surprise visit [Closed]

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Heart Shield began his day at his little home along the streets in Canterlot. It was his first day back to the guard after some time off. The days had gone to fast he thought to himself as he got ready for the day and headed out the door, Making his way up to the castle. Greeting the guards out front he made his way in. Making his way down a hallway, He entered a room where there was lockers for all the guards to keep their armor. Walking down the line of lockers along the wall he glanced at all the numbers looking for his. Finally finding his, He stopped to pull the door open, and took his armor out. Putting each piece on, He adjusted them to his liking. Heart shield wasn't really enthusiastic about starting this week, Things had been mostly quiet and it was rather quite boring. 

 

Having put his armor on, Heart shield closed the door to his locker and trotted out the room. His post today was upstairs in the castle, In a place where not many ponies besides the princesses went. Climbing the stairs he glanced around and tried to smile a little. It was going to be a boring day, but at least he would have some peace and quiet for the day, Or at least he hoped. Finding his place in the room he was to be at, He adjusted his ponytail sticking out the side of his helmet before straightening up his legs and stood looking like he should. Heart Shield gave out a little sigh, He seemed to be the only one in the room, and it mostly seemed quiet upstairs. It was going to be a long day, but he had hoped There would be at least something to keep him busy for awhile....

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Whenever Celestia was busy with her duties as princess, King Sombra did what he could to occupy himself. Now that he was no longer so much of a secret, he had no need to lurk out of view- instead, he spent his time wandering the castle, getting to know its layout and finding what all it contained. The Canterlot Archives was, thus far, his favorite place in the castle if only for its stores of knowledge both ancient and new. Whenever he spent his time there, reading, he got to learn so much more than he would have at some dinky library in town. Not when there were restricted sections.

 

This day, however, found him strolling through the castle again, looking freshly bathed and groomed in his signature cape. It was all he had left of his old 'getup' and he wore it for his own comfort. He felt naked without it, and Sombra would rather not let ponies know he lacked a cutiemark. Those inequine red eyes of his roved over the castle's decorations, from the tapestries to paintings and the occasional vase of fresh flowers- initially he'd come to dislike the opulence of Canterlot Castle, but.. perhaps it was growing on him. Something fitting of one such as himself, and Celestia..

The room were investigated too, and he found there were quite a lot of guest bedrooms, parlors.. a few offices.. Today, however, as he peeked in on one room, which looked to be like some sort of.. meeting room with a round table in the middle surrounded by cushions, he found a lowly guard. Sombra initially overlooked him as just part of the scenery, a mannequin dressed up in the Royal Guard's signature golden armor, until he came to notice the eyes and realized this was no mannequin.

 

A glance was given to the rest of the room before Sombra took a few steps in, an eyebrow arching. The boredom he'd felt as of late with his natural preference to antagonize ponies wasn't a good mix with the former tyrant. "What could you possibly be guarding in here?"

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Heart Shield had stood in the large meeting room for a few minutes, His smile disappearing into a straight face as he glanced around the room with his eyes. It had been awfully quiet in the room, but he wasn't allowed to go anywhere until his shift was up or another guard relieved him. Heart Shield took the opportunity of the peace and quiet to think to himself. His blue eyes glanced downward slightly as his mind wandered. He had perhaps gotten a little too much into self thought, as he didn't notice sombra wander in from the hallway on the far side of the room to his left. 

3 hours ago, dragonofruin said:

"What could you possibly be guarding in here?"

Suddenly there was a voice near him, Taking him by surprise. His eyes narrowed as they snapped back up to see where this voice was coming from, His body tensed for a moment as his wings flinched a little. His cheeks filling quickly to a rose red as if he had been caught doing something he shouldn't. It didn't really help the matter much as he glanced over to see that it was Sombra himself! Heart Shield took a moment to think, What was he guarding anyway? "Oh, I'm here to make sure that no ponies come up to these parts of the castle that shouldn't be." He said with a little bit of a smile trying to regain his composure again. It was rather intimidating to him tho, Not only did he have the embarrassment in the guard of not noticing some pony approaching him, But that some pony just happened to be Sombra! 

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Those red, slit-pupiled eyes were staring intensely down at the armored guard in a face that could usually be described as grumpy. His height clearly outmatched the average pony's, but he was not so tall as Celestia. Her sister, perhaps. The guard might have a momentary reprieve from that sharp gaze as Sombra swept the room again with his eyes, studying it.

 

"I might see why. It certainly would be dangerous if some errant pony off of the streets were to wander in here. I'm sure a few files might prove dangerous in their hooves.." A filing cabinet, and what looked like a couple of bookcases up against the walls looked to be the only other furniture in here next to the table and cushions. From the look of it, the princesses might not use this room much except for the occasional important meeting or visiting dignitary perhaps.. As he didn't know, Sombra could only guess from what he could see of it. His eyes returned to the blushing guard and eyed the tentative smile the pony now wore.

 

"Is this what you guards do all day? Stand around doing nothing else but watching something? A room?" The king scoffed. "Such a dreadfully dull, but comfortable job, isn't it? A shame you should live in so peaceful a country. I can hardly see why this castle even needs the likes of you, yet.. the princesses are far too busy to keep an eye on what's theirs."

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Heart Shield never realized just how tall Sombra was, as he stood looking up at him. His mind quickly raced trying to think of what to say. Heart Shield had heard all about Sombra, but to this point had never meet him before, and here he was standing over him staring at him with a most serious face. Sombra for a moment broke his steely gaze on Heart Shield as he surveyed the room, before returning back to him. 

 

"Yes indeed, It is my duty to guard any important documents or knowledge, and to serve any commands that the princess might give." Heart Shield tried to respond in a serious manner as Sombra shadowed over him, The feathers on his wings fluttering a little before settling back against his side, A nervous little smile on his face. Heart Shield remained standing straight up, as much as he wanted to shrink down and disappear from the embarrassment, and the nervousness of having Sombra staring him down. 

 

Heart Shield had a little bit of a surprised and a bit nerved look on him when Sombra had said that the castle didn't need guards like him, But he tried to not let it him bother him.

7 hours ago, dragonofruin said:

"Is this what you guards do all day? Stand around doing nothing else but watching something? A room?"

"No... Not all the time.... We do get to do other things from time to time." He quickly blurted out trying to defend himself, as he thought about what Sombra had said. "...Well...It does get a little boring sometimes..." Heart Shield had replied in a soft voice as he tried to break Sombra's glare, glancing downwards a moment before looking back up. 

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Sombra snorted and finally stepped away from the guard, satisfied that he'd managed to ruffle the pony. Picking one of the cushions at the table, he sat down, one elbow on the table's edge as he partly faced the unnamed pony. His expression, as sour as ever, but a glitter of amusement was in his red eyes. It seemed he'd found himself an easy target to torment for his own entertainment, something to do to assuage the boredom.

 

"Like what?" Sombra asked, a dark brow arching questioningly. The following admittance after the guard's statement drew a low chuckle out of the umbrum and he nodded, as if he'd been expecting it. "Of course it would get boring. You have nothing to do in this castle except to stand around and try ever so vainly to look pretty. I can't imagine that armor does any good, unless its just gold plated. Do you ever do any proper training exercises? Sparring? Anything that might help you learn worthwhile skills that you'd need as a soldier, or is it all wasted on.. standing around?"

 

He was trying to ruffle the pegasus's feathers, verbally of course, and however obvious it might be hardly mattered to somepony as antagonistic as Sombra was. He wanted to see how far he could push the pony, and just for his own entertainment. "I highly doubt the princesses would give you any commands, not when everything is always so peaceful and quiet around here. Not unless its to shine their shoes or.. perhaps on occasion, throw some troublemaker out of the castle at their behest." A smirk flashed across the former tyrant's face, as if anticipating any possible quips that'd involve just that- that he was just that troublemaker.

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Heart stood as still as he could as he watched Sombra give him a little snort before walking over and seating himself on a chair in the room, just off to his side Before asking him more antagonistic questions. He stood where he was listening to him. "We do all sorts of others things too like guarding other parts of the castle, Patrolling the streets of Canterlot assisting citizens, Personally guarding the princess when she is doing duties outside of the castle, or getting sent to assist in other towns."  Heart Shield explained to Sombra, his face of embarrassment fading now to a slightly annoyed look. "I can assure you this armor serves me well" Heart Shield remarked with a calm tone. He could tell Sombra was enjoying this, He tried so ever hard to not let him get the satisfaction of it, even if he did seem a little annoyed. "Yes, We do training exercises on a regular basis to keep our skills sharp. Me i am trained on the sword, and i do enjoy fencing from time to time." He said trying to answer His every question in a serious manner as he could. Sombra went on to remark that the princess would never give them any commands, and if only to throw a troublemaker out. Heart Shield snorted quietly to himself when he remarked troublemakers. "The princess's orders are indeed few between sometimes, but it is my duty to follow them when she does" He said as a bit of smile grew on his face as he glanced down chuckling to himself. " Trouble maker eh? We do get ordered to escort some ponies out of the castle on rare occasions." Heart Shield remarked with a smirk trying to subtly poke back at Sombra.

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A smug air seemed to rise from Sombra after he'd heard that jab, and his monstrous teeth became a little more visible past his smirk. "I highly doubt the princesses need you lot to guard them when they're powerful enough to protect themselves. Unless they've actually grown this soft.." he murmured, his voice close to a purr. With the way he spoke, it almost sounded as if nothing at all was going on between himself and Celestia. "It sounds like a nice, cushy little job, if dreadfully dull. I would never want to submit myself to such a thing, let alone be in the position where I'm serving another." His voice carried a tone of disgust, and his snout wrinkled.

 

"I find it cute that you think that Celestia would ever order you to escort me out of this castle, considering I just might become the future king of Equestria. Dear Celestia certainly enjoys my company, quite a lot I might add." The purr returned to his deep voice again and a ghost of his earlier smirk lingered around his lips as he studied the pegasus, and the annoyed lines of the stallion's body language. He moved a hoof up and set his cheek against it as he propped his foreleg against the table, his head tilted and his face taking on a more lazy expression. Sombra also found it cute that this pony thought he could even make such a jab, when he'd been anticipating it long before ever since he even brought it up. The guard had been set up for it.

 

"Isn't that nice?" he idly queried. "You'll have to listen to me too."

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Heart Shield stood listening to Sombra's remarks as he increasingly grew more and more agitated. Heart looked down with narrow eyes, a annoyed expression on his face, as he stood still, Looking at Sombra out of the corner of his eye as He sat relaxed on a cushion near a table. Heart Shield wanted so much to make a sarcastic remark in response to Sombra's prods, He knew this would only add fuel to the fire tho, He had to remain calm about this, even if he was deeply annoyed. Heart Shield took a deep breath in and sighed out Imagining himself in literally any other place he would rather be right now, and taking a moment to collect his thoughts and calm himself. "Yes indeed the Princesses are powerful enough to protect themselves, but it's more of a formality for use to go along when ever she takes her carriage anywhere." Heart said glancing back up again in a calmer voice. "I can be a good job, and whether you submit yourself to somepony else or not is merely one's personal preference" He remarked with a little bit of a regret knowing that Sombra would probably use that against him in some way or fashion. Heart Shield dreaded at the thought of having to listen to Sombra, but he tried not to show it outwardly. "If the princess orders me to listen to you, Then so be it, But as of now I don't have such a command" He remarked back, Maybe He was letting Sombra get the better of him. 

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Any sign of the guard's growing agitation only seemed to feed Sombra's enjoyment in their conversation, if it could be considered conversation. A low chuckle rolled out of him, and he leapt on the opening that the pegasus had so willingly left him. "Indeed? You must enjoy it then," he remarked with that smug little smirk of his. His detour to harass one of the guards for a day was turning out to be extremely fruitful, and a good way to assuage the boredom that'd been creeping up on him.

 

"I highly doubt the princess needs to order you to listen to me, servant that you are, when I hold a higher station than you. And did you not say that it was a personal preference to submit oneself to another pony?" His voice rose in a questioning lilt and he cast the armored pony another of his smug smirks. Perhaps he was enjoying himself a little too much, and Celestia was likely to have some words with him later about bothering the guards like this if this pony said anything to her. He likely would, considering how he was treating him. Trying to muffle another soft round of laughter behind closed teeth, Sombra attempted to find some calm again.

 

"So, since I am to be sitting here and talking to you for a little while, perhaps I should bother to learn your name. What is it? You already know mine, of course. At least, I hope you do." Sombra tilted his head against his propped up hoof, resuming a lazy, relaxed posture where he leaned on the table. Waiting with an apparent patience for an answer, or any possible reactions from an irate guard.

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Heart Shield folded a ear at Sombra's constant remarks, as he heard him chuckling to himself. Heart stood standing still upright Staring off into the room, His grey coat and the golden armor only seemed to highlight the annoyed look in his eyes. "Yes it can be a pretty enjoyable job at times....." He remarked with a pause as he could see Sombra's wide grin from the corner of his eye to his annoyance. Heart sighed as Sombra seemed to carry on forever "You could call me a servant if you want i guess, But i can still think for myself." Heart Shield replied in a huffy voice. 

 

"What i was trying to imply is that whether you would submit yourself to a job such as mine or not is your own decision, and is not of a concern to me." He said in a bit of a sharp response. He was trying so hard to not let Sombra bother him. Heart Shield wasn't one to easily get angered or agitated, and it usually took a lot to get him there, But it seemed Sombra was getting him there. Heart Shield relaxed a little when he heard him ask him what his name was. Perhaps a momentary reprieve to have a actual conversation. "My names Heart Shield, and I already heard lots about you Sombra." He replied in a calmer voice as he stared straight ahead, still standing in his place

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"Is that how you feel? Then by all means, enjoy being a serving pony," the shadow king quipped with that same, smug smirk on his muzzle, taking joy in antagonizing the stallion. It amused him, that some ponies would willingly be so subservient and still believe they thought for themselves. If that was what helped them sleep at night, then he couldn't take that away from them. It would be cruel.

 

"I wouldn't submit myself to it anyway. I enjoy this life of luxury that I've found, and wooed for myself a fair and lovely princess. Others should be serving me." He was visibly enjoying this, and it became more and more apparent the more Heart Shield's annoyance shone through. He took pleasure in seeing how much he was riling the gold-clad guard up. "To use one of the usual, boring pleasantries ponies like to overuse- it's a pleasure to know you, Heart Shield. So you've heard of me after all? I was under the impression that the royal sisters had kept their failure of saving the Crystal Empire from me a secret for so many years.. at least until it finally made a reappearance and they had to admit to that failure. It was inevitable that it was to happen." Sombra shrugged and shifted in his seat, leaning back against the table.

 

"So what sort of things have you supposedly heard about me? What sort of rumors and blatant lies have you believed?" His focus on aggravating Heart Shield had shifted, for the time being, giving the pony another reprieve from his antagonizing in favor of his curiosity. It was likely to be like this with King Sombra- occasionally putting on the pressure and letting up to see how and when the target of his attention might snap.

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"Yes, I can very much enjoy this job at times........ However this doesn't seem to be one of those times." Heart Shield said in a annoyed tone. He stood looking away from Sombra now. His eyes where narrowed in a aggressive manner, His ears where folded back. It seemed like there was no end to Sombra's constant remarks. He raised one of his front hooves up slightly, stomping it down in annoyance, His mouth formed a aggressive gesture. He felt Overwhelmed and tense on the inside, Like he could snap at any time. Heart Tried to keep his cool, but Sombra was rapidly bringing it to a boil. "Others should be serving you!?" Heart Shield couldn't believe such a bold remark. "Well good luck with that, I for one would probably have to leave if i had to serve someone such as you."  Heart Shield said in a snappy mood. Sombra was getting what he wanted, and that only made Heart Shield more aggravated. "Yes, I have had the unfortunate mistake of hearing of you before.." Heart Shield Huffed, He was Shocked that Sombra had pushed him this far. Normally it took a lot for him to get this aggravated.  "Ah, I have heard all sorts about you. You turned Princess Amore into black crystal, Before enslaving the kind citizens of the crystal empire to dig in search of what? Couldn't you do the digging, Some pony as strong as yourself? And if i have my information right, You where cast into a void of ice for a quite a long time, By the princesses never the less?" Heart Shield remarked with a huff. It seemed Sombra was really bringing out the worst in Heart Shield 

 

 

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The king quietly grunted and studied the pony's body language, noticing the stiffness of Heart Shield's stance, the narrowed eyes and splayed back ears. The poor pony was at his limit. Nopony else was likely to be as irritating as Sombra could be because he knew just what to say and just where to put the pressure to get a pony so close to rage. It tickled him. He now knew he was toeing a dangerous line with Heart Shield- if he went any further, he'd likely end up provoking the guard into attacking him.

 

Not like Heart Shield stood a chance against him, anyway.

 

"You'd so willingly quit your job?" Sombra made a noise in his throat, somewhere between impressed and disappointed. "It seems a lot of my exploits have gotten out, now that the princesses' failure is.. ah, out in the open. They must have had no choice but to have what'd happened recorded." His tone was thoughtful as he pondered it aloud, a hoof drifting up to his chin and sliding around to rub at one of his well-groomed sideburns- something that was always particularly styled. "I had my reasons for making the crystal ponies dig that mineshaft- they helped speed up a process that I wasn't interested in stooping to, and they deserved it with as foul as they were. Ponies aren't so innocent and good as they like to believe about themselves. They're just as flawed, and as terrible, as I am- I'm just honest about my nature."

 

Sombra shrugged and eyed Heart Shield with a little twist to his lips. "They did do that to me. They sealed the Empire's fate in the process though; that was how my curse on it worked. As long as I was sealed away, so was it. They lost no time at all, it was as if there was no interruption to what happened.. but me? I had to endure that wretched, icy void of a prison for those thousand years. Drove me mad, but.. the Crystal Heart seems to have fixed that." An eyebrow rose. "What issues I had with the princesses is now long since put behind us when Celestia has allowed me so close to her," he purred, hoping to make the implications of that emphasis clear. He no longer seemed as focused as before on harassing Heart Shield, perhaps because he'd let up again to talk about himself for a moment, something he always enjoyed doing if just to put the image of a self-obsessed pony in others' minds. A diversion tactic.

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"Yeh I guess i would...I don't think i could listen to you for days on end." Heart Shield chuckled to himself as he pondered for a moment at Sombra's inquiry. He couldn't imagine having to listen to Sombra for the rest of his career, This few minutes Sombra has been around him had felt like a eternity it's self, He thought to himself. Heart Shield eased up a little, It seemed Sombra was backing off again all tho that was probably far from the last of it.  Heart Shield has loosened up a little, and had a bit calmer look on him now, but he still had a trace of annoyance in his face.

 

 "Princesses failure? How so?" He asked rather curiously. Heart Shield had to be careful to discern the things Sombra would say, He had no idea if Sombra was telling the truth or trying to spread some kind of "self propaganda" about how he is the better one somehow. He arched a brow curiously as he said something about the crystal ponies being just as terrible as he was. "You say the crystal ponies where as terrible as you? Do tell?" Heart Shield asked curiously at such a claim. Heart went on to listen to Sombra speak about how he had put the issue between him and the princess behind them now, and at least hoped he was doing this for good reasons, and not for some deceiving reason. He just never could tell with Sombra. "Well, I certainly hope you have good intentions now?" Heart Shield asked, Causally looking over to Sombra again, Just to see how he would respond. 

 

 

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A smile flashed across Sombra's face with his amusement, briefly shared with Heart Shield on the matter. "Of course you couldn't," he murmured; it almost sounded like a challenge. Shrugging, his attention switched back to their other topic at hand: the royal sisters. "Seeing as you've apparently brushed up on your history, you should know.. but let me explain, if you don't understand. They tried to save the Crystal Empire from me, the tyrant, but I placed a curse on it some few weeks before they'd ever attacked because I.. wasn't in the best state of mind at the time. I was paranoid. I knew something would have to happen eventually. So in that eventuality that I'd be attacked by the southern kingdom's rulers, I would ensure that the empire would disappear along with me for however long I was gone."
 

An eyebrow arched at Heart Shield, silently questioning him if he'd gotten it yet. "They tried to save the empire. They failed. They lost to me, and it seems that they never allowed that failure to make it into their history books, not until recently I'm sure. They kept it a secret for so long, nopony knew that they'd lost an entire city of ponies.." Because of me seemed to hang in the air, unspoken.

 

"They were prejudiced; I'd daresay even racist. They looked down on me because I wasn't like them. Because my coat did not become crystalline, because I never gained a cutiemark like them.." Surprise flitted across his face as he realized what he'd let slip, and he hurriedly tucked the reaction away behind his usual mask. "The other orphans bullied me often, and most adults.. I can't say they were all that concerned, I suppose. Except the mare who ran the orphanage, but there was only so much that that poor, overworked pony could do. They only ever believed the worst of me, without reason. Their princess, Amore, was the worst. Always kept on that mask of kindness, yet she let me suffer all of those years. She knew what I was, what the magic of the Crystal Heart was doing to me during the faires, and she did nothing. It was cruel. I was just a colt, then, with no clue why I was always in agony on that day."

 

Sombra's face twisted in anger, into something hateful, before he hid that emotion too. "I've hated princesses ever since that day, but.. perhaps I've made an exception. I can't say my intentions are good.. at least for anypony else. Only for myself. So! Heart Shield, do you have any personal dirt to tell me about?"

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Heart Shield breathed a sigh of relief as Sombra seemed to wander off on some less antagonistic discussion. "Well i can't say i know a lot about history, just mostly the basics. So you placed a curse on the crystal empire causing a whole city of ponies to disappear with you? What happened to them? Sorry i seem ignorant.... seeing as I'm not a pony that can do magic or anything.." He said sort of bashfully fluttering the feathers on his wing for a instant. Heart Shield looked with a curious look on his face when Sombra mentioned he didn't have a cutie mark. He seemed to hid very quickly that he said that."You don't have a cutie mark?" He asked in a bit of a surprised face "I guess it never to late tho." Heart Shield added trying to keep a light mood. 

 

"I'm sorry to hear that you have been treated that way" Heart shield said trying not to seem rude to what he said "You mentioned of the mare that ran the orphanage? Perhaps not all of them where so bad? I can see what you mean tho, Bad news seems to get around much faster than good."  Heart said as he glanced around the room again, before glancing back at Sombra, as he observed His face seem to twist though emotions, as he tried to hid them "Maybe being here in the castle around the princesses could help put the past behind you? Maybe perhaps you could look forward to a much calmer future? Heart shield said as he tried to act encouraging in some way, or at least not hateful to Sombra "So, Is there anything you enjoy doing on your free time besides... well you know? I have always heard ponies say to do what ever makes you happy in life." upon finishing the sentence Sombra asked him if he had anything to say. Heart shield was taken off guard by the question as Sombra was so much into talking about himself. "Well, no i can't really say anything.... I have had a pretty uneventful life so far"  He answered back in a soft tone. 

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A nod confirmed what Heart Shield had repeated and Sombra gave a little shrug with one shoulder. "It's difficult to explain. They were sort of.. displaced in time. They didn't experience anything. To them, it was like no time passed at all between when the empire disappeared, and when it returned. Nopony was harmed, I assure you." Except for the slavery, and working them to exhaustion, and sometimes worse, in that mine shaft.

 

His gaze briefly flicked to the pegasus's wings and he quietly grunted. "You actually can, you just aren't conscious of it. How else can you walk on clouds and control the weather?" An eyebrow arched as he asked that question and gave a little start from Heart Shield's own. His expression soured and he turned on his cushion, putting his left side to the guard. "No, I don't, and I never will. I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I'm not a pony," Sombra grumbled. It was one little detail he had to correct despite how uncomfortable he was with talking about it. It wasn't something he wanted ponies to know after how the crystal ponies treated him in the past over it. Equestrians would be no different.

 

"That isn't really an apology," Sombra pointed out with a soft grumble, looking over at Heart Shield with a disgruntled expression. Moving past it, he shrugged. "As far as I'm concerned, Chestnut Falls was the only one that wasn't bad. The rest of them?" The umbrum made a sweeping gesture with his hoof to indicate his point. He snorted. "How.. odd that I'm discussing this with you of all ponies, but.. perhaps. Ponies will continue to see me in a negative light no matter the case, and I've no interest in changing myself just to fit into their narrow idea of acceptable."

 

A soft noise escaped him at that supposed nugget of wisdom that Heart Shield offered up. "Do whatever makes me happy in life?" he repeated with a thoughtful tone, and glanced over at Heart Shield with a broad smirk. There was an inappropriate joke that he could make, and he struggled between the decision to make it and to withhold it. The smirk faded and he huffed softly. "Really? I highly doubt your life has been so boring as you think.. Certainly you have some juicy details, or are you really that dull?"

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"Well I'm glad to hear that at least." Heart Shield said with soft tone, unsure if that could be said about all the ponies. Sombra had brought up him being able to walk on clouds, and control the weather, which reminded him that he had forgotten about that. "Oh yeh, I guess that is magic in its own way." He said thinking to himself for a minute as he noticed Sombra's sour expression to him mentioning a cutie mark. "Oh, sorry about that. I do remember hearing a mention about what you are a while back, but i wasn't sure if you could gain a cutie mark or not." Heart Shield said in a bit of soft tone, He found it rather awkward that he had forgotten about that, as he shifted on his hooves. 

 

"Oh well sorry then.." He quickly remarked at Sombra's refusal of the apology. "Oh i have no issues with you Sombra, as long as you don't give me a reason to" The gold armored pony said in a remark, Realizing that he may be digging himself deeper in the hole instead of out with Sombra, After all he was rather hard to please. "You're quite hard to get along with aren't you?... I think i'd rather have to listen to Discord." Heart Shield said in a low tone chuckling softly to himself, almost hoping he didn't hear any of that. "Yes, Like what to do you enjoy doing......" Heart Shield paused to see Sombra wide grin on his face "Actually... Never mind i asked" Heart Shield nervously chuckled to himself "Oh really, There isn't much to me" He insisted as he thought to himself  "I was born in ponyville, and lived there to i was old enough to move here to Canterlot on my own and join the guard. There really isn't really anything of the likes to say about me, other then maybe i did foolishly get myself into trouble in the Everfree when i was little once, But other than that I have got nothing interesting to say about myself" Heart Shield said realizing that maybe he was really that boring. 

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Sombra grunted softly after Heart Shield's little realization, and he fought the urge to roll his eyes. Ponies, his expression seemed to say with disdain. "Did you? Pray tell, what exactly did you hear about what I am?" he asked, genuinely curious. What did ponies supposedly learn about him, if anything at all? What lies might be passed around about him through their revised history books? It was something he made a note of to look into later when he had the Canterlot Archives at his hooves, as well as any bookshelves sitting around the castle; they couldn't all just be for decoration, after all.

 

The topic shifted somewhat and he snorted. "Only certain ponies gain the privilege to get along with me, and you are not one of those ponies. In time, perhaps, depending on my mood and if I ever come to find anything likeable about you.. I may be more agreeable." The tall stallion shrugged, indicating the uncertainty of it. Even he didn't know if that would become a possibility.

 

"Nevermind indeed," he agreed, amusement tinging his tone. It was best Heart Shield didn't know, but Sombra did enjoy the thought of rubbing his relationship with Celestia in everypony's faces. She was his and his alone, and he wanted to make that clear, not to mention to express the pride he felt that she picked him of all ponies. Of all creatures. And, perhaps he also enjoyed throwing out hints of what he participated in with her, too, just to see the looks on ponies' faces. Another smirk pulled at the corners of his mouth as his attention returned to Heart Shield to hear out a brief overview of the guard's life story. He scoffed.

 

"You've never gotten up to anything? No pranks, no adventures? Never did anything bad? Pray tell, what is this trouble with the Everfree Forest you've mentioned or did you only get yourself lost?"

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"Well to tell the truth, I have heard lots about what you are like, and what you have done, But I am afraid i know little about what you actually are besides a Umbrum, Am i correct?" Heart Shield said trying to explain himself. He decided he would later try to read and find out more about Sombra's origins later, unless Sombra himself gave him some insight. All tho He wasn't sure he could bear Sombra for much longer than he had to, and decided not to ask unless Sombra mentioned of it. " It's a privilege to get along with you?" Heart shield asked curiously, with a amused look on his face as he thought about making a wisecrack at that comment, he just couldn't help himself. "Sounds more like torture to me, but how ever you want to word it" Heart Shield couldn't help grin as he chuckled to himself for a moment. "I'm glad you at least consider it tho" He added, the same grin still on his face. With the annoyance Sombra brought, Heart Shield had to at least amuse himself in some way to keep a light mood.

 

"No, none of the such. Now adventures? I do like wandering about finding new places, and new things on my free time. Oh the trouble with the Everfree? I merely just bumped into a bunch of Timberwolves with a friend of mine. Isn't much of a story to tell. I went there when i was little, when i was told not to, But i was curious and went there any way. We ran into a bunch of Timberwolves, and We hurriedly found our way out of the forest soon after."  Heart said as thought to himself. There wasn't much interesting about him. Sombra was most likely to find that boring, but that was all he had to tell.

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The answer he'd gotten was vague, and in his opinion, an awful answer because of it. What would he get to learn about what ponies supposedly 'knew' about him if they only gave him a bland I've heard a lot about you nonsense? Sombra snorted, slouching a little against the table. Sulky. "Yes, it is. If I find you tolerable, I'll be more likely to be lenient. If not, then.." A grey hoof gestured at Heart Shield and their situation as a whole. Anypony he didn't like, he'd antagonize and press all of their buttons until they either fled the room or melted down with rage for his own entertainment.

 

Heart Shield's small joke earned an eye roll from Sombra. "Yes, yes. However you want to feel about it," he retorted. Moving on..

 

"Ah. That must've been the only time in your entire life that you did something of your own free will, rather than listened to what somepony told you to do," Sombra quipped. "It's a shame you won't tell me of this misadventure of yours.. Nonetheless, I've been curious about the Everfree Forest. I've never really gotten to go there or explore it in full. Ponies like to claim it's dangerous, it seems, and I'm curious about why.. or if they're just afraid because the animals aren't cute, cuddly domesticated ones like the pets that they keep. The wilderness is called that for a reason, and it's a chaotic place for little prey animals to venture into." The umbrum rubbed at his fuzzy chin with the tip of his toe, looking thoughtful. Timberwolves definitely sounded like a threat, but they were just animals defending their territory. Strange animals, but animals nonetheless.

 

"Perhaps you could accompany me into the Everfree Forest? Certainly if it proves to be a letdown, I can always visit the next thing that I've taken a fascination with: the royal sisters' old castle. I'd like to see how many old books they must've left behind.." Sombra's phrasing suggested that it'd be easy to do away with Heart Shield within the Everfree for whatever reason that took him, but his tone and overall attitude made it difficult to tell if he was planning something or if it'd just be a simple trip.

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Heart Shield stood around the middle of the room as he listened to Sombra as he sat on the table to the side of him. He had hoped today would have been a peaceful day being mostly away from other ponies, But it seemed Sombra had other ideas. Heart Shield cocked his head in curiosity at Sombra's pause as he pointed a hoof at him. "If not then what?" He asked as if he didn't know the answer to that one. Heart Shield had a few ideas as to what Sombra was implying to, but he figured he would see how Sombra would word it. A small grin grew on His face as he saw Sombra roll his eyes at his little joke. He figured at this point if Sombra wasn't going to tolerate him, He would at least make sure he deserved it.

 

"I do things to my own free will all the time" Heart Shield insisted to Sombra "I do lots of things on my free time to my own accord. Yes i do get told what to do here, But it is my own decision to be here, and the job can actually be quite enjoyable at times. Besides my home isn't going to pay for itself, so i have to do something for bits" He explained trying to convince Sombra otherwise, but he somehow knew that wouldn't be enough of an explanation. "Well I have never explored The forest myself much either" He added to Sombra's remark. "Accompany you into the Everfree?" Heart Shield said with a little bit of surprise in his voice. He had a itching suspicion Sombra would try to lure him into some kind of trap or another, But that only made it seem that much more exciting. "I have never been to the old castle before, It would be exciting to see what may still be still hidden with in" Heart Shield said some what showing a enthusiastic tone in his voice. He put a hoof to his chin for a moment as he thought about what was still at the old castle, and the risks it would take getting there, Especially with having Sombra around. 

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Dark eyebrows rose up Sombra's forehead as the king himself gave Heart Shield a questioning look, and his eyes seemed to say you very well know what. The antagonizing would only get worse, and Sombra would not be merciful- he would keep pushing those buttons until the pony had a meltdown or went stomping off in a rage, knowing that no matter what he did he'd never be able to get the upper hoof on the king of shadows.

 

A soft chuckle escaped Sombra over the assertion Heart Shield made, and in that chuckle was the umbrum's clear disbelief. If only just to nettle the royal guard a little further. "I'm sure you do, little golden pawn," he remarked with a slight tilt of his head. "I won't tell you that there are 'other, better jobs' out there than this. If you needed to do something for bits you should have thought of something better than becoming a peasant." A single laugh escaped him, mocking in its sound; Sombra couldn't help finding amusement in it.

 

"That is what I said. You should get out of this castle once in a while," he was projecting a little, "and do something. I think it would definitely be.. fun to go and check out the pony sisters' old castle. I, too, want to see what secrets it might hold and what old books they'd left behind. Old books that would have important knowledge, records of spells.. The Canterlot Archives is wonderfully extensive, but I'm certain there is still a lot that is missing." His head tilted as he considered it and he plucked at the white-fur hem of his cape. Truthfully, one of the reasons that he wouldn't reveal was that he wanted to see if there was any more information about old artifacts, including one that'd caught his interest.

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Heart Shield took a deep breath as he sighed out. Glancing down at the floor with eyes that looked somewhere in between annoyed and slightly sad. He stood as he listened to Sombra's remarks, As much as wished he could just leave He couldn't, It would bring him into a lot of trouble if he where to leave his post for anything that wasn't important. He let out a single little amused huff as he imagined putting tape over Sombra's mouth to keep him quiet, or at least something over his ears to muffle the noise. He knew neither would work, but it at least was a amusing thought to him. 

 

"Well I'm not going to deny there might be better jobs out there, But i do quite like this job at times.... Tho this just doesn't seem like one those times" He added with a little bit of a pause as he looked straight ahead again, as he thought about other places that sounded good right now, as long as he had some peace and quiet to himself he smiled to himself. "Becoming a peasant?" Heart Shield asked in a bit of a huffy voice, looking over with a annoyed look. "Well what ever you call it, It still pays," He added as he glanced down in thought "Besides, If every pony was just like you. Then how would any work get done around here?" Heart Shield chuckled to himself.

 

"I would gladly go exploring around the old castle, But tell me this, How do i know i can trust you not to try something funny and pull a fast one on me while we are there? He asked Sombra, Somewhat expecting not to get a straight answer, knowing how Sombra was. 

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