Jump to content
dragonofruin

An Old Acquaintance (Closed; PyroBlaze)

Recommended Posts

Canterlot had proven to be an interesting place. It leaned more towards the wealthy elite of unicorn society, and because of such, the mountainside city was clean and well-kept, although there was still enough evidence of some of the more regular citizens living here. The former tyrant cared for none of them and kept to himself as much as possible, or to any libraries he could manage to sneak into during the more quiet hours. Or the dead of night, if need be- it wasn't terribly hard getting inside for one like him who was unafraid of breaking a few rules and laws. If he was breaking any all just to read when he wouldn't be disturbed or discovered.

 

Currently, the umbrum wasn't up to much beyond lurking at the city's outskirts, close to the marble railing that edged the large platforms of the city. There were a few benches and patches of grass from which a tree or decorative patches of flowers grew. He sat under one such tree, his forelegs crossed over his broad chest and his mouth pulled into a thoughtful frown. There was still a lot to explore, and learn, and yet.. even now, he found himself in a moment where he just felt lost without what defined him before in the Crystal Empire. He'd never go back, of course, he'd succeeded well enough at what he intended when he'd been there. That part of his life was over.

 

Sombra shifted briefly in his spot, peering around the tree he was leaning up against just to check on his surroundings; a habit to make sure nothing was sneaking up on him. There was only so much brooding he could do without getting restless and checking with a paranoid eye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles was getting pretty frustrated with this search, all things considered. He was getting tired of arriving too late to catch Sombra and having to find a new lead to follow, usually coming too late for him to actually catch up. He wasn’t about to give up though, he knew Sombra was out there, and he needed to get back to fulfilling his pact to the stallion. 
 

It seemed he was in luck this time though, as the yokai felt a tugging on his magic that lead him around the city. This was as strong as it had ever been since he started the search, which was good. Soon enough, the large cat found himself in a park of sorts on the outskirts of Canterlot, trying to look around and spot Sombra. Eventually spotting the stallion, he breathed a sigh of relief before heading over quickly and stopping nearby. 
 

“I am glad I have found you, my king, I knew you were still out there somewhere, and I have sought you out to resume my service to you.” Miles said, bowing to Sombra, unable to hold back a smile. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before Sombra completely turned away from what he'd been surveying, his eyes caught movement and he felt a small flash of alarm. He looked back, only for his gaze to land on a figure that resolved itself as a familiar one. It was.. Miles, was it? He recalled running into him for the first time in a thousand years at that particular meeting for STAR he'd been invited to. Sombra wasn't sure what he'd even do about STAR, or how he'd even be involved in it. Had he even signed anything? He couldn't recall if he had; only that there had been a lot of talking and a lot of fiery speeches from the mare who called herself Black Ice.

 

Sombra rolled easily to his hooves and stood, keeping to the shadow cast by the tree as he eyed the koma-inu's approach. He didn't know why he never thought of trying to find the yokai after that silly meeting. Maybe he just hadn't thought of it when he felt he didn't have a use for Miles.

 

"I just wonder what that service will even entail now," Sombra commented without so much as a hello in response. Some of his memories about Miles were a bit hazy, but he could still vaguely recall how they'd initially met and how Miles had come into his service. Although what Miles could even do for him now.. Sombra wasn't sure. His ears flicked back in uncertainty.

 

"What have you been up to all this time?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about that comment. It was slightly worrying, but a pact was not lightly broken, so he was going to stick with it until the end. 
 

“Mostly looking for you and taking care of problems along the way.” He responded, answering Sombra’s question. “I’m here to help with any problem you have. I made a pact, and a pact is not something you can break that I know of, and certainly not easily.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sombra tilted his head, curious about these 'problems' that Miles spoke of. He'd ask the yokai about it soon, they had something else to talk about first. "I wonder, what have you been up to these past few years? It's at least taken me that long for my body to reform- up until around four.. ? months ago.." His voice had an uncertain tone as he spoke of how long he'd been around now. It could've been much longer, or perhaps.. less than that. He wasn't entirely sure. He knew it'd taken him a while to travel all those miles south through Equestria to the center of the kingdom, and he'd done what he could to keep track of the moon's phases.

 

"Furthermore, I'm not sure what 'problems' I might have, beyond a lack of direction and somewhere to stay." A dark eyebrow arched. The only way he'd been getting by was staying for a night or two at an inn for a bed and a bath, and he only managed such when he pilfered some bits from unsuspecting ponies. He wasn't above stealing when it suited him. It made him miss the luxuries of a king: a soft bed, a bath whenever he wanted it, and other creature comforts. Sometimes, he did wonder if he ought to just turn back to his old habits and conquer something for himself just so he could have a comfortable life again; at least, comfortable without any of the anxiety and paranoia that came with wondering if at least one pony would make an assassination attempt. He hadn't been in the best state of mind, then..

 

His ear twitched and Sombra pulled his mind out of his thoughts before they wandered too deep. "I have no intent on trying to break your pact, if it is something that matters to you," Sombra admitted quietly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“It is less the pact itself and more what it represents.” He responded quietly as well, giving a slight hum. “Whatever path life takes you on, I shall follow until the end. As for what I’ve been doing, I have already answered that question. The seal on the Empire seemed to react differently to me, and it held me for a while after everything else returned. By the time I awoke, Princess Cadence and her husband had already taken control and the Crystal Heart was back. I had no idea what had happened to you, but I could feel that you were still out there, so I set out to look for you.”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"How long ago?" Sombra asked, intrigued by the information. How could it have taken longer for Miles to reappear after the Empire had? It explained why Sombra hadn't seen the yokai; not that he would've noticed. The time the Crystal Empire returned, and him with it, he'd been out of his mind after a thousand years in a cold void with only one goal on his mind. Regardless..

 

He wasn't sure how to feel about Miles' loyalty towards him. Was it because he'd helped the yokai, before he ever became a tyrant? If it was, he wasn't sure if he entirely understood why such a situation would've made Miles want to stick around- he had to have seen what Sombra did to the empire and its crystal citizens. His brow furrowed and Sombra sat down, his right side still leaning up against the rough bark of the tree with the fabric of his cape protecting him from it; his posture was little more than a slouch.

"Well, I hope you're not fussed that I'm not interested in going back to the Crystal Empire. I've ditched that place. I have a life to live, now that I've gained so much time and so much has opened itself up to me." Sombra tilted his head, his gaze flicking past Miles briefly to survey what he could see of the area. "I have choices, now," he added quietly, just loud enough for Miles to hear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“After everything had settled down from your attempted return, at least. I don’t think they’d had their foal yet, but I’m unsure. As for returning to the Empire, I have no qualms about leaving it behind us, I don’t think it was good for your mental state.” Miles said, watching Sombra briefly as he finished talking. He had indeed made the pact because Sombra had saved him, and while he didn’t like seeing the stallion become someone completely different over his reign, he was willing to stick around, maybe repay his debt by helping bring the Sombra he knew back. Seems that part was taken care of. Well enough, anyways, so he was more than happy to keep helping the stallion wherever he could. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Foal? The word caught his attention and his eyebrows shot up. It sounded as if the new Crystal Princess and her husband had been busy in his absence. He snorted, mildly amused, and his inequine red eyes settled on Miles again. The yokai's observation about his mental state intrigued him enough to wonder what exactly the creature thought of him, and what he'd seen during Sombra's tyrannical rule of the empire. Furthermore, what did Miles think he knew about him?

 

His gaze was intense as he looked at Miles, as if trying to glean some sort of answer from the koma-inu's face. He grunted softly and looked out at the view over the railing, at the different shades of green that made up central Equestria, and the distant speckling of yellow of the straw-thatched roofs of Ponyville. "It wasn't," Sombra replied. "A lot wasn't, but we're here now at least. I just wonder what there is for me to pursue here in Equestria, beyond basic needs and comforts." The king shifted in place, rolling to slouch with his back up against the tree again, and his rear nestled between two protruding roots. His hoof flicked at the white-fur hem of his signature cape, getting it out of the way and adjusting it around his broad shoulders.

 

He wanted to do something, to have some sort of purpose again- but only because he'd chosen it for himself, and not because somepony else had put him there. The only question was.. what? It was growing increasingly frustrating every time his mind hit a dead end with those questions. He licked his lips with a pointed tongue and looked back up at Miles.

 

"What are your goals, exactly? What doesn't involve your pact to me."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles didn’t really say anything to Sombra’s first words, just a hum of understanding and acknowledgement. The yokai tilted his head at the question that came next though, his gaze moving to look out over the view now as he hummed again in thought. He wasn’t really sure what to say... he’d been so focused on finding Sombra, he hadn’t given much thought to goals not involving him...

 

”I... am not sure.” He offered at first, continuing after a small pause. “Perhaps finding my sister. I haven’t seen her since before being sealed away... She’s probably still out there, but I don’t have the kind of bond I have with you to know for sure.” He sighed, walking over to the edge and leaning slightly on the railing as he kept taking in the view. He had another goal, though it was just his desire to repay Sombra, and the stallion had asked to exclude stuff like that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Your sister?" He was somewhat surprised to hear that Miles had a sister. If she'd ever been mentioned, he didn't recall, and Sombra didn't think he'd ever thought to ask much about Miles to begin with. Mostly he just questioned the loyalty of any who'd willingly follow him. Scratching at one of his sideburns with a hoof, Sombra eyed the yokai leaning on the railing.

 

"The fact that you seem to have a better bond with me than your sister is concerning," Sombra commented, lifting one dark brow. "Do you know where she'd been last, or if she's still alive? I don't think I have any idea how long your species lives, or anything about what you mean by the bond. Is it part of your species' magic?" It could've easily been some part of this pact Miles had made to him too, as Sombra knew there could be such things, and forced servitude forged with magic.

 

"What exactly does your pact to me entail, and how does it work?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles opened his mouth, pausing as he puzzled over Sombra's words momentarily. It seemed waiting was the right move anyways, as Sombra came in with a final question. He nodded to himself in thought, eventually looking back towards the stallion before answering.

 

"The pact binds us together. As long as I am keeping my end of the bargain, my powers are increased. Likewise, I could use that link to sense you were alive and help to find you. That is what I meant by not having the kind of bond I could use to locate her like I did you. The pact itself is fairly simple, I am to help you as long as the both of us are still alive. As for how long we last, I am not entirely sure, but I've heard stories of yokai that were alive before you showed up in the Empire still being alive today. I am not entirely sure if going where I last saw her would help much, considering that was before being sealed away, so any trail would be many years old." He said, sighing slightly and sitting down with his back to the railing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The umbrum inclined his head, attentive to the explanation. It helped answer some questions he had concerning the pact in particular and he guessed it was something unique to Miles's species. He grunted softly.

 

"I've wondered, because of my circumstances, if there's a chance I could be partially immortal- kill-able, but long lived. Albeit, anything has yet to manage to really put me down, even the Crystal Heart failed. This could last for a very long time.. if your species' lifespan is so long lived. I suppose it does at least benefit you in some way." As Miles would likely benefit him. He really would have to actually get to know the yokai better, now that there was nothing consuming Sombra's focus like the subjugation of a city.

 

"I suppose I shouldn't expect anypony to stick around the same location for a thousand years.. I wouldn't. There's a whole world out there to explore." Maybe that was something he could do, at some point.. He could see the world. Learn new languages, and explore to his heart's content if he really was going to live as long as he thought he would. It might be nice. He quickly pulled himself away from his wistful thoughts to continue. "I'm sure we can find her eventually. She couldn't have gotten far, if she's stuck around Equestria at all."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles nodded to Sombra’s words, kind of expecting as much. He didn’t know that much about what Sombra’s race was like, but if he could survive what had happened to him so far, he was likely going to be around for quite some time. As the discussion turned back to his sister, Miles gave a small hum in agreement to Sombra’s words. 
 

“Yes, I’m sure we could. Though Equestria might be bigger than you think. It likely wouldn’t be a quick tour trying to find her or recent clues about her.” He sighed slightly. They had plenty of time, but he knew how difficult it could be trying to find someone who kept moving from place to place. Assuming she was doing that, anyways. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The king rumbled softly from his spot against the tree and considered Miles for a moment. A traveling companion? He wouldn't mind that so much, especially since Miles didn't seem to be overly talkative like some ponies he'd heard. He snorted softly and pulled himself up from where he'd been lounging to stretch his legs and give himself a shake, dislodging any small bits of bark that might've stuck to him.

 

He strode up next to Miles, albeit with a bit of distance between them, and sat down to hook his forelegs over the marble railing. "Have you ever tried using any spells to find her? If you have anything that used to belong to her, you might be able to track her, or perhaps some reflective surface for scrying to see if you can glimpse her or her location." Neither was likely to be reliable, considering how long Miles had been a part from his sister, but it was already a start. Maybe he wouldn't mind.. helping.. if just to glean more about his rather loyal servant. Companion? He wasn't sure what Miles would be to him.

 

Any gestures like he was giving now was rare for Sombra, but he wasn't incapable of them. Most saw him as an irrefutably evil being who would never stoop to lending even a crumb of assistance to another, a view that was incorrect. Sombra was just a very complicated being, if rather selfish; anything he did would always serve him in some way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“Scrying spells? Right, forgot about those. Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at those kinds of spells, so that will be difficult. Plus, she’s always been more covert than me. Still, it’s a place to start, so it’s more than we had previously.” He said, considering what the options were and trying to remember what he had that had belonged to her, if anything. As he did so, he watched the sky. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The umbrum nodded and glanced over at Miles. Scrying spells would be a start, then. The only thing Sombra needed was a reflective surface. It was always what worked best with such a thing, even if he hadn't used it terribly often; it'd just been something useful to learn, should he actually need it. Although, Sombra realized, he needed to know what Miles' sister looked like, a description or a picture, that could help him at least try since Miles expressed he wasn't any good at such spells.

 

A picture would be out of the question, when it'd been a little over a thousand years since Miles last saw her, and cameras hadn't existed until.. recently? By some years, from what Sombra understood. Hm. This was going to be a problem to figure out. Scrying might not even work, but it was always worth a shot.

 

"As much as I enjoy seeing my reflection, I'm afraid I don't have a mirror on me. If we want to try this, just as something to do instead of sitting around and brooding," as if he hadn't already been doing just that before Miles showed up, "we'll have to find one. I'm sure in a city like this we'd be able to find something we can use." He turned in place to face Miles, pulling one foreleg off of the railing. He was up for looking into it in this very moment; it'd give him an excuse to do something, and take something too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“It shouldn’t be too hard to find something suitable in the city. That sounds like a good start, so let’s go do that.” Miles nodded, standing up but not going anywhere until he was sure Sombra wanted to do this right now as well. He was still serving the stallion after all, and he needed Sombra to actually cast the spell. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't surprising that his suggestion met no resistance; he was so used to the defiance of others that to have Miles so agreeable to the plan threw him off guard for a moment. Of course, the yokai wanted to find his sister. Internally shrugging, Sombra stood up and strode off without a word, picking his way along the park paths to head into the city. It'd still be fairly active around this time, which made Sombra wish that it was closer to sunset, if not nighttime. It wasn't that it was going to be difficult to get anything that he could use, he just hated being around ponies.

 

And, of course, there would be some challenge, too; he couldn't afford to grow lazy and soft, now could he?

Sombra glanced back at Miles, though there was no need to check to see if the koma-inu was following; the king knew he was. He strode ahead, seeking out the street he knew many of the shops to be. It could be a good starting point.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles followed behind Sombra silently, on the lookout for any threats, or surfaces they could use for the spell. Things seemed to be getting more commercial and less residential, so they were likely going to try and find the mirror in a shop. That would likely be a good place to find a usable mirror for their purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As they drew further into the city, dark magic bubbled to life around Sombra's horn as he cast a small spell on himself to ensure that anypony who looked at him would forget about him, or that he was there, and he did this without breaking stride. It was better than manifesting a cloak for himself here, just so he wouldn't stick out more than he already did, and his vanity prevented him from simply using an illusion to disguise himself most of the time. Unless he had to.

 

Miles was exempt, of course, since his spell was focused towards ponies.

 

He didn't have to look behind him again to know that Miles was obediently following, despite how silent the yokai was. Sombra wasn't sure if he was glad that Miles wasn't very talkative, or if it meant it'd take him longer to really learn more.

 

The king lead the way down one street of shops, peering in through the large display windows until he found something promising: a beauty shop. It would likely have anything ponies needed to buy for home use: soaps, makeup, mane and curry brushes, and.. personal mirrors. It'd be easy to just have one on hoof so they could hunker down somewhere private and test the spell. For fun, Sombra supposed. He slipped into the store to look around, finding how.. peculiar it was to be in such a place; nothing like this ever used to exist a thousand years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles noticed the spell being cast, sighing slightly as his own magic enveloped him and left a burly unicorn where he once was. He understood the need for it right now, but he had never liked hiding himself. He looked back and forth at the shops, stopping near the one Sombra entered to keep watch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The shadow king's hoofsteps were quiet as he strode into the shop and moved among the shelves, eying the products displayed there with small paper tags announcing their prices. It was peculiar, that so much would be so easily available now, no matter whether somepony was nobility or peasant. Even soap. He poked around at a few bottles, squinting at their labels, before moving on among the aisles. He finally glanced out at Miles and instead of a yokai, he found a rather burly unicorn. A disguise, Sombra guessed. An eyebrow rose and he turned back to his search.

 

Mostly beauty products, of course. Sombra almost gave up until he came across one wall and found a small selection of hoof mirrors. Supported by wooden displays, small oval or round mirrors within decorative gold or silver frames of different shapes and designs. They were, to his eye, a little tacky. Albeit, the face he caught reflected back at him in a few of them were not.

 

Sombra smugly tilted his head this way and that, admiring his reflection and preening just a little. He thought highly of himself, mostly of his looks, and this was a momentary, distracting opportunity to gaze at his own reflection. He stopped, remembering what he was here for and looked around as if he was making sure nopony had seen. Turning his attention back to the mirrors, Sombra selected the simplest one: a small round mirror with a plain frame. It would do. Tucking it under his cape by one shoulder, he slipped out of the shop to meet back up with Miles, clearing his throat and gesturing with his head to head into the alleys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles kept watch on the street, which remained empty throughout the whole affair. As Sombra emerged once more, he nodded and followed the stallion into the alley to start this little spell. As he went, he began focusing on what he remembered of her looks, figuring that might help the spell succeed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His pace quickened to hurry them off of the streets, and he slipped into the cooler shade between the buildings. The dark unicorn lead the way down the narrow passage to the alley that ran behind the buildings and picked a spot in the shade to sit, his back against one building and his magic pulling the round mirror out to lay it where both he and the disguised Miles could see it. Now he.. just needed to figure out how exactly they were going to try this spell.

 

His dark brows furrowed and he pointed to the spot on the other side of where the mirror lay, indicating where he wanted Miles to sit.

 

Sombra briefly considered his options: mind-controlling Miles to perform the spell with his memories of his sister, showing the yokai how to do the spell, or perhaps trying to figure out a way to do it together. Hell, if Miles could disguise himself as his sister for just a moment, Sombra would probably be able to use her image to scry her. The umbrum rubbed at his chin with a hoof, mulling it over.

 

"Do you remember what she looked like?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...