The King & Shy

After a terrible storm sweeps through the Everfree, Fluttershy finds the weakened but still powerful King Sombra on her doorstep. Unable to resist his dark magic, she finds herself trapped by a spell that forces her to aid him, protect him, and heal him until he is strong once more, all while keeping his revival a secret from her friends. Unwilling to risk bringing her friends into the situation and endanger them, Fluttershy decides on a riskier tactic
If she could reform Discord, why not the Tyrant of the Crystal Empire. After all, with his spell keeping her from betraying his presence, it might be her only hope. Can she kill the Dark King with Kindness? Or will the ancient sorcerer once more stretch his shadow across Equestria?


15. The Shadow Gambit

Sombra opened his eyes and pain immediately wracked through his body. The maelstrom of darkness was still swirling around them which was a small blessing, but he could feel it growing steadily weaker now that Fluttershy had calmed down and it would not be long before the cover faded completely. Sombra scowled as he reviewed the damage to his body; dozens of shallow cuts with a few deeper lacerations. He had been given worse. Glancing down at his feet he saw Fluttershy collapsed on the ground. She was stirring though, which was a good sign. Turning his attention to his own damage, Sombra reached out and snared some of the ambient dark magic. Grimacing, Sombra braced himself; this was going to hurt.

Letting out a hiss, Sombra pulled in the dark magic around him to fill in his wounds. It wasn’t healing; dark magic had a poor track record with that discipline, but it would keep the wounds from getting any worse than they already were. Carefully, he fixed the energy in place before letting out a harsh breath. He hated using that kind of magic. There was a reason he usually went into battle wearing full plate barding.

Speaking of which…

Stretching out his senses, Sombra found his regalia stored away in Fluttershy’s cottage and, with a thought, summoned them into place. As much as he despised the Empire and his subjects, Sombra could not deny that he had spent so long bearing the weight of his raiments that without them he felt somewhat naked. With their familiar weight in place, he let out a calming breath. Tomorrow he would pay for his arrogance. His body would be stiff and pained and no amount of dark magic would change that. Still, it felt good to have it, he didn't want to risk leaving it behind either way considering what he as planning.

“You look much better now, your Majesty,” Fluttershy said softly from beside him. Sombra glanced down and saw she had gotten up quietly, as always, and was smiling up at him. “I think I like you better like this.”

Rather than feel the usual pride in his appearance another thought distracted Sombra drawing his gaze down and away from the yellow Pegasus mare he had come to care for. “Fluttershy, are you certain this is what you want? Giving up everything? You can still step outside of this maelstrom and join your friends, you know.”

Fluttershy’s eyes widened and she glanced away from Sombra towards the edge of the spiraling darkness that surrounded them. “My… my friends?”

He nodded. Sombra had sensed them moments ago. They likely had arrived not long after he had delved into Fluttershy’s mind but now the veil was thinning enough that their individuals auras were filtering through. Bearers of Harmony, just like the little mouse in front of him.

“My friends… I don’t know if I can go back to them after what happened,” Fluttershy said softly, tears showing at the edges of her eyes. “It hurts, your Majesty. I know why Twilight made the decision she did. I even understand where Applejack and Rarity were coming from but… but it doesn’t change that it hurts.”

“What of the ones who supported you?” Sombra asked quietly, placing a large hoof on Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Do they deserve your desertion of their ranks?”

“Pinkie and Rainbow Dash,” Fluttershy said their names half to herself. “They tried to stand up for you but… I don’t understand!” Fluttershy looked up at Sombra with wide eyes, “don’t you want me come with you?!”

Sombra smiled wearily. “I want you to be happy, my dear, and that is something I have not been able to say for many centuries. I think it would have been far too easy for me to become the monster the stories paint me as had I awoken in the care of anypony else. You showed me kindness when I deserved scorn. You gave me patience when I deserved destruction. The least I can do is ensure you are making the right decision. After all, I’ve only been in your life for a few days and-”

“Your Majesty,” Fluttershy interrupted sweetly, “I hope you’re not suggesting that I haven’t thought this through.” She lifted her gaze and fixed bright blue eyes on Sombra’s crimson orbs sending a sliver of ice into his heart. It lasted only a moment before she glanced down apologetically. “Maybe before Twilight made her decision I would have stayed but... but things are different now. It’s… easier with you because you’ve never pretended to be anything but who you are. I never really have to wonder if you were being genuine or sincere because, even when it was cruel, you were always honest. I think I need that right now. I feel betrayed and... I know you'll never betray me. Besides, I feel safe around you, my King. I… I don’t mean this as an insult but you’re a lot like one of my animals; everything you are is right out in the open."

“I think you’re friends would disagree based on my deceit,” Sombra answered with a dry chuckle.

Fluttershy shrugged. “Plenty of animals use camouflage to protect themselves.”

Shaking his head, Sombra let out a defeated huff. “So long as you are certain about this, my dear, I won’t bring it up again.”

“If I’m wrong I can always leave, right?” Fluttershy asked glancing up at Sombra.

As much as the thought pained him, Sombra nodded.

Fluttershy smiled radiantly in response. “And that’s why I’m certain I won’t have to.”

“What?” Sombra asked, suddenly wrong-hoofed by her contradictory response. Fluttershy just giggled and patted his cheek with a hoof, though.

“So… what do we do?”

Recovered from his confusion, Sombra flashed a dark grin that dripped with amusement.




The twisting darkness in front of Twilight and her friends, sans Fluttershy, felt like an unpleasant mirror to what was happening in her gut. The shock of Fluttershy’s declaration and the ruin she had left of the Seat of Kindness had shaken her resolve badly. Twilight had been so sure she was making the right decision, even though it was an awful weight, when she ruled against helping Sombra. He was a terror, after all. A tyrant who held an entire Empire in an iron grip of fear and slavery for centuries. Fluttershy had a big heart but this was going to far… right?

“Snap the hell out of it, Twi!” Rainbow shouted into her ear, shocking her out of her thoughts. “Fluttershy’s cottage is right in the middle of that!”

“Rainbow,” Rarity interjected before Twilight could speak, “I hate to belabour the obvious but you saw Fluttershy’s eyes before she left. I would say there’s a better than even chance that she’s the cause of that.”

The cyan pegasus scrunched her face up in confusion. “Yeah what the hay was up with that anyway!? She’s a Pegasus, not a Unicorn, how could she use dark magic?”

Twilight held up a hoof to forestall anymore conversation. “Because anypony can use just about any kind of magic; Earth Pony, Pegasus, Unicorn… it just changes how the magic manifests. There are plenty of records of non-Unicorn dark magic users during the Nightmare Rebellions; Pegasi who could conjure uncontrollable storm, Earth Ponies who couldn’t be put down regardless of their wounds. It’s a discipline that was forbidden for very good reasons.”

“It’s that snake Sombra’s fault, ah’m sure,” Applejack scowled at the black storm raging around Fluttershy’s cottage. “He’s the reason Fluttershy went bad, there’s no other way. She was the nicest mare anypony’d every know.”

“Maybe… maybe it was our fault…” Pinkie’s voice was small and weak, reflecting her flat, drab hair. Her words drew the shocked attention of all of her friends though. Unperturbed, she continued to speak. “For all we know Sombra was… gone when she got back. I mean, okay, maybe he started it, but… can you really blame Fluttershy? She’s Kindness right? Asking her to let someone she’s helping just-” Pinkie’s face twisted up into an angry visage. “We asked her to give up on him. Is anypony really surprised she snapped? Granny Pie had a saying: The wise fear three things above all; a sea at storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle mare.”

“Your Granny had a lot of sayings, huh?” Rainbow asked dryly, earning a swat across her ears from Rarity. “Ow! Hey! I voted to help C-... ugh, Sombra, alright?”

“I know,” replied Twilight wearily, “this is my fault entirely. I’m the one who made the decision in the end. I was so focused on what Sombra might do that…” Twilight clenched her eyes as her voice choked. “I didn’t even consider Fluttershy’s feelings in the matter. Not really.”

“Darling… everypony makes mistakes,” Rarity trotted up and put a hoof on Twilight’s withers, “I let fear sway my decision too.”

“Ah didn’t.” Applejack deadpanned.

“Thank you for that, darling, that was very helpful,” Rarity replied through gritted teeth.

Rainbow Dash started to open her mouth to say something snide but her sharp eyes caught something near the horizon that drew her attention. Silently, she pointed towards a bloom of light that had appeared in the distance; a gleaming, blinding star that began at the tip of the Canterhorn and shot skyward only to curve around and angle directly down towards the five mares standing at the Everfree Verge. The falling star came to a thunderous landing not far from them, leaving a heated crater where it landed and a plume of smoke pour into the sky. From it strode a sight both familiar… and not.

Aurora Celestia, Diarch of the Sun and Princess of Equestria cantered proudly into their midst. She was not clad as a Princess now, though; instead she wore full plate barding of burnished gold that shone like it had been drawn fresh from a forges flames moments ago. Heat rolled off of her in waves causing the five remaining Bearers to flinch away. Her shaffron turned her normally graceful muzzle into a curved and angular wedge of metal that gave her a bellicose look and her peytral was engraved with solar iconography that seemed to glow their own accord.

“P-Princess!” Twilight scrabbled forward, her wings flaring in alarm.

Celestia looked down at her former student and Twilight found some comfort in the fact that her old teacher’s eyes held no blame or anger, just a kind of sorrowful resignation. “Twilight, would you mind explaining why I suddenly felt a surge of dark magic the likes of which I have not experienced since I defeated my sister one thousand years ago?”

“I can answer that, Princess,” a light, demure, and familiar voice interrupted. The five former Element Bearers and Celestia looked up in surprise as Fluttershy strode confidently out of the thinning smog of dark magic. “That surge was my fault, I’m sorry I worried you but everything is fine now.”

Fluttershy’s five friends couldn’t help but stare. Fluttershy seemed like a completely different pony. Her stride was strong and confident, almost seductive, and her eyes seemed to glint playfully in the dim light of the setting sun. Her wings flared now and again, idly moving the air around her and showing off the ashen tips of her primaries and coverts. A subtle hint of dark mist drifted off of the edges of Fluttershy’s slitted eyes and her mouth was turned up in the faintest of amused smiles. There was almost nothing of the bashful and unassuming mare that they were familiar with in what they were seeing. More telling was her garb; few ponies in ponyville bothered wearing anything more than a hat or scarf and Fluttershy was usually much the same. She had certainly never been seen wearing a fanged necklace set with Jet and silver, or something as audacious as the circlet of blackened iron that was set on her brow which held back her flowing pink locks from her eyes.

The Princess of the Sun held up a hoof to silence the incoming storm of words from Twilight and the others. Celestia felt a tension she hadn’t known in ages. Something about the normally shy young mare was putting her hackles up. “Fluttershy? You’ll forgive me for not taking your word on that, but I’m afraid I must insist on a little more explanation than ‘everything is fine’.”

Fluttershy smiled beatifically, strangely unbowed in the presence of one of the most powerful beings in recorded history. “My friends and I had a disagreement on... something important. The conflict caused my Element to surge. I’m sure Twilight can fill you in on the details, your Grace.”

“It was Sombra!” Twilight shouted, drawing a shocked look from Princess Celestia. “Fluttershy said he forced her to help him heal! Something went wrong though and he never recovered, she came to me because he was dying and asked for my help.”

“Oh no,” Celestia muttered, closing her eyes sorrowfully. “Twilight you… you said no, didn’t you?”

Three pairs of ears folded back in shame at the admonishment in Celestia’s voice. Twilight could only nod, not bothering trying to explain herself. It would have been insulting to assume Celestia didn’t already understand the reasoning. The alabaster alicorn turned to Fluttershy who hadn’t moved from where she had emerged and was still smiling faintly.

“Twilight asked you to be cruel, didn’t she?” Celestia stated, more than asked. “To force another to die for the sake of the many is the very polar opposite of Kindness. The inversion caused a conflict within you and that triggered a surge of dark magic.”

Fluttershy gave a small nod. “That’s correct, your Grace.”

“It’s not too late then,” Celestia said sternly. “We can still purge the darkness from your body without too much trouble. Please, come back to Canterlot and we can keep this from becoming worse.”

Whatever expectations the girls had, not even Celestia expected Fluttershy to laugh at her offer. It was a small, jewel-tone sound that was quite pleasant. “No, I’m afraid I have somewhere else to be. Besides, I don’t really feel like sharing present company at the moment. Later, maybe, but not now.”

“Is this because my former student’s actions led to the death of your charge?” Celestia asked sadly. “If so then please understand that this is for your own sake. You cannot allow the dark magic to root itself within you, it’s too dangerous.”

“Sombra is just fine,” Fluttershy replied with an air of amusement. "My surge replenished him, fortunately, so all is well in that regard at least.”

Celestia grit her teeth. “I see, and where is he now?”

“Safe, your Grace,” Fluttershy replied with cryptic amusement.

“Rainbow Dash, Applejack, I need you to search the area for any signs of Sombra’s presence,” Celestia ordered. Such was her authority that the two had already begun to move.

The roar of a typhoon shattered the quiet of the Verge as two massive walls of wind carved out to encircle Celestia and Twilight’s Council. All six turned to stare at Fluttershy whose eyes had lost their amusement and were now glaring at them, her wings flared out and crackling with barely suppressed power.

“I’m afraid that’s not in the cards, your Grace.” Fluttershy said evenly.

Celestia grimaced. “You’re taking his side? I understand wanting to help him recover but this has become something far more dangerous.” She stalked forward until her full height towered over the lithe Pegasus in front of her. “He is a mind mage, Fluttershy and he’s forcing you to stall for him while he escapes. He is abandoning you!”

Fluttershy crooked an eyebrow up before starting to laugh. Then chortle. Then outright cackle in the face of the millennia-old ruler of Equestria. The six of them looked confusedly at each other while the buttercream mare mastered herself before replying. “I’m sorry about that, heh, your Grace. It was just really funny. You’re very wrong though, I’m afraid.”

Celestia opened her mouth to respond as Fluttershy swept her wings back inward, letting the tip of her longest primaries touch the exposed fur of the Princesses fetlocks. Whatever Celestia had been about to say became a shriek of agony as nearly five hundred thousand volts passed into her body, throwing her to the ground as her muscles spasmed wildly. Before any of the others could snap out of their horror-induced paralysis Fluttershy surged upwards, drawing in a massive surge of air magic and creating a wind-tunnel with her passage and dragging the stunned Celestia in her wake. At the apex of her thousand foot rise Fluttershy pulled a tight U-turn downwards before abandoning her magic and bolt off to the left as Celestia rocketed past her and slammed violently into the ground below.

“Don’t worry!” Fluttershy called out to her gaping friends. “I kept the current controlled enough, she’ll be fine. Alicorns are quite sturdy after a-”

Her words were cut off by a lucent beam of sunlight tearing out of the crater followed by a furious Celestia. Her shaffron had been abandoned, dented and mangled, where she had landed revealing her bruised face, broken muzzle, and blazing eyes. Fluttershy reacted with perfect timing; arching downwards and using the buffeting of Celestia’s passage to propel her away. Celestia pulled a turn only to be nearly slammed out of the sky by an invisible hammer of hardened wind that sent her spinning. Her peytral cracked and dented under the blow but Celestia recovered nigh instantly, and surged downwards towards her target who was hovering some four hundred feet below her with a cocky grin, hurling bolt after bolt of wind at the bloodied Princess. Celestia twisted left and right, letting the powerful shots pass her by, but just as she was about to collide with Fluttershy the shadows around yellow Pegasus seemed to flicker and she vanish, leaving Celestia to plow straight through empty space. She had a brief moment to register confusion before she heard Twilight shout a wordless warning at the same time she felt four dainty hooves land on her back. Twisting violently in midair, Celestia caught the tip of Fluttershy’s primary that had been aimed for the back of her head right on the edge of her gorget that sent another thundering surge of electricity into her. Celestia screamed in pain as her tormentor flickered away again. Her gorget was superheated and although her body was proof against flame, mostly, the electrical burns stung fiercely beneath the heavy armor.

Shedding the weighty metal barding, Celestia spun about and sent several curving bolts of light towards her foe. Fluttershy dove and wove through the sky like a dancer, avoiding the bolts expertly as she curved around to send several shots of wind back at the attacking Princess.

“You’ll have to do better than that, your Grace!” Fluttershy crowed, as one of her wind hammers clipped Celestia on the side, sending her spinning before she righted herself again.

“How dare you do something so vile!” Celestia roared, sending a fusillade of thin white rays searing through the sky towards Fluttershy. “You are truly the lowest of any creature that calls itself a pony!”

Fluttershy grinned as she curved around the barrage, avoiding the majority of them and deflecting the others with lightning-enhanced wings. “Flattery will get you everywhere, your Grace!” Fluttershy laughed as she wheeled through the storm of light.

The moment Fluttershy cleared the boundaries of Celestia’s fusillade she saw her peril. The barrage had been a distraction, a bright flashy, blinding distraction. Below Fluttershy were two dozen mirror images of Celestia surging upwards towards her, a longer, more complicated casting that Celestia had bought the time for through a massive expenditure of power. Flapping her wings hard, Fluttershy pulled up and soared higher. Gravity was working against Celestia, who was much heavier and less aerodynamic than Fluttershy by nature of her shape, and soon Fluttershy had put a wide distance between her and the pursuing horde of Princess lookalikes.

“The problem with mirror images is that they’re quite fragile,” Fluttershy muttered as she turned about and flapped both wings hard, sending a wave of coruscating dark lightning directly into Celestia’s charge. Nowhere near the power that Fluttershy’s pinion strikes had, the damage probably wouldn’t even penetrate Celestia’s passive defenses, but it was more than enough to disrupt the fragile illusory magics that held mirror images together.

Sure enough the energy wave passed through Celestia and her mirrors, fracturing them as their spellwork failed. Fluttershy’s grin lasted right up until all two dozen of them exploded, turning the entire sky beneath her into one giant flashbang. It had been a trap. Fluttershy shook the stars from her eyes just in time to see a the flanged head of a conjured mace crack down on her, sending her careening towards the ground and impacting the packed earth with a loud crash.

Twilight and her friends stared in unified shock as Celestia smote Fluttershy to the ground with a single blow. They were even more surprised when Celestia suddenly staggered in midair and dropped out of the sky like she had been swatted by the hand of the Maker to crash near the crater she had just put Fluttershy in... Fluttershy, who was climbing out of said crater almost completely unscathed.

The circlet on her head was glowing a brilliant, molten white.

Celestia tried and failed to stagger to her hooves before settling to glare at Fluttershy as Twilight and the others rushed to her side. She coughed up a small torrent of blood as she opened her mouth, coughing to clear her throat. “I-is that…?”

Fluttershy smirked as she tapped the circlet. “The Crown of Pureblood the Betrayer? Why yes, yes it is. Paranoid as he was psychotic; making a crown that would reflect the first direct hit back on the attacker. Not a bad idea, mind you, considering how many assassination attempts were made on his worthless head.”

A flare of red energy shot up from within the Everfree to detonate high above the forest. Fluttershy grinned. “Excellent, just in time. Well, your Grace, I will bid you goodbye til next we meet.”

Sketching a mocking bow, Fluttershy dusted off and flickered away, her small form reappearing further into the forest as she shot straight before pulling a corkscrew and dropping down to vanish beneath the canopy.

Fluttershy’s five friends sat flabbergasted around the beaten and thrashed Princess Celestia. The silence was eventually broken by a frustrated “What the BUCK was that?!” from Rainbow Dash.

“Crudely put, but accurate, darling,” Rarity said in a shellshocked voice. “I barely even recognized Fluttershy. Is that really what dark magic does to a pony?”

“No,” Twilight answered, her muzzle scrunched up in confusion. “It just makes them crazy. Their emotions go out of control, they get paranoid and have violent mood swings. It sure as tartarus doesn’t turn them into magical juggernauts capable to going hoof-to-hoof with an Alicorn.”

“That’s because that wasn’t Fluttershy,” Celestia said from where she lay on the ground, breathing hard around her damaged frame. Her Alicorn healing factor was working overtime but it would be more than an hour before she was able to stand. Probably weeks before she was back to full strength. “I knew it from the moment I was struck down the first time… I've tasted that magic before…”




Fluttershy trotted down the spiraling stairs into the lair holding a lifetime’s worth of relics and ancient tomes. She chuckled as she entered the main sanctum and heard the sound of a deep, bass voice humming a familiar tune. Even with hooves of such size the owner somehow managed to make next to no noise as they moved around the reliquary.

“Hello, my dear,” Fluttershy said, her face turning up in a warm smile.

Sombra turned around with a slight blush, embarrassed at having been caught off guard, before giving his head a shake and trotting over to pull Fluttershy into a hug. “Are you alright? I was so worried about you! I know you said you could win but…” Sombra leaned down to nuzzle against Fluttershy’s cheek.

“I’m going to be sore for a few days but I will be fine soon enough.” Fluttershy chuckled. “Celestia can’t quite say the same I’m afraid. Now, hold still.”

Leaning up, Fluttershy pressed her lips to Sombra’s. There was a crackle of energy as Sombra began to shrink, his dark fur taking on a yellow tone, his tumbledown dark mane turning into a flowing river of pink silk. Fluttershy, likewise, began to expand, her body redistributing her weight and muscle to a more masculine shape and an arterial red horn emerging like a spear from her skull. Her fur blackened as if it were burning under a hot flame and she grinned as fanged canines emerged.

Sombra took a deep breath, his form now returned to his ownership. “Ah, Theft of Form, I haven’t used that spell ages. I forgot how much fun it is. It worked perfectly too, they were delayed long enough for us to make all the preparations. Excellent timing with the flare, by the way.”

Fluttershy, for her part, looked down at herself and gave a wistful sigh. “Thank you. And anyway I kind of liked being a big dangerous stallion for once. Also, I didn’t think I’d like your regalia but it was.... nice. It made me feel powerful.” She giggled as Sombra leaned down and gave her a quick kiss.

“I will look into forging some regalia for you.” Sombra said as he walked towards the main ritual circle. It might’ve been mostly burnt out but the arcane framework was still intact. Enough for one or two more spells. Nothing like a spell of resurrection, but a long-range teleport? That was still in the picture. “You are going to be a Queen after all. It would only be suitable. Did you get everything packed and prepared for the journey?”

Fluttershy blushed furiously at how casually he spoke of her being his Queen. It did have a certain appeal though, she couldn't deny it. “Yes, your Majesty,” she answered quickly. “It was a little tricky with Unicorn magic but it was very useful once I got the hang of it. Did your artifacts work alright?”

“Mm, yes,” Sombra answered distractedly as he sifted through the neatly packed relics to put away the ones he had made use of. “Pureblood may have been a pompous ass but he was a powerful dark sorcerer and had quite an imagination when it came to forging relics. As for Nevarion’s Carconet, it performed magnificently, I never would’ve been able to outfly Celestia without its magic although I fear if I had used it much longer it might’ve started trying to transform me. That old shadow drake is a crafty bastard, even dead.”

“But you’re alright?” Fluttershy stepped up to Sombra’s side and leaned against him.

“I am quite fine, sore and bruised, but fine.” Sombra nuzzled and nipped at her ear drawing a pleased squeak from Fluttershy. “Now, we need to go. The sooner we go the sooner we bury this sanctum. They can’t follow us through a hundred tonnes of rubble.”

Sombra and Fluttershy began gathering all of the trunks and enchanted chests into circle. At one point Sombra even ensorcelled a pair of armoires into ambulation to speed the process. It was a difficult job but made easier by the fact that Fluttershy had packed everything perfectly. They were still on a time limit though. In an hour or so the moon would be raised and Luna would be free to pursue vengeance for her sister’s defeat.

“By the way,” Fluttershy began, “where exactly are we going, your Majesty?”

Sombra heaved the last couple of trunks into place before turning back to Fluttershy. “To a the remains of a small outpost in the southern reaches of the Crystal Empire. Still quite far north by Equestrian standards I should think but it was practically tropical to us. I remember glancing at a map in one of your more modern books and saw that there is a city near it now. I should be able to produce viable papers for the grounds of the estate and enough gold to satisfy taxes. So long as there are no current owners we should be fine. The Diarchs will probably spend months just scouring the Everfree for us before they catch on to our ruse.”

Fluttershy laid a hoof on his side, drawing his attention away from the work around him. “Then let’s go, I want to be… I don’t really want to be in Ponyville for a while. Someday I’ll come back and forgive Twilight, Applejack, and Rarity, but…”

A kiss from Sombra silenced her and Fluttershy hummed appreciatively against her stallion’s lips. “You are permitted as much time as you need to heal, my dear. Stay with me until then.”

Taking a deep breath, Fluttershy felt warmth fill her from her hooves to her tail as she gave an enthusiastic nod. “As you say, your Majesty.”

Turning to the remains of the circle, Sombra ignited the latent magic within it and conjured a powerful teleportation spell. As they vanished he set off a small spark, enough to trigger the final defenses of his cavern sanctum. The pair vanished a second later, and a few seconds after that the main supports for the underground lair detonated in a cataclysm of fire and fury, burying the empty hideaway in enough stone to frustrate even an immortal Alicorn.


~End of Act I~  


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