• Published 24th Nov 2020
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Level Up! - RisuUmbra



A new MLP MMO turns death game as the players are sucked into what they assume is the game... not as fun as you'd think

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Chapter 13: The Fires Of War Part 1

Chapter 13: The Fires of War Part 1

The night is always darkest before the dawn, after all of our preparations the village is now radically different. The previously clear streets and alleyways have turned into stone mazes and wooden trenches, previously damaged houses have been quickly torn down and turned into makeshift weapons and armor. I was currently wearing a makeshift leather cuirass made from a cannibalized leather chair and some damaged militia armor. I stuffed the magic cloak under the armor so I could keep the buffs. The grass woven bag had been thrown away after the use of its contents damaged it beyond use, currently I was having one more meeting with David and Morgana before the inevitable battle began.

“Alright, let’s run through this one more time… David it’s your job to focus on any flyers that enter the battle, you don’t need to go for a kill shot on all of them just ground them or preoccupy them long enough for someone to pick them off. If you're not confident in taking someone on then retreat, no sense in risking your life on something that can be easily avoided” David nodded his head solemnly and turned back to adjusting the sheath and belt of his new sword, well… new in a sense. The cutlass that used to belong to the now golden brown griffin now rested on the back of my pegasus friend and thankfully he seemed to like it quite a bit. His own words were “ I’ve always liked the pirate look!” so I took that as approval.

“Morgana, you are the closest thing to a tank we have so you are going to be fighting with the main force. Because of your passive super strength you are going to be our face of the battle, morale is probably the most important part of any battle so when the villagers see you kicking a- flank left and right that should both embolden them and discourage the bandits. The sme warning for David goes for you too, if you get injured or you feel you’re getting overwhelmed then fall back and get yourself back into order just don’t overdue the healing magic.” Morgana was a bit busy using her mouth to pull some leather straps on her new hoof gauntlets to answer any more than an affirming grunt.

“If either of you are injured or just can’t get out of a bad fight then just call out to me, I'll be on overwatch and will be taking care of any troublesome combatants. Though it may not always be me who helps you, I’ll still hear you and send help your way.” The sound of someone knocking on the door interrupted anything else I was going to say. Normally a simple door knock wouldn’t inspire such dread, but in this case the only reason why someone would come interrupt us would be because they had seen something.

“ Come in!” At the sound of my beckoning in trotted Lucky Harvest wearing a similar salvaged leather cuirass and what could be called a spear, her spear was something she had requested from me specifically after hearing my plan. The spear itself was just a metal pipe that was salvaged from a damaged house’s plumbing system, the unique part of it was the blade. The blade was just a knife that had been refitted enough to fit in the socket and be replaceable with the four other blades strapped to her sides.

“ The bandits main force has been spotted” I didn’t need to say anything to my two friends for all of us to know what to do next. Almost in sync the three of us rose to our hooves and started to leave the house with a modicum of hurry, none of us were looking forward to the battle no matter the amount of planning and preparation that had gone into this. All of us were expecting something to go wrong at some point or another and I was ready to roll with the punches.

“Everyone, get to your posts and wait for the signal” Leaving the house the four of us went our separate ways, David didn’t fly for fear of being seen by the encroaching bandit army and Morgana was still getting used to walking while wearing armor. Unlike the other three I didn’t walk deeper into the village but turned around to look at the roof of the house and with a quick [Blink] spell I was sent to the rooftops. I wasn’t alone up here, the rooftops of the village had remodeled with a lot of salvaged wood to make wooden walkways between them. Up there with me was a good number of the younger earth ponies that lived in the village, trotting past many of the drowsy or scared ponies I positioned myself to where the battle would most likely be and waited.

The villagers had been working on fortifying the village all night and were running on short naps and rest so martial skill wasn’t going to be the main decider of this battle. A few glints of light being reflected off the bandits weapons and armor in the distances was the biggest indicator of their approach. The low light of the early morning was the perfect cover for both sides, one side thought they were getting the jump on some unsuspecting villagers while we used the low light to set an ambush of our own.

I almost started to hold my breath once they entered the bounds of the village, the amount of bandits outnumbered us almost 3 to 1 and yet this didn’t sway my conviction about our victory in the slightest. A quick glance at my stamina and mana told me I was ready for battle and that [Perception] hadn’t activated again without me knowing. The moment the bulk of the bandits reached the main square was the moment I launched my plan into action. A little tidbit about the [Thunder Lion Summon] skill that I personally like is how ‘flashy’ the summoning is, in this case a massive bolt of lightning falling from the sky and striking the middle of the square is the perfect signal to begin an attack.

“Attack!” The fierce voice of Morgana echoed over the square after the lightning had landed revealing the medium sized cloud creature sparking erratically, when I first summoned the lion I was surprised to see it was actually a cub at first and I had to level it up to age it up… of course that doesn’t mean it's any less deadly. Morgana stepped into the square revealing herself to the bandits before raising up onto her hind legs and slamming them down with enough force to crack the ground beneath her. All over the square the ground quaked for a moment sending many of the bandits to the ground as metal poles rose from the ground scattered all over the square. I had to throw a large chunk of my mana to my lion to pull this next trick off, after all the metal poles had risen out of the ground my lion let out a roar more akin to a thunder clap and out of its gaping maw launched a beam of pure plasma that flew straight into one pole then bounced to the next, then the next, and next until the square had become a maze of electric fences and earthen walls. Of course a good number of bandits were fried during this and I don’t mean simply shocked or electrocuted I mean eyes exploding out of their heads, flash cooking bodies, or straight up being turned to charcoal.

“Forward!” Someone in the bandits ranks disregarded their surprise at the ambush and urged their troops forward mirroring Morgana and the villagers… for all of two seconds until a flaming rock exploded against his head, sending him to the ground with a sizable chunk of his ear missing. It was almost like someone hit the pause button on the bandits as most of the paused to look up at where the flaming projectile came from and there perched up on a rooftop just like me was Pumice leisurely tossing an ominously red glowing stone about the size of his hoof into the air. Sending a smile that promised nothing good down towards the bandits, Pumice tossed the stone higher than before then deftly spun on one hoof and bucked the stone as hard as he could down into the bandit legion. It was like watching the sudden landing of a meteorite, once launched the stone became engulfed in flames and exploded into molten shrapnel after hitting a griffin straight in the chest and lodging maybe half of it in their sternum. For a moment I thought I smelled cooked chicken again before shaking myself and paying attention again as the rest of the villagers stepped up on the surrounding roof tops and started to rain hellfire upon the bandits who’s numbers now mirrored our own mostly.

I paid no attention to the screams or the skin crawling horrible sounds of metal carving through flesh, I watched my friends fight for their lives, I watched my Lion claw apart some poor pony and fry another, I watched David swoop out of the air holding a pink pegasus by the remains of her mutilated wing and throw her down to die via trampling by her own fellow bandits. Every once in a while I would spot a unicorn getting ready to cast some larger scale magic and would snipe them from the rooftops, not all shots were kill shots but all were lethal. Sometimes a bandit would begin hitting their stride and I would have to deal with them via a mana beam or lightning bolt, then like any plan it crashed and burned… Near the back of the bandit ranks an enraged cry rang out before a bunch of villagers were sent flying from something very large moving very fast.

I watched in shock as the bandits opened ranks to let through an absolute tank of an earth pony. Bull rushing through was a massive dark blue earth pony wearing what I could only call berserker armor, reinforced leather armor that barely covered his vital areas with a large furry collar and similar cuffs. Though his size and attire wasn’t the biggest surprise about him, it was his weapon… A massive 5 ft long hunk of steel that looked impossible to wield… yet here this guy was swinging it around with one hoof. The thought of having this guy running around with the ‘Dragon Slayer’ of all things wasn’t going to end well for us, the Guts wannabe was charging head first at Morgana’s defensive line with his parody of a blade wound up ready to send her and probably the rest of the line flying in one swing. A glance at my mana showed me that I was back up to ¾ mana capacity so I sent a concentrated blast of mana at him, I thought that would have been the end of it… I was oh so wrong.

The beam of mana cut through the air almost soundlessly compared to the deafening sounds of combat surrounding it and yet almost like he had seen it the whole time Guts stopped his charge on a dime and turned to use the flat of his blade to block it. The beam of mana couldn’t even scratch his blade as it crashed atgainst in in a flurry of silver sparks, once the struggle ended Guts moved his blade from his line of sight and locked eyes with me from across the square… I'm in danger.

Just as fast as before, Guts went from still to absolutely moving in no time flat making a b-line towards me. I wasn’t the only one to notice the absolute behemoth heading my way and was just as opposed to that as I was, an almost hail of flaming rocks were launched in his direction but no matter the number of exploding stones and shrapnel that hit him he did not slow even for a moment. The once white fur that came from his armor was reduced to blackened cinders of hair and his once scar covered blue fur turned almost black once he got closer and closer. I now realize he’s not slowing down at all, the detached state I was once embodying went up in smoke once I and the others on the same rooftop realized what he was going to do.

“Oh ffff-Fudge!” While I may have been the first to realize what Guts was doing I was certainly the last to react as all the other ponies on the roof ran to another while I stood there like an idiot. Pouring on the last of his speed Guts ran towards the house I was standing on and with a massive leap, launched himself with an extra spin at the house becoming a one pony demolition crew. Feeling the roof beneath me begin the cave and implode I remembered something both very important and very stupid about me… I can [Blink]. With only a gentle flex of the magical muscles I went from standing on a collapsing building to safely on the ground near my lion who I recalled near me for safety. Another glance about at the battle lightened my outlook a bit, the battle was going in our favor. The beginning attack and barrage had cut down on their forces massively and with the continued barrage of artillery those who weren’t killed were injured in some way or another.

“Come Get Some!” The familiar scream of Lucky Harvest from my left drew my attention and I turned to watch her take her now flaming spear and stab an approaching unicorn in the eye before whipping around and nearly beheading a nearby griffoness with the flaming blade. It was an incredible sight to behold, a earth pony charged her but didn’t get far as she simply turned and threw her spear like a javelin at him and instead of getting impaled like one would expect the flaming blade exploded in a shower of shrapnel and fire taking the earth pony’s face clean off and making him look like a vague approximation of a meatball… if we ever get out of this I’m going vegetarian. Not paying the loss of her weapon any mind, Lucky just ran over and picked up the slightly blackened pole and reached back to pull out a knife from her right side and refit the blade of the spear which promptly ignited back into flames… best idea ever. The sounds of crunching wood and glass smashing brought me a massive amount of dread as I slowly turned around and saw the remains of the house slowly rise up into the air.

“That… That’s not fair… “

Author's Note:

I got the idea for the berserker from a friend of mine.
Just imagine his armor as the fluffy Skyrim nord armor
I hope your enjoying the battle :pinkiecrazy:
There's a reason why Marcus is so despondent and cold during the battle but that will come later for now though... Que boss fight music.
I might post the PoV's of both Morgana and David during the battle but they might not be as interesting as Marcus's. If you want their view then simply tell me in the comments, I'd be happy to include them.
Hope you enjoyed :twilightblush: