• 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 15: More and More Questions

Chapter 15 More and More Questions:

The physical whiplash from being the world's first meat based piece of swiss-cheese to pretty much okay is something I shall never get used to. Of Course suddenly going from death's door to almost okay doesn’t stop me from feeling like I just ran a marathon wearing Goku’s training weights. I felt like I was getting the air actively sucked out of me and I was heaving to get more. Every breath hurt still but marginally less than earlier thanks to Morgana and her healing, I still need to lean on her though because my stamina bottomed out whenever I took a step.

“Morgana…”

“Yeah?”

“Remind me to never do that again”

This time the laughter that came from her mouth was far more genuine, both of us knew that she couldn’t do that. A comfortable silence settled between us as we watched the recovery effort go on around us, there were small struggles here and there as some bandits resisted arrest or tried to run… to no effect obviously. My eyes drifted back to the frankly ridiculous rewards I had gotten from the ‘Boss Fight’, my eyes lingered on those words longer than anything else. This is the first game-like interface that was outside the direct influence of us players so either we’re really in a video game on some server somewhere on earth or… this system has much more power over reality than we thought.

“Hey…

“Yeah?”

“Want to hear something crazy?”

“What?”

“That was actually a boss fight” That seemed to catch her off guard for a moment until she tilted her head and thought about it for a moment then nodded slightly.

“Yeah that makes sense, no one like that just naturally exists” The exasperation in her voice got a few chuckles out of me which left me breathless for a moment. I waited until my breathing was a bit more steady to speak again, the sound of wings flapping pulled the two of our eyes above us where David started to slowly descend down to us. He landed pretty hard to my right and I could visually see that he was almost as exhausted as me, though thankfully he wasn’t as injured with only a few cuts and nicks here and there.

“Hey man, good to see that you're alright” David lifted his eyes up from the ground then to me, he looked me up and down for a moment before leaning forward and looking past me at Morgana.

“Does he know he looks like he just starred in a Halloween slasher flick?” This question set Morgana off again and soon she was on the ground holding her stomach laughing her butt off. David cracked a smile as well and scooted closer to me to help support me as Morgana was currently… occupied. I took another look down at myself and much to my disgust and amusement I was just as bad as David said. I was so saturated in blood that the white part of my hair mane had turned red from it all and I was positive that if you took my horribly lacerated leather cuirass and crushed it only slightly it would be a veritable waterfall of pretty thin blood.

“I really want a shower now… anyway if your done Morgana I wanted to show the two of you the rewards I got for killing the boss” Letting her laughter abate Morgana returned to her hooves and trotted around me to David’s side to get him up to speed about the boss battle. I turned back to the previously ignored screens and read through them… then read through them again just to be sure… does this make me Spider-Man… or pony? What’s a [Familiar Lantern]? A nudge to my side brought me back to reality and to the expectant faces of my friends, I read them the skill description of [6th-Sense] and they looked just as surprised as I was.

“Don’t keep us in suspense, what’s the other reward Spider-mane?” David and I gave Morgana a look for her frankly unlawful pun before letting out a groan and moving on.

“I also got something called a [Familiar Lantern] whatever that is-” The things' name was apparently the catalyst it was waiting for as the air in front of us started to shine an oddly colorless light and we watched transfixed as an strangely shaped banded iron lantern materialized before us. The lantern was teardrop shaped and was about as wide as the flat of my hoof leaving it about the size of a pair, the top of the lantern was connected to a thin but sturdy looking link of chains that led up to a metal clasp. Then the info dump started, just like when we buy new skills info about the lantern started to pour into my mind, but not painfully thankfully. The lantern’s purpose was extremely simple and yet extremely useful to me, the lantern had the ability to store one of summons and allow me to summon another one without dispelling the other one. With this I could just just switch between two summons on the fly with next to no mana cost… this is now my favorite magic item. I reached out and grabbed the lantern from the air and turned to tell my two alarmed friends what the lantern did… They weren’t as ecstatic as I was but were still happy for me. Speaking of magic items, I don’t think the magic robe is working anymore. I’m slightly bummed about that, but honestly it has lasted way longer than I thought it would.

“Heads up, we got company” David’s suddenly tense words brought me back from my thought again (I’ve been doing that too much). Approaching us from across the square was Aaron and Sarah both wearing armor of some kind and Aaron wearing a Warhammer over his shoulder. Sarah had procured a new leather robe at some point and had added a brown witches hat to complete her look, I-I don’t think the hat is necessary.

“Now that… was some darn good fighting son, how are you feeling?” I was kinda uncomfortable with the ‘son’ comment and even further put off by the proud look he was sending me… we’re not related please don’t call me son. Sarah just had this appraising look in her eye as she looked me up and down, she eventually gave a pleased nod before allowing a small smile to grow on her face.

“I feel like I just got dunked in a pool of slime and razor blades… but I’m alive so no real complaints other than that” I sounded much more calm and controlled than I was, they were there during the fight and they didn’t step in! My response just got a hearty laugh from him, I started to stand back up as the two of them got even closer. A glance at my stamina and mana bar showed me I was almost back to full in both categories, I'm starting to think my stamina bar might not be completely accurate as I still feel exhausted. A slap on the back that was more like a punch snatched me out of my thoughts (I did it again!) and brought me back to Aaron and Sarah who had approached my left side.

“I heard about the plan you made to destroy the opposition, we could really use a mind like that later when all of us get together later to decide what to do next. The villagers opened up a few of their houses to us now that there's a… vacancy in a few of them, go get yourself cleaned up and we’ll meet up at your makeshift war room” And with another chuckle and an (Uncomfortably) proud look Aaron and Sarah trotted off deeper into the village not even acknowledging David or Morgana… that bad feeling I had about Aaron is returning in full force and judging from the stone-like look on David’s face he might have a similar feeling as I do. David caught my eye and almost like telepathy we both knew what the other was thinking.

We Can’t Trust Him

“Well he’s right about one thing… we need to clean up, *sniff* more specifically you need a shower” Morgana’s voice easily broke the tension and with a quick sniff that quickly turned to a gag I conceded the point… I stank. Of Course all the other players don’t smell any better as we spent a few days in the forest, shaking off a few leftover giblets much to the disgust of David and Morgana we started to make our way to the residential area of the village… which we still haven’t learned the name of.

Walking wasn’t as difficult as before but it still felt just as weird, like I should be extremely tired but my stamina bar says otherwise. Nevertheless Morgana and David stayed by my sides and were ready to catch me if I dropped, as we walked I got a better look at the damages from the battle. Thankfully most of the damage was isolated in and around the square and even then there was at most some mild fire damage that I'm pretty sure came from one of the villagers missing a shot with an imbued rock. My skills have actually grown by leaps and bounds while we were preparing for the battle.

[Adept Fire Magic Control: Gives the bearer basic control over the the]

[primordial magic of fire and bestows the lowest forms of fire magic fire bolt and] [ember imbuement]

[Further levels in this skills will improve magic efficiency and power]

[Skill Level 10: 65.14%]

[Cost: 2 SP]

Having the base manipulation skill for any kind of elemental ability makes using any related skills much easier, I should really look into what I should spend my Skill Points on. The three of us had just left the main square and entered the residential area when I saw another familiar face, Lucky Harvest was leaning against a crate wiping down her now pointless spear with a greased rag. Her eyes briefly rose to meet mine and after a short stare down she gave me a solid nod of respect then went back to cleaning her weapon, I really hope it wasn’t a mistake letting her fight.

“Excuse me, we were told there was a place for us to clean up?” David had trotted away at some point and was asking a mare who was bandaging a earth pony that was in the battle. I couldn’t hear her response but apparently it answered David’s question judging from him thanking her, he returned with a spring in his step and with a simple nudge of his head he signaled us to follow him. David led us to a regular looking thatch house that was in pretty good condition aside from the broken window and messy kitchen, Morgana had a spark of recognition in her eye as she looked around.

“Okay… anyone against me taking the bathroom first?” Morgana drifted towards the stairs as she asked this question. I don’t think we would be able to stop her even if we did have a problem with that. Morgana simply ignored our humored scoff and rolled eyes and proceeded upstairs to where I’m assuming the bathroom is. David moved away to go right the flipped dining table and I went to retrieve the sprawled chairs, of the five chairs two were damaged in some way. One chair had all the legs smashed off while the other was missing its back entirely. Finally sitting down on a cushioned seat was both extremely satisfying and disgusting because immediately after sitting down my coat proceeded to get stuck to the fabric from the slowly coagulating blood that caked my form.

“Forgot about that huh?” David apparently couldn't help but comment after seeing my repulsed shivering, all I did in response was wipe an especially viscous clump of blood off of my head....then flick it at him. The sticky projectile almost sent David off the chair and to the ground in an effort to dodge it much to my amusement.

“*Splat* Is this going to be a common thing with you, always being caked in some kind of sticky substance?” I cringed at his purposely chosen choice in words and tuned out his vindictive laughter, but I did concede the point that this was probably going to happen again in the future if we are going to have to fight other large creatures. Maybe I could find a cleaning spell or something, that would be incredibly useful. Letting the humor pass the atmosphere quickly turned tense as we thought about our earlier encounter.

“So I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has a bad feeling about Aaron?” The sudden tonal shift didn’t even faze David as he sent a solemn nod my way.

“Thought so, what I don’t understand is why we’re feeling this way!” We are in a very fragile situation, we are a group of humans ranging age wise from young adults to teenagers and it doesn’t help that every single one of them has the potential to become extremely powerful and in some cases extremely evil. This system has a habit to reward both good and bad behavior, the fact that someone can start with a really high level sneak or steal skill is evidence of this fact. This means that anyone even slightly malicious or manipulative can go on a power trip when given these skills.

“Maybe it’s one of our skills telling us something?” And just like that David may have solved this, I had assumed it was my [Perception] skill trying to tell me something, but now that the skill has upgraded into [6th-Sense] my sense is screaming at me that I already know something about him!

“Do you have a skill that’s like my [Perception] skill?” David’s eyes unfocused as he started to go through his skill list, it wasn’t until a few minutes later that his eyes refocused did he speak again.

“I think I have something, I have a social skill called [Sunny Attitude] that makes some people more likely to get along with me, but it also makes threats more likely to dislike me” And that all but confirms it for me, what makes Aaron such a threat that the system itself classifies him as one! Before we could delve deeper into our discovery the sound of hooves coming down the stairs silenced us. A much cleaner Morgana entered the room looking actually a shade lighter in color now that she wasn’t covered in dust and blood.

*Whew* I feel like I've been reborn! Your turn stinky!” I shared an amused look with David as Morgana pulled a chair up to join us at the table.

“I’ll get her up to speed, I’ve been flying through clouds so I don’t need a shower as badly” A sent a gratitude filled smile his way then pried myself from the forever ruined chair… eww I left a bloody butt print. Going up the stairs and finding the bathroom wasn’t as issue due to the trail of steam leading me there, the bathroom itself was normal all things considered. Though at the same time it was really weird to see working plumbing in a sorta medieval society, I'm not complaining though. I couldn’t get into the shower any faster, the feeling of actually hot water running down my skin coat actually grounded me in the present. No more focusing on logic or being in the moment, no more pushing emotions to the side… I just let everything flow down the drain.

.

.

.

.

.

Unfortunately that had the side effect of everything I pushed aside coming back up at once… I don’t really remember what happened after the first few moments but all I remember is the tear and the… pain. Within the first few minutes of me waking up in that forest someone had exploded a few feet away from me, at the time I hadn’t realized but a female player who had been too close to the blast had almost completely lost her lower half and was crawling towards me screaming for my help… and I had ignored her completely. Other thing I had blocked out had started to bubble up,

One of the stray mana blasts I had shot during the first fight with the timber wolves had flown through the brush and hit a passing player crippling them…

The river at the bottom of the waterfall had still rotting corpses stuck to the river bed…

Those wooden shards in my back that Morgana healed had severed my spine in a few places…

Some of the player during the first night had committed suicide by jumping in their fires...

Before my memory cuts off I remember one last thing… I remembered reading an article assigned to me in my current events class about a commander in the army who was arrested for abuse of both his power and his platoon and his first name was… Aaron.

Author's Note:

I'M ALIVE! :pinkiehappy:
Would you believe I was actually on vacation with my family... We went traveling around California and Nevada, it was really hot at some points and really cold.
Anyway I hope you enjoy the chapter and don't worry a lot of questions will be questions will be answered in the next chapter.
Some people can probably see what I was talking about how magic and skills are changing people... :pinkiecrazy: