• 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 19: Advent (The Wandering Arc)

Chapter 19: Advent

Getting back inside after doing the exhausting act of being social, I let out a long relaxing breath now that the invisible stares were off my back. I felt myself physically relaxed now that I wasn’t being eyed by all the players and NPCs still out, I wonder if I could make a functioning invisibility spell? Morgana had just entered moments before me so she was who I saw first, she was currently trying to pick a particularly annoying shard of stone out of the corner of her hoof (I think it’s called the frog?).

“I see you were just as successful as us… and it looks like you got extra items!” Morgana didn’t waste any time and plucked the canvas wrap bag out of my [Levitation] and excitedly trotted into the living room where I assume David is hanging out. I made sure to wipe my hooves on the welcome mat before entering and to remove my lantern and hang it on what I think is supposed to be a hat rack, I idly noted that my wisp floated out of the lantern and followed me deeper into the house (I felt a bit of muted amusement come from the wisp at the idea of a lantern being stored on a hat rack).

“Did you two have any problems getting what we needed?” My words came to a solf halt when I entered the living room. Unlike the living room of other homes, this one only had a few sitting pillows and a small coffee table. What took my voice away was the overflowing amount of food and supplies lying on the table, along with a very smug looking David sitting behind it all sucking on the end of a carrot like it was a cigar.

“Yeah… turns out [Sunny Attitude] is way more useful than we thought” David had gotten a veritable cornucopia of supplies, there was legitimately too much stuff here for us to take. The bulk of the food and tools were spilling out of three different bags. One was a regular messenger bag while the other two are saddle bags, my stunned visage must have been pretty funny because David’s smug look quickly evolved to full blown laughter. David’s earlier comment finally processed and I was shocked all over again.

“Wait… Your skill made them give this stuff to you?!” David’s previously happy smile quickly dropped at what I was implying, springing to his hooves and dropping the carrot from his mouth David started shaking his head at high speeds while voicing his refusal. Morgana had stopped rooting through my bag through all of this and sent David and I a ‘look’ that both of us saw and simultaneously decided to ignore.

“Nonononono No, The skill just makes them more likely to help us. Besides they’re just NPCs, it doesn’t really matter what happens to them in the grand scheme of things” This kind of heartless attitude was not something I was expecting from David of all people, this kind of attitude was a slippery slope. Though I guess I had to expect this to come up at some point, many of the players still think they’re inside a video game while only a small percentage are starting to wonder otherwise.

“ Stuff like that is only the beginning David, sure it starts with the NPCs but once the skill starts to level up… what then? Are you gonna start extorting the other players?” My point made David pause for a moment while he thought about it. His slightly irritated expression slowly morphed into one of disgust then disturbed until it settled on guilty. I might not be able to get them to consider this world to be real yet but I can at least put them on the right path.

“Alright, even if you’re right I can’t just turn it off it’s a passive ability, it’s always on!” David’s expression calmed as he spoke, then his eyes gained a glossy, unfocused look (that I’m beginning to call ‘Screen Gaze’) that we’ve all attributed to a player looking at their skill screen. Morgana had joined us at the table at this point and reached out to snag an apple from the pile.

“ The best way I can think of off the top of my head would be to try and refuse any unnecessary help… I may be against mental manipulations, but if we’re in a dangerous situation and we can get aid using your ability then use it. Bottom line… just be careful man” Anymore conversation came to a halt after that, leaving the three of us to sort through the mountain of stuff. Besides the obvious fruits and vegetables there was a smattering of random tools and guides. Morgana had taken out the guidebook 'Long Hooves guild to forest snacks’ that I had gotten at the shop, David was fiddling with two different compasses that were pointing in two different directions. I dug through the messenger bag and was pleasantly surprised to find some grapes (My favorite fruit). I popped a few into my mouth before remembering I had a few skill points that I needed to use, I chewed a few more grapes before opening my menu.

The usual gutted stats screen popped up again giving me a flash of annoyance (that my wisp mirrored), I want to find out one day why probably the most important screen is so bare bones. I had 6 Sp waiting to be used, this meant I could have either six new skills or only a few more powerful skills. Flipping over to my skills page I slowly looked over my skills and planned for the future. I currently have two real ways to fight not counting my summons, [Magic Beam] and [Fire Bolt] both granted from their respective Manipulation skill. The most obvious choice would be to grab the rest of the basic elemental spells… but there is the option of just learning them on my own. My [Cutie Mark] gives me a boost in spell creation and manipulation, I could also learn the normal way from books and save the SP for my more esoteric spells.

I flipped to my neutral spells page and looked further down the list for stronger spells that I now have the skill to use. I had to remind myself that I'm not the only one in this party that can benefit from my spells. I was tempted to buy the [Shield] spell for moments where David and Morgana can’t defend themselves but after reading over its description I realized I could make that spell myself. Then I had a momentary stroke of genius, I quickly flipped through the countless spell pages in hopes that it was already a known spell form. After a moment it seemed like my dreams would be dashed… until I laid eyes on it. The only magic page that only had four spells on it, titled ‘Household Magic’. It was the [Cleaning] Spell! No longer will I be know as the muddy mage, no longer will I have to endure being covered in the entrails of our fallen foes! No longer- okay I’m over this bit… I bought the spell.

Fledgeling Cleansing Spell: Even cleanliness is an artform in of itself

Banishes all unwanted stains and messes

Can also be used to clean wounds and fragile objects

Mana Cost: Negligible

Further levels in this skills will improve mana efficiency and potency

Skill Level 1: 0.0%

Cost: 1 SP

I can already tell… I'm going to get so many levels in this spell. Okay now that I’ve gotten that precious gem of a spell out of the way, it's time to get the heavy hitter spells. I flipped all the way back to the previously neglected lighting magic page and saw that it was no longer greyed out and I was sorely tempted to just buy the [Lightning Manipulation] skill then and there… until I saw the skill level.

Fledgling Lighting Manipulation: Gives the bearer power over the slippery element of lightning

bestows the lowest forms of lightning magic Spark shock and Electric Imbuement

Further levels in this skills will improve mana efficiency and potency

Skill Level 0: 76.69%

Cost: 1 SP

I was already so close to unlocking it naturally, apparently my liberal use of [Ember Imbuement] and neutral magic combined counts as using the lightning element. I could probably get this skill by the end of the day if I kept my wisp imbued for the rest of the day, only a thought was needed to beckon my wisp over. I had to focus on the link between us for a moment before injecting some fire natured mana into the bond, I felt a burst of excitement from the wisp as its appearance changed. The usual dulled silver aura that came from the wisp started to spark erratically until it literally burst into red hot pseudo-flames. I felt the wisp reassure me in its own way that the flames weren’t real and that it enjoyed its change in color. Buzzing about like an excited bird, my wisp zipped over to Morgana who was watching the whole event even with an excited gleam in her eye. The two ran off to play while David and I watched amused, slowly though I watched David’s expression slowly turn from fond to confused.

“Hey… is your wisp alive or what?” His question shocked me and made me realize that I had never explained how my summoning worked, though now that I think about it… I don’t even know how summoning completely worked. I pulled up the ‘Summoning’ page while I spoke to David extrapolating as I went.

“ Technically it isn’t, but the whole point of summoning is to make a construct using magic and some materials and having it slowly gain sentience on its own. My wisp is at the level where it has around the same consciousness of a baby… in fact now that I’m thinking about it. I think this is the farthest anyone has gotten to growing a wisp before moving on to a stronger summon.” David seemed to understand for a moment before growing confused again and stopping to think for a moment before speaking again.

“But your wisp is pretty powerful on it’s own, if it would continue to get stronger then why would others get rid of theirs?” That was a good question, but I think I have a basic answer to that or at least one that makes sense to me.

“Well it seems that [Summoning] was used more for it’s shock and awe factor than its functionality and it’s considered the beginner spell for the subject. Once other practitioners got the hang of raising their creations they would move on to much more impressive or difficult creatures. My wisp has gotten us out of some pretty tough scrapes and I'm just way too fond of it to just get rid of it… in fact I should probably make sure it can keep up with us” Navigating down to the [Wisp Summon] slot I sunk two SP into the skill.

Adept -> Journeyman Wisp Summon: Summons the weakest of all evoked creatures the wisp

This wisp will independently attack any targeted creature with small bursts of [magic and will continue to do so until destroyed or dispelled

Threshold Reached!

Catalyst Required: ???, ???

Higher levels allow for more complex orders

Mana Draw: Small

Mana draw and strength will improve with experience and supplementary skills

Skill Level 16 -> 21

Cost: 4 SP

For a brief moment my wisp froze in mid-air as its features changed, instead of just growing in size like before the black spot in the center of the wisp grew immensely. Starting at the size of a pea it grew steadily until it was the size of a baseball growing more oval like then a perfect circle. I felt the bond between us grow incredibly, before it was more like a few hair of thought linking us and now it was more akin to a highway. I could suddenly understand the previous emotions my wisp was trying to send me (Astonishment, worry, happiness). It seemed my wisp doesn’t really have a concept of language and communicated mainly through emotions and mental pictures. (Confusion, Pain) I sent it reassurance that I was alright and wasn’t in any pain. Where before I would be confused if my message reached the wisp, I was certain now. With a quick message of joy and thankfulness the wisp went back to hanging out with Morgana, it’s intelligence at the level of a young teen now.

“I’m just gonna guess that you just leveled your [Summoning] skill right?” Oh… I forgot I was talking to David during all that (Flippant Amusement). I pretended to not notice my wisp sending me the emotional equivalent of a ‘Ya don’t say?’ and focused back on David fully. During my whole skill montage David had begun sorting through all the supplies and had separated most of the tools from the food. Though the three bags were still full of random items, it was still a start.

“Yeah I did! I’m not getting rid of him any time soon, now let’s get this sorted and all put away” David only rolled his eyes at my scatter braininess and returned to sorting, Morgana and my wisp heard us and decided to cut their play time short (Disappointment) and come help us. Even my wisp tried to assist by gently nudging the tools and food into the right piles. At some point I had gained the [Lightning Manipulation] skill I was waiting for and I immediately felt the difference. Where fire magic felt like holding your hand over steam, lightning magic felt like my arm falling asleep with pins and needles everywhere. The prickling feeling startled both me and the wisp making me drop the steady supply of magic I was sending it sending it back to its standard silver hue.

It was definitely an odd feeling having the magic I was currently using being changed so utterly, especially with my imbuement skill changing from Ember to Plasma. I assume this skill will change whenever I gain a new element to control, the sound of a stomach rumbling knocked everyone out of autopilot. All this talking and magic making has really worked up an appetite, good thing we have plenty of ingredients to choose from tonight. Whatever is left over we can give to some of the other players. David and Morgana started to talk about what we should make for dinner while looking through the pile of ingredients we wouldn’t be taking with us, I glanced over the various foods and spices and had an idea.

“Hey, why don’t I cook tonight” Of all things I could have said, that was not what they were expecting. Morgana looked a bit dumbfounded while David looked slightly skeptical of my offer… which slightly annoyed me. I’m probably the oldest in our group, how hard is it to believe that I can cook for myself!

“Uhh-sure, what are you gonna make?” The wary look on David’s face irked me even more, so with an ever so slightly sinister smile I stood up and grabbed the pile of ingredients with my [Levitation] and slowly back into the kitchen out of sight with only four words in response.

“Don’t worry about it”

Author's Note:

Yaaay! The beginning of a whole new arc!
Its time to introduce so many new problems :trixieshiftleft:
This chapter was mostly a magic and level up dump, there will be more of these as people seem to like them. David and Morgana got more skills as well and they will be added to the skill page.
And for those of you who are wondering about the 'Spirit' and her offering don't worry we will get to that.

[We Better!]

You need to be patient!

[Do you remember what happened last time I was told to be patient!]

Yeah, you threw a tantrum that almost obliterated the world and I grounded you for a few millennia. You're lucky I'm letting you play now!

[...Sorry, I'll be good...]

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the story. Things are starting to heat up in other places and I think next chapter I'll give you a glimpse at one of the other gears in motion.

[Please read and review!]

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