• Published 24th Nov 2020
  • 3,373 Views, 204 Comments

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 20: The Other End of the Spectrum

Chapter 20: The Other End of the Spectrum

“I’m stronger than this!” Those were the words ringing through my skull, though of course those words couldn’t really stop me from bleeding out soon. It had been almost an hour or so after I had finally gotten rid of the dead weight and this freak typhoon hit. Some falling water wasn’t about to stop me from surviving so Arthur pushed on through the cold and the pain… until I couldn't push through the Timberwolves. I wasn’t afraid of the overgrown splinters, the first three were reduced to toothpicks in short order. The next five were a bit more difficult to get past, it didn’t help that most of the wolves had a fascination with my swinging arm.

It all started to go wrong once one of the wolves managed to clamp its jaw around my arm and wouldn’t let go even after destroying it’s whole body. I could remember someone in the past saying that pain is just weakness leaving the body, but after all of this I know different now. Forget the body, forget the pain, forget the weakness! The flesh is weak, my will is stronger than the body that contains it. The only way to survive here, to grow strong… is to [Evolve].

I ignored the cutting pain all over my body, the cold numbing of hypothermia growing throughout my body and dragged myself closer to my quarry. The last wolf, reduced to a body with a front leg and half a head. I could tell the exact moment my intrinsic skill activated, I could feel all the life around me start to try and flee from me and at the same time be attracted to me. I felt a few of my small wounds heal slightly from the dredges of energy I consumed, I paid them no mind as I reached my target.

I felt a snarl grow on my face as I saw the wolf begin it’s futile attempt at escape, it’s pitiful crawl not even half my speed. With a painful lurch I drew myself to my hooves, once again ignoring how most of the bones and flesh in my leg broke in doing so. Hovering over the whimpering material I slammed my working left hoof onto its back to keep it still, wouldn’t want it to damage my property now would I? With my jaw I reached over and clamped down on the wolf head still death gripped into my right arm, I have no need for weakness! With the strongest yank I had in me I ripped my head in the other direction, the sound of flesh tearing and blood spilling filled the forest. From the shoulder down my leg was gone, the only thing keeping me standing was sheer determination and anger. I grew deaf to my own screams as my skill took effect. The trapped wolf went still as my energy drilled into its body, ever so slowly blood stopped gushing from my wound as a sickly green hue started to grow from my body and seep into the surrounding area.

The air was once again filled with noise as the wolf's body started to rapidly break apart, sap and rot flying into the air as the glowing shards of wood found their new rightful place… as my arm. The wood became the flesh I needed, piecing back together on my body replacing my weak flesh with a limb able to grant me more strength. I felt the wolf’s paw grow out its claws in an effort to stretch its non-existent muscles, I quickly crushed the small burgeoning consciousness that joined my own in my mind. I will be the only one in power, you are only here to be my food. With nary a thought I consumed the remains of the wolf’s mind and was treated with a flurry of glowing notifications from the game, I let out a sneer at the thought of my being here and pushed through the messages in disinterest. Walking on my new wolf paw through the forest was much easier than on my old hooves, I felt my new leg make its final growths in my arm and connect to my bone and nerves. It was a slight shock to suddenly be able to feel wood as my own skin but I quickly disregarded it, I have more important things to do. I need to fight and kill, I need to get stronger. Peering up through the trees at the massive smoke cloud growing before me, I smiled at the perfect opportunity given to me. It’s almost like this world wants me to be the strongest, maybe I could even get some useful followers.

Okay, I will admit. Simply walking into a bandit encampment wasn’t the best idea, the cage I was sitting in was empty beside me. All the other captives pleaded not to be in a cage with me after seeing my new appearance, the jeers and taunts from the bandits did nothing to me. I could almost feel their underlying fear at the sight of me, I made eye contact with a griffon that was taunting me with a torch. The heat didn’t feel that good on my paw, I felt a flash of fear from the remaining impression of the wolf that I repeatedly tried and failed to destroy. The griffon lowered the torch and started to walk away, unnerved by my unblinking glare. I ignored the popup screen that told me my [Intimidate] skill leveled and kept eye contact with the griffon. The jeering and yells of the surrounding bandits started to go quiet as more and more realized what was happening.

The griffon started to get a bit frantic as it realized more and more of it’s comrades were witnessing his act of cowardice, dropping the torch and reaching for the sword at his side. Y'know I could do with the ability to eat meat again, if he gets close again- The standoff was cut short by an almost gong like clanging, everyone quickly shifted their attention down the line of cages to an absolute mountain of a pony who had just slammed an almost joke of a sword onto one of the cages almost caving it in with a few terrified ponies inside. The massive blue pony lifted the metal girder of a sword and rested it over his shoulder on top of the furry collar of his sparse armor.

“Alright! That’s enough fun, Phineas shouldn’t you be heading out with the attack team? You remember what happened last time you didn’t pave the way for us right?” The underlying threat wasn’t lost on anyone, especially the griffon who’s name is apparently Phineas. With a fear filled shutter Phineas sent one last vitriol filled glare in my direction before sheathing his cutlass and taking to the sky, maybe I should take some wings next? The obvious leader didn’t leave it at that and started to walk his way down the line of captives, the handle of his blade knocking against every bar as he passed. With heavy quaking steps he sent mocking looks down at the surviving towns folk until he stopped in front of my cage.

“I don’t know what the Tartarus you’re supposed to be, but you’re sure as light ugly” The remaining surrounding bandits started to guffaw at the insult though some of the laughter abated at the sight of my glare. I saw the direction the griffon flew off in, it was the direction the dead weight went… that griffon won’t survive. The deadweight might not be all that strong but they are still related to me, which means they’re already stronger than these side characters.

“You won’t survive the battle” The loud laughter and yells went silent at my sentence, spoken like it was about the sky being blue, a simple truth. I saw a few flecks of anger grow in the leaders' highly expressive eyes before they were buried by dark amusement. Letting out a huffing laugh the leader walked around my cage before turning to lean his body against the side, his immense size and weight almost tipping the cage over… not that it fazed me.

“HA! That’s some bold words coming from a… thing in a cage” The leader resumed his laughter. But his followers only let out hesitant halting chuckles like they were trying to mask their fear. The mere idea of an unknown creature showing up and speaking of your death with such certainty would unnerve anyone.

“You will go to battle and be rendered limb from limb and once you’re dead and gone, I will take over your forces” I could feel this as certain almost like it was [Instinct] and I’m sure he could feel the truth to my words as well, the burgeoning fear in his eyes was snuffed out by the casual arrogance of his hollow strength and past achievements.

“ Well… it’s too bad you won’t be there to see me shatter your little prophecy, Boys! Get ready to move, I want half of you to say and defend this place… I want to have some fun when I get back” He sent a disgusting leer in the direction of a cage filled with mares who only started to sob and cower harder at his words. With a final shout he and along with most of his forces started to get ready to march to their deaths. Now that my vision wasn’t being taken up by a wall of bandits I could see the sorry state of the village, most of the houses still in flames or already reduced to smoldering embers on the ground. There were still bodies littering the ground, some were already dead while others were alive but being used. The sound of hooves growing closer pulled my attention, two rough looking bandits (a Pegasus and an earth pony) approached hesitantly.

“W-were you tell’en the truth about the boss d-dyin’ out there?” Many of the surrounding leftover bandits started watching this conversation very closely, even though the two bandits were taller than me I was looking down on the two of them. This only added to their fear of me, turning fully towards the two I only had this to say.

“Start packing up your things, we’ll need to move before they come for the rest of you next” That seemed to inject more fear into the air as the bandits realize I was dead serious, many of the bandits in the area decided not the take the change that I was wrong and left to follow my orders as side characters should.

“Y-yes sir B-boss” The Pegasus started to fumble for the key of his belt to unlock my cage, after a moment I started to get annoyed with his fumbling and decided to just do it myself. The cage was already old and rusted so it wasn’t that difficult to pull the bars off using my new arm, where muscle would strain and tear, supernatural material simply breaks through. The clearing was once again rendered fearfully silent as I almost effortlessly pulled apart their cage and stepped out, I stood there in silence as my new subordinates stared befuddled.

“Do I need to repeat myself? Move!” And like that they were a flurry of activity and for a moment everything was as it should be, the weak serving the strong. This wouldn’t last long if I stayed as I was… I need to be stronger, I need to become a perfect being. No weaknesses, No shortcomings, and No failures. This is my [Ambition] and I will not be denied! Even if I have to kill everyone who gets in my way!

I woke up in a cold sweat, my wisp sending me waves of concern and alertness. I could feel the remnants of [6th Sense] activation fade away slowly as the last moments of the… vision(?) became a memory. I finally understood what the spirit meant about ‘Demons you know’, I felt my gaze swing to Morgana who had fallen asleep at the table next to the leftovers of the cheese pizza I had made. How am I going to tell her about her brother, more importantly… Should we even do anything about him? The spirits' words were still echoing in my head and I have the deep fear that if we somehow subdue Arthur… would something worse pop up in his absence? (Comfort, Disregard) I agreed with my wisp, this isn’t something I could do anything about right now. We wouldn’t even be able to find them by now, that vision happened before the bandits even left to attack which means Arthur has a few days head start on us.

Suppressing a long sigh I stood from one of the floor cushions and left the room. I could hear the snores of David above me in the bedroom. He didn’t have a problem claiming the now vacant master bedroom and zipped right up there to sleep off the four slices of pizza he had, it really was a stroke of genius to use fire magic in place of an oven. I left out the front door with my wisp following behind me, I took a seat on the front porch and looked up at the star filled sky. It's moments like these that make me actually miss the earth, I don’t recognize any of these stars… that doesn’t make them any less beautiful. I’m not getting to sleep any time soon, might as well get that [Shield] spell unlocked in the meantime.

Author's Note:

Well... That's gonna be a problem
I'm not going to be add Arthur to the skill page, his skills... change a lot.

[It annoys me that I had to be so cryptic with my warning, I hate cryptic warnings!]

Yeah well, it was required so...

Anyway I hope you all are enjoying the story! The next arc will certainly be my favorite and I hope you'll like it just as much!

[Will I finally get my offering!]

Save that excitement for later... you'll get it soon

[ : ) ]

Anyway, I'll see you on the next chapter!

[Please Read and Review!]

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