• 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 21: The Journey of A Thousand Miles... (Arc 2: The Wanderers Arc)

Arc 2: The Wandering Arc

Chapter 1: The Journey of A Thousand Miles…

My morning began in the best way possible (Insert sarcasm here), with a crick in my neck. Turns out that wooden walls don’t make great pillows, who could have guessed. I had fallen asleep outside practicing my [Shield] spell, I had unlocked it after a few hours of experimenting and failing… horribly at times. The first problem I had was making my magic a solid construct, I had assumed that part would have been easy due to my experience with [Summoning]. With the basics of [Summoning] being making constructs and bringing them to life, but apparently this is way different somehow. The [Shield] spell is more math than magic, needing more geometric and structural knowledge than empathetic magic and materials. I had to calculate how much physical space my pure mana would take up before restructuring it to make a solid construct. Unlike on Earth, energy does not equal mass times the speed of light (sorry Einstein), the speed of light as a variable in magic can be altered at will. With enough experience in neutral magic or light magic I could actually change the amount of light in the spell rendering it either invisible or like a flashbang.

This made the [Shield] spell all the more annoying to learn as the data was almost always inconsistent. So in order to learn the spell I had to… cheat a bit, the saying ‘two heads are better than one’ rings true in my case, especially if one of them sees through magic instead of physically. I had my wisp floating over my shoulder gilding me psychically while I puzzled out where to put my magic. My first successful shield looked less like a barrier and more like a honeycomb, two layers of small hexagons supporting each other. I was so relieved once I learned the spell that I didn’t have to do all of the calculations again, I just had to know where I had to put the barrier and how to make the [Shield] structurally sound… I might stick to triangles more instead of hexagons.

“Markus?! Are you still outside?” David’s still slightly grumpy voice pulled me out of the fog that is my memory (Annoyance, Warmth, Wakefulness). Apparently my wisp doesn’t like loud noises in the morning, so I sent the mental equivalent to a good morning to my wisp and pulled myself up to my hooves. I spent a moment stretching making my legs give off a sound more akin to popcorn then bones before heading back inside. I wasn’t overly surprised by what I saw but it was still pretty up there, David was sitting at the table next to a still snoring Morgana while chewing on some cold pizza. Their actions weren't what surprised me… it was what they were wearing. David was wearing what looked like a cross between a leather jerkin and a cloak, the back of the armor had been cut open to free up his wings leaving an odd gap in the jerkin. To top it all off there was a forest green hood stitched onto it that was currently down and out of the way of David’s pizza. Morgana was wearing probably the most protective bit of armor compared to the rest of us, a full set of militia armor though it looked a bit more like modified horse barding. Most of the thick leather was focused on her chest and her sides while the rest was bundled in the same forest green fabric though I'm not sure if there was any metal reinforcing it.

“Okay… two questions, Is my armor gonna be green too? And did you really eat all four leftover slices of pizza?” Like I said, David was currently gnawing on the last sizable slice of pizza when I was sure there had been four pretty large slices left. Moving on from the pizza I focused more on the armor. I never looked good in green, that is a facet of my life that I’m pretty sure wouldn’t be changing anytime soon. Removing the pizza crust from his mouth David gestured to the chair before me then swallowed the pizza loudly making me cringe slightly at the sound.

“Morgana brought them out early in the morning, I can’t tell what time it is now but I'm sure we overslept… along with half the town I'm sure.” After everything that's happened recently I think everyone deserves a late start to the day. Trotting over to the chair I pulled up my new armor, it was just as I feared. It was just a leather cloak dying a forest green, there were a few buckles and a metal clasp on the front. I lifted the cloak with my [Levitation] and to my surprise a thin leather chest plate fell out onto the floor. Where are they getting all of this leather? Slightly annoyed by the color I sat the cloak back down onto the chair and trotted my way upstairs to freshen up for the day (My hair felt crunchy). A quick glance in the mirror revealed the reason behind my hair conundrum, it was filled with wooden splinters. A quick wash in the shower cleaned me up and woke me up fully, getting out and checking my soggy self in the mirror only made me think about what I have to do today. I had to get dressed, go over the maps with the others, go out and deliver some kind of speech to the other players (hopefully not), and somehow break it to Morgana that her brother is alive and has taken control of the very same bandits that we routed… no pressure.

“You got this far, one step at a time” I’m starting to get why people give themselves pep talks in the mirror, I feel a bit better… I think (Assurance, Belief). The comforting assurance of my wisp really helped me relax so with a reinforced smile I pulsed my [Cleansing] spell and dried myself, the [Cleansing] spell works a bit like a banishment spell where it just sends the target ( the water in this case) away. Thinking about the components of a spell made me think about a recently neglected spell of mine… [Ritual Magic], it says it has the ability to isolate and use certain parts of spells or make creature specific spells possible to use. I really want to delve deeper into this subject but that means making deals and sacrifices to the spirit. She said she liked magic items and knowledge, but I'm afraid that one day she’ll ask for a person instead of an object. I’ll need to really play my cards right when it comes to her, I was already shown once how much power she has over this world and I don’t need another demonstration.

Calming myself I left the bathroom and made my way downstairs where Morgana had finally woke up and was currently munching on a… cucumber? She must have seen my extremely confused face as she smiled and took another loud bite before speaking with her mouth full.

“I like the cronch” The incredulous look I was sending her must have been hilarious as it sent both her and David into giggling convulsions. Rolling my eyes at their antics I went to grab the messenger bag that had a bulk of the supplies and tools. We had decided last night during dinner that I should carry most of the stuff because I would be in the back away from most one-on -one combat and I could [Blink]. Returning to the giggling duo I pulled out the map and unrolled them on the kitchen table. Seeing what I was doing, the two calmed themselves quickly only having slight giggles and burgeoning smiles. The map was about what I expected from a map in this time period, it was a simple topographical map of the country, there were a few trade routes drawn between markers in the shape of houses. There was a key in the corner telling me that the house stamps were known towns and villages and the lines were the best known trade route between them. I already had a destination in mind due to the request from the nice shopmare.

"We are here, and the nearest town is this trading city down southeast. Mount Canter is down past this town almost a week of constant travel away, this isn’t counting any detours or distractions we encounter along the way. We have until the end of the month which it about 3 weeks away I think, which gives us plenty of time to gather intel and get stronger'' We were located up near the Neighagra Falls in the top right end of Equestria which means we had quite a it of walking to do until we reach the mountain. The next town we were going to was a trading hub that had nine different trade routes going through it which made it a major town. This meant it more likely had its own guard force, which means we can get in, learn what we need, then get out and be on our way. Though with our luck, we’re bound to get sidetracked at some point.

“ But what if we need to get back here quickly? Can’t you like teleport us?” Morgana was starting to get excited again at the thought of our journey kicking off, though the sliver of worry in her voice made me sorry to break the news to her about space magic.

“I can’t… not yet at least. [Teleportation] falls under space magic which unlike other elements doesn’t have a Manipulation skill to get started on. It a branch of spell craft that's based on brute magic force that I just don’t have, that’s why only the most powerful unicorns use it” This is what makes Twilight Sparkle so dang impressive, not only is she strong enough to [Teleport] herself and others alongside her, she can use manual [Levitation] at will without burning herself out. She has both immense control and strength and this is all before she became an Alicorn, though I'm not sure if her [Cutie Mark] just made it easier for her or just gave her the potential to get to Alicorn level.

“ But I remember seeing you teleporting around before and during the siege? Is that not the [Teleport] spell? Just what are your skills?” The suddenly onslaught of questions overwhelmed me for a second and I had to part through all of her questions, I really didn’t want them to know about my dark magic so I just answered the basics of her questions and moved on.

“Uh no, the spell you were seeing is my [Blink] spell which is basically a magic slingshot in whatever direction I want. It’s more like the magic little brother of the [Teleport] spell. I actually have quite a few skills and spells, we wouldn’t have enough time to get ready if I explained each one so I’ll just say my main magic type is [Summoning] but my best attack magic so far would be my fire magic for obvious reasons” The two seemed to accepted that in place of a full answer for now and got up to prepare to leave, leaving me to roll the maps back up (Doubt, Disappointment, Sadness). Over my shoulder my wisp expressed its dislike for my unwillingness to tell the truth to my friends, mentally turning my attention to my wisp. I spoke to it while my body started to pack up. It’s too young to really understand the emotional response to hearing that someone is an active user of dark magic (Defiance, Avarice). A want to understand and learn was sent back through the bond, a want I quickly conceded to. I explained all the negative connotations of dark magic to my wisp, all the taboo topics and actions that usually cross into the territory of dark magic and the beliefs that blame problems on dark magic. Ever so slowly my Wisp began to understand my reluctance to reveal my skills and at the same time still wished for me to talk to them, believing they would understand because they’re my friends. While my wisp’s willingness to claim the two as its friends warmed my heart, I also had to explain why I couldn't tell them.

Morgana looks at this world as if it’s straight out of a story book, which means if she sees a wizard that's slowly getting into dark magic she will assume that he is turning evil or something and would need to be defeated ‘for the greater good’. While David on the other hoof doesn’t have such an idealistic look at the world, he sees things in only black and white, good and evil, real and fake. If he finds out I'm using dark magic he will assume I'm another one of those dangerous players that needs to be dealt with. Until I am 100% sure I can trust them with all of my skills without the threat of them turning against me hanging over my head I will be keeping my true capabilities to myself. My body connected the silver clasp on my cloak over the chest plate and trotted over to my lantern hanging near the front door. My Wisp let out a sad crooning noise in my head that I interpreted as a deep sigh (Understanding, Hope). I drew the wisp close in an approximation of a hug as it sent its understanding of my plight and hope for the future. I clipped the [Familiar Lantern] onto the inside of my cloak onto the side of the chest plate for protection, my wisp swirled in the air for a moment before diving into the shadow of my cloak illuminating it for a moment before dimming into a normal silver flame dancing on the lanterns iron wick.

“Are you two ready yet?” Turning back from the door I saw Morgana struggling with the saddle bags straps while David approached with an apple curled in his wing. A quick flick of the limb sent the fruit into the air in my direction and was quickly caught by my [Levitation]. I was about to go for a bite before I stopped myself as I remembered the feeling of having my magical aura chewed. Removing my aura from half the apple I nodded my thanks to David who smiled in response before turning to adjust the cutlass at his side. I felt Morgana rush up and bump into my side almost vibrating in excitement, her bright smile was extremely contagious as I felt a smile grow on my face as well and I didn’t even need to look at David to know he was also beaming. Swallowing the last of my apple and tossing the core into the nearby trash can I took a deep breath and opened the door into the bright morning.

All together we took a step into the light and-

Author's Note:

First and foremost I want to say this... DO NOT GET ATTACHED TO THE CLOTHES.
This is a kinda big pet peeve of mine. Outfits will be changed every once in a while and they won't be wearing the same clothes for months at a time unlike some Characters.

[Were looking at you Sora! Kingdom Hearts bullshit or not they need to be washed!]

Anyway we're finally moving on to the traveling and there is something rather important I wanted to ask about. Do you want me to write about every bit of traveling or do you want me to like time-lapse it. Explain what their doing during this time then move on or skip through until something interesting happens with like a voice over from Markus talking about the trip.
If anyone has as preferences on this please comment and tell me as I don't really have any real feelings on the matter of travel. Usually the travel time is skipped during stories and I don't want to just up and skip it.

[So if any of you stalkers have any feelings about it then speak up]

Please don't be rude M
Anyway I hope you enjoy the story!

[Remember to like and comment if you enjoy what you're reading!]