• 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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Ch 5: Is it really loss if it was never yours in the first place?

Chapter 5: Is it really a loss if it was never yours in the first place?

“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown” -H.P. Lovecraft
It goes without saying that I confiscated and hid the broadsword immediately, we don’t know if any of the players have turned homicidal or not so better safe than sorry. After Morgana healed the light injuries the Pegasus had gathered from his dynamic entrance we dragged him over to the fire to warm up and hopefully not come down with hypothermia. We had to brush off the slowly drying mud so we could heal his injuries and doing so gave us better look at him. The pegasus’ coat was a shocking yellow that matched his mane to a T, to be perfectly honest he looked like if someone had taken Cloud Strife and tried to turn him into a pony minus the clothes and armor.

“Do you think he’s going to be okay?” Morgana had returned to her previous spot and had returned to her weaving though I could tell she was trying to keep herself busy.

“I don’t really know, you healed his injuries so he might just be tired or… wait” Interrupting myself I turned away from Morgana and the Pegasus and levitated over one of the leftover apples. I was going to save these for later when we inevitably get hungry again but if my hunch is right. I held the apple in front of the bright yellow pegasus’ nose and with a flex of my magical muscle I ripped the apple into rough halves. The effect was immediate, his nose twitched a bit when a few drops of crab apple juice landed, followed by the soft sound of sniffing. I was caught flat footed hoofed when the previously unconscious Pegasus suddenly sprung up and grabbed the two apple halves and shoved them in his mouth chewing frantically.

Mmmm Dat hih tha shpot” The feeling of my magical field being chewed was an incredibly odd sensation that I would not want to feel again, with a shutter I released the now heavily mashed apple from my levitation and refocused on our still hungry guest. Despite him speaking with his mouth full I got the basic gist of it and was slightly relieved he didn’t speak a different language. I took ASL (American Sign Language) in highschool instead of Spanish which meant that skill is completely useless.

“Thanks for that, d’you got any more?” After swallowing his food he finally took notice of us and thankfully instead of being hostile to two strangers that have him essentially cornered in a cave he was being nice. His voice had a slight accent to it that I couldn’t put my fing- hoof on, disregarding that I quickly levitated over the last two apples. I was confident in getting more later so I was more focused on finding out if he was a threat or not.

“We found you after you fell from the cliff, who are you and what happened to you?” Morgana’s voice was full of concern and slight suspicion. Though this went undetected by our guest who was in the middle of devouring another apple. His shockingly blue eyes widened at her question and he hastily swallowed to try and answer almost choking in the process. A quick beat to the chest cleared his airways and after taking a few breaths straightened his back and spoke.

“Sorry, My real name is David Strauss, but my pony name is just Nimbus which is kinda bland if you ask me” David’s introduction was much more animated than I was expecting, I thought he was going to be sullen or even depressed with everything that happened. Instead his demeanor was bright and sunny as if he was having a pretty good day, his eyes were bright and full of life which mirrored the large grin he had on his face which was full of confidence and maybe even happiness.

“As for what happened to me well… I’ll need to explain from the beginning for it to make any sense” And just like that his sunny disposition dimmed down into a dower melancholy, he seemed to wilt a bit just thinking about his past but with a quick shake of his head he put a clearly forced smile and continued his backstory.

“Back on earth I am… was an avid mmo player and as such I had my own group to play with. We had played so many games over the years together and I had even met some of them IRL (in real life), they were some of my best friends. One day they called me up and convinced me to play a new My Little Pony mmo with them, a few of my friends really liked the show and while I never watched it I was always down to play a game with my friends.” While reminiscing about his past David’s face slowly grew softer remembering fonder times but the moment he spoke of playing the game his expression soured. Morgana and I were listening patiently and intently though for differing reasons I think, while she may be listening out of concern I was trying to determine if David or any of his friends was dangerous in any way. Modern humans in a medieval society could wreak havoc if they have any malicious intentions and while I’m no protagonist that doesn’t mean I won’t help others if I can.

“We were one of the first players to wake up in the forest I think, after the initial panic and screaming we realized that our group had ‘spawned’ in the same area. Because we had appeared near the center of the clearing we were able to see this massive pile of weapons just sitting there, of course we weren’t the first to see them and quite a few other players were fighting over them. I was able to snag this sword- hey! Where’s my sword?” David had went to present his blade when he finally realized he no longer had it, looking back up at us with a confused glance I finally answered him with a bit of sheepishness to my voice.

“I uh- hid it, we didn’t know if you were dangerous or not” Thinking it over for a moment David gave a slow understanding nod before returning to a more comfortable position and remembering where he left off. The brief moment of silence brought my attention to the steady rainfall outside, the pseudo barrier of bushes and branches was doing a pretty good job of holding back any water that might flow inside. Though if the rain picks up the barrier might not be enough to hold back any flooding water, turning my attention back to the group I saw that Morgana had continued weaving what looks like a small bag while David seemed to have just remembered where he had left off and returned to his sollom air.

“Anyway like I was saying there was this massive pile of weapons and maybe supplies in the center of the clearing and not long after I got my sword so players started to swear up a storm… and I mean that in the most literal sense. Out of thin air a massive storm cloud showed up and a giant bolt of lightning struck the pile of weapons destroying them and sending everyone nearby flying. I think a lot of players died from that but it didn’t seem to really dent the number as more and more players were just blinking into existence. Me and my group had basically decided to cut and run at that point and with me being the only one with a weapon and any skills that apply to it I was the one fighting mostly. There were five of us in our group but everyone else seemed to favor unicorns and earth ponies as I was the only Pegasus, but because I was the only one with a weapon I couldn’t learn any flight skills yet.” To illustrate his point he started to slowly and jerkily open and close his ruffled wings showing his inability to fly, I could have guessed that from his swan dive off the cliff though… that was mean to think.

“Anyway since I was the only one able to fight it was hard to actually finish any of the fights, most of the time I was only able to drive off those wood wolves only for them to come back later. One of my friends was a healer so I wasn’t too injured but I was running on fumes when it came to stamina, it was during one of the rougher fights when it happened. I had been cornered by four wolves and had been separated from my friends who were just… standing there… watching. I yelled for help but the four of them only gave each other a look for giving me the most… pitiful! Look before running off into the forest abandoning me!” David slowly started to get worked up throughout his story and by the time he reached the climax he was showing just how much his so called friends’ actions devastated him, taking a deep breath to calm himself he was surprised when Morgana rested an understand hoof on his shoulder. She probably felt a sort of understanding of what he’s going though, feeling a bit left out from my lack of understanding. I gave him what I thought was a reassuring grin and urged him to continue.

Whew… okay, after that I was barely able to outrun the wolves and ended up wandering around the forest alone for a few days. It was pretty rough, at first I thought I could just eat some grass like a regular horse y'know but… it didn’t agree with me” A pained grimace briefly grew onto his face before shaking the unpleasant thought from his head, eating grass never really crossed my mind and for just a moment I felt incredibly stupid. That feeling quickly let me when I saw the unpleasant look on David’s face and I was suddenly glad none of us resorted to that.

“I… don’t think grass is edible to Equestrian ponies” That small nugget of knowledge from Morgana further reinforced my feelings though judging from the confused look on her face she either wasn’t quite sure of herself or didn’t know how she knew that. That reminds me I need to look over all of my skills, including the social tab.

“That would have been great to know beforehand… or is it beforehoof? Anyway I was basically starving and constantly on the move, i’m pretty sure I had to creep past a few different creatures out in the forest. I never traveled in a straight line so I had no idea where I was at the time, I barely got any sleep during the nights as every little noise woke me Yawn… up. I guess I was basically sleepwalking by the time I got here and… walked off the cliff I guess.” During the whole backstory dump I could see the excitable energy he had slowly drained out of him as what was apparently his sleep deprivation and empty stomach caught up to him, looking closer at him I could see dark yellow rings around his eyes which I assume are the pony equivalent of bags.

“Hey, is it okay if I take a quick nap?” The sudden question caught both Morgana and I off guard so when I hesitantly nodded my assent neither of us were ready for David to just flop over onto his side out cold. The sound of his head hitting the hard cave floor made my teeth hurt, but apparently didn’t even bother him judging by the soft snoring coming from him.

“Is… is he okay?” My stunned question prompted Morgana to slowly creep over to our guest to check him over. “I think he’s okay… maybe? He’s fast asleep already” While slightly concerned I just decided to shrug and chalk that one up to cartoon physics, standing to stretch out my now stiff body I had a thought. It was a thought that should have come to me way earlier but I’m glad to have brought up now rather than later.

“Morgana what skills do you have?”

Author's Note:

Another chapter, another backstory dump.
I really want to get to the more exciting parts of the story but I still need to set the stage for everything.
Does that happen to everyone? You start writing a story and in your head your like five acts ahead but on paper your still on act one filling in the small but important details...?:facehoof: