• Published 8th May 2021
  • 5,220 Views, 419 Comments

Dark as Chitin - LostBox

I can hardly remember anything for the life of me, though I feel I should. Why is there a voice in my head?

  • ...

Chapter 7: Sorcery

Let's see, there's twenty shelves total, meaning twenty different tiers of magic. I might as well start at the bottom, build my way up. I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. I walked over to the magic column and picked a book out from the bottom at random. It fell to the floor so I turned it over to read the cover.

"Magic for Foals, by Twilight Sparkle. Alright, let's start with this."

I grabbed the book in my mouth and trotted over to the nearest table, taking a seat. Dropping the book on the table, I opened it to the first page.

"The heading read: Principles of Magic. Magic exists all around us and inside of all of us. Even if you're not born with much magical talent, you can always improve through hard work. Magic manifests itself in the form of magicules. Normally, magicules cannot be seen with the naked eye, but by utilizing magic itself within the eyes, they become visible. An individual magicule is about the size of a grain of sand and are intangible to objects not imbued with magic."

I concentrated my magic into my eyes. Suddenly, I was able to see a rainbow mist completely filling the room.


Looking over the room, I could see that the magicules seemed to be more condensed around some ponies than others, this was especially true for Starlight and Dawn. Speaking of Dawn, she's sitting right in front of me. Wait a second, she's sitting right in front of me.

I switched my vision back to normal, greeted by Dawn's warm smile. "Oh, hey Dawn, did you need something?"

"Nope!" She said enthusiastically.

Okay, this is weird. I turned my eyes back down to my book, the feeling of her gaze never leaving me.

"Is she still watching me?"

"Yes, I believe she is."

"I can't concentrate like this. Any ideas?"

Chrysalis hummed to herself in thought. "Maybe try sending her away. Ask about her father."

"Hey Dawn," I stammered out.


"What's your father like?"

"My dad? He's an amazing alchemist and mage! Wait, I haven't greeted him yet. I'll be right back!"

With that, Dawn ran out of the library, her mother calling out after her.

"Hey, no running inside the castle!"

Now that Dawn was gone, I could go back to reading. I couldn't help but feel relieved.

Sometime later...

"Hey, Anon, I'm back. Woah, did you read all of these?" Dawn gushed.

It's only when I looked away from my current book that I noticed just how many I had read. Looks like Magic for Foals did wonders for me, it was an excellent starting point. As expected of the Princess of Magic. That's not all that I learned though. I've got a multitude of tricks now: attraction, repulsion, barrier, telekinesis, telepathy, reconstruction, reinforcement, refraction, dismantle, dispel, locate, magic beam, and abrasion. I even learned a bit of history, but that's for another time.

Twilight said in her book that your understanding of a spell is just as important as the magic itself. Spells read like mathematical equations mixed with some kind of code. Luckily, I know quite a bit of math, somehow, and the code's relatively simple to figure out.

I looked at Dawn. "Uh, yeah, I guess I kind of got lost in them. How long has it been?"

"About 3 hours."

3 hours? There are at least 14 books here and I've learned everything I could from them. How am I learning this fast?

"Changelings mature at a faster rate than most Equestrian creatures, but that still doesn't explain your extraordinary intelligence. It may have something to do with your extended incubation period. That's the only explanation I have." Chrysalis explained.

Maybe. Dawn broke my train of thought with a question of her own.

"So where do you live?"

This was not a question I was expecting. "The Everfree Fo-"

Luster Dawn was instantly taken aback, catching me by surprise. She was now standing up out of her seat with a look of shock on her face. Everypony in the library except Starlight was now staring at us.

Dawn smiled sheepishly before sitting back down. Everypony turned their attention back to whatever they were doing before.

"S-sorry, it's just that... the Everfree is dangerous, isn't it?"

"It is, but I know my way around the place."

"Yes, you do," Chrysalis exclaimed.

Luster Dawn held her forehoof nervously. "What's it like?"

I pondered the thought for a moment, looking up at the ceiling. "It's not as bad as everypony thinks, but you do need to be careful. It's almost liberating in a way actually, living in the forest and all."

"How did you learn how to survive in the forest? Hardly anyone would dare even go near it."

My thoughts went straight to my mother. "My mom taught me."

"Your mom lives in the forest?"

I looked down, focusing on nothing in particular. "No, not anymore. She's... gone."

Dawn's ears drooped. "Oh, I'm sorry."

"Don't be, it's not your fault."

Dawn smiled somberly at me, I smiled back.

That's when we heard an abnormally loud commotion outside. It was a masculine voice, screaming and yelling hysterically.

Practically everypony went over to the windows to look outside.

"Not this again."

"That's the 4th case this week."

"You think they'll be able to find something out this time?"

What's going on? Everypony seems to know something about this.

"What's happening?" I whispered to Luster Dawn.

"We're not entirely sure. Something's been causing ponies to go crazy recently. The strangest thing is, they suddenly forget about what happened with no clue to as how they got where they are. Whatever this is, not even magic has been able to detect it," she whispered back.

"What do you mean?"

"Well... just look."

There was a crowd of ponies gathered around a single stallion outside of the castle. He was flailing around, screaming, and grasping at his head with his hooves.

For the first time since he started screaming, he spoke. "He has risen! Rejoice, for he shall purify this world! The lord has arrived! Rejoice!" The stallion's eyes then rolled to the back of his head. Finally, he then took a deep inhale before passing out.

"What the hell?" I thought to myself.

"Well... that was quite something," Chrysalis stated.

"Yeah, you could say that."

A couple of EMTs trotted up to the stallion, loaded him up onto a stretcher, and headed off as if this was commonplace.

"We need to go. There's something I need to teach you."

"Yeah, I... I don't feel like sticking around this place."

I turned to Luster Dawn. "I think I should get going now. Thanks for everything, Dawn."

"Of course, I understand. Make sure to be safe."

"I will."

One hour later...

I walked through the Everfree feeling a bit distraught. I mean, what was that? He has risen? The lord has arrived? It sounds like some kind of cultist rambling.

"Stop here."

I stopped, noticing that I was now in a small clearing.

"This should do, now get comfortable. You'll need to be as relaxed as possible for what comes next."

I sat on my flank, closed my eyes, and took a few deep breaths, something Twilight mentioned in her book.

"Alright, what now?"

"Do you know how to increase your magic reserves?" Chrysalis asked.

"While I was reading, a few books said something about expanding your pool by taking in slightly more magic than you can handle, draining it, and repeating the process."

"That's correct. Typically, this would be a slow process for most creatures. Magic may exist all around us, but that doesn't mean everyone has a high affinity with it. This is especially true for changelings."

"Wait, so then how did someone like Cozy Glow absorb all of the magic from Grogar's bell?"

"There was some unique magic mixed inside the bell; magic that breaks rules."

"Magic that breaks rules?" My mind immediately went to Discord.

"That's not important right now. Listen to what I'm saying. Changelings may not have a high affinity with the magic that exists all around us but we do with love. Love is energy, energy can become magic. Naturally, changelings can easily convert love into magic. Once magic synchronizes with your being, you'll have far more control over it. You may even notice that it will take on a hue reflective of yourself."

"Alright, that makes sense."

"Start by draining the magic from your body. Just imagine pushing it outward through every orifice and let it flow."

I began visualizing my magic, pushing it outside of my body. It was fairly condensed, so when it was fully ejected, it looked like a cloud of green mist had descended upon me. Expelling all of my magic made me feel extremely tired, but this was necessary.

"Good, now absorb some of the love in the atmosphere and convert it into magic."

I took a deep breath, drawing in the pink ethereal strands.

"Now, absorb all of the magic you expelled. This is the technique you'll be using to increase your magic levels. You'll have to do this regularly if you want to stand any chance of surviving in this world."

I was halfway through reabsorbing my magic when I noticed something strange that made me stop.

"What's wrong?"

I stood up surveying my surroundings. "It's quiet, the Everfree is never quiet. Something's wrong."

What was once a forest, bustling with noise, was now dead silent.

"Then that can only mean one thing. There's something here that scared everything into being quiet. I've experienced this before, but never to this degree."

The silence was suffocating. Every one of my own breaths put me on edge. I'm even sure I could hear my own blood flowing. Noticing that the remainder of the magic I had expelled was now gone, I took one step forward to leave; that's when a masculine voice suddenly came from behind me. A cold chill ran through my body, stopping me in my tracks.

"I knew I sensed something. Just my luck. I'm famished after that little stunt I pulled inside that stallion's body. You'll do nicely."