The Moon in the Dark

Long ago, the Monsters and Humans fought a great war. The Monsters lost, and were sealed in the Underground. It would take the power of seven human souls to break the barrier that kept them imprisoned. They only had six. And so the Monsters waited and hoped, praying that another human would find their way to the Underground. Some thought the seventh soul would give their King the strength to break the barrier. Some dreamed of a human who would be their friend, and save them all...or had nightmares of one who would bring back the war.
...but nobody came.
...but somepony did.
Eons after the war, with no way to tell how much time had passed above, a tiny blue filly with wings and horn fell into the underground, calling for her Mama. None knew the poor creature's nature or origins...but her soul was powerful with magic, even more so than a human soul.
None can know what will come...of this little 'Woona'.
http://www.fimfiction.net/story/303673/the-moon-in-the-dark

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7. Growing Problems

Woona's reading and writing improved in leaps and bounds as she stayed in Toriel's small house in the Ruins.  As she studied, she eventually overcame her lisp, and could speak without slurring her words...although she still did it on occasion to be extra adorable.  Toriel happily praised every bit of Woona's progress, especially as she began to devour the books on the shelves.

One question bothered Woona, though.

"Mommy?" she asked one day.  "How come I'm not getting any bigger?"

Toriel blinked in response to that question.  It had been a while since Woona had come to live with her.  As best as time could be tracked in the Underground, it had been several months.  While she was adorable as small as she was, she should have grown at least a little bit.  But Toriel had been marking Woona's measurements against a wall, and they hadn't changed a nanometer since she'd arrived.  "I'm not sure," she replied.  "It is a concerning matter, I'll admit.  Let me see what I can determine.  I believe it's time for a check up."

"Yay!" Woona cheered happily.  "Time to play doctor!"

Chuckling, Toriel donned the lab coat she wore to 'play doctor' with Woona, and then began to examine her with her magic.  Finding nothing in the usual low level scans to explain it, she used a deeper scan...and discovered something she didn't expect.  "You have a lot of physical matter," she murmured, surprised.  "Far more than I expected in a magic user as strong as you..."

"Huh?" Woona asked, confused.

"Monster magic draws from the soul," Toriel explained.  "The strength of the soul determines the strength of the magic, and the use of magic drains the soul's strength.  Of course, that strength can easily be recovered in a number of ways.  As a result, Monster bodies have very little physical matter to them, and are made up almost entirely of materialized magical energy.

"The only other magic users Monsters have encountered before are humans.  While the strength of human magic is also determined by the strength of the soul, it does not draw power from the soul to function.  Humans were able to learn to tap the magical fields of the world around them, and through intensive study could wield magic that far outstripped that of Monsters, and didn't tire them out to use."

Toriel scratched her chin.  "But you...your magic draws from inside of you like a Monster...but your body has a great deal more physical matter than Monsters.  You also appear to have an instinctive grasp of magic like a Monster.  You're...something between a Monster and a Human, as far as how your magic works.  How curious."

"...what's that got to do with me not getting bigger?" Woona asked, pouting.  As interesting as she found the subject - this was the first time Toriel had brought up humans - she was genuinely concerned about not getting big enough to solve puzzles herself.

"Well, Monster food is mostly materialized magical energy, much like Monsters themselves," Toriel clarified.  "When eaten, it simply metabolizes into magical energy instantly.  Human food, on the other hand, went through a rather complicated...digestive process...because it was purely physical matter."  Toriel hesitated.  Her understanding of human digestion was...limited.  "They absorbed...nutrients...of various sorts from the food, and..."

"Pooped out what they didn't use?" Woona clarified.  "That's what I did up above, too."

"Then that's what's going on," Toriel confirmed.  "While the food you eat down here is providing you with the magical energy you need to sustain your body, it isn't providing the...nutrients...you need to grow."

Woona's eyes widened.  "You...you mean I'm gonna be this tiny forever?" she whimpered.  "But...but how am I gonna solve puzzles?"

"Well, your magic has grown much stronger since you got here," Toriel pointed out.  "Your first day here, you barely had the strength to levitate a Monster Candy to eat it.  Now you have enough to push large rocks.  With a bit of study, I think you can learn to use your magic to press switches or pull levers...or even levitate yourself!"

Woona gasped happily.  "I can use my magic to fly?"

"With study and practice," Toriel countered.  "You must be diligent if you want to manage that."

"I'll practice everyday!" Woona proclaimed happily.  She began bouncing up and down in a circle around Toriel, so happy was she with the idea of flying.

 

 

Woona smiled happily as she cantered through the ruins.  With her magic stronger, she was no longer afraid of Flowey, and was certain that she could even befriend him when and if she encountered him.  With her saddlebags empty save for her gold, she made her way along the path Toriel had mapped out for her.  Today, she was going grocery shopping!

She glanced over the list as she made her way through the Ruins, occasionally waving at a Monster she spotted who she knew.  She had made several brief forays into the Ruins on her own since moving in with Toriel, and had successfully befriended every monster in the Ruins, including the incredibly shy Whimsuns.  It had taken a great deal of patience, and help from Monsters she'd already befriended, but it had been worth it.  They were just so cute!

"Let's see...flour, eggs, snails, milk..." she murmured, reading over the list.  "Hmm...only seven items...I can carry all that!  Oh, spider cider!  I dunno what that is, but cider sounds yummy!"

The market area was actually very close to the house, just a brief detour to the east just south of the tree.  She had no trouble gathering the ingredients.  While the little white dog that had given Toriel problems that first day tried to run off with the flour, Woona surprised herself - and the dog - when she seized both dog and flour in her magic and lifted them over to herself.  Putting the flour in the bag, she set the dog down and pet it a few times.  With a happy bark, the dog raced off, only to bring her back a strange crimson ball that seemed to serve no particular purpose.  When she tried to slip it into her saddlebags, it instead flew up to her neck, where it generated a torc in which it sat.

 

Woona equipped Mysterious Torc

 

Stat effects unknown.

It's mysterious!

 

While a bit nervous about what had happened, Woona eventually shrugged it off and made her way to the part of her map marked 'Spider Bake Sale', as that was where she could buy the spider cider.

Once there, she found two spiderwebs behind two signs.  The signs informed her that spider cider cost 18G...and that spider doughnuts were only 7G!  She loved spider doughnuts when Toriel brought them back for her!

Happily, she deposited the 18G in the larger web, and spiders scurried out with a bottle of cider, which she placed into her saddlebags.  She could tell she only had room for one more item, so she put 7G in the smaller web.  The spiders eagerly presented her with a doughnut.  She placed it in her bag, resisting the temptation to eat it right then and spoil her dinner.

As she turned to go, however, she paused.  Turning back, she gently knocked on the wall beside the smaller web.  "Excuse me," she asked sweetly.  "What are you trying to save money for?"

After a time, a spider scurried out and presented several pieces of paper.  The first was a flier for a transportation company with a large price for transit between the Ruins and someplace called Hotland.  The second was a picture of a little spider girl, surrounded by swarms of spiders.  The last was a graph of how much had been saved towards the total, which was distressingly small.

"Oh..." Woona murmured.  "You're separated from your family?  You want to go home?"

The spiders danced an affirmative jig.

Woona thought about that.  "Why can't you make your own way?"

The spiders shivered together.

"Too cold, huh?" she murmured.  "Hmm..."  She glanced at her saddlebags, and an idea struck her.  "If I ever leave the Ruins, I'll take you all with me!  I'll ask Mama how to enchant my saddlebags to have more space, and stay warm!"

The spiders danced a happy jig, waving their legs happily at her before rushing up to nuzzle her.  Smiling, she nuzzled them all back, even giving each a kiss on their backs.  To her surprise, her magic touched them gently, leaving a blue star on their backs.  "So pretty..." she murmured.

The spiders certainly seemed to enjoy their new coloration, comparing their stars to each other and swelling with pride.

Chuckling, Woona happily made her way back home, filled with DETERMINATION to help the spiders.

 
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