38. Tramar
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If my glare could kill, the mage would die in an instant. “You’re playing with fire.” He only laughed at my jab and farted so loud I almost smacked him. That would be a mistake, because the smell overpowered me and I had taken a few steps back.

Katherine glanced between us and only shook her head and turned around. After ten more steps, she sped up and slashed at a training dummy with one graceful move. Just as her sword left the dummy, she turned around and sped up again while slashing.

While letting some gas out again, the mage waved with his hand and created a chair under his fat, stupid, farting ass. “Even if your whip was strong as your words, I wouldn’t regret it. I gladly helped our princess.”

Only gently slapping my cheek sobered me from watching Katherine’s stunning practice. John, she isn’t lesbian. Instead, I let my anger out. “Hmpf. Yes, I persuaded Queen to coronate me.” Okay, by saying I was inflating my merits, because I only gave the Queen a name. Who were they anyway, questioning my title? Wait, they should be strong, right? “Are you on her plan too, will you fight my army?”

It was Lily’s turn to face me and answer, “Yes, the Queen graced us with her wisdom and we appreciate your upcoming sacrifices.” She lifted her monumental hands and bowed like they do in Asian cultures. “Your upcoming perils disheartens me, but to preserve our path of existence, we are willing to accept our parts.”

“Stop…” I said when she bowed, but then blinked with checks heating. “No way…” I let the words out and stared at her with my mouth open. “But- But- But her army…” My voice trembled, and I was struggling to understand.

“We don’t desire saving. We are going to bolster her undead battalion.”

They all are willing to die. Sacrifice even. “Why?” This was a thing I never understood. Some men under my command ran towards the enemy with a smile and when they died, they shouted about our country. Was this belonging? There wasn’t a chance I would go on frontline, actually risking my life in Africa’s wars.

 

“Let’s go.” Katherine grasped my hand and ushered me from the barrack and again, I couldn’t even finish my conversation. The heat of her hand and closeness of her hair, almost touching me, muted me. Glancing back at her, I couldn’t suppress a grin. Maybe it was better not to talk much with my future enemy - they might use it against me!

“Sorry. Why are you so nervous?” I let her pull me, because her firm grasp was affecting me and deepening my grin. Come on Charlie. Focus! “We are playing for over half a day. Do you need a break?” I tried changing the topic.

Katherine turned back at me, stopping, and I crashed to her embrace. “Sorry. Third version’s good. I forgot…” She tried to hide her flushing checks by hugging me. Was she embarrassed because she thought I didn’t have the model as she had?

Anyway, I let her clutch me, but whispered, “Don’t worry, I have mark three as well. How much time you’ve got?”

She pulled out her face, only to show me her confused eyes. “Wat?”

“The remaining time before you need to log out and take six hours break. Ask system.”

System, my time?

[You can safely play for another: 32 hours 12 minutes 3 seconds]

My lovely friend furrowed her forehead. Her eyes focused on an invisible screen, but then she gifted me a deep smile and said, “A lot. Thanks, wat now?”

“I’m hungry,” I said, and moved out. “What about you? Let’s eat!” Katherine sighed, but nodded and walked beside me.

 

Despite her protesting, we ate breakfast in one inn on the outskirts of the village. Thanks to her impatience, I couldn’t even enjoy the meal, and she dragged me out after we paid. “Level up!” That was her excuse, as always.

“Sure, but we need to go there.” I pointed at the distant forest. “Are you up to it?” She dropped her smile without an answer and waited for me to lead the way.

As we exited the village, we walked past many players who cluttered the sides, shouting classic things about partying up. Although we needed a mage, I dismissed the idea of bringing random people with me.

“Wanna team up?” Katherine asked a man in a red, baggy robe; she clearly didn’t share my view of strangers. Sadly, I couldn't see his face, because he hid in a stupidly large hood. “Need mage, you mage.”

The man was sitting on a cheap wooden fence, which threatened to fall even under his thin frame, and he glanced at her. “Yeah, why not. Where are you going?”

“It’s far away, you probably don’t want to play that long.” Before she could say anything, I stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder. “We’ll fight along the way, but still it is hours away from any village. There is a hidden dungeon, but it might have nothing.” I couldn’t hide disdain from my eyes and glared at him. Please, just go away.

“Fine by me, playing with cute girls is always fun.” He pushed himself up with energy, dusted his robe, and pulled down a hood. “Tramar at your service!” His round face, with skin almost like a baby, looked familiar. Hm, have I seen him somewhere? Probably in pvp fights? Yeah, I remember, I used to watch even the qualifier rounds, and he didn’t make it far. What a loser. “I bought fireball and fire floor spells, so I’ve got ya covered. I’m level seven.”

“Fine.” I moved closer to Katherine and tried to squeeze to let my anger out, but because of her armor, I hurt myself instead. My god, I’m pathetic… “We can’t take horses, because the jungle will be hard to hack through.”

 

For an about an hour, we paced through the forest and soon it turned into a jungle. The trees grew closer and formed a thick green foliage above us, and a faint mist prevented us from seeing more than a few steps. We had talked little, only exchanged names. Partly to conserve strength and partly because I was thinking. Which was strange, because thinking was something I would never do.

The problem was that my upcoming fight with Irwen was bugging me. It felt almost like some invisible force was pushing my chest all the time — that was a new to me. I always heard people complaining about stress, but that never bothered me. When I had a problem, I just avoided it. Sadly, now I had more problems than solutions.

So what the NPCs wanted to throw away their lives! It wasn’t my concern, and there wasn’t anything I could do. Even though the seal suppressed Irwen’s power, she could kill me with an ease. Right?

Our formation was easy - Katherine was taking a point, and we walked behind her. I didn’t want to admit it, but his athletic body rivaled Lucas’ and because I saw him for the first time, he even attracted me. That must be the stupid female hormones acting! With his short blonde hair, perfectly cut around long pointy ears… Stop!

“Hun, haven’t you said something about monsters? Just now I heard something, but there was nothing all the way.” Tramar’s stupid and annoying voice woke me up from my daydreaming.

“So what?” I spat out; but he was right. The stupid monsters should had flooded this jungle, but we traversed it without a problem. “It is strange though.” At the same time, a low growling noise reached my ears. “Wait, I hear it as well!”

Maybe because I looked in the direction of a growl, a monstrous noise filled the area and a forceful gust dispersed the white mist.

[You are stunned. Time remaining: 6s]
[??? Lv.15]
Type: 5-epic Boss | HP: 1800/1800

“We’re toast.”

Announcement

You have probably noticed I changed my schedule. Sadly, my writing speed isn't up to notch... yet. I can write and edit (four times) up to 3-4k words a week and that isn't enough. So my plan for this summer is releasing one episode weekly. (in retrospect, couldn't make that, sorry!)

You can think of it as a holiday schedule. :) I will stock up on the rewritten episodes (Tramar in this episode was an emeny, but for reason it didn't work. Huh.) and when we near the first book's climax, I will release episode every day. No more rewritting; I'll stick what I wrote! >_<

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