I summoned Danav and Danavma. They appeared in a moment and when they saw what was happening to me, they threw themselves upon the Raks. I paralysed the Rak who had been rummaging my bag and had drawn out my sword. I grabbed my sword and ended his life with a few hits. Then I turned to the others. Danav was beating one, while Danavma was wrestling with two Raks, one of which was clinging onto her back.
I cast my spell on that one and pulled the Rak down from her back and slit his neck. The ones remaining were finished by my pets as I squatted down to catch a breath. Very soon, all sounds of the fight ended.
“Thanks,” I said to Danav and Danavma, as Danav resumed his original size.
“It’s our duty to help you,” Danavma said.
“I hope you weren’t busy when I called you,” I said, “it would suck if you were doing something important and then suddenly I summoned you and you had to come.”
“Nothing is more important for us than helping you,” Danavma said, and from her voice she really meant it. “But at the same time, I daresay, it would have been better had you come to this forest with your friends, especially since it’s night.”
“Yes, but it was important that I come alone just this once,” I said, “Anyway, you can return now. Thanks for your help again.”
Danav and Danavma bowed and then they disappeared. I picked up the loot that had been dropped by the Raks. I hadn’t known there were rogue Raks who had been kicked out from their villages existed. They must have been pretty bad even by Rakshasha standards. I got a lot of gold from the Raks. Had they stolen the gold from some rich Rak? There had to be rich Raks, right?
In a few minutes I reached the Rak village which was denoted by the darker red spot in the map. There were at least five guards at the gate. All of them were giant warriors.
I gulped just seeing them. Even in the scenario that I summoned Danav and Danavma it was in no way possible for me to defeat all of them. If I approached them, I would probably respawn in my room back at the Ravana inn where I had kept my birthstone.
I considered for a moment what I should do. Mastermind required my help and I had given my word to help him. If I turned my back now I would keep regretting this decision, and perhaps it would become difficult for me to look at myself in the mirror without thinking of the lowly act I had done. I took in a deep breath and put my sword into my bag.
I stepped out of the shadows of the trees, straight into the space being observed by the guards.
“Who is that?” one called immediately.
If anything went wrong I would throw a paralysis spell and run as fast as possible.
“I am a player,” I said, my heart in my ears, “I want access to the portal.”
“What portal are you talking about?” I was asked as two of the five guards approached me together. A shiver took hold of me.
“I know the portal is there in your village. If you want gold I can pay you. I have not come here intending harm of any kind.”
“As if you could actually harm us,” one of the guards laughed. I kept quiet.
“But if the portal is what you have come here for then you shall not be killed,” the same guard said, “as long as you pay that is. Go with Humabel. He’ll take you to the portal.”
The gates of the village were opened by the Raks.
“Come with me,” the Rak named Humabel said, beckoning. “Few players come seeking the portal. Most are idiot enough to think that it does not exist.”
I couldn’t believe my luck as I went past the gates with Humabel. Was this really happening? Or was I dreaming?
The Rakshasha families looked up at me as I went along with Humabel past the many huts. Some were cooking meat, while others seemed to be just enjoying the night sitting around a fire. The children pointed at me like I was an antique piece from a museum.
“Human!” they said in their broken voices.
I got a little scare as a dark shape that I had thought was a hut turned out to be a sleeping pterodactyl. It suddenly opened its eyes, obviously having smelled me, and opened its mouth wide. Its breath was filthy for sure.
“Tut, tut,” Humabel told the pterodactyl, “it’s a portal user who is going to pay gold.” And the pterodactyl went back to sleeping. I was quite astounded that the pterodactyl could actually understand Humabel. But then, even dogs can understand some gestures and words of humans.
“Are there player Raks,” I suddenly found myself asking.
“Of course there are,” Humabel said. “The humans seem to think that we are savage beings that are ever ready to kill and eat them— which isn’t false. But we have our own society. And there are real world humans who play as Raks in this world. But there are fewer of them than the human players. Too bad, because there are so many benefits of being a Rak. But the players who choose to go with a Rakshasha character live and play mostly to the Far East, and not in these parts.”
“Do the player Raks also eat humans?” I asked. I was just too curious. I also didn’t think that I was asking anything inappropriate which could get me killed.
“They can, but they mostly don’t. At least I have never seen a player Rak eat human meat. One came to these parts a few weeks back. We offered him human meat, but he rejected. Of course he didn’t refuse it outright, just said that he had a bad stomach. In the Far East humans are very few. Human meat costs a lot and player Raks aren’t interested in consuming it.”
“Do you think Raks and humans should be friends?” I dared to ask. I wanted to tell myself to stop. Curiosity could get me killed. I didn’t want to go down all the levels after working so hard to get to my current level.
“Not a long time from now Raks would conquer all humans and keep them in cages. And then we can eat them whenever we want to. That is what every Rak dreams.”
I gulped. Raks were Raks.