Wiseazz seemed to have realised that he had lost much hard-earned Karma and this time he didn’t retaliate at Death13. Instead he ran back the other way. At a point Reptilio joined Wiseazz and the two of them disappeared round a corner.
I went to the streets. Death13 was a short distance away, his back turned at me, so I felt relatively safe.
Go to the Rak village, get to the portal, a voice ordered inside my head.
I decided to heed that voice. It was the best thing I could do now. I must reunite with Mastermind and the others at all cost.
“Look there!” I heard a familiar voice, “He’s the one, isn’t he?”
It was Mayester. Some of the other members of the Kartoshi gang were also with him, including Killerman. Mayester was pointing directly at me. Luckily, they were on the other side of the street.
I ran at full speed now, not looking back once, though I was sure that they were hot on my tail.
“You have nowhere to go!” I heard Mayester cry.
“You will forever be deleted!” Killerman said. “You have gone perma, but if you want your real body to be disposed with honour, slow down.”
They were all shooting spells at me. But they didn’t manage to hit me. As I ran, around me people became paralysed or were hit by flames. Some even burst into a thousand pieces. This only made me more fearful and I ran at breakneck speed. At the same time I was sure that the gang members would throw my real world body in a river or do something similar. It sucked, but I couldn’t do anything for my body that had served me so long.
Running like mad in half-an-hour I left the town of Kapilpura behind me, and raced towards the bank of the blood river. I would have taken a carriage had I got one. But the carriage drivers were more interested in saving their own skins than in saving me from me Killerman and the others.
Once I was at the river, I paid one of the ferry men to get me across. It was only when I had reached the other bank that I saw the gang members reaching the human side of the river.
I remembered well the route to the village of the Raks that had the portal, and ran in the direction as fast as possible.
It took me an hour and a half to reach the Rak village and by that time the sun had set. Once, along the way, a pterodactyl scooped low in a bid to catch me. Thankfully there were many trees at that spot and it gave up and went its way. I for one was more afraid of the gang members than the pterodactyl.
Humabel and the other Rak guards were at the gate of the village.
“So you have come to use the portal again?” Humabel said aloud.
“Yes,” I said, taking a quick glance behind. I didn’t know if I was being chased, but I still felt like the gang members were in my pursuit. There was however a possibility that they might have confused their way in the forest.
Humabel and the other Raks were actually looking quite friendly. Well, if you give a lot of gold to Raks they become friendly. No big thing, right?
“You seem worried,” Humabel said to me.
“Some folks were giving me chase, I don’t know if lost them,” I said.
“Folks? You mean Raks?”
“Humans, unfortunately,” I said.
“Oh, by the way, you didn’t come back through the portal the last time. How did you return?”
“I died,” I said.
“That is not good,” Humabel said, trying to sound like he was sad for me though I knew that all he wanted was my gold. “You work so hard to get to the higher levels and then you die and you are back to level one. It’s better to be an NPC. If we die, we respawn without losing any levels, well most of us do anyway.”
“I am not quite sure that will be so anymore,” I said, recalling that Death13 had attacked the Raks the other night when Daddy1 was forever deleted.
“What do you mean?” Humabel said, curiosity dripping from his voice.
“Never mind. You will come to know about it soon.”
“Hmm, I hope you at least know the name of the place you want to go this time?”
I stressed my memory. Yes, I knew it well.
“Yup. You don’t have to strangle me.”
“Too bad, I could have done with some extra gold. Didn’t find any way to wipe memory either.”
We went to the circle of stones and then Humabel activated the portal. Once all the rays were meeting in the centre, he turned to me.
“So where are you going this time?” he asked.
“Dhagotistil,” I said.
“Ah, there were some other players who went to the same place yesterday,” Humabel said, “anyway, that would cost you 10,000 gold.”
Portal travel was not cheap. At this rate, I would be a beggar soon. With much reluctance I gave Humabel the gold, who told me to come to use the portal again in the future.
I went to the centre of the circle of the stone slabs where the light rays met. I repeated “Dhagotistil” three times. The earth pulled me and this time I wasn’t afraid at all, having experienced the process earlier.
In a few moments I found myself in a different part of the world of Prithvi. There were many tents all around me. In the distance there was what looked like a great statue of a Rak who had his eyes closed. It was at least a hundred feet in height.
It was a statue, right? I hoped so at least. If it wasn’t then… well, I wouldn’t wake it up even if someone offered me a million gold.
There were many people moving about. Not far away I spotted a raised platform, that looked like some kind of a wrestling ring, ropes marking its boundaries. There was nobody there presently though.
“Great,” I muttered to myself, “did Mastermind and the others come here?”
That would have been the rational thing for them to do. Unless they were downed by the pterodactyl which had caused me to fall from Pero’s back.
I wished there was a message stone with me.
“Um, sir,” I said to a man with a turban who was passing me. He had a pointed beard and a moustache. He was a player, a wizard going by the name of Babaguy.
He turned to me. There was something very stern about his eyes. Had I not been desperate I wouldn’t have wanted to talk to him.
“What do you want?” he asked coldly.
“Um, do you have a spare message stone,” I said in a tiny voice that sounded like a squeak.
Babaguy began to search his bag. He took out a message stone and gave it to me.
“Here, have it,” he said, “it’s the only one I have, but I don’t require it and it was just taking space in my bag.”
“You don’t require it?” I said, looking at the message stone.
“I have no friends,” Babaguy said. Perhaps it was just that his face was made that way, but a permanent scowl seemed to hang on his face which bothered me a lot. “Anyway, I will be on my way.”
“Thanks,” I muttered, having a surreal feeling as Babaguy walked away. I was surely lucky.
I quickly put the message stone in my bag. I now had the ability to message all my friends and I could barely believe it.
The first one I messaged was Mastermind.
“Hey, where are you?” I asked.
“At the place of the tournament of Death in Dhagotistil,” he replied after a moment. “Where are you?”
“Same place. Just reached here a few moments back.”
“Good, I expected you to come. But there have been a few problems with us. With Lovebird specially.”