A note from Sergey Belsky

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Marathon runner. Elk-sokhr. What was that?

The ‘Marathon Runner’ began to weaken me after only ten minutes, then it kept taking away one HP per second, but the silvan’s effect restored them.

It was very, VERY unpleasant—as if every second I was bitten by a huge and incredibly angry wasp, and then I felt immediately better. It kept happening, again and again. Almost an hour.

Ahhh! I stared furiously at the silvan standing ten feet from me. I wondered if I was able to dip him in the water with my mind.

Your Stamina increases by 2 stat points

Achievement unlocked: ‘Marathon runner II’

Description: Despite the pain, you didn’t go astray, and you didn’t stop. You kept running and overcame your own Stamina limit.

Having unlocked each successive achievement, it’ll be easier for you to run long distances, but it’ll be much more difficult for you to unlock new achievements

Reward: + 5% to the duration of the run; -1 HP per 5 seconds while running at full capacity for more than ten seconds; +5% to the lung capacity; +1% to the Stamina

Class: unusual

Despite all these bonuses, I’m still angry and tired. Although I’m glad the fatigue is fading fast due to the increased Stamina, but… screw it!

“You seem a little angry.”

This silvan mocks me, I’m damned angry, and I want to kill someone, but…

“You’re a little stronger. Remember, you’ll become more powerful due to little things. Even gods appreciate their followers, because each of them gives them a little more power, and if there are a lot of followers-”

“The gods gain true power,” I finished for him. I calmed down. The silvan was right, but he couldn’t imagine how painful everything was. I seemed to have bought a faulty capsule.

“So, you have begun to learn the art of disguise, but you’ve never developed it. That’s sad.” The silvan sighed. “It’s fun to disappear in front of your enemy’s eyes. You can believe me. This will allow you to move unnoticed and get information that no one except you can have. So, you’re going to improve this skill first.”

“Do you want me to dive into a swamp and get dirty?” I asked sarcastically.

“You are much smarter than I originally thought.” The silvan nodded his head approvingly. “Well? What are you waiting for? We don’t have much time.

“A-a-a-ha-ha-ha!” I was upset. Why? I don’t want to dive into this ice and dirty swamp!

Despite all my pretentious whining, I knew that the silvan was right, and therefore I dived into the murky water with a running start.

“Well done!”

“Pf-ff-fft!” I spat dirt. Screw it! The swamp felt perfectly plausible. The sensations in this game were incredible—just like in real life.

Now I looked like a silvan—I was covered with mud, sticks, leaves and leeches. I could scare anyone...

“That’s great!” The salvin was clearly happy. “You coped even better than I expected you to. Well, let’s start your training. You’ll have to spend the whole day like this. I think that’s enough coverage. Let’s start. Take your Fly Agaric. The one which fell onto your head almost immediately after you arrived in this world. All right, now... place it on your head.”

I followed the Forest Keeper’s instructions, grumbling as I did so. So… nothing happened. I stood with the Fly Agaric on my head for about five minutes. The silvan seemed to mock me and could hardly prevent himself from laughing. Then I saw something unusual.

Skill ‘Summoning of a Silvan’s Elk-sokhr’ is obtained

Description: Silvans are the best and fastest creatures—capable of moving through the forest secretly, avoiding any dangers.

However, they need help, and this is provided by mushrooms growing on their heads.

These mushrooms can attack an enemy with poison or heal their hosts, monitor the space around them, protect their hosts from various attacks, show trails inaccessible to anyone else, and much more

Skill class: very rare

Skill level: 1

What a wonderful skill. I wonder if any other player owns something similar. If this skill is very rare, it means that I’m not the only person who has obtained it. I guess that maybe it’s only available to the silvans.

“Did you think that silvans just decorated themselves with mushrooms?”

The Keeper was right.

“I was sure of this. A bit later I assumed that a fly agaric grew into the brain and controlled it.”

“I wish you didn’t think like that. You’ll soon find out how wrong you were.”

It was strange, but the Fly Agaric seemed to have not sprouted into my brain, or perhaps I just didn’t feel it. However, I don’t care. I was glad that it didn’t bother me. I wish I could see myself in a mirror! I must look very funny right now.

“I think you’ve already got used to your elk-sochr, so try to concentrate on something and learn about the basic abilities of your assistant.”

A mushroom-assistant… who could have imagined such a thing? I seem to have overeaten mushrooms in this game, or maybe I have a fever... or it’s a hallucination of some kind. Anyway, visions and mirages can’t last that long. Besides, I feel well enough.

What will I focus on? A stump, a lump of swamp mud? No, not that.

What about the islet with the silvan on it? I remembered one of my favorite science-fiction movies and a hero with a red lightsaber.

I stretched out my wet dirty hand, clenched my fist, and breathed like Darth Vader.

Suddenly a lash from the swamp mud emerged out of the water and rushed toward the silvan, intending to strangle him. The Forest Keeper cut it down with his staff and placed a shield around himself.

I tried to protect the silvan and pushed it away; a powerful stream of air appeared in my fingers—it made a rustling sound like an echo after an explosion and a scream at the same time.

The air flow hit the shield, and the silvan repelled it, raising a bunch of spray. I clapped my hands, and a fan of purple drops flew towards the Forest Keeper and punched his shield, but the swamp water immediately washed them away. What was that? I felt a little sick.


About the author

Sergey Belsky

  • Moscow

Bio: Sergey Belsky is a Russian author of thirteen books in the genres of Sci-ence Fiction, Fantasy and LitRPG. He is in the top 10 of several popular self-publishing sites in Russia.

He took up writing books while he was studying at the university. By profession Sergey is an engineer of navigation systems of hypersonic cruise missiles. He never considered writing as the main profession. But once im-mersed in his own fantastic world, he realized that he loved writing.

Impressed with the masterpieces of world literature, D.R.R.T. Tolkien and D.R.R. Martin, he creates a fantasy saga “The Chronicles of Arcania”, which finds response in the hearts of many readers and this interest stimulates him to write further.

He wrote his first and most successful book series “The Beetle” in the Li-tRPG genre. 5 books of the series were written during 2017. The series has firmly taken its place in the top bestsellers. The main character, who got into a virtual game with full immersion, turns into a beetle. Readers love this series for the unusual nature of the main character, for his adventures and the de-tailed underworld, consisting of many locations and dungeons. The series is finished and is now being translated into English.

In 2018, Sergey began a new LitRPG series "Class-Neutral", which also became a bestseller. Both series are similar, and at the same time completely different. The action takes place in the same world, but in another part of it. The class of the main character is extremely unique. The character is endowed with the magic of the nature and space. Now the 4th book of the series is being written.

All books of the author are interconnected, they are as the elements of a vast and detailed universe. Each book and each cycle, step by step, opens the reader this magical and wonderful world of Reyne.

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