Chapter 12

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The fourth rank of the Companion allowed him to exist for just over four minutes. The Blood Shield lasted a little less, but it was enough for three zombies if I lured them out one at a time. Twice I was too late, and the zombie that came around me crumbled, killing itself on the shield. Three times I had to spin around when I carelessly annoyed two opponents at once. Luckily, I was able to hide behind Companion and heal him until the danger was sufficiently reduced. Once Companion was attacked from both sides by skeletal mages, and again I had to worry, but the shield repelled the distant attacks as well.

Halfway down the second floor, I reached level six, immediately putting all my points into endurance. Closer to the lair of the dungeon boss I was stupid not to check the remaining life span of Companion and found myself face to face with a half-dead but very lively skeleton, who almost killed me. It took a lot of twisting, but I finished it off. As if to reward me for my risk, the skeletal remains gave me my first more or less valuable loot - three tough bones, an ingredient for the craft.

Five times I went back to the entrance and set up camp to recover and relieve my fatigue. It was out of the question to quit the game: it was too dangerous to leave my character unattended in such a place, but I did manage to take off my helmet and run to the bathroom.

Two hours after entering the dungeon, I finally killed all the zombies, skeletons, and ghosts that were blocking access to the central boss cave.

I look carefully out of the aisle.

That's the Boss!

A two-headed skeleton in the remnants of a tattered robe stands next to a massive sarcophagus. No taller or more massive than the other monsters, but somehow it's still kind of scary. He's a level eighteen monster, he's supposed to have increased attack and life bonuses, and I'm just a little level six cheater-paladin.

How much experience will I get from it?

I took out the last two Companion scrolls. There's no point in summoning two at once: the boss won't hit the second Companion, because he'll be below me in the aggression table, and healing also counts in it. I could, of course, hide behind Companion for a while, but I have no ranged attacks and hiding is useless. What can I do?

I didn't think of anything, but I decided to take the risk.

"Comp, search. The words "creators of destiny," "Loer's crypt"," and "two-headed skeleton. Output to the wall panel."

Cautiously squinting at the skeleton, I hastily glanced through the beginner's guide. Then I breathed a sigh of relief.

"Read the Phantom Companion scroll! Read the Phantom Companion scroll!"

Two anthropomorphic clouds hovered in front of me.

Throw out the shield scrolls, order the Companions to read them, and set them on the boss.

And watch as the boss casts an "Aura of Darkness," a spell that damages everyone in a small radius around him. Small, but permanent damage. All I had to do was heal the Companions and watch the boss closely.

A Paladin is not the best healer, only one low-powered spell, but it's very cheap. I successfully supported two Companions at once, watching the two-headed one's life points dwindle. Finally, I stopped healing the most battered Companion and let him die. That's okay, I'll avenge him. The other, nearly full of life, was melancholy, taking blows and spells on the Blood Shield.

It's the time!

I ran out and shielded Companion with me, and began quickly chopping at the bewildered two-headed man. The boss probably had more brains than the undead, so he turned on me right away, but it was too late.

The Enemy is defeated! You have completed the Abandoned Crypts of Loeur dungeon! This is your first dungeon completion, you've gained bonus experience!

You have raised the level!

New skills are available!

The skeleton hadn't yet completely disintegrated, but the messages and congratulations were already popping up in front of me. Oh, finally! Now the first spell, the first aura, and the first combat move are available... it's the only one up to level one hundred. By the way, there's also the loot from the two-headed one...


With a wave of the palm of my hand, messages appeared in the air in front of me:

Obtained item - Enchanted Bone.

Enchanted Bone.

Durability - 5/5

Personal item

This item starts the quest

I had to open the inventory and use the virtual keyboard.

Received a quest - the collection of magical items.

Take the Enchanted Bone to the Temple of Amala to receive your reward!

The progress of the quest is 1/1

Great. They'll give me more experience. Each time I completed a closed zone I got EXP, and I took that into account in my planning. In two hours, that's two levels, four bones, over a hundred coppers, two pieces of chainmail, one obscure piece of rotten wood, and a quest bone from the boss. Time to go home.

I turned to Companion, who was still waiting. The shield of blood had dissipated from him, and there was only one more hit left.

I took a swing and slashed!

Your action pleases the Goddess!


I didn't see that coming.

I just did something that raises the Faith parameter, a key parameter for paladins, priests, and clerics. It's not much, but even the percentage has to be earned long and hard... not by a single blow to a weak ghost.

Or was that the finishing touch on the solo passage through the Crypt? Amala seems to favor those who heal wounds, whether the wounds of sentient beings, the wounds of creatures, or the wounds of the world.

What exactly did my patroness like? I'll have to be more specific. If there's a chance to raise my faith by at least a couple of points, it's worth the trouble.

Okay, now to town.

Quickly exiting the cleared dungeon, I looked longingly at the road. Six hours in the game, and all that time on the treadmill. My legs hurt, though. I could have walked Vlad to town on the keyboard, sitting in a chair. But give yourself a break once. One step, and before you realize it, it'll all go downhill. No, come on, Vova, come on! It's only a couple of kilometers.

When I reached the gates of the temple, my legs were ached tangibly. I'd jogged a lot of mileage that day, and half of it was fighting virtual creatures. What could I do if it gave me such a bonus?

As I entered my room, I carefully put my sword on a stand, which automatically moved my battle gear to the closet. I put my small loot in there as well and walked over to the table. Tomorrow, pass the quest, visit the Khramm, make more scrolls, and go through the Crypts at least twice, killing every spent Companion. Oh yeah - learn some new skills in the morning.

"Comp, exit from the game."

Here we go, undressing again. The shield's cuff on the chair, the sword's stick next to it (I should make a scabbard in real life, it's uncomfortable), and the gauntlet on the keyboard. Turn off the treadmill and turn off the virt. And take a shower.

Almost falling asleep, I plopped down on the bed and instantly fell asleep without dreaming.

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Camrad RIP


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