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00:01:00... 00:00:59... 00:00:58..

The timer slowly counted the time until I would return to the game, but I felt completely bewildered inside, as my thoughts flew around inside my head like terrified sparrows.

"What the hell?" I shouted into the emptiness.

Did Kogan decide that he can scare me by telling someone to kill a game character in a virtual world? What was this madness?

Or was this just a warning? A hint at what awaited in real space?

I had to call my attorney immediately!

However, I could not exit to the main menu as I was thrown into the game again.

It was dark and cramped and something was crushing my chest.

I flexed my muscles, trying to push the weight away and my hand went through the crumbling obstacle. I tried to get up and... found myself standing up from a shallow grave in that already familiar cave, bathed in the light of the slime covering the wall.

What was going on? Resurrection in the start location was only possible by the side of the Tower of Power!

Something appeared to be clenched in my hand. I took a closer look and threw away what turned out to be a human skull, skillfully carved from some sort of bright stone. After throwing away the skull, I stared at my hand with amazement and disgust. My fat and clumsy sausage fingers were covered in pustules and purplish cadaveric spots.

No! This simply could not be!

No one died inside a game!

I lowered my gaze and discovered that I had been trapped in the body of a walking corpse through some quirk of the game. I recoiled in fear, tripped over a bone under my foot and clumsily fell to the floor. What the hell?

I opened the menu, staring at the grayed-out and inactive tabs until I noticed that there was no quit button either! Was it an error? Had I been hacked? Were the game servers being restarted? I had to contact the game admins!

There was no more in-game chat or personal message service in the menu anymore.

I was overcome by a terrible panic, so I had to lock my swollen fingers together and force myself to calm down. This was nothing! It was a total non-issue! All I needed to do was ask one of the players for help and they would get in touch with the admins to resolve this situation.

Elementary!

I somehow got up from my hands and knees and strode off through the cave with the shambling gait of a living corpse. I was simply brilliant at finding my way in the darkness but my sight started to swim more and more from the bright light the closer I got to the exit from the dungeon.

Was it day already? Hmm... That was strange.

Shading my eyes with my hand, I stepped forth under the open sky and my skin immediately started to smoke!

Bright sunlight! Perception penalty: 75%

Damage taken: 1 [22/23]

Stamina: -3 [17/20]

An insufferable radiance cut through everything around me. I blindly took another step, hoping to hide in the shadow of the trees, but the sun struck me again immediately. Damn it! I would never reach it!

I started to panic again so I had to return to the cave. I calmed down a little once I got inside.

It would be all right! There was nothing to be afraid of. Someone would come here sooner or later. That's when we would talk.

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