It was 3 in the morning. My eyes were beginning to burn. Robert was already asleep, following behind me like a leeching ghost. We were being attacked by flaming birds of paradise. The guild chat had fallen silent an hour ago. The hours before had been a flurry of adrenaline and virtual feathers. Back to back, a mercenary and his doctor, purifying Phoenix Tower. A mercenary that pulls too many enemies and a doctor struggling to keep the pace and the conversation. As lonely as the silence was, as slow as the experience gain was, as repetitive as the whole process was, it was easier fighting the birds a few at a time. A slow grind had earned us both another level.
Hours of poor posture had put a crick in my neck. I settled us in a safe corner and took a moment to stretch. A scrapping clatter was all the warning I got as gravity tried to claim my laptop. Luckily it was all the warning I needed. I resettled my laptop on the couch and continued my stretch. The truth was undeniable, it was time to sleep. I returned to the game client.
“Anyone wanna come murder my merc?” I blast over guild chat.
“Murder?!?,” elder Tom answers, “but I thought you liked each other!”
“Nope, murder time. Someone come kill him plz.”
A novice player jumps in, “Who’s murder? Why?”
Tom quips, “Because homicide is funnicide.”
My reputation as a know-it-all requires me to explain. “Robert’s away for the night and if I leave, he’ll get killed by the birds. If a player kills him in a duel instead, he won’t suffer an XP penalty when he respawns in the city.”
Tom arrives while I hammer knowledge into my keyboard. I accept his offer to duel and my partner falls under his superior might. I bid my guild good night and fall to the superior might of sleep.