Wuxiaworld > World of Karik: A Game of Villains > 56 The Story

The soothing song of the local crickets and the groaning of wandering Ghouls in the distance seemed to have become the sounds of my home. Grinning, I looked up at the sky. The stars were shining brightly.

I coughed up the water that had gathered in my mouth and gave this adventure of mine a thought. The red scarf... I wondered who had been wearing it. Who else had met with the old man and his fake Brachioson except for me and Petrovich? And then it dawned on me... I even felt goosebumps. The old man's name was familiar to me because I had seen it in the documents that Olga had shown me! Unless, of course, that was his namesake; but I didn't believe in such coincidences.

Dmitry Valerianovich Syomin had been living here for over sixty years now. Judging by his appearance, he must've spent quite some time in the "real" world, too. All things considered, he was probably one hundred and twenty years old! He had taken part in the Nomonhan Incident, the Soviet-Finnish war, the Great Patriotic War and, apparently, in the Civil War, too, judging by his birth date. It was hard to believe that a man like him became a…somewhat of a hermit. This strange place never ceased to amaze me.

Leaving a set of spare armor and an old scythe in the swamp proved to be a clever move. A pity though, since I liked Baldy's gift and its higher damage output. But, as the saying goes: "Beggars can't be choosers". Shivering and squirming from the night chill I headed back to the base. Innokenty was probably catching up on his sleep and waiting for me to come back. Although, Petrovich could have sent him on a search for me. On the other hand, me not coming back meant that I either moved on or had decided to wait for my partner at the place where he had died. Both options were unlikely. Petrovich wouldn't want Innokenty going alone. They must be waiting for me to come back.

Approaching the base, I purposefully started making noise so that the guards would hear me from afar. Ironically enough, Petrovich was on duty. Did he have too much spare time as a leader? Or could he not enter the base and the outer perimeter hadn't been constructed yet? The Major and...Innokenty were peeking out from behind him. The lancer, evidently, decided to punish Innokenty for failing the mission by ordering him to be on guard duty.

"It took you long enough," Petrovich remarked, sounding curious. "Innokenty said that you didn't manage to get far."
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I looked at him and with a gesture tried to explain that things weren't so simple.

"What about the Boar? Did you kill it? Or did you run away?" the exhausted Innokenty bombarded me with questions. Yeah, a sleepless night took a toll on him.

He was right; we didn't manage to get far. Enough time had passed to make our self-proclaimed leader unnecessarily suspicious. I needed a good excuse. If Petrovich had really been in the dungeon, I couldn't mention it.

"I ran away," I lied with a nod, expecting to gain some deception points. I was wrong. Apparently, in this world, falling through a hole in the ground counted as escaping from the monstrous Boar. Or, more likely, he didn't believe me.

"What took you so long?" the leader specified his question. He was getting impatient.

"I thought that the beast would leave if I waited long enough," I explained. "I kept running away and dodging its attacks… I thought I could deal with it..." After a moment of thought I added, "And then I climbed a tree thinking it would leave. But the damn animal waited the whole night! I had to come down and run away again. Fortunately, I managed to escape that time."

It seemed that they've bought it. My deception finally increased. Only by fifty points, however. This little lie didn't seem to be worth much.

"Yeah, Cat," the Major said mockingly, "climb a tree and wait for the Boar to leave! Ha-ha-ha!"

Petrovich seemed to relax and he even smiled. Innokenty giggled and the Major looked at me as if I were crazy. "Come over here, warm yourself by the fire," said the leader. "There's some food left, grab a bite."

"We must head out again," I stated anxiously.

"Eat and get some sleep. You'll head out afterwards," Petrovich calmed me down.

"And what about me?" Innokenty whined.

"You're on duty tonight," Petrovich answered flatly.

For a second the guy's eyes flashed with rage, which was immediately followed by obedient indifference. Petrovich shouldn't mock him; it was a bad idea. Innokenty was a piece of work, that was for sure, but testing his patience was unwise.

"Look, Vasily," Petrovich put his hand on my shoulder and pulled me aside while the Major and Innokenty argued about something, "Was anyone else there? Except the Boar?"

My heart sunk to my feet. Our leader had been at Syomin's place. There was no doubt about it anymore. Petrovich was either suspicious or simply afraid something.

"No," I said as sincerely as I could. "Nobody. Why?"

"Never mind," the lancer seemingly relaxed. "It's just… I came across such a Boar before and it had a female with him. So I thought…"

I almost laughed. Did he really say such a dumb lie? He had obviously relaxed, as all the suspicions seemed to have disappeared from his mind. I won't have to be extremely cautious then. Having exchanged a couple of meaningless phrases with our leader, I went to my room and fell asleep, passing out almost instantly.