I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days. It was different from the previous time just about a week before. First, I didn’t have clerics to help me, and I was also injured. However, this time the ten steps deathroot was only a minor bump in the road. What was worse was the deleveling potion, lack of food and water, and the injuries.
I had apparently only been in the dungeon a bit over a day. That wasn’t enough time to starve to death or die from lack of water- but that was only in normal situations. I was undergoing combat, which was heavy exercise. Going for a day without water while also sweating and bleeding was a good recipe for dehydration. Maybe that mouthful of water had made all the difference.
A couple of days of not being able to move helped me calm down enough to not go running off to get myself killed. I hadn’t beaten Enok before, I certainly wouldn’t beat him when I was weaker and without equipment. I almost wanted to go anyway, and Kazik provided me a good reason not to go. “Just wait. Your party members are coming.”
I definitely couldn’t win alone. I already knew that. I also realized that I was a reckless idiot. My head hadn’t been on straight for the past couple of weeks. Sure, they had been busy… but I should have also expected them to come help anyway. Instead I didn’t even think to wait for them to respond.
The first one to arrive was Socks. I learned this when she licked my face, waking me up. Her tongue was almost as wide as my entire face… so it was rather startling. Especially after just waking up. “Mmph?” I couldn’t even voice coherent words, even without all of the wolf slobber on me. Of course, with Socks also came Halette. Right behind her came Alhorn. “You guys really came. I… I messed up.” I wasn’t sure if they could see me starting to cry under all of the wolf slobber… but they’d notice soon enough.
“Of course we did!” Alhorn stood tall, “Kantrilla is one of us!” Halette nodded, and Socks barked. It hurt my ears.
There was an irregular thumping out in the corridor and the door opened one more time… letting through a figure small enough I could barely see him. “Come on guys you know I can’t walk that fast! Did I miss the part where you told him he was an idiot?” A small halfling stepped past the two of them, looking around. “Great! Looks like I got here on time. You’re an idiot, Llyr. Of course we were going to come help you.”
Kasner put on a face. “What, did you forget my name already? Of course it’s me!”
“I thought… you retired.” I looked down toward his leg. I couldn’t see it, but he had been walking unsteadily.
“So? I still had to come save a friend.” He poked me in the ribs, “Or two of them, I guess. If one of them is an idiot who tries to do everything himself.”
I looked down. There wasn’t much to say about that. It would been one thing if I had been successful… but I might have just made everything worse.
Alhorn stepped forward, “Don’t look like that, Llyr. You have to be confident for when we go rescue Kantrilla… tomorrow.” He reached forward toward me, and I saw the comforting light of healing magic glowing around his hands, then around me. I felt it flowing through me, especially my shoulder. “For that, you have to be in your best shape.”
“I… I can walk,” I nodded. “But… I don’t have any weapons or armor. I’m also weak now… My Strength is pretty much gone, since I lost all my bonus attribute points…”
Halette scratched her head, “Oh yeah, we heard something about that… How much do you still have? 300?”
“Four hundred and thir- four hundred forty.”
Halette raised her eyebrows, “That’s… more than me. It’s still about the same as Socks, even.” Socks whined and put a paw on my head. “And you’re all the way back at level 0?”
“Well… level -10 actually. Because of the extra attribute points I guess?”
Kasner leaned forward, “Levels can go negative?” He squinted his eyes, “Does that mean you’ll level up really fast?”
I shook my head, “I don’t know. Maybe I can’t level up at all. I killed a bunch of armored skeletons… so I should have at least gotten to enough experience to go from 0 to 1… normally.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Alhorn shook his head. “We’ll buy you some armor and a weapon. It won’t be magic, but you’ll be able to fight… if you want to.”
“I do!” I gripped the bed sheets tightly. “We have to save Kantrilla.”
Alhorn put his hand on my good shoulder. “That’s why we’re here… but to do that you need to finish healing up.”
I nodded. I could already feel the tiredness that came from healing magic forcing my body to repair itself come over me.
By the next morning, Kazik had already briefed my other party members on Enok’s party as much as he could. We couldn’t guarantee any of them would be there… but we weren’t going to bet on anything less than all of them possibly being there. As far as I was able to tell, Enok had a lot of luck. That didn’t make him unbeatable… but it made everything harder.
I was given decent armor and a spear. It was actually lucky they had found armor that fit me so quickly, but they knew my size. They’d managed to get it adjusted quickly, and though it wouldn’t be as good as what I had before at least it would keep people from just stabbing straight through me. The spear wasn’t all metal, but I wasn’t too worried about it breaking. Besides, there wasn’t enough space to do much throwing down where Kantrilla was being held. Hopefully, anyway. If they had moved her… Well, we’d figure something out then. Either way, I knew Enok was going to get a spear straight through him… unless someone else got to him first. We couldn’t ask the guild for help because they might have been working with him somehow… and of course killing people would be a crime, but we would be leaving the city immediately afterwards anyway. Kazik could at least help with that, if not with any fighting.