Chapter 5:

Meeting IRL

Draconia Offline

I slowly take off my helmet. My hands are trembling and I still can’t believe it. What if it’s not just the helmet’s or the game’s fault? What if I lost my immersion ability forever? VR was my only silent place where my mind could relax if I don’t count sleep. And also my source of income.

What will happen to me if it’s permanent? How will I rest when emotions of others overwhelm me? How will I pay for school, my apartment and food? I can’t return to Grandma, that’s out of the question. She has no responsibility towards me anymore, I’m an adult. And she wouldn’t want me back anyway.

I still need two years to finish my studies but they won’t give me any student loan because I have debts already. I’d have to find another work. But how many jobs don’t require any special qualifications? And would I be able to handle it with my telepathy? I guess I could start streaming retro games but there’s considerably less money in that.

My eyes start to water but I bravely hold tears in and cuddle under the blanket. I realise I desperately wish to talk to Erik but at the same time I don’t want him to see me this miserable. I want him to tell me everything’s going to be okay and hold me in his arms. I want to kiss him and forget about the whole mess. But he must be sleeping after his night shift and I don’t want to wake him up. I was selfish yesterday already.

“Uhm, stop,” I clutch my head as if that would actually help to turn off all those leaking emotions around me. I gradually got used to the minds of my neighbours to the point they almost didn’t bother me anymore but that was before my telepathy levelled up. Everything feels too damn strong now. It’s maddening.

My phone beeps which, thankfully, distracts me.


I open my Vortex messenger and find that Liana and Gotrid are online. It’d be a good idea to add my other guild mates but I don’t have their Vortex IDs. I sigh. We’ve been too strict with the code of virtual conduct and never made any attempts to pursue communication outside Draconia. And now, if the game crashes altogether, we’ll lose all contact and that scares me. I do consider them my friends.

Ryuuto (6:43)
Guys, I can’t connect at all. Compatibility failure. My back is red and swollen. Permission to panic?

Liana (6:44)
Don’t. I’m ingame right now but, damn, it’s crappy. Dropped to 65%.

Gotrid (6:45)
60% for me, ingame with Liana.

Ryuuto (6:45)
You’re in?!

Liana (6:46)
Yeah, there’s a way to connect Vortex chat to the ingame messenger. You didn’t know?

I feel stupid. I’ve been using Vortex for years but I’ve never known about that function. Or maybe it was mentioned somewhere when I started using it but I blocked it on purpose because I was afraid people wouldn’t leave me alone and disturb me when playing.

Ryuuto (6:47)
That’s great! Add as many of our guild mates as you can while your immersion still allows you to log in. And other race rulers. Their immersion ability is also over 90% and it seems it drops more quickly for higher levels.

Liana (6:48)
Twyla and Werden contacted me already, we’ll be in touch. Aefener, how did you say it started for you except for fatigue?

Ryuuto (6:48)
Back pain, especially around my shoulder-blades.

Liana (6:49)
Shit. My shoulder-blades started tickling today but I hoped I was just imagining things. What about you, Gotrid?

Gotrid (6:49)
Tiredness so far but I guess it’s just a matter of time.

On one hand, it’s reassuring to hear that I’m not the only one developing symptoms. On the other hand, I wouldn’t wish it to anyone. I shiver and I hide under the blanket completely. Is my room getting colder?

Liana (6:50)
Aefener, what can we expect to come next?

I can’t see their expressions or feel their emotions but I just know they’re freaking out right now. Who wouldn’t be.

Ryuuto (6:51)
Redness, then swelling. Pain in your chest and fever. Also extreme hunger but puking at the same time. Not nice.


Fefnir (6:53)
Immersion level 64%, guys. And my tailbone started tickling. I’m literally unable to stop scratching my butt. It’d be funny except it isn’t.

Gotrid (6:54)
What do you make out of it? We feel it in the spot of our virtual wings and Fefnir in a spot of his tail.

Fefnir (6:55)
That we stopped differentiating between the game and reality, the brain got confused and started to do weird shit to our bodies.

Liana (6:55)
I’m not nuts. I can differentiate the game and the real world just fine.

Fefnir (6:56)
Got a better explanation?

Ryuuto (6:57)
What if the VR helmet is powerful enough to do something directly to our brains and get us sick? It was being discussed when the full-dive technology started. People worried that some third party might come up with technology to control VR users.

Liana (6:57)
I smell a conspiracy theory. Besides, other VR users are fine. It’s affecting only players of Draconia. A design fault in the game itself? Maybe they changed something important to implement the upcoming story arc and made a huge mistake that messes with our helmets. Hopefully, it just confused our nervous system.

It seems to be the most reasonable explanation. I’ve never wanted to believe that my Mom’s tumour was caused by her testing VR games all day long, even though, there weren’t that many safety precautions in helmets back then.

Fefnir (7:00)
Well, I was thinking… what about meeting in the real world? I know that normally I shouldn’t be suggesting it but these aren’t normal circumstances. To be honest, I’m freaking out and need to see someone who’s going through the same shit. Also, and don’t take me as a sentimental person, the prospect of our beloved game crashing made me realise how I cherish our ingame friendship. I’d love to meet you, guys, for real. Fuck the code of virtual conduct.

I freeze for a moment. Meeting my ingame friends in the real world is an idea that has never crossed my mind until today. I can almost hear Erik berating me: What are you so afraid of? Right, what am I so afraid of? Overcome it, stupid me! Make some friends in the real world! At least try! I take a deep breath and type back:

Ryuuto (7:02)
Fefnir, you still in Prague?

It was a coincidence that I found out Fefnir is also from Bohemia. Three years ago he was considering different colleges and mentioned Charles University as his option. And then he boasted that he passed entrance exams. We were even talking about meeting IRL back then but I chickened out and Fefnir never brought it up again.

Fefnir (7:02)
Yop. I assume you too?

Gotrid (7:03)
Hey, shouldn’t we go to hospital or something?

Ryuuto (7:04)
No, thank you, I have a phobia of doctors. I’ll rather overcome my social anxiety by meeting you guys than face the white coats.

Fefnir (7:05)
Well, I’m generally fine with doctors but in this case I’m scared shitless. They’d definitely experiment on us.

Liana (7:05)
You watch too many conspiracy movies. They’d most probably just check our brains in a tunnel.

Yes, Liana’s right—that’s most probably what doctors would do. And what I absolutely can’t afford to undergo with my telepathy.

Fefnir (7:06)
You must be scared as well. Don’t play brave, Liana.

Liana stays silent for a while, almost certainly offended. But she’s not the type to stay offended for long because it isn’t efficient. And she’s a master of efficiency.

Liana (7:10)
Okay, let’s meet then. We sure are lucky—I live in Berlin so I can be in Prague around lunch time if I depart right away. I assume you’re both students without a car so I have to travel to you. What about you, Gotrid?

Gotrid (7:11)
I live in New York. T_T Oh, I won’t see my cute Emperor!

I can’t help it and chuckle. He must have done in on purpose to lift the heavy atmosphere a little bit. What a sympathetic flirt he is, I like him.

Fefnir (7:11)
So where shall it be? Preferably somewhere a little intimate but still public and where they serve food. I’m ravenous every two hours and I bet you are as well. Gotrid can stay in touch and we’ll call him when we get there.

Liana (7:12)
I know a good restaurant in Old Town with privacy seating. I go there on business meetings when I visit Prague from time to time. I can be there around eleven.

She sends us the address.

Liana (7:13)
Tell the waiter to take you to the table with the tag Draconia Online. Eat your fill, I’ll pay, no worries. See you there, have to hurry.


I take another dose of painkillers and try to sleep some more to pull myself together. I wouldn’t go to school in such a state but I must somehow get to our meeting point which isn’t exactly near from my apartment. The alarm wakes me at nine so that I have time for a long shower. I got sweaty again as my fever didn’t go down a notch. I try cold water instead of hot and it relieves the back pain somewhat.

Even with painkillers doing their magic, a cold shower and a nap I feel shitty and must look like a zombie. Just to be safe, I bring some plastic bags in case I puke again. I put on my usual gaming clothes—it’s not like I own anything else than that. I’m glad that the hoodie hides my whitening hair. No need to look weirder than I already do.

I find an empty seat at the back of the train and collapse on it. There’re three more people sitting but they stand up and run away from me, probably not wanting to catch what I presumably have. Do I really look that horrible? Anyway, less direct emotions which is good.

Since the journey to the centre is at least 35 minutes before changing for a tram, I go over possible scenarios in my head so that I won’t focus that much on what people around me are feeling. All of my theories turn out really pessimistic. Hopefully, I’m just over-thinking as always. There must be a reasonable explanation to all of this.

The developers must have messed up some settings in the VR helmets which came through with the new update. Our brains got confused and started weird processes in our bodies which caused some kind of psychosomatic illness. Yes, it’s purely psychosomatic; I don’t want to even think about tumours.

At the main train station, I have to change to an old fashioned tram. Old Town is considered a UNESCO treasure so the government is trying to keep it as historical as possible.

While waiting at the tram stop and focusing on not collapsing on the pavement, I notice a girl with turbulent emotions of fear. She can’t be more than seventeen years old and is wearing a lolita dress. Lots of girls are into that kind of fashion lately, it’s undergoing a renaissance or something.

Normally I don’t respond to other person’s feelings—how would I explain that I can feel them in the first place?—but that girl is so scared that I have to do something. Feeling shitty myself is no excuse.

Then I notice that she has a Draconia logo key ring hanging on her backpack. I gasp for breath. Of course, I feel so concerned because her feelings are the same as mine right now. She’s also a Draconia player.

“H-hi, sorry to bother you,” I try speaking in Czech because she looks like a local.

The girl flinches. I probably look suspicious in my hoodie and face mask.

“I noticed your key ring,” I add quickly. “I also play Draconia and, well… I feel really weird and I guess you too?”

Her eyes widen. “Y-yes,” she says timidly.

I look around but everybody’s minding their own business and there’s nobody standing too close to us.

“My immersion level has been dropping and a few hours ago I’ve lost my immersion ability completely. Overall, I don’t feel okay.”

The girl nods furiously.

“I play as an Earthborn,” she whispers. “What’s happening? I’ve been looking at the game forums but everyone’s just panicking and the developers have no idea so far. I’m scared to tell my parents, they would take my helmet away from me forever. They’re against VR as it is.”

“Listen,” I continue, surprised that I’m actually talking to an unknown girl with such ease. “I have a meeting with two other players. It’s in a restaurant in Old Town. You can join me if you want.”

“You’re not some kind of pervert?” she narrows her eyes in suspicion.

“No, I just dress funny,” I take off my face mask.

“Oh!” she’s genuinely surprised and for a moment forgets about her defences. “A true Asian pretty boy!”

I sigh and roll my eyes. I get that a lot.

“Aren’t you Asian?” she notices my irritated reaction. “Your Czech is perfect, though.”

“Half Japanese, half Czech,” I shrug. “I might look more to the Asian side but I’ve been living here for 20 years.”

“Sorry, we just love Asian stuff,” she blushes.

“Yes, I know,” I say impatiently. “Would you like to join me then? We’ll use a tram that is full of people and there’re waiters in the restaurant. You have nothing to be afraid of and you can always run.”

“No problem, I trust your pretty face,” she smiles.

“You shouldn’t trust people so easily and based on looks alone,” I sigh.

“Don’t lecture me, you’re not that much older!”

A teenage mind is always intriguing. Not childish anymore, not yet adult. It seems I’ve met a very stubborn person in a rebellious stage. Our tram arrives in that moment, I get on and she does too. She doesn’t hesitate even for a second. Is she that brave or just too trusting?

“My name’s Ryuuto, what’s yours?” I ask when the tram starts to move.

“Sofie, but call me Ingri, that’s my gaming nickname.”

“Nice to meet you, Ingri. I wish it was under more pleasant circumstances.”

“Under pleasant circumstances we’d probably never meet,” she remarks.

We aren’t comfortable talking about the game in a crowded tram and the situation is too serious for a casual small talk so we stay silent for the rest of the journey. We get off on the sixth stop at the National Theatre and I check the map on my phone.

“This way,” I navigate us though the narrow historical streets. Facing a fancy restaurant, my navigation announces that we’ve reached our destination.

“This is it? You sure?” Ingri is doubtful.

“Well, it should be,” I’m as confused as she is. “The address and the name are correct.”

We inconspicuously look inside but a waiter catches us right away.

“Good morning, do you have a reservation?” he’s inspecting my gaming clothes and Ingri’s dress that looks more like a costume. He wrinkles his nose.

“I hope so, a table for Draconia Online,” I say uncertainly. “A friend arranged for us.”

“Oh, that table,” the waiter relaxes. “Please, follow me. One other gentleman is already waiting and Miss Richter should arrive shortly.”

Miss Richter? Is that Liana’s real name? Why did the waiter feel such respect when he said it? We’re taken to our table and there indeed is somebody waiting. He’s about the same age as me which I expected since we both attend university but unlike me, he’s very tall and bulky. He looks like someone serious about sports which is unusual for hardcore gamers.

“Fefnir?” I ask.

“Hell yeah,” he stands up and stretches his hand towards me.

I shake it and thanks to the direct contact I’m able to telepathically check his intentions. The touch is too short for a proper analysis but at least I made sure he’s a good guy who can be trusted. Somehow I think that we can easily become friends even in real life. Maybe meeting virtual friends in the real world isn’t such a bad idea after all. Maybe I shouldn’t have refused his invitation back then.

“Well, that’s a surprise,” Fefnir whistles when I take my face mask off. I keep the hoodie, though. “You totally have Celestial features even here.”

“Bishounen,” Ingri mumbles a Japanese word for a handsome boy in a dreamy voice. I resist rolling my eyes.

“And who’s that? You brought your girlfriend?” Fefnir smirks. “What an obvious couple.”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” I frown, but I know that Fefnir is just joking to release the tension. “We met by chance at the tram stop. I noticed she has a key ring from Draconia and looks uncomfortable so I invited her to our meeting.”

“Seriously, what is this place?” Ingri ruffles her huge skirts and sits down. “I still get pocket money from my parents and that’s definitely not enough to buy even a drink here.”

“Calm down, the waiter assured me that we can order whatever we want and Liana is paying,” Fefnir winks at us and sips from his cup.

“Drinks are nice but I’m starving,” I whine. “I haven’t eaten anything since yesterday because last meals I had ended in my toilet. But it seems painkillers worked and I’m ravenous now.”

“Whatever we want,” Fefnir reminds me. “I ordered scrambled eggs with bacon just a minute before you showed up.”

I flip though the menu. Ingri was right; students can’t afford even a drink here. I decide to trust my viceroy’s generosity and order pancakes with spinach, eggs and ham. Ingri goes for pancakes with blueberries.

I suddenly feel another person approaching our table. And it’s as I’ve been always imagining what Liana’s telepathic imprint would feel like if I ever met her for real. Resolute but kind. Stern but fair. Reasonable but occasionally playful.

“Hi, easy to recognise you right away, you look like your avatar,” she addresses me in English. English from now on it is then, the same as ingame.

I look up from the menu. The real life Liana can be no more than 35 and has long brown hair tied into a perfect high knot and is wearing an expensive-looking business suit.

“Can I say you too?” I say when she sits down. “You have exactly the same expression.”

“Well, I’m sure you mean it as a compliment,” she actually smiles which brightens her serious face. “Have you ordered?”

“Yeah,” Fefnir nods and is nervous to talk because the waiter came with her and is standing next to our table, awaiting more orders.

“Could I have that pumpkin soup with wholemeal bread I often order?” she asks.

“Of course, Miss Richter,” the waiter nods. “Please, tell the young man that even though we don’t have a dress code for breakfasts and lunches, having a hoodie on isn’t acceptable.”

“I will. Also water and orange juice for everyone,” she adds. “We’ll have coffee later.”

The waiter bows courteously and leaves.

“Seriously, take it off,” Liana purses her lips at me. Gosh, she’s really the same as Liana from the game. “That’s rude in any restaurant and super rude here.”

“Sorry, b-but…,” I shyly pull my hoodie down.

My friends look in disbelief at my partly white hair.

“Since yesterday,” I explain. “Probably caused by stress?”

Liana notices the new girl only now when Ingri curiously pulls one of my locks. “Do I know you? Are you from our guild? Or a girlfriend?”

I open my mouth to protest.

“My nickname’s Ingri. I doubt we know each other, Ryuuto noticed me on a tram stop and invited me.” I can feel she’s happy Liana mistook her for my girlfriend.

“So your real name is Ryuuto,” Liana analyzes my looks thoroughly.

“Let’s stick to ingame nicknames,” Fefnir proposes. “I’m hopeless at names.”

Nobody has a problem with that, we all silently nod.

“So I’m Fefnir,” Fefnir introduces himself, just for Ingri.

“Liana,” our benefactor continues.

“Aefener,” I second.

It takes Ingri five seconds to understand what our nicknames imply.

“W-w-wait a minute!” she almost jumps. “Aefener, the Emperor of Celestials? And Liana, the Celestial viceroy? And Fefnir… the name’s also familiar.”

“Viceroy to Dragonkin,” Fefnir helps her.

“Wow! Famous people!” she opens her mouth wide. “I’ve never actually met anybody famous.”

“Yes, I’m a celebrity,” Fefnir grins.

“Stop joking, remember why we’re here,” Liana reprimands him. “The situation is dire, there’s might be something seriously wrong with our brains. We should be in hospital but here we are.”

“Well, I actually have a phobia of doctors,” I raise my hand.

“I don’t and I’m still terrified,” Liana says.

“Hey, we forgot about Gotrid,” Fefnir reminds us, takes out his tablet and calls him. It must be awfully early for Gotrid in New York but he picks up almost immediately.

“Hello guys,” a man in his thirties greets us with a grin which is the same as ingame—mischievous but good-natured. I’m not even surprised that he didn’t button up his shirt considering how openly flirty he is with me.

I gulp. Damn, how can it be? He’s totally my type! Erik can never know we were flirting or he’s going to kill me. Flirting in the game is one thing, there’s no harm if we both know it’s just playful. But flirting while looking at your true faces… that’s thin ice even if Gotrid is in the USA.

“Oh, Your Highness! You’re gorgeous also in real life!” he’s beaming. “And is that Fefnir to your left?”

“Yep, in all my beauty,” Fefnir smirks. “I bet you’re really relieved that Aefener isn’t some fat spotty nerd, right?”

Ingri chuckles.

“Gotrid, are you in contact with American players?” Liana pushes Fefnir out of the tablet’s camera and sits next to me.

“Good morning, Your Eminence,” Gotrid winks at her.

“And I’m Ingri but you don’t know me from the game,” the girl leans in and waves on the camera. “Oh, another handsome one!”

“Hi, sweetheart,” he grins at her. “I have lots of American players in my friend list and their compatibility level keeps decreasing as well. Some of them are using alternative models of VR headsets licensed especially for the US market so it doesn’t depend on the helmet manufacturer.”

“Right, the developers stated that just two hours ago,” Fefnir announces, checking his phone since Liana is occupying his tablet. “They’re apologising and promising that they’re working hard on fixing the problem.”

I feel so relieved. It sucks that Draconia is buggy but it means I didn’t lose my immersion ability. The helmet just doesn’t work for one game.

“Still, that doesn’t explain why we feel so strange,” Liana points out. “I talked to Twyla and Werden whose compatibility was 95% and they also feel really tired and their limbs started tickling.”

“Wow, you talked to my Queen and King?” Ingri is astonished. “Do all high levels know each other?”

“Sure, we started playing when the game launched six years ago and have been playing it ever since,” I quickly explain to her. “Not that many original players persevered. Life eventually interferes I guess.”

“It’s not only tickling,” Liana says. “Aefener, you said that your back is red and swollen, right?”

“Ehm… yeah,” I nod slowly because Ingri doesn’t know. “I thought it could by psychosomatic or something.”

We stop talking when the waiter returns, bringing us our orders. Liana thanks him and waits until he’s gone. She looks at us with an expression saying there’s no need to be formal and starts to eat ravenously. We do the same, the smell of freshly cooked food in front of us is impossible to resist. There’s no more talking for several minutes, just the sound of cutlery hitting plates. Even Gotrid is munching toasts, only in his case it’s very early breakfast.

“I don’t understand the hunger,” Liana says when she finishes her meal. “I get the pain; our brains are confused, sending weird neurological signals. But how can it affect the fullness of our stomachs? I had a sandwich just an hour ago on my way here.”

Fefnir checks the Internet again.

“Oh, it even got to the main news,” he says. “Some players went to hospitals so the authorities took notice.”

We watch the news and discuss things for another half an hour. My condition worsens by the minute. I try to pay attention and hide my discomfort but at a certain point, it’s just impossible.

“S-sorry, bathroom,” I stand up quickly. “Uhm, I think I’m going to puke again.”

I run towards the bathrooms, not caring if it’s for gentlemen or ladies, and I don’t even have time to close the door behind me. I’m lucky to make it and my expensive meal ends up in the toilet bowl. I feel surges of pain in my whole torso and my fever probably got even worse.

“Aefener, are you okay?” Liana finally catches up. Others follow but nobody has any idea what to do.

Liana wants to comfort me by patting but her hand freezes when she touches my back. She feels the swelling under my clothes and shivers.

“Fuck, he’s far worse than we thought,” she gulps. “How long have you been experiencing symptoms?”

“Fatigue started two weeks ago I guess,” I say weakly as I’m trying to clean the aftertaste in my mouth with fresh water. I manage but my legs refuse to work anymore and I collapse to the floor.

“We should call an ambulance,” Ingri suggests, worried.

“Please, anything but that,” I implore them. “It just psychosomatic… must be. I’ll take a break from VR altogether and my brain will calm down.”

“Well, I could take you home by car but are you sure?” Liana bites her lip.

“If it comes to the worst case scenario, then call an ambulance,” I insist.

“Alright, let’s go then. You need to lie down,” she nods. “Fefnir, can you…?”

Fefnir grabs me off the floor easily. With his support, I can slowly walk. Ingri ends up in charge of the tablet, quickly tells Gotrid what just happened and hangs up. Liana says goodbye to the waiter, assuring him to pay for my mess, and shows us to the restaurant’s private parking lot.

“Woooow,” Fefnir is astonished by the car Liana arrived in. “It’s the newest model of Tesla.”

I’m not an expert on cars but even I recognise that it must be super expensive and luxurious.

“Hop in,” Liana waves her hand and looks at me. “Try not to puke inside, okay?”

“Don’t worry, I have plastic bags in my pocket,” I assure her. I wouldn’t be able to pay for cleaning those seats with my whole month’s income, I’m sure about that.

“Ingri, I can’t take you too,” Liana stops the girl. “You’re still a minor, go home and tell your parents what’s going on.”

“No way,” Ingri protests and sits next to me. “I don’t want to go to hospital either but my parents would surely send me there. Fefnir, sit in the front, please, you’re too big. I’ll take care of Aefener here in the back, no worries.”

“A proper fan girl,” Fefnir remarks, laughing under his breath.

“Are you, Ingri?” Liana narrows her eyes. “Are you in Aefener’s fan club?”

“So what,” Ingri shows defiance as if Liana’s her mother.

“So what,” Fefnir repeats after her and sits in the co-driver’s seat. “If she wants to go, let her. We’ll send her home later.”

Liana resigns and starts the car. I tell her my address and she puts it into the navigation system. This model is autonomously self-driven so I’m surprised when she takes the wheel. She catches my surprised face in the back mirror.

“I like driving,” she mutters.

“Why buying the newest self-driven car then?” Fefnir asks and puts on the belt.

“Because it’s safe and I can relax when I’m tired. And because I can,” she shrugs. “Ingri, belt on and Aefener as well. Don’t act like kids back there, I’m responsible for you now.”

We obediently comply. Liana’s strict mode is especially scary in real life.

I’m afraid the drive won’t do my upset stomach any good but Liana’s driving steadily on purpose and the system helps her with that. I get sick only once when she has to stop suddenly because of a car in front but I manage to hold it.

“We’re here,” Liana announces when we’re standing on a parking lot in front the building where my apartment is.

“I expected you’d live in one of those fancy apartments for VR celebrities,” Fefnir says when he helps me out of the car. “This is still decent, though. Soundproof, right? Neat.”

“I have some personal financial issues,” I murmur, unwilling to tell him more.

I unlock the main door and we get into the elevator. I’ve never had any visitors and in a few minutes I’ll have three. Funny how things can go. I hope my kitchen isn’t horribly messy as I rarely bother cleaning after meals right away.

When we get off the elevator and appear from around the corner, I hear an angry shriek.

“Are you kidding me?!”

Erik is standing in front of my door, holding boxes of takeaway food. Did he want to surprise me? Or was he concerned because I didn’t respond to his texts? Crap, it’s Thursday around 12:30, right? We were supposed to have our first lunch together, it totally slipped my mind!

Unfortunately, all he can see is me and Fefnir as others are a few steps behind the corner. His expression turns wild. I can understand how he feels even without my telepathy. From his perspective, it must look like Fefnir is hugging me. Hell breaks out.