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Post Reply RP Side Quest Adventure Time
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Posted 12/23/12
Galen heard a *ping* as a message popped up in front of him as he was sipping some hot chocolate. Huh, it says its from Wolf. Maybe some more raid partying. But right before Christmas? Galen then looked closely at the message and saw that it was an invite, to a Christmas party. It was located on the 5th floor at the top of an unnamed building. Two suites were reserved for it, and it supposedly had a great view. There would be a bartender, but no alcoholic drinks, and a DJ to play some Christmas tunes. Everyone was required to bring 2 gifts: one for a raffle and the other for whomever they wanted.

Galen then began thinking about what kinda gifts he would bring, and for whom. Wait, he thought. Who actually WAS invited to this shindig. He scrolled to the top of the message and saw that the entire front line was invited. That meant all of the guys, and Yuuki, Noiki, Mizuko, and....Asuna!! Asuna...he thought. It would be great to see her again. Galen had taken a break from Rping since the holidays were almost here. So, he hadnt seen most of the gang in awhile..including Asuna. But it was Asuna whom he missed the most. They hadnt been adventuring together since they took a break after the sixth floor boss was defeated. Everyone kinda just took off, saying that we would meet up again after the holidays. Asuna mentioned that she had a Christmas party to plan for, but when I offered to help out, she said that it was a surprise. I guess this must be it then.

Galen then checked the dress code. Red and white, classy if possible, and girls were required to wear cat ears, optional tails?! Galen then began immagining Asuna wearing a beautiful white dress with cute little white cat ears...and a tail. *cough cough* Galen almost choked on his hot chocolate at the thought, and tried to shake himself loose of the dream. C'mon Galen, you know that Asuna would never give you the chance. She just sees you as a friend. He then began to feel kinda down about the whole idea of going to the party. No, no, no! You can do this. All you have to do is get her a great gift, talk to her, ask her to dance, and hopefully get her under some mistletoe. After some self-convincing, Galen finally talked himself to going. It will be fun. I will get to hang out with the gang, have some laughs, and get to see Asuna again. Even if she turns me down, what do I have to lose? It will be Christmas Eve! The most magical night of the year. If I cant get a kiss from her then, than I might as well turn in my man badge right now.

Galen looked closely at the message and saw that he would also need an outfit. I need something formal, white and/or red. He than started picturing different outfits, and combinations of colors in his head, trying to immagine how he might look. Hmm, I also need a tie or bowtie. Well, sitting here isnt going to accomplish anything. I need to go shop around and see what outfits might be available. I also have to start thinking about gifts. But I have no idea what to get Asuna or the raffle. *sigh*

Galen then stood up, grabbed his hot chocolate and headed outside the inn. It was freezing, and the snow was falling rather gently. I should put on my parka...he thought. Galen then pulled up his inventory, and got out his long sleeve christmas sweater(red with Rudolph on it), his black parka, some long jeans, his cold weather boots, some gloves, and a head warmer cap. The head warmer was long enough to cover his ears, but not his curly blonde hair, which had gotten a little long. I need a haircut...thought Galen. He then headed off to look for a place to buy a nice winter suit or tux, hoping he might run into some of the gang along the way.
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Posted 12/23/12
Black got the invatation and froze. After the whole last event he was truley scared to do much of anything that was social. After pretty much having Wolf pick a fight with a rock he was kind of scared of how Wolf would react to seeing him again. Sighing he decided to go if only to see the new girl that he hard heard of. He thought her name was Noiki but he wasn't sure. The rest of the group would probably be excited to be back together and enjoying themselves. He opened his inventory and started looking for clothing that would be suitable for the get together. He put on a dress suit that was black, with a red vest underneath. He then put on a red tie to match and he had a top hat. There was a nice red ribbon wrapped around the base with a small bow on the side. He thought it was a little much but oh well.

Leaving his home he walked out and headed towards the gathering on the fifth floor.
Halloween Champion
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Posted 12/23/12
'Why am I doing this...again?' Yuuki thought adamentally as she fixed the fluffy, brown cat ears that were attached to her head. White tufts of hair poked out from inside of them, making them even more irritating. And although she hadn't wanted to, Yuuki had eventually put on the swishing, swaying tail as well, which also had brown colouring it, but with white tips instead. A simple, red jacket was slung over her shoulders, but had no sleeves and was accompanied by fluff around the edges. Yuuki had put on a dress that stretched down to her kness, and had gotten her hands on a white bow to fit the top of it. Ballet shoes had been in order to make it seem less fancy- gloves as well since it had been cold. Yuuki pushed open the door to her original hotel and stopped as something landed on her nose. She glanced up, her breath coming out in short, white puffs.

"Yuki." She breathed before laughing slightly at herself. Yuuki cupped her hand to catch some of the falling snow as it drifted down lazily, each making its own pattern in her hand. She looked downwards. The lamps illuminated the cobblestone street along with the faces that resided within its reach. Everyone around her was enjoying themselves; something they were not capable of until recently. Being trapped in a game was not a stress reliever of any sorts, much less something to enjoy. Oh, and the promise of death made it all the better, right? Much more and much less to live for.

Walking along the street, Yuuki traveled the alleyways, twisting and turning through shops selling assorments of things such as Christmas clothing to candy. It reminded her of back home; when everyone acted like a family, that is. Oliver and herself only got presents from caring and considerate friends, a reminder of the painful endeavor and cold cruelty of real life. All good things come to an end at some point. Finally reaching the building, Yuuki stepped inside, shaking snow from her tail and ears. The staircase was not something to be laughed at, though. It was one hell of a building, and by the time that she reached the top, she was huffing and puffing.

"Who the hell made this building?" She asked between breaths. Yuuki continued on into the room, looking upon the chairs, tables and people seated and placed accordingly inside of the space. She took out her present to be raffled up and placed it at the counter, also entering in the raffle. It was starting to look just a little bit like Christmas, wasn't it?
Posted 12/23/12
Ack. It was cold. Really cold. 'As it should be, I guess,' Noiki thought, sipping a steaming cup of hot cocoa at a small cafe on the fifth floor. She choked on it each time she sipped from it, because it burned her throat. She didn't mind, though. She needed the warmth.

She stared out the window and watxhed the people pass by. Everyone was illuminated by the streetlights, seeming merry at this time of year. Her eyes wandered up to the overhang outside of tge cafe, and to the shimmering icicles that hung on the edges. It had begun to snow, she saw, as twinkling white flakes drifted down slowly to the already-whitening ground. Noiki smiled to herself, and choked on her burning cocoa again. 'A white Christmas,' she thought, 'is something I haven't seen in quite a while.'

Suddenly, a message popped up in front of her face, causing her to fall out of her chair and spill her cocoa all over herself. It made a huge clattering sound, and people inside and outside of thw cafe stopped what they were doing to stare at her. She looked around hastily, her cheeks turning almost as red as her hair, and not from the cold.

She pulled herself up, and set the table she was sitting at back to it's former position, paid for her cocoa, and ran out of the store and into the cold night.

"This had better be something good," she muttered angrily to herself, wrapping her arms around her chest as she read the message. It was an invitation to a Christmas party for all the front liners, sent by Wolf. Noiki snickered upon reading about the dress code. She rushed back to her hotel to change.

Half an hour later, she came out with black cat ears and a red and white dress. The cat ears had a sprig of holly pinned to one of them, with a sleek black tail to match. Her dress was simple and went to just above her knees. It was a blood red, same as her hair, with a white lining on the bottom edge and neckline. Her hair was down over her shoulders, reaching her waist. Luckily the dress was warmly insulated, or esle she would've been freezing. Noiki started walking to the party's location, thinking about how crazy it would be. It would definitely be crazy, but fun. Crazy and fun.
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Posted 12/23/12 , edited 12/23/12
Asuna was inside her room at an inn and saw a new message suddenly pop up on her screen. She opened up a message and saw that it is an invitation to a Christmas party. A party for the holidays? that sounds like fun. At least during the occasion everybody could forget that they are hardy warriors on the front lines and remember what it was like being regular people. During the time she had been in Aincrad there were hardly ever feelings of festiveness or happiness. This party would allow everybody to not be alone for the holidays since good company was always enjoyable. Now the hard part was finding a nice dress to wear and getting 2 gifts. The first gift would be for anyone in particular and the second gift be put in a raffle. Now Asuna had to decide who would be the recipient of one of her gifts.

The message said that the first floor was where they could find a dress. Asuna felt that she would not wear many dresses in her future, so it was best to get a rental instead of buying one. She went to a teleportation portal which took her to the starting town on the first floor. It was bustling in the starting town, with lots of people going shopping and hanging out with their friends. It was actually snowing right now, which made a smile escape from Asuna's lips. The snow reminded her of being back home. It was actually feeling chilly right now as well but she braved the cold. First thing she did was buy the gifts and then put them in her inventory. Next it was to find the dress shop.It did not take her too long to find its location.

When she entered in, a clerk came and greeted her.

"How may i help you?" The clerk asked
"I need a red and white dress for a christmas party and i also need..." Asuna hesitated saying the next part, she thought it was really embarrassing. "Holiday cat ears as well."
A grin appeared on the clerk's face. "You're actually not the first one to request for cat ears. Must be a new fashion trend going on."

15 minutes later Asuna found a dress she was content with. It was a white dress with straps that went a few inches past her knees. There was even a red ribbon that was wrapped at the half way point of the dress. The ribbon also had a red rose attached to it and there was a red lining at the bottom of the dress as well. She was bought white dress shoes and white cute cat ears. Asuna went to pay the clerk but then the clerk offered to give Asuna a red bow to put in her hair as a free gift. Asuna happily accepted the bow and puts on her hair.

Afterwards, she accessed her clothing inventory and has a coat appear on her. It was far too cold to be just walking around in a dress. Asuna got back to the teleportation portal and headed to the 5th floor, to find the location of the party. She found herself in front of this tall building and headed inside, hoping to find others there as well.
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Posted 12/24/12 , edited 12/24/12
nick was deep inside the combat area when a message pinged him,
He looked up to saw it was from wolf.

Hm? What does he want this time of day? Nick thought as he sliced the final opponent and it bursted into fragments.

"Christmas party"? Nick stuttered out. Is it really that time of year already?
"Dress code"? Nick smiled when he saw the girls dress code. Wolf you sneaky...
Non-alcoholic drinks. After what happened last time, can't blame them.
"Well, i think this is a party i won't miss" Nick walked to the inn where he had rented a room and got dressed,
he was wearing a white tux with a red shirt and a red tie, he found black shoes that fit the suit.
Well they always told me to suit up. Nick sighed, too bad they can't see me like this.

This should do. Nick thought as he looked into the mirror.

He walked towards the suite that was rented.
That is one huge building. he thought when he went up the hill.

He entered the building and saw that some players had already arrived.
Seems like the entire front line was invited.
Yuuki was at the top of the stairs and Asuna looked like she had just arrived.

This is going to be an interesting party, let's just hope it ends on another note then the one before.
Nick walked up the stairs and caught up with yuuki and asuna.

"Good evening ladies" Nick said "Both of you are looking rather stunning" Nick said smiling, he actually wasn't paying much attention to the cat ears and tails, it gave them a special kind of charm of course, but he was complementing the dresses they we're wearing.
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Posted 12/24/12
Black had stopped and bought two gifts on the way there. He had bought a generic gift for the raffle; it was a piece of equipment that could take photos. This one had the capacity to take and print a hundred of them so it had cost him a decent amount of coll but it was worth it. In the end everyone would benefit from the photos, and if something happened, it would be a way to remember those who had fallen. As for the personal gift he had stood in front of the shop for a half hour. It's not that he didn't know what to get a certain somebody, but that he didn't know which somebody he should buy for. If he went for a woman it would seem like a romantic overture and if he went for a man, then well he would probably loose the best chance he ever had to make a good impression, and he would probably seem like a coward. He sighed heavily and the shop keeper came forward and asked him why he was standing there in front off his shop. Black had told him his predicament and then had said that since there was a new person perhaps he should buy for her. It would be more that he was making her welcome then anything else. Thanking the shop keeper he had gotten her a gift and had finally left for the gathering.

That had brought him here. He stood at the base of the stairs looking up at the room that they had rented. He had never really liked social gatherings, even his own family had been fairly distant and so he was usually pretty uncomfortable in social gatherings especially since he was probably one of the older people there. Since he had already come this far he decided the worst thing he could do is just walk away so he walked up the stairs. When he got into the room he noticed a table in the corner that was for the general raffle gifts. He put the small device on the table hoping that most people had never seen one before. Then he put the other gift near the top if his inventory so that he could access it quickly if needed. Then he looked around and saw the beautiful woman in the corner of the room all huddled together. Their cat tails were moving around almost as if they had had them their entire life. Black chuckled but then Nick went up and approached them. Thinking that it wouldn't be right for the men to swap the poor woman he decided to hold back and wait for his moment to comment of the woman's dresses. They were indeed very attractive and the more adult part of his brain was very happy that all of them were in very good taste. Happier then he thought he would be he looked for the inevitable cluster of lonely men too chicken to approach the woman he started to walk into the room.
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Posted 12/24/12 , edited 12/24/12
As Galen walked through the snowy streets of Balandor, searching for his gifts and some formal wear, he noticed that the whole safe area was packed. There were groups of players running through the plazas, couples holding hands and kissing, even a few players dressed up as Santa Claus handing out gifts and doing "ho ho hos". I guess Christmas is almost here, thought Galen as he began to smile. Its just hard to believe that in this hell of a game, that such happiness can exist. Despite the fact that we could all die at any moment, no one is focused on getting out of here. Right now, everyone just wants to feel normal again, if that feeling could exist. Everyone right now is spending time with those they love: their guild, their party members, their friends. It was quite nostalgic, as Galen began to remember his last Christmas...when his parents got him his very own nerve gear. He was so excited, and couldnt wait to try it out. And now...here he was...with almost a full 3 months of his life taken from him. Galen began thinking about all the party members and friends he had made in such a short amount of time. I know I miss my real life, but...I have real friends in this world that are with me...here and now. I cant dwell on the past, and get bogged down by it. If I truely want to see my folks again...If I truely want to help my friends...and to see Asuna's face in the real world, then I need to stay in the present, and keep my memories in the past.

Galen walked a few streets further before he came up to a shop <<Tux R' Us>>. What? That doesnt sound like an NPC shop. This must be a player-run store. Galen remembered that players could own their own stores, like houses, if they had enough money. There werent too many player run stores so far, mostly because of the financial requirements though. Many shops, depending on the area and location, could cost a player anywhere from a minor 50,000 col all the way to a few hundred thousand col. And that was just in the floor's unlocked so far. They had only completed 6 floors. I hate to think how much a shop like this would cost on floor 75. Galen cringed at the thought. Either way, this player must have saved up a lot of col to buy a shop here in the center of Balandor. At least a hundred thousand. As Galen walked into the store, he noticed how well furnished it was. It felt like Men's Warehouse back home. There were Christmas decorations everywhere, even a nice fireplace in the back of the store. Suits were hung up along the walls, with matching pants and shirts alligned on stand and racks. Ties and bowties were displayed as well. This place is fancy! thought Galen. They must have just furnished it. I dont remember seeing this store here on my last trip through Balandor.

"Hiya!" yelled a voice coming from the back of the store. "What can I get ya tonight?"

Galen looked to his right to see a tiny player, maybe only 5' tall hustling to him. The player had on glasses, a shiny blue tuxedo with matching shirt, tie, and pants. He had on black shoes and belt. His hair was a deep red color, and he had freckles. The man...or boy, Galen wasnt sure which, must have been the owner of the store.

"Welcome to <<Tux R' Us>>, where we can meet all your formal needs." smiled the player as he looked up at Galen. "You look like you might be heading to a Christmas party."

"How did you know?" asked Galen

"Simple!" yelled the small player. "I havent seen you before. And you just walked in, during the evening, on Christmas Eve of all nights!"

Galen was shocked at the little man's perceptiveness, but was also impressed.

"You would be right." smiled Galen. "Ive got a party to go to tonight. A few hours in fact. I was wondering if you had anything my size in white, maybe a red tie, black vest, white collared shirt, white shoes with black accents on top, balck belt."

Galen felt he listed too much, too fast, but the small player responded pretty quickly.

"Sure do...but remember, this is a virtual world, so everything is in "your size". "laughed the player.

Galen felt embarrassed, as he once again forgot that everything in SAO was oversimplfied. He then picked up his tux, and the rest of his clothes, and paid the tab.

"Pleasure doing business with ya!" smiled the man. "Please come back! We exist, even after the holidays. We even repair most clothing if it gets damaged."

Good to kn
ow, thought Galen. But before he walked out with his purchase, he remembered something. It certainly wouldnt hurt to ask.

"Hey, my name's Galen. I was wondering what your name was?"

The young man looked surprised, but in a good way.

"My name is Sean!"smiled the shopkeep.

"Hey Sean, I was looking for a gift, for one of my friends." Galen then showed Sean a drawing he had made of the object. "Does SAO even have one of these here? I know it seems kinda random, but my friend...she would really like this. I'm just not sure if that kinda shop would even exist in an online game like SAO. Its not something you typically think of in an MMO, considering its a real life kinda thing." Galen laughed nervously.

Sean took a close look at the object and seemed to study it for about a minute or two before replying.
"Oh, ok!"he said. "Now I know what this is. Yes! Believe it or not, another player-run store just opened up recently selling this kind of fan merchandise."

Sean then walked to the front of the store and pointed toward the right.
"Just take a walk down this street, and make a left. At the corner of the next intersection there is a store called <<Anne's Anime>>. She sells all kinds of fan based art and merchandise there. You cant miss it." smiled the small man.

"Thank you so much Sean!" smiled Galen as he shook his hand. "I will definitely be back sometime."

Galen then put away his new attire into his inventory, and pulled up his parka's hood, as the snow began to fall faster. Man, its getting really cold now. I probably dont have that much time to get to the party. Gotta hustle! Galen ran through the snowy street, turning the corner and eventually ending up at the shop...<<Anne's Anime>>. As Galen walked inside, he was greeted by a rather happy woman, with green hair in pig tails. She was wearing a Christmas Elf costume, and smiled as she spoke.

"Welcome to Anne's Anime!" she smiled. "We have all kinds of fan-based art, clothing, toys, and even weapons made by other players to support their favorite shows, videogames, and movies"

Galen couldnt help but smile as he saw a life-sized Tidus statue holding a blitzball in the back. He also noticed a Batman t-shirt, and some drawings of what looked like Robin and Beast Boy from Teen Titans.

"Wow." laughed Galen. "I honestly wouldnt have thought a place like this could exist in SAO."

"Hehe." smiled the shopkeeper. " Of course none of this stuff is officially liscensed or anything. SAO couldnt really sell these things here without some kind of permit or copyright infringement laws broken. But, I , Anne, found a loophole!" Anne said as she did a twirl with her finger pointed toward the ceiling. "SAO allows players to create their own art and designs. You can make your own weapons with the right blacksmithing skill, or create your own culinary masterpieces with the right cooking skills, but drawing, sculpting, and painting aren't techinically skills in this game." She then stopped twirling and pointed right at Galen as she said, "Which means even you could be a great artist and design your own merchandise to sell"

Galen at first thought it was impossible, but then he began to think. Hmm. I guess it could be possible. I mean, it wouldnt take a complicated program to implement. Hell, even the first computers in the 1990s had a "paint" application where, if you were willing to put up with the controls, could make a piece of artwork worth selling if you had the technical skill.

"Im impressed" laughed Galen as he looked around in awe at all of the anime, tv shows, videogames, movies, and other entertainment that were represented. Galen then handed Anne the picture of what he wanted.

"Here. Do you think you can find this? Its from an old anime that came out some time ago. " said Galen.

As he showed her the picture, Anne's face lit up. "Oh my GOD!!!!" she screamed. "I love this show! In fact, I make my own merchandise just for this show. Its an old anime that nobody watches anymore, but it was my favorite!" Anne was beaming ear to ear as she handed Galen exactly what he was looking for.

"Wow!"yelled Galen. "This is exactly what I was looking for! How much?"

Anne gave him a flirtacious wink as she said, "For you...free of charge!"

"Really?!" smiled Galen. "Thanks so much!"

"Of course. Im more than willing to offer a fan of my work some freebies every now and then." smiled Anne. "Just come back and see me soon, ok? I'll be waiting! Hehe".

Galen got the idea that she was flirting with him, but heck, if his looks got him a free gift for Asuna, he wasnt going to complain.

"Bye Anne!" waved Galen as he rushed out the door.

*shiver* Galen could tell it was getting colder, and later. So he rushed to pick up his raffle present, and then hiked it to the 5th floor suite of the party. He changed into his tux and formal attire, and took the elevator(for once). As the elevator doors opened up, Galen saw that he wasnt the last one to arrive, but most of the girls had arrived, along with a few of the guys. Galen then rushed over to the raffle table, pulled his gift out of his inventory, and set it down. He then heard "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree" playing as he noticed Nick talking to the girls. Black looked like he was waiting for Nick to finish, and some of the other guys were huddled over by the drinks.

Galen then caught eyes with Asuna. God...she is beautiful, he thought. She was wearing a white dress with straps that went a few inches past her knees. There was a red ribbon that was wrapped at the half way point of the dress. The ribbon also had a red rose attached to it and there was a red lining at the bottom of the dress as well. She was wearing some white dress shoes and white cute cat ears with a beautiful red ribbon in her hair. Sorry Nick....but I have to interrupt ya this time, thought Galen as he approached Asuna. Galen patted Nick on the back as he stepped foward.

"Hey Nick!"smiled Galen. "We almost look like twins man. Glad to see ya!"

Galen then turned toward Asuna, who gave him a smile.

"Hey Asuna" said Galen softly. "How have you been? Is the party any good so far?"

Galen was hoping to start up some small talk, as they waited for the rest of the gang to arrive.

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Posted 12/24/12
"Hey Nick!" Nick heard his name being called as he was making small talk with Yuuki and Asuna.
"We almost look like twins man. Glad to see ya!" Galen said as he slapped nick on the back.

"Well then aren't you a handsome bastard" Nick said and shook galens hand.
"I think i'm going to grab myself a drink" Nick started walking but whispered in galens ear without the ladies, especially Asuna hear.
"She's all yours, good luck" Nick patted galen on the shoulder and left for the bar.

"Master, burbon on the rocks!" He said as a glass slided across the counter.
He looked at the brow-ish drink. This can't be alcohol? Nick thought as he sipped it.
Hm, tastes like oolongtea. Nick thought as he waved towards black to join him.
"No use on standing in the corner ey buddy."

"Oh before i forget..." Nick walked over to the table in the corner and materialised his present, it was a glowing black crystal that can record messages for certain people.
It had cost a small fortuin but it was worth every penny.

He still had one gift, but he was unsure on who to hand it to.
We'll when push comes to shove, i'll just wing it. Nick thought and smiled as he went back to the bar.
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Posted 12/24/12
Asuna saw that she was not the only who arrived already. She took out one of the gifts from her inventory and placed them at the designated table. Hopefully the person who got her gift during the raffle would appreciate it. Thank goodness the party would only be serving non alcoholic drinks because she did not want to repeat last time's incident. She put her coat back in her inventory because the room was warm enough. Asuna looked out at the view and saw that it was indeed beautiful. Truthfully she had a slight fear of heights but it was stemmed from a fear of falling. The invitation said that wearing a cat tail was optional, so she chose not to wear one. Wearing cat ears was already embarrassing enough.

A male voice then addressed her and she turned around to see who it was. It was Nick, another fellow front line player. Asuna smiled kindly at him.

"Thank you, you good as well." She complimented his attire. Before Asuna could say anything else, she saw Galen approaching toward her direction. When Galen looked at her, she smiled back.

"I just got here so I can't say how the party is going so far." She answered his question. "I've been doing well, every day has been the same so far." Nearly everyday Asuna was used to either spending the majority of her time practicing her sword skills, going on quests or clearing floors. "What about you?"
Posted 12/24/12
Noiki finally burst through the doors to the party, huffing and out of breath. She'd been walking down the street towards where she thought was the direction where she was supposed to go, but after a mile or two had realized that she'd been going in the wrong direction. She knew she was going to be late, so she ran as fast as she could. It was a long way to go, too... About four miles, counting the ones she had to retrace. Looking upon the room, though, she found that she wasn't the last one there. Amon and Mizuko were still missing. She smiled, and thanked the weather. The cold and her body temperature had combined on her way so that she didn't sweat or get freezing.

Walking over to the gift table, Noiki saw that there were no alchoholic drinks. She didn't mind much. She was never much of a drinker. Instead of only setting one present down on yhe raffle table, she set down one for each of them. She didn't want to give only two people gifts, so weeks before the party even became an idea she had bought various useful things for everyone. She hated singling anyone out.

As she set them down, she looked for people to talk to. Noiki spotted Yuuki over with Asuna and Galen, that new guy. Yuuki didn't seem to be talking much, only standing there idly with her little dragon. Noiki decided to talk to her. She had been wanting to make friends with her for a while, but had never gotten the chance.

"Hello, Yuuki," she said, holding out her hand for her to shake. "I'm Noiki. You probably don't know me all that well, because I'm new to the group, but I thought I'd say happy holidays."
Halloween Champion
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Posted 12/24/12
Yuuki looked up at the voice of someone calling her name. The hand that extended outwards seemed to want to grasp her own, so she smiled and held hers out as well.

"Hey, Noiki, pleasure to meet you," She spoke softly, making sure to have a firm grip while they shook hands. "Well, you already know," She started, pausing briefly for effect, "but I'm Yuuki." Yuuki finished, smiling again. They started talking about random things, including everything from the latest monster fights to which clothes they might have worn to the party. Noiki seemed to like ranting on and on about things; if anything was in her interest, then she would drone on and on about the topic. But it wasn't annoying, in fact, since Yuuki didn't like talking that much, her voice having already been prone to simple 'yes' or 'no' answers, it was a relief when she didn't have to say much. Yuuki walked over to an arm rest chair and sat down, sinking into the back of it. When was everyone else going to show up?

'Especially Wolf....That idiot.' She thought, looking ahead. She had already zoned into wonderland by the time that Noiki had started her fith paragraph about the foods she had eaten here.

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As Galen and Asuna were talking, Galen noticed Noiki finally arrive to the party. She walked up next to Galen and started a conversation with Yuuki.

"What about you?" asked Asuna.

"Everything has been pretty good." said Galen. "After we beat the boss on the 6th floor I've just been relaxing lately, working on my blacksmithing skill a little, training with my spear." Galen smiled nervously. "Nothing too spectacular. Although, I admit Ive tried to raise my cooking skill. Almost burned down the inn a few times while trying to cook an egg." Both Asuna and Galen began to laugh at the thought of him causing a fire and trying to put it out. "Of course, you can't really start a fire like that in SAO, but...you can create enough black smoke to make everyone THINK you could. Had to work for the NPC owner for a few days to make up for the lack of customers due to the fact that they actually thought the place was on fire and didnt want to come back." They bothed laughed again. "I think I will stick to making weapons and armor in this game. Im actually not that bad of a cook in real life, but here...everything is so oversimplified, that it actually kinda scares me."

Asuna looked like she was about to explain to him about how easy cooking actually was, but Galen interrupted her for a second.
"Hold that thought" Galen said nicely. "Im going to get us some drinks"

Galen had noticed that even though the suite was relatively warm, most of the ladies, including Asuna, were wearing dresses without much insulation. He saw Asuna rub her shoulders, in that manner that people do when they feel a slight chill and are trying to warm themselves up. I know just the thing! thought Galen He made his way to the bartender who looked rather young for an NPC. The boy looked only about 13 yrs old, with short dark brown hair, and wore a candy cane striped suit. He looked like a clown, but Galen wasnt going to tell him that, especially since he was just an A.I.

"Hey there man, can I get 2 hot cocoas please?" asked Galen

"Sure thing mate!" smiled the young bartender.

As Galen waited for his drinks, he began looking around the room. Noiki and Yuuki had moved their conversation to some chairs near the fireplace. Black and Nick had moved into the corner drinking and talking about something. But many of the players still hadnt arrived yet. Galen didnt see Amon, Vyse, Zwei, or even Wolf. For the guy sending the invite, he sure is taking awhile. He then began thinking about when he was supposed to give Asuna her gift. I dont want to give it to her too early, or she might feel awkward around me. But I also cannot wait till the end of the night to hand her the gift, because she might start to feel like she wasnt going to receive one from me. *sigh* Ive got to time it just right.

"Here ya go mate!" smile the NPC as he set the 2 hot cocoas in front of Galen. "Cheers".

"Thanks man." said Galen. "Cheers".

Galen then walked back over to Asuna who had sat down in a chair looking out the window over Balandor below.

"Here ya go" smiled Galen as he handed Asuna a mug.

"Thank you" she smiled.

Galen sat down in the chair across from her, taking a couple of sips from the mug before setting it down on the table between them.

"So..." smiled Galen. "Have you ever been to a Christmas party before? What were your Christmases like in real life Asuna?"

Galen hoped he wasnt prying. He just wanted to get to know her better.
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Amon had been asleep for most of the day, holidays weren't really his cup of tea so when Wolf sent him an invite to a Christmas party he really wasn't sure if he wanted to go. Amon was never really the kind of guy to celebrate holidays because he really never had anybody to celebrate them with. From a young age Amon and his brother were by themselves since their parents had died when they were both little. Throughout primary and secondary education he lived in an orphanage with other mostly younger kids who still believed in Santa Claus. Amon would usually get gifts than really didn't fit or were very worn out. A sweater this year or a toy that might have been missing a part or two. Really the only person that he enjoyed celebrating any holiday with was his brother. Since he had passed away while in SAO it made Amon even less likely go show up without bawling during the middle of the festivities and ruining everybody elses time. If he weren't such good friends with most of the party he probably would have just cried in his room for the rest of the day. But Amon really did want to see his friends...

Through much thought Amon decided that he would go, at least for a little bit. He went to a store that rented out tuxes, surprised that an NPC on the floor even knew what a tuxedo was. The place was gorgeous inside with every color tux Amon could think of, they even had tuxes that were rainbow and camo colored. Amon looked at the message again and it told everybody to be wear things that were white and red so Amon picked out a plain white tux with a red handkerchief and a straight red tie. Through a little bargaining he got the price down to an acceptable range and happily paid for the outfit and left for the party. It was very cold and even snowing outside. Amon had never witnessed a white Christmas let alone snow at all. The orphanage he lived never got cold enough to get snow and neither did the college he attended. Amon walked to the location where the party was supposed to be held but when he was about half way to the party he remembered he was supposed to buy presents. Amon thought about just giving away some rareish items from his inventory and he didn't have any money left so he came up with an idea to make some items real quick. Amon had a decent level in his blacksmithing and was confident he could make something with the items he had in his inventory. Half an hour later Amon walked out with two presents he was proud of.

Amon approached the hotel where the party was supposed to be at. Amon was very nervous but decided to walk inside, hoping not to be the last person to the party but he highly doubted it. Amon walked inside and was unfazed by the luxuries that were inside. He walked over the elevator and went to the fifth floor. Amon's mind was racing on the way up the elevator, he tried calming himself listening to the christmas music in the elevator, which only made him feel worse. Amon finally reached the floor and slowly walked into the room. It looked as if everybody was already there except for Mizuko and Wolf, which surprised Amon considering he was the one who had set up the party in the first place. Amon saw a piece of mistletoe hanging from part of the garland that was strewn about the room and decided to keep it for later. He out one of his presents into the drawing for later and went to go sit down. Amon was still feeling pretty down he just sat down on a chair at one of the tables by himself and took out a small flask and took a sip from it.
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Asuna laughed when Galen talked about his cooking mishaps. Even though it was not really possible to create a fire in SAO, people still were afraid of one. She had not been working on her cooking skill as much as she used to but she was confident in her skill. It seemed not too common to meet a player that was both a weapon crafter and a front liner. The players in the front lines usually allocated their 11 skills to combat purposes such as the detection, hiding or acrobatics skills. Asuna chose to have the cooking skill since cooking was a task she never got to try back in the real world. Cooking in SAO was oversimplified so it was a tedious having to practice so much to raise up her skill.

"I find it amazing how you can even create black smoke from cooking. All you have to do is set the oven or stove at the correct time and heat." She was about to explain some more mechanics of cooking in SAO but Galen walked off.

Even though the room was not that cold, Asuna's shoulders felt a bit chilly. The temperature inside was overall bearable and she knew it would get warmer more people came in. She felt it was too troublesome to open up her inventory and put on her coat again. Asuna was hoping this party would at least go better than the last one. Then again she did not remember what in the world happened at that time. She learned her lesson, no drinking alcohol while she was in SAO.

Back in the real world, she normally spent Christmas with her family members. It would be a rather peaceful and pleasant time together. It was always the same thing they did every year. Eat lunch together, open presents and then watch television together. Christmas was one of the only times a year when her mother did not scold her for slacking off from schoolwork. Being the daughter of a CEO meant that she was expected to meet high expectations. Compared to back in reality, this party seemed like it would have a more vibrant and fun atmosphere. The people at this party were not only fellow players of SAO but also comrades on the battlefields. Even though it was still early on in the game, they had been through some tough situations together.

Galen soon came back with a mug of hot cocoa. Asuna happily accepted and drank the hot beverage. She put the mug down when he asked her how her Christmases were back home. She took a few seconds before she responded to the question.

"Christmas was one of the only times of the year when my dad was actually at home. He was always busy working with his company and I don't see him home that often. It was a time when our family could get together and share smiles."

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