«The Army»

[Floor 5] «Arioch»
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Caboose_
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The polygons wafted through the air, obscuring everyones view like millions of leaves in the breeze. Vyse held his breath as he waited for them to clear. He could feel his heart beating faster and louder as the glowing shapes slowly dissipated to reveal.. nothing. Empty space. His heart sank as his mind tried to process what he saw. Vyse looked at his companions, each one of their solemn faces confirming his thoughts and fears. Wolf was gone. Vyse could do nothing more than stand and stare at the empty space his friend had once occupied. His body rejected the sight, his mind telling him that it wasn't true. This was only the 5th floor. No one was supposed to die here. They were supposed to destroy the enemy, banishing it from the game once and for all. They were supposed to enter the next floor as a group, whole and complete.

Yuuki was the first to move, and she ran to the space where Wolf had stood moments ago, tears streaming down her face. Vyse watched her run to where Wolf should have been, her azure hair flowing behind her. She began to look around, panicked, as if standing in the spot he once stood made her realise what had happened. None of them wanted to believe it was true. A call escaped Vyse's mouth. He wasn't sure why he called out to Wolf. They had all seen what he had, so why was he clinging to the idea that he was still alive somewhere? And why did he think yelling out to him would bring him back? He tried to call out again, but his words got lost behind the lump in his throat, and all he managed was a strained whisper through gritted teeth.

Behind him, Vyse heard a sound. It was faint and muffled, but he had definitely heard something. His head snapped around, searching for the source of the sound. The hope that it was Wolf was quickly quelled as he saw shirtless man laying on the floor some distance behind them. Vyse couldn't recall seeing a shirtless man fighting alongside them, and quickly counted his companions to make sure he wasn't mistaken. Slowly, he began to edge his way closer to the body. He could see sweat beading across the bare, heaving back of the mystery man as he struggled to breath. His health bar was nothing more than a sliver of red. As Vyse came even closer, he caught a glimpse of the bare-chested players eyes. They were a brilliant gold, shining bright against the dark marble floor.

He couldn't contain his excitement as he realised who it was. He immediately broke into a sprint, beaming as his boots pounded the floor. The others had seen him too and were making their way towards him as well. Vyse was one of the first, and immediately crouched down next to their wounded friend. There was only one thing he could bring himself to say, "Baka.." He chuckled to himself, his happiness bubbling to the surface. "Baka,"
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"We won?"

Noiki stood there, looking dumbly at her two-handed sword. She looked up at the other players in a way just as dumb. Everyone was still there. Everyone lived.

Her head was getting woozy again. For some reason Wolf was barechested and Yuuki was crying over him like the mentally insane person that she was. She looked over at Amon, who's health was slowly but steadily growing. He was still missing pants.

"The first thing I'm doing when we get to the sixth level," she said, swaying a little as she walked towards the group, "Is getting all the boys on this team clothes. They can't be walking around naked 24/7."

Her eyelids began to close halfway, her sword hanging limply from her hand. Her health was still steadily creeping up, which made her even more tired.

"Can we get going? Imma sleep for twenty-four hours first. Then I'll buy everyone clothes," she said, leaning her arm on somebody's shoulder so she didn't fall over. She barely even knew what had went on to make them win. All she had seen were flashes and particles, and then she just blinked a lot until everyone seemed happy. She was happy too, no doubt, just freakishly overwhelmed and tired.
lilydove123
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Posted 12/18/12, Edited 12/18/12  Reply  Quote
Yuuki had searched desperately for the tall man once the pixels had dissapated, turning up with nothing on a simple perimeter search. She clenched her teeth as her breathing began to take a heavy labor and Yuuki closed her eyes tightly. She willed for him to be there once they were opened, but once again she raked her veiw over the area quickly and found nothing. This couldn't be true, right? Wolf had been here, with them, for as long as she could remember. During all of the boss meetings, planning out attacks. From the attack from the elven, hell, even when he asked if Yuuki and Vyse wanted information.He had looked so shady back then, yet couragous. There was no way that the strongest person and the leaderof there group was gone. The thought of him being dead in the real world made Yuuki's heart constrict ever so slightly. There was no way he was dead.

At least she hoped so, with all of her might.

A tear dropped down, followed by another, until Yuuki had to contiually wipe them off of her face to remain with a somewhat clear vision. The only thing that broke the silence besides a few weak calls was a strangled groan that seemed to originate from somewhere behind her. At first Yuuki thought that it had been one of the other teammates, but a quick glance told her otherwise; something far better than what she had expected. She began to walk slowly towards the crippled figure laying on the ground, hesitant to know if it really was him. Steps seemed to get longer as she walked, then jogged towards the figure. Yuuki fisted her hands into her clothes when she reached the person's side. It was indeed him; or what was left of him, to say the least. Wolf was hanging by a thread, a tiny sliver of red being all that kept him alive. She knelt down beside him, crimson eyes filling to the brim with tears and her teeth clenched in a tight line. Vyse sat next to him on the other side, giving him potions and whatnot. She could now no longer discern the images before her as her vision was blurred.

Yuuki shakily took Wolf's hand with both of hers, lightly adding pressure so as not to damage him any furthur on accident. She pressed the hand to her cheek, tears spilling onto it. It was cold to the touch, but she did not care. The girl repeatedly muttered a string of curses at the man, but continued to stay there, on the ground, next to him. Others slowly began to do god knows what, as Yuuki was already focusing her full attention on Wolf. In a haze of relief and bliss, Yuuki smiled warmly at him.

No one had died.
Cystir
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Amon had hoped to get the last hit bonus with his last attack.. or so he thought. His mind had blanked out after he had dropped his shield. He woke up so the sounds of the boss disappearing into a million polygons. Amon looked around, dazed like he had just woken up from a drinking filled night. He felt like he was going to throw up and the world wouldn't stop spinning. After regaining his balance he looked around for the exit after seeing the Congratulations banner above them. Then he noticed everybody looked sad. He looked around and noticed that Wolf had vanished. "Oh no he didn't." Amon mumbled to himself. Amon started frantically looking around for any sign of Wolf but saw none. Then he heard a moan.. a soft pained moan. Searching crazily he searched for the moan and came across a man more naked than himself, laying on the ground. Then Amon saw the man open his eyes and they were yellow. As soon as he saw the man's eyes he knew they belonged to Wolf.

Everybody looked overjoyed that Wolf had survived the battle. EVen though he was completely naked Yuuki didn't hold back in giving him a hug. Wiping tears from his eyes Amon looked around and saw that everybody had red health, except for Noiki, who miraculously still had green health but looked the most withered of the team. Walking over to her Amon said "I told you this wouldn't be a walk in the park." as she leaned her arm on his shoulder. "Come on everybody let's head on up. First round of food is on me!" Then Amon started limping towards the exit and to the sixth floor.
Caboose_
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Everybody was now moving about, and Wolf was going to be okay. Vyse pressed a healing potion into his hand before getting up again. The floor was now cleared, and he was eager to see what the next floor held. He was also looking forward to some down time away from combat. He gave one last look towards Yuuki and Wolf before setting off after Amon and Noiki who were making their way up to the next floor. He ascended the stairs and followed his comrades through the large doors. The light shone through the doors and bathed him in warmth before he disappeared to the new world beyond.
lenalee-chan
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Asuna sighs relieved when she saw that nobody had actually died and the boss was defeated. She checks out her own health and sees that it was not too bad, she would let her battle healing skill take care of it. The others were delighted to see that the comrade that they thought was dead was actually alive. This boss fight was definitely tiring and grueling. The Solid Fist was relentless and dealt considerable damage to the others.

If the 5th floor boss was this tough, how much tougher would the future floor bosses be like? Would they all be so lucky again to survive? At least the spirit of the front liners was not hampered. It would be unfortunate if many front liners decided to no longer participate in boss raids. This narrow victory proved that there needed to be more solid teamwork. Another important lesson learned is that one must be psychologically prepared before entering into a boss battle. A player who breaks down during a fight is nearly assured to be a dead player. Everybody in the game had a normal life once in the real world, but in SAO they are forced to harden up and mature quickly.

Asuna looks at the staircase that would lead them to the 6th floor. She walks up the stairs with heavy thought and goes through the doors, wondering what new adventures and dangers lie ahead.
erekson
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As Galen's spear came crashing down unto the boss, The Solid Fist moved a few feet foward while grappling with the tall player. Despite his "grand strategy" Galen had miscalculated again. He wasnt normally like this, but there was something about the red haired woman that he wanted to protect. That thought enboldened him, as his spear finally landed into the back leg of the boss. Galen was at first struggling to release his spear, out of habit. But after realizing that hindering him would help everyone, Galen drove the spear deep into the ground, piercing the Solid Fist into the stone floor. The boss struggled to break free, and keep swinging wildly, even after being attacked multiple times. The tall armored player eventually was haymakered into the distance, as the Solid Fist was finally attacked from the sides, sending his hp to zero.

Galen felt his grip slip as the boss shattered into the darkness. He was relieved, until he heard another shattered sound coming from the tall player's direction. Oh no, thought Galen. We didnt make it in time. If this were any other game, he would just use a phoenix down or something, and then probably shake the guy's hand for his brave actions. The tall man had allowed the party to take the upper hand. But this was Sword of Art Online. In here, death was real. There was no phoenix down. There was no revival potion. Dying here, meant meeting your maker. A chill filled the room as everyone seemed shocked by the battle, and the loss of one of their own.

"Damnit!", yelled Galen as he punched the ground. The sound of metal hitting stone rang throughout the room. He didnt know why he cared so much. So many players had ended their own lives like cowards after finding out about the rules. He remembered seeing hundreds of players literally throwing themselves off the edge of cliffs; their bodies shattering into a thousand pieces of light in midfall. Galen had no respect for them. They took the easy way out, leaving the rest of the players to beat the game on their own. But Galen had respect for those on the front line. They were sacrificing everything, so that everyone could someday, somehow make it out of this Hell, alive.

The silence was broken by a young woman crying out, "Wolf!". She had run to where he should have been, but found only darkness. Everyone feared the worst, until a faint coughing sound was heard near one of the pillars. The party looked toward the moans, and saw a crippled man lying on his side. He wore no armor, and had a silly grin on his face. The blue haired woman ran to his side, holding his hand to her cheek. Tears streaming down her face, as she knew it was him. Another player began running to Wolf's side, quickly using potions to insure his sliver of health would hold. The whole party seemed relieved.

As the other players began to leave the room, Galen fell to his knees, overcome with emotion. He leaned against his impaled spear, realizing that he had failed to protect everyone. Somehow everyone had survived, but just barely. I cant let anyone die. As long as everyone is willing to fight, I must do everything I can to protect them, Galen thought. He felt it his duty to protect the other players. Galen was one of the few players that actually had real-world combat training. It was no accident he choose the spear as his weapon in SAO. His grandfather had trained him in the ways of the spear since he was a little boy. Just graduating from high school, Galen was the top of his class. No one could best him when it came to his martial arts. Galen had in fact joined this game to see how well he could transfer his skills. He thought the challenge might increase his hand-eye coordination. However, he had no idea that this game would turn out to be far deadlier than real life. At least in the real world, their werent dragons and goblins running around trying to kill people. But here, death was around every corner.

As Galen tried to gather himself, he glimpsed the red haired girl making her way past him towards the stairs, and out of the room. He noticed her name...Asuna. Asuna...it's a beautiful name, he thought. She held her own, but this fight showed all of us that we cant win alone. We have to work as a team if we are to survive the rest of this game. I dont know why, but I want to protect her. I should follow her and see if she wants to party up.

Galen then retrieved his spear, and dashed up the stairs...hoping he might catch up with Asuna in the next floor.
nejineji131
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Wolf's grip couldn't hold any longer. They had to finish him off soon or else-. The boss had broken out of his grasp and the first punch was quick to follow. Wolf's health dropped 10% and he saw as the next punch made its way. Instead of blocking, he reached into his pocket. "Heal," the words were so soft that no one, not even the boss, might've heard it. Before the second hit landed, His hp reached 22%. Wolf was quickly sent flying by the collision of his fist and his hp had dropped 20%. His armor, weak as it was, couldn't handle any more attacks and decided it was done.

Still midair, Wolf's hp reached 4% but quickly dropped to 1% once he hit the ground. "Is this it?" He thought as he assumed the boss was going to finish him off. "Have I accomplished enough to pass on?" Wolf was at death's door but only one thing was on his mind. He placed one hand on his stomach as it felt empty. "Food," he groaned after hearing what sounded like the end of the battle. "I'm not done yet. And as long as I'm alive, I WILL KEEP MOVING FORWARD."

"Just. Keep...............................Swimming."
Ushiromiy...
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Posted 12/19/12  Reply  Quote
The attack failed again and nick was kicked to the ground, his hp lowered into the deep red zone,
The pressure of the boss was still lowering his hp.

This isn't good. He thought.

Only a sliver remained and he thought he saw his avatar distort.
But before his hp ran out the boss screamed and exploded into polygons.
Thank god. Nick exhaled.

He got up and his battle healing took over restoring his hp.

He saw yuuki and some other players scream and search for wolf.

No. H-he can't be dead. Nick thought.
Then in the dust he saw a shirtless man get up,

Wolf! He was alive.
Thank god... Nobody died.
Although it was close on more then one occasion.
Nick walked ahead towards the stairs to the 6th floor.

We need a lot more training before we try anything like that again.

With that resolve nick entered the sixt floor of aincrad.
ZweiNor
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Zwei didn't know what to make of it. The boss dissolved as he and Yuuki both hit the boss. Zwei hadn't even noticed that he had tossed Wold away, but when he heard a new sound of glass breaking, he turned around and started to count everyone.
"1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8.... Where's wolf??" he thought. Then he realized it. "Oh god no!" he thought. starting to look for him like the others. He also heard Yuuki scream his name.

Then they heard the groan.

Zwei looked towards the sound and saw him sitting against the wall. Zwei let out a sigh of relief as he realized it, and he also noticed Yuuki running towards him an throwing her arms around his neck, hugging him. Zwei smiled a little, somehow happy to see them like that.

He walked a little closer, and locked his eyes with wolf's, and through them he said that he was glad to see him alive. Zwei then gave him a discrete salut, and then walked towards the portal. He noticed Vyse giving Wolf a healing potion, and it was just then that Zwei remembered that he also was near death. He readied a potion and drank it, noticing the sweet taste the system created for the potion.
He then went through the door, and got ready for floor 6.
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