43575 cr points
25 / M / Adelaide, Australia
The wind blew through the blade of grass, rustling the dry, orange stalks. Vyse still lay on the ground, not daring to move lest he reveal his location to the Sand Worm. The rustling of the desert grass seemed to be confusing the sightless worm, and it flicked its head around as if looking for an invisible opponent. As quietly as he could, Vyse got to his feet and carefully began to move around the worm to flank. He wasn't as stealthy as he thought however, and scuffed his boot on a fist sized rock. He immediately froze, afraid to even breath. The sound was faint over the rustling of tall grass, but it was enough to make the Sand Worm turn and face his general direction. As if in warning to him, the worm hissed, and a globule of what he could only hope was saliva dripped from between the rows of razor-sharp teeth to mix with the sand and dirt.
Carefully and quietly, Vyse bent down and picked up the rock, and hoping to again trick the worm into thinking he was somewhere he wasn't, he threw the rock off to his right. This time however, the worm didn't fall for the deception and instead hissed again and swiped its large tail around in a circle, flattening and grass in its way. Vyse was forced to jump over the swinging tail, landing back on in the dirt as quietly as he could. However, to keep his balance he spread out his arms as he landed, and the tip of his sword connected with the dirt and a soft Ting resonated from the blade. An ear shattering screech told Vyse that the worm had found him and without turning to look at his enemy, leapt forwards to avoid the attack that he knew was coming. With a quick roll, he got to his feet just in time to see the ugly, eyeless head of the Sand Worm sinking into the grass where he lay mere moments before. Seizing the small opening, Vyse again went on the offensive. This time, he was aiming for big damage.
The sword in his hand began to glow a brilliant, deep blue as Vyse drew back his arm for a strike. When the energy built up within his blade had reached its apex, he released it, sending three slashes at the foe in a «Savage Fulcrum». His sword traced a number '4' as he slashed, each strike leaving a long, blue line where his sword carved through the air. When the skill was complete, the blue lines slowly faded, and in their place was 3 fresh red wounds on the side of the Sand Worms pale body. The Worm shrieked in pain as its health bar began to drop into the red. One more hit and it's over.
Unable to finish off the enemy due to his skills cooldown, Vyse began to backpeddle, trying to put some distance between himself and the horrible, gaping mouth of the Sand Worm. The worm recovered from the hit rather quickly and turned to face him, goo dripping from its maw and hissed again before diving forwards in an attempt to devour him. It's over, Vyse thought with a smile as he jumped straight into the air. the worm continued on its previous attack path and moved straight under him. As he began to fall back to earth, Vyse raised his sword above his head in preparation for the final strike. Again the blade began to glow. When he was about to land on top of the worm, he executed his favourite skill, «Fell Crescent». The blue blade became lost in a sea of red as he slashed through the bulky body of the worm, completely severing the top half. For a moment, the two halves writhed in the dirt before shattering into thousands of tiny pieces and returning to the system.
Vyse landed on the ground harder than he expected but managed to maintain a graceful landing. A small message of congratulations flashed in the air, and a secondary notice containing his loot and EXP hovered beneath it. When he dismissed them, a third message popped up informing him of his new level. Finally getting stronger, he thought to himself with a smile. After a quick glance around to be sure there were no more blood-thirsty worms sneaking up on him again, he set about straightening his armour and sheathing his sword. He was about to head off in the direction of the pack of Daer he had been following when a message from Wolf appeared. This time, he was asking where everyone was, and why it was taking them so long to meet him at the location he had specified. Vyse replied with a simple 'On my way' before moving to his inventory and producing a teleport crystal.
"Teleport, Luste!" he said, and his vision began to turn blue as the crystal took hold of him and whisked him away to the town.
|We are soldiers, stand or die.|
2547 cr points
23 / M / North Carolina
Amon was laughing when he heard Noiki "You don't like anybody paying for your stuff do you? You don't owe me anything." Amon took another sip of tea and was interrupted by a message. Amon noticed that Noiki has gotten the message too and knew it had to be Wolf. Sure enough it was Wolf telling them where breakfast was. When Noiki had finished reading the message she ask Amon if they should go. "I was planning on it, if we don't it will probably be just you and me for most of the floor. Unless you just want to. If you don't we should probably get going there won't be any food left if we don't hurry, the coordinates are pretty far away and Wolf has probably eaten half the store by now." Amon was about to go take another sip of his tea but remembered something he was planning on doing after they finished their duel. Amon brought up his menu and sent Noiki a friend request. "Sorry it took so long." Amon said tryin to avoid eye contact. "I was planning on sending you one earlier but things got heated pretty quickly."
Amon hasn't really thought of it much but he hasn't really sent anybody in the lead group friend requests. It's not that he didn't mean to, he just wasn't that guy with a bunch of Friends hanging around all the time. Amon had a few friends but for the most part he was a bit of a pack rat. It don't really bother him because like most of the engineers he knew they all were. Engineering wasn't really a 'social' major. Amon had actually bought the game because he wanted to be able I see his older brother more often since his brother was either always busy or was asleep. After his brother had died Amon seriously thought that he would be a solo player, since he wasn't really good at making friends.
Waking back up in reality unaware for how long he had even starin at his tea Amon said "So what'll it be?"
|Old times are good times|
Noiki smiled, and accepted the friend request. The only other people on her friend list were Manami and Nyami, but of course they had both died on the fourth floor. Noiki had always been very social, but once she had entered the game, she didn't want anyone she knew to know who she was. She knew that once she entered SAO, she'd be herself for the first time. And that was what she was doing. All her life, she had acted differently than she had wanted to, because her mother had always said that if you don't say and do what people want, you'll go absolutely nowhere in this world. Noiki had believed it, but at this point she felt that her real personality would have gotten her much farther than it had when she played the dumb girl in school.
"I don't know. I'd like to at least see them all before I decide anything. They did get me through to the sixth floor.. it would be incredibly rude if I didn't at least thank them." she said thoughtfully, thinking about the pros and cons of each situation. With more people, she had a less chance of dying. With more people, she might not like a few of them personally and get into more fights.
"I think I want to go," she said, standing up from her seat and picking up her coffee cup. Noiki downed the rest of it and set it on the table. "After that, we should be partners. I think that would be cool, especially af-"
She cut herself off mid-word, and gulped. Her eyes shot to the ground, like they always did when she felt that she said something wrong. 'No talking about Nyami,' she thought. 'She's perfectly safe. Perfectly safe.'
She looked back at Amon, and smiled. "So are you coming?"
|Hallo. I'm coming out of my dark cave to be here. :) <3|
2547 cr points
23 / M / North Carolina
"That was what I was planning on doing." Amon replied finishing off his tea. He was happy Noiki had accepted his friend request because he had actually never sent one besides to his brother and was nervous she would decline it. Amon smiled when she accepted and immediately gulped down the rest of his tea. He heard Noiki say she wanted to go meet up with Wolf. "Sounds like a plan" Amon said getting up, then Noiki started to say, "After that, we should be partners. I think that would be cool, especially af-" Amon was about to ask what she was going to say but then she got a very dark look on her face and looked towards the ground. Amon figure it had to do with the girl she talked about from the duel and decided not to press her on the subject. "Sure, sounds good." Amon replied with a smile and then walked over towards her and grabbed her hand for a full second then let go trying to get her mind off of the subject. "Yeah, let's go." Amon said still smiling at her. "Oh wait I almost forgot, can we go shopping for pants first? I like shorts but it feels weird wearing full armor except his leggings.
|Old times are good times|
9328 cr points
28 / M / USA
Galen was glad that Asuna wasnt upset. He hated being late, and in fact, was very rarely late to anything in real life. His parents always taught him the importance of being on time, early even.
"Half the journey is just showing up on time, son" his father used to say.
Asuna then showed him the message she had received from Wolf.
"Yo! Where is everybody at?! Im already on my 2nd plate! In case you forgot, we are all supposed to meet up at <<The Last Stop>> to discuss our plans on clearing this floor and the raid boss. From the center of town, take the street to the right, all the way down near the combat zone. You cant miss it. Hope to see you guys soon"
Galen felt bad because now he was holding up the whole team.
"Sorry once again Asuna" he pleaded. "I didnt realize I was holding everyone up. I will make it up to you later, promise."
"It's ok." she said. "But did you want to eat first? I can tell you're hungry". Asuna started to laugh as Galen's stomach was growling again.
Galen grabbed his stomach in a hopeless effort to make it stop. Damn, I was hoping she wouldnt notice. Haha. "It's ok" smiled Galen. "We are meeting up at a food shop anyway, so I will grab a bite there when we meet up with the group"
"Ok" smiled Asuna.
Asuna got up from the table and Galen followed her outside of the inn. It was bright, much brighter than last night. Even though it was still early in the day, the town looked much better with the sun overhead. Everything just seemed...less gloomy. The players opened up their maps and followed the marker placed by Wolf. They began walking down the street toward their destination. There were a lot more players on the streets this time around. Were they all just waiting for us to beat the boss like a bunch of Black Friday shoppers waiting to stampede a Walmart? he laughed at the idea.
Asuna then felt like it was best for Galen to know more about the other front liners before they all met up again. So they spent most of their conversation on the way to the shop, discussing personalites, faces, and names. When they finally arrived, Galen looked up to the sign, <<The Last Stop>>. How clever, thought Galen sarcastically. As the couple walked into the shop, Wolf looked up from his plate and raised his hand in a greeting fashion. Asuna and Galen waved back in return, as they sat down near Wolf and another player.
|Galen Rigatos, riding out!|
41941 cr points
24 / M / Norway
After finishing his meal Zwei went to look around town. It was wierd, looking at this place. All the other floors was beautiful, or impressing, but this was the complete opposite. It was a run down village, long past it's glory. It looks like the last time it looked good was 70- 100 years ago. Although, Zwei did know that that wasn't possible. It was designed to look that way. What Zwei struggled with, was that he just couldn't understand why. Why would anyone design it like this, and in sucja clear contrast to the other floors. He just didn't get it.
He went buy a shop without a name, and looked at some armor. The armor wasn't really that good, and it looked really shoddy, so Zwei decided that he would only repair the leather armor he had equipped. He entered the store and asked the NPC if he could fix it. Of cource the NPC answered yes, and not before long it was repaired.
Zwei went back to his hotelroom after that. He didn't know why, but he just did. When he entered his room, he went towards the sink and leaned against it and looked at himself in the mirror. He looked as fresh as ever, the system kept him groomed and clean, and it also kept the complexity of his face the same way as it was when it all started. He knew that wasn't the case in reality. He was exhausted not physically, the system made sure of that, but mentally. He was really tired.
He started to think back at his old life, what he had left. He was a fairly average kid, he lived in Tokyo but was from Okinawa. He had his own apartment, since his parents had moved back to Okinawa. But he didn't want to leave Tokyo and his... Friends.. He wasn't popular, but for some reason the cutest girl in school and the most popular guy in school had decided to hang out and befriend him. He and the girl, Sora, was childhood friends so that wasn't so wierd but he could never really figure out why he and the guy, Hiro were friends. They never liked the same things, and they didn't have anything in common, but somehow they had become inseparable.
Hiro had planned to join him in SAO, but he didn't get a copy of the game. Zwei always suspected him of not trying that hard, but now he was really glad that he hadn't joined the game. Zwei just couldn't deal with the thought of losing someone dear to him. And at that moment his thoughts drifted over to all his new friends, and he smiled a little. They were a crazy bunch, that they were, but somehow they had banded together, a group od solo players and formed this half assed crazy party. But they were great, they he had to give them. He could easily see why he liked the group so much. They cared, and they didn't discriminate everybody was equal and didn't care how or what had happened in rl.
His thoughts went back to his rl again. He wasn't a person that was good at anything. The only thing he was good at was using the Katana. He had trained since he was little. His family owned an dojo in Okinawa, and in tokyo they had lived at another dojo. So he reconned himself fairly skilled with the blade. Though, the only ones who knew was Sora and Hiro. No one else knew that the socially awkward dork in class was a skilled swordsman, and he didn't want them to know either, they didn't need to.
He missed those guys, but he couldn't thin about that now. All he needed to do now was to survive. That was priority number one.
He then heard the pling of a message and saw that it was from Wolf. It contained the coordinates to a resturant and Zwei decided he wanted to go. He let go of the sink, and headed towards the resturant, wondering what Wolf wanted to talk to everyone about.
Asuna felt bad how Galen was actually hungry but she was glad that their meeting spot would be at another restaurant. Though she thought the name The Last Stop sounded a bit funny. Once they left the inn, they both followed the coordinates towards the meeting spot. At first she thought she was only going to party up with Galen but it looked like she would have more back up and support from the other front line players. The sooner they cleared the floor the better. Even though this floor was not too bad of a place, she did not want to stay in this uninspired zone much longer. At least none of the floors had ghost type monsters, she was terrified of ghosts or anything haunted house like.
"Even if the food at The Last Stop doesn't look tasty it can't really harm you. It's not like you can get a stomach ache here, you just need your stomach and mind to have that full feeling."
While they were going to the meeting spot, she explained to Galen the names and descriptions of the different players. Even though she had only interacted with them for 2 floors, she was very observant on their personalities, strengths and mannerisms. Asuna talked about each and every one of them positively because all of them were brave individuals willing to risk their lives for a better future. So far there were no group tensions, hopefully things would stay like that.
Asuna and Galen enter in the shop and take their seat. It looked like not too many others were there yet. She looked at a nearby menu and chuckled at some of the food items listed.
"The names for these dishes sound very... exotic." She struggled to find a word to describe them.
24841 cr points
26 / M / Canada
black entered the resturant and saw the group of people getting together. They were his friends and he hadn't seen them in what felt like forever. Not wanting to be a disturance or a hassle he just pulled up a chair and sat down. There was a new guy there that he didn't know but he figured that if he was allowed in the group he must have had some skill. Black had his throwing daggers equipped and was ready for anything. He was unsure how the grop would feel him just showing up out of no where but he was cautious. Seeing Asuna's reaction to the food he had to chuckle.
"Hey Asuna, see anything that catches your eye?" he asked. Not wanting to try anything without some support.
He wanted to avoid the questions about what he had been doing, due to the fact that he had decided that he was not going to fight in the boss battle, but he was not hiding anymore. He was on the hunt and he may need support if he caught his prey.
|One must never forget ones past.|
Asuna hears a familiar voice and sees that Black was addressing her. She smiles and chuckles a bit.
"I already ate breakfast so I'm just checking out the menu for the fun of it. I'm just wondering where these meats come from, such as if there are farms in SAO that are meant for raising animals or something like that."
Asuna had not seen black at the previous boss battle but she did not want to question him about his whereabouts. Everybody had their own business and she had to mind her own. Right now there seemed to be more familiar faces at the restaurant, at least everybody was willing to continue fighting onwards.
Yuuki's feet pattered against the worn roads that fled into the old town. She had recieved Wolf's notice to meet in a shop to eat- sounded like something he would do. She wondered in the depths of her mind as she walked; away from the graying sky, the cold air, the wind starting to sting her hands. Yuuki snuggled more into her scarf as the weather started to get colder. Olive did the same. She thought, and thought, and thought. What more was there that she had to do? What did she have left? Stopping her train of thought, Yuuki began to pick up the pace as she saw the shop with the battered sign swaying in the wind. 'The Last' was the only part of it thy she could make out; the rest had faded away. The appearance of the rest of the building looked even worse when she got closer to it, with Yuuki grimacing at its looks. Not much to look at, actually, since the building was fairly small.
The door creaked open with every push that Yuuki have it, swinging to full attention while it stopped to let in the cold air, Yuuki , and Olive. Said beast jumped off of her shoulder giddily to surround her head, plopping down into it. She pushed the door close again and took in what she would have expected to be a 0 star restaurant. Her crimson eyes widened at the sight of it; the quote, 'don't judge a book by its cover', came to mind. What would have been a dingy store was very extravagant on the inside, to say the least. Taking notice of the hulking figure along with another shorter one was what spiked her interest the most, though. Breathing a sigh of relief, Yuuki navigated the other tables and chairs to plop down on one of the chairs at the designated table. Olive was still in her head, golden scales, tendrils, and all, but was inclined to climb onto the table like a caterpillar, using her face as a latter. Yuuki puffed her cheeks at the insolent thing. But he thanks were freezing. Yuuki looked up at the others before blowing on her hands, letting the warmth spread and tingle on her fingertips.
"So, what are we doing?" She asked, curious to see why they were called there. Yuuki unequipped her scarf and let her blue hair flow down her back once more. It was a lot warmer in here; she could get used to a nice atmosphere for once.
9328 cr points
28 / M / USA
When Asuna and Galen arrived, there were only two other players from the raid party sitting down. Galen immediately recognized Wolf, from his tall stature and golden eyes. Galen couldnt help but remember his bravery as he sat across from the large man. Wolf had almost died defeating the last boss. His actions were foolish, but courageous. Galen had respect for someone like him, though he wished he would have allowed everyone else to help out more.
Wolf gave Galen and Asuna a grin as he stopped eating for a second to speak. "Hey guys! Glad you could make it! We're still waiting on everyone else to arrive, so why don't you order some food." He then went back to rummaging through his many plates of food.
Galen laughed. In the real world, he would be able to eat just like Wolf. Besides martial arts, food and more specifically eating food, was a real passion of his. His high metabolism and natural appetite would keep him going for many meals. However, in this virtual world, his extreme appetite wasnt exactly replicated. He was still hungry, but his hunger seemed to be regulated, like a scale. He would only be hungry after a certain number of tasks were complete, or a certain amount of stamina was consumed. But Galen was glad to see that Wolf was able to retain some of his humanity through all of this. He could see why he was the leader of the group.
Galen then looked to his right and noticed the other player. From Asuna's description of the players, he assumed this guy was Nick. Of course Galen confirmed this after looking at his id. Nick wasnt nearly as big as Wolf, but then again, who was? He seemed rather quiet, and didnt even really notice that Asuna or Galen had sat down. He seemed to be lost in the menu, and was already on his second plate.
Asuna then began to pick up a menu and look through it. After reading some of the choices she looked a little shocked. She even started to laugh. "The names for these dishes sound very... exotic" she said. Galen was curious, so he began to scan the options on his menu. What the? he thought. Death's Door Daer...Save Me Scorpion...Last Stand Linguini? Galen started to laugh out loud himself. He would have thought more about his choices, but he was so hungry that he just chose the best sounding one. Galen finally decided on the Draggin Out Dragon. Galen actually liked dragons a lot, and would never eat them in real life, but this was a game, so he thought, what the hell. Galen looked for some honeymead, but wasnt surprised when he couldnt find any, so he settled on some Slippin Soda.
Galen offered to order something for Asuna, but she reminded him that she already ate, and was just looking. Soon, another player entered the shop. He was slightly taller than Nick, with a long black cloak, and dual daggers. Must be Black, thought Galen trying to remember Asuna's description. He was the one player from the raid party that wasnt in the last boss fight. Galen wanted to ask him why he hadnt participated, despite fighting in the other fights...but then he remembered that he wasnt in most of the fights so far himself. Black looked over everyone that had arrived so far, giving Galen a look of uncertainty but still slight trust.
Shortly after Black sat down, Galen's order came in. His plate of Draggin Out Dragon looked kinda delicious. It was a leg of dragon, slightly roasted with a large dragon wing in some kinda brown sauce. It smelled like soy sauce! His soda arrived too, which looked red in color with slight amber accents. Galen took a sip. Its great! he thought. Tastes just like Cherry Coke! Galen started to work on the dragon, but then he got worried. How do I eat this thing? Its got scales, so...do I eat it like chicken? Or fish? Asuna saw the perplexed look on Galen's face and started to laugh.
"Sorry" said Galen. "I've just never had dragon before. Im not sure how to eat it."
Asuna had a really high cooking skill, so she already knew. "Its like chicken!" she said. "Just use a knife and fork"
Galen turned red realizing that this was just a game, so all he had to do was tap the meat with his utensils, and it would turn into cut up peices. He did so and took a bite. Mmm. Tastes like a mix between deer and steak. Or at least thats what the game wants me to believe. As he began to dig into his main dish, another player walked into the shop. A short girl, with hair wrapped up in a scarf walked in. As she did, she unequipped her scarf, revealing her long blue hair and what looked like a little golden scaled familiar. Oh! That must be Yuuki, the beast tamer, thought Galen.
"So, what are we doing?"Yuuki asked, staring at Wolf.
|Galen Rigatos, riding out!|
36599 cr points
27 / M / belgium
When his second plate was empty nick's third and fourth plate arrived,
He was never a great eater but this world changed that, he looked up and saw that Asuna
and the new player sat down.
Nick stood up he was slightly embarrassed that he didn't notice them until now.
He gave asuna a nod, morning asuna, although is it still morning? He asked, not noticing the time.
Asuna smiled. and said it's almost noon, so you are still correct.
I see, nick smiled. And you are? He asked the new player who had just started eating.
Nick held out his hand. My name is nick, nice yo meet you.
They shook as the player introduced himself as Galen.
In the meantime yuuki had walked in.
I see she's recovered. Nick thought as he sat back down to start on his third plate.
So, what are we doing?"Yuuki asked, staring at Wolf.
I think we're still a few players short. Nick said while looking at yuuki.
Why not sit down and eat with us.
I don't think it'll be an all out war like last time. He said thinking about the meal they all had on the fifth floor.
|from the dark we can always see the light|
47272 cr points
25 / M / AZ
"I would love to start, but I think waiting on Vyse, Amon, and what's her face, would be best," Wolf said devouring his fourth plate. He ordered another serving of Death's Door Daer and awaited anxiously for it's arrival. "But this upcoming quest is going to be a hard one if we want to get it done fast."
Wolf didn't say anything else until the other three had arrived and Amon and Noiki were really taking their time. Counting the players in his head, Wolf came up with 11. When the waitress came with his plate of food, Wolf ordered his 6th pate and began to plan his battle strategy. Now wasn't the time to relax.
|With my blade by my side, I'm never alone.|
A group of 11 people was pretty decent sized. That meant that in future boss raids, there could be the usual 2 teams 5 and 6. In the last boss fight there was one team of 4 and another team of 5. Asuna looked around at the type of food that was being served. Everything was definitely really unique compared to the food in the real world. Then again dragons did not exist in real life. She had yet to encounter a dragon, which was pretty much a sought after dream for many children. Usually once a monster was defeated, it would disperse into multiple polygons.Perhaps all of the food here was all just part of the program and could appear out of nowhere.
The one thing that amazed her was how big of an appetite guys had. Asuna could never understood why they could eat so much and not feel sick or too full. Maybe at a later time she would come back to this place and try the food. Might as well try to experience something new everyday. Asuna noticed Galen's observant nature, he looked like he was matching a name to the people that came in or were already here. She told him about nearly everybody on the front lines so far and was impressed at his ability to retain all of that information. Galen was at the top of his class for good reason, meaning that his analytic skills must have been good as well. He presented himself to her as a trusting figure, hopefully the others would learn to trust him as well.
"You don't have to pay for my food all the time." She smiles. "I don't spend my col too often so I have plenty to live well. One day I should treat you out to a meal since you already paid for last night's dinner."
When Galen's dragon dish came out, it did not look so bad at all. At least dragon was not too complicated to cook up, it was like preparing any other meat dish. The sauce the dragon came in did smell like soy sauce but there was no actual soy sauce flavor that existed in SAO. It was Asuna's goal to one day create soy sauce since it is such an integral part of Japanese cuisine. When he asked her how to eat the dish, she explained it to him. Cooking in SAO was oversimplified since one just needed to tap food with a utensil and the desired effect would come out right away.
Meanwhile she was waiting for the others to arrive. It was still morning time which meant there was still plenty of time left to explore the combat zone. Even though the area looked desolate, that meant monsters could be hiding in interesting spots such as underground.
41941 cr points
24 / M / Norway
Zwei arrived at the resturant and entered to se that almost everybody was present.
He founf a chair and quickly sat down, sayinh "hello" to the group. He lokked at all the wierd food and decided that he was glad that he ate such a big breakfast.
He looked at all the different people gathered, and smiled. They were all very familiar and they all seemed to have fun or connect in new ways. It was great, really.
He looked at the others and asked simply "so, what's up?"