«The Army»

[Floor 6] «Mercury»
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Ushiromiy...
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"Spartans!" Wolf shouted as he grabbed his sword once more. "What is your profession?!"

He let out a major howl and attracted the horde of monsters that had spawned over the entire floor.

"B-Bakana!" Nick muttered as he saw the horde.
He was afraid, but he had no coice, he smiled.

He holwed three times and yelled "Take up arms and FIGHT!" as he charged towards the horde.

There we're to many to count but he saw scorpions, wild daer and Sand Snakes.
This will be interesting.

Nick jumped up and sliced a snake in half, the daer charged ahead and nick left out a berserkers leap towards three of them,
with skill he cut them appart, but he saw 10 more charged at him, he jumped to the side and let them pass.
The team needs to help soon, or this will be one short battle.

When he had sliced another daer his level increased from 17 to 18.
Well, at least that'll go faster then normal. nick thought as he saw scorpions heading towards him, their stingers getting in range of nick.
Caboose_
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As Wolf's «howl» rang out across the open, snowy fields, Vyse could feel the eyes of the wildlife turning towards them. The howl faded and an eerie silence fell over the group. Moments later, a low rumbling began, slowly increasing in volume. Vyse turned around and was met with a horde of enemies charging straight towards him. To his left, Nick was already charging forward and Vyse saw no other option than to fight. He drew «Arondight», Its midnight blue blade a stark contrast to the pale white snow that surrounded him.

The horde closed in on Nick and Vyse in moments, and they were both swallowed by the mass of wildlife that continued to charge past them. A Wild Daer rushed straight as Vyse, horns lowered and ready to skewer him. He managed to evade the charge by ducking and stepping to the side of the Daer, then with a mighty uppercut, he managed to completely sever the head. His victory was short-lived when another beast quickly filled it's fallen comrades place, and again charged at him. The attacks were easy enough to evade or counter, but the cramped quarters made it hard for Vyse to use any sword skills other than the basics. At one point he thought he saw Nick jump above the sea of enemies, but he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared.

Vyse continued to cut his way through the enemies, slashing and hacking at anything that was stupid enough to target him, but for every enemy he cut down, it seemed that two more would take their place. He managed to dispatch another Daer that tried to run past him, but was caught by surprise when a scorpions stinger embedded itself into his right shoulder. The pain flare and Vyse let out a groan. He gritted his teeth and with his free hand, took hold of the stinger and tried to pull it free. The scorpion pushed, trying to keep the stinger lodged in Vyse's shoulder, but he overpowered the beast and managed to remove the razor sharp point. His gritted teeth turned into a smirk as Vyse held the stinger in his hand, and with his other hand, sliced the tail clean off. He tossed the limp appendage to the side and it shattered the moment it hit the ground. The scorpion, having lost its tail, now set about attacking with its pincers. The claws came forward at Vyse one after the other, and he deflected the blows with ease. Finally, he parried one of the pincers outwards, opening up the scorpions center. The second claw came towards him, open and poised to crush anything that got caught in its grasp. The attack did not bother Vyse however, and with a flick of his wrist, he severed the thin arm of the scorpion. The claw fell to the ground and shattered much like the tail he had severed moments before.
nejineji131
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The battle had begun and Nick and Vyse took the lead. It wasn't long until Wolf was greeted by two Wild Daer. The one on the left was a little faster than the other making Wolf move to the left to target the closer one. He held his blade up as he ran making no intention of swinging the massive weapon. The Wild Daer was foolish before him as it attempted to jump up at him anyways. A long red mark appeared along the side of the beast and Wolf stopped to turn around. The second Wild Daer stopped as well and quickly dashed up at Wolf. With his blade already in the air, Wolf moved it to where the monster was headed to, piercing it deeply.

Both monsters shattered at once and Wolf turned around to find more and more monsters making their way closer. Each little hit is going to add up in this battle of numbers. Wolf had to make sure to keep those hits to a minimum because the stampeding herd showed no signs of dying down.

Surprisingly, a smile appeared upon the giant's face. This was his battle ground. This was his calling.
Cystir
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The legendary monster fight had been a successful fight and nobody had even been injured who was a very positive note for Amon. Considering how desperate the boss fight had been on the last floor Amon was starting to fear that the group wasn't enough of a group to be able to progress much further before the worst had happened. Luckily the Amon's hopes had risen considerably and was about to congratulate everybody when Wolf said something odd. "Spartans!" Wolf's voice echoed. "What is your profession?" This stuck Amon as odd merely for the fact that the was no profession or job system in place in SAO. Amon then howled and Amon heard a low rumbling coming from well everywhere. "This is not going to be good." Amon said, a small amount of terror in his voice.

It wasn't hard to see what was going to happen next. It seemed as though every worm, daer, and scorpion from the floor flocked to the group from Wolf's shout. It was impossible to find out how many monster's there were, Amon's UI was so cluttered that it was hard to concentrate on any one monster. Amon decided that in the near future he would switch back to using his two-handed sword, he had a faint memory of somebody telling him that it took more skill to use a two-handed weapon than a normal one-handed one and he agreed with that person. Amon decided to go get a new sword after the quest was over when he had more money. Even though he was the only person in the group with heavy armor that didn't mean that he had to use a shield and sword, a tank could be just as effective without a shield right?

As all the monsters charged towards the group Amon saw Vyse and Nick charge the monsters head on, killing and dodging like mad men with smiles on their faces. Amon sighed and thought "These guys." then he shouted "Hey, wait for me! Don't end the party before I get in on this!" as he pulled out his sword and shield rushing the first oncoming daer.

As the daer approached Amon it's horn pointed right at Amon's gut, he held his ground until the las possible moment then slammed his shield into the top of the animal's head forcing it's horns into the ground and doing a full half circle catching the animal with a horizontal strike as it stood straight up. As soon as it seemed like the battle was going to be easy because of the monsters were so easy to kill but the sheer number of them was astounding.
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Well, it seemed that things were moving on very quickly. Noiki barely had time to blink and look around as suddenly Wolf shouted out "Spartans! What is your profession?" And howled too soon for Noiki to even remark on how that the grammar of that sentence was off. Noiki heard a deep rumble emit from the earth as monsters popped out. Now they littered the thin sheet of snow, like a hoard or an army. But as Noiki knew, it would be a very weak hoard/army. Yet, as people always say, strength is in numbers. And numbers were almost the only strength that these monsters had. It would take a while to dispose of them all.

Everyone began rushing at the monsters in different directions, everyone with different weapons. Noiki sighed and took out "Moonlight's Hearth" and thought about how this mad attack scene perfectly showed how disorganized the team was. Plus, there should've been more two-handed swords in this group. They are for the more skilled, you know, and if you have enough skill, then you're limiting yourself by sticking to a one'handed sword.

Noiki rushed into the swarming mass, doing what everyone else was doing: rushing at the nearest monster and striking blindly. Well, not exactly blindly, but there was definitely some free-for-all-baka-ness going on.

Well, Noiki was sure of one thing. There was an overpopularity of daer in the crowd. For every sand worm there were five daer, and for every scorpion there were like ten. Nearly everyone was fighting daer. So, Noiki decided to join in on the fun, and charged at the nearest one, her blood-red hair flying behind her.

She swept across it swiftly, swinging her sword to the side at the unsuspecting thing. A dark red line appeared on its side, and then vanished. Just that strike alone had gotten one third of it's health down. Noiki huffed and smiled to herself, thinking pleasantly how easy this was going to be when she noticed that the daer was actually... fighting back?! No! ((derp face)) It was charging at her, and at the very last moment Noiki sidestepped it. She rolled her eyes. She hoped that she wasn't underestimating these things, because so far her expectations had dropped to 3/10.
lenalee-chan
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When everybody was asked if they were ready, they all seemed to be fired up, ready to charge into battle. The howl was able to attract many monsters towards their direction. Now was a time to go completely serious and all out against the horde of monsters. A variety of odd and dangerous looking monsters charged forth at the group of players. The males in the group were eager to attack and already found prey to go against. From what she could observe, there were the packs of wild deer as well as snakes that traveled through the sand and scorpions. Fortunately these scorpions were not as big as the previous one they all faced against.Right now everybody seemed to doing their own thing. There was no organization in this assault, it was another free for all to try to get as much EXP as possible. Asuna was no position to give orders and there certainly no time to come up with a plan that would involve teamwork. At the moment she had no choice but to do what everybody else was doing.

Asuna sprinted forth towards the sand snake that was treading on the ground. The snake acknowledged Asuna as an imminent threat and charged forth at her, with its fangs forward. She jumped to the side to barely avoid the snake's incoming bite. Her jump allowed her to be only a few feet away at the right side of the snake's face. The rapier turned a green color as she sent a forward thrust that hit its mark perfectly. The sand snake hissed in anger as it was hit and its body slightly moved to the side because of the sudden force. It readjusts its head so that it would directly face Asuna again. The snake looked like it was about to attack her head on again but then it took cover in the sand. Right now the snake would try to catch her off guard, with the element of surprise on its side. Snakes did not have ears but they could most likely sense vibrations on the ground. That meant she would have to not move around so much and let the snake know of her presence. Or she could try to anticipate where it would strike next.

Every second felt like a minute. Time was moving so slowly as she was trying to find out where the snake would pop out next. Too bad there was no skill to actually drill underground. She relied on her feet to feel the ground for anything. The area around her was already shaky because of the stampeded of wild daer and scorpions. Suddenly her senses pick up a rumbling right beneath her! Before she could even take a split second to take a breath, she used her acrobatics skill to jump backwards to do a back flip. She landed with her feet skidding against the ground and found herself very close nearly face to face with the sand snake. The snake did surface at the spot she just was at a few seconds ago. The snake hissed at her and charged forth yet again. This time she stood her ground and at the very last second, jumped right over the snake and landed on it. Before the snake could shake her off, she performed a vertical strike which allowed her sword to slice against the snake's skin. The snake wildly trashed around and Asuna leaped off its back.

Asuna landed in a tumble and got herself right back up. It was really pissed off right now. She and the snake then faced off together in a fight that involved a lot of the snake trying its best to bite at Asuna. She would then narrowly dodge to the side or have to leap out of the way. There were several times when she was able to hit the snake at the same spot she hit on her first strike. It appeared that particular spot near the snake's face was its weak point. Now she finally reached the point when just one more attack could wipe the snake out. The snake then hid itself in the sand and it looked like it was going on the defensive. Right now she was trying to predict where the snake would strike next. She heard the sound of something massive penetrating through the surface and realized that it was coming right behind her. She turned around and braced herself as the snake was about to bite at her. Thankfully her reflexes were fast enough to react and she activated the linear sword skill. The rapier was able to impact within the snake's mouth, just as its fangs were just about to bite her. The snake exploded into polygons and Asuna went to find her next target. Her health was somewhat decreased but she was overall in good shape to continue fighting.
nejineji131
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The fight had begun and Wolf was about to have a great time. Three Wild Daer and a Scorpion charged at him next. The scorpion was significantly slower than the four legged beast and had arrived last. Wolf simply dodged the first two Daers and swung his two handed weapon at the air borne creature. It did some damage but it wasn't nearly enough to take it down. Instead, he merely redirected the monster to the side. Distracted, Wolf felt a pressure on his upper back and watched as his HP dropped a little. From the top corner of his eye, he saw the hooves of the beast that pounced his back.

Wolf turned around as a reaction and saw the last daer. One was redirected, one just jumped over him, and the last one was in motion to pounce him. This little piggy messed with the wrong wolf. Wolf's blade began to glow it's usual angelic white. He then performed Vyse's favorite move although this one started very low. Wolf brought his sword upwards to knock the Daer back while turning around to smash down the one that just attacked him creating what looked like a giant "C" with his weapon.

The scorpion was now within range to attack but Wolf wasn't going to let it. The third Daer just watched as its AI controls had a cool down until its next move. The scorpion attempted a three hit combo where it attacked with one pincher at a time and ended with stabbing with its tail. Wolf barely managed to block all three hits and was ready with a favorite move of his own. This move was the opposite motion of Vyse's. It began with his sword in front of him, pointing towards the ground. His sword then glowed as he began this vertical movement. The momentum of the swing was so strong that it brought Wolf slightly into the air and Wolf continued to swing until he faced forward again tracing a giant "O" with his sword. There was only one problem though, that third Daer had rammed his shoulder seconds before Wolf's blade hit the scorpion, only doing minimal damage to it. Wolf was now turning in the air but smashed the Daer that hit him, on his way down.

"Nice," Wolf said to the monster that caught him of guard. "But is that all you've got?" Wolf knew, one day, that his cockiness would come back to haunt him. But it wasn't his fault that he preferred things that way.
Caboose_
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Vyse looked his enemy over. The scorpion was badly damaged and was missing a claw and most of its tail. It was clearly at a disadvantage, but that did little to stop it as it again lunged forwards. Vyse lifted his buckler to absorb the blow, and a clang rang out as the sharp claw bounced off its surface. The attack was weaker than previous attacks, but the scorpion had determination. It backed away trying to ready another attack, but Vyse followed forwards to finish it off with a thrust. His blade pierced the tough exoskeleton, producing a glowing red wound and he pushed the blade deeper and deeper until finally, the scorpion broke apart and faded away. With his target now slain, Vyse set about finding a new one. The battle was getting chaotic, and the sound of his comrades could be heard over the rumbling of stampeding hooves, which told him that they had finally joined him. However, the only familiar face he had seen so far had been Nicks, and that had only been for a fleeting moment.

Enemies surged all around Vyse as he moved through the masses, the dark blade in his hands was a blur as he hacked and slashed his way forward, leaving a sea of glimmering polygons in his wake. Enemies, one after another, threw themselves at him, only to be cut down. His black cloak swirled as he danced between horn and fang, and his boots kicked up soft snow as he darted back and forth between enemies. He was in the zone.

Throughout the course of the battle Vyse had accumulated a few small hits, but they barely registered to him as he continued to cut his way through the enemies numbers. His concentration was broken however, when another scorpion managed to land a hit. The stinger grazed Vyse's thigh, and an alert ping sounded. He cursed his luck as a small green icon appeared under his health bar, poison. The hit had been glancing and the initial damage was minimal, but pain flared moments later and a small percentage of his HP dropped away. Vyse growled through gritted teeth and turned his attention to the scorpion, who was now winding up for a second strike.
Ushiromiy...
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This battle could be described in one word "Chaos
The only two members nick saw were wolf and vyse, but only for a fleeting second as he was mid-air.
he heard more shouts and curses and hoped the team would be alright, but this was no time
to stand on ceremonies, to win this.... no survive this he had to go all out.

A grin came on his face, this is what you've been waiting for nick, he thought, now you can go all out,
without fear or worries, just bask in this battle and come out stronger then ever.
Even if it's a game, it's not one you're meant to play, but you live in it.

A scorpion charged at him, stinger ready to strike, it came down but only hit dirt as nick nimbly dodged and saw the opportunity to strike
he let out a horizontal strike and sliced the tail clean off.
The scorpion let out a pained cry as it turned around and attacked with it's pinchers, nick failed to dodge and his left hand was cut off,
the system countdown began and his hand would regenerate in 10 minutes, with that hit his health bar had dropped by a quarter.

"I was careless" Nick said as he attacked the scorpion again and finished it off.
More enemies came and nick charged trough them leaving a line of polygons,
he saw vyse getting a hit and being poisoned.
The scorpion respossible was getting ready for a second strike.
"Oh no you dont!" Nick yelled and used berserker leap to close the distance betwean him and the scorpion.
In one clean hit the scorpion dissolved into fragments.
"You okay vyse?" Nick asked in the chaos, even tough he was looking worse for wear.
Caboose_
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The scorpion disappeared in a shower of fragments, and in its place stood Nick. He held his sword in one hand, his other arm ending abruptly in a red stump.
"You okay, Vyse?" Nick asked. Vyse was taken aback by the comment. Compared to Nick, He was fine. He looked again at the red wound where nicks hand should be.
"Nothing I can't handle, but you're going to need an extra set of hands." He said as he walked over to Nick and placed a hand in his shoulder. With that, the two players turned around to face the masses of enemies that now surrounded them. Vyse took a deep breath and raised his sword, ready to cut down anything in his way.

Together, Nick and Vyse kicked at the ground and flew at the enemies before them. They moved as one, slashing and ducking under one another, their attacks flowing like a well choreographed scene. A fresh pain flowered in Vyse's thigh, and he did his best to ignore it as his HP dropped little by little. The two continued to cut through the enemies numbers, shimmering polygons rising up around them. Through the glimmering shapes wafting through the air, Vyse catches a glimpse of a sand snake behind Nick, coiled and ready to pounce. As the snake strikes, Vyse darts around Nick and with the blunt edge of his buckler, he manages to brand the monster square in the jaw, sending its strike off course.
"I've got your back," He said over his shoulder, and a small smile crossed his lips.

Ushiromiy...
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"Nothing I can't handle, but you're going to need an extra set of hands." Vyse said to nick and put hit hand on his shoulder.

Both vyse and nick kicked off the ground at the same time, enemies disappeared in a shower of fragments to the teamwork they displayed.
Not bad, Nick thought when vyse darted around nick and slammed a snake into the air.
"I've got your back," He said, a smile crossed his lips.

"Let's do this" Nick said, both of them leaped at the same time towards a stampede of wild daer.
Both of them merciless, one after another the wild daer fell in their rampage, nick was still looking around for
the other team members, not knowing if they are surviving the stampede, but he didn't let his insecurity
get the better if him and kept up with the pace vyse had set.

They came out on the other side of the horde looking back.
His health had taken a small drop after the loss of his arm, he was now in the end of the green zone, nearing the yellow zone.

"There's no end to them." Nick muttered as he was watching the horde.
"Only one thing we can do tough..." He said as he gripped his sword. "You ready for the second round partner?" He asked vyce.
Caboose_
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"Let's do this!" Nick said. Vyse gave a nod, and again the pair leapt forwards. They were met by a handful of Wild Daer, but their assault was ruthless and soon they stood on the outside of the battle. Scanning the scene before him, Vyse searched for anyone from the group. He continued to watch, waiting for a familiar face to appear, but he couldn't distinguish anything from the chaos of the battle and a small twang of concern tugged at his heart. He soon shook off the feeling -but he could feel it still tugging in the back of his mind- and turned his focus back to more important things.

"You ready for a second round, partner?" Nick asked. Vyse gave a confident nod and a smile before raising his sword. Although his HP was sitting in the yellow, the poison would soon wear off and as long as he didn't suffer too many hits, his «Battle Healing» should keep him alive. I'd better be careful then he thought to himself as he watched the writhing sea of monsters before him.

Again the two players launched forwards, and into the horde they went once more.
lenalee-chan
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Two Wild Daer dashed straight at Asuna. The deer like beasts charged straight at her with their horns forward, attempting to impale her. If Asuna had a larger and heavier sword, she would have held her ground and done a horizontal slash at the two of them. However she chose to use her acrobatics skill to leap over them and land right behind them. The daer were confused as to where their enemy was and stopped in its path. They began turning their heads side to side, looking for where Asuna was. She took took advantage of their confusion by sending several linear strikes at their backsides. Their HP rapidly decreased but they were not defeated just yet. The daer turned towards Asuna's direction and charge at her. Asuna readied her rapier again and it turned a green color as she activated a sword skill. Just as the daer were about to collide into her, she unleashed the Vertical Arc technique. The technique allowed her sword to create a 2 hit V shaped strike that attacked the two daer. They both disintegrated into polygons afterwards.

The Daer were relatively easy foes compared to the sand snake she faced against earlier. She heard a loud hissing noise and turned to see where it was coming from. A scorpion was going at her in a hostile manner. She avoided the incoming pincers and parried them off with her rapier. At the same time the large stinger was coming down at her. Asuna was able to jump back in time to avoid being attacked by the pincer. The scorpion kept on trying to trap her using its pincers and she did her best to keep it at bay. Right now she had to focus on eliminating the tail and then getting the scorpion on its back side. However it would be hard to do the second task because her rapier was not a power type of weapon. She then decided to do a few back jumps to gain some distance from the scorpion. As expected, the scorpion went charging at her. She held her ground until the last second. Asuna jumped up high and just as she was close enough to its tail, she executed a horizontal strike that takes the tail off completely. She landed right on the scorpion's back. The monster was thrashing about madly because of how its tail was just cut off. Asuna continued her onslaught by unleashing out linear strikes at the scorpion's back. Afterwards she leaped off its back, trying to plan her next attack on it. Right now the scorpion's health was in the red zone.
nejineji131
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Wolf finished off the monsters before him with more ease than before. By this time his hp was mere seconds away from hitting the yellow zone but a bright green bar still appeared in his vision.

<<Resist>> Wolf looked behind him to find a group of scorpions attacking the tall fellow. His blade began to glow white once more. "I'm running low on swings. I'm pushing 8 right now. This thing is heavy." The thoughts ran through his head as he pushed back all four monsters.

Wolf kicked one even further back and stabbed his sword down onto another. The remaining two gripped hard at his legs and two <<Resist>> icons appeared before him. Wolf was now in the yellow but the pain wasn't going to stop him from relentlessly attacking the monsters. He grabbed them both by the tails and smashed them hard into the ground, one after until they both shattered into nothing.

He pulled his sword out of the ground and that monster shattered as well. Wolf readied his blade for the next attack. He scanned the battlefield and noticed the major decrease in numbers. Wolf's howl only called the monsters that were spawned at the moment of the call. But as he looked into the distance, he found the true cause to the massive earthquake.

"Looks like number two is about to join us," Wolf yelled over the ruckus. It was just as big as Scorpy and just as intimidating. The only bright side as of right now would be the amount of time they have until its estimated time of arrival. They were going to have to wipe out these weak ones asap.
erekson
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Galen had drifted off for awhile during the battle with Scorpy. After he had regained his senses from being sent into a cloud of dust and snow from the beast's throw, he began to get mad at Amon for calling off the attack. If he hadnt called off the attack, we could have finished that creature off even faster, he thought.

Galen then began thinking back to a memory...one in the real world...one he had tried so hard to forget.
It was about 3 years ago. Seemed so long ago...he thought. But the pain is still here, like it was yesterday. Galen and his family were Irish. It was surprising, he knew, because he was one of the few in his country that didn't have red or brown hair. His golden locks came from his mother. She had moved there long before he was born. Galen's mother was a military brat...always moving around to different bases because of her career as an air force pilot. She was American by birth, but after moving around her whole life, she finally settled in Ireland after retirement, and had fallen in love with his father...an ambitious, Irish businessman. After a few years of marriage they gave birth to Galen, and then later to his younger brother and sister. Galen's grandfather, on his father's side, was always there since he was a little boy. He spoiled Galen, and after some time, eventually told Galen about his family's history.

"Ya see me boy" his grandfather said, "We of the McDaniel's clan have always been there protecting this country since we was little lads." He would then give off that toothy grin that he always gave when he was about to tell one of his grand adventures.

"We McDaniel's have been around since Ireland was nothin more than a bunch o' huts and villages." his grandfather would continue. " We protected the first queen and king of Ireland from the Brits and even now you have cousins in the Irish Guard. However, we became most famous during the ole days because of our skill wit' one weapon."

Galen still remembered the look on his face as his grandfather went into the back of the house and pulled out his family's ancestral spear. Galen was in awe of its simplicity but also its beauty. It was a simple, yet elegant weapon with gold bands wrapped around its shaft and the spear head made out of this brilliant silver. I still couldn't believe how amazed I was at that weapon, he thought. I mean, I grew up during the era of guns. But that spear...it aroused something in my soul. It really did belong as a part of the family. Galen could feel his ancestor's presence around the weapon, as cheesy as that might sound.

His grandfather had then, after some years of practice and training, raised Galen to be a proficient spearman at the request of his father. But it took a lot of convincing from his mother, who felt it would only make Galen like violence using such a "primitive tool" as she called it. Galen enjoyed every minute he got to spend training with his Grandfather, and the time they had spent together. But his thoughts had drifted ultimately to that day...that dreadful day that everything in his life would change.

It was a day like any other. Galen had just gotten done training with his grandfather in the morning, and afterwards, like they always did, Galen and his Grandfather went to the store to pick up some snacks and a drink. Galen had even brought his friend along, Thomas, to hang out with him for the day. Galen and Thomas waited in the car as Galen's grandfather went inside the grocery store to pick up some food. As his grandfather returned, something seemed very wrong. A group of 3 men rushed him outside of the store, demanding his money and the goods. His grandfather refused, and a struggle broke out.

"Thomas! C'mon! We have to help Grandpa!" Galen yelled.

Galen and Thomas, though only in their senior year of high school, were very strong. They each rushed one of the men, risking their lives to stop the thieves. Galen saw the one man pull out a knife, and he quickly broke the man's wrist, kicking him in the groin before tackling him. After a long struggle, Galen had gotten the man in a head lock, with is knife against his throat, demanding the other man let go of his grandfather. Thomas had done the same, holding the other man down on the ground. The third man, seemed desperate and pulled out a gun while holding it against his grandfather's head.

"Put down tha' mates or else I'll shoot ya man dead on this here concrete" the thief yelled at the boys.

Galen looked at Thomas, who seemed to be really shaken by the gun. Thomas then shook his head at Galen before saying, "Im sorry Galen."

"Thomas, no!" yelled Galen. "We can take them. Don't let that man go. If you do, he will kill grandfather!"

"Im really sorry Galen" said Thomas.

Those would be the last words Galen ever heard from his friend. Thomas then released the man, and ran. He ran down the street, and never looked back.

"Thomas! You bastard! Why?!" yelled Galen in desperation.

The thief holding his grandfather hostage began aiming his gun at Galen now, along with the now released thief in front of him.

"Kill 'im, now!" yelled the lead thief at the one in front of Galen.

The third thief then shot at Galen, but Galen pulled his hostage toward the bullet, making him take the shot instead. The force knocked both Galen and his hostage to the ground, killing the hostage and scraping Galen's side. It also knocked Galen unconscious, as his head hit the street.

"No!" yelled Galen's grandfather as he kicked the thief holding him in the crouch, making the thief shoot off a round into the third thief's knee. The third thief began wailing as he hit the ground again, this time bleeding. Galen's grandfather then socked the first thief in the jaw, breaking it and knocking the man out. As he did, the third thief aimed off the ground, shooting off his entire clip into Galen's grandfather's chest. The gunshot sounds began to wake Galen up, as he heard screams and saw the thief run away, limping. Galen began to push off the dead man on top of him, and ran over to his grandfather's now lifeless body.

"Grandpa! No" cried Galen, tears running down his face.

Some more people had begun to arrive, and had called the police. They had even tried to comfort him, but Galen couldn't hear them, or even see their faces. All he could see, was the fact that his grandfather was dead...and someone was going to pay for it. Galen began following the trail of blood, carrying one of the thieves' pistols. He eventually found the third thief...dragging his one leg down the next alley. He turned and pointed the pistol at Galen, trying to shoot it. But Galen kept after him, undisturbed. He knew that the man had spent his clip shooting his grandfather. He had counted six shots, and heard the click of the empty clip. The thief tried in vain to fire the weapon, eventually ditching it and trying to get away. Galen then aimed the gun at the thief, shooting at his other leg, crippling the man. The thief screamed in pain, as he tried to drag his lifeless legs to get away. Galen then ditched his pistol, and pounced on the thief. The man tried to fight back, but it was too late. Galen began pummeling the thief. He just kept punching and punching...hoping to break the man's skull. He almost succeeded, until a bystander rushed in to stop him, awakening him from his rage...but not from his pain. His grandfather was dead...his best friend had left him alone to die...and there was nothing that would change either of those facts.

After the incident, his parents had done everything they could to keep Galen from getting in trouble with the law for taking matters into his own hands. The thief had lived and had gone to prison for murder, but Galen was still liable for assault. Galen's father used his contacts to allow Galen to finish school in Ireland that year. Afterwards, Galen's parents felt that it was best he study abroad while in college, hoping it would help clear his mind and get him away from the pain that had happened that day. Galen's mother had some friends in Japan, so she suggested he study there, and so he did...living with his mother's contacts while he was there. He liked it there, mostly because it allowed him to practice with his spear and martial arts. He hoped that by becoming stronger, he could honor his grandfather's memory.

That was almost 2 years ago since he arrived in Japan, and now here he was...stuck in an online world with some of the same problems. It would seem even here, his memories would not escape him. Galen was then distracted by a *ping* as a message popped up on his screen. <<Level 12>> Galen had finally leveled up a little since the boss fight from the previous floor. Galen then looked around as he noticed everyone had left...even Asuna. Where could they have gone? he thought. I guess Scorpy was finally defeated, but you think someone would have tapped me, sent me a message...something. Galen then heard some noise in the distance, as if a big battle had started. What the hell? That must be the gang.

When Galen arrived, he saw a large number of scorpions, wild daer, and even some
sand worms attacking the party. What did they do to attract all of this attention? he pondered.
He then caught a glimpse of Asuna's beautiful red hair flowing in the heat of battle, as she was fighting off waves of daer and scorpions. Galen rushed forth, swiping at monsters left and right on his way to Asuna. As he arrived, a daer just barely missed Asuna as it charged past her. Galen caught it off guard as he sprinted toward it, lunging forward with his spear on the left, stabbing the daer through the skull...shattering the daer almost instantly. Some more daer rushed Galen from the sides as placed his back against Asuna's. They jumped into the air, allowing Galen to swing his spear left and right, cutting the daer across their chests, shattering them as well.

"Sorry about that Asuna." said Galen. "I'm here now though. I've got your back."

Galen then stood guard, waiting for the next opponent.
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