As always a smile rested upon his face as he wondered through the fifth floor dungeon. He was in the lead group and he was soloing right now. He sighed as he cut through some lizard holding a shield and sighed. 'Better head back now' He thought as he looked forward at the door. 'This must be the boss's room" He added with a smiled. 'Should let everyone know.' He smiled a she lifted his teleporting crystal. He sighed as he took his first steps on the second floor in three days. He sighed as he opened the game menu and sent a mass message explaining that he found the Boss's room.
As the Grim Vulture was quickly closing, a thought floated through the man's head. Every time he had attacked, he had been trying a back-to-front downward slice. Although it made for a nice, deadly arc above his head, the Vulture needed only to strafe the attack and take a jab at him when his back was exposed after the attack. What if he reversed the slice, front-to-back, and caught it from behind instead? It was certainly worth a shot. His current plan wasn't working.
The man spun his grip on the sword's hilt so that his fingers faced upward rather than the back of his hand. He waited until he could clearly see its beady eyes, then let out a shout as he swung his sword with all his might. When the Vulture's talons were mere inches from his face, his blade connected with the beast from the back. A red damage line streaked through its frame as it was sawed in two, fell apart, and exploded into a shower of shimmering shards.
The man let out a long breath as his spoils menu popped open. No particular items of note, and merely a handful of Col for a reward. But at least now he was armed with the knowledge of how to handle this brand of avian foes. He closed the menu and sent his blade home to its sheath with a small feeling of satisfaction.
While the swordsman was making the trek back to the city, a notification popped up before him. He didn't have any friends, so who would be sending him a message? How curious. He tapped the little envelope and watched as the letter opened in a small menu. He quickly scanned through the text. "So they found the boss room, huh." He thought. "Well, good for them." He dismissed the message and continued to walk. Ever since a handful of players managed to clear the first floor, the man admittedly felt a pang of jealousy and desire. He wanted to be amongst the talented, heroic people that put it all on the line to advance to the further floors. But he understood that they only wanted the best to take on the bosses, which he was not. "Maybe someday, though."
The rest of his stroll was uneventful. He reached the gates to the city once more and felt the relief of being in a safe zone. Much as he enjoyed this world, he had to admit that nothing beat the feeling of reprieve from the looming death.
Level: 14 | HP100% HelloStalker!: No One | Floor 5 Town PreferredWeapon:「Angel's World」(One-handed Sword - Level 12; DMG: 15-25) NameColour: Green Puppeteer: Aki the Hokage
The brown haired man decided to go back to the crowded town on the 5th floor. He didn't know many people, being a soloist. It wasn't much fun not knowing anybody but he'd rather be isolated than break down because of the death game he had bought. He missed the small club he was in and his best friend, Aoki. He wondered if it'd be the same after he resurfaced from the game... He walked in a quick pace, with his sword out, killing monsters on the way. The man sighed with relief when he entered the town, sheathing his sword. He walked around, browsing through shops in the small town. All around him recognized him. He had obtained the title 'The Selfless One' during the beta testing of the game, a coincidence considering his username. He obtained the title by saving people all the time, like he did in real life. Taichi was naturally selfless, called 'selfless freak' by his girlfriend. It was quite funny actually. He plopped himself on a bench and sighed, taking out a sandwich that was about to expire. Of course when one starts eating, the expiry time gains by a few minutes. He wondered if anyone wanted to join him..? He looked like a nice guy after all.
The tall man casually browsed through his inventory as he walked to look over his spoils. He had hoped to have picked up an interesting looking item, but it was all just junk to sell to an NPC. Claws, teeth, tufts of fur, and things of that nature. Someone might like them for an obscure bit of crafting, but he couldn't be bothered with hunting down any such person. He stopped at a nearby vendor and unloaded his loot for a tidy profit. Almost all of which would likely be invested into health potions or new gear. Alas.
At the very least the sights were nice. There were plenty of tall buildings with unique architecture, featuring lots of angles and windows of interesting shapes and styles. Even though it was only the fifth floor, none of the cities looked alike. It really was exquisite here. It made the man wonder how such a well designed game, with so much love clearly put into the details, could be made into a death trap. How many people could truly appreciate the effort gone into all the design when they were fearing for their lives? It was such a curiosity. Kayaba Akihiko . . . what a strange and fascinating man he must be. "If I ever escape from this game alive, I hope that I can meet the man someday to learn the true purpose of this beautiful nightmare." He thought.
Time continued to flow by as the man roamed the streets. With each new floor, the streets grew emptier. It still wasn't uncommon to see players, but it was certainly worth noticing. Along his path, the man with snow white hair spotted a fellow helping himself to some food. He wasn't much of a talker and as such he tended to keep to himself, but maybe right now it wouldn't be so bad to be around another person. After all, any day could be someone's last. He approached the brown haired man and, unintentionally, cast his shadow over him. "Mind if I sit? He asked. The man's voice was a tad deep, but not so much to sound intimidating. Not in regular conversation, at least.
Nothing from him, she stood there a bit awkwardly "well come back when you have thought about it" she said to him as she stepped out from her shop. She supposed she was just not a peoples person, not many spoke to her and her life was more loenly here then it had been in her real life. Not a friend, or even a foe around these parts. She sighed letting her mind wander again, she should have just never ended the game.
She walked down to a little cafe, she was just going to get some food and make her way towards the out skirts of town to collect herbs and hunt animals, maybe one will drop a rare item...that would be lucky.
((In the interest of trying to keep this thread from dying, I'm going to move on from you Aki. If you come back and say something before allbymyself responds, I'll retcon this post and continue with the flow. Sorry!))
It seemed that the other man's lunch was occupying all of his attention. Not wanting to get between him and it, the tall one left the other person to his meal.
The white-haired man continued pacing around town. He was fully recovered and should probably get back to training at some point, but he could spare some time to have a break a little longer. After all, it's not like there was any kind of rush.
He passed the occasional person. They all seemed occupied or were conversing with someone, so he didn't interfere. Eventually, though, he noticed a blonde young lady that seemed to have a bit of a troubled look on her face. His brow quirked slightly and chanced approaching her. "Hey. Is something wrong, miss?"
She turned her head snapping from her trance, she blinked a few times looking up at the snow haired male speaking to her. No one around here asked her such things, so it caught her off guard. "Oh..." she said seeming frazzled for being noticed "I...I... I..." she stoppped and sucked in a breath, "Sorry, you caught me off guard, it is not like others to ask about my concerns, I am perfectly fine, just worrying about the normal, my real life... skills... making a living till we get out of here." She sputtered. The girl was obviously socially awkward.
No wonder her brother gave her this nervegear.
He listened to the young lady struggle to find some words. Though he wasn't sure what exactly was on her mind, he had at least been right that she was bothered. The only problem was that he didn't really know how to respond. His social skills weren't too great either, especially when it came to offering comforting words. He wondered if, instead, he could change the subject to something he was a little more knowledgeable about. "What do you think of this place? Aincrad?" He proceeded to ask.
A change of subject? well at least it was something easy to converse about. "Its like a world from my dreams" she said in a smoother manner, her hands combing threw her blonde hair. "However such sweet dreams always become others worst nightmares" she softly spoke looking down "I am not good at fighting games, just the idea of being in a fantasy world made me excited for this game... boy doesn't God love playing with those who turn from reality?" she turned as her food was ready, put in a bag and handed to her as she left a coin.
The albino leaned against the wall to feel more comfortable. He watched the light activity in the streets while he listened to the lady as she offered he thoughts. He found it interesting to hear a religious reference in a place like this, where it was humanity that crafted such a world and dictated its rules. Some people had stronger ties to the real world than others, he supposed. "Is it so wrong to want to turn away from reality?" The man said. "Reality is governed by people, ones that change it as they see fit to benefit themselves. Others are left to suffer in the process. We're left at the mercy of politics and 'proper channels' if we ever hope to make things more to our liking. But here, in Aincrad, no one controls us like that." He shifted his stance a little bit to make himself more comfortable. "The rules never change, and that lets us strategize to meet our goals, however distant they may be. Our progress is dictated only by how much we want to work, not whether someone else will ultimately allow us to advance. This place makes us all equal, in capability and opportunity."
Her lips parted as she stared up at him, did he really just say that? "We were forced to stay in a game, yes reality is unfair and sometimes unfit but being forced to stay in a place that I was hoping as an escape and is now a prison is a bit more unsettling then the names children would call me at home." She huffed watching the Albino before narrowing her eyes "You might like it here, this may be your dream, to fight and fight thinking about what upgrade to get next... but this place stresses me out..." she sighed, guess who was venting now? "I am not good at anything here... no one will give me the light of day and I cannot get my hunting or search skills high enough fast enough."
A smiled poked at his cheeks as he was scolded, but only for a moment. "It seems like you have the mentality that this is still just a game, albeit one with high stakes. But it's not. At least, not in my opinion." He shifted his stance once more. Socializing was kind of interesting. "Skills and equipment are important, sure, but if they were all that mattered, why would the game be like this?" He turned his head to properly look at the lady. "The designs of the people, buildings, monsters, and landscapes. The stories from the quests. The abilities outside of combat that we have at our disposal. Even the ability to marry other people. The level of detail gone into this game makes it clear that Kayaba Akihiko wanted this place to be far more than just game - he wanted it to be a fully realizable life. One that we can die in, just like our own. One with a real promise of something waiting at the end, not something we merely hope for. I'm not saying what he's done is right, but he's given many of us the kind of lives and opportunities we could never possibly have otherwise."
The man lightly pushed himself off of the wall and rolled his shoulders a bit. Try as he might, stone wasn't comfortable to lean against for long periods of time. "I'm guessing you don't really care about that, though. I might be able to help you with your skills. You're still alive, so you must have some talent for this."
She blinked at him, she had not expected his words, and they sunk in slowly. they were certainly true, even though techincally this was a game.... it was her reality now. She had just been in denial for so long, and certainly hoped one day she would wake up in the world she used to know. She smirked a bit and let out a short chuckle. How blind she felt she had been, and how blind she wished she could continue to be. She was caught off guard again with his offer, "would you really?" she asked her eyes brightening at him "how?"
"I'm getting a knack for how things work here. You said you were working on Combat and Searching skills, right? Searching is easy enough, you just have to start looking for clues about something you're trying to find. Quests help a lot with it, since the game seems to pick up better on stuff that's hardwired into the system rather than just you just looking for things. As for combat . . ." The man drew his sword and gave it a spin in his hand. "Well, we're all still here because we've gotten used to it to some degree. I'm not nearly as good as other people, but if you watch how monsters behave, it's easier than you think. Still gotta react fast, but knowing what's coming makes it less stressful."
((I didn't see an actual Hunting skill on the SAO wiki so I assumed you just meant general fighting.))
"But... your more likely to die in quests" she said to him biting at her lip "why don't I just hang around you... I won't be your responsibility or anything, but I can learn alot from someone who knows what they are doing" she smiled softly "Just for a few days, I can pay you what little I have I have left if you need, I am starting to honestly get desperate, plus I own a shop now, It still needs work but I have one!" she put her hands together "I don't know your name... I am Cora"