So here we are, my second fic on this site.

There're a few things I want to get out of the way first. Firstly, I'm gonna have to apologize for starting this one instead of the Clannad fic that led up to the other Clannad story. I still lack too many things to start on that story.

Secondly, this story isn't just going to be a simple DxD and SAO crossover with no changes to the characters. Some characters of one verse will have interacted with the other verse before this story takes place – as in, two of Rias' peerage were among those stuck in the death game. I'm giving away spoilers too early… yeah, there's that and some other stuff. Well, enough rambling, on to the story.

Obligatory Disclaimer: I do not own either SAO or High School DxD any more than I own an allowance (yeah, I really don't have one)

Prologue: The Death Game

The year was 2022. A great crisis had occurred across the cities of Japan. A crisis that left ten thousand lives hanging in the balance.

This was not supposed to happen. The breakthrough technology that was FullDive was only supposed to be a revolutionary method of VR gaming. It was not supposed to become the object of sheer panic and hysteria wherever there was a LAN connection.

Not knowing what was to come, ten thousand eager players had logged into the VRMMORPG named Sword Art Online, excited about the prospects it had offered. The one thousand beta players who had had experience with the game also had no idea of its creator's plans.

It was a unanimous opinion that Kayaba Akihiko, creator of the revolutionary NerveGear was a certified madman. What other reason would there be to trap ten thousand unknowing people of varying ages in an artificial world where they would live in fear of death every waking moment?

This was what most of the world knew. And what most of the world didn't know, was that Kayaba Akihiko was not exactly human.

Ambulance sirens blared outside an average home somewhere in Japan. A teenage girl, only thirteen years old, cried into her mother's shoulder as a boy was moved from the house into an ambulance. The boy wore a large grey helmet and had slightly long black hair. He was an avid gamer and was one of the lucky people who had gotten the chance to be a beta tester for the game. The game that now held him prisoner.

Kirigaya Suguha did not understand. She did not understand why this had to happen. It was only a few days ago that she had decided to finally to reconcile with her brother, who had grown distant after his decision not to pursue kendo like their grandfather had done. After years of being strangers under the same roof she had finally decided to make an attempt at reconciliation.

And just then fate decided cruelly to take away that one last chance.

Why? Suguha thought. Why didn't I try to make up with him sooner? Why didn't I try to before it was to late?

Her last chance had gone. Kirigaya Kazuto was sentenced to a gradual death in a different world. And she never even had the chance to say goodbye.

"Suguha…" her mother said. "Don't worry. You heard what that lunatic said. If they can beat the game, they'll all come back."

Kayaba Akihiko had indeed broadcasted the moment of the revelation throughout Japan. Seconds after which all the hospitals deployed every ambulance they owned to hurriedly bring all the ten thousand gamers to physical safety in the two hours of safe time he had allotted. All the roads were hurriedly cleared of any other vehicles as the ambulances broke the speed limits in a race against time.

Suguha did not care about any of that. All she could think of at the moment was her own stupidity and slowness in making a decision.

Kirigaya Midori was trying her best to keep up a brave face for her daughter's sake. Kazuto was not her son by birth, but she had raised him as such. And so she knew him for who he was.

Which was why she could stop herself from tearing up.

Suguha looked up when her mother placed a hand on her shoulder. Looking up, she saw Midori's determined expression through her tears.

"He'll make it out. Just you wait, Sugu, he'll be the first one out of there."

Midori spoke with such conviction that Suguha was tempted to believe her right away. But the doubts would not disappear as easily as that. "How can you be so sure of that?" she asked, her eyes betraying her fears. "How can you be so sure that this game won't kill him off? The news reports said there's already over 200 of them gone. He could easily be the next!"

"I can be sure because I know Kazuto. And so, you shouldn't worry either."

Suguha was confused. What was she talking about?

"You haven't forgotten, have you?" Midori said, a wry smile beginning to form on her lips. "Kazuto was always an avid gamer, and was always obsessed with making himself the best player possible. Do you think it's possible for someone with that mindset to lose to something like this?"

"But Okaa-san!" Suguha cried out, "this isn't just a game!"

"That might be true, but it still functions as such. And so, it is not a place where Kazuto can lose in. No, he'll definitely be one of the people who will end this game with their own hands. You can count on it."

Suguha was not completely reassured. It was only human nature to think of everything that could go wrong. This wasn't any ordinary game. This was not a game controlled by a keyboard or a console. This was one where you used your own hands to survive.

Suguha decided she needed some time alone. "I'm gonna go for … for a walk," she told her mother, beginning to walk off. Her mother gave an understanding look, and turned away.

Suguha took small hesitating steps to the end of the road and turned a corner. Once out of sight, she looked forward at the two paths that branched off, one towards the park and the other continuing along the main road.

Things could have gone very differently. Suguha could have chosen to walk along the main road and return some time later without any major event happening. But she took the different choice. She didn't know why, but she ran at full speed down the path to the park.

She didn't know either that making that particular choice would drastically change her life.

Another ambulance departed from a much larger residence.

Here, however, there were dozens of cameramen and journalists, eager as ever to get a story regardless of the situation.

This was because the large house that the ambulance departed from with a fifteen-year-old girl was the house of the CEO of RETCO, the company that built the NerveGear according to Kayaba Akihiko's instructions. This was the home of Yuuki Shouzou, whose daughter had just succumbed to the same fate as nine thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine others.

His wife, Yuuki Kyouko was dealing with the persistent press. The journalists were eager to put words in her mouth, such as "was she willing to trap even her own daughter in the game in accordance to Kayaba Akihiko's wishes?" or "were they helping hide the perpetrator of this national crisis?" or the like.

Kyouko for her part, was getting increasingly annoyed. The paparazzi had always only amused her, but in a situation like this, they were grinding her nerves. After a particularly irritating question – or rather, a request for a 'confirmation', she stomped back into her house and slammed the door shut.

Her husband and her son were both sitting on the sofa staring at the blank TV screen, both of them dazed and unbelieving. Kyouko did not know whether to be relieved that it wasn't her son, who had bought the wretched device, was the one who was trapped, or worried that it was rather her studious daughter who knew next to nothing about such things.

Kyouko did not understand what led her daughter to even try using the thing. Asuna used to share her mother's sentiment that gaming was an unnecessary pastime that did nothing more than harm a person's academic progress. Even though she really did not have any need of it.

"What do I do…?" Shouzou asked blankly. "What can I do to change this?"

He was not speaking to anyone in particular. His son nodded vaguely, still likely wondering what would have happened had he put on that helmet.

Kyouko answered for them. "For now, we wait. I'll go looking for answers tomorrow. For now, let's hope that Asuna is capable enough to survive this monstrosity of a world."

Kyouko always had a cool head, and she prided herself on that. But now she wished that she was able to, like others, let out all her frustration at something, anything. And as such, she would begin searching for a target to vent her anger at as soon as she could.

She and Asuna may have had their occasional differences, but they were still mother and daughter. And now that the daughter was in danger, it was her duty as a mother to find and destroy the cause of the harm.

Another ambulance left the small, humble residence of the Hyoudou family. Their only son had been captured by a madman's machinations and was left to fend for himself.

The Hyoudous stood at their door, watching the ambulance disappear. They were powerless to do anything about the plight their son had fallen in. The husband comforted the sobbing wife as they both began to slowly walk back inside.

They had no choice but to wait and pray. To pray that their son would make it out alive.

[This is indeed worrying,] a being residing in someone's left arm spoke. No one could hear it, not even its possessor.

[Even if I had managed to establish contact before this, I don't think I would be able to do so in this current state. He's surely awake, but somehow out of my reach]

The being fidgeted worriedly. Had it had a physical body, it would be flapping its giant red wings in discomfort.

[Am I fated to disappear before I even face the White One this time around?]

The Welsh Dragon, Ddraig, did not know how to escape this predicament. And as such, he could only hope that his current host would be wise enough to either fight for his life, or preserve himself until somebody else destroyed the prison. Thinking this far, he laughed.

[What a cowardly way to think. If Albion heard me, I'd never hear the end of it.]

"What do you mean it's not going to work?!"

In a secluded room in a private hospital, a red-haired girl shouted in disbelief. How could such a thing happen?

"We've tried many things, Rias," Sirzechs Lucifer, one of the Yondai-Maou and Rias Gremory's older brother explained to her. "However… no, I suppose it would be better to show you."

He turned to the hospital bed where a blond-haired boy was connected to a life-support system. Creating a small red-black sphere in his hand, he moved it near the helmet.

Instantly, a pale-blue hexagonal barrier appeared around the grey device. Words appeared on the shield:

Warning: Any attempt to disable or destroy the NerveGear through magical means will result in activation of the microwave radiation and kill the user of the NerveGear. Please move away from the NerveGear within ten seconds.

Rias Gremory, heiress to the Gremory house, paled at the sight. As far as she knew, it was only a human-made video game where you could move around with your own hands and legs. A virtual world where her Knight Kiba Yuuto had said he would be able to gain some experience with using his sword. She didn't understand why he wanted to use a game to gain experience when he already had an exceptionally skilled master. All Yuuto had said was, "I want to try going all-out against people without the risk of killing anyone. A game like this would be suitable."

And yet here he was, he himself under threat of death from the device he wanted to use. And she was not able to do anything about it.

Rias felt like she had failed her Servant. She felt like a failure of a King.

"Rias," her brother said, looking at her worriedly. "Don't blame yourself. None of us could have predicted this. In fact, there are actually many, many devils also trapped in this game. Yuuto-kun is not the only one."

"But … how? How is something made by humans for entertainment able to defend against demonic powers and magic?" Rias asked.

Sirzechs did not answer. He remembered Ajuka apologizing for letting him out in the human world. He remembered how adept he was at both human and devil technology, and had learned to mix the two.

He decided to tell Rias right out.

"Because the creator of Sword Art Online, Kayaba Akihiko, is not human."

Phew, that was one long introduction.

So yeah, you can already see the changes I made in the story. I can't say much except the surprises still aren't over.

The reason I put Issei and Kiba into SAO … well, you're gonna have to read and find out. Once I put up the next chapters that is. Now I see why sometimes it takes so long to update a story.

Anyways, Punitor567 out. R&R please. El Psy Congroo