A Hunters Purpose
Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter or Sword Art Online
Notes: ... *Bows in apology* Sorry for the really long wait beautiful people... Hopefully this chapter will make it up to you guys! AN on the bottom
Warning: OOC, Violence, fluff. (Lemme know if you spot any more warnings guys)
It was obvious to Harriku that Kirito was upset with the confrontation with Asuna during the Floor Boss meeting. The plan the lieutenant commander had come up with would be effective, but Harriku had thought of three alternate ways to go about on killing the boss. Too bad the hunter knew well enough that Asuna was already set on her own plan on using NPCs as a diversion. Adding with the fact that she wouldn't really appreciate his ideas when it was clear that she was displaying her authority. In his mind Asuna was right on NPCs respawning though the cons of her plan had others question if she has a conscious towards real players in the game if she so easily throws away NPCs that seemed so similar to real civilians. The dubious murmurs were already proof within the meeting had most of the players were second guessing the plan, but Harriku was sure that Asuna's plan would work, no matter what other players thought. Kirito still had his morals and the older male was grateful for that trait, but the hunter also understood Asuna's standing position as the leader of this boss fight. He may not completely agree to her plan, but he understood.
Glancing to his side to see a solemn looking Kirito, Harriku inwardly sighed in exasperation on how both him and Asuna always seem to argue at every floor boss meeting they had. Finding out the history between the two from Kirito, Harriku was curious onto why Asuna held so much annoyance and anger towards the the swordsman. Luckily the hunter was now there to sooth Kirito's irritation and calm Asuna's anger whenever they clashed. It amused him to no end to know that a lot of the front line players were grateful to him for calming the two before they caused a large commotion.
Brought out of his thoughts by a needy yip from his partner Harriku frowned when he saw Kirito still looking upset, even when the playful Kuroma nudged him for attention. The idea of sacrificing NPCs still didn't sit well with Kirito and seeing the small frown on those soft lip had Harriku contemplating on staying out of this floor boss fight this time. Taking Kirito with him to the new hidden floor he found to kill some real monsters instead of dealing with sacrificed NPCs. But shaking away those thoughts quickly when he could clearly see that Asuna would skin him alive for not attending the fight and for taking another player with him. Well not that she could, but Harriku didn't find it pleasing to hear her nag and scold and glare at him for three good hours of the day. Adding to the fact that Kirito wouldn't abandon the floor Boss battle no matter how or what the strategy was on taking them on or how he felt about it.
Glancing at Kirito once more the hunter came up with the perfect plan to cheer up his favorite swordsman. A smile crawling onto his lips as he subtly led his swordsman to the perfect spot.
Kuroma yipped loudly with excitement as he ran ahead of the two players towards a large old tree that perfectly sat atop a small hill. Harriku smiled fondly at his partner's energy shaking his head with a chuckle when Kuroma laid beneath the tree's shade and eagerly waited for them to approach. Hearing a confused sound from Kirito, the hunter saw the obvious question onto why they were here. Which Harriku easily responded with an amused smirk and tugged his hand, pulling him towards the already relaxing fox.
"Lets take a small break Kirito." Harriku suggested, unequiping his cloak and placing his newest katana beside Kuroma's front paws. "The weather calls for it, don't you agree?" He asked, letting out a satisfied grunt and sigh when he sat down and laid back against Kuroma's large body. Smiling at the lick on his cheek from his partner, Harriku reached to give a grateful scratch to the large kitsune before closing his eyes with another happy sigh.
Kirito stared down at the peaceful two for a long confusing moment. Taking the time to actually admire the relaxed form of the hunter and fox laying under the cool shade and gentle breeze. Kirito had noticed that after spending so much time with Harriku, the hunter usually had his guard up around crowds or people he doesn't know much about. Even with a teasing happy facade the hunter had as his mask, Kirito had managed to see through it easily.
Teaming up with the hunter constantly had given Kirito the special look beneath Harriku's mask to see something that is never known as common knowledge with others. To know the little quirks and pet peeves of the hunter, his habits and moods in different situations made Kirito feel special.
For example Kirito knows that Harriku really dislikes guilds and has a unique talent in avoiding them most of the time. He enjoys experimenting on his cooking skills and when he's bored he plays with with his unique skill and switches small weapons in his hands constantly just to kill the dull time. The hunter also had a major sweet tooth, which Kirito secretly found cute and funny when he had once watched green eyes brighten up in childish glee at a new sweet recipe he had mastered. There were many things Kirito learned about Harriku and whenever he learns something new about the hunter he would feel a huge amount unreasonable happiness tingle in his body. Being the only one to see and experience everything that was Harriku. To be able to tell what his smirks really meant, to know a fake smile to a genuine one. It was overwhelming and heartwarming at the same time.
Kirito really didn't understand how knowing minor things about Harriku would make him feel so much inside. With just a smile. A touch. He just-
A sudden deep chuckle brought Kirito out of his inner musings, causing him to look down to see Harriku watching him with half lidded eyes and a lazy smirk. "What has you smiling like that Kirito-kun?" The hunter asked with a knowing gleam in his eyes. Immediately feeling heat rising to his cheeks, Kirito sputtered "N-nothing!" Shaking his thoughts of the presently smirking hunter and ignoring the skipped beat of his heart.
The hunter grinned at the growing blush rising on the swordsman's cheeks- his secret pleasure and favorite pastime whenever it was only just the two of them alone. Finding it both endearing and cute at how easy it was to fluster the younger player despite how serious Kirito could be sometimes. Deciding to indulge in more of his secret pleasure, Harriku's hand flashed in a rapid move to grab Kirito's wrist and pulled. A startled yelp escaped Kirito when he was tugged, disorienting his vision as he fell right beside Harriku and onto Kuroma's soft body.
"You okay there Kirito-kun?" Harriku asked teasingly, grinning with his usual amusement when Kirito sat up to glare at his friend, even when his ears were burning pink with embarrassment.
"Jerk..." Kirito mumbled with a halfheartedly, but the hunter just shot him a cheeky smirk that had butterflies flutter in his stomach. Grumbling at how the older male could be so charmingly annoying Kirito plopped down to lay beside the hunter, humming in appreciation towards the sleeping Kuroma. Shutting his eyes in attempt to childishly ignore the other but failing when he jolt in surprise at feather light brushes combing his hair. Stiff for a few seconds until he melted under the gentle touches, releasing a soft sigh of contentment.
Feeling his lips twitch upward Harriku felt pride and warmth seep in his heart when he felt Kirito relax under his ministrations. Grinning when he heard the swordsman's breathing deepen into slumber a few minutes later.
A wet nudge of Kuroma's nose on his cheek, Harriku absentmindedly reached to give his partner a pat on neck and sighed quietly when a breeze blew by. Adjusting his body to a lazy slouch on his fox the hunter pulled a sleeping swordsman closer to his body. A small smirk tilting his lips when Kirito unconsciously turned to cuddle closer to him, his hand reaching to clutch the hem of his shirt.
"You tempt me so easily Kirito-kun" Harriku murmured fondly, curling his hand to brush against the soft cheek. His hand then somehow found its way back to run his fingers through Kirito's soft black hair. With his free arm pillowing his head the hunter closed his eyes and lost himself in a light doze.
It wasn't until he felt the rumbling growl from under him that Harriku opened one eye to the approaching threat. Spotting the figure walking towards the three of them with a determined gleam in their eyes only had the hunter sigh in quiet exasperation but relaxing his body from when he tensed up.
Reaching to scratch the large kitsune's ear as a silent command to relax Harriku closed his eyes intending to return to his dose.
Unfortunately he knew it wouldn't deter the princess from giving him a lecture on why he was slacking again.
Turning his body to face the slumbering Kirito, he nuzzled the crown of the ravens hair with a silent sigh. Harriku purposely tried to ignore the looming shadow that had approached and was now standing above him. But after a long moment of silence and feeling the burn of the angry glare baring down on him Harriku could only huff in defeat and open one eye to look up at a glaring Asuna.
Sighing internally Hariku mentally prepared to be - once again - lectured by the lieutenant of KoB.
"What do you think you're doing?" Asuna asked with obvious annoyance at the fact that two of the strongest players of SAO were, of all things, sleeping carelessly under a large tree. Her eyebrow twitched in ire when only one green eye opened to look up at her, only to close in intention of ignoring her.
"Harriku!" The rapier wielder growled out, glaring down at the lazy green eyes that opened to look at her. "How can you be so lazy? Other players are working hard in the front lines to clear the floor and you're like you-!"
"Asuna." The hunter quietly cut Asuna off with just speaking her name. When he got her attention he stared straight into her stubborn eyes with an eyebrow raised, as if silently scolding her causing her to glare right at him. After a silent stare off between them the brunet was the first to turn away with a growled huff, folding her arms across her chest in clear annoyance.
That's when the hunter let out a fond exasperated sigh to receive another small glare. Smirking lightly he sat up and reached out his hand towards the annoyed girl with expectation in his eyes. A tilt of his head was was the only sign of silently prompting Asuna take his hand. Rolling his eyes when Asuna reached out her own hand and stopped, obviously hesitating to think about why he was even offering her to take it. But before she could pull back Hariku took his chance grabbed and then pulled Asuna forward, twisting her body in a swift skillful movement as she fell.
"Ah!" Crying out in surprise Asuna shut her eyes tightly and braced herself for the fall. Her eyes snapping open when instead she felt soft fur pressed up against her back rather than the hard earth. Blinking and turning her head she saw Harriku smirking at her with mirth and Kirito on the other side of him, still sleeping peacefully. She opened her mouth to scold and demand from the old teen but she was once again silenced by the hunter when large hand abruptly covered her eyes and gently pushed her back to lay against the large fox body behind her.
"Hush princess" Harriku softly coaxed Asuna, his hand still firmly covering those strong brown eyes. Blocking off the bright sun from her sight, and making her feel the fresh gentle breeze blowing by it took a couple subtle moments until Harriku got Asuna to finally relax. A small smile on his lips when he heard an almost inaudible sigh escaping from Asuna's lips.
"Do you disapprove of my plan to get rid of the floor boss Harriku?" Asuna finally asked in a quiet whisper. Her hands reached up to hold onto the large one that covered her eyes, but not removing them. "Do you think I'm cruel because I'm sacrificing NPCs? Because I'm-"
"No." The hunter cut Asuna off from continuing, his voice firm and reassuring at the same time. "I don't and won't think that of you princess. Despite what other players think of your plan on the upcoming fight, you came up with a method that will help us achieve our goal in defeating the floor boss."
It was almost amusing on how easily Asuna slumped against Kuroma in relief. Still covering Asuna's eyes Harriku turned his head to look at Kirito still cuddled close to his side. Remembering how upset the swordsman was after the meeting he reached out with his free hand and brushed raven locks away with his knuckles. Smiling fondly when Kirito unconsciously leaned into his touch.
"The two of you both have your views on this world Asuna." Harriku said quietly, knowing he got her attention as he looked back at her. "You both strive to be free from this fake reality. I can feel your worry for the outside world and this world. Where civilians are getting use to this fake reality not realizing that their bodies on the outside is just withering away. I understand it. I understand your urgency. Your fear."
"Don't deny it" Harriku ordered softly. "We all have that natural fear of death. That fear is what makes us different from the fake monsters in this game."
"Then how can you laze around-!" Asuna demanded, now clearly upset, pulling off Harriku's hand from her eyes, blinking away the brightness of the sun. Quickly sitting up she crossed her arms around her chest and tried to stare Harriku down. "You say that we all fear death but right now we're losing our lives every single day in the real world."
"That may be so, but right now we're alive. Right here, right now. We're alive." Harriku looked at her with a small smile. The rare stunned expression the hunter received was always worth the entertainment. Reaching over and quickly flicked the KoB commander's forehead the hunter yawned and laid back down in his previous position, closing his eyes with the intention of going back to sleep "We strive. We fight. We survive. But what is it all worth if you don't live?"
The hunter stretched like a large content cat and hummed contently. "I've told you before princess. Breath a little..." With that last soft murmur Harriku was back to dozing, not seeing Asuna stare at him with contemplation.
A warm breeze blew by making her look up to view the beautiful scenery around her and realizing something.
It was peaceful. After spending so much time in dungeons fighting for so long, she forgot that there so much beauty in this world as much as it has its ugliness.
Looking down she saw Harriku relaxed and peaceful. His arm curled protectively around the black swordsman who was now cuddled comfortably on the broad shoulders of the older teen. Asuna was then brought out of her gaze as a soft furry tail brushed up against her cheek making her look at golden fox eyes staring at her curiously.
Kuroma tilted his head and stared at the lieutenant for a few more silent moments before finally deciding that she wasn't a threat. Two white tip tails then gently insistently pushed her back to lay down against him making Asuna huff out a noise of confusion. Narrowing her eyes when the large fox went back to ignoring her by laying his head down an d going back to sleep.
"Rude..." Asuna mumbled, thinking that the fox was exactly like its master when it comes to attitude. It was after she wiggled in her place to get comfortable, that she felt the warm sun shining through the cool shade adding with the soothing breeze had her yawning widely. Her eyes grew heavy with drowsiness making her think that she was more tired than she had realized.
'Maybe I can take a small nap for now...' with that last thought Asuna fell into Morpheus' embrace.
It was the familiar jingle of a private message that had awoken Harriku from his doze. Yawning tiredly and blearily blinking away the small tears in the corner of his eyes he absentmindedly reached out to scratch Kuroma's ear to wake his partner up. Harriku then looked down and smiled fondly to see Kirito sleeping soundly, cuddled close to him. The hunter's arm had found its way around the swordsman's waist during their little nap. Not that Harriku was complaining. Turning his head to the other side the older teen couldn't help the amused smug smirk from stretching his lips when he saw an adorable sight of a fierce cold lieutenant-commander of the Knights of Blood curled up like a cat sleeping peacefully.
Another jingle caught Harriku's attention making him turn back to his open menu and seeing that he retrieved a second message. His eyes narrowed at the sight of the second message that was sent so quickly after a first one and it had him slightly more alert than before. Not releasing Kirito from the loose embrace, the hunter carefully sat up from his slouched position from where he was laying against his beast partner.
It may seem like a normal thing for a normal player to receive multiple messages at once. But Harriku never really considered himself a normal regular player in SAO. He was the only hunter in the death game after all.
And when it comes to being a hunter, there was always a significant meaning in receiving multiple messages all at once.
The number of jingles from his messages were what let Harriku know that it was from one of his information brokers. He had multiple connections that kept track on some of the PK guilds and rouges in the lower floors and are reporting some information on suspicious sightings.
One message jingle was usually from his friends or small alerts.
Two message jingles were from his connections that had information on small PK guilds and rouges.
Three jingles were from his informant that had the valuable information on either the Laughing coffin or Jormungand. It was always a bad sign whenever the hunter received three messaged at once.
In the end it usually brought grief to families and friends, rage to those that want revenge, and breaks a players will to move on.
And it was to Harriku's unfortunate luck that he heard a third message jingle in his messages.
Tensing at the third jingle Harriku skillfully maneuvered Kirito off his chest- careful not to wake the swordsman- and swiftly opened the first message he received.
The hunter scanned the message and immediately recognized it as a copy of a map. Specifically floor 60 dungeon field of naga. A small note at the end of the message.
Location of Lestrange twins. Rumors confirmed.
Six words was all it took for emerald eyes to sharpen with intensity.
Not a moment later the second message was opened and this time it was an attachment of four different pictures.
The first picture was of the famous Rasbatan and Rodolphus Lestrange standing with a group of men laughing. They were infamous players from the guild Jormungand, both brothers holding down the fourth commanders position respectively. They're weapons of choice was a heavy broad ax and were a heavy threat when brought into actual combat. They were also known to aim for couples in the game, toying them like any venom player would, before breaking one in front of the other. It was usually the female of the couple that would suffer the torture in the physical aspect. While the other would suffer the physiological torture in watching their lover be broken and shattered in front of them. It was a nasty work and the twins had a sick twisted minds for enjoying it.
Harriku hadn't encountered the Lestrange twins personally but he did come across their work once before. He still felt the lick of rage and frustration surge within him at his old failure. A memory of a couple staring at him with hopeless eyes before there was nothing but shining particles in their replacement. A singe word escaping the couples lips and it was the name 'Lestrange'. A timed trap perfectly set for him, activating right when he had found them. It was painful to remember the feeling of failure because he knew the twins purposely lured him into it. Leading him to his failure. Another one of his failures anyway...
Shaking his head to sweep away the dark thoughts Harriku looked through the rest of the pictures. One of two pictures were of a couple happily walking through a town and the other a photo of the same couple but this time surrounded by a group of friends. The hunter had guessed that this couple were the recent victims of the PK twins.
Already, his mind was swirling with ideas and plans to go on a hunt. Scraping off one idea one after another his mind became full of different scenarios before he could come up with a solid plan. Thinking of different strategies and adding more traps to it. The hunter was already coming to a plan A to a Plan B to a Plan C and even more plans adding if the previous didn't work. But everything came to a halt in his mind when he saw the fourth and final photo in the message.
It was a photo of the Lestrange twins standing in front of the same couple their backs turned away from the shot. It was a clear sign that they were both taunting the two captured players that were tied up to each other. Their faces pale and eyes full of fear, but their hands holding on to the other tightly. It was a scene that would bring rage and fear to any player that saw this picture but - that wasn't what caught the hunters complete attention.
It was the man standing in the background looking observing the captured victims with obvious interest. Wearing black and green armor there was a long ruby colored sword strapped to the players back. his arms crossed casually and his posture was relaxed.
Red piercing eyes were dark and calculated. With aristocratic features a sharp jaw, black hair elegantly slicked back and thin lips were stretched into a cruel smug smirk aimed at its prey.
To Harriku it was as if it was a silent taunt for the hunter to come out and play...
Harriku glared hatefully at those never changing red eyes that mocked him, even through a picture. Memories flashed through his mind chaotically until he was taken out of it by a quiet whine and nudge from Kuroma, who was staring at him with obvious concern.
Another whine and a nudge that was a silent question Harriku exhaled deeply. Smiling lightly to his old companion, Harriku reached out and rubbed the Fox's muzzle and scratched his ear. "I'm okay Kuroma." He whispered, careful not to wake the two sleeping players besides him "But it looks like we'll have to go out for a hunt soon." he murmured grimly as the picture of Jormungand's Leader stood with cruel glee shining in his ruby eyes looked right back at him "Real soon..."
It was a familiar wet cold nose, nudging his cheek playfully that had Kirito waking from his long nap. The insistent muzzle bumping his chin and a wet lick to his cheek had the swordsman laughing at the ticklish sensation. Using his hand push away the fox kisses with his hand Kirito sat up and rubbed away the saliva, grinning as he did so "Kuroma - Stop!" He laughed when the kitsune just licked the hand even more, obviously happy that Kirito was now fully awake.
"Finally awake?" A familiar smooth voice asked, catching Kirito's attention and making him look at the relaxed form of Harriku sitting and leaning back against the broken stone wall. The orange red late afternoon sky at his back and the cool shade upon him it made the hunter look as if he had a mysterious air around him.
Kirito couldn't look away. Especially when Harriku gave his softly amused smile that made his features brighten.
"You both were more tired than expected. I was going to wake you before it got too dark" Harriku said as he got up from the floor to sit on the stone wall.
"Both?" Kirito looked confused until Harriku pointed at the rousing body beside him. His eyes widen with surprise when he recongized that it was Asuna from the KoB waking up from what looked to be a long nap.
The Lieutenant was obviously still half asleep since she didn't realize Kirito staring at her with shock. Her hair had a few grass blades sticking out and a bit of dried drool was evident in the corner of her mouth.
It wasn't until Harriku's laugh that had Asuna snapping right awake. Looking around she spotted Harriku grinning with amusement. Then saw Kirito staring at her with surprised confusion and curiosity on seeing her next to him.
That was when she snapped out of her daze and flushed bright pink when she realized where she was and how she must look like. Seeing that the sun so low in the sky she knew she had slept most of the day away.
Her eyes started to narrow and her glare turning sharp Asuna flushed with annoyance towards herself and towards Harriku, whom was smirking at her. Embarrassment in finding out that she had so easily let her guard down and had fallen asleep so quickly.
But also faintly -immensely- grateful for the older teen for staying to watch over them.
Opening her mouth to try and cover up her fluster Harriku moved first in taking action.
Standing up fully and stretching to the sky Harriku grinned "I'm hungry. I'll treat you two with a early dinner if you're up for it." He suggested, his usual white cloak thrown over his shoulders and a single katana strapped to his side.
Kirito perked up and smiled widely at the prospect of food and stood up. Brushing off the dirt from his pants he reaquipped his sword on his back and eagerly agreed.
Asuna stuttered and scrambled to stand "Wait a minute!" brushing off the dirt and grass from her clothes and hair Asuna jogged up to the two males who were already heading to the nearest telepotation gate, Kuroma curiously trotting behind her.
The hunter hummed in question smirking when Asuna finally caught up to them and glared mullishly at the teasing light from those green eyes that looked at her.
Kirito was confused when he felt Kuroma tug on his coat to stop him from walking any further. Looking back he realized that Asuna and Harriku were a couple feet back and were now having a silent conversation.
With Asuna glaring and folded arms across her chest versus Harriku raising an eyebrow and lightly smirking in return completely unbothered. It was after a few seconds did Asuna let out a growl and huffed. Stomping her way pass Kirito and Kuroma to head to the telepotation gate before them.
Shaking his head in fond exasperation Harriku turned to face Kirito and tilted his head towards the gate.
"Lets go Kirito. I know just the thing to cheer miss grumpy there up and fill your own stomach at the same time."
At those words Kirito perked up happily and easily followed Harriku to the gate with Kuroma right beside him.
Asuna looked warily at the warm bun in the plate in front of her before looking up hesitantly at the pinned gaze that Harriku was giving her. Kirito, who was sitting beside the hunter was also staring intently at her, making her feel as if they were waiting for something momentous to happen. She looked down when she felt a nudge on her knee to see that Kuroma was urging her to eat her food.
Looking back up Asuna saw that Harriku was now solely focused on Kirito and had placed a similar bun in front of him. A playful shine in his eyes reflected when he watched the swordsman picked up the bun, took a large bite, and then promptly melted at the taste assaulting his mouth. Though not before having a bit of sauce stick to the corner of his lips, but he was to distracted by the delicious food he was given. Well partly distracted if by going with the light pink flush on his cheeks when Harriku swiped away the mess on his lips and then licking his thumb clean. A playful knowing smirk teasing his own lips as he watched Kirito eat.
The hunter was pleased with the visible results of his cooking and quietly chuckle at how cute Kirito's expression was. He turned his green eyes to focus on the now openly curious - and less suspicious - Asuna and pushed her own plate closer to her with a finger.
"Well?" Harriku lifted his eyebrow "Go on princess have a bite. It may look plain but I can assure you that it's much more than meets the eye." He coaxed the commander until she finally picked up the soft warm bun.
Inwardly preparing for the reaction Harriku subtly focused on Asuna right when she took her first bite. A smug grin already working it's way on his lips at the view of Asuna's entire reaction. Eyes pop wide open in shock and awe, cheeks flush pink at the flustered emotions started to immediately kick in, and finally the visible bliss that appears as Asuna melts as the flavors of his newly created recipe caress her taste buds. Though the outside looked boring and plain the inside of the bun was anything but. Meat and just the right amount of veggies and spices were skillfully blended and all stuffed in a large warm bun. Chewing slowly the warmth of the food flowed throughout her body making her think of home.
A content moaning sigh escaped her lips on accident, but Asuna was too busy enjoying her food now to even realize.
"That good then?" Harriku asked knowingly, a twitch of his lips showing his amusement.
"How-?" Asuna mumbled before taking another bite of her food.
"Skill princess. Pure skill" He chuckled jokingly, absentmindedly patting Kuroma's head, when the large fox came to rest beside him.
Kirito and Harriku both looked up at a blushing Asuna as she finished chewing her food and was now figeting in her seat.
Curious, Kirito tilted his head and waited for the lieutenant to gather herself. When Asuna finally had enough confidence she looked up at the two of them and spoke.
"Thank you for keeping an eye on me." a shy but grateful look shined within Asuna's brown eyes. She looked down in contemplation and a hint of worry "The towns are safe zones so no can attack you or kill you unless you've agreed to a duel. But you're vulnerable when you're asleep."
Kirito stared at Asuna for a moment before nodding in agreement - not minding that had Harriku relaxed into the loveseat beside him bringing them closer together. "Yeah. Now we've got Player Killers who are cheating the duel system."
"Sleep PKers" Harriku said with a quiet hum. His head resting on the back of the couch to stare at the ceiling knowing the two other players were looking at him "There has been multiple reports on Sleep PKers scattered around SAO. They're usually weaker players who stoop to being that type of PKs. But the thing of being a Sleep PKer is that it's harder to find and hunt them down since they don't actually Kill the players they rob. They don't have orange or red cursors and they usually strike at the dead of nights."
"Mm." Kirito nodded "Duels are normally supposed to be tests of strength, not a fight to the death"
"Which is worrisome, from how many of these Sleep PKs attacks have been lately." the hunter mumbled.
Asuna stared down at her half eaten food and frowned "Its scary to think - All a Sleep PKer has to do is manipulate a sleeping players finger to click on the OK button. The duel begins like normal, but the Sleep Pker's doing all the attacking."
Harriku lifted his head to see Asuna's grateful expression aimed at the two of them. Smiling at the two males She thanked them both "So anyway, thank you."
It was funny to Harriku when he saw that Kirito was awkwardly flustered at Asuna's sincere gratitude. Inwardly rolling his eyes fondly at the adorable swordsman and smiling at the female player. "You're welcome princess. I'm sure you'd do the same for us if our roles were switched"
Asuna nodded firmly to that fact and opened her mouth to speak but interrupted by a familiar message jingle from her menu.
Curious the two males silently watched as Asuna opened the message she received and read it's contents. The two then tensed when the lieutenant pale with disbelief and shock as her eyes rescanned the message. Asuna stood abruplty and closed the message after she had resent a reply back to the sender.
"Asuna." Harriku stared intently at the female player with a small frown. "What happened?"
Bright disbelieving eyes looked up to meet their eyes before a dreading whisper escaped Asuna's lips.
"Someone was just murdered in a safe zone"
It was the sounds of leaves crunching beneath his shoes and the sounds of nature around him that filled the otherwise quiet air. The paws of his companion were quiet behind him alert for anything out of the unusual.
Harriku had left Asuna and Kirito to investigate the safe zone murder after Asuna had received news from her guild. Since a few KoB members were there as witnesses and had reported it to their commander and in turn assigned the lieutenant to investigate the crime.
Kirito was insistent that the hunter should come but Harriku had quietly explained to the swordsman his reason for not joining them. The ending the result of their seperate ways had both of them in deep thoughts.
"You won't join us investigate the scene Harriku?" Kirito asked as he stood in front of the open front door of Harriku's home. The hunter himself was leaning against the entrance wall with his arms loosely crossed over his chest.
"Its not that I won't join you Kirito-kun. It's that I can't." the older male said quietly to Kirito, glancing over to see Asuna standing a short distance away and was currently PMing her guild on more details of the scene, distracted.
Green eyes turned to look back at the now worried black orbs staring up at him.
"Harriku?" Kirito sounded more concerned when the hunter remained silent too long.
"I recieved three messages from my info broker earlier today." Harriku finally confessed grimly causing the other to stiffen in shock. The hunter had once explained to Kirito the significance on the number of messages he received all at once and on the same day. It could only mean one thing to the solo player.
"You're going hunting" Kirito murmured softly, looking down and then looked back up to the older player, unsuccessfully hiding his worry "Why can't I come with you instead?"
He worried because for obvious reasons. It was a much more dangerous job for Harriku to go after PKs because Kirito knew that actual players were more unpredictable than digital monsters in SAO. There was also another concerning thing bothering Kirito.
It has been a week since Harriku's last hunt and it left the older teen exhausted and closed off for an entire day. Kirito had pulled Harriku the lake Tree by the hunter's home and promptly sat down under the shade and tugged the older player to rest his head on his lap. They had spent the day in silence with Kirito gently combing through raven locks and with Harriku staring off distantly. It had frightened him to see the usual teasing hunter so soloem and absentminded. When he had come to his senses and was questioned by Kirito on what had happened, the hunter had just sighed quietly and deflected with a shake of his head. Making Kirito feel helpless in reassuring the hunter from what was bothering him. Now that the older player has to go hunting again and Kirito felt the same familiar nudging of worry in his heart again. What if Harriku came back from this job worse than before?
The hunter watched as Kirito stared at him with obvious worry and deciding to do something about it.
Reaching out Harriku snatched Kirito's hand and lifted it to his face. All the while keeping sharp green eyes pinned to dark obsidsen orbs. The green softened before closing shut and Harriku gave in the urge to nuzzle the soft palm held in his hand. His own heart warm and skipped at the true concern towards him from Kirito. He couldn't fight his need to be close to swordsman and had barely held back from doing something more than he had permission too. So he had to settle.
In the act Kirito burned red and his heart thundered within his chest, but at the same time he felt the calming reassurance and silent promise that Harriku was now giving him. He knew that the older player was trying to tell him that he'll be safe. That he'll come back.
"I promise I will be fine on my own this time Kirito." Harriku promised in his usual deep soft voice, causing Kirito to suddenly focus on the thin lips pressing against this warm skin of his palm.
"Swear to me" Kirito demanded, looking up to emerald orbs that held fondness within them.
Harriku smiled and pressed a gentle kiss on Kirito's wrist with promise "I swear"
Harriku felt his lips twitch upward when he remembered the red flush of Kirito's face. It was a cute look on the teen, but the hunter knew after his advanced move on the younger swordsman he can no longer keep up with his slightly less sutble moves on Kirito. He doesnt know if he can hold back in only just teasing anymore.
'I think its time to take things a bit further with Kirito-kun.' Harriku confirmed with himself, a small smirk playing on his lips 'We've been dancing around each other long enough'
It was then the hunter finally came to a stop in front of a large bolder that looked to be blocking off a cave entrance. Kuroma nudged Harrikus hand and nuzzle him palm as a silent question.
"We'll go in once we meet up with 'her' here." as he said that his senses instantly kicked in make him draw his weapon in a blur, spin and deflect a kunai that clashed with his dagger. A step back and a turn of his body towards the direction of where the weapon had come from his skill Scan automatically activated to locate the enemy.
His lips thinned and twitched to a small smirk when he realized that he couldnt find anyone in his radar. Whoever just attacked him most likely had a high undetection skill, which was impressive in and of itself since his scanning skill was quite high. A spark of excitement ran through him at the possibility of a challenge "Come out little bird. I know you're near" His arms loose but the grip of his dagger firm and ready.
His senses perked again but this time a snarl from Kuroma and blue flames engulfed and blocked the second kunai that had come to the right of both of them. A light the left of them had the hunter turn his head to see nothing but the lush forest.
Taking a step forward both hunter and fox were stopped by a sharp pop of a smoke bomb. Harriku quickly covered his mouth and nose with his large scarf that wrapped around his neck and whistled to order Kuroma to jump out, but heard a whine and a large thump to the ground.
"Kuro!" The hunter shouted in alarm and tensed, swiftly moving to stand guard in front of his companion. Glancing back down to his now unconcious partner Harriku saw that the large fox was only fast a sleep and no noticable damage was done except a strong tranquilizer needle shot to his mane.
His quiet sigh of relief was muffled behind his scarf but now his eyes sharpened to his senses to find their attacker. His arm moved before his thoughts followed deflecting two more kunai's and snipping around to block a sharp tanto blade that came down on him.
"Hello little bird" the hunter grinned savagly behind his scarf while the smoke finally cleared to revealed a female ninja in front of him. Her mouth gear covered her lower face completely with a metal headband that was tightly tied to protect her forehead and her armor followed to cover her entire body and the only things exposed was a perfectly tied ponytail of blonde hair and blue eyes that were sharp and focused.
Light blue eyes met with green for a split second before the now known ninja flipped back and jumped a few feet away. Silence reigned between two players, the cool breeze blowing and in an instant weapons clashed in a loud clang. Blow after blow the hunter fluidly exchanged equal strengths and strikes with his attacker. Both players moved in high speeds aiming to disable, to wound, to defeat their target woth their short blades but they were surprisingly matched.
Harriku was inwardly impressed at the ninjas skill set on keeping up with him. The hunter mildly wondered if this player worked hard to get to this point or basically how high their stats were right now. Only a few people have the bragging rights in actually holding on their own. One being-
Harriku's bight green eyes widened when the kunoichi sidestepped his attack. Grabbed his dominant arm, twisting her body in one smooth movement and effectively throwing the hunter to the ground with ease. Her tanto blade lightly pressing up against his jugular to keep him in his place.
"Distracted?" the kunoichi asked with a tilt of her head, eyes shined with something familiar to the hunter.
"Unfortunately..." Harriku said wryly at his attacker before smirking confidently "...Not..."
The female player let out a startled shriek when she was suddenly tackled from behind by a now consious Kitsune. Pinning the assualter on the ground and growling at her with a vicoius snarl Kuroma's tails swished behind him in agitation.
Easily getting up from the floor Harriku huffed a smile and brushed off some dirt from his cloak. Silently grateful that he had buffed up Kuroma's status alliament resistance high enough to get rid of pesky alliaments after a minute and a half. Its was pretty useful when grinding insects and mobs that had poison or sleep attacks.
"Good job Kuroma" Harriku praised his partner, who now had the kunoichi sitting up and bound by his tails, him sitting beside her as a guard.
Getting a happy yip and a well earned scratch from Harriku. The hunter looked at the now silent ninja who was staring off the the side.
"Looks like you've been caught little bird" The older player declared, gaining his attackers attention. A tiny glare aimed towards him only had Harriku's lips twitch upward. He already knew that his assualter was sulking.
"Hm?" Harriku tilted his head when he caught the ninja muttered something.
"I said. 'I thought the wacklespurts distracted you enough this time'" The kunoichi huffed, prompting Harriku to finally let out the laugh he was holding back.
"Maybe you lost this time because the nargles tricked you into thinking you could win." The hunter grinned in mirth, reaching out and pulling off the ninjas mask off to see the familiar pouty face of his information broker and close friend from real life. "You know better than that... Luna."
AN: Hey guys! Hella long time no see. Sorry bout that, I had lost motivation after a while and didn't bother touching it until a good friend of mine read my half-assed chapter and urged me to continue. Begrudgingly I did and got back into the flow of it. The next chapter is originally from this one but I decided to make it into 2 parts because 14k (and adding) is too long. Plus I wanted to have something prepared to post up next time.
Sorry to those that think that Luna is VERY OOC and all I can say is that this is how I want my Luna. Bad-ass and still amazing. Do keep in mind guys that before you hate this or get offended by it Remember that this is fanfiction and I can't truly make Luna how everyone wants her to be. I can't satisfy everyone after all. So I'm satisfying myself by making her a ninja cuz I wanted to.
On other news I sorta - kinda know how chapter 8 will go but I seriously need to focus on finish up Chp. 7 first. I can say serious shit goes down in the next chapter so I hope you guys look forward to it once its up :)
Anyways Once again Sorry I haven't updated it but I'm hoping you guys enjoy it non the less. If you spot any misspelled words or something let me know in the reviews cuz this isn't beta-ed and any and all mistakes are mine to correct.
Leave a review for me beautiful people! It lets me know you want more!