Hello, this is a message from the future. For those reading for the first time, I would like to note that the first three chapters were published in 2018 and put on hiatus until early 2021, which is why they might be below what I would consider passable. Since then, I have been putting my focus on this story and trying to update as much as I can. Chapters 4 and above are what I feel are more aligned with the direction I want for the story and are generally what I feel to be better quality. Who knows, maybe I'll edit these three if I have the time. Deuces.
Obligatory Disclaimer that I don't think is even necessary but please ignore that: SAO and its characters were created by Reki Kawahara and JoJo and its characters were created by Hirohiko Araki. This is a fanfiction purely for satire and to make what nobody has done yet. If you dislike SAO for several reasons I can think of, then you don't need to get mad. If you dislike JoJo for several reasons I can think of, then you don't need to get mad at me for writing this.
Just a heads up, this story will generally follow the path of the SAO canon story, but with my own twists and additional segments in certain areas. I will change certain things in an attempt to merge the worlds of SAO and JoJo together in a way I hope you find interesting. If you don't like what you're hearing, you don't have to suffer through this, but if you are willing to give this shit-for-brains author a chance, then all I can say is, thank you. Hope I don't disappoint.
You clicked on it anyway, so let's get into it.
Higashikata Residence, Morioh, 2022
Josuke never really thought about the experience that much. After all, it was all just a mundane activity every human had to go through every single day.
Now that the built teen thought about it, there was far much more to it than simply getting up in the morning. Josuke knew that every time you woke up, you greeted a new day, and one more chapter is added to your life story.
Truth be told, Josuke was quite fascinated with this concept. Every new day meant new people to meet, new things to do, and a future to carve into the pages of reality.
Especially today, of all days. The morning sun's rays greeted Josuke as his eyes flinched, newly exposed to the radiance of morning. He could hear the sounds of birds chirping outside his room as a new day in the peaceful and quiet town of Morioh began anew.
The town itself was a quiet one, it was humble in every sense, but Josuke was still proud to call it home. Josuke smiled serenely as he stretched his arms, flexing his muscles, which were still stiff from being neglected from exercise all night.
His figure was pressed against the tank top he wore as his pajamas, as he pressed his hand against a certain star-shaped birthmark on the back of his left shoulder.
Groaning in satisfaction, Josuke relaxed his posture and kicked his feet off of his bed, scratching his back as he lumbered towards the bathroom. On normal days, he'd be prepping himself to go to school, but today was a weekend, so he was satisfied to eat breakfast in his PJ's.
Reaching the sink, he pulled out a comb from one of the drawers and looked at his reflection in the mirror, with his hair messy and unkempt.
Groaning, he worked his hands on his scalp, eventually forming his signature pompadour hairdo. Many people often gave his hair weird looks, and honestly, he didn't blame them. After all, it was 2022 and walking around with hair like this was sure to turn heads.
But Josuke never cared. This was his message to honor his savior and role model, and nobody would disrespect that, lest they suffer the beatdown of their lives and beyond. Upon thinking these dark thoughts, a pink armored fist materialized next to Josuke, clenching its hand into a fist, ready to shove it in the unlucky face of whoever would be stupid enough to have the gall to insult his hair.
Rubbing his eyes from his fatigue, Josuke shuffled down the stairs like a zombie. But then he heard an all-too-familiar voice call out from the kitchen.
"Jooosukeeee!" Josuke sighed to himself. His mother was always quite the interesting character, and he was damn grateful to have her in his life. Even without his dad around anymore, he was still pretty happy to know that both of them loved him. Hell, the old man even kept in touch more than enough times to count.
"Yeah?" Josuke called out in reply as his feet touched the living room.
Josuke's eyes widened quickly in surprise, but tinted cheeks and an awkward smile quickly replaced his shocked expression.
"O-oh right! I totally forgot!" Josuke stammered embarrassedly.
Tomoko quickly ran up to hug her son, who wholeheartedly returned the gesture. Josuke separated from his mother shortly after as he walked over to the fridge to pull out a carton of fresh milk.
Tomoko then sighed loudly, glaring slyly at Josuke. "Oh, Josuke. If you keep forgetting things like your birthday, how're you gonna remember your girlfriend's name? Ah, what am I saying, it's not like you'll ever get laid at this rate!"
Josuke nearly spat out his milk when he heard this, his face as red as a cherry.
"M-Mom! I-I told you I just haven't found the right one yet! A-and I told you I'm saving myself for marriage!"
With this, Tomoko only laughed heartily, her hand clutching her stomach as she hunched over, roaring with laughter at her son, who was hunched over the table, eyes glued to his cereal as he sucked it in with the rate of a vacuum cleaner through his flushed cheeks.
The two of them acted so casually to one another for the most part, that most times it almost seemed they had a platonic relationship instead of one between a mother and her son, but they were not short of love for each other, and knew when to act as they should.
"So… what did my kind, loving mother give me for my birthday?" Josuke asked Tomoko, tauntingly.
Striking a similar expression to her son's, Tomoko replied, "I give you a house, an education, money and I cook your meals every day. Isn't that enough?" She replied snarkily.
Josuke kept up his game and clenched his heart in mock agony. "Ow, my heart! I-it hurts so much! How could you?!"
Tomoko only laughed. "How? I am your mother. That's plenty reason enough." She deadpanned with a wicked grin.
"Gah!" With this, Josuke fell over backwards, his hand clutching his chest as if he'd had a heart attack.
Once she was done poking fun with Josuke, she walked over to him and poked him in his side. "Yo, Josuke. You waking up?"
"Leave me alone. I'm busy dying from terrible burns." Josuke muttered with closed eyes.
Sweatdropping, Tomoko raised her arms in defense. "Okay… seriously, your… father and I decided to get you something a little special for your birthday. Just… give me a second…"
Tomoko then pulled out her phone and began punching in numbers with her fingers, blowing away the short dark bangs of hair away from her eyes.
With this, Josuke got up from his seat at the dining table and walked toward the living room. Slumping down on the couch, he reached for the TV remote and pressed a button.
The television screen then flickered to life, turning on the news channel. With that, the shrill, cheery voice of the news reporter rang out.
"So now we begin! This week's MMO stream will be covering the revolutionary new online sensation of the century!"
Josuke stared with interest, leaning ever closer to the TV screen. The channel showed videos of crowds upon crowds of people lining up to local video game stores around Japan, all of them eager to get in. Josuke himself was never really good at video games, but he was interested in them.
"What could all these people be lining up for? Sword Art Online! The world's first ever VRMMORPG! Truly something never seen before!"
Josuke's eyes glowed. He had heard the talk of the town of this new sensation. A game that took you inside the world to be the character? This was something unheard of, and an idea that made Josuke tingle in anticipation.
"Those waiting in front of the line said they were there for three days before the game was released! Amazing! With the game's servers coming online today at 1:00 pm Japanese Standard Time, the 10,000 lucky gamers must be eager to experience this game for the first time!"
And with that, the screen showed a video of overjoyed customers having their picture taken, all of them eagerly showing their newly purchased copies of the game. But this also made Josuke's smile droop slightly. Given the severe lack of video game stores around Morioh, and his mother's adherence to him playing video games, he could only dream of being immersed into a virtual world such as Sword Art Online.
Having Crazy Diamond with him was surely bizarre and fantastical on its own, Josuke could only imagine being able to interact and mingle with people inside a game where his fantasies can be shared by everybody.
"Yo, Josuke!" A deep and gruff voice called out from behind Josuke.
Recognizing the voice, Josuke only smiled and turned around to address him.
Joseph Joestar then chuckled heartily from Tomoko's phone, his old, yet ever mischievous face brimming with a smile from the video chat.
"Happy birthday from everybody, champ!" Joseph proclaimed loudly as Tomoko rolled her eyes at his behavior.
"Hiiii, Josuke! Happy birthday!" Holly Joestar called out happily beside her father to her (technical) brother.
"Hi, Mrs. Holly." Josuke sweatdropped with a blush as he responded to the older woman.
"Anyways Josuke, I really wished I could be over to Japan for your birthday, but I got some important business to attend to with the Speedwagon Foundation!" Joseph said through the phone.
"Of course you do…" Josuke deadpanned in his brain. He had accepted that Joseph loved him for a while, but he still understood that the business with his wife, Suzie Q. and his own mom complicated things, and learning he was the result of a one-night stand was quite a low blow. However, Joseph still cared about him, and that was all that mattered.
"But don't worry! I still got you a present! It should be with your mother right now!" Joseph said happily.
Josuke raised an eyebrow as he followed his mother up the stairs, who still held up her phone.
"Mom, what is it? New shoes? A new phone?" Josuke asked eagerly.
Tomoko smiled back at her son. "Just wait. You'll see."
This only made Josuke more interested as they climbed up to the upper floor and into Tomoko's room. Tomoko handed her phone to Josuke and rushed to her bed.
Josuke watched as she reached under the bed to retrieve something. Pulling it out, Josuke saw two gifts in her hands. One was small, thin and rectangular, fitting into her palm, while the other was a wrapped box, and it appeared to be heavy as Tomoko's arm struggled to keep it in her grasp.
"Well, what're you waitin' for? Rip it open!" Joseph excitedly said to Josuke.
Josuke quickly dug into his presents, so caught up in his excitement that he subconsciously summoned Crazy Diamond as its hands moved with his, tearing away at the wrapping paper at a rapid pace, causing Joseph and Tomoko to chuckle to themselves in amusement at his antics.
As the last of the paper was off, Josuke gazed at his gift with wide eyes. On the box was the picture of what looked to be some sort of helmet. However, as Josuke read the words printed on the top right of the box, it confirmed his hopes. This was a NerveGear VR headset and console.
Looking at his smaller gift, he was just as thrilled to see the three words displayed in bright blue over a stylized logo.
Sword Art Online.
"Hope you like it! Managed to nab those off the shelves before the rabid crowds got to them!" Joseph proclaimed, giving him a wink for good measure.
Josuke turned to his smiling mother, and hugged her for the second time that day, but much harder than last time.
"Thankyouthankyouthankyou…" Josuke whispered between breaths into her ear with joy, causing Tomoko to pat him on the back, happy that her son loved their gift. There was a reason she fell in love with the boy's father, after all, and she had loved to love their son more than anything in the world.
"You know what? Get that thing set up, and take your sweet time." Tomoko said to Josuke with a beaming smile, causing Josuke to tear up with joy.
"Thank you so much, mom!"
"But remember! No playing on weekdays, only after you finish your homework and if you don't stop by dinner, I'll rip that thing off your head myself!" Tomoko continued quickly, causing Josuke to sweatdrop with an awkward smile.
Josuke began walking to his room with his presents and was about to reach for his doorknob when he heard his mom again. "Hey, Josuke?"
"… have fun." Tomoko managed, smiling with a light blush.
With this, Josuke smiled back warmly. "Thanks, mom. Love you!"
Josuke's Room, Higashikata Residence, 5 minutes before release of SAO
Through tooth and nail and several electrical shocks, Josuke had managed to set up the NerveGear.
Getting past all the login details and body scans, he placed both hands on his NerveGear headset, eager to get started.
However, his laptop began to give off a familiar ringtone. Rushing to his computer, he answered the call. Suddenly, a familiar face popped up onto his screen.
"Hey, Kazuto!" Josuke said to the boy on the screen. The boy was quite possibly the opposite of Josuke in terms of looks. For starters, his face was so inmasculine one could mistake him for a female if it weren't for his short, spiky black hair with an ahoge on top. His onyx-silver eyes were wide and shining, and he wore a black sweater.
"Hi, Josuke. Happy birthday." Kazuto said to the taller teen.
"Dude, I just got the NerveGear for my birthday! I guess I'll be joining you online!" Josuke excitedly told his online friend.
"Really?! That's great! Mind if I show you the ropes once we log in?" Kazuto joyfully exclaimed.
For the longest time, Kazuto Kirigaya had known Josuke as a friend, but only through the screens of their laptops. They would often play games on their laptops, only for Josuke to lose miserably most of the time. But Kazuto didn't mind. In fact, he found it quite fun.
"That would be great! I mean, you got to play the Beta! How lucky is that?" Josuke said with a thumbs-up, causing Kazuto to chuckle softly.
"So… see you on the other side?" Kazuto asked, keeping his eye on the clock counting down the minutes.
Josuke paused for a minute, before turning back to his laptop screen. "Yeah. See ya!"
Josuke then hung up, and turned to his NerveGear, picking it up and holding it above his head. Seeing as how his pomp wouldn't be able to fit it, Josuke groaned, but quickly came up with a solution.
"Crazy Diamond!" Josuke yelled out loudly.
All of a sudden, a new entity materialized next to Josuke, hovering next to him. Its body was pink and muscular, yet shiny and metallic, covered by heart-decal armor. The Stand raised its arms and pounded down on the NerveGear helmet.
"DORARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARARAAAA!" The Stand yelled in a loud cry as its fists smashed into the headset at the speed of light, crumbling it into a pile of smoking scrap metal.
Josuke smirked in victory and laid down on his bed while grasping the cable for the NerveGear. Summoning his Stand once more, his arm glowed with pink energy, spreading to the cable. Eventually, the pieces that made up the NerveGear began to glow with the same spiritual energy, before levitating in the air and reassembling themselves.
The pieces reattached themselves over Josuke's head, fitting his hairstyle snugly inside the headset.
With that out of the way, Josuke took a deep breath as he saw the clock strike 13:00.
And with that, Josuke Higashikata had entered the virtual world.
Before his eyes, the atmosphere of his room faded into white as all of his senses were overtaken by something new. Josuke saw colors flash before him, and nodes confirming that his senses in the game were working in the loading screen.
Then it flashed to the language selection, which he chose Japanese. It then flashed forward to his account info, in which he entered accordingly.
"Username: 'JoJo'… Password… 'crazydiamond'." He muttered to himself, pressing enter.
And with that, the screen flashed in big letters, "Welcome to Sword Art Online!"
Suddenly, a bright light filled Josuke's eyes, and once he opened them, he was in awe. He looked down, and sure enough, his feet were there, clad in combat boots and trousers.
Raising his arm, he saw he wasn't dressed as he used to be, but as the avatar he had designed for himself. He had fingerless gloves, and wore an indigo-violet T-shirt with the default brown vest over his attire.
Reaching to touch his head, he felt his familiar pompadour, causing him to breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that the custom hairstyle feature worked.
Looking above him at the beautiful scene surrounding him, he could only mutter one word in wonder.
He was finally in the digital world.
Sword Art Online, Aincrad (Lv. 1: Town of Beginnings)
All around Josuke, he could see people of all sorts beginning to log in, appearing in flashes of blue light.
Josuke was beyond thrilled to see so many people, the chatter in the air beginning to rise to a forte.
Everybody was spawning in the place called the "Town of Beginnings", the massive castle standing proud over an open square surrounded by a bustling town.
However, the crowd began to disperse from the square and enter the rest of the town.
Josuke wasted no time and shoved through the massive sea of people, searching for his friend.
Reaching the marketplace, he passed all sorts of people. NPCs lined the stalls on every corner, and players of all sizes, genders and personalities were beginning to mingle with one another. Truly an awe-inspiring scene, but Josuke didn't stop to admire the scenery.
Turning to go down an alleyway, Josuke could barely process what was going on or the man in front of him.
"WATCHOUT!" He heard a voice rapidly spout ahead of him, but it was too late as the two players collided with one another, stunning both gamers as they crashed to the ground.
"I'm so sorry! Please forgive me for bumping into you! I'm just looking for a friend!" Josuke was quick to apologize, but was unprepared for the other player's response.
Josuke's eyes widened as he looked in front of him. It was definitely a boy, with blue hair combed down the right side of his face. He had a sharp chin and eyes, and wore a blue shirt over his lean, yet robust build.
"Yep! I'd recognize that hairstyle anywhere! I'm so glad I could finally meet you in person! Or at least… face-to-face. And by the way, it's Kirito, … JoJo?" The boy excitedly said to Josuke.
"Yeah… I don't know why I picked that username, I mean-" Josuke began to say, only to be cut off by Kirito.
"No, no! I like it! Has a nice ring to it, don't ya think?" Kirito said with a wink.
"Yeah… I guess…"
"Oh, I've got a million things to teach you, mister! Let's get going!" Kirito said, dragging an embarrassed Josuke behind him by the wrist through the streets of the marketplace.
After several hours of wandering about the town, the two teens began to talk with one another, from matters as lighthearted as the newest games to personal things like their lives at home.
Suddenly, something caught Kirito's eye. "Oi, Josuke! Let's get you some weapons!"
Running toward the weapons stall, Kirito took in an eyeful of the many different blades presented at the stall, his eyes twinkling with curiosity.
However, Josuke only scratched the back of his head awkwardly. "I… I dunno man… I don't really know if I'm a sword kinda guy, y'know?"
Kirito turned toward Josuke with a face that expressed clear shock. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"I dunno, I guess I'm more of a hand-to-hand fighter…" Josuke muttered. Because he had Crazy Diamond, he was always fond of playing with a brawler style, fists only. Besides, he never really needed weapons when he had a Stand that punched at the speed of light.
Kirito scratched his chin, and snapped his fingers as a light bulb formed above his head. "I know exactly what you'd like."
Tapping the space next to the NPC salesman, Kirito's fingers opened a menu and punched in specifications, leading a display to pop up next to the menu.
"They got brass knuckles and daggers if you're into that kinda thing, but personally I'd rather have the range advantage with a sword. These things are fast and light, but you'd need to get in crazy close to use them." Kirito said to his friend.
"That I can live with." Josuke declared confidently, confirming his purchase.
And with that, Josuke received a notification from his player menu, telling him he had two new weapons in his inventory.
Lv. 1 Fists: Beginner Knuckles – Not the kind of weapon to slay monsters, but the perfect tool for a closer and more… hands-on experience.
Special: Brawl: Deals 5% extra damage vs. enemy players
Damage: 50 (E)
Speed: 75 (E)
Durability: 175 (D)
Range: 50cm (E)
Precision: 25% (D)
Rank: Beginner (E)
Selling Price: 45 Col
Lv. 1 Knife: Beginner Dagger – A swift and precise tool. Used in the kitchen to slice up food, but in a duel, it can be far deadlier in capable hands.
Special: Cutter: Chance to bleed for 2 seconds
Damage: 50 (E)
Speed: 125 (D)
Durability: 125 (D)
Range: 75cm (D)
Precision: 75% (B)
Rank: Beginner (E)
Selling Price: 50 Col
All of a sudden, a holster appeared at Josuke's hip, materializing in blue crystals. Reaching for his belt, Josuke pulled out the small weapon, its silver blade shining in the sun, causing Josuke to stare at it in wonder.
"Try it on, man!" Kirito urged him.
"Hmm…" Josuke muttered to himself quietly. But then he was quickly interrupted by a foreign voice.
The pair looked to the side, their eyes locking onto the source of the noise, and they fell upon what seemed to be a male player. He wore the default brown vest over a white sweater and his rosy red hair was long and kept together by a red and yellow headband.
The man gasped for air and was hunching his back while holding onto his knees, as it seemed he had been running for a while.
"Uhh… can we help you, bud?" Josuke asked the player.
"Y-yeah, I'm sorry… You…" He said, gesturing to Kirito.
"M-me?" Kirito asked.
"Y-yeah. You move like you've been here before. That confident stride of yours… you're a Beta tester, aren't you?" The newcomer asked.
"Uh… yeah, I was, actually." Kirito answered him awkwardly.
"Ah, great! Would you mind giving me some pointers? It's my first time! I'm begging you!" The man said to Kirito, clapping both his hands together to show his desperation.
Looking back and forth between the player and Kirito, Josuke began laughing to himself at the man's antics, before speaking to him. "Well, ain't this a coincidence! It's my first time, too! My friend here was just about to run me through the basics! Care to tag along?"
With this, the man's face lit up with a smile as he jabbed his thumb to his chest. "Sure thing! Name's Klein! Nice to meet ya!"
"Name's Josuke. Call me JoJo!" Josuke replied in a similar fashion to Klein.
"I'm Kirito." Kirito added cooly.
"Let's get started, shall we?"
Sword Art Online, Aincrad (Lv. 1: West Field)
"Ghh!" Klein grunted as the boar mob butted him back onto his butt, knocking the short sword he held out of his hand.
The animal mob stood its ground menacingly, its red eyes signifying it as a hostile enemy. Meanwhile, Klein only shrank into the ground, clutching his groin in pain.
"Agh, my balls…"
Josuke then walked over to Klein, trying to get him up again. "Get up, man. It can't be that ba-"
However, he didn't see the boar charge him from behind, knocking him off of his feet and crashing onto Klein's body.
"GAAGH! Owww…" Klein groaned out loud.
Kirito only stood by sweatdropping, a look of sheer disappointment directed at the two of them. "You two do realize that you can't actually feel pain in-game?" Kirito deadpanned.
With this, Klein instantly got up with an embarrassed blush adorning his face. "Y-yeah, of course I knew that!"
"Haven't you heard of phantom pain, you dick?" Josuke responded in a muffled voice, his face still stuck in the dirt.
With this, Kirito sighed and continued on. "Like I said, the key's your first action."
Klein got up, frowning to see his health meter dropped a few points. "Y-yeah, but he just won't stay put!" He complained, pointing at the boar trotting back and forth at fast speeds.
With this, Kirito only sighed to himself, picking up a stone from the ground and fiddled with it in his hand. "Look, maybe you guys took it the wrong way. Here."
He began to raise his arm, the pebble between his fingers as his brain soothed itself. "If you get the first action right and activate a sword skill… like so…"
As he spoke, Klein and Josuke's eyes widened to see the stone glow a bright red before Kirito swung down his arm, throwing the pebble straight at the boar. The stone landed a sharp hit onto the mob's rump, knocking it back slightly and causing it to grunt in pain.
"… the system will correct your aim and ensure a hit. Try it." Kirito said.
Klein breathed slowly, raising his blade with both hands, racking his brain for the instructions given to him. "Right… action… action…"
"Hmmm… I think I got it." Josuke said, raising his fists and dodging the boar's charges.
"Hey, just pause for a second, and activate the skill. Once you do that, just let her rip." He said, managing a few quick punches on the boar's hide, hacking away at its health bar. Josuke then grabbed the boar by the tusks and redirected it toward Klein.
"Let her rip?...!-"
Upon seeing the player, the boar began to charge him with breathy snorts, its hooves kicking up dirt. But all of a sudden, Klein's senses were overtaken by instinct as he felt the game's mechanics guide his arms, illuminating his sword with a bright orange light.
Then Klein's eyes burst open wide as his legs rushed forward, his arm lashing out in front of him, almost as if the sword itself was pulling him across the field. With a loud battle cry, Klein slashed his blade across the boar's side, leaving a deep cut and lowering its health bar to the absolute zero.
With that, the mob exploded into a collection of blue crystals, and in its place, a menu popped up, rewarding Klein with EXP, Col, and item drops.
Smiling in victory, Klein and Josuke raised their fists in joy, dancing around the field while high-fiving each other.
"WE DID IT!"
"OHMIGOD YOU WERE GREAT!"
With all the celebration going on in front of him, Kirito couldn't help but share a high-five with Klein. "Congrats. But... that boar was just fodder, like slimes or something."
Upon hearing this, Klein's confidence shattered into a million pieces. "H-huh? Really? I thought it was some kinda mini-boss or somethin'!"
Hearing this, Josuke only chuckled to himself, turning to the hills to see several more boars spawning and roaming the fields. "I... guess not."
Klein groaned in defeat momentarily, before trying some practice swings with his sword. "Say... aren't there like, a ton of skills in this game like blacksmithing and stuff?" He asked with a thrust.
"Apparently, there should be an unlimited amount of skills, but there aren't any magic-based skills." Kirito informed Klein, much to his confusion.
"Huh? An RPG without magic? That's weird…" Klein muttered.
However, Josuke merely smiled at his answer, grasping him by the shoulder. "I dunno about you, but I kinda like the idea of using my own body and skills to fight. Why else do you think I prefer hand-to-hand?"
"Yeah, I see. I like your way of thinking, JoJo!" Klein agreed happily, causing Josuke to laugh and walk down the path.
"So, shall we continue on to the next arena?" He asked his clique, who all stood up in unison.
Klein then remembered the range he took fighting the boat and opened his menu. "Yeah, sure but I need to heal…"
Klein only stood blankly, looking at his health bar with his eyes ridden with confusion. "H-hey, Josuke? Does this game have health regen?"
"No, why?" Josuke replied blankly.
"I was sure that thing hurt me…" Klein muttered with his eyes glued to his health bar, which was completely full, only for Josuke to dismiss it.
"Eh, I think it was your imagination. Come on! You comin' or what?!" Josuke said loudly, causing Klein to quickly follow him.
However, Josuke discreetly dissipated the pink, muscular arm beside him, causing his light aura to fade away as he joined up with Kirito.
Several hours later…
The three young men sat contently on the grass, resting after a long day of fighting mobs and collecting loot.
They sat down at the edge of the cliff of the floating island, feeling wind blow by their avatar's faces. They could hear the cries of dragons flying above and gazed in wonder at the beautiful sunset reflecting off of the lakes below.
"Wow…" Josuke muttered to himself quietly, enraptured by the beauty of the game's world.
"I still can't believe this whole thing is just a game… the creator must be a genius…" Klein added softly.
"Kayaba Akihiko? Yeah, he is. Did you know he designed the NerveGear too?" Kirito replied.
"Hmm… figures… I dunno about you guys, but I'm pretty glad to be born in this generation." Josuke responded with warmth, his chest filled with pride.
"You two are quite melodramatic…" Kirito noted indifferently.
"What can I say? I've never played a game like this before. I rushed to get my NerveGear because of SAO. I mean, we were lucky enough to be the few of the 10,000 players who got to play this game." Klein explained.
"I just got the NerveGear from my pops. He doesn't stay around much, but aside from helping my mom make me, I'd say this was the second best thing he's done for me." Josuke added, sharing Klein's admiration.
"And you're even luckier, Kirito! I mean, you were one of the 1,000 Beta testers!" Klein noted, pointing to Kirito.
"Y-yeah. It was pretty cool." Kirito said with suppressed excitement.
"So.. how far did you get?" Klein asked him.
"It'd been five months since he got the game, and by the end of that, he'd only completed the eight floor." Josuke deadpanned.
"H-hey! This game is difficult, okay?!" Kirito rebutted, only for Josuke to snicker to himself.
"Anyways… I think I'd be able to complete all that in half the time it took me last time." Kirito declared proudly.
"You sound confident…" Josuke replied with a blank tone and a bead of sweat.
"You're pretty invested in this game, aren't you?" Klein asked curiously.
"Oh, what made that obvious? Tell that to countless messages flooding our chat about how much he loves this game more than his damn family!" Josuke jokingly responded.
"C-c'mon! You don't have to exaggerate!" Kirito whined mockingly, playing along with Josuke's game.
To this Klein began laughing with Josuke, much to Kirito's annoyance, but the teen quickly calmed himself before things escalated out of proportion.
"Heh. He isn't far off, y'know? Ever since the beta came out, it was the only thing on my mind all day and all night." Kirito began, catching the attention of his friends.
"In this world, a single blade is the only ticket, and although it may be a virtual world, I feel more alive here than I could ever be in real life." Kirito said, his chest puffing up with pride as he admired the gleam of light reflecting off of his sword.
Smiling, he returned his sword back into the sheath on his back and addressed his group. "So, shall we get back to hunting?"
Josuke and Klein smiled in return, and stood up for a response. "I'd love to! But... my mom'll kill me if I'm not back for dinner. Sorry, Kazu- err... Kirito." Josuke said, almost letting Kirito's real name slip his tongue.
"I think I'll call it a day too! I ordered a piping hot pizza for 5:30 in advance before logging in, and I've been waitin' all day to dig in! Hope you don't' mind! I'll log back in once I finish, I promise!" Klein boisterously declared with a smile.
"Anyways, after this, I'll be playin' with friends from another game! How about it? Y'guys wanna meet them? I'll introduce you!" Klein announced happily, only for Kirito to cringe slightly.
"U-umm..." Kirito muttered awkwardly, only for Josuke to speak up on his behalf.
"Forgive him, for the term 'friends' is foreign to him regarding everybody apart from me, apparently." Josuke joked, causing Kirito to flinch from all the blood rushing to his face.
"I-I have f-friends! Shut up!" Kirito whined jokingly, leaving Josuke to cackle wickedly at his expense.
With this, Klein laughed at their banter, and stood up. "Anyways, I think I'll take off for now! I'll be sure to find you guys again in this world someday! Maybe then I can repay my debt to you!"
"You don't owe us anything, but we'll be looking forward to seeing you around. Take care!" Josuke declared, shaking his hand and opening his menu to log out.
Josuke swiped down his menu and raised his eyebrow, unable to find the right button. This was odd. To have a game missing its logout button was definitely strange, but judging from Klein's prolonged presense and confused expression, he could tell this was definitely not good.
"S-say, Kirito..." Josuke began, causing the young gamer to turn his way.
"Where's the logout button?" He asked, a bit on edge.
"It's there. Look harder." Kirito blankly replied, but Josuke wasn't convinced.
"I'm telling you, I can't find it!" The delinquent urged irately.
"It should be right..." Kirito opened his own menu to prove his point, only to find the button's title absent and no matter how much he tapped it, nothing happened.
"...W-what?" Klein muttered worriedly.
"I-it's the first day. This has to be a bug or somethin', right?" Josuke asked, worrying for the worst. But it wasn't wrong to hold on to hope. It wasn't like he was gonna be stuck here, right?
"I...I'm not so sure. It's been four and a half hours since the servers went online. If that were the case, I'm sure the management should've been alerted to the problem. Try calling the GMs or the Admins." Kirito suggested.
"I've tried. Nothing's happening. There has to be another way to log out, right?" Klein rebutted, clearly uneasy.
"No. The logout button on the player menu is the only way. We're stuck here." Kirito said gravely.
"N-no..." Klein began to panic, until a light bulb went off in his head.
"Oh! I know! I'll just remove the NerveGear..." He said, grasping his head with both hands, hoping his real body would act accordingly and take him away from the game world, but nothing happened.
"That won't work. The NerveGear is designed to intercept all brain signals regarding movement. As long as it's on our heads, we won't be able to move our real bodies." Kirito explained.
Josuke began thinking to himself. He had already tried using Crazy Diamond, but it appeared that he could not interact with the outside world at all. The situation was growing hopeless, and the trio began to become more agitated.
"S-so we can only wait for the bug fix, then?" Klein asked.
"That, or possibly if somebody in the real world removes it for you." Josuke reasoned.
"I live alone, though... you guys?" Klein dejectedly whimpered.
"I live alone with my mom. Same goes for Kirito, although he's got a sister." Josuke began to reply, only for Klein's eyes to go wide as he grasped Kirito's shoulders with an excited expression.
"How old is your sister?" Klein asked eagerly, only to feel a hand grasp his shoulder powerfully.
Turning around, Klein whimpered in fear as he saw Josuke glaring at him with a stare so menacing, the onomatopoeia could have might as well physically materialized next to him. His eyes were shaded by his hair, but his ice-cold expression stabbed into his heart like a knife.
"Don't. Stick your dick. Where you'll regret." He spoke softly, yet with such a deadly aura, it Klein could feel the chill rising up his spine like a snake.
As soon as he let Klein go, Josuke returned to his normal personality, rubbing his temples in frustration.
"So... how are we gonna solve this?" Josuke asked.
"I dunno. The only hope we have is if the GMs reboot the servers, which will forcefully disconnect everyone, but it's been this long and nobody's lifted a finger." Kirito noted, causing Klein to nod his head gravely and Josuke to rub his forehead to calm himself.
But just that moment, the sound of bells rang throughout the Floor, reaching the trio's ears, echoing from Starting Town down to the valleys and floating islands where they were.
Kirito recognized the sound, but he said nothing, as he only waited in anticipation like the others. As the chimes sounded, nobody said a word, and just like that, they were gone.
Sword Art Online, Aincrad (Lv. 1: Town of Beginnings)
Kirito, Josuke, and Klein suddenly found themselves gone from the fields where they had been hunting and back in a familiar scene.
They were all back in the square at Starting Town, the wide-open space filled with confused players just starting to materialize into space in blue flashes of light.
"A forced teleport?" Kirito muttered, seeing everybody slightly on edge, obviously asking the same questions they had been.
But then as the bell's chimes stopped, Josuke pointed above him at a blinking alert above the square. "What's that?"
Before Kirito could answer, the "WARNING" alert formed a holographic red hexagon around itself, before constructing more hexagons around it, effectively forming a dome over the square.
As the sun shone through the translucent dome, a dim red light illuminated the square, adding to the tension and ominous atmosphere as players began to raise even more questions.
"What's goin' on?"
"Is this part of the opening ceremony?"
"Hey, look!" Klein then pointed up at a section of the dome above them, appearing to drip a red blood-like fluid from it, but oddly enough, the liquid didn't drip down to the ground like they had expected.
Much to Josuke's confusion, the fluid began to arch to resemble a hammock, the liquid continuing to run and build up at the center, forming a bulbous mass growing from the center, sparking electricity.
"W-what's that?" Josuke asked nervously, only for Josuke to place a hand on his shoulder.
"Don't worry. It's a GM announcement." He said, and sure enough, the liquid blob started taking shape, forming the appearance of a figure covered by a crimson cloak with golden trimming. Their face was completely obscured by the hood they had over their head, as it raised two gloved arms while looking over the crowd.
"Welcome gamers... to my world." The figure spoke, in a dark, booming voice that echoed around the dome and ringing in the ears of the nervous players.
"My world? Who is this guy?" Kirito asked quietly.
"My name is Kayaba Akihiko. I am currently the one person who holds this world, and therefore, your lives... in my two hands." He continued to say monotonously, covering the square in a fearful atmosphere.
"H-him? It can't be!" Many thought at once, remembering the alleged man's role in the creation of the NerveGear and the game.
"Now, I'm sure all of you have noticed that your logout button is absent from your player menu. Allow me to reassure you, for this is not a bug, but merely a feature of Sword Art Online. I repeat, this was an entirely intentional decision. All players are unable to disconnect from SAO." He continued to say, tapping his own logout button for reference.
This started to set the crowd off, as confused and scared voices spread through the crowd.
"A-a feature? H-how?" Josuke thought to himself in shock.
"On further notice, should a relative or friend from the real world attempt to remove any of your NerveGear headsets, you will still not be able to disconnect. Albeit, not safely." He continued, driving the atmosphere into more tension.
"Should it be attempted forcibly, a burst of microwave energy will be released from a transmitter which is installed into each of your headsets, effectively frying your brains and ending your lives."
While this announcement filled everybody with fear, most of the players began to wave it off.
"What's he sayin'?"
"He's just trying to get us riled up!"
"Let's go. This creeps me out."
Some players attempted to leave, only for them to quickly realize they were trapped inside by a forcefield surrounding the square.
"Nobody can leave during announcements like these." Kirito muttered under his breath.
"Microwaves? What the hell's he goin' on about?" Klein asked, waiting for his friends to answer.
"He's not wrong. The transmitters in the NerveGear can emit energy similar to microwaves, and frying a brain is possible if the safety's off." Kirito mumbled in response, feeling himself lose hope with every word.
Kayaba then began to speak further. "Unfortunately, it is possible that a parent, guardian or family member would ignore this warning and attempt to forcibly remove the NerveGear regardless. As of now, 213 players have already retired from real life and the game world."
With this, the trio's eyes shot wide open in shock. "213 people?!" Josuke exclaimed loudly.
"I can't believe it!" Klein added with equal gusto.
"I'm sure most of you are doubtful, but news of their demise and my warning have already gained international press, as you can see." Kayaba continued, opening holograms of webpages around him, each one playing news channels and websites.
Everyone looked on in horror to see the numerous accounts of families grieving, reports of the passings of young men and women and of Kayaba's warning spreading across the internet.
"Seeing that my warning has been made clear to the world, I can assure your safety as you attempt to finish the game. However..." Kayaba continued on, stopping ominously.
"Keep this crucial detail in mind. All methods of revival in-game have been terminated and thus will no longer function." This detail caught the attention of the crowd most, bringing the tension up to a crescendo.
"H-he can't mean..." Josuke muttered in horror, fearing the worst alongside everybody listening.
"Therefore, as soon as your health bar reaches zero, your avatar and data will be permanently deleted. And at that same moment, the NerveGear will destroy your brain, killing you in the real world."
This final notice gripped the crowd in pure terror, earning a collection of gasps and muffled cries, while others merely stared in shock. Josuke's anger began to rise, leading him to grip his fist to suppress himself.
"In order to regain your freedom, there is only one condition you must meet. You must complete the game." Kayaba explained further.
"You currently stand on the 1st Floor, the lowest point on Aincrad. Conquer a Floor Dungeon by defeating its Floor Boss, and the level will be cleared, allowing all players access to the level above. Assuming one of you defeats the 100th boss on the top floor, the game will be cleared, allowing everybody to disconnect safely." Kayaba said.
However, the crowd riled up in outrage and disbelief.
"Clear all 100 floors?!"
"How're we gonna do that?"
"The beta testers never even made it near that!"
"Lastly, I have prepared a present for you all. It should be delivered to each of your inventories now." Kayaba said, causing Kirito's brows to raise.
Opening his menu, sure enough he found a notification for a new item in his inventory. Tapping on the notice, the item automatically materialized into his hand.
"A... mirror?" Josuke asked, staring at the small object with confusion.
Suddenly, a loud hum sounded from around them, before echoing throughout the square. The pair then looked to the side, seeing their friend being engulfed in a shining light.
"Klein?!" Kirito yelled out in worry, before he himself, along with everybody around him was blasted with the same brightness from the mirrors in their hands.
As soon as the light subsided, Kirito blinked slowly, his eyes trying to clear from the sudden flash. Stunned, he rubbed his head, trying to bring himself back to his senses, when he heard a voice behind him.
"You okay, Kirito?"
Kirito turned to address his friend, only to be shocked to see someone looking completely different. He definitely had Klein's voice, but his hair was different, a light brown and spiky, all tied up by a bandanna. He had the appearance of a man in his 20's, with a light scruff lining his chin and pointing up under his lower lip.
"W-who are you?" He asked, confused.
"I think that's my line." The man replied, causing Kirito's eyes to look down at the mirror in his hands. He only stared in shock at his own face, realizing that he now looked exactly like he did in real life, with his large eyes and youthful features.
All around him, the crowd gave each other astonished looks, and he also noted that the number of female players had dropped sharply.
"Then that means..." The man in front of him said as he put the pieces together.
"You're Klein/Kirito?" They asked each other in unison
"H-how?" Klein asked in confusion.
"The scan... remember when we needed to scan our bodies for 'calibration'?" Kirito recalled, causing Klein's eyes to widen, before turning to a familiar grunt beside them.
"W-what the hell's going on?" Josuke muttered, rising to his feet, standing tall to his full height at 185 cm, causing Kirito and Klein to gawk at him in shock.
"J-JoJo... did you change?" Klein asked.
"I... think so... why?" Josuke asked, confused.
"W-were you always this tall?" Kirito asked. He had seen Josuke's face over the chat, but he had no idea how big he was in real life.
"My dad tells me it runs in the family..." He stated awkwardly, scratching the back of his head.
"How old are you exactly?" Klein asked curiously.
"15. Why do you ask?" Josuke answered, causing Klein and Kirito to fall over backwards from shock.
"W-why would he do this?" Josuke muttered, grasping his forehead in stress.
"I'm sure he'll answer your question soon enough." Kirito said, gesturing to Kayaba's massive form.
"I am sure many of you are asking yourselves, "Why?" "Why would Kayaba Akihiko, the creator of SAO do such a thing?" Well, to answer your questions, I have already done what I aimed to achieve. I created SAO purely for my own entertainment, and the preparations have already been set in place. This concludes the tutorial for the official release of Sword Art Online. Farewell and good luck."
With these parting words, Kayaba's GM avatar began to glitch as the red fluid that composed the avatar leaked out of his arms and cloak, climbing back up into the ceiling like smoke.
Soon, the avatar was completely gone, and the red dome immediately disappeared from the square, leaving the confused crowd frozen in shock and horror.
Nobody spoke a word and it was so quiet, one could hear a pin drop in the distance. Kirito only stood in place, his thoughts running rampant.
"This is... reality." He thought, clenching his fist in his hand to suppress his anger and despair.
"This has to be a joke. Tell me it's a joke!" Josuke said desperately to his friend.
"Kayaba Akihiko was a genius, and created the world's first true virtual world. Everything he said was the truth... and I know that he stands by what he just said... it's life or death from now on." Kirito gravely said, his eyes filled with fear.
Eventually, the crowds began to rile up, spreading a wave of panic throughout the square, with different voices yelling out hopelessly into the air.
"Log me out already!"
"Please! I got a life to live!"
"I don't wanna die here!"
"Tell us you're kidding!"
Seeing the forcefield drop, Josuke grabbed Kirito and Klein by their shoulders and began making a mad dash for the exit. "Guys, come on! Hurry!"
Swerving through the crowd, the trio ran through the streets of Starting Town, eventually stopping to breathe in a nearby alley.
"So... what's the plan?" Josuke asked his friends.
"I'm heading to the next town as soon as I can. You guys should come with. If everything Kayaba said was true, then we need to strengthen ourselves as quickly as we can." Kirito said to his friends.
"Right... if we wait around, the other players will wipe the fields of mobs." Klein agreed.
"Yes. That's why we move to the next area as soon as we can. That way, we don't have to deal with competition, and we can level up to our leisure." Kirito said to Klein, tapping on his map to show the route.
"I dunno. I've got friends who are also playing. They're probably back at the square. I ain't abandoning them. You okay with a few more members to your circle?" Klein asked the younger player.
Kirito frowned. He could handle at least a couple, but tending to an entire group would not work, especially if he had to divvy up the drops.
"Y'know what? Forget it." Klein said instead, much to Kirito's surprise.
"I can't have you always lookin' out for me, right? Head on to the next town, and don't worry about me!" Klein reasoned happily.
"It's decided, then. Hope you don't mind an extra pair of fists, do you?" Josuke asked Kirito.
"Yeah. Sounds great." Kirito agreed with a smile, tapping his menu to add Josuke into his guild, smiling when his username popped up on the display.
"Y'know, in the last game I played, I was the leader of my guild! I'll be fine with all the tips you gave me!" Klein proclaimed proudly.
"Well, guess this is goodbye then?" Kirito asked Klein, offering a hand to shake.
"Yeah. See you two around." Klein said in agreement, giving the boy a firm shake of the hand.
As the pair walked down the alley, Klein spoke up for the last time. "H-hey, Kirito?"
"Y-you have a cute face." He said, causing Josuke to cover his mouth with his mouth to hold in his laughter.
Through red cheeks, Kirito managed a smile and answered, "That unkempt face suits you way more!"
"See ya, buddy!" Josuke yelled out to his friend before running off with Kirito down the streets of Starting Town.
Sword Art Online, Aincrad (Lv. 1, West Field)
A million thoughts ran through Josuke's mind.
Waking up. A thought that crossed Josuke's mind that morning. The day of his birthday, and his first day trapped in a death game. Now, there was a significantly higher chance that soon, he'd close his eyes and never open them again. Every new day from now on would be a battle of life and death.
Josuke's life was always a bizarre one, but this day definitely topped his list. He ran down the road, crossing the West Fields of Level 1, passing by grazing mobs and towering mountains with his best friend.
Ever since he'd met him, he always knew Kirito loved this game, and after a day online, Josuke now finally understood what he really meant.
To feel free, to feel unrestrained, to be more than you could ever be in real life. He thought about his mom, who was probably worrying her butt off, and his father who would be trying everything he could to help him. He was gonna miss them, and the thought of never coming back to his house with his kind, caring mother scared him deeply.
"Josuke!" Kirito said to him, alerting his attention.
Looking ahead of him, the teen saw what appeared to be a wolf mob charging them from down the road.
"Let's do this!" Josuke said, clenching his fists in determination.
Josuke ran ahead of Kirito, discreetly summoning Crazy Diamond, his Stand's arms blending with his own for extra strength.
With a loud battle cry, Josuke lowered his fist, pink energy glowing from it, and threw it upwards with an uppercut, throwing the wolf into the air as its head jerked backwards from the force.
"Now!" Josuke called to his friend while kneeling down, leading Kirito to jump on his back for leverage, launching himself into the air while raising his sword, trailing blue energy from its blade.
The weapon's blade pierced the mob's chest, impaling it and causing it to disintegrate into blue crystals, rewarding both players with EXP, Col and items.
"May fortune shine on me... and my Crazy Diamond."
Lv. ?: Crazy Diamond – ?
Special: Ability to heal or restore any object, mob or player without use of items.
Damage: 500 (S)
Speed: 900 (S)
Durability: 500 (A)
Range: 2m (B)
Precision: 85% (A)
Rank: Unique (S)
Selling Price: N/A
Next up: Lv. 1 Cleared!
Hello! Let me just clear up a few things. Here, I will be referring to characters in-game as their usernames except for Josuke, but all characters apart from Kirito refer to him as "JoJo". And now, let's talk Stands. Since Stands don't really follow the logic of reality, I'm going to assume this also applies in virtual reality. Basically, other players can see Stands in-game, and Stands still inflict pain onto a player, regardless of their setting and damage transfers to their real bodies, but if a user's Stand is hurt in-game, the damage cannot be repaired by in-game healing mechanics and must be treated from the real world.
As for the timeline, I'll say in advance: The JoJo aspect of this world is not tied to the canon timeline. Josuke hasn't gone through the DiU events, hasn't met his friends, or gone on the same adventure. Characters from JoJo will appear, but that does not necessarily mean they have the same history and fate. Like I said, this is a fic using the world and events of SAO with JoJo elements. I'll spin the characters around the world and try to make a story with them that I hope you'll like, especially since I've got a ton of ideas going forward.
By the way, did y'all know my birthday was on the 22nd? Anyways, like always, feel free to tell me what you think, what you want, and head to my profile to check out my other fic and to tell me what you want next! See ya next time!