Casual chapter length. Whether you agree with this chapter or not, I don't really care. After all, it wouldn't be an SAO Self-Insert Fanfiction without something like this happening.
A new threat had arisen in Aincrad.
Now, I wasn't surprised by player killing, or PKing; it was to be expected. When faced with a harsh reality, people tend to panic and do stupid shit. I know. However, I didn't expect them to become a fucking guild, did I? That definitely got me, though it did get me thinking...
What are their motives? People wouldn't kill for fun unless they had cracked to the point of insanity. Maybe they believe that only the strong should survive in this world? Or maybe that if a players kills a player, then they are actually set free from Aincrad? I'm not sure...
Seriously though, this is fucking bullshit. Now we have to watch out for PKers while clearing dungeons and shit. Fuck you, Laughing Coffin. Fuck your motives and fuck your guild. Now I can't relax in dungeons.
Speak of the devil...
I casually flicked a metal throwing pick from my wrist at the bush, only for a rabbit to squeal and hop away.
...huh. Thought that it was something els-
I jumped and barely avoided the pick thrown at me. Not gonna lie... that freaked me out.
"Come out and face me," I said calmly as I grabbed my spear. Holding it loosely by my side, a man in tattered, green robes stepped out, grizzly white hair showing from underneath his hood.
"A lamb lost, with nowhere to go," he said as he circled me. "What will you do with the big bad wolf here?" I glanced at his waist as he slowly pulled out a cleaver before focusing on his body.
"I'd suggest leaving now," I said calmly as I forced my senses on alert, reacting to every small motion and sound. "I'd rather not leave here with blood on my hands."
"Oho!" He laughed. "There will be blood, yes, but for good reason."
My eyes widened as I heard two sets of footsteps behind me. Slowly, I backed up until all three were in my vision. Tattered green robes, grey pants and bandages covering their arms? Yep, Laughing Coffin. I can tell by your shitty generic clothing. Go fuck yourself.
"You two, this will be your target for initialisation," the man said calmly as he gestured at me. "It's show time."
I gritted my teeth.
Can I call for help?
...no, Kirito disbanded the party today to do some solo grinding, and I doubt that there's anybody near here. After what happened on the 25th floor... fuck!
I kept my spear up and ready as the two men began to circle me, their lips curled into cruel smiles.
Suddenly, one darted forwards and I dodged to the side, only to hear the other snarl. I ducked instinctively, narrowly avoiding a dagger before I leapt backwards, lashing out with my spear.
Sliding to a stop, I darted forwards as one of the members of LC charged a sword skill.
Hah, idiot. You won't hit me with tha-
My eyes widened as the other LC member shoved me into the path of the skill. There was nothing I could do.
I exhaled as a [Linear] hit me in the chest, shattering my bronze chest piece before I grabbed a handful of the metal fragments.
"Should've repaired my armour," I growled. Sweeping out with my spear, I managed to knock one off their feet as the other charged. Stepping to the side, I growled and slammed a handful of metal shards into his face. As he wailed, I activated a martial arts skill and slammed my fist into the back of his neck, making the man crumple to the floor pathetically.
One down, two to go.
As I turned to the other, he snarled and charged me, hurling daggers with wild abandon.
"What a waste of a weapon," I muttered as I sidestepped, the man blinded with rage. As he swiped at me with his dagger, I blocked the attack before striking his wrist with the shaft of my spear. Caught off guard, he dropped his dagger before I slammed the butt of my weapon into his forehead
Two down, one more to g-
I spun around and swung wildly. As my spear tip whistled through the air, the man chuckled as he eyed his [K.O] allies.
Okay, what the fuck was that?
"Impressive," he said, his lips curling. "Just as good as the rumors say."
"Oh yeah?" I twirled my spear before settling into my combat stance. "And what do those rumors say?"
The LC member chuckled again. "A professional wielding a spear with incredible power who faces Floor Bosses fearlessly. A teenager who stood up to the clearers on the first floor and reunited them successfully, dispelling most hate from the beta testers. A new recruit that will join Laughing Coffin."
I sighed. "Are you by any chance their leader, per say? Cause I really want to go fucking home, and I don't need your shit in the way." I lowered myself into my mind, letting loose all needless distractions.
This man is my enemy. I must defeat him.
Taking a step forward, he didn't shrink away from the challenge I proposed.
"I hope you are ready, little lamb," he said mockingly. "The Big Bad Wolf is here to stay."
Cause you're going to lose, and this little lamb is gonna kick your ass and stay.
I exhaled as he smirked.
I darted forwards as throwing picks and daggers a like were thrown at me, all different shades of colors. Rolling to the side, I came into a crouch and swiped at the man, only for him to block and counter-attack. I slapped away the cleaver and leapt forwards, slamming my shoulder into his chest. Stumbling forwards, I managed to turn and catch his weapon with the shaft of my spear. Grunting, I went to dislodge his weapon, only to have my feet swept from underneath me. Instantly, I rolled to the side as I narrowly avoided a pick that I could only guess was a paralysis pick.
I managed to scramble to my feet and breathe as he watched me curiously. I rolled my shoulders and sighed.
Alright, time to get a bit more serious.
Taking a step forwards, we slowly began to circle each other, my eyes never leaving his body.
I refuse to lose to scum like you.
I thrusted my spear experimentally, forcing him to step out of the way. In response, I ducked underneath a throwing pick before blocking his cleaver.
We continued this little dance for minutes, using little jabs and swipes to try and lower each other's guards.
Okay, I think I might be getting the hang of his abil-
I froze as the man laughed, leaping forward. I was defenseless as the cleaver bit into my shoulder.
What the hell was that? Seriously, that… aura that keeps leaking out from him…
I bit my lip hard as his weapon cut my arm off. I felt an ice cold chill spread through my torso as my arm shattered into pixels.
"How's that feel, little lamb?"
I grunted in response as I stepped forwards before smashing my head into his.
Ahh, ahh, ahh, ahh- FUCK that hurt.
Blinking, I managed to regain vision as I watched the LC assassin stumble away, howling in pain.
I frowned. That shouldn't have hurt him that badly. Unless Kayaba specifically made it that Orange and Red players have their pain reducer down, it wouldn't have done anything. Though, pain is pretty much like IRL now but it's not at the same time. It doesn't make much sense. Why do I keep forgetting that?
I glanced at my missing left arm, red pixels leaking out as the [Bleed] status grew stronger.
The man was slowly recovering as I took out a heath potion and drank it, downing the whole thing as fast as possible.
I have no idea how my arm will regenerate or when, but I'm hoping that it's soon.
. . .
Oh, don't worry, it's back.
I rolled my new left arm as it flashed into existence, my arm bare as the LC assassins all stood up, growling.
"Alright," I snarled. "Round fucking two."
I darted forwards and swung my shaft up, the blunt end catching one in the chin before I spun around and ducked. I feinted an attack to his legs before jumping forwards, avoiding a cleaved to my back.
As I rolled, I scrambled to my feet as I faced the assassins; two standing and one glaring at me.
Oh you are fucking shitting me.
I hit the ground, frozen as the paralysis kicked in.
There is nothing I can do now.
. . .
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. . .
"Ah, you're awake."
Frozen. In. Place.
Can't. Open. Eyes?
"Hold on, let me just…"
. . .
"Alright, there you go."
I slowly blinked, my eyes dry as I groaned. My body felt extremely heavy but… weightless?
I looked around.
Everything was grey, just like the character selection screen.
A grey void.
. . .
Fuck, I died.
It's the only explanation. Unless I'm suddenly Jesus, a fucking Garry Stu or a godamn Shounen Character, then I died. End of story.
I stood up slowly, and turned around.
. . .
"Who the fuck are you? If God is a fucking old man who is somehow a Bishounen then I'm Jesus fucking Christ."
The man chuckled.
"I believe creator would be a better suited word."
It wasn't a question, it was a statement.
Do I… do I hate him? H-How can I? This world is a gamer's wet dream!
Kayaba raised an eyebrow. "You're taking this fairly well."
I shook my head.
"Actually, I'm pondering whether I should thank you, kill you or insult you. I'm leaning towards the latter for now."
"Do you know what happened to you?"
"Yes," I said. "I was killed by a bunch of pansies who need to make their chance of success over 200% before they decide to play a game. I should've just killed them when I had the chance."
I shook my head.
"Interesting…" Kayaba looked up and noticed my confused expression. A ghost of a smile made his lips curl. "When I created Cardinal, I made it so she could run independently. In doing so, I've allowed her access to everything on the web."
I nodded slowly.
"In return, she can patch, update or implement entirely new features into Sword Art Online. Are you still following?"
"Basically, you're saying that she could get FPS or horror games and implement them into Aincrad?"
Kayaba nodded as I began pacing back and forth.
"Of course, her programming would allow her to make rational decisions and not add that," I murmured. "But that means gameplay styles like puzzle, RPG, Fantasy, Shooter, Racing games..."
My eyes widened.
"You're fucking kidding me."
"You came to a conclusion?"
I looked Kayaba dead in the eyes.
"Are you telling me that this machine likes anime?"
I grinned wildly as Kayaba sighed. Darting forwards, I attempted to punch the man, only for my arm to be batted away.
I continued my assault, sending out punches and kicks engrained into my body towards the man who trapped us here. Each attack was successfully defended or batted away as I growled.
Right hook, duck, leg swipe, roll, batt, pun-
I stumbled backwards, admiring my now broken arm. Seriously? That much strength?
I grabbed my arm and grunted as I tried to force it back into its original position. It didn't work.
I sighed as my right arm dangled uselessly by my side.
Oh well, at least pain absorbers are on. Alright then, this should be fun.
"Quick break and a question," I huffed, taking a breather. "What's up with the pain absorbers?"
Kayaba raised an eyebrow. "What about them?"
I glared at the man. "You should know. After the fight with Illfang, we could suddenly feel pain. Not as bad as real life, but more then the usual numbing of body parts."
Kayaba smiled. "I do not control anything that happens in Aincrad," he said calmly, with a hint of... pride? "Cardinal handles everything. I am merely another player in this floating metal castle."
"So, your telling me that she decided to remove some of the pain absorbers?"
Kayaba nodded. "She must've decided that it was necessary that players feel pain."
"But why?" Kayaba raised an eyebrow. "Why would players need to feel pain for? To make the world more believable or- oh."
"It seems you found your answer."
Well, fuck me.
"Now, let me ask you a question. Do you know what happened at time of your death?"
I rolled my good arm before glaring at Kayaba.
"I died. End of story."
I punched again before batting away his arm. Ducking, I avoided his punch and pulled his arm, forcing him closer. Grinning, I elbowed the man in the ribs, earning a satisfying CRUNCH.
That has got to be fractured ribs at the least. It may be my left arm, but after the martial arts quest, I've been training all of my body.
"Shortly after your death, the system noticed a strange error."
I stumbled backwards from a punch before Kayaba kicked me in the gut. He wasn't even fazed.
I rolled back to my feet.
"According to Cardinal, when the player known as 'Shiki' died, the NerveGear failed to destroy his brain."
We traded blows, punches being blocked before retaliating with a kick, only to be countered.
The cycle began again.
"The player's avatar was terminated - nothing can fix that. However, on closer inspection of the remains, a golden glow and a faint outline revealed the player to still be there; unconscious, but still alive."
I backed up, rubbing my ribs after the vicious strike.
"Cardinal had recently added a new patch with new content. With it, a new skill was born. A skill that shouldn't be able to be used at all and shouldn't exist. It is officially called [Will Of The System], or labeled as [Reality Break]. It seems that you are the first user of this skill."
I eyed Kayaba carefully.
Stance is casual. I'm not a threat?
Facial Expression is a small smirk. I'm beneath him?
Well fuck you too.
Pushing a bang out of my face, I watched my opponent carefully.
"So, why should I care?"
I'm interesting enough to get the attention of the creator of SAO? That's a red flag right there.
"You are... different, to say the least," Kayaba said as he stood there. "Someone Cardinal decided to let use the skill despite its... nature. I want to see how you achieved this. To see how an ordinary player ascended past their bound limits, and challenged the system I created myself. Such a thing makes me excited for the future possibilities for SAO."
I shivered at the glint in his eyes. He truly is a scientist. Why did he even make SAO and the NerveGear in the first place?
"So, you're saying you want me to become your guinea pig?" I darted forwards, only to freeze in place. Baring my teeth, I snarled.
I glared at Kayaba.
"So, what? You're going to chuck me somewhere random and hope I activate [Reality Break] or whatever the fuck it is?" I chuckled dryly. "Yeah, go fuck yourself."
"That actually sounds like a great idea."
Oh fuck. Sarcasm failed. Kayaba uses ?
Kayaba began manipulating the menu at great speeds. Its super effective.
"Perhaps you are a one trick pony," he said calmly as blue hexagons began to emerge from the ground. "Maybe you're not. We'll soon find out."
With a calculating smile, Kayaba tapped on a final button before the blue hexagons suddenly turned red.
"If you survive, I'll come to you."
My vision suddenly became dark as the red hexagons swarmed my body.
"Good luck, Shiki. The only way to survive is to react and adapt."
What the fuck is that meant to mea-
[Revision Status: Chap 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 complete] - Thanks for the reviews Failtasticbelt. I've gone back and fixed up the chapters in what I believe is suitable enough for it to work. Now, gotta go work on my other stories and read you story. Seriously, every time I try to read it, I get distracted my something.
Read, review, go crazy. I stole that line from Nosferatu869.
Okay, I'll stop. But seriously, read, review, and possibly don't frenzy. I don't have enough Blood Vials to go around, and they are fucking expensive early game and I am not farming them anymore. Besides, I'm starting to lean towards Estus Flasks right now. Dark Souls III is really fun, and I'm having fun mucking around with different weapons. Mainly Ultra Greatswords and Scythes, though I'm taking my time. Might go back and play Bloodborne as some point. Anyway, see ya in the next chapter!