Sword Art Online Alicization Alternative: War of Underworld

By OathkeeperRoxasxNamine09

Full Summary: Slight diverge of the Alicization Arc. Eugeo and Alice, the comrades of Kirito, have survived the battle against Administrator Quinella. Six months have passed since the battle and with Kirito not recovering, the Integrity Knight and Rulid villager must be a part of a war against the Dark Territory. Together with the others of the Human Empire, they must protect the world Kirito saved. Follows Episode 23-24 and the War of Underworld Sub arc. KiritoxAsuna, Alice S30xEugeo.

Prologue: Not bare it alone! Kirito and Alice vs Quinella

Project Alicization… Alice… Underworld… Kikuoka, what the hell did you create?

Kazuto 'Kirito' Kirigaya was originally a part of a top-secret project for Rath, but instead a part of another issue within the VR world. After his run-in with Johnny Black, the last remaining of the Death Gun incident, he was back in the underworld and memories intact. There, he befriends a woodcutter named Eugeo, who's childhood friend Alice was taken by the Integrity Knight years ago. Many moments and events transpired the black-haired boy, including his fellow swordsmen Eugeo breaking the seal of the right eye to save his Pages Ronye and Tiese from a horrific event by the two Nobles Raios and Humbert. Their battles in the Central Cathedral have reached its climax, with the death of Cardinal and Charlotte, Eugeo must make the ultimate decision and merge with Alice's memory fragment and his Blue Rose Sword, and finally put an end to the Administrator…

Or, would it be that simple…?

'Kirito… protect this world and its people… please' was Cardinal's final words as she vanished into gold particles.

Eugeo's fusion of his sword and Alice's memory fragment, sure enough, defeated the Sword Golem. Pieces of the golden titan scattered the top of the quarters of the Administrator, the floor is broken up. Now with one obstacle out of the way, it was Administrator left, Quinella. The Blue Sword pointed at the lavender haired woman, ice and ice covering the wings it had shown before, yellow (almost angelic), spread out from the sword grip. Kirito, holding his black sword, had to reach out, to stop Eugeo from going to Quinella. His hand reaching out, time feeling slower.

'Don't go… Eugeo.. Don't go…' his thoughts were racing, his heart was pounding. Not another person he was going to lose, to let down...

Years ago, a boy was responsible for the deaths of a guild, for Sachi's death… all because he hid his level, or that he was a beater. The images of every member of the Moon Lit Black Cats, dying one by one in a floor trap they couldn't prevent. Remember Keita's last words before he jumped and killed himself, his last words still echoed him: 'A Beater like you could never be one of us...'

His mind flashed, to the sound of a girl's scream as she jumped in the way of a sword slash to finish him off. He watched as her health points dropped to zero, holding Asuna, his girlfriend in his arms. Her body was glowing, ready to disintegrate, and shatter into blue particles like glass.

"No, Asuna…" he said, his voice breaking. He didn't want her to be hurt, to die. He wanted her to live. He didn't want this, he wanted her to stay out of this fight. Why, why would she do this? "This can't… This can't be…"

Asuna smiled weakly at the black-haired teen, her brown looking into his black eyes. Her eyes watered, tears ready to fall.. She had to save him, even if it meant her life would be lost, "I'm sorry… " Kirito's eyes started to widen in shock and fear.

'Please don't die, I beg you. I don't want to lose someone close to me again…'

"...Goodbye…" and closed her eyes and smiled one last time, Asuna's body glowed blue and shattered like glass into particles… Kirito was left in shock, the clatter of Asuna's rapier echoed on the floor.

No… Not this time!

His hand finally grabbed hold of the Blue Rose Sword, it's wings disappearing and it returning from a great sword to its normal state, with the memory fragment still embedded into it. He panted in relief, he saved Eugeo, he wasn't going to let him do this, risking his own life. No, he can't. If he let him, everyone waiting for them: Ronye and Tiese, Liena and Golgorosso-senpai, Selka, all of them would be sad if he's dead. Feeling the force of the blade lessen, he held it on his other hand, his black blade held in his left hand.

"As if...I'll let you go on it alone," he said directly to the sword. He held up the Blue Rose Sword, Eugeo's body merged with this blade, speaking to Eugeo hoping he can hear his words, "Eugeo, you have been blaming yourself for far too long. You have been lamenting the face you weren't able to save Alice. Half of that regret is for me to bear." looking into the icy smooth surface of the blade, the faces of his pages Ronye and Tiese, his senpai Liena, Eugeo's Senpai Golgorosso, Selka, Cardinal, and Charlotte, those faces shown in the reflection of his face. More faces, beyond the Underworld, showed, seeing people he knows are waiting for him. Klien, Agil, Lisbeth, Silica, Leafa, Sinon, Yui, and of course, Asuna… He wasn't going to let them down, he wasn't going to let Eugeo bare the regret alone, not this time. "That's why... Let's fight together." And the blade shined again like it understood his words. Bringing the Blue Rose Sword to his side, he held the two blades in a two-handed style familiar to him. "With our combined strength, we'll take Alice back!"

The Administrator Quinella, watched on, still above the boy who opposed her, holding the sword of the boy she turned into an Integrity knight not that long ago. This boy, those two boys, really think they can stop her. She has spent years with this control of the Human Empire, it was going to end by this brat. Her expression serious, she eyed the dual-wielding boy.

"This shall not be allowed. This is my world. I shall not allow such conduct from such unwelcome visitors." Quinella pointed her blade at Kirito, readying the final fight of his life, "Kneel before me. Offer me your head. Submit to me!"

Kirito took his battle stance, readying himself more as Quinella floated down to the ground, the two now facing each other.

"…Not even I can reel in my irritation forever." she said, still holding her blade pointed at Kirito, now resting it to her side, "Eugeo was able to destroy the prototype, but he would surely meet a gruesome end to me. But what can you, an outsider, do to me," she asked.

"That process is what matters. Whether to grovel and die or to die with my sword in my hand. This is why we… are human." Kirito replied. Closing his eyelids, he summoned a strong image of who he once was. His image of 'Kirito the Black Swordsman' that he had always kept locked away for so long. His other self that could never lose—one like a curse that would leave him nowhere to go upon defeat, or so he feared from the depths of his heart. But he could no longer be bound by that anxiety and obsession. His appearance chance once again to his Sword Art Online Avatar those years ago. His clothes consisted of black pants with a black belt that had a large silver buckle, a black V-necked shirt that was worn underneath a black trench-coat with gray lining going down the sleeves, and black boots with silver plates to protect his shins. He had a silver plate worn on the left side of his coat, and a pair of black fingerless gloves. He wore a strap that went over his right shoulder and under it to wrap around his left side. Both his fingerless gloves held his unnamed blade and the Blue Rose Sword, like how held his two blades, Elucidator and Dark Repulser, once before.

Standing a short distance away, the Administrator knitted her brows slightly before showing a cruel smile close to what she had on when she stole Cardinal's life.

"That pitch-black appearance… it's just like that of a dark knight from the Dark Territory." she observed, seeing his attire unlike many Underworlders in the Human Empire, "Very well. If you wish to suffer to the bitter end, I will grant you an extremely, extremely drawn out and merciless fate. One that will make you fervently plead for a rapid end to your life."

"That's not enough..." Kirito responded, holding his black blade up while keeping the Blue Rose Sword to his side, "I can't redeem my foolishness with just that."

Quiniela held her rapier Silvery Eternity up high, in fighting stance Kirito caught on. As expected, it was a stance from the High Norkia style, a traditional school.

'The absurd speed and weight behind that attack would probably kill in a single hit and be impossible to parry. I had to dodge that somehow and slip in closer.' Kirito thought, thinking of a sound strategy to defeat her. 'She's immune to metal, that's why Eugeo fused with his sword, in hopes to attack her directly. Now I am holding him, his life is in my hands.'

Quinella watched with a grin on her. Kirito took in a deep breath and gathered strength in my abdomen. Kirito took in a deep breath and gathered strength in his abdomen. The moment Administrator's sword made the slightest movement, Kirito kicked off the floor with all he had and advanced. Her long sword was tinged in blue radiance, his feet break into the ground. Recognizing the unleashed secret move, no, sword skill as Vertical, he stomped down with my left foot and shifted towards the right. As Vertical was a single vertical slash, it would be tough to chase an enemy that fled beyond its range. Tracing a blue streak, the silver longsword drove in with terrifying speed. Kirito's body opened up towards the left and he desperately tried to slip past the sword's tip. The straight-line tore through the hem of his long coat as it flapped strongly. Dodging it, he was grateful it didn't hit outright. This time, he stepped hard on the floor with my right foot and restored the direction of his charge while raising the sword in his right hand. But, the brilliance on the Administrator's sword did not fade.

Kirito gasped in surprise as the sword that had nearly swung down to his feet bounced back up at a speed that ignored inertia. This was no time to dodge. Withdrawing the sword he was raising, he somehow managed to cut it into the slash's path. A massive metallic noise was let loose with enormous sparks. Though his defense succeeded somehow, he had to jump back to avoid having his stance destroyed and falling over from the pressure that was heavy enough to make the bones at his right-hand creak. Dodging the enemy's upwards slash with a step, Kirito immediately went for a counterattack, but the Administrator's skill with the sword exceeded my expectations yet again.

The sword returned overhead after tracing out the shape of a V and roared again as it swung down. With my balance shifted forward, he could not evade the third attack and it made a shallow cut at the left of his chest. It was a graze, but what ran through his body was fear and shock rather than pain. If the sword skill Administrator executed was the one he knew. It will slash through him if he tried dodging or blocking half-heartedly here. Hurling off my fear with a shout, He activated a sword skill from a rather unreasonable posture. The single-hit slash, Slant.

His expectation struck home, at last, this time, and the Administrator's sword returned overhead so quickly it seemed like it had teleported before unleashing its fourth attack with all its might. He's met the blade of white silver approaching from straight above with his black sword. Explosive light effects unique to when sword skills clashed against each other came forth and lit up both the highest minister's and his faces. The fourth attack of that four-hit skill could not be fully absorbed by a basic single-hit skill normally. She used her other hand to keep her balance, but Kirito dodges the last slash, which caused the slash to slide diagonally down, leftwards. The two swords separated with a metallic ring and I jumped back, hard, for real this time, leaving her range.

Faint red tainted his fingers of his black blade while still using the blue Sword to keep his balance. The wound on his ache, wanting to feel it with his other hand. There was no need to heal the damage of this degree with arts, but rather than a flesh wound, it was the fresh slit on the leather coat with a far higher priority value than it seemed though actualized from his image, that made him shudder. Kirito could not speak; in my stead, the Administrator leisurely straightened herself up while she spoke.

"One-handed straight sword, four-hit sword skill, Vertical Square… wasn't it?" she asked. There was a slight lag before the voice that reached his ears turned into meaningful words.

'Sword skill? Did she just say that?" he asked in disbelief. Certainly, the Underworld had the same groups of sword skills as the old world of SAO. But they were called «secret moves» and recognized as power residing in the swords after lengthy training rather than system assist. There's only one way she would know that skill, 'Eugeo… Eugeo had his memory temporarily sealed and fought against me as an integrity knight. That meant his memories were scanned through the Synthesis Ritual. That meant there was the possibility that the highest minister had scooped out the name and motion for Vertical Square from Eugeo's memories. If this guess proved accurate, the Administrator should be able to use no more than the intermediate skills for one-handed straight swords. After all, I had never shown my partner any of the advanced skills. Thus, I would have a chance at victory if I performed a skill with over four hits.' he thought, ready to use another sword skill, one Eugeo shouldn't know.

The administrator let out a giggle as she looked upon Kirito quickly separating his feet and fixing the grip on his black sword and Eugeo's Blue Rose Sword.

"My… your eyes can still stay so defiant? Very good, entertain me more, boy," she said, almost entertained Kirito could still last this long. Although there was something to be concerned about, her Life should still be full with no damage taken to her. Since he stopped Eugeo's attack straightforwardly at her, it means it's going to take a lot to beat her. Still, even with the likes of Heathcliff, Orbeon, and Death Gun, they were strong opponents and he was able to find a way to beat them. Although, it was Asuna who took the blow, Kayaba helping him, and Sinon helping him, he made it this far. Here, Eugeo is helping, his body merged with his sword. Who knows if he will return to himself, or if the fusion will disburse. He spoke no more in return, taking in a deep breath and holding it in. His black sword drew an arc as he swung it from the right to straight overhead

"Hah!" Kirito let out a sharp war cry while activating the most advanced sword skill for one-handed straight swords, Nova Ascension. Backed by an unseen force, His body soared into the air at an extreme speed. The first hit was a rapid downwards slash that bested almost all other sword skills in terms of speed. The slash had half a second before it would dig into the Administrator's left shoulder. His sensations accelerated and in that time, where all seemed heavy like immersed in jelly. The silver longsword turned its end straight towards Kirito. A steel silver flash traced out a cross-shaped brilliance. Six thrusts stabbed at divine speed first vertically, then horizontally on his body.

"Gah…" Fresh blood is scattered from Kirito's mouth. His ten-hit skill, interrupted on its initial hit, halted with its ice-blue glow futilely dispersing. He couldn't even register what had conspired in his mind, let alone make any guesses at the cause. Overwhelmed by pain and fear, he stared at the Administrator's sword, drawn from his stomach, as he staggered away. Six consecutive hits consisting entirely of thrusts, no such sword skill existed under the one-handed straight sword category. Fresh blood gushed freely from the small wounds bored into my shoulders, chest, throat, and stomach. Kirito slumped down, strength leaving his knees, and thrust his two swords into the floor as he desperately struggled against collapsing.

Having kept a distance away as if to avoid the spurting blood, the Administrator hid her mouth with the sword with a blade which appeared to have become narrower than before. It reminded her of Asuna's Rapier, the thin like blade almost looking fragile, but strong.

"What a pity, boy." The administrator chuckled, finding Kirito's attempts to attack almost interesting to quell her annoyance. With the upturned corners of her lips slightly visible beyond the sharp edge, the exquisite ruler announced in a sneer, "Rapier, six-hit skill, Crucifixion."

'No, I didn't teach that skill to Eugeo… She stole that skill from my fluct light…? Even so, could the highest minister perfectly pull off a skill that I had all but forgotten…?" he thought, his clenched teeth gnashed. Perhaps wanting to drown out a fit of unexplainable anger and fear that refused to leave his back, he roughly drew his sword from the floor, stood my unsteady feet firmly on the floor, and did not attempt to conceal his stance. The left hand holding the Blue Rose Sword and the right hand drew in. The posture for the one-hit certain kill skill that defeated Chudelkin, Vorpal Strike. Five meters, it will be enough to hit her. Even with the weight of the Blue Rose Sword, it wasn't going to matter yet.

"U… aaaah!" Kirito screamed out from deep in his abdomen, forcibly wringing out his wilting power of imagination. The black sword notched on his shoulder gleamed a ferocious crimson red. Was that the color of blood; or a naked intent to murder?" asked the Administrator, in response, spread her feet front and back and lowered her waist like him, before turning the rapier in her left hand to the right of her waist in a smooth motion and stopping still there. Kirito was sure he wasn't seeing things, the blade that had turned into a narrow rapier changed its form once more. A blade, thicker with an increased width, had a gentle curve. A single-edged narrowed curved sword. That appeared just like. No, this is no longer the time to think. This rage was all he needed.

"Uoaaahh!" His sword shot forth with his beastly roar.

"Shii!" A cry came from the Administrator's lips too, subdued yet sharp. The sword at the right of her waist gleamed blindingly silver. Tracing out a faster, more beautiful curved trajectory than the straight-line his Vorpal Strike plunged in as. The flash that combined a drawing motion with a slash in the same stroke torn into Kirito's chest. Its impact blew him away slightly after like a punch from a giant. Much of Kirito's remaining Life scattered into the air as crimson fluid while he flew up. The words coming from the Administrator with her left hand swung out dimly reached my ears.

"Katana, single-hit skill, Absolute Void."

'A sword skill beyond my knowledge…' he thought, panting, holding Eugeo's sword and he felt dread and fear once again. Assailed by what seemed like the world crumbling about me, far more intense than simple fear, He fell onto the floor. He couldn't win, he couldn't beat the Administrator. A battle of sacred arts would be a foregone conclusion, and the highest minister surpassed him even in a battle between swords. He no longer had any means of finding out exactly how she had learned her variety of sword skills. At the very least, it was neither Eugeo's nor his memories. It was pointless pondering without action any further. Even if he were to discover the truth, the fact that he had nothing left was already set in stone.

'Charlotte's devotion, Eugeo's determination, Alice's resolve… and Cardinal's will; I had…' he thought.

"What a lovely face." The voice caressed the like an ice-cold blade as he laid fallen. Administrator's bare feet stepped across the marble floor as he sensed her presence gracefully drawing closer, "Is it thanks to the display of emotions being different for humans of the other side, after all, I wonder? I wish I could keep that weeping face of yours as an ornament for all of eternity," and then gave a burst of melodious stifled laughter. "Still, I had always thought sword fights as bothersome and nothing more, but this does have its charm to it. It's a lovely feeling your opponent's suffering directly. I hardly come across this chance, boy, so could I have you hold on for a little? Let me enjoy hacking off your limbs from their ends."

"Do as you wish." Kirito spoke aloud, already feeling defeated with no way to counter her, "Hurt me as much as you want, then kill me…" He didn't care what she did, how he would suffer as much as the Cardinal did. Shell just toy with him before finally finishing him off. He failed everyone, he failed to keep Eugeo alive by grabbing the sword, but most of all…

He blamed himself...

"Come on, giving up already? You're the last one to give up..." a voice spoke out, making Kirito see in himself standing by the Great Cedar Tree, where they met all two years ago. There Eugeo stood in front of him, his hands behind his back.

"Eugeo…" Kirito breathed, shocked to see him, even after fusing with the Blue Rose Sword. He gave a halfhearted chuckle, knowing he couldn't hide how he was feeling he might lose or die, "Sorry, I guess I was about to give up there. It's just, she's stronger than I thought. No wonder she believes in her complete control of the Human Empire." Before thinking to himself, 'Sword skills were not included in the general-purpose package, The Seed, used as the architecture for the Underworld. ALfheim Online, which inherited the old SAO server, was the only one with that installed. But the engineers from Rath who constructed the Underworld shouldn't have stolen the sword skill system from the ALO server, let alone Administrator herself.' and spoke aloud, the fear in his voice more pronounced, "It was a mistake to fight her on my own, it was a mistake to think I could. I'm just making the same foolish mistakes again that I can carry everything on my own. And I can't even do that right." and closed turning his head away, "I'm sorry, I just put all of us in more danger."

"Come on, I know you're stronger than that…" another voice spoke out, a girl's voice, "otherwise, you wouldn't have protected the other me, right?

Kirito's eyes opened, seeing beside Eugeo was another face, Alice. But it was the Integrity Knight Alice, who was still at the top of the tower with him, but much younger. Sparkling blue eyes, and long, golden hair that is tied to both sides of her head, and a braid running down from the back of her head, a bow attached at the end of the braid. She also wore a white lace around her forehead.

"Alice…" Kirito realized, seeing the younger version of Alice for the first time.

"Administrator is stronger, but she's just as human as the three of us... She doesn't understand human emotions, like friends and love. And something that she never understands." And Eugeo put and ball his fist to his chest with pride, just like at the academy, "that you aren't alone this time. You hold my life, so you won't go out this fight alone."

"And I'm here too, so you aren't by yourself. We will fight with you." Alice Auberg chimed in, smiling brightly

"Eugeo… Alice…" he responded, taken aback. It was like back in Alfheim, having Leafa, Recon, and Yui beside him, this wasn't going to be just his fight alone. His two friends, in this world, are with him. He was going to win, and he wasn't alone.

"It wasn't just the Integrity Knights who lost their memories. We both lost something very important." And Eugeo looked to Alice Zuberg and back to Kirito, "You, me, and Alice were born in Ruild Village and grew up together."

"Yeah. I remember that." Kirito nodded smiling to his partner and Alice."I was there when Alice was taken away by that knight."

"Back then, I… did not do a thing when Alice was taken away… Despite how you… the young you had… so bravely, stood up against, the integrity knight…" Eugeo added.

"When I was taken by the knight, my only thoughts to the end was to see you two again, to one day grow up and maybe have a real future. But once I was forced to do the Synthesis Ritual, I watched myself, just be a puppet for Administrator, not knowing her true past or who she was." Alice put her hands behind her back, "but I didn't give up, I even called out to you, two years ago. I didn't give up, I knew you came. And we're finally together. But, we have one last thing to do."

"I know…" Kirito nodded. This wasn't over yet.

The Ruild trio came closer together and put their hands over one another. Eugeo and Alice's hand over his. He can do it, he wasn't going to be alone this time. He could feel it, holding out his hand with the pair, he saw something rising from the ground, Eugeo's Blue Rose Sword. It transformed, no longer the icy blue it was before. the Blue Rose Sword then had its detailed carving of a rose, its namesake, turn crimson. Its blade, its guard, its grip were all being dyed a vivid red. Kirito was amazed seeing the blade now a crimson red before Alice spoke up.

"If the Administrator can change her weapon, I think we can play it by her rules. A part of our life, now in this sword. Eugeo's body and my life, as we said we won't let you go at it alone." and both Eugeo and Alice look to Kirito, their blue and green eyes fixed on his black eyes.

"Now go, my hero!"

Kirito nodded, finally taking the new Red Rose into his hand.

Outside his mind's eye, Kirito stood holding the two swords with more vigor in his feet, Eugeo's Blue Rose Sword now the Red Rose Sword, thanks to Alice Zuberg and Eugeo. Kirito steps forward, facing the Administrator ready to continue their battle. The administrator slowly turned her averted face back towards Kirito, white flames of anger in her eyes as they focused on him.

"Why?" The voice that came out was deep, distorted, with a metallic ring, "Why do you oppose your fate so foolishly?"

"Because if I give up now, making this far would be pointless. I have two friends I will protect and promise to win, so I won't break that promise." Kirito confirmed before pointing the Red Rose Sword at Quinella, "You may be powerful, but you made one human flaw: not watching your surroundings."

"What?!" Quinella gasped, her eyes wide, not seeing something behind her coming her way. hundreds or even thousands of golden flakes of flower petals materialized behind the Administrator and surrounding her. Her dress and arms nicked, while it wasn't hurting her as it would a normal person whose Life would decrease, her vision was blinded by the golden flakes of petals. The petal disbursed, the Administrator using her sword arm to shield herself when her blade collided with Alice's Fragrant Olive Sword. Sparks of lightning charged from her sword, seeing the eyepatch Alice Synthesis 30 attack her, even after she thought she was knocked out before. With a swing, swatted Alice away, the 30th Integrity Knight's golden boots skidding the floor and kneel beside Kirito, panting a little before standing her ground.

"Well, this is an unfortunate turn of events. Little Alice is still on her feet, should make sure you were dealt with, little puppet." Administrator said with a smirk, the Integrity Knight who she attacked when Eugeo was trying to complete his transformation into his Blue Rose Sword and thought she was out cold, but her attention was on Eugeo destroying the Sword Golem prototype.

"Are you okay Alice?" Kirito asked, knowing she was hit by the Administrator's attack only a few minutes ago.

"I'm fine," Alice said calmly, "I didn't want to sit by and let you do this on your own, I'll be okay. Besides, if we fail, she's going to turn everyone into those monstrosities. The Human Empire will be those monsters just to deal with the Dark Territory. We have to stop her."

"Okay." Kirito nodded before facing the Administrator. The damage he was dealt with by her remained, but he still wasn't going to give up over some wounds. But he did feel at ease, he wasn't doing alone this time. Before against Kayaba and Oberon, he decided to face them on his own, he didn't have Asuna or Leafa at the time. He shoulders the weight of the players and Asuna on his own and even their help came in some way. With XaXa, who called himself Death Gun, he had assistance from Sinon who only wanted to help when that type of gun he used was familiar to her in the Battle of Bullets, only to then learn of Kyouji, her friend, who had his brother weld that gun in Gun Gale Online. So, here, He wasn't fighting alone anymore. Alice and Eugeo (within the Red Rose Sword), was fighting with him.

"Still, the two of you willing to defile me are insufferable. Surrender and I'll make your pain quicker than the pipsqueak." The administrator said, but Kirito spoke up once more, his voice a deep low voice.

"No…" And kept his stance with the two swords firm and storm, Alice keeping her sword held too, "When you spoke of this as your world, it was disgusting. You merely usurped it. One who does not love this world…" and paused when Alice chimed in too.

"And the people living in it have no right to be its ruler!" she exclaimed. Alice gripped her Fragrant Olive Sword tighter in her unarmored gloved hand, Kirito held continuously his Red Rose Sword in his left hand in the front; the black sword in his right hand in the rear drew back my right foot. Lowered his waist. His black eyes glowed a bright yellow while holding his swords.

The administrator too slowly swung the silver sword in her left hand up and held it aloft. The words her pearl grey lips repeated endlessly carried an unparalleled sense of intimidation.

"Love is to dominate. I love them all. I dominate overall!" she declared. Both Kirito and Alice looked on with a mix of disgust. She believes she can dominate all, she truly is a woman playing god. The administrator held her sword up, the silver sword grew as it exuded heavy darkness. Vivid red mingled with the dark aura of the blade that had instantly grown to the size of a two-handed sword. The massive blade immediately fell like a raging sea.

'High Norkia-style secret move, Heavenly Mountain Rending Wave, also known as the two-handed sword, single-hit skill, Avalanche.' Kirito thought before the black swordsmen step more forward as Quinella did so as well. This was it, the fate of many of the Human Empire rests on their shoulders. They will win and finally leave this tower. They weren't going to die trying. When Quinella finally struck, Kirito guard with his dual blades, a loud clang echoed the room. His blade crossed her attack, Kirito finally pushing her back. With a spin of his black sword, Kirito and Alice went for the offensive.

The blades from Kiirto and Alice clashed and clanged with Quinella's, the Administrator holding her own against the two. Their movements move along the broken battlefield, Alice delivering a swing at Quinella, followed by Kiirto who swung with his two blades. Quinella cartwheeled away and slashed at Kirito, but Alice blocked it. Alice jumped back, letting Kirito come back, Quinella swung her sword at him, narrowing missing his cheek. A smirk was present on the Administrator's face as Alice swung at her and Quinella flipped back again, distancing herself from the pair.

"Such impertinence!" she shouted in annoyance, "An outsider and former puppet, both of you dare think you can defeat me." The shouting highest minister jumped back far as she lifted the silver long sword, now back to its original one-handed sword form, to the height of her left shoulder.

Alice kept her calm demeanor and held her sword up, "This puppet will show you we humans aren't as weak as you think." both Alice and Kirito held their blades into the air, "Go my petals/Enhance Armement!" and Alice's blades split into thousands of golden petals and Darkness surged from both their blades as combine, the darkness and golden petals coming together and Quinella guarded, the black lightning channel from her blade guarding the two perfect weapon control. She wouldn't admit it, but they were about to push her back. Finally, Quinella pushed it back, an explosion of dust covered the two as Qunella's dress' hem blew in the aftermath. Kirito's black blade and Alice's Fragrant Olive Sword were sent flying out of the dust. Quinella smirked, thinking the two were defenseless.

"Hmph, what weak humans…" she remarked but looked to see two arms grab their blades from the air and came falling at Quinella, unable to realize, "What?!"

"Hahhh!" both Kirito and Alice cried, their blades cut through arms on both sides, blood splattering the ground as she limps and her sword fell to the ground. Quinella screamed in agony with both of them on either side. Kirito and Alice pant holding their blades, or so it looked. Kirito held Alice's Fragrant Olive Sword albeit it did feel heavy before when he carried Alice to the top of the tower while still holding the Red Rose Sword. Alice held Kirito's black Sword, not having many issues holding it.

"Curse you!" she screamed in pain. Having lost both arms, the Administrator's eyes flared up with iridescent flames. "Curse you, curse you, curse you!"

"Give it up, you can't reattach your arms now," Alice ordered, pointing Kirito's sword at her.

"CURSE YOU!" she screamed, throwing her head back and her lavender hair grabbing Kirito and Alice and hoisting them into the air, their arms stretched out. Her face shrewd into anger, arms severed from the base but weren't going to admit defeat by Kirito and Alice. Both Alice and Kirito struggled her hair tight on their arms. They grunted we weren't done yet. A voice echoed in their ears, Alice able to hear it.

"You're almost there, finish this!"

Their arms to their blades started to move, Kirito remembers the final push he needed when he finally stabbed Kayaba.

"Not yeeeeeett!" they both screamed. The Red Rose Sword Kirito held in my left hand emitted a new crimson flash with his scream and Alice using Kirito's black sword gripped it tighter in her as she broke free of Quinella's hair. Still, in mid-air, that got close, feeling Eugeo bring them together as he like a spirit brought them closer to deliver the final blow. The second hit of the dual blades Vorpal Strike, impossible in Aincrad, broke through the swirl of raging silver hair… Along with Alice driving the black blade as well… And stabbed deep into the middle of the Administrator's chest. Absurdly rigid and tangible resistance soaked deep through Kirito's palm. A sensation so vivid, it wiped His mind of the pain from when the rapier pierced through struck him, from being slashed into the katana, but reluctantly still had both his arms. Alice her arm vibrates from driving Kirito's sword into the Administrator. They were painfully conscious of the swords' tip tearing into the Administrator's smooth skin, breaking her sternum, and blowing her heart within away; of taking a human's life, in other words. An act Kirito had always dreaded deep in his heart since he realized the humans of this world possessed real fluct lights. But there wasn't a shred of hesitation in this one strike. Wavering here would be unforgivable for the future Cardinal had entrusted to the three. And the same probably went for the prideful ruler, Administrator. In the next moment, the resources all burst; that was to say, an enormous explosion occurred. The administrator's two eyes opened up to their limits and a silent scream escaped her lips. Slender lines of light poured out from all over the world's most beautiful bare body, spreading out in a radial pattern. And an explosion of pure energy swallowed all as it swelled out. Blown away like discarded cotton, Kirito and Alice crashed into the south glass window. Feeling the force of the impact, they bounced off and slammed onto the floor. Kirito while kneeling on the ground still held Alice's sword and the Red Rose Sword, glowing red before returning to a shining icy blue before light blue ribbons surrounding the blade and it felt warm before seeing Eugeo's body materialized curled in the ground. In Eugeo's grip, it looked like a crystal, still in his hand while he was unconscious. Alice, still holding Kirito's black sword, had her remaining eye open before resting her back on the wall.

"We.. did it." Alice breathed heavily.

"Yeah..." Kirito nodded, "Eugeo, that merging of his sword stopped. He's okay."

"That's great to hear," she replied. The pair looked up and let out a sharp gasp, seeing the outcome of their attack.

Beyond the beads of light, the remains of the explosion, slowly drifting through the air. The silver-haired girl who should have been blown away without a trace stood on her two unsteady feet. She could hardly be termed human by this point. Her two arms were gone, a huge hole had opened up in the core of her chest, and cracks, like ceramics on the verge of breaking, spread out all over her body. What flowed out from those countless wounds was not couldn't believe it, how much is her she no longer even human? Did she truly give up her humanity for almost immortality?

What resembled sparks of silver and violet fizzled as they gushed out hard and scattered throughout the air. Upon witnessing the scene, Kirito couldn't help but think Administrator, too, did not have a body of flesh and blood any longer like those turned into swords. The long hair that was once like molten platinum lost its light as well and hung down in disarray. Her dress in tatters, the visible hole noticeable like there was nothing there. Her mouth moved in the darkness beneath and the moans leaking out reached my ears.

"…To think… there would be two swords… that aren't, metallic…" The administrator laughed slightly.

"That's right, what Eugeo said. Her body was immune to metallic made weapons, except my sword, your sword apparently, and Eugeo's... To think nonmetallic made swords could do that much damage." Alice breathed.

The ruler's shoulders shook jerkily like a broken doll as she let out a brief laugh despite the circumstances.

"Unexpected… what an unexpected outcome…" she said slightly, almost wanting to laugh at the turnout.

"I don't think she can't heal herself with ease now. We're safe." Alice said to Kirito, although she felt her body still reeling from the impact from the wall.

With one foot in the grave, the ruler slowly turned her near-destroyed body. Sparks spilled from her various wounds while she started taking awkward steps like a toy with its battery cut. Her destination was the north of the hall. There wasn't a single object there, but there must be something. They had to finish her off before she reached or escaped. But not only do they need to finish her off, but it's also keeping the unconscious Eugeo safe.

Kirito got onto his feet after frantic efforts and stared at her frame, which seemed diminished from before, from behind. Alice struggled, keep Kirito's black sword in her hand. She never felt this tired but they had to stop her. They gave chase, Alice helping Kirito dragging his legs in a manner more awkward than even the highest minister.

The administrator who had gotten twenty meters in front seemed to be heading towards a certain point. But the girl should not have any means of escaping from this isolated space deprived of resources. After all, the Cardinal had said that it would be no easy task to re-connect it even with a few minutes and the Administrator had not denied that. There wasn't anything where the highest minister came to a stop several tens of seconds later. But after turning her bare body covered in injuries, the girl looked at me chasing behind and gave a deep laugh.

"Fu, fu… With things as they are, I have… no choice. It would be, quite a bit earlier than I had planned… but I suppose I shall go, a step quicker." The administrator said, trying to keep her composure despite her broken body.

"Wh… what are…" Kirito said weakly, still struggling.

"Pontflix, what are you...?" Alice asked, keep Kirito, and their blades held in their hands. Before they could ask even more; it happened before I could ask.

The administrator lifted her right leg covered in cracks and stepped down audibly. A mysterious circular pattern was on the charred remains of the carpet under her feet. A pattern exceedingly similar to the one denoting the elevating platform behind them, yet somehow different. From the circle with a diameter of fifty centimeters came a violet light—that familiar color of this world's systems in general. Alice didn't know what she was seeing or believing in her uncovered eye. It drew up from within the glowing circle with mild vibrations. A white marble pillar. Atop it was a single notebook computer.

"Wha…?" Kirito gasped, seeing what was supposed to be a modern tech in a nonmodern world.

"What in the world?" Alice gasped.

Kirito's feet tangled together from the overwhelming surprise and he fell to his knees, Alice falling too.

"Kirito!" Alice exclaimed, taking hold of his shoulders, shaking the black-haired boy whose face froze in shock, "What's going on, what is that, are you okay?!"

There was so much Kirito couldn't handle in so much time. It wasn't exactly like those notebook PCs of the real world. Its casing was translucent, much like crystal, and the same went for its light purple screen. It bore an extremely large resemblance to the system console in virtual worlds he saw just once back in Aincrad. In other words, that was it. The communication device to the outside world he's had been seeking for these two years.

"This is bad, we need to stop her, she could escape…!" Kirito exclaimed, his face in return, grabbed arms, much to her outcry.

"What do you mean escape, here?!" she asked.

"Far worse, worse than you ever imagined!" he replied. Pushed on by an impulse that practically hurt, Kirito struggled to carry Alice and their swords, so much weight that trying to keep her safe was so much to bear. But his progress was despairingly slow and the spot where the Administrator stood seemed hopelessly far away.

With both arms lost, the ruler had a lock of her silver hair lift like a living being and swiftly typed on the keyboard with its tip. A small window opened up on the holo-screen and some sort of indicator began counting down. A pillar of violet light immediately appeared at the Administrator's feet, Her hurt body lifted in silence.

Here, the girl finally raised her face and looked straight at them. Alice looked on with her remaining eye, Kirito in shock and disbelief. Her features that boasted of perfection were in a tragic state. Large cracks had developed on its left and opaque darkness filled where the eye should be. Her lips that sparkled pearl grey, too, were now like paper, but the smile appearing there carried the chill of the extreme north like always. Her unharmed right eye curtly narrowed and Administrator gave a short laugh once more.

"See you, boy, Little Alice. Let's… meet again. This time, in his world." she declared to the two.

He finally realized the Administrator's intentions upon hearing those words. Alice registering those words in her head. Everything that Administrator and Kirtio were talking about before their battle, those from the outside world, could it be… Where is Kirito truly from? But Kirito, he knew what she was going to do...

The girl was trying to escape to the real world. She planned to slip out from this Underworld with its absolute limit termed Life and maintain her fluct light. Like what he was going to do for Eugeo's and Alice's souls.

"Wa... wait!" Kirito shouted as Kirito weakly tried to get to her. Alice was struggling to keep Kirito away, she had to get there, but her body was still in pain.

The administrator's broken body slowly but steadily rose on the ladder of broadly smiling lips mouthed out a soundless farewell.

Go- od-by-e…

It was right before she finished forming that last syllable. A shriek rang out from someone who had crept up to the base of the console with neither Administrator nor they noticing.

"Your Eminenceeee… bring me along, toooooo…" It was Chief Elder Chudelkin.

The clown, whose body should have been pierced through by Kirito's sword skill and disposed of by the Administrator, showed a bizarre expression on his round colorless face and extended his two hands towards the skies, his fingers bent like claws. His small frame exuded scorching flames. Was it act or maybe the power of incarnation? Having turned his very own self into a flaming clown, Chudelkin flew into a spiral. Not even Administrator was unaffected as her face, too, showed surprise and what was likely fear. Even as the highest minister was trying to reach the gateway for the passage of light, her two feet were caught by Chudelkin's two fiery hands. Stretched long, the clown's body continued creeping towards the Administrator's bare body in a circle and wrapped around her like a snake. Blazing crimson flames engulfed the pair. The administrator's hair flared up from the ends as though melting. Her lips warped and emitted a shout that was almost a scream.

"Let go…! Release me, you boor!" she screamed, both Kirito and Alice watching in horror

But a smile of supreme bliss appeared on Chudelkin's utterly round face as though his master's words were like a love confession.

"Aaaah… at last… at last, we can become one, Your Eminence…" he announced in lustful intent and desire.

His two stumpy arms hugged the Administrator's body tight. The cracks on the girl's skin turned red hot and small flakes broke off one after another. Alice couldn't believe her eye at what she saw.

"To a hideous clown… like you… I'm…!" Those words were nearly screamed out. The silver sparks spurting from the highest minister's body interweaved with Chudelkin's flames and illuminated the hall with glaring light. Chudelkin's body had lost its form before they knew it and became a clump of flames. His ecstatic expression alone remained at the core and boomed out his final words.

"Aah… Your Eminence… my… Administrator…" And the Administrator's body, too, began bursting into flames from its end. Fear and anger vanished from the ruler's face, engulfed in flames, as those silver eyes looked up at the sky. The highest minister retained her sublime beauty even now despite being completely broken.

"A world… of my own... I..." Kirito and Alice couldn't catch anything beyond that. The raging inferno rapidly subsided. It was let loose as a flash of silver. Rather than an explosion, it seemed more like all had been reduced to light, filling the space. Nothing roared out or shook; a thought simply spread out, crossing even the walls of the isolated space: the soul that had lived the longest in the Underworld had been extinguished. The silver light's luminance quietly stayed on for so long, it seemed as though the world might never be the same again. But eventually, it began to fade and color returned to their sight.

Kirito blinked his two eyes, tears flowing from them perhaps due to being burnt by the light, while desperately fixing them at the heart of the explosion. Alice rubbed her eye after seeing the deaths of both Administrator and the Senator, who were the reason she was forced to be an Integrity Knight, her memories and life stolen for her. And yet, it was sad for it to end this way for them. Was it pity or remorse for them? She didn't know. There wasn't even a single trace that the girl and clown existed now as far as I could see. The pillar of light had vanished as well, leaving behind only the marble pillar and crystal virtual console sticking out from the floor.

"It's over… isn't it?" Alice asked still not recovering in what happened and how to respond to it. She looked to Kirito, who held her sword in his hand, hearing him speak.

"Was that good enough… Cardinal…?" he muttered without thinking with his knees still on the floor. Alice, kneeling herself and hugged him, the same way she confronted him as the seal of the right eye exploded.

"It's okay… We did what we had to do, I'm sure she'll be happy," she responded softly.

"Thank you, Alice," Kirito replied, still his mind was muddled with so much. The two stayed that way until the sound of stirring caught them off guard looking back. Eugeo was finally waking up, raising his head from the floor, and looking around. The room was a complete mess, not just the destroyed pieces of the Sword Golem but looked like the explosion of something. Kirito smiled, tears in his eyes. His friend and partner are awake. The two got up and walked back to him, Kirito kneeling to hug him. Kirito's clothes reverted to normal as he faced his friend.

"You're back, thank goodness. Welcome back." he said softly before putting his hands to his shoulders, "Are you okay? Nothing was broken?"

"I'm fine, it's not like I'm in two or anything. You two okay?" Eugeo asked, looking at Alice and Kirito.

"After seeing the Administrator and the Senator go up in flames, I don't know what I see anymore," she replied.

"Eugeo, why did you do that? You probably wouldn't come back or you die. How would our underclassman feel if you died?" Kirito asked, "Selka too, I'm sure she'll be sad."

"I guess I did, to not feel powerless, that I could finally save Alice's memories. That, I'd worry we would fight over which Alice," he explained and Alice blinked.

"You mean, the Alice in that fragment, my memories?" she asked, seeing the blue crystal still in Eugeo's hand. Eugeo nodded, being the first real conversation they had, first meeting them at the Academy, the 90th floor, and now, here, he never got to talk to her more properly.

"Yes. If it didn't, end up like this… Kirito and I would likely have to fight… for the Alice in our ways. I, to restore Alice's memories... and Kirito, to protect, Integrity Knight Alice's soul…" Eugeo explained, looking at Kirito, his eyes fixed on the black-haired boy, "Kirito, do you love Alice?"

If there was an escape a worse conversation button, Kirito would press it right now as his face was flushed red. Did, did Eugeo misinterpret his reason he cared about protecting this Alice? Wait, did everyone misinterpreted him? Oh no, no, no, no! This was a complete misunderstanding, Eugeo got it all wrong. He has no romantic feelings for any girl but Asuna, does every girl think he likes them? Is his friend right now in love with him? He'll have to get answers on that later, but Eugeo thinks he loves Alice? He just got to know her in a night!

"W-What, no! Where did you get the idea I was in love with her?! Eugeo is that what you think of me this whole time!" and at the same time, Alice just watched in stunned silence, "Why don't I don't tell Alice here one night it rained one night and Tiese was in your room?!"

It was Eugeo's turn to beat red, especially in front of the girl he cared about since he was little, regardless of how she looked, "What! No, no, no, you got it all wrong! She got caught in the rain and had to stay in my room! Nothing happened." And Alice looked to Eugeo before Eugeo pointed a finger at Kirito, "So if not Alice, what about the other girls?!"

"I have no impure intentions with anyone!" he shouted and Alice looked at both boys and then, something happened. A small giggle escaped her lips before completely laughing, finally stopping the boy's petty fight. It was the first time both saw the usual calm Integrity Knight laughing, actually laughing. Both Kirito and Eugeo stopped fighting to watch her laugh, it was… cute, even for her. Before she stared at them with her one eye and a stern look.

"Honestly you two, act your age! We're alive, use that energy to something more important than a childish fight!" she snapped, making the two look at each other and like Alice, laugh themselves too. What was that about anyway, They already still feel the fatigue of the many battles, that energy they should use to lick their wounds from their fights, not on who did what. What is she going to do with these two? Well, they gave her her freedom not used as a puppet, so that's one thing.

Eugeo sighed deeply looking up at the mural of the three goddesses and the fragments of memories of other Integrity Knights. He thought about how it should be now night time and the stars out, he smiled, remembering how that barrier Administrator put on this floor should be gone. Kirito eyed his partner and wondered what he was thinking about.

"What are you thinking about?" he asked, seeing him having a look more relaxed than ever.

"Just, so much has happened to me. Eight years ago, I watched Alice be taken away and now I am sitting here at the top of the Cathedral after fighting for my life. And I lived to see the end of it all. It makes me think of all those nights, underneath the stars. I remember I fell asleep after one of our training sessions, you came to find me." Eugeo held his other hand, still holding Alice's memories, "I see you… Shining brightly, in this darkness… Just like a star… a star in the night sky… like I had, seen every night, on my own, under the Gigas Cedar… Shining just like your sword… Kirito," He rose back up, looking at both his companions, "Your sword still has no night? Night Sky Sword, I think it suits it, don't you think?"

"Night Sky Sword, I like it!" Kirito said, smiles at him.

"That's a good name for it, I like it." Alice chimed in, hands to her dress.

While we sat there, we talked for the first time since we battled together. I didn't know, it would be the last time I spoke to them...

A few minutes passed, and Alice fell asleep resting her head on Eugeo's shoulders (Kirito holding back a grin that he's having his childhood crush on his shoulder). Kirito had risen and sheath his now christened Night Sky Sword into his sheath, looking at the pair. Now with the Administrator gone as well as the Prime Senator, it was one thing to check, that device she was trying to use. Could it be used to speak to the outside world, to Kikouka and the others at Rath? He'll have to speak to them, although a part of him wanted answers now of what they made. Eugeo looked to see Kirito on his feet, turning from him.

"Alice will need rest, so watch her okay?" Kirito asked.

"What will you do?" Eugeo replied curiously.

"Something I need to take care of. Then, we'll make our way out of here. I'm sure the knights have recovered from our battles and will probably look for Alice. If we see them it's explaining to them we aren't from the dark territory and aren't bad. But, we'll probably be in serious trouble with them," Kirito added, his one eye looking at the pair, 'I need to keep them safe, even if the Knights still see us as the enemy.'

"Kirito, there was a lot of your conversation with the Administrator that I was thinking about. Something about a woman from the other side world. She also said you were an irregular boy." looking at Kirito's back, the next words escaped him, "Kirito, who are you? You aren't from the human empire or the dark territory. Where did you come from?"

His back still turned from Eugeo, Kirito spoke once more, a smile on his face, "When this all was done, I'll tell you and Alice everything. It's a long story, I hope you are up for it."

"You promise?" Eugeo asked the ping of worry Kirito might go away was present. Worrying once again Kirito might go away.

"I promise. You rest too, partner," he said, not looking back at Eugeo when he said those words.

Eugeo nodded, uncertain Kirito's tone like he was going somewhere. Eugeo slowly closed his eyes, as Kirito walked away.

"Are you worried?" a girl's voice spoke in his head. Eugeo stood underneath the Demon Tree, with Alice Zuberg standing with him.

"About Kirito, Alice, and I, a little. But I'll keep them safe. It's my turn to protect them, the same way Kirito has always been there for me." Eugeo said, smiling at Alice.

"You grew so much Eugeo, I'm proud of you." she said before standing in front of him, hands clutching the hem of her dress, "Eugeo, can I…? Can I… do something I want to do since I was little?"

"Sure, what is it?" Eugeo asked, cocking his head a bit.

"I know this is inside your mind and you're just connecting with my memories and… well, I want to…" Alice Zuberg's hands fidget on her dress, a faint blush on her face, her face going red, "Well, can I... Can I kiss you?"

"W-What?!" Eugeo screamed, his face going red himself at Alice Zuberg's request, "A k-k-k-kiss?! I mean, I always wanted to kiss you since I was young and all, not that I wanted to do that beyond with you just yet!" his arms were held up and shaking them frantically before Alice jumped on top of him, "Whoa!"

Alice Zuberg and Eugeo collapsed to the ground, blades of grass picking up around them. The small girl was on top of his chest, kneeling and kissed Eugeo on the lips. Eugeo's eyes widened when Alice rose, smiling at him.

"I love you, Eugeo," and the blonde-haired girl giggled, a bright smile on her face as the sun shone behind her.

Outside Eugeo's mind, he blushed, with Alice Synthesis 30 still on his shoulder. Holding Alice Zuberg's memories in his other hand and Alice Synthesis 30 on his shoulder, he was happy. His friend was safe again and completed his life long mission… all was good…

"Maybe I shouldn't leave them so far away." Kirito decided, turning back to them. Both Alice and Eugeo looked sound asleep, seeing how peaceful his friends were. Walking back to them, he eyed their injuries. Alice's injuries were terrible too. But luckily, most of the damage was burns with barely any bleeding, so any continuous drop in Life should have ceased. Eugeo's injuries weren't as bad, considering the merging of his sword, especially his fight with him when he was under the Administrator's spell. Life should be fine. Carrying Alice and then Eugeo, he took them closer to the module and then let them lay on the ground. "I feel once this is done, I'll tell you everything about me, about the outside world, my friends, Asuna. I hope the two of you get along with them and each other."

The crystal system terminal was all that remained undamaged now and it let out a mechanical flicker as it greeted him. He tapped a single translucent key with a finger on my left hand. The monitor lit up, displaying a complex administration screen. The user interface was mainly in the Sacred Tongue, no, English, but Kirito eventually found what he sought after touching the screen several times.

External observer call. He stared at the tab given that name for a while. Observer, those who made this world, set it into motion and watched over it.

"They, the staff members of the venture company, Rath, in other words, had told me only a single lie, but it was one that was far too heavy." Kirito spoke aloud, still eyeing the screen, 'June 2026, in the real world felt so long ago. Then, I participated as a tester for an extended continuous operation experiment for the next-generation full-dive machine, the Soul Translator, developed by Rath. The test took place over three consecutive days. Through the STL's Fluct Light Acceleration functionality, I had spent ten days, roughly 3.3 times what had passed in the real world, in a VR world for that test and had my memories blocked to ensure confidentiality. That was how those from Rath had explained it to me. But that was a lie. Where I had dived into during that test was not exclusively for that test, but this Underworld where I was in right now. And ten days hardly matched up to how long I had spent there. It was probably over three hundred times… likely over ten years' worth of time."

Time in the real world really must have passed so much. He wondered how everyone else felt, he probably vanished after his attack by Jhonny Black that he was sure he worried everyone. Suguha, Aunt Midori, Asuna, if Rath did dive him back into the Underworld, they have to be worried sick. He sighed, thinking once more, 'I did not care why did Rath mix me, an outsider, into this civilization simulation now that it was all in the past. But there was something I couldn't possibly overlook. There, when the young Alice was being taken away by Integrity Knight Deusolbert. Eugeo had continued blaming himself for that long period. He continued lamenting how he could not save Alice. Originally, I should have borne half of that regret. But I had to go and forget about the past… not noticing the depth of Eugeo's suffering until the moment he tried him. But if he died, I would regret it, I regret Eugeo doing all this... Why should he suffer worse than I had all those years ago?'

A tear shed from his eyes, quickly wiping them away, "I'm sorry, Eugeo, Alice. You both didn't deserve your fates, ones whose memories were taken and another who froze in fear… No, the Taboo Index stopped you back then, and you broke it to protect Ronye and Tiese. Rath was the one who made your lives suffer, and I'm going to find out why, why create this world, why to use me?" Lifting his left hand, he touched the button to call the observer with a trembling finger. A dialog in Japanese was displayed with a warning tone when he did.

When this operation is executed, the Fluct Light Acceleration rate will be fixed at 1.0. Are you sure?

Kirito pressed the OK button without any hesitation. It felt like the air turned more viscous all of light, and everything else stretched out into the distance before giving chase and returning. A strange sensation assailed me for an instant, like his own movement and even thoughts were in extreme slow motion and faded before he could react. If that work, the Fluctlight Accelerator now had returned the running of time in this world to the current time in the real world, just as long as he used this to communicate. A single black window opened up in the middle of the screen. A sound level meter was displayed in the middle with the words, "SOUND ONLY", blinking above it. The rainbow-colored meter jolted up. Followed by a steep increase. Mechanical noise reached my ears at that same time.

'A sound from the real world,' he thought. The world of the other side with its repeating peaceful days with absolutely no relation to the state of the Underworld. The real world with blood, pain, and death being nothing more than a rare occurrence. With the tempest of intense emotions deep in him that he had somehow kept in check welling up, Kirito trembled. Drawing his face closer to the terminal, he shouted out the name of the man who had brought the former SAO survivor to the Underworld as loud as he could.

"Kikuoka… can you hear me, Kikuoka?!" Kirito screamed, finally all the feelings boiling up were unleashed, wanting to yell at Kikuoka. If these hands could reach Kikuoka Seijirou or any of the other administrators right now, he might strangle that person to death. Slamming both of his fists trembling with no target for his rage into the marble table, Kirito shouted once again. "Kikuokaaaa!"

Immediately, some sort of sound streamed out from the wasn't one from a human. Katatata, katatatata; crisp plosive sounds. It sounded like gunfire, like Gun Gale Online. But on the other side of this screen should have been a research facility of a small venture company. Why would there be such a sound? Mouth agape, he stood still and his ears caught human's voices this time… a tense exchange of yells.

"—gative, the intruders occupied path A6! We're retreating!"

"A7, return fire somehow! Stall them until we lock down the system!]

Once again, the sound of gunfire. Along with sporadic explosions mixed in. What is this? A movie? Did it pick up the audio from some streamed movie the staff members were watching in the research room? But then, the unfamiliar voice called out a name I knew.

"Lieutenant Colonel Kikuoka, we're at our limit! We have to abandon the main-con and shut the pressure-resistant barrier!" A pointed, rusty voice answered.

"Sorry, hold on for another two minutes! We can't let them take this place now!"

Kikuoka Seijirou, the man who brought him into this world. He had never heard his voice this strained. What exactly was happening beyond the screen? Could they be under attack? Rath? But why? And once again, Kikuoka's voice came through.

"Higa-Kun, isn't it locked down yet!?" I recalled the voice replying too. Higa Takeru, a researcher in Rath who was present at his test-dive.

"'nother eight… no, seven secs… Aa… aaaahh!?" Higa's voice screeched as though shocked at something. "Kiku-sann! Someone's calling from inside! No, from inside Underworld! This… aaahh, it's him, it's Kirigaya-Kun!"

"Wha… what!?" Footsteps running in. The mic jerked as someone grabbed it. "Kirito-Kun, you there!? Are you there!?"

From outside the Underworld, gunfire fired, hitting the wall that separated the control room from the intruders. Bullet Holes line the wall, the intruders, several military men, ducked back from the corner the Ocean Turtle side was firing back. Behind one of the helmet covered men, one of them was smoking a cigarette, not at all worried. Everything was going well, they will take control of the Main Control Room, no matter who tries to stop them.

Back with Kirito's side, he was already grasping who he was talking to was Kikuoka Seijirou. Pushing aside his hesitation, he shouted. "That's right! Listen here, Kikuoka… you… you son of a bitch… What have you done?!"

"I'll take on all the criticism you got later! Listen to me now!" Kikuoka responded. He could tell Kirito was upset, obviously being sent back into the Underworld without his consent was alarming for him, almost as bad as being trapped in Sword Art Online. But right now, with the dire situation. Kirito couldn't help but shut his mouth at this desperation that didn't suit him at all. Kikuoka turned back away from the mic, men in suits holding pistols as sparks of gunfire were underway.

"Hey what's going on there?" Kirito's voice picking up. At the same time, the cigarette smoking man dropped it to the ground and stepped on it. He gave a hand signal to the man behind him, it was time. One of his men went forward to fire, but one of Kikuoka's men fired back.

Kikuoka turned back around speaking again into the mic, "Sorry, there's not much time to explain. Listen… Kirito-Kun, search for a girl called Alice! And then…"

"Search for… she's right here!" Kirito shouted back and Kikuoka instantly turned silent this time around. The first thing he hears from the Member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in quite some time and he's barking orders at him?

Following, he sounded agitated, "I-I can't believe it… it's a miracle!" His delight turned when he spoke again, Ri… right, the moment this transmission cuts off, I'll return the FLA to one thousand times, so take Alice and head for the World End Altar! The internal console you're using now is linked to this main console, but this place's going down!"

"Going down… wait, just what…" so much was being given to him, World End Altar, the world was going down, what was happening?

"Sorry, no time to explain! Listen, the Altar is straight south after you exit the eastern large gate…" Kikuoka ordered, but behind him, one of the helmet covered men broke from the group towards another location, one of the suits wearing men speaking directly to Kikuoka.

"Sir! They're about to infiltrate the electrical room!"

"What!" Kikuoka gasped.

In the location of the electrical, an electric saw was cutting into the door of the room, one of the men guarded by several overs on all sides.

"You over need to do is sever the power line, make sure you don't harm the Light Cube control lines," ordered the man who stood behind the electric saw user.

"Leave it to me, Bro. I won't mess up like that." responded the other man, a tattoo visible on the right of his face.

"Lieutenant Colonel, we shut down A7's barrier, but a few minutes' our… no, aah, damn it! It looks like they're starting to cut off the main electric wiring!" an unfamiliar voice called out to him.

"Eeehh, they can't, that'll be bad!" The reply wasn't Kikuoka's, but a shrill scream from Higa, "Kiku-san, cutting off the main electric wiring now will cause a surge! The Light cube Cluster's safe… but there'll be a spike at the sub-con where Kirigaya-Kun's STL is… it'll fry his fluct light!"

"What… that's ridiculous, there are tons of safety limiters on the STL…" Kikuoka spoke up, his face pale and sweaty.

"We cut off all of those! He's undergoing treatment right now!" Higa exclaimed back

'What exactly were they saying? What would happen to my fluct light if the electricity died?' Kirito asked himself, listening to everything, unable to see it.

The one who broke the fraction of a second of silence was Kikuoka once again, "I'll lock this place down! Higa-Kun, you get Professor Koujiro and Asuna-Kun, retreat to the upper shaft, and keep Kirito-Kun safe!"

"B-But what about Alice!?" Higa asked the concern for the girl this whole project was about was important too.

"I'll up the FLA rate to its limit! We'll think about the rest later, his safety's the…" but Kirito barely caught any of the continuing exchange of shouts.

A single name in Kikuoka's words pounded against my consciousness and shook it like a storm.

"Asu… na?" Kirito asked, 'Asuna's there? In Rath…? But why would she?' His face drew closer to the terminal to ask Kikuoka that question. But it happened a moment before his voice came out. The owner of the first voice he heard screamed out in anguish.

"No… the power's cut! The propeller's stopping, all hands, brace for impact!"

And, Kirito saw something strange. Pillars of white light silently soaring down from the skies far above, stabbing through the cathedral's canopy. There was no pain, no impact, no sensation whatsoever. But even so, he knew that I had received damage so serious he couldn't recover from it. The light pierced straight through his soul itself, rather than his flesh… it seemed like that. Something that defined my existence, something precious, was torn to shreds and began to disappear. Time, space, and even his memories dissolved into a hollow, blank whiteness.

"I…" couldn't even make sense of what he was trying to say. He heard a voice from somewhere, somewhere far away, a moment before I was robbed of my ability to think.

"Kirito-Kun… Kirito-Kun!" he looked to see someone floating down at him, trying to reach out to him. His name, Kirito, was being said by this familiar voice. It had a ring so nostalgic, it made him want to cry; a ring so dear he almost went mad.

Several voices called for his name, familiar, just nostalgia as the first, just as two more voices called out for him…


Sword Art Online Alicization Alternative: War of Underworld

Next time: In the Far north

Michael: And that was my first new story of 2020 and really, can't believe I decided to do this. First of all, yeah, getting the Novel 14 and following it as well Episodes 23-24, not easy but it was fun mixing the canon stuff with my spins, like that new original scene with Kirito talking to Eugeo and Alice Zuberg or Alice Zuberg tackling Eugeo to kiss him. All from me. I feel once I start the Sub arc properly, it's going to be a lot of fun, having Eugeo experience the war and how he grows in the six months after the fight. You are surprised there's not a lot of divergent Alicization stories or at least ones I like. Protector of the World by biri24 I like cause Kirito isn't beating himself up or broken but he's not doing much and with all the character shifts from everyone, it can get confusing as, who's the main character of this story, if it's not Kirito in the Sub arc. Hopefully, things ramp up now that Asuna has joined the Underworld and hopefully the rest of the cast. Come To Life: Into the Outerworld: SAO After Alicization by kahail is an interesting take on if Rath had a darker secret and seeing the now alive Eugeo and Alice have a bond outside the Underworld. Two stories justify Kirito betraying Asuna or doesn't know what happens when a flutlight meets its copy. The one-story that disgusts me of these divergent that justifies what Kirito does and a reason people hate Kirito for the girls who like him. Best keep its promise it's not gonna be a harem, you already committed the justification of nonconsent, which I thought the critics and fans frown upon?

But I digress on this author's notes where I ramble on. What's Next. After the prologue is uploaded, it's writing the layout for this. It's a simple one, chapter titles, ideas of how Eugeo will interact with the Integrity Knights, reuniting with Ronye and Tiese, and yes, how he will react to meeting Asuna. I'm trying to think how should Eugeo tackle the war, support the Knights in battle, and grow closer to them in battle, or stick by Alice's side while on Dragon mount? It's only up until Alice gets taken by Vecta that Eugeo will go after her, and I think having him meet Leafa would be interesting. Many ways to do it, but I want to focus on the Alice and Eugeo relationship. Outside the official art of the two most together with the cast and how they interact in the gameverse, there's not a lot of Alice and Eugeo to grow the foundation of a couple. I think the six months they spend together and how they interact will help. It makes the couple feel more real than just 'Eugeo deserves to be happy.' With most of Novel 15 which covers most of the episodes 1-5 of the War, I will do my best like this to add as much of inner thoughts and details from the light novels, that's why I invested getting them and Novel 17 and 18. I will do my best to make this a great story, just don't expect a quick update after this, I am a person who wants to make his writing flow like a novel. I do need to use my dictionary more though.

So enjoy it and you will see it for the next chapter.

One more thing, Eugeo's safety isn't the only big divergence from the canon I got, keep a good lookout when I do episode three.

For a familiar old friend.