Floor 2, A week after the clearing of the Floor 1 Boss

-tay in Formation!" Klein exclaimed to his friends as the Trembling Ox charged through Issin, Another of Klein's friends Dale had smashed his unupgraded sword to the flank of the Ox yet even that hadn't impeded the Oxes fury as the Ox pounced unto Dale and readied itself for yet another charge.

"Damn it" Klein cursed within his thoughts as his group had just ran out of their supply of Teleporting Crystals, Klein pointed to Dynamm with two short words "Heal Dale and Issin!"

The Ox was now staring at Klein as the red-haired readied his sword that was at the verge of being destroyed at the Monstrous Bovine, The Ox charged through Klein yet was narrowly unable to be trampled as Klein sidestepped away from the Bovines advances. The Oxens charging was not interrupted as it nearly drove head-first unto the edges of a cliff. Yet before the group was even able to breath a deep sigh, the Oxen had unexpectedly and suddenly stopped during its charge losing all its momentum as it turned around and had yet again stared to the eyes of Klein before attempting another charge.

"This big guy really has it in me. Huh" Klein thought as he challenged the beast with a shout "Over here ugly!" as the Bovine huffed as Klein's life almost flashed before his very eyes. Almost.

The Bovine was just winding up its attack before it was interrupted by a kick from an intervening and quick warrior who quickly delivered another attack.


And just like that... the monster exploded into a tiny dozen pieces which quickly faded away into nothingness. Klein and his friends turned to look at their saviour who had the appearance of a Kid who looked just at his teens with only his starting armor with a Broadsword and a Kite Shield. Although, Klein did faintly recall a face yet could not place.

"...Are you and your fellows injured?" After a pregnant pause, the kid had shortly said with a monotone yet soft voice that if it were any more silent it would've been a whisper.

Klein blinked "N-no, thanks kid." He said, before grinning and giving the peace sign.

"..." The 'kid' didn't answer and just turned to walk away.

"Wait!" The 'kid' stopped well within his tracks and rotated his head "What's your name?"

"...Maraki" The now-named 'Maraki' responded,

"Thanks Maraki! You're a real lifesaver!" Maraki merely blinked at Klein's praise,

"Where did you learn to fight like that, Are you a... Beta Tester?" That came from one of Klein's ally and friend Kunimittz,

"No, I have only practiced extensively with Kendo." Maraki paused "Might i have your permission to leave?" At Klein's nod he left but not before raising his left hand in a gesture unknown to Klein, They didn't even know where their saviour had went off to in the Savannah Themed Floor,

Malachi was a stoic and silent swordsman, He had no memories to recall before his time as an Unkindled, He rarely spoke unless necessary to progress through a conversation. He shared victory with Siegward against Yhorm, Battled against the crazed Gael at the ends of the world, Done battle against the King of the storm, and numerous more victories and staggering losses and deaths. If given the time, He can prevail against any and all opponent be they a God or a Demon. But in the end, He was only ash given the form of a man.

Maraki was... a child, during his birth silent...so silent in fact that the surgeons thought him to be a stillbirth though with a short babble that disproved most of their worries. Maraki's parents mostly left their child to his own devices as he had went through school with passing grades and quite excellent athletics. Turns out, Maraki was also a really great swordsman as he had quickly defeated even his seniors on Kendo who had tried and failed to impart lessons of defeat. As well as being proficient with Archery. Though he rarely left his house whenever there wasn't anything for him to do. But in the end, He was only ash given the form of a man.

It was upon the launch of the new popular VRMMORPG Sword Art Online and the FullDive Helmet NerveGear, it had decades and decades of technology hidden within its sleek exterior. Maraki hadn't even heard of the game device recently when it was delivered in a packed atop the porch of his home, With a plain white note with the ambiguous 5 words "For the Champion of Ash" written upon it. At that, Maraki had his suspicions raised. He crumpled up the letter threw it in the trash and contemplated on who sent the letter, how they knew of his background. Dozens and dozens of thoughts appeared within the mind of Maraki as he inspected the box containing the game of Sword Art Online.

After reading the contents, He had a few ideas of the Basics of Sword Art Online's World, of the 'Ground-breaking technology' within the NerveGear and the vastness of the world of Aincrad.

He knew it was with great risk were he to play the Game as that could risk the vulnerability of his physical self were someone to intrude into his room and slit his throa- Maraki quickly stopped those train of thoughts. The best way to get pass a trap, is to spring it. That was his mentality back then and it had about most of the time succesful

In the end and after countless deliberations, Maraki followed the instructions on how to set up the NerveGear, Laid on his bed and closed his eyes and uttered the words "Link... Start." With those two words, he was transported into an unknown yet familiar world.

Author's Note: This story a bit snippety and often skips a few floors and is often not chronological, Malachi is also the Ashen One, not the Chosen Undead or the Bearer of the Curse.