The world created by the God and his angels.

A world that runs off of mana, the main source being the elf's pride, the World Tree.

A world inhabited by humans, elves, and half-elves.

A world where half-elves are hated by the majority of full blooded elves and seen as weapons by power-hungry humans.

Because of this the world is split into three noticeable regions.

The first region is the land of humans and the only place half-elves can live happily, Aincard. Made up of large towns and other geographic regions, this is the most populated land. It uses the plentiful power source of mana to run electronics.

The second region is the land of the elves, Yggdrasil. A forest region where elves live in harmony among the animals and plants, one with nature. They fiercely guard the World Tree, the main source of mana. Humans are not allowed without permission from the leader and half-elves are killed if they step onto land without an escort.

The third area is the Realm, but this land remains a mystery.

This is the world where the remarkable story of thirteen warriors will be told. The story of...

The Wings of Seraph.

A warehouse, rusted with age and long abandoned, stood in a junkyard. A young woman crouched in a nearby ditch. Her chestnut hair trailed behind her as she looked at the site. Four figures crouched behind her in a line. "So is this the area?"

One of the figures, a young man with pointed ears, walked in front of the girl. He brushed a lock of his black hair aside as he looked into a pair of binoculars. "Yeah, that's it Asuna. I can see some activity inside."

Asuna nodded and turned back to her teammates. "So, does everyone remember the plan?"

One of them, a dark-skinned boy with dreads, smirked. "Just go in and take them out, right? Not hard to remember."

A girl next to him slapped him behind the head, causing her hair, black with red highlights, to move as well. "Leo you Idiot! We do that and we'll be killed!"

As Leo growled at her, a red-haired man stepped forward and looked at Asuna. "We're going to sneak in, right? Lyfa, Eugeo, and Yuuki are going to set jammers around the area to knock out any radio signals that could detect us and will also take care of the guards that could spot us."

The black-haired boy set down his binoculars. "Then we sneak in as a team of five. Argo and Sinon will enter in another way and stay hidden until your signal."

"Right!" Asuna looked back towards everybody. It was clear that she was the leader. "But remember! They have hostages, so we need to be careful not to attack them as well."

"Tell that to Jade here…" Leo turned and grinned at Jade, the girl with black hair and red highlights. "She was the one who attacked them last time."

Jade picked up her guitar and swung it at Leo, nearly taking off his head.

"Hey watch where you're swinging that freaking thing!"

Jade glared at Leo, her guitar ready for another swing. "How the hell was I supposed to know who wasn't a hostage?! They had a hypnotizer! Everyone was attacking us!"

A voice crackled over everyone's earpiece. "Could you all please keep it down? We can still hear you over the headset. Especially you, Leo."

Asuna pressed her earpiece, speaking into it. "Eugeo! Are the jammers in place?"

"Yeah, Lyfa just planted the last one and Yuuki's handled the last group of thugs. You all can move in now. Sinon and Argo have already gone ahead."

A smile formed on Asuna's face. "Alright, we're moving in right now. Keep an eye out for any other thugs and we'll keep you posted."

"Roger." A short burst of static sounded from the earpiece and the line was cut.

Asuna turned back towards her companions with a determined expression. "Alright let's take these thugs out and save as many hostages as we can." She sent a pointed look towards Jade and Leo. "And you two. Keep your squabbles to yourselves. Now, let's go!"

And with that, the five approached the warehouse.


A body fell to the hard concrete floor, blood oozing from its head. Cruel laughter echoed through the warehouse as a group of cloaked men watched. Thugs, the lot of them.

One walked up to the corpse, his face covered by a menacing skull mask. A gun was in his hand, still dripping of used mana.

"What a fucker! Couldn't pay his debt and got his bitch and runt in trouble!"

More cruel laughter. The other thugs looked on in the back, many laughing at his comment. The sounds being heard even outside as two thugs came, picking up the body


The masked thug growled. "Someone shut that brat up! She's starting to piss me off!"

One of the thugs snarled. "Been fucking trying! This crap ain't easy!"

"Can't do shit right! Why did boss hire you again?!"


The masked thug fell to the ground clutching his leg. "SHIT!"

"What have I told you about questioning my decisions?"

The gang members stiffened in fear, looking up at the stairs leading to the top floor.

It was an elf, his pointed ears showing his lineage. His chest was bare, the scarred muscular build clear to all who could see. His pants were torn and ripped, as if they couldn't contain his own strength.

He was the boss. And he was annoyed.

His heavy steps shook the staircase as he approached the downed thug, a shotgun smoking in his right hand.

The thug yelped and scrambled backwards in fear. "B-Boss! I didn't mean to anger you!"

The large elf narrowed his eyes. He lifted his giant leg...


…and slammed it down on the man's injured leg.

The sharp crack of bone breaking and the pain-filled scream caused the others to wince.

The muscular elf leaned, putting more pressure on his henchmen's leg. "Well you did. Now you know the consequences." The elf leaned even closer until his breath was rasping against his henchmen's face. "Now, what's this I hear about our missing cargo?"

The henchmen's eyes widened in fear. "B-Boss, please! W-we were jumped by a guild! They, they took it from us! I'm begging you, please spare-"

"Shut up."

Everyone jumped at the gunshot. They looked on in fear as the henchmen's head slammed against the ground, blood trailing from his head.

The elf spat and turned around, shotgun slung over his shoulder.

"Now let this be an example to you all! If you fail me again or dare question my decision making, you'll end up like this piece of shit here! Do I make myself clear?!"

He received fearful nods in response. Even from the child, too scared to do more than shiver in fear as the man looked at her.

"What's this brat still doing alive?" The elf growled and stepped towards the child. "Damn it, I'll kill her myself!" He brought his gun down and took aim. A scream and then-

"That's enough."

"Tch." The boss looked up towards the voice, his minions following his gaze. There, on the crossbeams, a group of people looked back.

The closest was a dark-skinned boy, glaring at the gang with furious crimson eyes. He sat on the edge, all but ready to leap down at them. His black coat was sleeveless, showing off tattooed arms. Underneath was a red shirt, matching the color of his eyes, crossed with a black X. Black cargo pants covered his legs and his outfit was finished with black and red shoes and gloves. A knife was sheathed at his back. Leo.

A elven girl sat right next to him, guitar in her hands, glaring down with angry blue eyes. She blew a strand of her black hair with red highlights out of her face. Her black shirt was short sleeved and was a little loose, showing two straps on her shoulders. Her pants were unique, being black and baggy with a belt hanging from the back loosely. She kicked her black shoes idly, while pulling strings of her guitar. Jade.

Another girl stood beside them, an unapproachable aura around her. She gazed at the thugs with contempt, her long chestnut hair moving with her as she looked at each one. A rapier rested by her waist, gleaming against her light blue robe. Her black stockings and white shoes gave her a dainty appearance but she was obviously not one to be underestimated. Asuna.

On another beam stood a man, his fiery red hair held back with a bandana. He looked to be the oldest of the group and wore heavy samurai armor. It seemed like it would slow him down but the trained eye could tell that he was comfortable with the weight. He glowered at the group of thugs with his black eyes, sneering as he drew his sword.

"Calm yourself, Klein."


Kirito shook his head and turned his unreadable grey eyes back to the gang below.

The elf growled and swung his gun up at the unexpected intruders. "Who the fuck are you?!"

"Oh?" Leo grinned at the elf. "That's how you welcome your guests? With a gun pointed at them?"

Asuna sent Leo a sharp glare. "Not now."

The elf boss snorted. "You're no guests of mine. Breaking and entering is illegal, I'll have you know."

"And killing isn't?" Kirito shook his head. "Wow, laws are really messed up these days."

"That's enough!" Asuna sent a glare at Kirito and then turned her gaze back to the elf below. "You are the Thug Lord Gerrel correct?"

Gerrel grinned. "Nice to hear my name getting out there." He laughed. "Let me guess you're here to capture me?"

Leo shrugged. "Either that or kill you. Doesn't matter much either way."

Jade nodded, surprisingly in agreement, and glared down at the thugs. "And we're really leaning towards kill after what we just saw you do. Bastard."

"Boss!" One of Gerrel's henchmen shouted, pointing at the five above. "I recognize them! They're the guild that ruined our transport!"

Gerrel's grin grew wider. "Great! Saves me the time of looking for you! I wanted to know who stopped my drug import."

The red haired samurai glared down at them. "We're here now, so neither of us has to look any further."

"Yes, but if you haven't noticed, I have a hostage." Gerrel gestured towards the young girl with his gun. She was terrified and squirmed under the strong grips of the thugs. "I can't guarantee the child's safety if you attack me."

Asuna raised an eyebrow and drew her rapier. "Oh? So you're taking hostages now? Why, can't fight fair?"

Gerrel growled and cocked his shotgun at the child. "Shut up and surrender or I'll blow this girl's fucking head off!"

Asuna didn't reply and brought her hand up to her earpiece. "Sinon. Argo. Please take care of the thugs surrounding the girl."


"Right away, Asuna-chan!"

Gerrel looked around in confusion before he heard two gasps from behind him. He turned around to see a throwing nail planted in the men holding the girl.

They dropped to the ground, dead.

"What the-?!"


Gunshots echoed through the warehouse as several men fell to the ground, puddles of blood forming around their head.

Gerrel looked on in shock as his men died around him. He turned at the sound of rushing wind to see Asuna charging, rapier ready.

"Tch!" He reached behind him and drew a large combat knife to defend against the attack.

Sparks flew as the two blades met. Asuna grunted, putting more force into her lunge. She gasped as Gerrell pulled his knife to the side, causing her to spin with the momentum.

Gerrell pointed his gun at her, ready to fire.

A black and red blur appeared and Gerrell doubled over, coughing blood. Leo smirked before pulsing his hand with mana, a small flame forming around it, and pushed Gerrell into the wall with a battle cry.

He turned back and helped Asuna to her feet, a cocky grin plastered on his face. "A little too energetic there, eh leader?"

Asuna growled, a small blush on her cheeks. "Quiet Leo, I just let my guard down."

Leo opened his mouth to reply another sarcastic remark but shut it at the sound of three battle cries behind him. He turned, narrowing his red eyes as three thugs jumped at him, swords raised to cleave him in two.

He placed his hand on his dagger, ready to draw it. He didn't have to.

A guitar riff sounded in the air and lighting struck the three thugs. They screamed in pain as they were electrocuted before falling to the ground, dead.

"Watch yourself Leo!" Another riff sounded as lightning stormed on more thugs.

Leo scowled at the guitar wielding girl. "I had it under control Jade!"

"You ungrateful little…."

"Enough!" Asuna yelled, obviously annoyed. "Focus on the fight you two!"

"Tch! Fine." Leo rushed towards the crowd, rejoining the combat.

Asuna sighed and turned towards Jade. "Jade! Use a support spell on all of us!"

She nodded after taking out another thug with a blast of fire magic. "Roger!"

Asuna parried a scimitar slash and stabbed the attacker in the heart. Kirito somersaulted over her, his blades drawn, and cut down two thugs bold enough to rush him.

Jade finished her spell, the strengthening effect felt by all the members of her team.

Kirito continued his assault, glancing backwards now and then towards Gerrel, who was fighting one on one with Klein. An incoming axe forced Kirito to raise both of his swords to block, grunting with effort as he fell to his knees from the strength of the blow. He gathered his strength to push the axe away when a gunshot rang out, dropping the thug where he stood. He looked up to his left to see a shadow dashing away, but not before he could make out its light-blue hair.

"Thanks Sinon."

Klein and Gerrel clashed in a dance of steel. The samurai swung his blade in a heavy overhead strike. Gerrel side-stepped away from it and lashed out with his large knife. Klein jumped back, Gerrel's knife barely grazing his armor, and retaliated with a vertical slash towards Gerrel's now extended arm. The elf spun, dodging Klein's slash, and used his momentum to backhand Klein, knocking him into the wall. He raised his gun at the downed samurai, the barrel aimed at his head.

"Hah!" A voice yelled and two throwing picks found their way into Gerrel's arm, causing him to jerk and miss Klein's head by a few inches. He gave his pained arm an aggravated look before turning as he felt a breeze by his side. A claw passed by, inches from where his head was. The attacker flew past, rolling to a stop in front of Klein.

"Darn, I missed!" The female voice came from a cloaked girl with leather armor. Her short hair was auburn, framing a face with three whiskers marked on either side.

Gerrel glowered as he sensed the girl's mana signature. "Tch, didn't know I was dealing with a half breed!" Gerrel grunted and readied himself. He was surprised to see that the girl seemed as relaxed as ever.

"So you're a full blooded elf, huh?" The girl shifted into a stance that would allow her to attack at a moment's notice. "Figures, that you'd be the arrogant type being a thug lord and all. I wonder how you think you're superior to us?"

Gerrel scrunched his eyebrows. "Shut up you damn rat! I'm tired of your little guild members thinking you can take me down." He spat at the ground. "You all pissed me off. Because of that, I'm going to make sure you and your friends die a slow, painful death."

He raised his gun towards the girl and charged it with his mana, enough to stun but not kill.

"Ha!" Two swords slammed into Gerrel's side. He skidded along the ground for a moment before crashing painfully into a wall.


The girl grinned, raising her claws to the black swordsman in greeting. "About time you helped out Ki-bou! I was starting to think you chickened out!"

Kirito grunted, getting back into his stance. "I see you're as talkative as ever Argo…"

Argo's grinned widened. "Admit it, you love my sarcastic remarks! You'd all be lost without them!"

"Tch, can't argue with that," Kirito muttered. "Where else would we get our sarcastic speaking half-elf mascot."

"O-Oi!" Argo blushed and crossed her arms. "That's taking it too far Ki-bou!"

Kirito laughed along with Klein, who had gotten up. They stopped when they saw Gerrel stand back on his feet.

Gerrel brushed the dust off his body and looked around, evaluating his odds. His gang was being cut down by this guild, their ambush obviously giving them the advantage. He estimated that he only had about fifteen man left.

He had two options: Run or Fight.

He decided to run.

"I know when I'm outnumbered and outmatched, so I'll call a strategic retreat for now." Gerrel pointed his gun at the ceiling.

Klein charged towards the thug lord, sword drawn. "Oi! Who said you can run?!"

Gerrel smirked and shot a mana bullet into the ceiling, sending it crashing down. Klein's eyes widened as he was forced to jump back in order to avoid being crushed from the falling debris.

Asuna dashed to the scene, Jade and Leo following her. "Wait!"

The shout was in vain. When the dust cleared, Gerrel was nowhere to be found.

Leo stomped at the ground. "Dammit! He got away!"

Asuna went to her earpiece. "Eugeo, do you come in? We've lost Gerrel. Is there any sign of him outside the area?"

It was a while before a sound of static was heard. "Dammit. Sorry Asuna but we can't find him. There's no trace of him or his thugs' mana signatures. Probably an illusion magic of some kind. All we can tell is that he's not in the area."

Asuna sighed. "It's okay Eugeo. Meet us in front of the entrance with Lyfa and Yuuki. We'll talk about what to do next there... though we might just head back to HQ."

"Roger that."

Asuna took her fingers off the earpiece and turned back to face her allies. "They can't find him."

Kirito nodded, a grave look on his face. "A high-level form of illusion magic... Useful for escaping enemies."

"That's what I thought." Asuna looked up in thought. "Let's head back to HQ and talk with Ran. She'll help us figure out what to do from there."

"Hey." Jade pointed at the little girl. "Shouldn't we check on her first?"

Everyone turned in that direction to see the girl being comforted by an older girl.

The first thing that stood out about the other girl was her light blue hair and feline blue eyes. She wore a desert themed military jacket with matching bulletproof armor and boots. Her pants were the open military type and a white muffler covered part of her face.

Kirito walked over to the two, his footsteps causing the older girl to look up at him. "Is she…alright, Sinon?"

Sinon looked Kirito in the eyes. "It takes more than an hour to overcome the shock of watching your family die."

Asuna came from behind Kirito and crouched down to the girl's level, offering her a small smile. "Hey there, what's your name?"

"S…Sena. Who are you?"

Asuna gently patted Sena's head, the smile still on her face. "I'm Asuna. It's nice to meet you Sena-chan." She paused, taking a moment to gather her words. "I'm sorry we couldn't save your daddy."

Sena looked down at the ground, her eyes glistening. "Daddy..." She sniffed, tears starting to fall down her cheeks.

Asuna reached over and wiped away Sena's tears. "Look sweetie, I know it was terrible but we need to know why they captured you all. Do you think you could tell me that?"

The little girl gave a sad nod. "D-daddy… He couldn't pay his debt in time. The bad guys... they captured us and said he was going to have to pay right now and then...!"

Sena grabbed Asuna and sobbed into her shirt. "Daddy...!"

Asuna was startled at first but then she wrapped her arms around her and gently stroked Sena's back. "It'll be alright Sena-chan, it'll be alright."

Kirito and Sinon looked at one another as the other members of their team arrived.

"Do you think her dad was connected to the drug transport we stopped a while back?"

Sinon twirled her hair. "It is possible but that doesn't explain his debt."

"Hey Sinon-chan? Ki-bou?" The two turned to see an awkwardly smiling Argo. "I don't think it's the best idea to talk badly about a dead man in front of his little girl. Especially only an hour after his death."

Sinon and Kirito flinched as they turned to see the girl beginning to cry harder than ever. Asuna wrapped the girl in a tight hug before giving a fierce glare at the two. They began to sweat, knowing just how scary Asuna could get when she was angry.

Klein facepalmed while Leo and Jade burst into loud laughter.

Leo pointed at the two before bursting into another round of laughter. "That's why you two are bad with kids!"

Kirito glared back at him, Sinon doing the same.

"It's not like you're any better with them! Remember when you had to watch over the orphanage while Sasha ran errands?" Kirito smirked. "She said you were ready to blow the place up by the time she came back!"

Leo flinched before stomping over to Kirito, glaring right up against his face. "I thought I said to never bring that back up again! And I told you! They kept hitting me with those stupid Nerf swords!"

Kirito's smirk widened into a full grin. "Oh? So now your weakness is a foam sword? Ooh, how scary."

Argo smirked, deciding to join in on the fun. "Looks like Leo here needs to go the gym and toughen up. Maybe I should hit him with a Nerf sword a few times so he'll shut up the next time he wants to talk."

Leo crossed his arms and looked away. "….I hate you both."

Jade, Kirito, Klein, and Argo laughed at the boy's expense while Asuna and Sinon sighed.

"Hehehe!" The group turned in surprise towards the giggling voice and saw Sena trying to hide a small smile.

Kirito walked over and playfully ruffled Sena's hair. "Your father would want to see you smiling like that Sena. I'm sorry he's gone, but I know he wouldn't want to see you sad."

Sena nodded and leaned into Kirito's leg making the half-elf blush. Asuna looked towards Kirito with a serious expression. "So what do you think we should do with her?" She looked back into the little girl's green eyes, a small frown on her face.

Kirito cupped his chin in thought. "Sena. Do you have any other relatives we can take you too?"

Sena shook her head. "No. My mom died last year and my grandparents are gone too."

Klein sighed. "An orphan huh?"

In the back, Jade looked down at the ground. "An orphan..."

Kirito sighed before looking at Asuna. "I'll drop her off at the orphanage so Sasha can help find her a home. She'll know what to do since she had something like this happen to her too."

Leo's eyes narrowed as he crossed his arms. "Sure you'll be alright by yourself there Kirito? You know that's mainly elf territory. They won't take kindly to half-elf being on their side."

Kirito nodded with a small smile. "Yeah, you guys head on back to HQ and get some rest. I'll be there as soon as I can."

Leo looked towards Asuna, whose eye was twitching. "I'm the one who gives the orders when Ran's not around, Kirito."

Kirito shrugged. "I'm just giving you advice so you don't become a liability when we meet up with Gerrel again."

"What was that?!"

Argo laughed. "Wow Ki-bou, could you have been less blunt?"

Klein sighed and shook his head. "This dude knows no fear."

That was as much as Sinon could take. She put her hands on her hips and looked at Kirito with icy blue eyes. "I thought you were going to take the girl to the orphanage? Or do you think it's more important to stay here and insult Asuna?"

Kirito blinked and tilted his head in confusion. "Insult? I was just telling her that she should rest since she'll just be holding us back if she's tired."

Argo and Leo laughed even louder as Asuna intensified her glare and began reach for her rapier.

"Why you!"

"Oh god," Argo managed to squeak out. "This is hilarious!"

Sinon snapped, seeing red. "IDIOT! Hurry up and go before I throw you there!"

Needless to say, everyone was frightened at the usually calm sniper's uncharacteristic yell. Even Asuna, who was usually as resolved as steel, shivered a little in fear. It was even enough to stop Argo from making a joke. Sinon's fierce killing intent didn't help, although it somehow didn't affect Sena who stood there confused.

Kirito, not needing to be yelled at twice, scooped Sena up and ran out of the warehouse, passing three confused figures along the way.

One of them was a dirty blonde boy with green eyes wearing a blue and white outfit. "Could somebody tell me why Kirito was running like he had a devil on his tails?"

A quick glare from Sinon shut him up and the two girls beside him just looked on in confusion.

Kirito rode his motorcycle through the streets of Algade. Sena had her arms wrapped around him, her head buried into his back.

Algalde was one of the largest cities in the land of Aincard. It kept up with the recent technology and was a popular tourist spot. Humans were the majority here, though half elves came in a close second.

The area Kirito was heading, however, was where city elves stayed. Obviously, half elves weren't welcomed there but Kirito wasn't worried. He knew he could take on any of the gangs that would fight him. Instead, his mind was on Gerrel and what the drug lord could be planning.

He knew Gerrel had the advantage now since the drug lord could attack when they least expected it.

Kirito sighed. They were just going to have to prepare for the worst.

He made a left turn down a hill into a rural area with barely any light besides the afternoon sky. He rode his motorcycle to the front of a large building in the middle of the area and turned off the engine.

"We're here Sena." Kirito hopped off his bike and turned towards the young girl. "Come on, I'll take you inside."

Sena nodded and held her arms out for Kirito. He helped her down and she stood close to him.

"What's a fucking half-breed doing in the elves part of town?"

Kirito narrowed his eyes at the loud voice. He looked to his left and saw three large elves approaching, each with a look of distaste.

Kirito pushed Sena back behind him and glared at the three. "I'm just here to drop a little girl off at the orphanage. I don't want any trouble."

The elf on the left laughed and spat in Kirito's direction. "Hah! I don't think you know the rules here half-breed, but we don't take kindly to pieces of trash like you littering this area. Inferior beings like you don't need to exist."

Kirito shook his head in a tired manner. "I've heard those same words plenty of times. The same thing, over and over again. Frankly, it's getting old."

The elf on the right growled. "Shut up you stain! Unless you didn't know, we're not the only ones who have a problem with you being here!"

Kirito looked around to see other elves giving him looks of hate and disgust. Some were even pulling out weapons in an attempt to threaten him. Maybe even attack him.

He let out a small sneer as he felt Sena clung tighter to his black coat. Like he had said, it was nothing new. He'd been getting those looks since he was born. The looks of hatred, of disgust, and sometimes of fear. Those looks, they made his life, his sister's life, and his parents' life hell. He hated them but had gotten use to them long ago.

"What the hell is going on out here?"

Everyone turned to the building at the sound of the loud voice. The source was a large and dark-skinned bald man. His outfit was black torn military-style clothing, matching the color of his dark eyes and beard. His ears were pointed, declaring his elven lineage. His mana signature gave no doubt as to whether or not he was full-blooded.

One of the elves yelled. "Agil! What are you doing out here?!"

Agil grunted and crossed his arms. "I came out here because your yelling woke me up from my nap. And what do I see? All of you, ganging up on a half-elf and a little human girl." The dark-skinned elf shook his head. "Man, you've gotten pathetic since my time."

The ringleader growled and pointed towards Kirito accusingly. "That stain shouldn't be here no matter what reason! We were just going to show him his way out, so he can stop staining this place with his filth."

Agil closed his eyes. "So you were ready to jump on him, without any regard for the little girl behind him? Not even considering that she might get hurt, maybe even killed in the crossfire?"

The elves flinched. They hadn't considered that.

Agil's opened his eyes and a spike of large killing intent smothered everyone but Kirito and Sena. He opened his mouth in the form of a roar. "You were ready to attack one half-elf without regarding the young girl behind him?! Are you all idiots?! Do you want to risk the humans lashing out against our kind here?! We're already not well-liked because we're the minority here, who knows what kind of trouble this would have gotten us into? And I'll have you know that this half-elf is part of a strong guild, one that is well trained with each of its members fully capable of killing! Think before you act! Now get out of my sight!"

The elves didn't need to be told twice and cleared the area within seconds. Agil took a deep breath to calm himself before looking at Kirito with a look of annoyance. "What made you come here thinking you wouldn't be attacked, Kirito?"

Kirito laughed nervously, scratching the back of his head. "Guess I wasn't thinking…"

Agil's eye twitched before hitting Kirito on the top of the head. "You really don't know fear do you?" He sighed and headed inside the building. "C'mon, let's get that little girl inside the orphanage. We can talk inside."

"So Gerrel got away huh. The rumors do say that he's a very slippery guy."

Agil and Kirito sat at small table in the dining room.

Kirito nodded, a serious expression on his face. "Yeah he used a high level form of Illusion magic. We had our best sensors out there but they couldn't find him."

Agil sighed, clasping his hands in front of him. "And now he has the element of surprise on his side. You can tell he's going to retaliate, you just don't know when."

Kirito once again nodded. "Yeah. Soon too. It will take him awhile to regain his lost men. He'll probably launch a desperate attack."

"Hmm, then you should be careful then. Desperate men are very dangerous."

Kirito smirked. "Yeah. Don't worry, I'll be prepared."

Agil sighed. "The fact that you walked right into an eleven territory doesn't make me feel any better."

Kirito shrugged and gave an easygoing grin as a tray with two tea cups was set down in front of them. He looked up to see a young female elf that appeared to be a few years older than him. Her green eyes stood out from beneath her glasses in stark contrast to her red auburn hair.

"It's nice that you go out of your way to protect these kids," the elf said, putting her hands to her side. "But you need to be more careful. Your parents worry enough about you and Suguha-chan, they don't need any more."

Kirito looked down at his tea. "Can we please not talk about my parents? I told you, I made this choice Sasha."

Sasha frowned, along with Agil, as she placed her hand over his. "But Kazuto-kun, they still worry about you and Suguha. Not only that, but your guild's becoming more well known. Did you know you've actually started a name for yourself?"

Kirito looked up, surprised by the info. "What, really?"

Agil nodded with a small smirk on his face. "It all comes with being an SS-rank. People here refer to you as the Black Swordsman. Your name hasn't gotten known outside Algade though."

Kirito grimaced. The last thing he needed was more attention, and now he had a nickname obviously based off his clothing. He was going to have some trouble ahead. That was one of the annoying parts of being an SS-rank fighter.

Ranks were very important in deciding the strength of groups and individuals. Once you became a registered fighter, you would start off as an E-rank. Since your rank was the first impression to people, it was very important. Not many would hire an E-rank for missions and high ranked guilds wouldn't take many, if any at all.

In the end, it was up to you to work your rank up. This meant you had to be ready to do a lot of things. Taking bounties, fighting in tournaments, going on multiple missions... You had to bust your ass off to earn those points to rank up.

Kirito remembered his time with Sugu when they were E-ranks. They would come back to their apartment exhausted, collapsing on the nearest sofa. Sometimes, they didn't even make it there. However, that made Kirito and her stronger.

They only had their parents send them rent money, and at times for food, until Kirito made B-rank, getting enough to provide for them. Eventually, the two siblings caught the interest of a very powerful guild leader who was seeking to rebuild her guild with some youth.

Ran Konno, one of the few SSS ranks in the world and the leader of the Wings of Seraph.

"Hey Kazuto-kun are you listening to me?!" Sasha voice shouted as Kirito felt a fan hit him on the top of his head.

"Guh! Oi Sasha was that really necessary?"

Sasha glared at the boy in front of her with a look of annoyance. "Well you weren't listening too me, so I had no choice but to hit you!"

Agil laughed loudly. "It seemed like you were in deep thought about something Kirito. What was it?"

Kirito laughed sheepishly. "Oh, just reminiscing. Anyway, I need to head back to HQ. Is Sena alright here?"

Sasha nodded, her freckled face breaking out into a smile. "Sena-chan is already making friends back there. She'll be fine, though it would be nice of you to come back and visit."

Kirito nodded, a small smile on his face. "Yeah, I'll be back to visit to her as soon as we capture Gerrel."

With those parting words, the half-elf hopped on his motorcycle and drove off.

Unbeknownst to him, a shadow was glaring at him from the rooftop.

Kirito rode through the streets, his phone hooked into a slot to let him talk through a headset. "Have you guys gotten any leads on Gerrel?"

Eugeo's voice crackled from the headset. "We've been trying Kirito, but Gerrel hasn't left any trails. We can't even sense his mana signature."

Kirito let out a tired sigh. "Dammit if we don't find him he-."


Kirito's eyes widened as he heard the sound of the wind being pierced. He looked up to see a fast paced mana bullet speeding towards him. Using quick reflexes, he quickly grabbed his phone and leapt off the motorcycle as the attack collided with the bike, destroying it.

"Kirito, what was that?!"

Kirito looked at his destroyed bike and at the figure approaching through the smoke. "I think Gerrel's decided to make his move. You have my position, get me back up as soon as you can." With that he hung up, placing his phone in his pocket. He drew both of his swords and stood up from his crouching position.

The smoke cleared, revealing Gerrel with his large knife in one hand and his mana shotgun in the other. Kirito surveyed his surroundings. It was night and he was in an abandoned street. No one was around. He could fight without the fear of innocent people getting hurt.

Gerrel growled and took a menacing step towards Kirito. "You brats ruined me!"

Kirito raised an eyebrow. "Ruined you? How so?"

Another mana bullet flew towards him in reply. He dodged, the bullet putting a hole in the brick wall he was standing in front of.

Gerrel sneered, pointing his gun at Kirito once again. "Thanks to you brats, my men left me and I've lost all my contacts due to the ruined drug export! I'm going to kill you, Black Swordsman!"

The enraged thug lord charged towards Kirito, knife raised high. The half elf blocked the knife with both swords. As the blades quivered in tension, Kirito pushed Gerrel away and performed a vertical slash with the sword in his left hand. It left a shallow wound across Gerrel's chest, but the thug lord jumped back before Kirito could attack again.

Gerrel roared and shot another mana bullet towards Kirito. The black swordsman dodged again, analyzing the situation. In his rage, it was obvious that Gerrel wasn't fighting as smart as he was before. He had lost all sense of strategy and was using only brute force.

Kirito recovered from dodging the bullet and charged towards Gerrel, his right sword raised this time to strike. He swiftly swung his sword, but it was blocked by the thug lord's large knife. Without pause, Kirito swung his other sword towards Gerrel's chest, but the large elf caught his arm and threw him into the wall.

Kirito let out a pained gasp as he slid down to the ground. Gerrel saw his chance and shot at the black swordsman again. This time he actually missed and Kirito was pushed to the side by the radius of the blast.

Kirito grunted and got back into his stance, a little blood trickling from the side of his mouth. He couldn't attack Gerrel directly he had a very clear strength advantage due to the elf's size. He would have to find a way to catch him off guard. His eyes narrowed. He had an idea to end this fight.

Kirito quickly chanted a spell and flooded the street with smoke screen. Gerrel was forced to raise his arm and cover his eyes from the smoke. He suddenly felt something hit him in the head. He spun around only for something to slash at his back. He swung his arm out in rage, only to feel a stab in the side.

"The fuck?! You damn half-breed!" Gerrel roared, shooting his gun all around the area to try and hit the half-elf who was picking him apart. The sounds of gunshots filled the area as the walls were destroyed by the large amount of mana bullets pelting them. Gerrel let out a battle cry before running out of mana.

Eventually, the smokescreen cleared. Gerrel panted and looked around him trying to find the, hopefully, dead half-elf. He saw the destruction he had caused, but to his surprise he didn't see Kirito.

"What the-? Where'd that fucking half-breed go?!" Gerrel looked around with his knife in his hand.

"Over here!"

Gerrel spun around in surprise to see Kirito racing towards him. He raised his gun to take a few shots, but to his horror he was out of mana. Realization hit him as he realized that he had fallen prey to the trap.

"Damn you!" Gerrel screamed, aiming to run the knife into Kirito's face.

It was too late.

Kirito tilted his head to dodge the knife and continued his charge. He slashed in an X-formation across Gerrel's chest as he reached the elf, coming to a stop directly behind him.

"Double Circular"

With those two whispered words, an X formed on Gerrel's chest. Blood came out from the wound as he fell to the ground in a pain-filled yell.

Kirito turned around to look at the former thug lord lying motionlessly on the ground, dead. He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath of exhaustion.

"Damnit, you took all the fun!"

Kirito looked to his side to see Leo approaching him a smile. Leo held his fist out with a grin as Kirito smirked and bumped fists with him.

"I knew you didn't need the back up!"

Kirito laughed slightly. "Haha, he made it easy when I could tell how reckless he was." Kirito frowned as he remembered something. "He apparently lost control of his gang. They're probably roaming the area now."

Leo groaned. "Dammit! That means we have to look around for most of them." The dark-skinned boy sighed. "Oh well, at least we got him. So, what are you going to do now?"

Kirito put his swords away before speaking. "Probably head back to HQ and get some rest. I'm exhausted and need to report back to Ran. Who else did they send to back me up?"

"Lyfa and Asuna. They're probably scouting the area now, so I'll tell them to call it off," Leo said. He placed his finger on his headset and opened the channel.

Kirito looked at his destroyed bike and sighed. "Looks like I'm going to have to get a new bike as well."

Leo paused and turned back to Kirito. "Oh yeah. Ran said next bike that gets destroyed, the owner has to pay for a new one."

"What?!" Kirito cried out in disbelief, exaggerated tears in his eyes. "B-but that means I have to save for months!"

Leo just laughed at the SS-rank. "Well... I do owe you for saving my life a few weeks ago. I guess I'll pay for a new one."

He found himself hugged by a grateful Kirito. "Thank you Leo!"


A tall figure watched the two from a rooftop on a building far away. He smirked as they interacted with two girls approaching them with questions before turning and disappearing into the wind.

"Grow strong Kirito-kun. Grow strong so that you may be a challenge when we fight."

Betaed by WhizKidHV. Amazing Author, check his stories out!

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