A/N Hey guys, Suguha here. Just thought I would clear something up right now. I am fully aware of the fact that the nerve gear was taken off the market after the declaration of the death game. This is a fact I have overlooked on purpose. I have made it so there were no more versions of SAO sold, but the nerve gear itself was still on the market, as there was other games hopefully wanting to use the platform to advance their own market.

Also, about mother dearest, there is a reason. Suguha is desperate to save her brother. Mum realises that, and wants her to go in to save Kazuto with a full heart and confidence knowing her mum supports her.

Also, about OC's. I have considered every possibility and angle. If I can fit your OC in, then I will. Whether or not he/she will be featured is another thing. It might just be filler :P Other than that, thanks for reviewing, and waiting so long.

Hopefully this clears up a little confusion.


Suguha blinked.

'W…Where am I?'

Small, blue polygons dissipated away, and she stood, awestruck. This place was Beautiful. The dimensions were perfect, the tall buildings adding a huge sense of excitement and best of all, the sky. The stunning sky. Oh, how the birds flew in arrows across the expanse of blue. The slight warmth she could feel from the morning sun. Last but not least, the feelings. She could smell the food being sold at markets not too far away. She could feel the breeze pushing against her, making her hair go wild and her skirt to do the same. She could taste the metal in the air, from the blacksmiths hammering away at their anvils. It was a sensual paradise.

All she needed now was three things. One, to find Kazuto. Two, to find out how to play this game and three, to get away from all these people.

You would be surprised too. A beautiful girl suddenly appears in the middle of the plaza, where there is no teleporter, and she is wearing a small skirt. Later on, Males in the area would rue that they didn't make a move, because she was approached by a girl that looked slightly younger than her.

"H..How did you get here? There is no teleporter here, and crystals don't teleport to places like this. Who are you?" The girl asked.

"Ah, I only just started. I have no idea what you're talking about." Suguha said, rubbing the back of her head in earnest.

The girl didn't have time to look shocked. However, she looked around and saw some of the males approaching, and quickly grabbed her hand.

"Come with me, Ok?"

"Ah..Ah…Ok."

Not like she had a choice. She was whisked off her feet and sped off into the distance.


"Whe…Where are we?" Suguha asked.

They managed to get away from the group of people Suguha attracted. Now, they had made it into a building in the east side of the town.

"We are in my…home." The girl said, grabbing her skirt and looking away.

"Your house?" Suguha asked.

"Yeah. This is where I live, for now." She replied.

Suguha looked around. It looked like an apartment, but it was quite comfortable. She stood, awed by the detail when she heard the girl call from a distance.

"Would you like something to drink?"

Suguha stood with her mouth open. A drink? Would that change anything? What would it be like?

"Yes!" She replied, much too loudly. "Can I take a seat?"

"Hai! I will bring out the drinks in a sec."

"Okay!" Suguha said, smiling. For such a small girl, she was pretty nice.

Wait.

How old was she? If she was like 12, she shouldn't have this game. If she is 12, then how sad is it that she is trapped in this game? Suguha shook her head. At least the girl saved her from that nightmare of people.

Wait.

What was her name? Suguha shook head again, this time violently. Did she say her name while she was running? Or before? She didn't want to seem rude, so she wouldn't say anything.

Wait.

If she introduced herself, then she would probably introduce herself, if she hadn't. Suguha nodded this time, sure. Luckily, she didn't have any time for hesitations, as the other girl walked in, holding a tray of some sorts. She put it on the small table in the middle of the room.

"Here you go." She said, smiling.

"Thank you!" Suguha replied, smiling in turn. However, that smile turned into a frown and then a cough as she sputtered.

"It isn't very good, is it…" The other girl said, looking down.

"N…no, It is *Cough* fine… Just a bit… off. I haven't *Cough* had something like this before."

"Don't lie. It is very hard to cook in this game at the start. It's fine. Second time making a Lemonade when you don't actually have the proper ingredients for it.

Suguha swallowed and smiled. It wasn't her fault. She offered, so she would accept it.

"Oh, I never introduced myself," Suguha said. "My name is… Sugu, just a short version of my real name, Suguha."

"That is a cute name. My name is Elluria, but you can call me Eri for short if you like."

"Eri, that is a nice name too." Suguha said, putting her glass down and shifting in her seat.

The girl was actually quite cute, if you asked her. She wasn't into that kind of stuff, but if she was…Well, you catch the drift. She only seemed about 160cm tall, and she had beautiful waist height blue hair. However, what Sugu thought was off was the massive sword on the girls back.

"Hey, what's with the huge sword?"

Eri winced.

"Nothing…"
"Are…You overcompensating for something…" Sugu said, staring at the girls small bosom. Eri blushed.

"N-no! Not all of us can be as gifted as you!" She yelled, pointing at Sugu's own chest. Sugu herself blushed, then looked at the other girl. Her fist was clenched and she looked very determined. She couldn't help it.

Apparently, neither could Eri.

They both burst out laughing, Suguha nearly falling over.

"I think we need to talk though…" Eri said, taking her own seat.

Suguha stopped, and sighed.

"Ok, but first, what is this place?"

"This is Aincrad, the floating castle in the sky. This place is the first floor, and there are a total of one hundred. Now, how did you teleport to where you were?"

"Teleport?" Sugu asked, tilting her head slightly.

Ari facepalmed. It wasn't long before she had her mouth wide open in shock.

"I actually only just put a nerve gear on." Sugu said.

"W-w-wait…You're from outside?" Ari said, her voice completely shattered.

"Y-yeah, why?"

"What is going on? What has happened to us all?"

"Ahh, well, they are still trying to find everyone who has a nervegear on… They are moving all of you to hospitals so you will be alright."

"Oh thank god…" Ari said, with a very relieved look in her eye. 'I am safe at the moment.'

"Oh, and the situation has died a little bit. Parents are still worried, but there is new news. Someone from Afghanistan has declared war on America. Japan has received a world peace declaration of neutrality because of what they are calling the "Gear Collapse" event. We are not to be included in war efforts. I learnt this in school just yesterday.

Ari breathes a sigh of relief

"At least we are safe and out of harms way."
"Yeah, you're telling me. What about you. What is your story?"

Ari cringed. She didn't want to tell her about her family. At least, not yet. Surprisingly, she felt she could trust Sugu, to an extent. She wasn't about to go trusting straight away, not after everything. She cast her gaze downward.

"I kinda don't want to talk about it, if that is ok?"

"I guess everyone has their reasons. I need to tell you why I am here, because I am likely to need your help.

"What with?"

"Finding someone. More specifically, my brother…"

Ari looked over to her, in admiration. Here she was, completely doubting her, and then she goes and tells her the entire reason for her being here. If only she had that confidence in strangers. She smiled.

"Well, I don't think I can help you right away, but I can set you on the right path. Can I see your menu? I can get you to contact someone whose name is Argo, the best information dealer in this world."

"Yeah sure. Uhh, how do I bring up the menu?" Sugu said with a lopsided grin.

"No problem. Put your forefinger and thumb together on your right hand, and slash downwards."

Sugu did it, and a slightly transparent screen showed up directly in front of her. She turned to Ari, who nodded. She could see it, because in Sugu's head, she wanted Ari to see it. She turned to the main screen, before noticing her level. Right then and there, she got up, pushed her chair back, and drew her sword, pointing it at Sugu. Sugu, on the other hand, instantly was shocked, but due to her training in Kendo was able to read her movement, and jumped behind her chair as cover.

"Who are you really?" Ari asked, a scowl and a sword directed right at Sugu.

"What do you mean? My name is Suguha, like I told you." She replied, confused.

"No, I mean WHO are you? Your level is 26, far above anyone elses on the first floor. Why is your level so high?"
"Level? What? Where? Where does it say my level?"

"Don't play dumb. Top left corner."

Sugu took her eyes off Ari for a second to look at the top left corner of her vision. It held her health bar, the health points she had and a level, which was indeed 26. Ari, on the other hand, was incredulous, as Sugu seemed as much shocked as she was.

"Level 26? Don't you start at level 1?" Sugu said, stunned.
"You're supposed to!"

The tension in the air could be cut with a butter knife. Sugu decided to fix that.

"Look, I know this looks suspicious, and I have no idea what happened, but I need your help. I will do anything, but I need to find my brother and protect him! Please help me!"

Ari lowered her sword. The look on her face was as honest as one can get. She sheathed her blade.

"I am only going to trust you for now. You look sincere. If you really just started, you need to know the basics. Let me finish what I was doing before."

"O…ok." Sugu said, relaxing her intense grip on the chair. It was going to be a long morning.


It was still early morning. After being completely shocked by Sugu's inventory, which was stocked for battle, mind you, Ari decided that if she really was a noob, then she would have to be taught. Sugu had sighed at this, and said it couldn't be too hard.

After a few short wordy tutorials, which included how to use your sword skills, manipulating the AGI, SGT and VIT stats and maintaining durability, she was taken out to the field.

It didn't help that the boars were nearly non-existent. The fields were nearly clean because of other players. That is why Ari told her about her training spot.

"Have you played an RPG before Sugu?"

"No. This is my first RPG. I did play a small fighting game when I was little.

"That matters not. First of all, see that mountain in the distance?"

"What, with the little blips on it?"
"Yep. Those little blips are what are known as scenery mobs. However, they aren't just there for show. There isn't a legit way to get up there, but they still give you experience when you kill them. Because of the lack of ranged weapons in this game you can't get them, unless you're me.

Sugu didn't want to query further, but her curiosity would kill her.

"How?"

"There are always bugs in every MMORPG. You just need to exploit them. For example, this hilltop here. Have a look at the wall.

And Sugu did. However, she could find nothing wrong with it at all. For a game, the detail in even the smallest pebble was purely amazing. It made you feel like your soul had been planted in the world itself. You were the actual scenery itself. Oh, how amazing it all seemed.

"It looks pretty detailed to me."
"Look beneath. At least I know you're not lying about just coming in the world."

"Thanks…" Sugu said, deadpan.

"Look, watch this."

Sugu just looked amazed. Ari started slowly climbing the wall with just her feet. She wasn't walking up it vertically, but she seemed to be getting her feet into the right position and was walking up the wall like a weird staircase.

Ari soon reached the top, which was high, very high. She shouted down.

"Ok, now your turn. You showed me you AGI, which is more than enough to clear this wall."
"How the hell do you do that? I can't do that!"
"Yes you can. Just think about the wall being a staircase. This was an often used glitch in other games."

Sugu looked at the wall. It was pretty steep. Looking back, she realised that Ari didn't walk right up the wall, but kinda moved up it sideways. She placed a foot on the wall, and found her foot just moved through it. Shocked, she moved her hand to touch the wall, and indeed the wall just dissipated around her hand, then formed back as she removed her hand. Smiling, she placed her foot there again, and found that it held. Then she moved and stood on the side of the wall completely. She took a step to the right, and she rose up.

"How is this even possible!"
"No game is perfect!" Ari shouted down.

Sugu smiled. It took her a while, but she made it to the top, and gasped in awe. The view… The sun glittered over the ridges around her, and the luscious grass reflected the sunlight. However, her shock and awe was replaced by fear when she saw a boar coming at her, full charge.

Had Ari not stepped in, she would have been flung off the cliff.

Her sword moved incredible fast, a glint of silver moved past her vision so fast… She barely had time to register the fact that the boar just disappeared.

"Watch out… They are stronger and faster here. Don't know why though…"
"Huh… Well, first… how did you do that?"
"What, that strike? That is a move called 'Sucker strike.' I believe it is a reference to pokemon and the move Sucker Punch. It allows me to make the first strike if the opponent has already prepared an attack. Doesn't miss, by the way."
"That seems a little overpowered."
"No good against other players though. You can't cancel a sword skill, once you start it, so you have to wait it out. If your opponent figures out what move your making, they can counter it."

'So similar to kendo…' Sugu thought.

Ari gestured to Sugu. As she turned, she saw a huge boar relaxing on the grass about 20 metres away.

"This is your chance. You shouldn't have a problem. Your vitality stat is immense. I don't know what advantage you were given, but that is amazing."
"Ok… any tips?"

"Well, just relax and fit into a position you're comfortable with… I guess."
"Oh… Alright. Thanks, Ari."

Ari flinched. Thank you? She wasn't sure what to say, so she just nodded. Thanks? No-one ever told her that… She watched at Sugu stood into position as she provoked the boar. 'A proper kendo stance…' she thought.

Sugu looked at the massive boar as it got up. A small green bar appeared above the creature.

"Bulky Boar" LVL 4 _ 200 / 200

She smiled. 22 levels above it should be overkill, right?

Wrong.

She knew she hit it as it hit her.

The boar, with surprising speed despite its size, rushed her. But she was ready. She brought the sword down on top of its fat head, and then was launched back 15 metres.

She looked at her health bar. Barely a dent. She looked at its health bar. Barely a dent.

"What happened? I got a solid hit on the pig!"
"It's a boar, Sugu. You didn't use a sword skill, so the technique couldn't connect. I don't think your kendo stances will help you here.

"Ahh, that sucks. So, what can I do?"
"Pretend you're about to put your sword back into its hilt, but put your palm to the h-Dodge! Put your palm to the middle of the blade. That should activate the sword skill 'Vertical Slash.'"

"Alright, I'll take your lead."

Sugu did as she said, and suddenly felt this odd sensation. What was it? Maybe the feel of the stance? No… It felt more…surreal. She looked at her blade, if ever so quickly, and it was shining a faint purple. Smiling, she let it release right as the boar was in her face, having come around for another rush.

The feeling carried ecstasy. The technique connected, and she could feel the boar go flying very far. It rammed into three others, knocking them off their hooves, and carrying them off the cliff to the expanses below.

A window popped up, and Sugu looked at it.

Congratulations
-

Itm: 4 boar hides, 4 raw meats E-class

Exp: 36

Ttl Exp: 11032

Sugu looked on in curiosity, but she was interrupted by Ari's gasp and sudden embrace.

"Oh my god, I love you so much! You just helped me out big time!" Ari said, before realising what she was doing and suddenly moving away.
"Ahh, what exactly did I do?" Sugu asked, confused.
"By hitting those boars off the edge, they died by fall damage. If you were to gather a lot of them, and make them all fall… Massive farming technique! Way to go, Sugu!"

"Ahh sure…"

Ari smiled at her. She knew she was sincere. They farmed until noon…


"So, tell me about your brother." Ari said.

They had managed to get down somehow. Ari had gained an incredible 5 levels, because of the farming move. Grinding seemed so much easier. Sugu's level didn't move an inch, but that was understandable. A higher level wouldn't budge on such small prey. However, she gained a fair bit of knowledge on how to play, and to her that was more important than exp. They got back to the town of beginnings, and were in the large plaza, eating small buns of bread.

"I don't know what I can say. He is quite short for a guy, but slightly taller than I am. He used to do kendo with me, and was insanely good at it. He is a vivid gamer, and barely gets enough sleep. I knew him well enough to know that much. He has dark black hair that nearly covers his eyes. He is quite a fan of wearing black, and is quiet. I can't really tell you more than that, though. We haven't spoken to each other directly for a long time. He is a… What did you call them? A beta?"

Ari frowned. Argo would definitely have information on this guy. Long black hair though…

"I have no idea. I am a beta player as well, so that is how I know all this stuff. I just never really left the first village… I was too afraid… I didn't think I would ever see my parents again. I think that if I believe hard enough, then we will get out. I will try my hardest to keep fighting to get out. Speaking of trying, they have a meeting going on about clearing the first floor. Do you want to attend, just to check it out? Your brother might be there, from what you're telling me.

Sugu's eyes lightened for a second, and then dimmed.

"I will be a very high level. People will see and ask questions. I don't want to attract attention to myself."
"Oh, dear. Did you forget what I told you already? No-one can see your level unless you let them."

Sugu breathed a sigh of relief. She could go with confidence.

"What will you do once you find your brother?"

"That is the thing. I have no idea…"
"Well, I'll be there for you, even if he isn't."
"You mean that?"

Ari smiled. It has been a long time since she smiled like this.

"Yes. I admit I still kinda don't trust you yet, but I know it is all in my head. I feel like I have known you for quite a while and I want to get to know you better. And, you would be good company. Also, strong company."

Sugu smiled back. It was a start, but at least she had a friend in the game.

"Ok, but first… what is with that sword. Will you tell me?" Sugu said, laughing.

"Well, to be honest, I thought that to protect myself, I would need the biggest sword I could find. I did a quest, and bam. Now I have a huge sword that doesn't sell for much, but is pretty powerful. It has become a part of me, and I can't bear to part with it. That's pretty lame… isn't it…"
"No, that is beautiful…" Sugu said, moving closer and wrapping an arm around her shoulders.

Ari stood, letting Sugu's hand drop. Suguha looked up, worried.

"We better get going to the meeting. It is about 4 towns away, as far as I recall. I know a quick way there." She said, spinning on her heel and walking off. Sugu stood, gulfed down the rest of her snack, and ran in pursuit.

Ari, even though her face couldn't be seen, adorned the biggest smile. Sugu shouted something at her, and she turned, her smile vanishing.

"How do you tell if someone is a paedophile in this game?"

"Well, everyone had to undergo a change, and their faces were changed into their normal ones. Is that your normal face?"
"Uhh, yeah. I chose a default… avatar…"

"Well, everyone got given an item after learning this was a death game, and it was a mirror. It changed all our avatars to our normal selves."
"Phew… that is good to know… I can trust almost all of the girls I can see then."

Ari smiled at that.


"Ok, let's get started, people!"

I sat down, separated from the rest, like usual.

I didn't fit in with the crowd. I didn't talk to others because I am paranoid about them. My name is Kirito, and I am a beta player.

I have been playing games since I was a kid. I have been building computers out of spare parts long before then.

But this… I am trapped in a death game.

In some ways, I guess I couldn't be happier. Life as I knew it was over, and this life now is the one I am living until we can all escape. We rely on our friends or our own imaginary strength stolen from a system. A system designed to kill us if we aren't careful. If I manage to become strong enough, then I can clear this game, and save everyone.

Does that make me a prince of some sorts? A knight for justice?

Whatever the case, we are having a meeting about the first floor boss. About time, I say. Then again, for a beta player, I didn't find the room either… So much for that. Hopefully, we manage to defeat this boss, and we can all start our way to defeating this world.

"Thank you for coming today. My name is Diabel. I like to consider my "job" as a knight!"

A burst of laughter emanated from the crowd. I can understand why though. They believe he means a literal job. I, however, understand. He is a knight of justice… like I could be. He is just more vocal about it. Suddenly… the entire place went quiet. Everyone saw the look on Diabel's face, and knew something was going down. Even I admit I was curious.

"Today, out party found… the boss room at the top of the tower!" Diabel said.

Everyone gasped in shock. I smiled and leaned back. This would be an interesting meeting after all.

"Serious?"

"You for real?"
"There is no way he found it"

"We need to defeat the boss, reach the second floor, and tell everyone waiting in the town of beginnings that it is possible to beat this game! Everyone here present shares this duty! Do you all agree?

I had to say I did. Everyone else did as well. I could see nods and whispers around the crowd. Finally, we were getting somewhere. I smiled as everyone clapped and whistled.

"Ok. Let us begin our planning. Everyone get into a party of six.

And there is the punch line. A party? I can't do that! I run solo! This isn't right! I frantically look around, and see three options.

A) The hooded player in brown.

B) The odd looking 60ish Yr old in tights

C) The two girls on the far side of the theatre.

I chose the closest, more favourable option. The player in brown. I scuttled towards her hastily, not wanting to look left out.

"You got left out too?" I asked rapidly, hoping that he/she accepts.

"I wasn't left out. I just stayed out of it because everyone seemed to know each other already."

Wow… Dark… My kind of person.

'Solo player…' "Then… mind forming a party with me? He said we can't defeat the boss on our own, so just for this fight?"

They slowly nod. Then I breathe a sigh of relief. Dragging my finger down to open my menu, I send her an invite to the party. They accept.

Then I see it.

Asuna.

'Asuna…'

Then, they say, the rest is history. Although… in that meeting, there was one thing that stood out... those two girls I saw… one of them strongly resembled someone I know, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Either way, tomorrow we will know.

"Did you see him?" Ari said, excited.

"No… There was one guy that fit the description, but he wasn't wearing black, and he was with someone. Kazuto doesn't fit well with other people, so I wonder where he could be.
"He couldn't be dead, could he?"
"NO!" I suddenly yelled.

I spun and glared at Ari, watching her clutch her skirt and apologise. I softened my glare to a look of compassion, and grasp her shoulder. This time, she doesn't move away.

"Look, I know you mean well, but that was scary… just the thought of losing Kazuto scares me. Please don't say that again."

"No, I understand… sorry."

"No, don't be…"

I let go of her shoulder and look around. People were moving out of the theatre and she saw that guy again. He looked exactly like Kazuto… but she wasn't sure. He looked comfortable with his surroundings. Kazuto was more withdrawn about things. She didn't want to embarrass the guy, so she moved away. If anything, she would find out his name tomorrow.

And then she would know…


A/N Hey, Suguha here!

Any problems with this chapter? If so, send me a message, or leave a review. If you liked it, tell me!

Anyway, I promise to update a lot soon, just needed a bit of time to gather my thoughts. Sorry if the chapter is short :D Thanks to AstralXYZ for Elluria She will be an important part of this fic.

Anyway, snuggle your pillow pets, cause I am out!

~Suguha