Gun Gale Online: Erebus
Summary: Kayaba Akihiko once dreamed of actualizing a world of swords, a floating castle, a fictional fantasy. But people change and Kayaba is no exception. Players welcome to Gun Gale Online where guns rule supreme and swords are obsolete... well unless you're Kirito that is. KiritoxSinonxHarem
An alternate reality where instead of SAO it was GGO that was released as the first VRMMORPG.
WARNING NOT BETA'D YET,
Author's Note: Mu no Kamae is based on a character from the Kurogane manga
Hope you enjoy!
Game Terms- «Photon Blade: Hades»
System Announcement/Private Messages- -congratulations-
Flashback/Dreams- It was the best of times it was the worst of times
Translation/Explanation- Baka(1) will be explained at the bottom of the page
Passive Skills: Acrobatics
Disclaimer: I do not own Sword Art Online wish I did though. Also will also used a bit of Kayaba Akihiko's translated speech from Baka-Tsuki for the Prologue but only once.
Author's Response Corner:
To all those who reminded me that I haven't altered the GM/Kayaba's announcement, sorry about that, I have fixed it now.
n0mster- It is true that Kayaba didn't do it canon, but this is an alternate reality where he did. Well in canon the dark undertones of the death game wasn't really touched upon too much in my opinion. I wanted to write a fanfiction where the dark tones of a death game was more prevalent.
RAcaseal- Well I'm no expert so I won't know. I just liked the idea from the Kurogane manga so I added it.
ChaosTheVoid- Well in my opinion there were three girls which greatly boosted their confidence. Besides it was only one move, I don't think the girl would have realized that they were outmatched after Kazuto just disarmed the leader.
blarg7865- No, it is based off a concept in Kurogane manga.
NightAngel0Ex- Yep, it really is Kouichirou
8Swords- Yes to the first question and for the second yep.
Nero200- Well what they kept wasn't really important it was just to make the concept of the Veteran system more real. Overall in the grand scheme of things it won't be really important except for the fact that Kirito kept his photon sword.
argentorum- Well there still will be zone with bosses, except that they won't only be the killing them to unlock new areas but also for the massive experience boost they give causing more people to want to hunt them while denying it to others
Well they won't really have an orange cursor since this is a game that accepts PKing. The only way to get is to break the rules so unless you attack someone inside the safe area, you will still be green if you PK someone outside.
And as for your third point, yeah you can probably reach level 100 faster if you PK but that won't become more important until later one since I doubt everyone will just suddenly decide to PK. And about laughing coffin, I'm still debating about their importance.
I decided to give Kayaba a bit of a more megalomanic side, while also giving him a slight god complex in how he wanted to control the world he created.
9TH- well I agree with most of your points but for clarification Sinon did kill some of the eleven people, it was just that Kirito felt it was that since he had a hand in it he was also responsible.
Arashigan16- nope you guessed incorrectly.
bakapervert- nope, in this fanfic they can die immediately right after they entered the game.
Yami no Majou077- No Death Gun will not appear because he was only created as a result of an insane asshole who lost his grip on reality...hmmm but thinking about it. I might use some of the concept for death gun.
Hunter-35- probably not this early as Kirito in Cerberus was more of a leaderish type, this one is more of a lone wolf, well half of the lone wolf due with Sinon.
Have a Little Feith- true in canon, Kirito isn't but this is a fanfic. Actually there is a reason for that, I'll give you a hint. It started because Kirito was forced to continue his kendo training when Suguha got too scared to save him.
kyapliong- Well no, I kinda went overboard with the gag with Kirito's GGO avatar and made him do something completely OOC.
Chapter 1: End of INNOCENCE
"Hurry!" Kirito said as he pulled Sinon's hand as they ran through the narrow streets of Starting City.
'Reaching level one hundred...in two months we only barely reached level fourteen and that took two months! How long would it take to reach level one hundred!? Not to mention the levels are suppose to get harder to attain the higher your levels are. Would I die before-' Images of his his mother, father, and sister Suguha quickly appeared in his mind. The actions he had regretted, the dreams and ambitions he hadn't accomplished yet. 'I am not going to die, I REFUSE TO DIE!'
Then one final image came into Kirito's mind, the last faces the victims of his PKing had shown. The players that would never reunite with their families or even have a chance to survive because of his actions. 'No...I shouldn't think about that now. I have to survive, that what's most important at this moment.'
"Kiri-Ki-Kirigaya-se-sempai, I-I-We'-re going to di-die a-aren't we!?" 'Sinon's' voiced stuttered out in pure fear.
Kirito's head snapped backwards so quickly you would have sworn that it would break off, 'How does she know my na-' Kirito's unfinished question was answered when his eyes laid on 'Sinon's' face-or rather the virtually perfect equivalent face of Asada Shino and his foot froze.
Moments ago in his detached state, Kirito had ignored his surroundings, including the disappearance of his false avatar and appearance of his real face, even the further explanation of Kayaba Akihiko was ignored. It was only thanks to the first scream that Kirito was broken out of his stuper.
When Kirito had snapped out of his stupor, he quickly decided that they needed to reach their base to gather their bearings in this death game. In this chaos it would be too risky to stay at the plaza, there were too many things could go wrong.
But in his haste, he hadn't taken the time to look at Sinon's face. This of course led him to be flabbergasted that the same whimpering girl he had saved before was the cold, calm and collected sniper Sinon.
"Come on Sinon! We have to hurry and go to the base!" Kirito said, ignoring the fact that his classmate was his PKing partner. He could sort that out later after they were safe and alone. However Sinon refused to budge, her doll-like body still shivering.
Seeing that Sinon wasn't going to move, Kirito let go of their hands, eliciting a fearful gasp from the now black haired girl. He quickly placed his left arm horizontally across Sinon's back and the same with his right arm only at the backsides of her knees, eliciting only a small cry from the smaller girl..
Sweeping Sinon off her feet and carrying her bridal style, Kirito resumed his run towards the base. There was nothing romantic about the situation, just a fearful male carrying a shivering wreck of female across the streets.
Kirito ignored the increased pressure in his arms as Sinon gripped his arms even tighter than before as they passed the gates of their safe haven. Kirito just couldn't bring himself to pay attention, not when he had to use all of his concentration to avoid the monsters that would have target them.
Despite his higher level, fighting with the current Sinon at his side would be nothing than a burden. He would have to fight the monster, while blocking the monster's attempt to kill the trembling girl.
Considering that the system included «Backlash Damage» from blocking attacks from monsters to even guns, Kirito's health would still go down considering that he was a dodging type player and therefore hadn't placed much points into his defense stat, since that was the only stat that would allow Kirito actually block the attacks with minimal worry for the backlash damage.
Glancing down at Sinon, Kirito couldn't help but to be reminded of something similar, as if it was something experienced before. His eyes softened as he recalled it now, it was a time before he and Suguha had their falling out.
Eight years ago, for whatever reason Suguha had been bullied. Kirito naturally couldn't have stand for this and attacked the bullies, but for all his efforts the six year old was beaten to the ground by the numeral superior group.
But even so, Kirito didn't regret it, he had hugged Suguha who was a quivering mess saying "Don't worry, Onii-chan will protect you no matter what." over and over again.
Thinking back, it was a very cheesy thing to say, but that the moment it was the perfect phrase since it stopped Suguha from quivering.
"Don't worry Sinon, I'll protect you and get you out of here." Although the shivering didn't stop, Kirito's word did tone it down a little.
With a slight hesitation Kirito opened his mouth once more "Definitely" Kirito said more to reassure himself than to Sinon.
Sinon hugged her knees tighter as she secretly glanced at the boy who had been her partner during the beta test of the game.
He didn't look much different from his avatar except that his hair didn't reach past his neck anymore and that he was a bit more masculine, not that it was enough to mistaken him for a girl every once in awhile.
Sinon had never expected in her wildest dreams that «Kirito» would be Kirigaya Kazuto, the relatively young genius turned semi celebrity overnight due to his victory at the kendo tournament.
Still that explained a few things such as her partner's skill in the sword.
But that wasn't important at the moment, no what was more important that she was going to die.
She didn't know what was worse, the fact that she was going to die or that fact that she was stuck in a world of guns.
'I should have never started playing this cursed game...If I hadn't played this game I would still be home. If I hadn't played this game my life wouldn't be at risk. If I hadn't played this game I would have nevered killed those eleven people. If I hadn't played this game I would...'
Sinon stopped and blink as she pondered what else would be different if she hadn't played Gun Gale Online. But the more she thought about it the more she realized that her real life was just as bad. Sure her chances at dying were immensely lower there, but her lifestyle was worse there.
Thinking on loneliness, Sinon wondered if her body was being carted towards the hospital at the moment, she did leave alone. Realizing her trail of thoughts, Sinon quickly banished them into the dark recesses of her mind.
Pondering on her lonely lifestyle has never been good for her. She always felt a sense of abandonment whenever she thought about living alone...away from her parent...ever since she...murdered that criminal...
'Am I a criminal now?' Sinon wondered when she thought about the eleven people she shot in cold blood. Sinon felt her eyes traveled towards her black clothed companion once more as she thought. 'I wonder how he is taking it.'
Kirito was sitting with his back against the wall, his hollow eyes just staring ahead. To her own surprise she felt little guilt or horror when she thought about the eleven people she killed. 'Why do those death feel numb to me? Is it because they died in the game? Or am...have I become twisted?'
Sinon felt horror as she stared at the palm of her hand, for two months she tried to convince herself that killing in this 'game' was the same as real life, but in the ironic twist it had actually happened. But for those eleven death she caused she only felt numb. 'But why am I still scared?'
Without her awareness Sinon's eyes began to droop, glancing at the clock, she knew that it was late. 'Already past midnight huh...trapped in this...' Her train of thoughts slurred as the drowsiness increased before she finally succumbed to sleep.
Asada Shino trembled as she held the Nerve Gear, holding last minutes doubts as she internal wrestled whether to put it on and enter the world of guns.
Earlier she had already downloaded the necessary hard drive for the recent fad, «Gun Gale Online», but she was debating on whether to actually go through with her self designed therapy.
It was only a whim when the idea first started, just nothing more than an internal joke when she entered a contest to win a chance to beta test the game, but to her surprise she had actually won. From there one Shino's whim started to form into an idea.
To cure her hoplophobia, she will enter the world of guns. Grasping their handles, firing them, aiming them at her targets, and pulling the triggers she will desensitize herself.
She continued to stare at the helmet for what seemed like eternity before she gulped and finally wore the helmet.
Tenderly laying on her bed, her body trembling with nervousness Shino opened her mouth "Link Start!" she said with more force than necessary.
『Thank you for your patience, please follow the signs to pick up your weapon.』
Sinon warily eyed the GM before her as he finished the tutorial. It wasn't the fact that he was dressed like a war veteran general from those movies she had seen before or even the decorative scars that littered his face, no it was the handgun that he had in his gun holster at the left side of his waist.
Steering her eyes away from the small but dangerous weapon, the black-haired girl made her ways toward the beginner's shop.
Thanks to the fact that Sinon had logged later than the majority of player, the shop was sparsely populated.
Sinon's blood chilled when she walked into the shop.
Sinon's breathing quickened as her eyes took in the rows of guns that were displayed onto the wall. Rather than a game the scene resembled something from her nightmare.
"Hello youngin may I help you?"
Sinon eyes turned toward the direction of the voice. He was an old man with grey hair and a scar running down his cheek with a weary appearance only enhanced by the wrinkles on his face. If the game designers planned to give the NPC in front of Sinon the appearance of a retired veteran they succeeded.
"A-ah, yes I'm a beginner and I need help choosing a g-gu-g-gun." Sinon said as she finally stuttered the last word out.
"Hmmmm, well let's see what I can do." The NPC said as he motioned Sinon to follow him.
From there on he began to speak a language that Sinon didn't understand such as the calibrations, caliber of bullets proper care of guns, and etc. What she did understand were the advantages and disadvantages that the NPC said.
Sinon knew that she didn't want to be up close and personal with her battles, not after the robbery incident. She didn't want to be close to her targets and shot at by their guns. Not this soon at least.
So Sinon chose the closest thing to a sniper rifle as her primary weapon and moved onwards to the secondary weapon section.
That's when Sinon's blood went from chilled to frozen
Dozens of handguns all of them lined across a single wall geometrically perfect, no space was wasted as each gun fit perfectly with each other like pieces to a puzzle. And each and every one of them was fairly reminiscent of a «Black Star: Type 54» some more so than others. Each and every single one of them reminded of the weapon that an eleven year old girl used to murder a man.
"I-are there any secondary weapons besides...those?" Sinon finally asked as she realized that the NPC was staring at her silently as if telling her "hurry up!"
Following the store clerk towards a rather noticeable corner of the room, the clerk motioned Sinon towards the glass counter wherein in it laid a wide assortment of combat knives.
Letting out the unknown breath she was holding, Sinon randomly picked one. It had a black handle, and a thick blade about six inches long.
Thanking the clerk Sinon left the store, although it is to be noted that it was more out of the habits ingrained into Sinon rather than her own actions after all the NPC was just an NPC.
Calming herself Sinon opened her menu and with a swipe opened her weapons inventory. With ease Sinon pressed her finger on the combat knife opening the submenu options for the weapon and pressed equipped. Out of the corner of her she caught a flash of light and then the sudden weight of the knife on her left hip.
Next it was time to equip her main weapon, Sinon moved her finger above the rifle but she found herself frozen, her finger refusing to budge or even go closer to the weapon. 'Calm down Sinon, this isn't real. It's just a bunch of codings made to look like one.' Sinon reasoned with herself in her mind.
'...but it still functions like the real thing.' A traitorous part of her mind whispered into her ear.
Steeling herself Sinon manipulated the sub menu to open but not with the trembling of her finger as she pressed «Equip». Again there was a flash of light and sudden materialization of weight but this time on her back.
Her heartbeat slightly high and her fingers trembling Sinon closed the menu. She had to wince as she saw herself in the reflection in the window of one of the numerous shops within Starting City.
Her avatar had a doll-like appearance much like her real body. 'It would have been better if I had one of those avatars with a muscular build.' At least that way she could have at least pretended that it was someone easier.
Her clothes were like that of a military officer's, bland and convenient. The dull grey color of the uniform fitted nicely with the black handle of the knife sticking on her belt, along with the strap that was slung horizontally across her chest. But the real reason for her wince was the rifle that the strap was attached to.
The image would have been of a perfect soldier or something close to one except for the fact that the body was that of an innocent teenage girl. Sinon had to snort ruefully at that thought. 'You can't call a girl who has killed before innocent,not in the slightest sense.'
With disdained look of self loathing, Sinon walked away from her reflection and towards the general direction of one of the numerous gates of Starting City that led towards the «Dungeons».
Well they weren't really dungeons in the traditional MMORPG kind of sense as they weren't mazes within castles and the such, but rather fields that fulfilled the same role. It was just easier to call them dungeons.
Sinon had to consciously stop herself from running as her eyes took in the surrounding players, like a gazelle eyeing a horde of lions surrounding it.
Whether it was male or female, all of them held guns, which was to be expected but still nothing had prepared Sinon for this moment. What made it worse was each male looked gruff and had muscular builds that towered over her, while the females had a sort of amazonian beauty to them.
It was rather unnerving to be the only player with an avatar with a doll-like body and face. But even though none of them approached her, Sinon could feel the stares stabbing her in the back. And so with an unconscious effort she quicken her pace not quite a run but not a leisurely walk either.
The cry of the anguished rang hopelessly through the air as it dissolved into a million pieces of polygons.
An audible release of air was heard next, Sinon finally lowered her rifle as she saw her target destroyed.
Today was the fourth day she logged on, and although she still trembled Sinon was at least able to shoot her gun and defeat monsters now.
She had learn more about guns in four days than she had ever learned in her whole life, having needed to take care of the gun as if it was the real thing. Sometimes Sinon hated how Kayaba Akihiko made the Virtual Reality so life like especially in gun care.
Why couldn't it be have limitless ammo, indestructible weapon, or the such?
But a part of Sinon realized that the more realistic the better it would help cure her phobia.
Still it didn't make her feel better.
Sinon was almost out of bullets and she needed more unless she wanted to die. Sinon held her rifle sandwiched between her right arm and torso and began her trek towards the city.
That was when it happened, no clues or warnings were issued just the raining of bullets towards Sinon's back.
Her voice laced with fear as the ground around exploded as the bullets pounded it. Sinon tried to run but one of the bullets tore through her right ankle making her fall onto the floor.
Crawling desperately away as fearful tears streamed down her face, Sinon's face was the epitome of terror.
'No! No! No!'
Her fragile fingers scraped the ground as she willed them to pull her away from certain death.
'Why!? Why is he shooting at me!'
Images of 'that' incident flashed through her mind. It was just like at that time
No...it was even worse.
The robber yelling, people screaming in fright as the robber shot the ceiling with his gun. Bits of rubble from the damage had fallen onto Sinon's eyes making her sob harder.
Bullets still flew at Sinon piercing her back and legs.
'I'm going to die! Please no!'
"NOOOO!" Sinon shrieked as a bullet nearly missed her head by a few millimeters. Terror like she had never known before flooded her system.
Eyes widening Sinon saw that in her pitiful bout for survival, her hand had latched onto her rifle that flown out of her hands when the bullets first started to rain on her.
'It doesn't matter...anymore'
Sinon thought as her face laid onto the cold, dirt ground her eyes losing their light as she resigned herself to her fate.
Her fear started to numb as the bullets still rained towards near, each impact sent tiny vibration towards Sinon through the ground.
'What's the point anymore...I'll die anyways...'
Her eyes looked numbly at the her rifle latched in her with no point in its existence.
'I'm going to die...'
At that single moment something within Sinon snapped as the numbing sensation turned to ice
Her eyes which had lost its passion to survive had returned under the cold and frosty gaze.
With surprisingly calm movements Sinon lifted her body up towards her attacker who was still running towards her assault rifle no longer in hand but rather a handgun.
However it no longer matter to Sinon as the only thought she had was to kill, eerily with an impassive face, slowing of heartbeat, and clear mind Sinon lined her sight with the rifle's.
Closing her left eye and concentrating all her focus on her finger and right eye, she felt as if her eyesight had drastically improved as the blurry image from before had suddenly sharpened to the point that she could make out each little detail on her assaulter.
The bullet left the rifle barrel undeterred as it made its way through the air with a single target.
It was all over too quickly within three seconds before the assaulter even knew it, his head had burst into a million polygons with his body soon following.
He was dead
Sinon panted as her rifle fell from its previous position, the icy calm demeanor from before vanishing as tears begun to fall with renewed vigor.
'I did it...'
That was her only thought. Not only had she braced herself enough to kill her attacker, but she had managed to do without a shred of fear for guns.
Glancing at the clock built in the side of her vision she read"2:34 PM"
The skirmish with hardly lasted more than five minutes, but to Sinon those five minutes were life changing.
From that point onwards the name Sinon became synonymous with the name «Hecate», the PKer whose shot never missed its mark in the dark of the night and was furthered feared when she became the other half of the strongest PK duo «Erebus» with «Thanatos».
"Mmmrrmmm" Rubbing hers Sinon opened her eyes and immediately regretted her action. The root filtered sunlight had mercilessly slammed into her retina.
With ease born from repetition, Sinon began to stretch. Her eyes widened when she remembered yesterdays events and her that was stifling her yawn fell to her lap.
But something odd...then she realized it. Kirito wasn't in the base anymore
Searching around frantically Sinon discovered a small slip of paper on the table. Picking it up, Sinon began to read it.
Sinon, I'm going towards «Lizard Orc Desert»
to kill some monsters to clear my mind a bit.
Don't worry I'll be back.
'Only you Kirito, only you.' Sinon thought. 'Only you would go out the day after the death game to clear your mind by killing monsters.'
'Kirito is already outside killing monsters...did he already get past killing those eleven players?' Truth be told Sinon envied the fact that Kirito could so quickly get over it when she had been traumatised.
It was just like when they first met, and Kirito defeated her with a worthless photon sword.
Thinking about the issue Sinon suddenly felt anger at the issue. She never thought about winning or losing much only completing her goal, but when it concerned Kirito she just couldn't stand it! 'If he can recover this quickly and face this death game SO CAN I!'
Her footsteps almost stomps now, Sinon latched onto the door handle. However just like the first time she handled her gun, her hands trembled unable to move. 'Calm down...HE could do it why can't you!'
However no matter the amount of mental encouragement she couldn't bring herself to opened the door towards the outside of their secret base.
Sinon knew that she only had one way that she could open the door. Her heart rate slowed, her blood chilled, and her eyes became frosty as she became the machine made of ice.
Opening the door, Sinon walked away from the base letting it lock by itself towards Kirito all with a sense of smug sense of satisfaction. 'Ha, if you can do it Kirito so can I.'
As she walked, she knew her reason to face the death game due to her rivalry with Kirito was just a lie. She knew that she was lying to herself, she was only drawing strength from her bond with Kirito.
She knew it, she knew she couldn't have gone out with only her strength, she knew that was just a fragile and weak girl inside that would rather be inside the base sobbing her heart out.
She knew, Sinon knew, but SHE REFUSED TO BOW DOWN JUST LIKE THAT!
If Sinon thought that Kirito had gotten over killing eleven players and was focusing on passing the death game, she was dead wrong.
Kirito trudged through the Lizard Orc Desert. Despite it being called a desert, the places was littered with metal pieces, however these metal pieces looked as if something melted them.
The PK player with the moniker of Thanatos walked akin to a zombie, gun in one hand and sword in the other.
Kirito still couldn't wrap his head around the fact that he had killed eleven players. Well he could but...he was filled with horror at his actions.
Since he was young and was forced into kendo by his strict grandfather-by-law, he had always held a sliver of resentment and envy to those kendo players who had the freedom to choose, unlike him.
Kirigaya Kazuto was called the "Kendo Genius" by the newspapers and his teachers, but to his peers he was the "Kendo Demon."
Kirito couldn't help it.
His grandfather had enrolled him into a kendo school nearby to improve his skills with others his age, but seeing those satisfied and joyful faces as they practiced their katas, while he bitterly went through the motion never once enjoying made Kirito hold a sliver of resentment and envy turned hate and that hate was used in every match, practice or official tournaments otherwise.
Those who were on his level of skill wouldn't have noticed, but to those kendoist who had a huge gap of skills compared to Kirito suffered from Kirito. He would use more force than necessary and injured his opponents giving birth to fear.
Kirito knew he was a bit of sadist when he started to consciously realized he put more force than necessary, but he couldn't stop. To him this was his only outlet for his pain and anger brought to him by his grandfather. Not even when his mother introduced him to computers could it stop his bitter resentment.
But killing and bringing pain to his kendo opponents were different.
The guilt of those two actions were different. Completely different.
When Kirito had realized of his sadistic nature, he was horrified. But as time went on he began to accept it as part of him.
Murder was completely different, you can't control it. The end result was always the same, a life would extinguish like the passage of time there was no return. When you realized that with your own hands you took an innocent life.
A life that didn't deserve it. Those eleven people just wanted to have fun in this game, and with a single swipe of his arm he took it away. Kirito had wondered why when he ended their lives why their facial expression were stricken with pain and horror.
『the signal sensors in your Nerve Gear will emit a strong electromagnetic pulse, destroying your brain and stopping all of your vital functions.』
'They must have experienced those electromagnetic pulse that fried their brains...' Kirito thought with horror. He didn't even want to imagine the pain they must have been when their Nerve Gear fried their brains.
His thoughts, he realized, hadn't changed from yesterday. Those thoughts had kept him awake for most of the night before he finally succombed to sleep, but it wasn't a pleasant sleep, it wasn't even a dreamless sleep but one filled with murder and blood.
When Kirito had woken up, he was lost. He didn't know what to do. But he had finally decided to come here to kill monsters to survive in this death game.
He knew that it wasn't the real reason he came here; he came here to kill sensely, to make his brain too busy to think about the horrors that he had accomplished with his own hands.
Kirito snorted. "Big good that did.'
The «Lizard Orc Soldiers» that littered the dungeon were level five monsters that Kirito could easily kill with his photon sword.
But since four hours ago when he first entered the dungeon he had never killed a single monster.
Kirito just couldn't bring himself to commit the act, whenever he was about to finish the remaining life points, the monster's face would always morph into one of the pained face of the players' he had killed.
He was in a way glad that Sinon wasn't close enough to see it, because if she did see it Kirito was sure that coupled with her past she would break.
Since the first four monsters he had tried to kill, Kirito had either avoided or ran away from the Lizard Orc Soldiers.
Walking aimlessly lost in thought, Kirito's eyes widened when he saw another player in the dungeon and facing off a Lizard Orc Soldier.
Lizard Orc Soldiers were about six feet five inches tall, and the player facing the monster was only a bit shorter than the Lizard Orc Soldier and so if Kirito had to guess, the player was around six feet.
The male player had a muscular build in contrast to the other players who had rather...unflattering builds. His short blond hair accented his chiseled face nicely.
The player who looked to be in his midtwenties wore a grey wife beater along with baggy camouflage grey pants and black combat boots.
However the most distinctive thing about that player were his weapons: a handgun and a combat knife.
During the beta test of Gun Gale Online there existed many players that have become famous for their own strength. However out of all those players two stood out the most due to their unique fighting style.
One was «Thanatos», the only player able to use the lethal joke weapon the photon sword. Many rumors surrounding Kirito, rumors such as that he was actually a NPC, or a super genius, or even Kayaba Akihiko himself due to the fact that no one could conceivably slice through the bullets with a sword. The skill needed was inhumane. However Kirito did and his name skyrocketed, of course only two people knew him by his actual username, Sinon and Argo, the others just knew his moniker.
Then there was the other player nicknamed «Soldier Subtilizer». No one knew about this mysterious player except the fact that he never hunted monster and exclusively PKed. The other fact was that the player only used «CQC», aka close quarter combat, ro a frightenly effect degree. Then there was the speculation that Subtilizer was actually a real soldier, but no one really knew, but the rumor stuck resulting in his moniker.
Kirito and Subtilizer had never actually met face to face before so it was quite a huge surprise to see his rival in fame fighting.
The soldier's movement was fluid and graceful with practiced ease, as he dance around the monster using the barest of movement. Although Lizard Orcs Soldiers didn't have the highest amount of strength, they were considered one of the fastest monster for the beginning stages of GGO excluding some bosses.
To see a player dance and toy around with one of them was shocking to be truthful. And then a single gunshot rang out.
The monster dropped to the floor as the sequence of death began for it.
In GGO, there was two crucial places on every monster that if shot would mean almost certain death: the head and heart. At least for the regular monsters, as boss class monster had higher health and resistance. For player it was counted as a critical attack. The heart was usually protected by some sort of armor and the layers of flesh made of data before reaching the heart could save a player or monster's life, in contrast if you get shot in the face, unless your health was very high it was a sure way to death.
But hitting the isn't easy compared to the larger and slower body, the head was constantly moving around. This was especially true for monsters as they instinctively moved their head as much as possible.
"You know if you don't say anything I might accidentally shoot you." Subtilizer suddenly said out of the blue.
Kirito blinked as he realized that he was staring at Subtilizer. "Sorry, I didn't realize I was staring."
Subtilizer made some flexing movements although it wasn't need in the virtual world, Kirito suspected that it was done out of habit after he also swung his sword after a fight too, and slowly walked towards Kirito after he placed his weapons away.
"So what are you doing out here? I mean I'm surprised that someone as young as you would be out here already. I mean yesterday that bastard just trapped us all here and made us fend for our lives."
"I wanted to clear my head..."
Kirito had to suppressed an annoyed look at Subtilizer's failed attempt to hide his laugh. "Sorry but I just find it funny that you wanted to clear your head by fighting monsters."
"How did you-"
Subtilizer snorted, "It's not that hard to figure out, I mean what else would you be here for? If you wanted to walk you would've gone someplace safer."
Kirito just nodded not seeing any fault Subtilizer's reasoning.
"So have you've cleared your mind yet...Thanatos?"
"How did you-"
Once again Kirito was cut off before had the chance to finish his question. "It's easy, I mean who else would foolishly walk out into the dungeons with a photon sword unless he could use it." Subtilizer said as he pointed at Kirito's belt where his photon sword was held. "Well unless you're suicidal but I doubt that. So how many have you killed?"
'Is he a real soldier? His observation skills are excellent to able to figure out my identity just like that.' "Zero."
"What" Subtilizer didn't bother hiding his surprise. "Is something wrong?" The older's man voice suddenly shifted from light hearted to serious in an instant.
Kirito tried not to squirm under the man's gaze. The older man's gaze seemed to pierce into Kirito's thought without relent.
"How many?" The question was said with a stern and hard voice greatly surprising Kirito.
"How many players did you kill?" Kirito's eyes widened as his body shifted into a battle stance.
Subtilizer seeing this raised his hand in a disarming manner. "Wait chill! I won't attack you or anything."
Kirito still didn't relax as he continued to stare at the man before him, photon sword in hand.
"Wait I'm not blaming you or anything, " Kirito eyes widened in further in shock. "I know what you must be feeling. You must be feeling guilt at killing them right."
Kirito didn't lower his guard but his eyes stared hard into the blonde man's with a small hope. "Guilt, it really isn't a pleasant feeling is it?"
"But you know it really isn't your fault you know? You're just an innocent player that was caught up in all this mess that bastard created. You didn't know that those player's would really die, you-"
"shut up." Kirito said, his voice barely a whisper.
"SHUT UP!" Kirito lost it. Anger, guilt, fear, horror, every negative emotion that Kirito had bottled till that moment was finally unleashed. "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO SEE THOSE FACE IN PAIN AND HORROR AS THEIR BRAINS WERE FRIED TO CRISP THANKS TO THAT MADMAN! THE REALIZATION THAT YOU'RE THE ONE THAT CAUSED THE DEATH OF ELEVEN INNOCENT PLAYERS! THAT YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY PK THOSE INNOCENT PLAYERS WOULD STILL BE ALIVE, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH!"
"Are you done now." Subtilizer's voice was eerily calm as she stared Kirito, his hand no longer in the surrounding position earlier
If this was a regular MMORPG, Subtilizer would have received a warning for attacking another player even if it was just a slap. But in GGO as long as you don't attack another player within the city confines it was ok, in fact during the beta test it was even encouraged to PK other players.
But at the moment Kirito was just stunned.
"I know you're just a but...DON'T YOU DARE SAY I DON'T UNDERSTAND!" Subtilizer's eyes softened as he placed an assuring hand on Kirito's shoulder. "I know that it was out of your power, but sometimes life f**ks us over you know?"
Subtilizer looked up towards the grey, cloudy sighed before letting out a tiring sigh before looking back at Kirito again. "I was training to be a soldier, so I was always expected to take a knife, but just not this soon when I'm playing a game to make my skills better. But I was prepared so I guess it didn't impact me as much as you did when I killed twenty-four people before Kayaba announced the beginning of this death game."
Silence met Subtilizer's words.
"But I want you to know that no matter what anybody says, it wasn't your fault. Sure there will be people who say that, but there always will be. But just to be safe don't tell anyone."
"How? How do you deal with the guilt of killing those people?" Kirito's tone was laced with vain hope, just telling Subtilizer to reassure him that he wasn't guilty of anything.
"Well...I won't lie to you. There isn't anything I'm doing to curb my guilt. Instead I focus on why I want to live and make it pass this death game. I want to make it alive to see my family again," Subtilizer chuckled a bit, not one of humor but one of necessity something to lighten up the depressing mood. "that and just that I refused to die."
"Yeah, I don't want to die either..." Kirito's words didn't reach his ears as memories of his family permeated his mind just like yesterday. The loving mother he had, the sister who he grown apart only to grow closer but forced apart by the death game, his father who had supported him as much as possible despite his absence at the house, and finally his grandfather...
Ever since that man died, Kirito had never once visited his grave not even once. Despite his stern and selfish desire that molded Kirito into the bitter that he was today, he had given him a great gift that would either help him survive in the world of guns or kill him. 'At the very least I'll visit your grave...oji-san...'
"-rito, Kirito! Kirito!"
"Sorry, I was just thinking." Kirito said while the distant look still existed in his eyes, but at least he was paying attention now.
"As I was saying don't think about it too much for now, just focus on surviving you can worry about guilt after you clear the game." The blonde man flashed a smile at Kirito, even though they both knew that it was not possible to not think about it.
They didn't even know if how long it would take, there was always that option. True it would shorten their time trapped but...the consequences of such action, neither wanted to ponder on such a cruel option.
"So...kid you should probably go back now, it won't do you any good if you think in such a dangerous place you know." With a light shove Subtilizer pushed Kirito the way he came from.
"...thank you Subtilizer..."
"Wait how did-"
"Your way of fighting is a dead giveaway. Only one player uses CQC with a handgun and combat knife you know? Besides you're more famous than you give credit for." Kirito said with wry smile, as Subtilizer laughed.
"Well I guess this is how you felt when I cut you off. See ya kid!" With that said the two player walked their own directions.
Despite Kirito's outwardly calm demeanor his inner thoughts and feelings were in turmoil. True he accepted what Subtilizer said concerning his priorities. 'It's true that I should focus on my reason for living and worry about the guilt after I get out of GGO, but life isn't simple as you said Subtilizer...'
'No matter what, the faces of those eleven players will haunt me for the rest of my life unconsciously or not.' Kirito clenched his fist as his inner turmoil continued.
The walk towards the base felt short even to Kirito even as he passed from one dungeon to another.
The gray grass, the crystal trees, the scrap metal, none of them caught Kirito's attention. It was rather convenient that he hadn't encountered any monsters at all-
Without warning something raced towards Kirito and Kirito barely raised his arm to defend. But even so Kirito was flung backwards onto his back with nearly a quarter of his health depleted.
'Dammit!' Kirito cursed inwardly as he stared at the monster. Kirito knew that she should've have focused on going back towards the base first, but he hadn't really cared. And now he was paying for it with his health. 'I should've expected this...'
The monster before him was categorized as a «Sub-Boss». Not quite as strong as the «Region Bosses»that players needed to defeat in order to open the access to that region, but far stronger and more dangerous than mook level monsters. Typically it was advised to to face them with a full party in contrast to region boss battled that typically consisted of several parties.
«Rorak: The Lizard Orc General», that was the name of the the sub-boss before Kirito. The heavily decorated scrap metal armor that the Rorak wore was horribly looking, but it was far better than the Lizard Orc Soldier's armor, which weren't even armor at all but rather rags that they covered themselves with.
The Lizard Orc General's green body looked as if steroids was needlessly pumped it into it and its tail waved back and forth with drool coming out of its mouth.
Slowly Kirito stood up as he eyed the monster before him, the Lizard Orc General growled right back in response.
The photon blade came into existence as Kirito turned on the Kagemitsu G4.
"Yraghh!" With a battle cry Kirito charged at the monster just as the Lizard Orc General's clawed feet leapt towards him.
The Lizard Orc General's right clawed hand made a horizontal strike towards Kirito, but having already seen it coming Kirito duck under and made an upward slash with his right hand lowering the Rorak's health by about five percent.
However the satisfaction was short lived as the ugly green clawed hand made a swipe towards Kirito, forcing him to dodge once more. But that attack didn't end just there as the Lizard Orc General used the momentum and kept twirling left resulting in his tail lashing out in a full circle towards Kirito.
Kirito who was forced to jump in order to evade the blow, brought his right arm down and his left hand up as he aimed his handgun towards the sub-boss.
If the Lizard Orc Soldiers were fast, then there was a reason why Rorak was known as the Lizard Orc General. Its speed was numerous times faster as Kirito watched it deftly dodge with sudden change in movements and leaps all the while coming closer towards Kirito at blinding speed.
And so Kirito charged at Rorak once more, knowing that a handgun would probably never do much damage even if the bullet landed.
The battle continued as Kirito dodged in every way he could ignoring the occasional nick as his Kagemitsu G4 damaged the arms, legs, and even the tail of the Lizard Orc General. Never once could Kirito exploit an opening to strike the Lizard Orc General's head.
The battle raged on his the two opponents attacked and dodged each others blows. Even though the taller of the who was at least twice as tall as the shorter one clad in black was furiously attacking, it was clear that the shorter one had the advantage.
'There!' Kirito eyes narrowed as saw the opening and with the sub-boss' health at only twenty percent and direct strike to the head from the Kagemitsu G4 would spell certain doom.
Kirito used the thick, green arms of the monster as a slight lever to jump up and raised his right hand intent on bringing down to finish...however instead of Rorak's ugly mug of a face it was the horrified and fearful looks of a twenty year old man.
The man had brown beard and a slightly plump face, but overall it was handsome and good looking. He probably also had a family waiting for him that he would see thanks to Kirito's sword that pierced his heart.
"GAH!" Kirito cried out in pain as he was struck downward by an overstrike blow from the clenched fists of the Lizard Orc General.
Kirito's body smashed into his ground as he felt the nerves on his back run amok in pain. 'Why does it hurt so much!? Why?' A flash memory passed Kirito's eyes as he remembered the words from the tutorial.
『Although it is not recommended, there is a pain limiter feature that you can calibrate. But be warned that if you calibrate too low, the pain you deal with will be as if it was real.』
'Did Kayaba turn it all the way off!?' However Kirito no longer had anytime to think as his eyes took in the ugly face of the monster that had his hand raised preparing to deal the final blow to the remainder of Kirito fifteen percent health bar, his face no longer that handsome brown haired man but a monster in all its morbid glory intent on delivering death.
'No! I don't want to die! Move! Move!' Kirito tried to will his right hand faster but he knew it would be too late but suddenly...
A single bullet struck Rorak between the eyes delivering only about five percent of damage even thought it was core weak spot. But it didn't as that one attack allowed Kirito enough time for his right hand to flash forward as the photon blade pierced the sub-boss' face.
Panting, Kirito stood up ignoring the sound of the sub-boss' body dissolve into a billion polygon like all death in the virtual world. Instead his attention was focused on his savior and the only single person he knew who could shoot so accurately.
'How ironic that the girl I save from bullies weeks before would end up saving my life today.'
Walking forward Kirito was soon within a few foot of his savior. "Are alright?"
Her icy tone surprised but, 'I guess this was her way of coping huh...'
"Yes, thank you for saving my life Asada-san."
"My name is Sinon, and your name is Kirito. I saved you because you're my partner that's all there is to it."
Kirito looked at the girl before him, this wasn't the trembling bullied girl known named Asada Shino, but rather Sinon the sniper cold as ice. "Yes, but even so thank you Sinon."
Kirito gave her a small smile and to his surprise Sinon returned even if it was only for the briefest of moments. "Let's go back Sinon, I'm tired."
"That sounds reasonable."
«Erebus» began to walk back towards their base, with «Thanatos» clenching his fist. 'It's true that the guilt probably won't be dismissed or even forgotten a single day in this death game and beyond, but I don't want to die. I still have so many things I want to do before my life ends, and I refuse to die here, not just here either I won't allow myself to die even when I cleared this game until I have accomplished what I wanted to do in life.'
'That's a promise.'
Author's Note: Sorry for the long hiatus but I wasn't high off Sword Art Online anymore...and so my motivation was at an all times low for Sword Art Online fanficiton.
Originally I didn't plan to put the last battle scene there but rather than Kirito going back and meeting Sinon along the way where they then talk a bit. Of course the talk would be a bit therapeutic for Kirito who would then go back towards the base and basically convince himself, this in my eyes would be a better option. I'm sure you readers prefer a battle too.
Anyways I was wondering on what you think Sinon's moniker should be. So far its between Nyx, Hecate, Nemesis, and that's about it. But of you have any other suggestion please do tell but on a side note, I want that moniker to be a goddess related to Erebus.
And finally what did you think?