Seriously, what were they thinking!?
I was panting heavily, exhausted from using all my energy to defeat all those high-level monsters. I looked at my HP bar. It was almost depleted. I looked at Sachi, she was sitting on the floor, hands on her face. I could tell she was crying, after all that's happened.
"I told you guys it was a trap!" I shouted at them, these idiots.
The other members of the Black Cats of the Full Moon Guild looked at me silently.
"...Ducker rushed in first, he wanted the rare item. So we..." Sasamaru said bitterly.
"Rushed in with him and didn't listen to me? Look how that turned out! Ducker is dead, Sasamaru! He's really dead! That idiot died trying to get some worthless items!" I shouted back.
"Hey! Don't talk about my friend like that, you bastard!" Tetsuo, another member, shouted at me.
"Why didn't you tell us about this dungeon earlier!? You ARE a Beater, right!? There's no way any of us could beat all those monsters like that! I saw your level earlier while you were fighting. You're clearly more experienced than us! Why!? Why didn't you tell us about this place!? Why did you lied to us!? So you could use us as stepping stones for you!? That's why you let Ducker died!"
"Great! After all that shit I went through to protect you guys and this is how you thanked me!? It should be fucking obvious that this place is a deathtrap! Look around! A secret dungeon in a middle of nowhere? A secret room with a lone treasure box in the middle and nothing else? Even a first grader could tell that it's a trap! You were blinded because of your greed for items!" I shouted at Tetsuo. I almost died because of them, damn it! I have a right to be angry!
Tetsuo, who's looking at me furiously, then punched me in the face.
"YOU FUCKER WOULDN'T KNOW HOW IT FEELS! YOU BEATERS CAN'T UNDERSTAND THE PAIN OF LOSING SOMEONE YOU CARED! BECAUSE YOU NEVER CARED FOR ANYONE OTHER THAN YOURSELF! YOU SELFISH ASSHOLE! IT SHOULD BE YOU THAT DIED INSTEAD OF DUCKER!"
With every word he said, he punched me fist-by-fist. I was exhausted from the fight so I didn't react, but I know he can't hurt me. His level is far lower than me so his attacks can't do any damage to my body.
But I felt the pain...the pain of Tetsuo's fist, along with the realization that every word he said was right.
I...I was selfish...
It's true that I lied about my level so I could join their guild. It's not that they didn't invited me first.
This isn't the first time I saved their lives.
"And here's to Kirito-san, the man who saved our lives!" Ducker said happily, with a glass of juice in his hand.
Five people stood around me, all holding their glasses while looking at me happily.
"Cheers!" And with that, everyone smiled at me.
"C-Cheers..." I was shocked. Nobody ever gave me such a warming welcome since I...since that incident on the first floor.
"Thanks!" Keita, the leader of the guild, congratulates me.
"You saved us" Tetsuo smiled at me.
"Thank you. Thank you so much!" Sachi, the only female member of the group, said to me.
"It was nothing." I said.
Really, it wasn't that hard anyways. Those monsters are just low-levels. They tend to use their numbers to overwhelm their opponents, but that didn't work with me because I'm too fast for them to swarm me. So I use my speed to lure them while the rest of the guild flanked them one-by-one, while I myself cut down everything in my way. In less than a minute, all monsters are gone.
I looked at Sachi. Her face became saddened. I could tell she was very afraid from the experience. During the fight, everyone battles the monsters except her, who could only stand and watch in terror. She was almost getting a deadly blow from one of them, but I pushed her out of the way just in time.
"I was really scared, then when you came to save me, I was so happy!" Sachi said, then started sobbing. She was about to cry.
I pitied her. Nobody deserves this. Innocent young people, forced to fight to survive in what they thought to be just a simple video game. It causes scars to people's minds. Even if they survive all of this, they wouldn't be the same anymore...
Keita approached me and whispered "I know it's rude to ask, but what level are you?"
I think about it a bit.
'Come on, Kirito. What are you afraid of? Just tell them your level!'
'If I did, then they'll know that I'm a Beater...'
'If they know, they'll probably hate me...'
"Level 20 or so..." I lied to Keita, looking away from his eyes.
I look at my level status which is hidden so only I could see it.
Kirito 8120/8120 LV:40
"Eh? That isn't too different than ours." Keita said surprisingly.
"It's really amazing that you're a solo player." He continued.
"Keita, you don't need to be so polite. Solo players just targeted isolated enemies. It isn't that efficient. " I explained to him. I just lied to him about my level, after all.
"Oh...I see. In that case, Kirito, what would you think...about joining our guild?" He said with a smile on his face.
I was surprised.
He actually wants me to join his guild?
"The only one we have who can occupy the vanguard is Tetsuo, a mace user." Keita pointed at Tetsuo, a guy in purple clothes with a friendly smile.
"And this girl, her name is Sachi." Keita then moved his hand to the blue-headed girl beside him, and patted her head.
"I planned to have her switch to use sword and shield so she could fight in the front, but she says that she isn't sure how to. Do you think you could show her the ropes?"
"What the...don't talk about me like I'm useless!" Sachi looked at Keita disapprovingly.
"I can't go out and fight in the front ranks. I'd be scared!" Sachi moved away from Keita.
"Just hide behind your shield" Ducker said.
"You've always been a scaredy-cat" Tetsuo teased.
"Boo!" Sasamaru made fun of her.
And everybody except me and Sachi laughed.
"Everyone in our guild is from our school's PC Research Club." Keita continued.
"Ah, but don't worry...you'll fit in soon, right?" He looked at his friends, and then they all smiled at me again, encouraged me to join their guild.
I looked at Sachi, she has the brightest smile of them all. I feel kinda weird when I looked at her.
I sat silently, thinking a little bit about it.
'Hey, you ARE a Beater. You're supposed to work alone!'
'But...there's nothing wrong with joining a guild once in a while, is it?'
'They're just gonna be a burden to you! Those guys wouldn't last five minutes against all those monsters out there! You've seen them fight yourself!'
'That's why I need to protect them! That girl...Sachi...She's gonna die if I don't do something!'
'So what if you can't protect them? Huh! What if that girl died on your watch?'
What if I can't protect her...
'I have to, I won't let it happen. I will protect them no matter what!'
"Okay..." I said silently. "Looks like I'm gonna join, after all..." I looked at Keita and Sachi.
"Thanks." And then they both smiled brightly, and the group cheered and laughed happily together.
Somehow, I feel happy. A feeling I haven't have for a long while. It's a warm feeling, you know, being able to make someone happy. It's true about what they said, if one person's happy, then the others around them will feel happy, too.
But...am I really happy with this?
'Are you sure they really wanted you? Or you really needed them?'
"...You son of a bitch." Tetsuo was out of energy, and laid down on the floor, exhausted.
My face hurts like hell, but it didn't hurt more than what I've realized.
I've let Ducker die.
So, I can't protect them after all, even with the level I have, I still let him die.
I should've know better. Yes, I didn't know that there's a hidden room here, but when I looked inside I realized that instant that it was a trap. I could've warn them earlier, stopped them, before they all opened that damn box.
In the end, it didn't matter. I failed them.
Keita's gonna be furious at this.
I didn't...I didn't ask for this...
I was only...only wanted them to be happy...so...
...so I can be happy, too.
Sachi, who finally stops crying, walked to Tetsuo, and helped him up together with Sasamaru.
I couldn't bear to face her.
"Sachi..." I speak.
"Take these." I gave her my spare teleportation crystals.
"Go back to Keita, tell him, tell him the truth. Tell him that I was responsible for all of this...and...I'm sorry...for everything." I said somberly.
Sachi looked at me, but I didn't look back.
"And what are you going to do, Kirito? Hey! Kirito! Where are you going!?"
I was walking away from them, into a dark corridor on the opposite side.
"I'm quitting, Sachi. I'm gonna go back to being a solo player. It's...it's..."
It's better this way. I finished the sentence in my mind.
"No! Don't leave us! Kirito!"
I'm sorry, Sachi...
Even though I promised to protect her.
I can't bear it. If I can't protect her. If I'm somehow responsible for her death, I couldn't live with myself.
To hell with that promise.
Why bother making it if you can't keep it and regret about it later.
"Kirito!" Sachi shouted, but I was already gone.
Editor's note: Well, a downer ending on this one. To say, I've always hated Ducker. Really, that idiot deserves to die, you know? Seriously, an empty room with a strange big box in the middle. Yeah, Ducker, it's REALLY NOT a trap. You can run straight to the box and open it if you like! There's sure to be some extra-rare item for you and your friends to DIE for!
Anyways, sorry for my little outburst. This story will deal if somehow Kirito managed to save the Black Cats of the Full Moon guild from their tragic fates (minus Ducker, obviously) and how it will change Kirito's personality, as well as the consequences that followed by the Black Cats of the Full Moon's survival to the rest of the SAO community. The main plot will also followed in what I called 'Guild Wars' in SAO. The legendary crimson Knights of the Blood guild, and the Holy Dragon Alliance, another major guild yet have so little roles in the original anime, will be two of the major powers in my story. Of course, being involved with KotB means it'll involve with Asuna. So what happens if Kirito falls with Sachi first...teasing! LOL Aside from the canon Asuna x Kirito pairing, I'm also fond of Sachi x Kirito. They just looked so cute together and there's nice chemistry between them. It's a shame they had to kill her off, it's just...heartbreaking. Anyways, I promise, you wouldn't die now, Sachi-chan!
This story will continue along with another SAO & Angel Beats! crossover Project Rebirth. So I decided to release new chapters for both stories each week if I can, so stay tuned!