A/N: A THIRD UPDATE!? WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL EXSUM!? Seriously, I feel the guilt guys, the guilt of updating and forcing you guys to wait another 7 months for the next update. Actually wait, when I updated chapter 2 for the first time, it was only a preview. It must've been longer. Maybe 10 months? [Laughs Internally]
In all seriousness, yes this is a chapter, or maybe a preview. It depends on how long it's been since I've updated, and if I'm satisfied with the length of this chapter. If I am, it's chapter 3. If not, it's a preview. It's probably going to be like this for the rest of the chapters. Well, here you go, a possible chapter 3.

The first month that passed after the first day of being trapped in the death game were hard on everyone. Many people in the [Starting City] were waiting there, hoping and praying that they would be saved be some outside force. The people who didn't sit and pray went out to adventure and fight the system. Not many went solo, since there was little chance of survival in the game if you didn't have others to cover your back.

The death counter was increasing, from people getting killed monsters or people committing suicide because they thought that they could be 'free' from the death game. Hope was being lost quickly among the remaining people trapped within the floating castle, but there was a rumour floating around. A rumour about a group of people going to break the barrier between the first and second floor.

"Hey Kirito, you sure it's around here?" Sinon asked the black haired boy she was walking with, doubting he actually knew where the meeting was supposed to be.

"Yes, I'm sure. Would you doubt me, with my great sense of direction?" Kirito replied with mock hurt.

"Yes. We got lost quite a few times during the last week due to your 'great sense of direction.'" She shot back, giving him no mercy.

"In my defence, the official game release has changed a lot of the paths." He replied, not wanting to lose the argument.

"...whatever. We're probably close to the meeting place. We can't let lost in a town."


As Sinon was correct, they did end up at the meeting place, where a good amount of players were already gathered conversing among themselves. It was a coliseum which was cut in half, where the seats were facing a stage. They decided to take a seat in the back and wait for the meeting to start.

"Welcome everyone! My name is Diabel and I'd like to think of myself as a knight." In the centre of the meeting stage, a man with blue hair could be seen with a shield and sword on his back.

"Knight? Are you kidding, there's no class system in this game!" One player joked, poking fun at the self-proclaimed knight.

"Is this meeting a joke too?" Another shouted out.

"Alright, alright. Calm down. I came here to discuss with you, the defeat of the first floor boss." The knight responded, quickly gaining everyone's attention. With the first month already passing, people were losing hope of escaping the death game. If they could defeat even one boss, they could restore hope within the people. The knight continued, "Earlier this week, my party found the boss's room in the dungeon. We believe we can defeat this boss and go to the second floor. One condition though, everyone has to be at least level 11 or higher. If not, please leave because I won't be taking any risks during this boss raid."

With that, some people left. Counting the heads that were left over, Kirito counted 45. It was still a good amount of people.

"Hold on just a second!" Was a shout that came from an obnoxious sounding voice in the crowd. As the crowd split up, a thuggish man with orange cactus hair could be seen. Some people snickered at his strange hair, but stopped when he gave them a glare. "There are a good amount of people in this area that need to apologize to everyone! These people have been hoarding all the resources to themselves and leaving the rest of us to die!" He shouted out.

"Erm, " Diabel said, trying to get his name.


"Kibaou-san, you're talking about the beta testers aren't you?" Diabel asked, trying to remain polite.

"Of course I am! If they didn't leave us we could've cleared the first floor boss by now!" He sent a glare up at Kirito and Sinon, and pointed and yelled out, "Oi you two! You two are beta testers right? Apologize and fork over your items right now!"

Kirito looked over at him, a passive gaze looking over the situation, while Sinon had a more calculating look. He stood up, and asked, "Why? Why should I hand over the items that I worked my ass off over to you?"

"Why? WHY!? Why shouldn't you!? You betas left us at the start of the game! Do you know how many people died because of you?" Kibaou yelled out, trying to get people onto his side.

Kirito on the other hand, just stood silently until he replied "Hm? Died because of me? Because us betas never helped?" He materialized something out of his inventory. "The [Beginner's Handbook] was distributed to everyone at the start of the game. It showed everyone how the basic rules of the game worked. After that, a few betas got together and updated the books with previous knowledge from the beta test. The amount of content nearly tripled in size. Also, could someone were to be kind enough to take out their book and read out the authors of the basic combat for me"

"Kirito." Came from a dark skinned man with a boy that was built like a bear.

"Thank you, um.."

"Agil." The large man said, giving out his name.

"Thank you Agil-san. Now would you please read out the name of the person who wrote the basic survivability techniques?"


"So what? Those two could be anywhere right now!" Kibaou retorted.

Kirito just smiled while Sinon stood up beside him. He bowed while she curtseyed. "Kirito and Sinon, at your service."

The crowd was silent. The two who helped a great deal in the [Beginner's Handbook] were with them right there and then, ready to join the raid.

Before Kibaou could respond, Kirito shot out, "And those deaths you were talking about? Most of those were suicides, where people jumped off the edge of the world. The ones that weren't suicides were people who didn't read the handbook and went out to try to learn things their own way, and failed. It is sad, but that is what happens when people go out unprepared. Now the rest of us want to defeat this boss, so we can defeat the final boss and leave this game."

Silence. Silence was what he was greeted with after his speech. Soon, applauding could be heard, and he sat down with Sinon, who had already taken her seat at the start of his speech.

Diabel, wanting to get the meeting running again, asked aloud, "If nobody has any more complaints, we can get this meeting started." Hearing no complaints, he continued, "The boss's name is Illfang the Kobold Lord. He has 4 health bars, and will summon Kolbold sentinels to act as defence. Once his last health bar is low, he will pull out a tulwar and begin attacking with that."

Kirito interrupted, "Excuse me, Diabel-san. The information could be outdated. I don't know if it is or not, but we can't be 100% sure that he's going to do that. Some things might've changed with the official release."

"Thank you, that's important information Kirito-san." Diabel replied before continuing. "We will have raid parties of 6 each, so we'll have 7 full groups with 3 left over. Once there groups have been made ease meet here tomorrow morning at 8:30. That's when we'll start the raid." After he ended, people began to disperse and begin to make parties with those that they were already talking to earlier. There were only three people left.

"Somehow, I knew we were going to be the odd ones out." Kirito deadpanned.

"Suck it up; you basically just said we're out of everyone's league." Sinon retorted. "Oh well. We might as well recruit that one person into our party." She ushered to the one person wearing a cloak.

They walked up to them and asked "Would you like to join our party?" Seeing a stiff nod, Kirito sent a party request to them. The person accepted and their name could be seen in the upper left corner of his vision.

"Asuna, huh."

Asuna, the cloaked person asked them in what was now a definite female voice, "How did you know my name?"

Kirito pointed up at the top left of what he thought would be her vision and said, "There should be a few names here. Yours is on top and your party members are right underneath. You probably know us from my earlier 'speech.'"

"Speech? More like bashing on a cactus figure." Sinon muttered.


Asuna giggled. "Well it's nice to meet you, Kirito-kun, Sinon-san."

They both replied, "Nice to meet you too."

With that, their party was made.

A few hours after, Kirito and Sinon were in the market area, if you could really call it that. It was basically a bunch of people standing around shouting what they were selling or buying. They were both looking for a blacksmith so they could upgrade their weapons.

"Alright, we've got enough materials to get both of our weapons to max upgrade level. All it depends on is luck. We should find a player, and not an NPC." Sinon said, remember how bad her luck with NPC's were.

"Sure...but are there even player blacksmiths this early? It's the first floor too." Kirito replied.

"Probably. Not everyone is sitting and waiting for help. Some people are actually doing something with their lives."

"Well, I guess if people are adapting to this world it's a start. At least there are people that are supposedly helping others by taking up jobs. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a blacksmith."

"Hm? Kirito, your eyesight is better than mine right? What does that sign say? The one that's right in front of that girl."

Kirito focused his eyes on the person Sinon pointed out. She had brown hair, and was dressed in a sort of maid costume. "Lisbeth's smith shop. How convenient."

They both walked up to the girl who was sitting down on a mat with the girl with her head in her knees. "Ah, Hello?" Kirito hesitantly asked out.

The girl quickly perked up and replied, "Hi! Welcome to Lisbeth's smith shop! How can I help you?" On closer inspection, she had a slightly darker shade of brown hair and pink eyes.

"We'd like to get out items upgraded."

"Oh, I'm not the best with upgrades; you'd be better off going to a NPC " she replied, looking down in disappointment.

"No thanks, NPC's were never that great in most games. Player smiths are more reliable. What do you say? Can you help us?" Sinon said, trying to cheer her up.

"I- I'll try my best."

"That's all that we ask for."

Lisbeth took Kirito's [Anneal Blade] and put it on the anvil. "How many times do you want me to upgrade this? It's..+7..wow.." She asked in awe at how strong the sword was.

"To it's maximum please." Kirito replied.

At his reply, Lisbeth looked like a goldfish. Mouth agape, eyes almost bulging out of their socket. "To its maximum!? That's three more times!"

"Mhm. If you would please."

"Well, don't blame me if something goes wrong." With that she began to swing her hammer on it. 10 times, and the message came out.

[Upgrade success!]

She stopped, in shock at her luck. Most of the item she upgrades begin to fail at a higher rate after 5 times, but she got this item to +8. Looking over to the black haired boy who gave her a nod, she continued. A good 10 swings later and she got another message.

[Upgrade success!]

She was astonished. How could she be this lucky?

"Nice job Lisbeth. One more to go."

Hearing the boy's words, she went for the final upgrade. 'Please let this work, they're the only people who I've had success with in upgrading, please don't make me let them down..' She swung the final 10 times. On the last time, the message came up.

[Upgrade success! This item is at the maximum amount of upgrades. It cannot be upgraded further.]

She was in disbelief. Three times in a row, and at the final upgrade counts too. This is usually impossible, but she did it anyways. She was proud with herself.

"Thanks a lot Lisbeth." Kirito said with gratitude.

"Oh, um yeah. No problem, but your sword is +10 now. Why would you go so far for that weapon?" She asked, embarrassed at her praise.

"This is the [Anneal Blade], one of the strongest swords on the floor. If it gets upgraded fully, it could last me a good 5 or six floors after this." He responded.

"Are you guys beta testers?"

"Yup," Sinon replied. "And we're going to fight the boss tomorrow. Can you upgrade my weapon now?"

"Sure. I'll try my best with this too."

"Thanks. It's a monster drop, and I haven't upgraded this before, I think getting to +7 should be enough."

"7 upgrades in a row, this is gonna be tough." Lisbeth said, in slight worry.

"I believe in you." Sinon said, encouraging her.


Lisbeth took Kirito's sword and returned it to him, while taking Sinon's bow and placing it on the anvil. "[Forest Bow] huh, I've never heard of this, bows are rare, and bows from monster drops are even rarer."

"I got lucky while hunting." Sinon said, not really telling her that she spent nearly a small fortune buying the drop information for a certain rat.

Lisbeth took her hammer and started swining. The first 5 upgrades went by without any problems. It was after those that blacksmith's tended to struggle. She hit the bow a good ten times.

[Upgrade successful!]

She sighed, everything was going well. "Nice. One more, Lisbeth-san." Sinon said.


She started to hit again. 'Please, these two believed on me while nobody else did. Please don't let me fail them.' She prayed, and prayed hard. She was greeted with the last message.

[Upgrade failed!]

She dropped her hammer. "I'm so sorry. I failed.." She said as she started to break down "I-"

"You did well." Sinon said to her.

"Huh?" She took her hands away from her face, "you're not mad?"

Sinon looked at her with a reassuring smile. "Why would I be mad? If I went to an NPC, I probably wouldn't even have gotten it past +4, you got it to +6. That's already more than enough. Thank you."

Lisbeth wiped her eyes that were a bit foggy. "You're welcome. Please come again, you two will always be welcome at my shop."

"Thanks, we'll be coming to you often." Kirito said back to her. He paid her the necessary col and turned around. As they were about to leave, Lisbeth forgot something.

"What are your names?" She asked, forgetting to ask for their names earlier.

"Kirito and Sinon." They replied as they walked away.

Lisbeth was in shock. Those 2 were the betas that contributed the most to the [Beginner's Handbook], and they went to her to get their items upgraded. She then decided that she would raise her [Smithing] skills and make them proud that they went to her. She heard them yell something back to her.

"Lisbeth-san, we'll make sure to tell people about your shop!" Sinon yelled back.

"Yeah, thank you!" She yelled in reply.

Today was the day where she regained motivation to help the adventurers around her.

Later during the evening, Sinon said that she was going to look for Argo. Kirito understood and went to go roam around the town. He saw people having duels and showing off their weapons. He just sat a fair distance away and watched for a bit. A little while later, he felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around and was greeted with someone he hadn't seen in a little more than 3 weeks.

"It's good to see you Klein." Kirito greeted.

"You too, Kirito." The fiery haired man greeted back. "Where's your girlfriend?"

"She's not my girlfriend, but we're really close."

"Sure, sure. Oh right. These are my friends. I've showed them what you taught me on the first day."

Klein introduced his friends to Kirito and told them how he helped him learn all the basics on the first day.

"You're Kirito huh? Well it's nice to meet to nonetheless. Thanks for taking care of our idiot leader on the first day." A random person in Klein's party greeted.


"Wait, Kirito… I've heard that name before."

"He's the one who wrote the most on combat in the handbook." Another said, answering the first person's thoughts.

"Oh! So it was this guy who wrote the book huh? He must be really good!"

"Yeah. Hey Kirito, how about we have a duel? Me and my friends have been duelling here and there to improve our swordsmanship. I'd like to test how good I've gotten." Klein suggested, thinking that he might be able to beat Kirito.

"Sure, I don't mind."

The rest of Klein's party moved out of the way to give them some space. Klein sent Kirito a duel request in the First Strike mode. There were three modes for duels.

First Strike was the mode that was most commonly used, as it was decided when someone was to successfully land a hit on their opponent.

Half Loss was less used, as the goal was to reduce their opponents HP to half, but was risky since a critical hit could put them down to the danger zone.

Total Loss was almost never used, since the goal of this was to reduce their opponents HP to 0, and doing that in this game would result in death.

Kirito accepted Klein's duel offer and got into his ready position. Klein did the same, but Kirito's was more open, like it was missing something. Klein shrugged it off and waited for the timer to count down. After 30 seconds, a crowd had begun to appear around the two.

"Hey, it's Klein! Who's he duelling this time?" A spectator asked.

"Who knows? Klein duels a lot of people, not many people even remember who him and his party duel." Another added in.

"I hope that kid is good."

Kirito hearing this spoke up to Klein. "Famous, are we?"

"Aha, not really. I just get along with people, you know?"

"Oh well. We'd better give them a show."

"Damn right."

As the timer hit 0, Klein broke into a sprint towards Kirito, but Kirito was faster. He went into a straight dash towards Klein's blind side. He slashed quickly towards Klein, but Klein was quick to react, blocking Kirito's swing within a hair length.

"Whoaaaaaa. Kirito, you're way to strong man. What level are you!?" Klein yelled out, not expecting someone of his size to have such speed and strength.

"It's a secret. Maybe you could ask Sinon, but I doubt she would say anything. You could also pay a certain rat for this information." Kirito replied while going for a horizontal slash.

Klein struggled to block it while Kirito looked like he wasn't even breaking a sweat. "A rat? Who?"

"You'll find out soon enough."

The crowd was in awe at this duel, not that Klein was in it, being a regular person who duelled people for fun, but at the person who was pushing him back.

"Who is that kid?" A spectator asked.

A party member of Klein's spoke up. "Look over the area where they're duelling. Their names are up there."

"K...Kirito? As in the one who wrote the combat section?"


"Wow! He's really good! I should read that section more thoroughly."

"Me too!"

A cloaked figure with whiskers was watching the duel from underneath a tree. "Still the same, aren't you Ki-bou?"

"Well, let's not drag this out too long. The duel timer is about to expire." Kirito said towards Klein, who had been struggling to keep up with Kirito's speed and strength.

"Alright then! I'm going all out!" Klein yelled in reply, trying to conjure up some inner strength while running towards Kirito with a Horizontal.

Kirito just stood there and waited. As Klein went in, he countered with an upwards Vertical throwing Klein off balance. As their both their cooldowns were reaching 0, Kirito was the first to react, dashing forward to the still unbalanced Klein and slashing him across the chest. Klein fell. The duel was won by Kirito. Cheers were heard.

Kirito held up a hand for Klein. "Good match."

Klein took Kirito's hand, and pulled himself up. "Yeah. Man you're strong. Good duel though."

"Well, I'm going to go look for someone before it gets too dark. See you later Klein. Bye guys!" Kirito said to Klein and his party members before he could get swarmed by the spectators. Klein and his party members waved goodbye at his retreating figure before going to the inn they were staying at.

A cloaked figure could be seen sitting on a bench during the night. The figure's name was Asuna. She was eating bread that was sold by the NPC's, which didn't taste too good, or good at all.


She heard a voice and looked up to the source. "Oh Hi."

"Enjoying your bread?" He asked as he pulled out some bread of his own. Asuna looked at him with a strange expression.

"Do you really like that bread?" She asked him, thinking that he was insane if he replied 'yes.'

"Not really, but sometimes I like to mix it up a bit." He replied while he materialized a jar from his inventory and set it down between them. He then tapped on it and then tapped his bread. "Try it." He said in a suggesting tone.

Asuna hesitated before doing so. After she saw him eat his bread, she tapped the jar. Her finger glowed and she moved her finger on her bread. "...cream?" She looked over at Kirito who was still munching on his bread. She decided to take a bite for herself. What she was met with was amazing, and she finished the bread way before Kirito could swallow the piece he was chewing. She sighed in relief after finishing the cream-covered bread.

"It was from a quest in the previous town. I could go help you get the cream later if you want." Kirito said, observing the girls happy state until she went back into her depressed state.

"I didn't come here to eat."

"...then why did you come here?" He asked.

"So I could remain as myself."


"Back in starting city, I waited until help was going to arrive. Once I realized that it wasn't coming, I decided I would stay as myself instead of sitting and rotting."

"I see. Well the first step is helping us defeat the first boss. Do you need any help with anything you don't understand?"

"Just a bit. I read the handbook but it didn't have much on parties in there. I heard about people 'switching.' What is that?"

"Switching is when someone uses a skill to disable an enemy and then someone in their party switches place with them and attacks. It's like you and another person fighting a monster; he or she uses a skill to disarm or stun the monster and then switches, since they're on cool down from their skill. You would switch places with them and could then do a very high amount of damage because you were able to take advantage of the situation your partner created."

"I see. Thanks for the help."

"No problem. I want everyone to survive this fight now. Any information people don't know could help them."

With that, they smiled at each other. He could see her eyes under her hood. Hazel. A nice colour.

A voice broke them out of their silence however.


Hearing this, Asuna tilted her head in confusion while Kirito flinched like he got hit. Looking at the source of the voice, it was a cloaked figure waving at them, or at Kirito to be more precise.

The boy sighed. "If you'll excuse me."

"Wait, where's Sinon-san?" Asuna asked.

"...probably at the inn, bathing." Kirito tensed up when Asuna's body moved slightly. "B-bathing?"

"Ah, sorry. Someone's calling for me." He quickly made an excuse, running towards the cloaked figure and grabbing their hand, intending on fleeing the scene before Asuna could catch up to him.

Panting, Kirito asked the figure. "Argo, what's up?"

The now identified Argo replied, "The person still wants to buy the sword, but more importantly, who was that? I heard "bath" and then you just suddenly grabbed my hand and took off. Secret girlfriend, Ki-bou~?"

"No. She's a party member. But I'm not saying anything else. Getting back on topic, what does he want now?" He asked, not wanting to give Argo any more information that could be used against him.

"They said 50 thousand col. I don't know how they got it, but they're offering. They said it's their last offer." Argo said, all teasing aside and completely serious.

"It's +10 now. 50 thousand isn't enough. It was hard getting this upgraded too. I'm not going to sell it anymore. Tell him that. Here's 2 thousand for the hush-money." Kirito said, remembering how proud Lisbeth looked after she upgraded his sword.

"Alright. He's going to be really sad, but it's not my choice." She said to him as she prepared to leave. "Also, have fun with Sinon, since you two are living together~" After saying that, she left before he could do anything.

Kirito's mouth was open, and his eyes were twitching before he could completely analyze what she just said. "THAT DAMN PERVERTED RAT!"

Kirito went home, exasperated from Argo's teasing. When he opened the door to the inn he was greeted with Sinon sitting there checking over her inventory. That wasn't strange at all, but the thing that was bothering him was the fact that he heard the shower running.

"Um. Shino, am I tripping out or something? I swear I can hear someone in the shower." Kirito asked, completely confused.

"Who knows?" She replied, intending on keeping whoever was in there a surprise. As on cue, the shower stopped and a fully clothed Asuna walked out, happy and radiating.

"That felt so good Sinon-san! Oh?" She locked eyes with Kirito. "YOU! How dare you keep the fact that you could shower away from me! I haven't bathed in weeks! And here you are, probably showering every day!"

Kirito was scared for his life. Asuna was in his room, and she was angry. It seemed like there was a demon behind her. Sinon on the other hand was just on the bed, laughing at his misfortune. "She messaged me and said you told her I was at home in the bath. She asked to come over right after I replied 'yes.' She's content on staying with us, dear Kirito-kun."

"Ah, well that's fine I guess. As long as she doesn't maim or kill me." He said, still cautious of the Asuna-sama in front of him.

"I won't kill or maim you if you don't hold anything out on me." She replied, annoyed that she didn't know a bath existed until an hour ago. "By the way, who was that figure? They looked really suspicious."

"Figure?" Sinon wondered.

"That was Argo. An information dealer. She tends to go by Argo the Rat because of the whiskers in her face."

"Oh! That's the famous informant I've been hearing about? I thought she would be, less open. You know, not screaming 'Ki-bou' around."

"That's just her nickname for me. We've known her since the beta. She calls Sinon here, "Sinonononon," or any variation of that with more or less "on's". "

Asuna looked over. "Sinonononon, huh." She said with a glint on her eyes.

"Why did you say that." Asuna's target asked.

"Revenge for not saying who was in the shower." Kirito replied, somewhat satisfied with his revenge.

"Anyways, I'm fine with you staying with us Asuna. You can sleep with Sinon. I'm keeping my bed." The boy said firmly, not wanting to lose his comfortable bed in replace for a couch, or the floor.


"Don't worry Asuna-san, they're quite large, enough to fit two people." Sinon reassured.

Kirito, Sinon and Asuna went to sleep, intending on getting a good night's rest before the boss fight tomorrow.

They went to the meeting place at 8:30, like agreed yesterday. They were assigned with keeping sentinels off the main raiding group. They were fine with this. The group of 45 walked towards the boss's room and stopped in front of it. Diabel gave a reassuring speech to encourage them that they would win, and give the rest of the players hope in this world.

He turned around and placed a hand on the door. He pushed it, and yelled, "Commence Attack!"

The boss battle had begun.

As they all charged in, they were greeted with darkness. There was no light in the room except for the light coming from behind them. Then they heard a low growl at the other side of the room. Two red dots appeared at the end of the room, and a few seconds later, the room lot up completely. The figure who was sitting on a throne jumped up, and jumped far. It jumped at least 30 feet towards them. Illfang was here.

He had red fur and a helmet on his head. He was holding a buckler in its left hand and an axe in his right. Behind him was the handle to another weapon that was sheathed, not allowing the players to guess what it was. He had a tail was also quite long, and it looked like Illfang could use it as a weapon also. He roared, and three Kobold Sentinels spawned, signifying the start of the battle.

"Take care of the sentinels!" Came an order from Diabel. Kirito and his company complied, going after one sentinel. Kirito went in and used a horizontal, knocking it back a few inches. "Switch!" He yelled out, and Asuna was there to take his place, taking her rapier and performing a linear, pushing it even further back. She knew what to do after that. "Switch!"

"Roger!" Was a reply that came from Sinon. She used powershot, a skill that increased the power of an arrow and hit the sentinel straight in the head, reducing its health down to 0 and making it disperse into particles.

"Good job. We should help the others with their sentinels, since it looks like we're the first ones done." Kirito said to his party, intending on killing all the mobs so the boss could be focused more.

"Roger." "Understood." Were the replies he got from the 2 girls.

"Let's go!"

The boss fight was going in their favour. If the first set if tanks were low, they would switch out with the second set and heal up, repeating this process one the second set were low oh health.

The people on offensive were doing thee jobs well too. They would take any opening they hand, dealing damage and then retuning back to behind the wall of tanks.

The people who were in charge of dealing with sentinels finished their work quickly with Kirito, Sinon and Asuna, as they would help out other groups once they were finished with their sentinels.

Overall, if they kept up this pattern, the boss would be killed easily and without anyone seriously injured or there being any casualties.

Kirito looked towards the boss after dealing with the last of the sentinels. Everything was alright. They had this in the bag, but he was still ready to act if something went wrong.

Sinon walked up to him with Asuna and asked "So Kirito, what did Argo need from you last night?"

"Oh, it was about someone who wanted to buy my sword. Since information got out about t being +7 a while ago, she's been getting messages with people who wanted to buy them. The last offer was 50 thousand col, but I turned whoever they were down since the sword is +10 now."

"Is your sword really worth that much?" Asuna asked, curious to why someone would pay so much for a sword.

"Normally, no, but this sword is from a quest, and it's been upgraded multiple times. It was worth 50 thousand until yesterday, but then I upgraded it to its maximum amount, so it's easily worth more now." He replied, satisfying the girl's curiosity.

"I see. Must have cost you a fortune to upgrade that."

"It did. And it was worth every piece of col."

A roar interrupted their conversation, and they looked towards the boss. His health was less than a quarter until 0. He was changing its attack pattern. The boss threw away his buckler and axe, and rested his hand on the handle of its other weapon it had behind it's back.

"I'll take over from here!" Was a shout that came from Diabel. Everyone looked towards his form that was rushing towards the boss.

As he got past the group of players, Illfang pulled the weapon out of its sheathe. Kirito recognized it and ran forward. "Diabel! That's not a tulwar! It's a nodachi!" Everyone looked at Illfang's weapon, and indeed, it wasn't a tulwar, but a long sword called a nodachi. Most of the parties called him back, but he didn't listen. Diabel just glanced back at Kirito and gave a small smile. That was when Kirito realized Diabel was the buyer. He wanted to buy his sword for the [Last Attack Bonus], the bonus item a player would get if they got the killing blow on a boss.

Kirito cursed. He didn't care about the LAB, he cared about everyone surviving this. He saw Diabel go for a stab, only to have Illfang counter and throw him off balance. He realized that this was the only chance he would get. He jumped forward and intercepted Illfang's strike with his own blade, saving Diabel from death, but sending both of them back towards the group of players.

"Idiot," Kirito said, panting heavily. "Does the bonus item really matter more to you than your life!?"

Diabel chuckled slightly at this. "I'm stupid, risking myself like that. Please take care of them for-"

Before Diabel could say anything else, Kirito shoved a healing potion into his mouth. "You aren't dying. I'm making sure that nobody dies, especially on the first floor."

Both of their parties ran up to them, Diabel's checking to see if he was alright, and Kirito's to scold him for being stupid and risking his life.

"Seriously, you shouldn't have done that." Asuna said, giving him the wicked eye, making him cower slightly. Sinon however, was less mean. She hugged his form who was recovering on the ground. "Idiot. What would I have done if I have had lost you? Don't do that ever again. Please."

Kirito not knowing how to respond to that, just gave her a hug back. Did his life really mean that much to her? He then made a promise to himself, not to leave her or Asuna alone in this world. "Sorry, but I couldn't just let him die. Will you two help me kill this boss?" They both nodded, and got into position.

While Diabel and Kirito were down, a few tanks got Illfang's attention to prevent him from going for those who were vulnerable. Illfang however, grew tired of this and jumped up, and upon landing, caused a tremor that forced a good amount of players into the air. He jumped up again and was just about to slice them in half when something hit him.

"Like hell you will!" Kirito yelled, slicing the boss in midair, sending him away from the players who were just about to be chopped. Kirito landed and rolled before getting back into a run, still heading towards the boss. "Asuna with me! Sinon cover fire!" He yelled out.

"Right!" "Roger!"

Kirito with Asuna beside him, ran straight towards the boss. He used an upwards vertical to throw Illfang off balance. "Switch!" Asuna took his place, using a linear to force him back. "Kirito-kun, switch!" She backed away, and Kirito was going in for the kill. Illfang however, wouldn't be giving up so easily. It was a fake. When Asuna used a linear, he wasn't pushed back. He used a fake so that he could kill the next person coming.

"Shit!" Kirito yelled as the boss used a sword skill. 'Is this the end?' He thought, seeing the long sword come sailing towards his body. He braced for impact, but never felt any, instead he felt the rush of air beside his body, as an arrow hit Illfang in the eye, blinding him and causing him to miss. Sinon was standing from afar, shooting a powershot right into his eye and preparing to fire another. "I'm not letting you die that easily, Kirito."

"Thanks!" He got his balance back, and prepared to charge once more at the boss who was scratching at the eye who had just been visited by an arrow. "Asuna one more time! Sinon, one more at the other eye!"

They didn't even need to respond anymore. They knew this would work. Kirito came up and hit another vertical and switched with Asuna, who used another linear. Sinon fired another arrow right into Illfang's other eye, much to the other player's disbelief.

"What accuracy!"

"How is she that good!?"

"Switch!" A female voice brought them out of their daze, as they saw Kirito heading in, sword skill ready.

He used a horizontal that sliced all the way from Illfang's torso to his head, effectively killing him. As Illfang broke into particles, a giant notice appeared above his body. Congratulations. They had won. They had killed the first floor boss.

Everyone cheered, Kirito looking at the extra window. He got the [Last Attack Bonus]. "The Cloak of Midnight huh. Interesting."

Agil walked up towards him and put his hand in his shoulder. "Congratulations. You did it."

"No, we all did it."

A voice role them out of their cheers though. "HOW!? How are you this strong! You managed to take care of the boss at its strongest when it took all of it to fight it most of the way! You dirty beta!" Kibaou yelled.

Asuna and Sinon walked up to Kirito's sides. "What are you talking about? He was just doing what he needed to keep Diabel alive." Asuna threw in defensively. Agil even added in, "He even yelled out that it was a nodachi instead if a tulwar, but Diabel kept going." Diabel added in, insisting in defending the one who saved his life. "It's true. I thought I could take the boss alone but he saved me life. I'm grateful for it."

Kibaou, still in rage, kept on bashing on Kirito. "Even so! He and those 2 girls managed to kill the boss at his strongest! They must be overpowered or something! There's no way 3 people could do that! That other girl must be a beta too!"

"Nope, she's not a beta. She's an ordinary player, just like you." A voice called out. It was Argo, who was quite famous amount the higher levelled people. She came through the boss's door.

"Even so! You two must hoarded up training spots to yourselves. Probably like most if the other betas! Come out! I bet you're in here too!" Kibaou yelled, trying to shift all the blame into the beta testers.

"This is bad..." Kirito muttered. He needed to find a way to stop Kibaou from disrupting the peace between betas and the ordinary players. He knew Diabel was a beta, but he didn't want him to get into trouble for making everyone think he was an ordinary player. He only had one choice. He was going to take it. It was now or never.

He laughed. Laughed like a maniac. "Beta testers? Don't lump me in with those shitties. I'm better than that. I made it to the highest floor. I don't need to be lumped with people like those." Kirito said, trying to shift all the blame into himself instead of the betas. The betas understood what he was doing, but didn't say anything. All they could do was give him a silent 'thanks' with their facial expressions.

Kibaou took a step back. "You...you're a cheater! A dirty cheater!" He yelled, pointing at the boy, doing everything the boy expected he would.

Soon, people joined in.


"You dirty cheater!"


"Beater..." Kirito murmured, catching their attention. He manipulated his inventory, equipping his recent item drop. The cloak fell on top of him, floating due to the air resistance until it finally rested onto his body. "Yes, I'm a beater! So don't lump me in with those betas!"

Sinon couldn't take this lying down. She couldn't let her closest friend risk himself for the beta testers. "Do you all think he got there alone? I was with him the entire time. I can do whatever he can." She said in the same tone.

A random player shouted out, "Both of you are beaters!"

"They must be! She has unreasonable accuracy!"

Sinon just smirked back. "Yeah, we're both beaters, and we'll be the ones to 'beat' this game. Better not fall behind now." Kirito looked at her, but knew what she was doing. Used to her antics, he nodded. They began walking towards the door to the second floor. They were at the top of the steps when a voice called out to them.

"What do you two think you're doing?" Asuna asked, her arms crossed over her chest.

Kirito was the one to reply. "Asuna, you're strong, you should join a guild. They would need strength like yours." He opened up the party menu, intending on kicker her out of the party but she responded with, "No."

They both looked back at her. Her eyes were filled with determination. "If rather stay with you two than go to a guild with a bunch of people I don't know." They both looked at her. Kirito just sighed silently and said, "Fine, but fall behind and we're leaving you there." Sinon winked at her to show that it was just a facade for the other players. Kirito opened the door to the second floor. Sinon was by his side. Asuna took off her cloak and threw it behind her, showing off her chestnut hair. All 3 of them were the first to leave the first floor, together.

End of chapter A/N: [Screams Internally] It's done. At roughly 7.4k words, here's chapter three with the preparations and defeat of Illfang. I decided on having both Kirito and Sinon as beaters for reasons you could already guess. Asuna joined them since she developed a friendship with them. Lisbeth was also introduced rather early, and Klein's made a reputation. Well, I'm beat now. I actually finished this a few days after I released the real chapter 2, but was distracted with exams, school, other anime, and…Dota. Now, I'm probably not going to update chapter 4 for 14 months, you know, stacking up my time to be lazy together. 7+7=14. Kidding. The next chapter will probably be out next month, if I'm not lazy. I need a break from this. I did this on my iPhone so my fingers hurt [Screaming Intensifies]. Chapter 4 will probably be a time skip or a side story, possibly meeting Sachi or Scilica. I haven't decided yet.

On a side note, reviews help. Just saying. They give me information on how well I can write and give me pointers on areas where I need improvement. So review for me. Who knows, maybe your review will contribute to an earlier chapter.