Disclaimer:I do not own Sword Art Online. The franchise is the property of Reki Kawahara-sensei, Dengeki Bunko, A-1 Pictures, and Aniplex USA.
Author Notes: I wish to welcome you all to my third published story and second story for Sword Art Online. This will be a semi-genderbent story for this franchise. After WesterKing1's original attempt was deleted due to it being too similar to the original story, he gave me permission to produce my own story and use some elements that he either used or was going to use later on while of course utilizing my own ideas. Similar to WeskerKing1's story, some characters' genders will be changed, such as Kirito to Kirita, Asuna to Akio and Sachi to Heihachi, but some characters such as Agil, Klein, and Silica will retain their gender.
When you are reading this story, I do not want you to automatically think 'I know what is going to happen next' simply because this scenario is semi-genderbent. While it is true there will be some things that will remain the same, such as Kirita being labeled a 'Beater,' Kirita joining the Black Cats Guild, and the issues with Kuradeel, there are going to be a number of significant changes that happen during these events. Some of these changes will lead to completely new scenarios altogether and changes in the plot. There will be a number of instances when the dialogues, character interactions, and narrations will be altered among other changes.
Another important aspect of change will be the characters. In the Light Novel, there are a number of characters who have not had many details of their back story revealed, outside of a few 'interview questions.' This story will provide an expansion on certain character backgrounds as well as a few alterations. You will see some background alterations and expansions within the first three chapters, and it will continue.
The way characters will be used in this story will differ as well. There will be a number of characters that will be formally introduced earlier, and a number of them will be more reoccurring than in the original Light Novel. For those that meet Kirita earlier than canon, they will have a greater effect on her story and character development. There will be a few instances where some of their interactions will be altered, such as Heihachi and Kirita having a serious confrontation at one point while in canon Sachi never had a confrontation with Kirito.
Similar to the Light Novel, Kirita will display a loner personality similar to Kirito, but there will be more of an explanation regarding those tendencies. Her loner traits will be somewhat reduced because she will admit that it is not a favorable characteristic but one that she is used to. As stated before, there will be more expansions on her character development through some of her interactions and/or 'altered interactions' with other characters. For example, a few existing characters who were originally unnamed in the original Light Novel, such as a few NPCs, will be named due to the dialogue differences with Kirita, which would help expand her tendency to care for NPCs as if they were regular humans.
There will also be a number of original characters that will further represent a few of the other several thousand players trapped within the game. A few of those original characters will be one-shots and several of them will be reoccurring. You will see a few of these original characters within the first few chapters of the story, and some of them will receive their own backstories as well. If you wish to learn more about a few of them now, be sure to visit the Sword Art Online fanfiction forum, "SAO Fandom Nexus" to view "The Kirita Chronicles" topic.
My story will include a number of original storylines that will take place during some of the time skips that will further Kirita's character development. Some of the existing events will be either expanded upon, such as Kirita's time with the Black Cats, or replaced and retooled, such as Kirita and Akio's experiences on the earlier floors. For Kirita and Akio's experiences, I plan on providing my own explanation for their unfortunate but eventual separation. I also have some plans set up for future changes and original storylines that will take place much further down the line.
As a result, I would like to think of this story as being a retelling/original story hybrid, and this is going to be a long story. After you are finished reading this chapter, please leave a review because I love getting feedback and participate in the poll. Additionally, if you wish to know more about this story and openly discuss it with me and other readers, please be sure to visit the Sword Art Online Fanfiction Forum, "SAO Fandom Nexus."
The Kirita Chronicles
Story Arc One: What Happened Before – Part I
Chapter 1: The Past Shapes us All
One event begins others
Be very careful
Date: Monday, October 20, 2008
Location: Kawagoe Hospital
It was early in the morning, and the hallways of the Kawagoe Hospital resounded with the cry of a newborn baby girl. These were the cries of a miracle child. During the birthing process, there were several complications, and the Suzuki's were afraid they would lose their child or possibly lose both the mother and the child. However, the baby was strong, and the mother was able to pull through. The delivery of the Suzuki's little girl was a success, and as far as anyone could tell, everything appeared to be fine in the end
Everyone present in the room looked in awe and smiled at the newborn life. The baby was just like any other innocent newborn. She was crying without a care in the world. Taking one look at this child would be enough to put a smile on even the most stubborn individual. This was a moment everyone wished could last forever.
The child's father was Suzuki Katsumi and her mother was Suzuki Tomoni. The Suzuki's were accompanied by a few family members who were on Tomoni's side. They were Tomoni's sister, Kirigaya Midori and her husband, Kirigaya Minetaka. Tomoni believed that their support along with her husband's had proven to be essential with the successful birth of her daughter. Although, they did not believe they truly did anything, Tomoni had told them that their presence was more than enough, and she was grateful they could be there.
As the Kirigaya's looked at their newly born niece, they could not help but feel a mixture of happiness and envy. Recently, they had been attempting to have a child of their own, but they had not been having much success. However, they knew that they could not simply give up, and they would keep trying. Luckily, several months after their niece was born, Midori would be pregnant with their own little one. When their little one would be born, it would be a joyous time for the entire family that would unfortunately not last.
Despite how healthy the Suzuki's baby appeared, the hospital staff still had to ensure the baby would be fine, so they needed to run some tests. However, the initial feedback indicated that the child was healthy. The hospital also needed to ensure that Tomoni would be fine after the difficult child birth. After doing some checkups on Tomoni, the hospital nurses were certain that Tomoni was fine, and all she needed was some rest. Needless to say, everyone was relieved to hear this news.
Midori told her sister and brother-in-law in a cheerful voice, "I'm so happy for the two of you. She is so beautiful."
Tomoni smiled at her sister and replied, "Thank you Midori. We are thrill. Although she has just become part of our family, I love her more than life itself." Her husband, Katsumi, smiled and nodded in response to her statement.
Minetaka curiously asked the new parents, "So did you two decide on a name for your baby girl. You told us that you decided not to find out the gender until after the baby was born, but did you decide on names that could have gone with either gender beforehand?"
Katsumi answered this question with a slight chuckle, "Actually we did decide on a name beforehand. We decided that if our child would be a boy his name would be Kazuto and if she is a girl we would name her Kazuta."
Minetaka laughed after hearing the explanation. "Well that must have been easy to come up with. All you needed to do was simply change the last letter of the name to go with either gender."
Katsumi grinned as he replied, "That was the idea. Anyway, since our child is a girl, it goes without saying that she will be known to the world as Suzuki Kazuta from this day forward."
Minetaka replied, "Well I would hope so. I wouldn't want people referring to my niece by a boy's name after all."
The whole room was filled with laugher at hearing Minetaka's words. This was truly a joyous occasion. It was unfortunate that these laughs would soon become a fleeting memory and there would only be one who would remember these events happened.
Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Location: Argus Headquarters
The following day, Katsumi returned to his office. Both Katsumi and his wife worked for a gaming corporation known as Argus. Katsumi was one of the heads of the FullDrive Technology Department, and his wife was one of the many talented programmers. With the latest technology being utilized along with Katsumi and Tonomi's expertise, the company was in the process of developing with a massive virtual reality video game the likes of which had never been dreamed of before.
Katsumi and Tonami had seen the potential of what the FullDrive was capable of. Due to a non-disclosure agreement, they could not tell their family any of the specifics of what they witnessed other than it was 'incredible.' Both of them knew they wished to be a part of such a project that could fully utilize the FullDrive's potential. They considered it to be a privilege that went beyond any privilege they were offered in the past.
However, due to his wife being on maternity leave, her workload was being picked up by Katsumi's protégé. Despite Katsumi's protégé general demeanor, he was a hardworking and ambitious young man. In addition to taking care of Tonami's work, he was working on a project of his own. Katsumi could see that project would most likely earn his protégé a hefty sum of money, and it would elevate his status in the company as well as the computer world in general. He did everything in his power to ensure that no one in the company would steal his protégé's ideas, which his protégé was grateful for.
Katsumi's protégé was a teen-genius whose abilities would most likely exceed both his wife's abilities and his own in the near future. Even though it was relatively early, the young man was set to attend Touto University. Katsumi had first met the boy when Katsumi witnessed the boy's abilities in the Mathematics Club of his high school. Upon witnessing this boy's talent, he believed this boy was capable of much more than that. At his first opportunity, Katsumi invited the young man to work under him as his protégé in order to hone his skills.
Ironically, when Katsumi first encountered his protégé, he was not particularly interested in games or computers. However, Katsumi was able to convince the young man to give Argus a chance. After spending sometime within Argus' facilities and seeing the FullDrive, it opened the young man's eyes and mind to ambitions he never knew that he had. The young man felt that he had made the right choice in accepting Katsumi's invitation, and he was 'grateful' to Katsumi for recognizing his potential. This made the young man undeniably loyal to Katsumi and to a lesser extent Tonami.
Despite his young age, the young man's vivid imagination had allowed him to have great aspirations for the future. It was thanks to Katsumi opening up such an important door in his life that he was able to work on a project he never would have imagined working on. The young man would admit that working on this project had given his life far more meaning than he ever anticipated his life would have. This man had come to believe that accomplishing this project of his would be the purpose of his life, and he would do everything he could to ensure that his project would be completed.
Due to being an employee at Argus, the young man had managed to make a number of connections. Within a year, the project the young man was developing on the side would not only propel his status, but it would allow his goals to be within his reach. At the young man's estimate, he believed that between ten to fifteen years would be the time frame that he would attain his desires. Even though he was generally not the type to show his emotions, he would admit that he looked forward to what the future holds.
After Katsumi returned to his office, he went to the labs to visit his protégé who was hard at work on his project. When Katsumi entered the tech room, the young man turned around to see his mentor. The young man was rarely the type to smile even when he was happy or show any kind of emotion whatsoever, but he was pleasantly happy to see Katsumi.
The young man stated in his trademark stoic voice, "I hear that you have been blessed with a healthy baby girl Suzuki-san. Congratulations." While his voice was stoic, Katsumi could tell that the young man was sincere or at least attempting to be sincere.
Regardless of the young man's sincerity, Katsumi replied with pride in his voice, "Thank you. My wife and I are very proud."
The young man asked in a mildly curious voice, "Have you named your child?"
Katsumi proudly responded, "Of course. Her name is Kazuta."
That name appeared to pique the young man's curiosity as he said, "That is an interesting choice. What made you choose it?"
Katsumi explained, "We decided that if our child would have been a boy we would have selected Kazuto and if she would be a girl we would select Kazuta."
His protégé did not appear to be surprised by the reasoning as he responded, "I see. I had a feeling you would have used such simple but effective reasoning."
Katsumi asked in a playful voice, "What else would you expect from me?"
His protégé replied, "I'm not sure. However, in hindsight, I suppose I should not be surprised in the least."
Before Katsumi forgot the other reason he came to visit his protégé, he stated, "Well as much as I would like to talk about my new born daughter, there is something I would like to talk to you about if you do not mind."
The young man replied, "I do not mind. You may ask me anything you wish."
"What you are working on right now, is it part of this 'ambitious dream' you wish to achieve someday?" Katsumi's voice indicated that he was extremely interested in knowing the answer to his question.
"That would be correct." Unless he was asked more specific questions, the young man was not the type to give any additional details.
Katsumi inquired further as he asked, "If you do not mind me asking you, could you tell me about this 'ambitious dream' of yours? I would be most interested in hearing about it."
While the young man would have had reservations about telling this to anyone else, Katsumi was one individual he did not mind telling this to. The young man responded in his 'eager' voice which still lacked emotion, "Certainly, Suzuki-san. I dream of building a castle in a place that exceeds the limits of the real world. I don't remember how old I was when I first imagined this, but for some time, I have imagined a steel castle floating in the skies that people would wish to fly to and explore."
As his protégé continued to speak, Katsumi did not interrupt his explanation of his dream. Katsumi allowed his protégé to finish explaining it in earnest. "When I witnessed the FullDrive, I was certain that creating such a world could indeed become a possibility one day even if it takes decades for it to happen. I might be saying this now, but I do not believe the feeling of my desire to see such a castle will wane. In fact, I believe it will become stronger with time." He turned to Katsumi and asked, "Do you think a dream such as this is foolish?"
Katsumi smiled and shook his head. "Not in the least. I have the same beliefs that you have. When I witnessed the potential the FullDrive had, I believed anything was a possibility to create in one form or another and that includes your dream. Hearing you have such ambitions makes me believe I made the right choice in recruiting you. I believe you are someone that can eventually harness the technology's potential and create your own world. If you created your own virtual world, you can make anything possible, including that castle."
This would be one of the rare times that the young man actually smiled even if it was a 'partial smile.' He replied to Katsumi in voice that sounded sincere, "Indeed it would be. I appreciate your support Suzuki-san."
Katsumi waved his hand as he responded, "No we appreciate all your efforts Kayaba-san. Your abilities are bound to do many great things for years to come. I'm certain of it."
Kayaba replied, "Please Suzuki-san. You do not need to be so formal with me. After all, you are my superior. You may refer to me as Akihiko if you wish."
At the time, the Suzuki's believed they were living the perfect life, but as it turned out, their lives would become even better. Shortly afterwards, Katsumi's sister in-law, Midori Kirigaya, was pregnant with her own child. The Kirigaya's child would also be a girl, and she would be around a year younger than Kazuta. They decided that the name of their daughter would be Suguha. With each family having a child of their own, it became the catalyst that would bring them closer together than they ever were before.
For over a year, the two families, the Suzukis and the Kirigayas would set some time aside in their busy schedules to go on many family outings with their children. They would do activities, such as go to the park or regularly visit the other's respective homes. The two families wanted their children to grow up in not only a loving environment, but they hoped their girls would be able to grow up together and form a close bond. They wanted the two girls to think of each other as sisters rather than simply as cousins when they became older.
The Suzukis and Kirigayas appeared to be the perfect family for any child to grow up in. The looks of this family did not deceive. The Suzukis and Kirigayas were all great parents who would do anything for their children. If things could have continued going like this, their children would have grown up in ideal conditions, and they might have had younger siblings of their own. Unfortunately, this happy family was not meant to last.
Approximately, two months after Suguha was born, her father, Kirigaya Minetaka was murdered by a psychopathic robber while he was in a convenience store. His loss took a great toll on his wife Midori, but she pressed on to the best of her abilities. She continued at the computer magazine and provide for Suguha to the best of her ability. Midori was supported by both her sister and brother-in-law during these trying times.
Unfortunately, before the wounds of her husband's death had time to heal, her wounds were reopened by another tragedy. A little over a year after Kazuta's birth, Midori had lost both her sister and brother-in-law in a tragic accident. The details regarding the exact circumstances of the accident were left unknown, but she identified the bodies. They were gone, and they had left behind Kazuta as their legacy.
While these tragedies would be difficult for anyone to fathom, they proved to be nearly impossible for Midori to handle. In a matter of months, they had been reduced from a family of four great parents to only one sole survivor. Having to attend the funerals of three loved ones within a few months was nearly impossible for her to bear. No one would have blamed Midori if she went into shock due to these tragedies. However, before Midori could finish grieving for her losses, she learned that unless she took action, her niece, Suzuki Kazuta, would be taken into Child Services' custody. Midori knew that she could not let that happen.
After the deaths of Kazuta's parents, Midori immediately filed to formally adopt Kazuta as her daughter. However, the adoption agency was not convinced she was up to the task. While they could see she might be capable of providing for both her daughter, Suguha, and her niece, Kazuta, they felt the fact she was single mother would make it too difficult for her to be an adequate parent for both children. Unfortunately, unless she had help, it was likely that she would lose Kazuta to the system, and she did not want that to happen. To be more accurate, she believed this was something that she could not allow.
Date: Saturday, January 10, 2010
Location: Argus Headquarters – Kayaba Akihiko's Office
The news of the Suzuki's tragic passing affected not only Kirigaya Midori. As with any death, there were many people that were affected by this tragedy. This included Katsumi's protégé, Kayaba Akihiko, who mourned in his own way.
During Kayaba's employment with Argus over the past year, he had developed a project that furthered the FullDrive development. As a result, it made him quite a sum of money, and he had already begun taking steps towards fulfilling his other ambitions. In his mind, he was another step closer to achieving his dream. Kayaba believed he owed at least some of his success to Suzuki Katsumi. Despite what Kayaba's personality might indicate, he was grateful to the man and mourned both his and his wife's premature passing.
While Kayaba Akihiko's face and demeanor maintained his trademark of stoicism, he was still somewhat shaken by what happened. If you looked at Kayaba's face, you would still see a man who had no visible emotions. There were no tears to be seen. Most people would assume that he did not feel the slightest hint of sadness for the Suzuki's deaths. However, Kayaba was grieving for the loss of Katsumi and Tomoni. Unlike most people, Kayaba's grieving was more inward and only a handful understood that about him.
It was a rainy day and Kayaba was staring out his window as the rain continued to fall. He said to himself, "It is hard to believe he is dead."
A subordinate of Kayaba's was also present in the office and replied to Kayaba's statement in a matter-of-fact tone, "Unfortunately, Kayaba-sama it is true."
Without breaking his stoicism, Kayaba told his subordinate, "Yes I know Hideyoshi. I'm not in denial. I am merely stating that it is hard to believe. It was not long ago I was talking to them over the phone."
The man referred to as Hideyoshi remarked, "I see. It is difficult when such a familiar presence is gone from your life. It is nearly impossible to accept something like that."
Kayaba spoke in his normal manner, "Do not misunderstand me. I have already accepted their deaths. Their loss was most unfortunate. However, right now, I am more concerned about what will happen to their legacy."
Hideyoshi asked in a curious tone, "You mean his daughter, Kazuta-chan?"
Kayaba nodded in response to Hideyoshi's question and stated in his stoic voice, "Indeed. What will happen to the child?"
Hideyoshi was somewhat shocked that his employer was showing some 'concern' over the child, but he answered the question to the best of his knowledge, "I am not certain yet. However, it would appear that, Kazuta-chan's aunt Kirigaya Midori-san wishes to obtain custody of her niece."
Kayaba was not surprised by the news as he stated, "Based on what I know about her, I suppose that would be an action I would have expected her to take. However, I recall that she recently lost her own husband correct?"
His subordinate confirmed the news in a grim voice, "Yes sir. As a result, it is unlikely that she will be able to successfully adopt Kazuta-chan."
Despite what Kayaba's face or voice would indicate, even he felt a small amount of sympathy for the widow as he stated, "That would be a shame. Based on what Katsumi-san has told me about his sister-in-law, the probability she would be a good parent is fairly high. Although despite that, she could never be a replacement for her true parents. Since Katsumi-san's daughter was only born a year ago, the poor child will never know who her parents were, and she will never learn what she should from them either. I could see so much potential lost in that child if she is not handled properly."
Hideyoshi replied in voice that indicated his own sympathy for situation, "Yes that is unfortunate. A number of children in the current generation are sometimes never able to begin learning of their potential. Even if they are able to understand their potential, it is usually at a less than desirable time."
Kayaba asked in a mildly curious voice, "If Midori is unable to adopt Katsumi-san's child what would likely happen to the child?"
"Kazuta-chan would be taken in by the system, and unfortunately, what happens to children like that varies greatly. Some are lucky enough to get adopted into families while others go from foster home to foster home without ever being truly established." The sound of Hideyoshi's voice made it quite clear that he was disgusted at the possibility of something like that happening to the child.
Kayaba turned to look outside his window again before stating, "I see. Then I suppose it would be for the best to ensure something of that nature does not happen."
Hideyoshi was intrigued by what his employer had in mind. "What do you have in mind sir?"
Date: Monday, January 12, 2010
Location: Child Services
It was time for Kirigaya Midori's meeting with Child Services regarding her attempt to adopt her niece Suzuki Kazuta. However, she had a feeling that she was going to fight an uphill battle. It would take a miracle for her to win this fight. However, while fate had thrown a few curveballs her way, it appeared that something finally decided to give her a break. When the meeting was about to begin, a man Midori had never met before entered the room.
The man that entered was a 'polished' gentleman who wore a fine business suit. He was a tall man with dark hair that went down to the back of his neck. His face had the appearance of man who was in his late twenties, but he could also be in his thirties. The man's face was practically flawless with the sole exception of a small scar that was on the right side of his forehead. However, the scar actually made him more attractive.
This man spoke in a rushed fashion as he entered the room. "I am sorry for arriving late. I was delayed by traffic."
One of the Child Service representatives asked in a rude tone, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
Despite the representative's rudeness, the man was not offended by it and calmly replied, "My name is Hisakawa Goro and I am Kirigaya Midori-san's fiancé."
The officer was visibly surprised before replying, "Her fiancé? I do not recall that being mentioned before."
Goro explained in a composed manner, "Yes. It only happened recently, but we are engaged to be married. By next year, I will be her new husband. Before she came here today, I told her I would be more than happy to adopt Kazuta-chan into our home."
Even though this man was a fake, he did not sound like a fake or rehearsed. Every word that came out of his mouth sounded fluent and natural. If Midori was on the other side of the table, she would have believed his story as well. However, while she was not certain who he was, she could see he was trying to help her, and he was probably her only chance to gain custody of Kazuta.
The other officer looked over his records and replied, "Our records do not indicate you as living in the Kirigaya household."
Goro replied in a calm voice, "I am still living in my own apartment at the moment but that will change soon enough."
After Goro stated that, he turned to Midori to confirm his story, which she did without hesitation. She knew that whoever this man was, he was the only chance she had, and she was not about to let it slip away. Although she would admit that he did make her a little nervous because even though she did not know who he was, he knew quite a bit about her situation. However, she did not feel he was a threat to her. Midori could tell by the look on the man's face that he would answer any questions she had after the meeting was over.
Date: Monday, January 12, 2010
Location: Kirigaya Household
After the stranger arrived at the meeting, things began to turnaround in Midori's favor. Everything seemed to progress smoothly after he arrived, and it would appear that she would end up receiving custody of her niece. The only problem with this situation was that Midori had no clue who this Hisakawa Goro was. She had never seen him before in her life, but he claimed to be her fiancé. When he said that, she did her best to contain her surprise. Based on what she saw from those Child Services officers' expressions, she did a good job keeping her shock to herself.
When they were leaving the office, she wanted to ask him so many questions, but she knew that asking questions like that anywhere near the child services office would be a bad idea. The man's face indicated that he would answer any questions she had for him, but he would only do so after they were in a better place to exchange words. Ordinarily, Midori would never consider welcoming a stranger into her home, but this situation for a lack of a better word was rather 'unique.' Midori did not want to consider what could happen if Child Service officials were to pay a visit and see that everything that happened during that meeting was a lie.
Despite her initial uneasiness with the man, she could also tell that he did not intend to do her any harm. Her assessment of this Hisakawa Goro was correct because he had no interest in hurting her in anyway. He fully intended to aid her in adopting Kazuta for his own reasons. After they arrived back at her home, the time for more proper introductions and answer had come.
Before they entered her home, Midori expressed her gratitude towards the stranger. "Thank you for helping me."
Goro responded in a polite, businesslike manner, "It was not a problem. I was only doing what was needed of me."
Midori thought to herself, "What could he mean, 'what was needed of me.' Did someone ask him to help me?" Midori decided to ask the most important question she needed an answer to. "I don't want to seem ungrateful or anything, but who are you?"
Goro's facial expression did not change when he was asked that question and he calmly responded. "As I told the officer, my name is Hisakawa Goro, and that is what you will need to address me by." It seemed as if he had told himself numerous times already to call himself that name for this situation.
Midori could see that she would not be obtaining any more details regarding her helper's identity. She replied, "I see. Then, why are you helping me? How did you know that I needed help?"
While Goro did not mind answering that question, there was something else he wished to know as well. He asked in a business like demeanor, "Before I answer that question do you mind answering my question?"
Midori could see that while Goro was in a position to deny answering her questions, she was not in a position to do the same. However, she did not mind it too much because he was the one that was helping her. She replied in a somewhat uneasy manner, "Okay. I would be fine with answering your questions first."
Goro was pleased by her cooperation, and responded, "Good. As you know, I am fully aware of your situation. I know that despite your career, you wish to raise both your biological daughter along with your niece Kazuta-chan as your step-daughter."
Midori stated in a firm voice that showcased her resolve, "That is correct. I want to raise them both to grow up as sisters rather than become strangers."
Goro then replied in a stern voice of his own as he told Midori, "Unfortunately, that means those officers back there are technically correct that it might be too difficult for you to raise those two girls on your own. While I do believe you are a good person, you might not have the financial capacity to raise those children on your own. If that is the case, why are you so determined to gain custody of Kazuta-chan?"
Midori tensed up a bit when he asked her that, but she quickly calmed down. She admitted, "It might be true that I could be getting myself in over my head, but I am willing to take that chance." As she continued to speak, she did everything she could to prevent herself from tearing up. "I want to raise Kazuta-chan because she is my family. She is my sister's child, and I refuse to let her be raised by someone else. I want her to be happy. How can I be sure she will be happy if I let her fate be decided by someone else?"
A slight smile formed on Goro's face when he heard Midori say that. When he spoke, he seemed to be impressed by what Midori had told him, as he said, "That is a good answer. My employer figured that you would give me answer like that."
Midori asked in a questioning tone, "Your employer?"
Goro nodded as he told her as he explained, "Yes. He was an associate with Kazuta-chan's parents in the past. Even though he is not the type of person to shed tears for the loss of another, I could tell that their deaths did have an effect on him. That is why he asked me to help you."
Midori was not certain how to respond to hearing that, so she said the first thing that came to her mind. "Is that so? That's very gracious of him."
Goro agreed with her statement, as he responded, "It certainly is. I was almost surprised by his request, but I suppose it is also rather befitting for him at the same time. When he believes he owes someone something or has made a promise to them, he will ensure something is done if the need ever arises. You could say that it is part of his 'code of honor' system."
That made Midori even more curious about this 'employer,' so she said, "I see. I'm grateful to whomever he is, but who is he?"
Goro gave Midori a stern look before replying, "That unfortunately is information that I cannot reveal to you. I hope you understand." Goro's made it clear that she would never learn about his employer's identity, and it would be better if she remains in the dark.
While Midori was disappointed that she would not be able to learn his employer's identity, she knew that if she were to go any further she might lose this support altogether. That was something she could not afford to do. She merely replied, "Of course. I of all people understand the importance of confidentiality."
He appreciated that he did not need to go any further and told Midori, "I had a feeling that you would. Anyway, down to business. You do not need to marry me when this is all over. When that time comes it will no longer matter. However, if it is all right with you, I would hope you would allow me to temporarily reside in your home until Kazuta-chan's adoption has been finalized and to ensure there are no other issues."
Midori did not feel comfortable with the idea of man she barely knew living in her home, but she did know that it would be necessary. She responded in a somewhat uneasy voice, "Yes. It would be fine with me. I do owe you at least that much."
Goro nodded and told her, "Very good. After this is over, you also do not need to worry about being able to support your children either after I have left."
Midori asked in a skeptical voice, "I won't?"
"No." He handed Midori a document that stated she would inherit a small fortune over time under the condition she would utilize at least eighty percent of the funds to raise Kazuta and Suguha. "I hope you find the conditions reasonable. Additionally, I would recommend you keeping your current employment at the magazine. It would not be wise if you rely solely on the money that document will provide for you."
That was something that Midori did not need to be told twice as she hastily agreed, "Yes I find this reasonable. I also wouldn't dream of quitting my job. I would rather maintain my independence in the workforce than to solely rely on this document regardless of how good it appears on paper. That would be foolish on my part."
"That is another excellent answer. I'm sure that we will get along just fine." He offered her his hand to represent a 'contract' of sorts between them.
Midori shook his hand to seal the 'contract' and responded, "Of course. Thank you. I also wish to thank your employer for what he has done as well."
Goro responded in his businesslike manner, "I will be sure to give him the message sometime in the future. However, you should save your thanks for after the job is done."
Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Location: Kirigaya Household
After a few weeks had passed, Midori and the man who referred to himself as, Hisakawa Goro, were successful in officially gaining custody of Kazuta. As the man promised, he would not leave until everything thing had been taken care of. One of those tasks included, Kazuta's family name officially becoming Kirigaya. The two of them were certain that there would be no further issues as long as Midori properly utilized the money that she would be obtaining from the documents. Since the money would be coming from a legitimate fund, the Child Service representatives would have no right to complain.
Before Hisakawa Goro left, he remembered there was one last thing he needed to give Midori. He told her as he handed her another envelop, "There is one last thing that I need to present you with."
Midori curiously asked, "What is that?"
"My employer wished for me to present you with this. It is a gift for Kazuta-chan." Inside the envelope was a check for approximately 440,400 yen which was approximately $5,000 dollars.
Midori asked in a stunned voice, "What do you want me to do with this?"
Goro instructed Midori in his usual demeanor, "My employer wishes you to give this to Kazuta-chan after she turns nine years old."
Midori wished to know more than that, so she asked, "Why would he want me to do that?"
That was something that Goro did not know the answer to. He responded in a voice that made his uncertainty clear. "That is a detail that my employer never truly made clear to me. The only detail he did tell me was that, 'If Katsumi's daughter is anything like them, her instincts will tell her want to do with it.' I suppose that means only time will tell if that truly will mean anything."
Midori found that answer to be less than satisfactory, but she could understand that Goro probably could not have all the answers. She responded, "I see."
Goro told Midori in a stern voice, "Please accept it. My employer feels indebted to your family, and he wishes to pay you back in their place. It would be in Kazuta-chan's best interest as well."
Midori conceded and said, "I will be sure to keep it in a safe place until after she reaches that age." Midori could not help but think to herself, "I wonder if Kazuta-chan's instincts really will be able to help her figure out what to do with this money." Several years down the line, Midori would have the answer to that question.
Goro responded, "Excellent. With that the final matter has been settled, and I will take my leave. I believe I am leaving these two girls in capable hands. All the same, I wish you luck with the times that are ahead of you."
Midori showed her gratitude one last time to this man before he left by nearly shouting, "Thank you for everything you have done." The man did not turn around or respond. However, he did give a slight smile as he continued his departure.
When everything was done, the man who called himself Hisakawa Goro did as he promised. Kirigaya Midori did not have to worry about marrying the man in order to keep Kazuta, and he left Midori with a 'small fortune' that she could use to raise her two daughters. However, Midori could not help but wonder who that man was and if they would ever meet again. It would be a long time before Midori would ever meet this man again. Unfortunately, it would be after some unpleasant events had come to pass.
Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Location: Argus Headquarters – Kayaba Akihiko's Office
The man referred to as, Hisakawa Goro, returned to Argus headquarters to speak to his employer, Kayaba Akihiko. As he expected, his employer was hard at work with one of his many projects related to the FullDrive. Despite being significantly older than his employer, he respected him all the same due to his employer's abilities and intellect. In fact, he would rather Kayaba Akihiko be in charge of the company rather than some of the executives he has seen. However, he knew that would currently be impossibility. He hoped that would change after Kayaba was no longer balancing his 'work' and 'school' lives.
Kayaba turned his head to see his subordinate had finally returned and asked, "Have you accomplished your task successfully Hideyoshi?"
Hideyoshi responded in a respectful tone, "Yes Kayaba-sama. Everything is in place and the final matter has been resolved. Kazuta-chan has been formally adopted into the Kirigaya household and her newly adopted mother has the funds to adequately provide for both her biological and adopted daughters."
Kayaba inquired further as he asked, "Did you also give her the other gift for her adopted daughter?"
Hideyoshi nodded as he said, "Yes sir. I instructed her to give it to Kazuta-chan after she is nine years old."
"Good. That should prove to be an interesting test when the time comes." Kayaba asked his subordinate in a semi-curious voice, "During your time with her, what was your analysis of her?" His voice indicated he was most interested in hearing his answer.
His subordinate responded in his normal polite, businesslike voice, "It was as you said sir. She is a hard working individual who cares for her family. Midori-san may work long hours, but she puts her family first whenever the need arises. I believe Kazuta-chan will be in good hands with her."
Kayaba was quite pleased by what his subordinate stated. While he was aware that would probably be the case anyway, he was glad that what he knew was confirmed. He stated in his 'pleased' tone, "That is good news."
Hideyoshi decided it was his turn to make an inquiry of his own. "If you do not mind me asking sir, what exactly is it that made you feel indebted to Kazuta-chan's family in the first place? I understand that her father made you his protégé, but I believe with your abilities and contributions you have long since paid him back. While I do believe helping Kirita-chan find a home was a good thing to do, you seemed strangely passionate about it. Is there something else you never mentioned to me?"
While Kayaba would not normally tell anyone else this, he was willing to tell Hideyoshi this due to his loyal service. "What you are saying is true. If we look on it as if it were a score sheet, I would have long since paid her father back. However, as you may have guessed there is more to the story."
Hideyoshi asked in an interested tone, "Do you care to tell it?"
Kayaba stated with his trademark stoic face, "Yes, but I will only tell you once. Before I met Suzuki-san, I was someone who had potential for many things, but I was looking in the wrong places to utilize it. When we met that day, I was merely a member of my Mathematics club. However, he saw more than a mere mathematician. He could see that I was meant for a greater purpose. Suzuki-san convinced me to come to Argus, and I do not regret following him."
Hideyoshi remained silent as he thought to himself, "That certainly explains a lot. Why he was so loyal to Suzuki Katsumi despite the vast differences in their abilities and why he was so driven to help his daughter find a good home."
As his subordinate kept his thoughts to himself, Kayaba continued his explanation. "It was her father that gave me the opportunity I needed in the first place to begin realizing my potential which would give me a purpose in life. I do not know if I would have received an opportunity from someone else, but that is not important. What is important is that I received my opportunity from her father, and her mother had proven to be a most 'supportive' and talented individual as well. Thanks to them, I was able to witness something that was able to help push the boundaries of my dreams and aspirations. Someday I will be able to create a world that myself and many others will be able to enjoy. Perhaps in a decade or so, Suzuki-san's child will be able to enjoy the world herself after growing up under Kirigaya Midori-san's care. Not to mention that the woman who will be raising her is an editor for computer magazines which will ideally allow her grow up around someone who would have a similar influence on her as her parents would have on her development."
Hideyoshi could not help but look in awe at his employer before stating, "Well that does appear to be a valid explanation."
Kayaba stated in response, "While influence is one factor that leads me to believe Kirigaya Midori-san is a good choice, there is one other important factor that helps make Kirigaya Midori the correct choice in this case."
Hideyoshi was curious about what that could mean, "What factor would that be?"
Kayaba explained in his regular near emotionless voice, "It is the fact that she does not force things on others. According to the information I have, she would be described as open minded individual. I believe if Katsumi's daughter ultimately has no interest in computers despite being raised by Midori-san, his daughter would be free to do what she wished without meeting any resistance from her new guardian. After all, influence and motivation to utilize that influence are two separate areas."
Hideyoshi was confused by what his superior was telling him as he questioned, "So you will not be bothered if Kazuta-chan does not follow her parents' footsteps?"
Kayaba shrugged as he replied, "Most likely I would not be bothered."
That response only confused Hideyoshi even more. "Would that be contradictory to what you were hoping for when you wanted me to help with Kazuta-chan's adoption?"
Kayaba was not affected by Hideyoshi's confusion or frustration as he answered, "Not quite. After all, it is not my place to decide what another person's profession should become. The only thing I want is to allow his child to live in an environment where she may discover the potential for herself whether it is in computers or somewhere else."
Hideyoshi's confusion and frustration began to subside after hearing Kayaba's answer. He replied in his usual calm voice, "That is another valid point. In that case, Kazuta-chan is definitely in good hands."
Kayaba nodded in agreement as he replied, "Indeed. However, I cannot say the same for two children that are not much older than Katsumi's child. I have a strong feeling that neither of those children will be able to live up to their potential. It almost makes me feel sorry for them."
This was a new topic that Hideyoshi felt interested in learning more about. "Which children would those be?"
Kayaba replied, "The children of Yuuki Shouzou-san."
That response raised Hideyoshi's eyebrows as he asked, "Yuuki Shouzou? Are you referring to the same person who is the CEO of RECTO Progress Incorporated that has a FullDrive development branch as well?"
Kayaba replied without giving an explanation. "That is correct."
Hideyoshi was more intrigued for Kayaba's reasoning rather than being confused about why he thought Shouzou's children would be at a 'disadvantage.' "Why would his child have difficulties? Shouzou-san has many resources. If his children wish to pursue something, I am sure they would be more than capable of affording it."
Hearing his subordinate say something like that caused Kayaba to do something he rarely does. Kayaba Akihiko chuckled. It was as if he found the whole notion to be hilarious. "He may have money and resources, but the actions he and his wife have taken will more likely than not damage his children's personal growth. He already wishes to groom that son of his into his successor and that child is only two years old. Not to mention, his wife is already taking less than favorable actions with their older daughter. Based on their inflexibility and the way they are raising their children, I believe they are making mistakes of disastrous proportions. By forcing them down a path before they are even capable of making their own decisions in life, they probably will never be able to understand their own potential or true place in life."
There was not a lot that Hideyoshi could argue against on that, but he could not help but wonder about something. "As interesting as your observations are Kayaba-sama, how do you know all this information?"
Kayaba stated without batting an eyelash, "To put it one way, it is a wise course of action to keep an eye on your competition."
Hideyoshi had nothing more to ask about that topic. He replied, "Point taken. In that case, what is the next step we should begin with for your new plans?"
Kayaba Akihiko and his subordinate began their discussion regarding what should be done next. During the time Kayaba Akihiko's new steps in his plan were being formulated and implemented, Kirigaya Midori was busy balancing her career and being a single mother of two girls. Ironically, both of these girls would eventually become essential to Kayaba Akihiko's future ambitions. As a result, Kayaba Akihiko would be pleased that he made the right decision to provide assistance with Midori's adoption of Kazuta.
Date: Sunday, June 24, 2018
Location: Kirigaya Household
Kirigaya Kazuta – Nine years old
Kirigaya Suguha – Eight years old
As Kayaba Akihiko wished, Kirigaya Kazuta grew up under the care of her aunt Kirigaya Midori. Thanks to the money that Kayaba had given her adopted mother Kirigaya Midori was able to adequately provide for both Kazuta and Suguha. Even though she had accepted the money, Midori made sure that the money was not dirty and was completely legitimate, so there were no issues with using the money. Kirigaya Midori would wisely use the money to hire someone to help her on a regular basis.
While her father-in-law, Kirigaya Riku, did provide some assistance in raising Kazuta and Suguha, he was not the most ideal person to trust with children. He was a hard man that Midori had a difficult time getting along with. Both Riku and his son, Minetaka, had a falling out before his murder because Minetaka did not want to uphold the family tradition of kendo. Riku was a man where it was either 'his way or the highway,' which made him a borderline insufferable person to deal with. As a result, Midori tried to avoid dealing with him whenever she could.
Despite the money and assistance, trying to balance her career and home life caused Midori to become exhausted. However, despite the difficult life that Kirigaya Midori lived, she was able to make the best of her situation. She was still able to be happy with her daughters, and she was able to raise them both with love to be strong independent individuals. They were her treasures that made her life worth living.
Midori and her 'two daughters' shared several similarities in appearance. The two most notable similarities were their black eyes and extremely dark hair. However, the three of them had unique hairstyles. Midori had the habit of wrapping her hair into a bun while Suguha and Kazuta generally did not tie their hair. The length of Suguha's hair would only reach down to her shoulders. However, Kazuta's hair reached all the way down to her waist, and she would only cut her hair when it went past her waist. Kazuta personally felt proud of her long hair, so she preferred not to cut it. The only times when Kazuta would tie her hair was whenever she was participating in a physical activity, such as karate, or cooking something.
Even though Kazuta was not Midori's biological child, Kazuta and Midori had enough similarities in appearance that it would be easy to mistaken Kazuta for actually being Midori's child. Personally, Midori did not care that she did not give birth to Kazuta. She still loved her adopted daughter as much as she loved Suguha. Biology did not matter to Midori. It was unfortunate that biology would matter to someone else. However, it would still be a little while before that would become an issue because Midori and her children were about to engage in an activity together.
One of the many benefits to her career is that it also afforded her a fair number of connections. This particular benefit was receiving tickets to special play that was happening that night. It was a unique production that was working hand-in-hand with a theater group and a private school's acting club. Due to the theater group needing some children to play certain roles in order to improve the presentation of the play, they sought out the help of young actors who were showing great promise. The play was being conducted for charitable purposes with the proceeds being used to support a humanitarian cause.
After working so hard, Kirigaya Midori was happy to finally have a day off to spend time with her daughters. She was patiently waiting at the door for her two daughters to finish getting ready. Midori called out to them, "Are you two almost ready?"
One girl came running down the hall, and said, "I'm ready." She looks around and notices that her sister is not at the door yet, "Where's Big Sis?"
Midori chuckled as she replied, "Kazuta is probably still wrapped up in her computer activities Suguha."
Suguha shouted upstairs in an excited voice, "Come on Big Sis. We're going to be late. I don't want to miss this play."
The girl that Suguha referred to as Big Sis and Midori referred to as Kazuta came rushing down the stairs and replied, "I'm coming Sugu."
With Kazuta's arrival, they were all ready to head out to see the play. What would happen after the play would have greater significance for Kazuta than she or anyone else could have imagined.
Date: Sunday, June 24, 2018
The play was a kubuki production, and the setting of this play was during the age of the samurai. It revolved around a coming of age tale of several young samurai in training who attempted to learn the way of bushido. The cast was rather diverse between children characters and adult characters. However, the acting and interactions were rather befitting for characters, and it help make the storyline compelling.
While most of the characters were male in the play, there were a few female characters. However, because this was a kubuki production, all the parts, including the female characters, were played by males. I have to say that it is pretty weird seeing female parts being played by males. The way some of those male actors acted when they were pretending to be women was absolutely hilarious and at times it seemed really over the top. However, I guess that was their intention since those were the more 'comedic' moments of the play.
As I was watching the play, there was one actor who caught my attention. It was the actor who played the child lead. He was probably about the same age as me if not a year or two older, but I was amazed at the skill he presented in his performance. He portrayed his character with believable emotion, and it almost seemed as if he was that character. I think I had to remind myself once or twice what I was seeing was a performance.
After the show was over, I felt strangely compelled to speak with this boy. Usually, I was not the type of person to go talk to a boy, but I felt that this was an exception. He had shown such great promise and talent on that stage, and I wanted to complement him myself. I asked my mother if speaking to the boy was possible. She told me that it might be possible to see him in the hallway, but it was not a guarantee.
As soon as she told me that, I found myself rushing down the hallway with Sugu and my mother following me. With luck, I saw that the boy and a few of the actors. The boy had orange hair that went down to his shoulders. It was a little hard to describe his face because he was still wearing make-up, but I think it would be accurate to describe him as having a 'bishonen' type face.
When the boy noticed me approach, he seemed a little surprised that anyone actually came to see him after the show, let alone a girl. Before he had a chance to say a word, I blurted out, "I think you did a good job." I think that is what I said. I might have said it a little faster than that, and it could have been difficult for him to actually understand what I said.
Based on his facial expression, I am guessing he did not catch what I said. I decided to repeat myself, in a slower fashion, "I think you did a good job in the play tonight. I think your performance was spectacular. You should act in more plays in the future and become a star."
While I generally had issues when it came to talking to boys, I was okay with speaking to them for a brief period of time. Additionally, unlike other times, I felt a real need to speak to this boy after seeing him perform. Even though I believed we would never meet again, I wanted him to know that I thought he had talent as an actor.
He smiled after hearing me say that. The boy responded in a polite voice, "That's very kind of you. Thank you for the complement."
I nervously responded to him, "Think nothing of it. You deserve the complement. I really hope you will continue to act in the future. I think you have a talent. I hope a day will come when I see you on the big screen."
I had meant every word that I said to that boy. He smiled at me with is make-up filled face and told me, "Thanks. I hope a day like that comes my way in the future too." I think I saw him blush a little as he said that, and I was probably blushing as well.
While I believed I did the right thing by telling this boy that I admired his acting talent, I thought it would ultimately be inconsequential to either of us. Little did I know that this meeting and what I had said to him would have a larger impact than I would have ever guessed. I suppose it is true that some things have a funny way of working out or being connected. However, that is a story for another time.
My grandfather, Kirigaya Riku, had always been an overbearing man. He repeatedly told Suguha and me that our family came from a long line of Kendo participants, and we should honor our bloodline. Grandfather made it seem as if this was still the time of the Samurai during the age of Edo. It's a good thing that this was the twenty first century because I would not want to be forced to commit seppuku due to 'dishonoring the family name.'
While I did not completely dislike the idea of participating in Kendo or knowing some form of martial arts, it was my grandfather's way of instructing us that made me feel bitter about the sport. I never had the same drive to participate in tournaments like my grandfather or Suguha, but my grandfather would not hear of it. Due to his overbearing nature, he made it difficult for me to enjoy kendo. However, I stuck with it for about two years because I was not really sure of what else I could really do since I was still a little kid.
However, that changed shortly after I turned nine years old. My mother, Kirigaya Midori, gave me a check of 440,400 yen. As soon as I received that check, I am not really sure why, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. It might have been my instincts that guided me or something along those lines. If I were to guess, this was probably due to being raised by a woman who worked for a computer magazine and eventually managed to become an editor for multiple computer magazines. I suppose my mother's love for computers rubbed off on me.
Even before I was nine years old, I had always read the different computer magazines she worked for. Since she worked for those companies, she would receive free copies of those magazines a day in advance. One time she brought the magazine back home with her, I felt drawn to the magazine. The magazine was like a magnet, and I could not resist the urge of reading it.
After I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down. I read every detail in every column as thoroughly as possible. It was the most fascinating thing I had ever read, and I wanted to read more material like this. When I was finished reading it, I told my mother I wanted to continue reading those magazines whenever I could, and she was happy to give me more magazines to read.
By reading those magazines, even though I was not even ten years old yet, I believed that my future belong with computers rather than kendo. It felt like computers were my calling, and I still believe that to this day. After I received that money, I had the ability to do something more with my love for computers rather than just read about it. I was not sure what I could do yet, but I knew that I would be able to do something.
After I received that money, I decided to drop out of kendo, so I could focus on computers. Both my grandfather and Suguha were disappointed in me. I had a hard time caring what my grandfather thought of me. Seeing him angry or disappointed in me did not feel like anything new to me. However, Suguha's disappointment was more difficult for me to deal with. I guess she wanted the two of us to be 'kendo rival siblings.'
However, despite her disappointment, she was far more understanding than my grandfather ever was. Suguha could see why I wanted to drop out of kendo, and she wished me luck with my interest in computers. It made me happy to hear her say that to me because it really helped make things easier for me. Suguha even told grandfather that she would work twice as hard to make up for me dropping out. That appeared to pacify grandfather's disappointment in me because due to the progress that Suguha made, he did not bother me too much regarding kendo again until he died. Unfortunately, certain parts of my experiences with my grandfather had certain long term effects that I am less than happy to talk about.
After I dropped out of kendo, I joined a computer club to learn more about them. I was the only female member in my club, which resulted in me not interacting much with the other club members. While I was okay with speaking to boys in the classroom or even for a brief moment like when I spoke with the boy after that play, I felt uncomfortable being around males for an extended period of time. I think it was because the only male that I interacted with on a regular basis was my grandfather. My interactions with my grandfather are probably why I started to find myself somewhat uneasy around boys.
Talking to boys for a few minutes was always fine with me. I guess it was because I knew that our 'conversations' would be over quickly, and I would not need to be near them after that. However, if I spoke to them for much longer than that, I would start to feel strange. I am not sure if I could find the right words to describe the sensation I would feel, but I guess uncomfortable and uneasy would be the closest ones. It would become more difficult for me to continue talking to boys. While my 'endurance' did improve overtime, my feelings of being uncomfortable and uneasy when I'm around boys for too long generally remained the same until the incident.
As a result I isolated myself from my fellow club members. However, I was able to make more progress in our club activities than anyone else in my club because I isolated myself from the other members and focused more on my work. Eventually I came to believe that isolating myself and avoiding casual/distracting conversations when we should be focusing on completing activities was the reason for my progress. Based on the work, I saw from the other club members, I had a good reason to believe that. As a result, it became a habit of mine to isolate myself from others and rarely interact with anyone else.
It was thanks to the computer magazines I read and the computer club that I learned more about the different parts of a computer and how I could theoretically make one of my own. I used some of the money that my mother gave me to purchase the parts that I needed. Over a year later when I was ten years old, I was able to construct my own 10GHz penta-core PC. After I accomplished that, I felt like I could do anything I wanted with computers. Unfortunately, I would eventually wish I did not have such confidence in my abilities.
With the construction of my self-made computer, I had full confidence in my skills. For a ten year-old girl, I became painstakingly arrogant, and I wanted something to test how much my computer capabilities could take me. It was on August 22, 2019 that I decided to hack into the National Registry Records to look up information on the Kirigaya household. A few of the things my mother told me about our family made me interested in learning more information on my own.
My mother told me that when I was a baby a few members of my family died, but she did not go into any more detail beyond that. She told me that she would tell me more about it when I was older. From what I could tell, the topic was rather painful for her to talk about, but she had piqued my curiosity. I wanted to find out more, but I did not want to cause her anymore pain, so I decided to try and find out that information on my own, so she would not have to tell me. Unfortunately, what I did learn from the National Registry Records that day was more than what I bargained for.
When I hacked into the National Registry Records, I noticed there was a 'deleted' document. After I opened it, my eyes were wide open from the implications of what I had just read. I said to myself, "What is this?"
According to the document I had read, Kirigaya Midori was not my mother. She was my biological aunt. She had formally adopted me a little over a year after I was born because my biological parents had died. Apparently, her only biological child was Suguha. This meant that my little sister was not really my sister at all. She was my cousin.
I looked out the window and saw Suguha continuing her kendo training unaware of what I had just learned. What I had learned from that computer screen could not be forgotten no matter how much I wanted to. When I look back on it now, in my heart, I knew that this should not have changed anything. The two of us had been raised as siblings, and I know my mother cared for me as if I was her own daughter, but I still let it affect me. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't feel ashamed of what I did.
With the knowledge I had gained regarding my past, I made some very serious decisions. Decisions that I wish that I could have taken back, but I know that will not be possible. If I could go back in time, I would stop myself from taking such foolish and selfish actions again, but I can't. The only thing I can do is press forward to the future and hope that I can make things right despite how unlikely it seems.
Kirita: Well that takes care of the first chapter for this story.
Akio: Making it clear there would be a lot of differences from the get go was definitely one way to begin a semi-genderbent story. It helps make the message clear that this will be something more. I wonder if
(Kirito and Asuna enter the room. This causes and awkward situation between the genderbent counterparts)
Kirita: Who the hell are you guys?
Kirito: We are Kirito and Asuna from Knowledgeseeker66's other Sword Art Online story "Fairy Dance Alternate."
Akio: Other Sword Art Online Story?
Asuna: That's right. In case you didn't notice in the author notes, Knowledgeseeker66 has worked on another Sword Art Online fanfiction story titled, "Fairy Dance Alternate." I'm the main character of that story.
Kirita: Are you kidding me?
Asuna: No we are not. It's actually a well liked story that has a nice fanbase. You should read it if you haven't already.
Kirita: Well we might consider that . . . wait a minute if you belong in another story then what are you doing here. This is our set.
Kirito: Well we kind of got lost. You see our story was put on hiatus a few months ago, so Knowledgeseeker66 could focus on working on both your story and the other story "Of Science and Magics: The Side Stories."
Akio: Well I can understand that. Knowledgeseeker66 probably only has enough time to write so many stories at once, but that still does not explain why you are here.
Asuna: At this moment, Knowledgeseeker66 has plans to start the writing for new chapters of Fairy Dance Alternate again very soon, so we kind of got lost on our way back to the set. Since our sets are so close together, I guess it led to this little mix up. I'm sorry about this.
Kirita: (scratches the back of her head) It's okay. Mistakes like this happen. Just try to make sure you avoid making a mistake like this again.
Kirito: Will do.
Akio: I hope things go well for you in the new chapter that Knowledgeseeker66 is working on for your story.
Asuna: We hope so to, but in Chapter Eight there will be more focus on Kirito-kun, so the pressure is more on his performance.
Kirito: Don't remind me.
Kirita: Well I am sure you will do fine.
Kirito: What makes you think that?
Kirita: You and I are counterparts of each other right, so I know you will probably do fine. We are both aces right?
Kirito: Aces in video games and computers, but not so much when it comes to socializing.
Kirita: Well our characters would be pretty boring if we were not given at least a few character flaws right.
Kirito: I guess you have a point.
Asuna: Let's get going Kirito-kun. They want you on set pronto. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Akio: It was nice to meet you too. Be sure to come back here in the future. We would be more than happy to have you as guest starts in the future.
Asuna: We will keep that in mind.
(Kirito and Asuna leave the stage)
Akio: It was kind of funny interacting with our original gender counterparts wouldn't you say?
Kirita: Yeah it was. This experience now kind of makes me want to read the other stories Knowledgeseeker66 has written so far.
Akio: Me too. (Akio notices the audience) Before we do that we should probably focus on the audience first.
Kirita: You're right about that. Sorry about the distraction folks. Akio and I welcome to Knowledgeseeker66's story, The Kirita Chronicles. As you can tell there are going to be a few pretty noticeable changes from the canon storyline to this semi-genderbent story.
Akio: We hope you enjoyed the first chapter and will leave a review. Also be sure to check out some of Knowledgeseeker66's other stories too. I am certain they will be worth your while.
Kirita: Feedback/reviews are always welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Akio: Be sure to look up additional information on the story on SAO Fandom Nexus and participate on the forum topic. There might be some minor spoilers, but it will not be anything major and most of those facts will be revealed within the next few chapters anyway, so it should not really affect thing to much.
Akio and Kirita: (Talk in unison) New chapters for the Kirita Chronicles will be coming soon! Until then, see you next time!
Author Notes: What did you guys think of the first chapter for 'The Kirita Chronicles?' I had decided that I would release the first chapter in July 2013 due to it being approximately a year since the original Japanese broadcast of the Sword Art Online anime. Shortly afterwards, I became a fan of the franchise. Since then, I have been writing two Sword Art Online fanfiction stories, "Fairy Dance Alternate" and now "The Kirita Chronicles." Similar to "Fairy Dance Alternate," this new story has proven to be a lot of fun to write, and I can only hope you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I had fun writing it. As you can see, the trademark opening poem, omake, and author notes have made their return for this new story.
Another similarity that 'The Kirita Chronicles' will have with Fairy Dance Alternate is that the first story arc will act as a 'prologue' of sorts prior to the beginning of the main story. In this case we will see parts of certain characters pasts, such as Kazuta, Akio, Suguha, and others. This way there will not be as great of a need to rely on flashbacks too much later in the story. There will be a few times where certain back stories are expanded upon for certain characters, but these chapters will take care of quite a few things including setting up for different/alternate future plotlines in the story.
Parts of what you saw in Kirita's back story were originally suggested by WeskerKing1. He came up with the idea to have Kirita's uncle be deceased prior to the main story rather than still be alive like in the Light Novel. Since Kirito's uncle has yet to make an actual appearance outside of a few mentions, WesterKing1 figured it would be more interesting to have him die instead. I agreed with that alteration, so I asked for WeskerKing1's permission to use that idea, and he was fine with it. However, most of the other parts for Kirita's back story, such as having a connection to Kayaba Akihiko through her parents and meeting Akio when they were kids, were my ideas.
I did have some ideas of going further into the back story of Kirigaya Midori by providing more scenes involving her family members or giving them a few scenes that involve them spending time with their infant children. Ultimately, I decided not to go into those details this chapter. However, I do have plans to possibly provide scenes of that nature later in the story. At this point, I am considering the idea of eventually having a 'flashback story arc' similar to what Tite Kubo-sensei did with Bleach in the "Turn Back the Pendulum" and "Everything But the Rain" story arcs. I generally prefer to give the various characters in my fanfiction stories their fair share of the limelight. It is my plan to eventually do that for both Suguha and Kirita's biological parents.
For Kayaba Akihiko, providing assistance to Kirigaya Midori, you can call it a 'pet the dog' moment, and I am certain it would not be out of character for him. After all, unlike some other villains we know in this franchise, Kayaba actually has had some canon 'pet the dog' moments. I was partly motivated to do this because not only does it present a major deviation from what we know in canon, but I really enjoy it when the villain and the hero have some sort of connection to each other. Not to mention, a part of me could see him doing something like this if he had such a connection with someone. However, at the same time, I would picture him doing it due to seeing the child's potential.
While we all know that Kayaba Akihiko has a general lack of empathy regarding human life, we also know he is not heartless like Suguo Nobiyuki. You could view his actions as his way of thanking Kazuta's parents for helping him find his purpose, or you could see it as him wanting to ensure Kazuta is raised by someone who could help give her the influences she needs to help unlock her potential. It could even be a mixture of both. I will leave his true reasons for helping with Kazuta's adoption up to your interpretation.
Regarding the family name of Kirita's biological parents, I know that at this time we do not know what their actual surname in canon is. Since I thought it would be ridiculous to leave them nameless in this storyline due to them actually making an appearance in this chapter, I decided to do some looking up on possible surnames online. According to the Sword Art Online wiki, Kirita specifically lives in Saitama, and according to a Japanese surname website, Suzuki is a relatively common surname in that area, so I decided to go with that. To a lesser extent, I did not like the idea of leaving her grandfather nameless either, so I decided to give him the name Riku due to the name meaning 'land.'
After reading this chapter, I hope any skepticism you may have regarding my genderbent story will be put to rest or at least starting to lessen as you can see where I'm going with this. I do not plan on this story being a simple 'cut and paste' job with only a handful of changes. As you can see, this story will be a retelling of a number of events that happened in the canon storyline with numerous alterations, and there will be plenty of divergences that will lead to original storylines. It will just need a little bit of time to get to them.
Please provide some feedback regarding what you think. Be sure to check out the poll on my profile. I definitely want to hear your thoughts.