Disclaimer: I do not own Sword Art Online, Naruto and Ragnarok Online. I only borrowed the concept and characters from Sword Art Online, the characters from Naruto and the world of Ragnarok Online.
Story Summary: Kirito and Naruto were both trapped in a Virtual Reality MMORPG called Ragnarok VR Online. To clear the game both of them will embark on a journey in the world of Midgard, explore every dungeons, fields and city in that world to find clues which will unlock their freedom. Death in the game will result in death in real life as well. With their life on the line, will they be able to beat their way to freedom or will they just be another name in the long list of casualty from the game Ragnarok VR Online.
"5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and…" a blonde boy is quietly counting down when the bell rings signaling the end of the day at the school. The blonde boy was ecstatic when he heard the bell rang. This is because the end of school means he will be able to spend all the time to do something he had missed doing for 3 months. The blonde boy quickly packed his books into his bag and hurried over to a boy with jet-black hair sitting a couple of seat away.
"Kazuto!" the blonde boy address the black-haired boy. "Hurry up bro! The official launching is in 2 hours".
Kazuto while sighing can't help but to smirk a little. He too has been waiting for this day to come for the past 3 months. "Naruto, chill a bit bro. You've said yourself. We have 2 hours".
The blonde boy named Naruto replied "Yea I know, but I need to get ready for it. I'm gonna take a shower and stuff myself with ramen before diving. I'm going to totally pull an all-nighter on this one. Believe it".
The launching of the most anticipated VRMMORPG, Ragnarok VR Online has been the only thing on both the youth's mind for the past 6 months. 6 months ago, Kirigaya Kazuto and Namikaze Naruto were among the lucky 1000 players to be selected as a beta player for VRMMORPG, Ragnarok VR Online. The beta phase lasted for 3 months. Ever since then, most of their conversation is centered on the game. When the beta phase ended, their topic regarding the VR game reaches new intensity. In the 3 months from the end of the beta phase to the official launching of the game, they have carefully planned what they will be doing based on their experience during the beta in order to use the minimum time to gain the maximum resources. In a sense their attachment to the game is borderline obsession.
However, one can't blame them to be so obsessed with the game. After all, if you are one of the most promising Kendo prodigy Japan has seen, the attention and pressure to live up to expectation can be a little overbearing. It doesn't help when they are offered a sports scholarship to study at the top university in Japan when they are still have more than a year to go in their high school. Diving into a virtual world where sword fighting, something both of them are damn good at and live without any expectation to fulfill seems like a sanctuary to both of the genius Kendo practitioner to escape from the unwanted pressure put on them.
As Kazuto starts packing his stuff into his bag while Naruto is waiting for him, a group of girls approaches the two of them. One of the girls, the one with a long platinum blonde hair tied in a ponytail asked them shyly while shifting her posture left and right "Hey Naruto-kun, Kazuto-kun… Umm… The girls and I are going to have a karaoke session… Err… Do you want to come with us? I mean if that doesn't clash with your Kendo training or anything". The other boys in the class are crying anime tears and all have one thought "Damn it! That is Yamanaka Ino, one of the hottest girls in the school".
Not surprising anyone, both Kazuto and Naruto is very popular in their school especially among the girls. With Kazuto's pretty boy face and silent but warm personality and Naruto's wild looks and cheerful personality both of them are the top on "Boy I Want As My Boyfriend" list of every girl in their school. It doesn't hurt either when both boys totally kick ass with their Kendo skills. Both of them are also among the top scorers too in terms of academic excellence. Brains, brawns and looks – the perfect package.
Naruto turned his head to face the platinum blonde girl. "Oh… Hi there, Ino-chan". The girl blushed lightly at being call by Naruto with the suffix '–chan'. Naruto continued while clapping both his hands together and apologize "Err… Sorry Ino-chan. Both Kazuto and I have to decline your offer. We have a... a… a… practice session later". He then gives her one of his trademark smiles and a thumb up and says "Next time okay? Next time we will try to join you girls."
Noticing Kazuto finished packing his stuff; Naruto bid the girl farewell while Kazuto nodded politely to girls to tell the girls non-verbally that he too is sorry for not joining them and left with Naruto. The girls though disappointed, had hearts in their eyes as they were there to see of one of Naruto's trademark smile. It is a common joke among the boys that when Naruto gave one of his trademark smiles to a girl, the said girl will have her pants drop to the ground so fast before you can even say "Do me".
"Seriously? A practice session. Why do you lie? Is online game beneath you Naruto-kun?" teased Kazuto while walking with Naruto down the hallway.
"Hey, I'm not lying. We are technically practicing Kendo you know. Swing sword and stuff. Tell me which part of sword fighting we are about to do is not Kendo practice. We just do it in a VR environment instead of in the real world" defended Naruto.
While walking toward the school gate, Kazuto said to Naruto "Hey I hope you are kidding when you said you are going to go for a marathon playing the game. Cause today jiji wanted to have a practice session at 8pm. You know how jiji will take it when you skip one of his training sessions. May God have mercy on your soul cause jiji ain't gonna spare you any".
"Hahaha… Of course I'm kidding. Who would forget that about the training session today." said Naruto while sweating nervously.
Kazuto narrowed his eyes looking at Naruto skeptically knowing full well his best friend known since his childhood totally forgotten about it.
Even without speaking, Naruto knew he couldn't lie to his best friend. Hence with a heavy sigh, he said "Damn it. With the hype of the game officially launching today, I totally forgot about the training session with Hiruzen jiji today. Bro, how old is Hiruzen jiji anyway? You know, you should tell him to cancel the training tonight. Don't want him to overexert himself too much ya'know. At his age, injury can be very troublesome".
"Nice try, Naruto. You know jiji as well as me that he is perfectly capable of kicking your ass from your house to the dojo and still had enough strength to kick your ass back home after training. Not to mention, Kushina obaa will grill your hide if she knew you skipped practice".
The Kirigayas and the Namikazes are family friends. Kazuto's biological mother, Mikoto is Naruto's mother, Kushina's best friend. They are so close, that they are considered sisters by many people that know them. Hence, when Mikoto died in an accident with her husband when Kazuto is just an infant, Kushina tried to adopt him. However, the custody of Kazuto is given to Kirigaya Midori, Mikoto's younger sister. Since then Kushina always bring Naruto over to the Kirigaya's household so, that she can visit Kazuto from time to time. Through this visit, Kazuto and Naruto become close friends to the point they are considered brothers. Even Kushina had already cared for Kazuto like a second son.
It was also through these visits to the Kirigaya's household that Kirigaya Hiruzen, the father in law of Kirigaya Midori noticed the talent both Kazuto and Naruto had in Kendo. Being an avid Kendo practitioner and once a national champion, he wanted to bring out the full potential in the kids in the art of the sword. Hence he asked that if Kushina is willing to let her son come over to the Kirigaya dojo in their house several times a week for Kendo training. Kushina seeing this as a character building opportunity for her son gladly agree. Together with Kirigaya Suguha, Kazuto's cousin sister, the three of them train under the tutelage of the ex-national champion.
The training with a champion was always harsh. Especially when said champion is your grandfather. Kazuto had thought of quitting after 2 years of training. However, with Naruto there with him, he is able to have an emotional support from his best friend to last the torturous training. Hiruzen believes that if both the boys are trained separately, they have the talent to be a Kendo athlete. However, when trained together, not to be outdone and be left behind, both of them push themselves past their limit and improve at an astonishing rate worthy of being a legend in their own rights in the Kendo world. As a result, they have won every Kendo tournament they have participated in. They have never lost a match even against athlete a few years older than them. The only matches they had ever lost are when they are facing each other. While Kazuto and Naruto are the best of friends, in the sparring ring, they are fierce rivals.
"Alright alright… I'll be there" said a dejected looking Naruto. "So, I'll be seeing Kirito later?"
Kazuto nodded his head implying he too will be diving later before replying "You know, people don't usually use their real name for their avatars in online games". Kirito is Kazuto's alias in the online world. The name Kirito is taken from his name Kirigaya Kazuto. 'Kiri' from 'Kirigaya' and '-to' from 'Kazuto'.
"Well, if I had such a lame ass name like Kazuto, even I wouldn't want to use it as a nickname" said Naruto while dodging a sudden punch from Kazuto. "Beside, the name Naruto is awesome. Can you imagine if I used your method to pick a nickname for myself? Namito… Man that name sucks (no offence to anyone named Namito out there). I just have a chill just saying that name out loud."
"Yea, I can totally see it. Fish cake is such a totally bad ass name" said Kazuto with sarcasm while Naruto throw him a glare. Kazuto continued when they reached the school gate before splitting ways "Well, in any case we'll meet up at the south gate after we have dived in all right?"
"No problem-ttebayo. You don't be late man. We only have limited time. I wanted to maximize my time there" said Naruto before turning toward the opposite direction where Kazuto is heading and run back to his home eagerly to get ready to play the game that he has been waiting for 3 months.
A few minutes before the official launch of Ragnarok VR Online
The two boys are setting up their Nerve Gear in their respective room. The Nerve Gear is a helmet-like console where the user can experience Full Dive which is a term used for immersion into a virtual environment. Satisfied with their work, both of them lie on their bed and strap the Nerve Gear to their head. Wearing the Nerve Gear, they waited with excitement until the official launch of the game. Both of the boys are paying close attention to the time at the monitor of their Nerve Gear. The moment the digit 59 turns into 00. Both the boys shouted "Link Start" and they can feel their senses starts to fade away.
After being prompted to input their username and password, there is a blinding light that seems to consume them. Moments later, Kirito and Naruto open their eyes and notice they are at the Central Square of the Capital City of Prontera. All around them, they noticed there are a lot of blue light that shines a moment before the lights fade away and a person materialize there. Not wanting to waste any time, both of the boys rushed to the rendezvous point where they are going to meet up with their friend. Since the square is quite big, they are unable to find each other with new players constantly materializing at the square. Hence that is the reason they decided to meet the South Gate instead of the Central Square.
Naruto is the first to reach the rendezvous point. On his way there, while running towards the South Gate, he passed through the NPC's and the building he had missed during the past 3 months. He also notices a lot of the other players are chatting with each other.
Naruto need not have to wait much long before Kirito is seen walking towards him. Kirito sports a different look than he usually is. This is common practice where one tends to design their avatar to be ridiculously good looking. The same is to be said of Naruto. The only reason they can easily recognize each other is because they use the same avatar they used during the beta test.
"C'mon Kaz… I mean Kirito. Let's get going already. I intend to farm at least 10000 zeny before logging out. The starting equipment is pathetic" said Naruto the moment he saw Kirito walking towards him.
This game Ragnarok takes place in a world called Midgard and the currency used in Midgard is called zeny. Prontera is one of the many cities in Midgard. The creator of Ragnarok VR Online, Kayaba Akihiko is truly a genius. Not only did he create such an amazing world, the NPC's and monster that populate this world also seems to be very life-like. No wonder it is the most anticipated game of the decade. When the concept of the game was announced 7 years ago, a lot of the people especially the gamer's community is skeptical with the game. However, despite their heavy critics, the gamers can't help but be excited with this new concept of playing game in a virtual world. This game would be the first of its kind and if proven successful, this could pave the world to a new type of technology. Even the government gave their support to the company that produces this game, ARGUS Corporation as the Full Dive technology can not only be used in the entertainment industry but also in medical, tourisms, education and even in the military industry.
"Can't I even take a moment to take a breath?" said Kirito though he is just as excited to go to the field to kick some monster's ass.
They step right into the portal at the gate before a blinding flash blinded them a moment and they were teleported to the map south of the city of Prontera. When they regain their sight, a field with some hilly terrain meets their eyes. There is trees and bushes here and there but they are not too many of them and are sparsely distributed throughout the field.
"OH GOD! I HAVE MISSED THIS VIEW SO MUCH!" shouted Naruto. Even Kirito give a slight smirk as he too is feeling the same as Naruto.
"Naruto" Kirito called out to Naruto. "If you wanted to farm 10000 zeny before we logged off, I think it is better if we farm at a different location. Porings, Lunatics and Fabres won't give us that much zeny in 2 or 3 hours of grinding. You know, with our experience from beta test and Kendo training, we can probably take our chance on stronger mobs like Thugs. They have a higher equipment drop rate compared to the other mobs. At this early stage these equipment will have the highest value compared to the other type of loots. Those humanoid class mobs even give zeny whenever they are defeated. They will be the best method to farm for zeny at the moment. But I don't really want to face them now. We are just level 1 at the moment and our default equipment sucks".
During the beta phase, both of them realize that Kayaba is a perfectionist. Every movement of the AI monster is very realistic to the point their eyesight will set upon the player that they intend to hit. There are various classes of monsters in Ragnarok. Among the many class of monster, Kirito and Naruto like to hunt the humanoid class monster. As they are trained in the art of Kendo, they have been trained to counter any aggressive reaction from a human body since young. By now, they can properly read an opponent's movement and react instinctively. It is this ability that makes them such a powerful adversary in the Kendo world. This ability of theirs works to their advantage in the game as well, as they are able to defeat higher leveled monster at a lower level compared to other players. However, while the humanoid class monster does give higher drop rate in equipment and drops zeny when defeated, this class of monsters also has a more complex algorithm in their attack pattern. Unlike the other classes of monsters, the humanoid class monsters are generally a much smarter AI compared to the other monster class as they can react to a player attack to a certain degree making them unpredictable. Hence, unless a player is used to combat against human in the real life, they tend to stay away from the humanoid class monster.
"Hmm… Thugs huh? Yeah I agree with you. It's too early to fight them. With our current equipment, fighting them gonna be a pain. We can probably take 2 or 3 of them together but those bastards are aggressive. When they start ganging up on us, we will have to flee and I'm not confident with my current AGI stats that I can outrun them. So, what else that gives good EXP and zeny that we are more comfortable fighting?" said Naruto thinking.
Kirito think for a while before snap his finger and start walking south. "All right, I have the mob that fit the bill and they are just nearby. They even spawn at a nearby river. We can chill there if we get too tired as they are not aggro and doesn't attack in a pack".
Naruto followed Kirito while trying to remember what monsters can be hunt there before the he get what Kirito wants to hunt. "Aha… Roda Frog it is".
About 2 hours later
Naruto and Kirito are farming in one of the field just outside the city walls, there is a sudden notification which caught their attention. Deciding to take a break anyway, Kirito reads the notification.
"So, what's it about" asked Naruto walking towards Kirito.
"Hmm... The message says there is an opening event to celebrate the official launching of Ragnarok VR Online. They ask everyone to meet at Prontera's City Central Square at 6" Kirito replied with a tick on his forehead. He continued "Damn it, Naruto. You received the same message. Why don't you read it yourself? Then you will know what it is about."
"Maa… maa... Chill man. Why read when I've got my own personal reader. Hahaha…" teased Naruto. "So what are we waiting for? Let's go man. It's 10 minutes to 6. I don't want to miss the opening event cause you are tardy, Kirito."
"Hah! Naruto lecturing me being tardy. Fine then, next time you are late for training again, I won't bother covering up for you. I wonder what Kushina obaa will do if jiji told her if her Naru-chan is late for training when I run out of ideas to cover up for your tardiness eh?" said Kirito smugly.
Hearing that, Naruto paled. Kushina is Naruto's mother. She is a very strict woman. Kirito being childhood friends with Naruto, knows that the only person capable of instilling fear into his hard-headed friend is his mother. Immediately Naruto drop on to his knees and bow down to Kirito and said "Sorry Kirito-sama. Please forgive the insolence of you humble servant".
"Baka" is Kirito's only reply with a sweat drop down his head.
"Hehe. So, come on. Let's go to the Central Square" said Naruto getting up from his previous action while rubbing the back of his head.
Kirito with a deep sigh said "If you have read the message, then you will know there will be a forced teleportation to teleport every player in the server to the Central Square 5 minutes before the event starts. The purpose of the notification is to notify the players so that they won't be too surprised when they are teleported to the Central Square later".
The both of them continue their conversation and laughing once every so often while waiting to be teleported not knowing less than 10 minutes later, their life will forever be changed.
A/N: As you have read, instead of the 100 floor of Aincrad, I have used Ragnarok Online (a pretty famous MMORPG from my part of the world) as the setting. I choose this because, I don't want a linear progress to the story and since I'm familiar with RO, i used that world instead. In Aincrad one have to beat a level before they can continue to the other level. In my story, I decide to give the players more freedom. Before one say how they are going to clear the game without any clear direction, the conditions of clearing the game will be explained in the next chapter.
However to those that are familiar with RO, it wouldn't be the same as the game as I will completely change the whole concept of the game and add in my original ideas into the game. The only similarity will be the name of towns and some monsters. Even the location of the town will be different with the game.
I will also bring in more characters from other franchise other than Naruto and SAO. I try to not use too many OC's in my story as this gives the reader a hard time imagining them. So, I'll be using some famous characters so that the readers will have easier time to imagine the characters. Though don't expect them to make an appearance early in the story. They will not appear until later in the story. I will try my best to not make them too OOC but sometimes it's can't be helped.
This is my first fiction and I expect to learn more from the more experience writer. I will even take constructive advice from readers to improve my writing. However, please refrain from flaming and I will not tolerate them. If you don't like what I write, I'm pretty sure there are thousands of other fictions out there that suits you.
Till my next update, Zephryc.