Kirito dodged, leaping backwards, springing off the trunk of a tree and spinning away.
The tree was smashed, blown down by the monster, the thing, that was chasing him.
It was uniformly white, glowing a strange off-blue alabaster color in the moonlight. When he struck it with his sword, it had been as smooth as marble, despite flowing like a mudslide rolling across the land.
The tree he pushed off of was knocked down, cracking loudly as it was broken in half as easily as snapping a splinter between someone's fingers. The great white mass surged forward, pushing trees aside, and the formless blob took on a form. A snarling wolf-like head, with multi-faceted eyes like a beetle, that was probably staring at him.
Also, for some reason, a maid headband was formed out of the same homogenous stuff as the head.
Kirito grimaced, darting forward, his sword glowing as he slashed at it once, twice, three times, carving a triangle with the afterimages of his blows.
He hadn't caught up with the Black Cats yet. He really, really didn't want to think about what that meant.
"Whoa!" He shouted, leaping back as he rolled away from the monster's mass as it simply surged towards him, like an avalanche trying to bury him alive.
Kirito didn't want to call it the main body exactly, but something extruded from the top, like clay being pushed through a mold.
It was a person, more or less. A head with long hair-like tendrils, a featureless face, and another frilly maid headband. The torso was buxom, but the details were obscured by what looked like a frilled apron. Two arms, spread wide, before they came together to clasp like in prayer. The barest suggestion of hips merged into the main mass of the monstrous thing in front of him.
Floating above that fake head was a blood-red rhombus and a monster's name. [The Queen of All Slimes].
It screamed without sound. A simple howl without words, expressed directly into his mind, without passing through the air.
"Gah." Kirito stumbled, trapped by a sudden sense of vertigo. His sword slipped from his fingers. His Circuits, blazing-sharp lines of light within him, became blurred and unsure, washed out and obscured by a strange fog.
His body was melting. No, he realized, as his thoughts thickened and pulled apart. His very self was melting.
The demon rolled forward, covering him over with its mass, smothering him, crushing him, and digesting him.
His body melted into pixels before the damage could add up too much, though.
I I I
Take the suspicious advice? Y/N
I I I
Kirito considered the firm, smooth hardwood beneath him, pressed against his cheek, arms and body and legs flat against the plane of the ground.
"What the heck was that?" He asked himself.
"Sorry, but brother was just unlucky!" The voice of a cheerful girl rang out, and Kirito raised his head.
It was a familiar scene. The dojo attached to his parents, or rather, his aunt and uncle's house; to his side, it opened onto the yard, with the thing that went donk. In front of him was Sugu, upper body wrapped in a gi, and her legs in a full hakama. Her arms were at her sides, her fists clenched in the guts pose. Then, she thrust one hand up, pointing at him dramatically with her right hand, while her left hand flung out. Between her arms, a lot of the kind of bouncing that Kirito firmly refused to recognize in his sister.
Behind Sugu was the shrine, with those old swords that Grampa insisted had been in the family since before the Reformation, and above them was a banner proclaiming that [Brother Love is Justice], which didn't have anything to do with Grampa, and everything to do with Sugu. Kirito considered that, and then decided not to think about the implications, for the sake of his sanity.
"It was always a gamble to see what card Yui-chan would decide to play, and unfortunately, rather than re-playing a Character Card from the graveyard using her special field return command, instead she decided to steal a Card that had been slipped into another Duelist's Deck! And that card had a really, really high stat for Special Attack because of all the Monster Fusion and Breeding specials that other Duelist had stacked on that Character Card!" Sugu explained. "On top of that, since you only had yourself in play without any other Character Cards, you totally lost! Maybe next time you should bring a friend, and hope that Yui-chan doesn't draw something quite that crazy!"
Kirito considered that, and then responded. "Sugu." For good measure, he pushed himself off the ground, since staring up at Sugu was giving him a crick in his neck.
"Yes! Oniichan!" Sugu responded, smiling brilliantly.
"I didn't know you ever played trading card games." Kirito responded, frowning.
"Ah!" Sugu blushed, looking down to the side. "Well, you know, there were a couple different Duel Monster card games that were popular during elementary school. I played them with my friends!" Sugu pushed her pointer fingers together, before shyly looking at Kirito through upturned eyes. "So you understand why you never got involved, right?"
"Guh!" Kirito said, staggering back as he clutched at his chest. "I – I had lots of friends during elementary school! It's just that they were all net-friends, so meeting up IRL was really hard!"
"You don't have to lie to Sugu, you know that, right Oniichan?" Sugu said, bottom lip pouting. "Even though you always ate lunch alone outside, even though you always bounced the soccer ball against the wall by yourself during recess, and even when you only ever told stories about what you did in games, Sugu can accept all of that!" Beaming, Sugu spread her arms. "Sugu can embrace everything of Oniichan, even the embarrassing parts!"
"I won't accept it!" Kirito said, fists clenching and shaking. "Even if it's a dead-tree-format analog game, there's no way that an elite gamer like me would ever lose! I'll learn all the rules, master the system, and win using my own style! Even if I only have one Character Card to play or whatever, the cool and reliable Black Swordsman doesn't' go down that easily!"
"That's the self-assured Oniichan that Sugu respects more than anyone!" Sugu cheered, thrusting one fist into the air.
"And besides!" Kirito said, dramatically posing with one hand over his face. "I admit that a [Slime Girl] with a [Maid Outfit] has several hundred [Moe Points], but something like that will lose to [ASUNYAN], the cool big sis maid! With cat ears! And glasses! And knee-high socks! Such a ferocious combo is worth [Moe Points] in the thousands!"
"Mou!" Sugu said, pouting as she shook her hips back and forth. "But what about a little sister that's not actually your little sister! Isn't that the [Ultimate Moe] where love can transcend all?"
Kirito raised a finger in triumph, before playing the ultimate counter attack. "That applies to Ilya too, you know."
"Guh!" It was Sugu's turn to stagger back, one hand reach back as the other clenched above her prodigious chest. "Just because she's a little sister unrelated by blood doesn't make her comparable to me! Even if you bullied me, that wouldn't unlock a Yandere Bad End! Instead, I would cry, and you would awaken to a new fetish!"
"So go ahead." Sugu continued, smiling radiantly. "Embrace the feelings you keep locked away in your heart, and then embrace Su-"
"No." Kirito said, raising his hand and shaking his head. His instinct as a Gamer where telling him this was leading to a bittersweet ending where a brother and sister wearing trenchcoats got on a train, to start a new life in a new town, where people didn't know why their last names where already the same. He needed to avoid that ending! It wasn't like it would matter since all his friends were on-line anyway so as long as he had internet his social life would be unaffected from moving to that new town, but still!
"There's still a different Card I could play." Kirito announced, smiling devilishly. "I could draw it from the Deck of Friendship, the strongest Character Card with the worst balance! With Attack and Evade stats that look like misprints with an extra digit! If I just use that, then I can win without any tricks!"
"That's my brother!" Sugu cheered. "Even if you always brag about being a strong and cool soloer, you don't hesitate to rely on your friends!"
However, Sugu had put the word [Friends] in air quotes with her fingers.
Kirito collapsed to his hands and knees. "It's not my fault we've never met IRL! It's literally impossible with the setting being what it is! Besides, it's really embarrassing to say stuff like 'oh, we're best friends', even if it's only thinking it in my own mind! A serious student council president wearing glasses! A smarmy playboy with seaweed hair with not-very-hidden self-esteem issues! Compared to that, I'm just some computer otaku! If it was a BL game, then I wouldn't even be the most interesting route!" Kirito paused, hands in his head. "And I'm definitely hanging out with Silica way too much if that's how I'm presenting that."
"Gah!" Sugu staggered back. "Sugu can accept the BL thing, but what's this with introducing another girl's name all of a sudden!?"
"Hm?" Kirito said, glancing up. "Oh, Silica-chan? She's in the guild, she's like… I guess you could say she's the official little sister of the guild? Since Ilya is too disturbing to pull that role off."
"Official Little Sister!" Sugu shouted, suddenly holding a bokken. "I could hold my tongue about Asuna, and your best friend is NTRing Argo away so I'm ready to comfort you, and you never even entered the Liz Route which was good, but now I find out you've been cheating on me with another little sister!"
"Wait, what was that about Argo?" Kirito asked. "I'm pretty sure that's not a real ship-"
"No!" Sugu said, swinging her sword to the side and then raising it to a guard position in front of her. "You don't get to change the subject! Sugu is hurt that Oniichan is cheating, so put up your sword and prepare to take your lumps!"
"Raa!" Sugu roared, tears at the corner of her eyes as she dashed forward, and Kirito shivered unconsciously at the strange resemblance to some strange tiger, his instincts screaming.
And like that, we close the curtains on the strange advice corner, since it was a good place to end, what with the foreshadowing alluding to a crossover next time.