Note: I claim no ownership to any part of this story. It is by MisakaLovesYou on Wattpad and if you like it, support her. I personally did not and just want to make fun of the abysmal grammar I found in the story.
While all my comments are legitimate concerns I had, they are also mostly for comedy purposes. Also, I am a dick and will comment as such.
If I made any grammar mistakes in my fan-edit of this, you may feel free to mock me mercilessly for my transgression.
1This paragraph originally started with the first instance of onomatopoeia in the story. I died a little inside, then proceeded to remove it. You’re welcome.The sounds of clashing blades reverberated through the large forest. The sound of desperate panting was also heard, as if somebody was fighting for her life. In a manner of speaking, she kind of was.2No, not “in a manner of speaking” and not “kind of”. The entire point of a death game is that you’re fighting for your life. Every battle in here was a battle for survival.
The large skeleton with armor and a battle-axe lashed its weapon down at the girl bobbing and weaving around it. That girl was Mikoto Misaka. She had medium length chestnut brown hair. She wore a small armored chest plate, a white shirt underneath with a black sleeveless vest that had a golden cross on the back. She had on a gold scarf with black edges, and had light brown shorts with gold faulds that also had black edges. Her sword was an unusually white blade, with a hilt shaped like a lightning bolt.3I honestly hate this entire paragraph. It’s necessary description, but it’s so awkward to fix in a way that it flows smoothly.
If sweating was possible in this world, her face would be covered with it. Every stroke that the skeleton landed on her blade had the potential to be a critical hit. If even one blow hit her, half her health bar would disappear.
“Come on, you darn freaking pile of bones…” Mikoto gasped desperately. “Die already!”
Mikoto finally saw the opening she was looking for. The bony creature raised its axe into the air for an overhead blow, leaving its torso exposed. Mikoto attacked with a wide horizontal slash, and a glowing gash appeared in the armor of the skeleton warrior. In an instant, Mikoto activated her combo skill, a three point break. She dashed to three different points around the creature, going fast enough to confuse the eyes of an ordinary human being. At each point which she stopped, she slashed her sword, hitting three points on the creature in a 360 degree attack.4I don’t think this is quite the wording she was looking for. “360 degree attack” doesn’t seem to be a fitting description for the attack being used here. Finally, after each point had been hit, she flashed up into the air above the skeleton and somersaulted with her blade thrusting outwards, creating a spiraling slash that cleaved the creature’s head,5Wait, if you’re somersaulting, aren’t you spinning on the opposite axis than the one required to cut someone’s head off? reducing the last of its health.
The creature shattered into multi-colored polygons, and a holographic page opened up in Mikoto’s vision, showing an assortment of items she had won from the kill.
Mikoto sighed with deep relief and sheathed her blade at her waist. Fatigue and tiredness in this world weren’t the same. One could run for hours without breaking a sweat in-game. However, the brain needed to enter a sleeping state once in a while to prevent complete exhaustion.6This line was a complete dumpster fire in the original, so I took the liberty of killing it and rewriting it to get the same message across.
The truth of the matter was this wasn’t the real world.7Ah, thanks for this. I thought battle-axe-wielding skeletons and 3 point break skills happened all the time in the real world. Mikoto was in a virtual reality video game, the first MMORPG of its kind. On top of that, she was a prisoner within the game.
When the game first came out, only ten thousand copies had been released. They had sold out very quickly.8The original line here was “They had sold out like wild fire..”, which not only looked hideous but made absolutely no sense no matter how I tried to read it. Sword Art Online, the first massive multiplayer online game made for the NerveGear, a device that virtually projected your mind in a video game.
However, disaster soon followed. The absence of the “log out” button on the options screen, for one thing. Then he came, like a giant cloak bleeding from the sky. He called himself Kayaba,9Either I’m not up-to-snuff with my spelling or MisakaLovesYou thought “Kayaba” had an “e” in it somewhere. the creator of the game. He had come to reveal a terrifying truth: the game was now a prison, and the only way to leave was to win. If somebody were to die in the game, the NerveGear would send out a microwave into the mind and kill the person for real.10Extreme nitpicking ahead: Technically, Kayaba never said anything about a microwave in his speech. All he said was that the NerveGear would destroy the users brain. Kirito was the one who dropped the microwave line, and even then he said it was a signal that acted like a microwave, not that it actually was one. Putting a microwave into the NerveGear would have been literal cancer.
There was no way to escape. A player’s motor skills in their real body were completely useless with the NerveGear on, and if somebody on the outside took the NerveGear off it would fry the brain anyways.
There was only one way to escape the nightmare: to win the game, to make it to the 100th floor of the massive castle that flew through the sky, Aincrad. A castle that was made of ginormous floors, each one hundreds of kilometers wide, full of monsters, entire worlds, mountains, lakes, forests, dungeons… and at the top of each floor, a deadly boss waited. Nobody could beat that game on their own, and in the past year Mikoto had been trapped in this world, she had watched people die in droves as they strove to reach each floor.
Some had given up hope, believing the game to be unbeatable. Well considering it was an MMO, who wouldn’t say “F*ck you!” the moment Kayaba laid out his plan?
But Mikoto had it worst, because she wasn’t just trapped here. This was the only world she knew, because the day of the grand opening of Sword Art Online she had woken up in that world, to find she remembered nothing. She had amnesia. She didn’t remember where she was from, who her parents were, nothing. She woke up in this game with no knowledge of who she was.
She only remembered her name:11The way this story is written is forcing me to use more colons than I’m comfortable with. In order for the story to flow I have to use them, but I don’t think you’re supposed to use this many in such a short span. Mikoto Misaka. Her in-game name was Railgun. And as far as she could tell, the name meant nothing to her.
She remembered her confusion, her fear, running into the first town, begging people to tell her where she was, only to be laughed at by people who thought she was trolling the game. And then, after the grave announcement, after that terrible truth was revealed, she knew this world, which was the only world she could remember, wasn’t the real world.12Yes, thank you for that insight. It was a prison, a death prison, designed to amuse Akihiko Kayaba.
Mikoto waved her left hand, and a screen appeared,13SAO’s menu is operated with the right hand. ALO used the left. displaying an menu icon, with several holographic buttons. She pressed the one labeled item pouch and selected potions. In a burst of light, a small vial of liquid appeared in her hand, and she drank from it. As she drank the tasteless liquid, her health bar on the top right of her vision14Health bar’s on the left in SAO. went from yellow to green, refilling so that it was near full.
The monsters on this floor were getting much more dangerous. Their levels, health regeneration, and attack variations were getting more troublesome. She knew that the boss room must be nearby, and there was no way she was going to go near somewhere like that alone, even if she was a solo player.
Railgun didn’t have a pleasant reputation among the other players. Strange things happened around her. Whenever she got emotional strange things would happen. She would do more damage than was possible with her stats, or the environment around her would distort and turn to static. Many theorized she wasn’t really a player, but actually an NPC that had gone rogue and glitched. And as a result, nobody trusted her;15I am way more proud of myself than I should be for finding a reason to toss in a semicolon. I like semicolons. nobody trusted this game, so why should they trust something from it?
Was it true? Was that the reason for her amnesia? Was Mikoto just a rogue program, born from the system?
Mikoto’s eyes dimmed with sadness as she considered this. She wasn’t real, she was just a program… Then how could she feel? Was she the first success at artificial intelligence? She didn’t know…
Her thoughts were interrupted by sudden screams in the woods. Suddenly, multiple monsters, rock humanoids, goblins with spears, skeleton warriors all jumped out, surrounding Mikoto.
No! An ambush?!16I can’t believe I had to actually Google the proper order for an interrobang. As an aside “?!” (my preferred usage) is more commonly used than “!?” (the original usage here). Both are correct, but I like my order better. She had let down her guard!
Mikoto dodged and slashed her blade with extreme agility, hacking and slashing her sword through the enemies, killing 5 of them with skillful precision. As she did, she couldn’t avoid the blows of the higher level enemies. Her health was being whittled down, little by little, and more enemies jumped out.
“No,” Mikoto whispered. “No no no no no! NO!”
Mikoto screamed, and a shock wave of sizzling static blew out, and the enemies around her froze, some of them in mid air or mid strike, twitching, as if they were caught in some computer glitch.
Mikoto blinked. “E-eh?”
No sooner had she said this, though, when the creatures unfroze, and all closed in on her.
A silver streak flashed through several of the monsters, destroying them. It was the streak of a blade.
There was the flash of a dark cloak as somebody dove into the mess, wielding his sword like a demon, dealing massive amounts of damage, allowing Mikoto to finish many of them off.
Mikoto didn’t have time to thank the heavens or wonder about her savior, she just did her best to keep her health steady as she assisted in taking down the last of the ambush.
When the fight was finally over, she fell to her knees, clutching her chest. That… was close. She had been so close to death, whether she was a program or a real person.
A hand wearing a black glove was extended towards her. “You alright?”
Mikoto remained silent, not taking the hand. This guy would be like all the rest if he figured out who she was.17That’s sexist. He just needed to look at the username over her head.
She stood up. “Thanks. You should probably get out of here now. The monsters in this part of the dungeon are insane.”
The boy was handsome, with black hair, a dark coat with a yellow armored chest with moons and stars on his chest.18Original author’s note: “(Kirito’s early appearance when his level was still in the 40s.)”
JacenBoy’s author’s note: “Show, don’t tell. Also, we don’t really care.”
The boy, who Mikoto could see was called Kirito, sheathed his blade and shrugged. “Wow. You’re pretty cold for a girl who just had her life saved.”
“Yeah, well don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and everything,” said Mikoto. “But I find people aren’t usually too tickled when I survive dungeon clearing.”
“That’s a bit harsh,” said Kirito. “You a beta tester?”
“I don’t know,” said Mikoto.
“Er, okay… are you not liked at your school?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you a game hacker?”
“I don’t know.”
Kirito stared at Mikoto. “Railgun…19See, when you don’t force the ellipsis it just finds ways to fit itself in your story. where have I seen that username before?”
“Here it comes…” Mikoto muttered to herself.
“With a good name like that,” said Kirito, “it’s hard to think of why people wouldn’t like you. Do you have any friends in the real world who are trapped in this game?”
“I don’t know,” said Mikoto.
“Come on Railgun,” said Kirito. “You don’t have to be so cold. I get you want to keep your IRL life private, but…”
“It’s not that,” said Mikoto. “I really don’t know. I don’t know anything. I don’t remember…”
Just like that, Kirito seemed to get what Mikoto was saying. She didn’t know how he got the hint, but he did.
“Sorry,” said Kirito quietly. “I didn’t know.. how long?”
“Ever since this game started,” Mikoto said. “Now if you don’t mind, I have some unneeded items to sell back in town.”
Mikoto walked away, only to look over her shoulder to see Kirito strolling behind her.
“What are you doing?” Mikoto growled. “Do you want my blade down your throat?”20Geez, no need to be a dick about it.
“Well, you never know when you’ll run into another monster ambush,” said Kirito. “And I’d rather not be alone when that happens. And neither would you I think.”
Mikoto frowned. “Alright, Kirito. When we reach town, we separate. And chances are you won’t see me again.”
Kirito grinned. “Well let’s not be hasty. If you need to be rescued again, who will be there to give you a hand, Railgun?”
Mikoto blushed furiously. “Y-you! You smug little-!”
The air and vision around Mikoto filled with static for a moment.
Kirito backed away slightly, but he didn’t look scared, he just continued to have that meditative bored look, as if he were some sort of level headed lazy cool guy.
“Wow. So, that happened.” said Kirito. “So you’re that Railgun huh?”
“Go ahead,” Mikoto growled. “Stare. The glitched NPC that grew a brain.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” said Kirito. “You’re not an NPC. An NPC wouldn’t have a player icon, nor would she have such a freestyle sword skill. Back IRL, I actually know my way around a computer, so I can tell that much.”
This guy was just weird. First he saved her life like it was no big deal, and now he was one of the few people who would still talk to her even though he knew what she was. Or knew what everybody thought she was.
“You’re weird,” Mikoto decided.
Kirito frowned. “Er.. thanks?”
Mikoto sighed. “Honestly, you unnerve me. Makes me wish I didn’t run out of Teleport Crystals.”21Jerk.
Kirito sighed. “Wow, I sure made a first impression on you.”
The rest of the walk back to the large wrought iron gate of the town was done in silence.
Mikoto could feel Kirito analyzing her, watching her, trying to figure out what exactly she was. However, it wasn’t the same judgmental look that most people had..
“Well…” said Mikoto, giving Kirito a warning glare in case he was trying some sort of undressing with his eyes, “I guess here is where we say goodbye, so… bye.”
Mikoto walked off hurriedly, leaving Kirito standing at the gate and feeling relieved to be out of that strange boy’s presence.
Later that day, Mikoto sat in the back corner of one of the restaurants in town, sipping on the drink she had in her hands. She had not eaten any food in 5 months. Not that she cared. The food in SAO was mostly tasteless and merely gave you illusion of filling your hunger. In reality, everybody was probably strapped to hospital beds IRL,22I was okay with the “IRL” the first time, since it’s a term used in canon. It felt a bit much the second time. It’s overused at this point. with fluids being sent in through tubes. It was rare to find food in SAO that tasted remotely like real food unless you found somebody who had leveled up their cooking skill in the game especially high, and that was pretty rare too.
Mikoto mainly focused on speed, attack power, and marksmanship. She was good with a one handed sword and a bow. She spent nearly all of her money on weapons and armor, which meant she had some pretty good equipment, but she could barely afford so much as a drink, and instead of buying a house like most players had already, she continuously stayed in random inns.
She always got the same thing, apple juice,23A, They have apple juice in SAO? B, Of all things you could choose to drink, that’s what you go with? only cost about five units of the in-game currency, col.24I don’t think MisakaLovesYou ever refers to col by it’s canon name. I’d like to change that.
Her hunger would be momentarily satisfied by the illusion of the programmed drink, but only for about fifteen minutes. That was alright. She wasn’t in this game to have fun.25“I didn’t come to this town to eat good food.”
As usual, many other players sat far away from her, choosing to avoid her. Whatever, those jackasses could do what they liked.
And then all of her expectations were once again thrown out the window. Kirito came out of the blue almost, suddenly sitting down in the booth across from Mikoto.
“Hi there,” said Kirito. “Railgun, right?”
Mikoto’s jaw dropped open. “You’re kidding, right?”
“Hey, I’ll take two entrees please,” said Kirito to the NPC waitress. “One for her.”
Mikoto shook her head. “No! You’re not buying me any-“
Mikoto’s sentence was interrupted by a sudden massive growl from her virtual stomach.26As many complaints as I have about this story, this little cliche is one that I appreciate.
“Damn program,” Mikoto muttered. “Fine! I’ll take the entree! But I’m paying!”
“Yeah, how much gold do you have?” said Kirito.
“E-er…” Mikoto blushed again. “I’m paying for the next meal then!”
“Oh, so if you’re treating me for another meal, that means we’ll see each other again sometime. That’s nice,” said Kirito, smiling.
“You’re such a… a… a…!” Mikoto tried to find a word for what Kirito was, but couldn’t. At that moment, two plates of food were set down on the table, and Mikoto took the plate, picked up her fork, and began rapidly stuffing her face as a way of avoiding having to say anything.
“That’s the angriest way I’ve ever seen anybody eat rice.” Kirito said.
“Mmmfff! Shutmmffup!” Mikoto said angrily.
“So…” said Kirito, picking up his fork. “I couldn’t help but notice that you have a Demon Smiter.”
Mikoto spat out her drink in disgust. “Oh, so that’s why you’re here! I have a rare item, and you want it!”
Mikoto’s sword, the Demon Smiter, was incredibly rare. It could not be bought in weapon shops or made with any materials found in game. It was only dropped by certain enemies, and even then there were only three total in the entire game.27I’d say that’s a dumb mechanic, but we’re in a death game that prevents all players from logging out, fries their brains if they die, and gives one player a unique skill that no one else can get, so we’ll let it slide. It was a weapon of luck. It had the ability to paralyze a demon on strike for two seconds, allowing you to exploit many weaknesses in demon class enemies.
“W-whoa,” said Kirito raising his hands up. “Look, I was just trying to make conversation. I don’t think a Demon Smiter is my kind of weapon. The weight isn’t really balanced for me.”
“Yeah?!” said Mikoto. “And how would you know?!”
Kirito moved his hand and opened his item pouch. After he pressed a few options, there was a flash of light, and an identical white lightning-hilted sword appeared in Kirito’s hands.
Mikoto couldn’t believe her eyes. “You… you have a Demon Smiter?”28*Insert Jesus-kun joke of your choice here*
“Yeah,” said Kirito. “Sorry if you thought I was just in it for the item. Although, I’ve heard of you Railgun, and you’re a pretty good high level player. I’m usually a solo player myself, but I was hoping you could help me with something.”
“Really?” said Mikoto. “You want something after all!? Well forget i-“
“I was hoping to find some Grim Ore for an Elucidator sword I want to forge.”
Mikoto began to choke on her food, something she didn’t think possible in a virtual reality video game. “Say WHAT?! G-Grim Ore?! Do you have a death wish?! There’s a Black Flame Dragon guarding that stuff! All the high level players in Aincrad couldn’t defeat that!”
“I don’t plan on defeating it,” said Kirito, “but if I’m going to get Grim Ore I’ll need your help. I’m prepared to make an offer. Half the Grim Ore we get… it’ll all be yours.”
Mikoto could feel her heart pounding with longing. She could only imagine the extremely rare weapon she could make if she forged Grim Ore to her Demon Smiter. If this guy knew how to harvest the ore without disturbing the Dragon AI
“Alright,” Mikoto whispered. “We go tomorrow. But, after this, we never29Post-publish note: After a little thought and a little research, I realized italics are better than capitalization for emphasis. see each other again!”
Mikoto stomped off to the stairs that led to the inn upstairs.
Kirito sighed and folded his arms behind his head. “Wow. You make Asuna seem cheery.”