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.
Mikoto lay in bed, dressed only in her undergarments. It was more comfortable this way. Weather in Aincrad changed based on the system. As it happened, tonight was rather hot and humid. No need for blankets, just a nice cool breeze.
Mikoto always had trouble sleeping. Especially when she spent much of her time trying to remember who the heck she was.
Now and then a flash of something would come to her. Sometimes a scrap of a memory; other times a fuzzy image. She could never make anything of these moments. It was like looking through a peephole in a wall; you couldn’t really tell what we going on.1This paragraph was awful, so I completely rewrote it. It’s still awful, but I can say that I tried.
Mikoto sighed. It seemed like she was going to wake up groggy tomorrow, too.
There was a soft knock on her door. “Hey, Railgun, you still awake? I thought we’d discuss strategy for tomorrow’s dungeon raid.”
“Yeah,” Mikoto muttered. “Hold on.”
Mikoto hurriedly went to her menu and equipped a gray sleeveless tank top and a pair of shorts. She walked over to the door and opened it. Seriously? Kirito was still wearing his armor? Did that guy sleep in his battle-wear?
Kirito held up a crystal which held what Mikoto recognized as a dungeon map. “Alright, thought we’d make sure we knew our game plan before we go in half-cocked.”
“Yeah, I was wondering about that,” said Mikoto. “Just set the map down there.”
Kirito placed the map on the table in the room as Mikoto pulled up a chair and sat down. The holographic map spread out, showing the layout of the portion of the dungeon that had been mapped out so far.
“Well, we know dragons are nocturnal, so during the day it’ll be hanging around in the den where the Grim Ore is,”2So then, wouldn’t the logical first idea be to head out at night while the dragon is away from its den? said Kirito, “but there’s something nobody’s ever tried. See, this part of the den opens to the sky. There’s a path to the east we can take to get up there, and it’s low enough that we won’t take much fall damage if we drop in from above.”
“You know, I had my doubts,” said Mikoto,”but now, I know. I know that you are completely insane. How does this deal with the dragon?”
“The dragon AI only scans the entrance of the den,” said Kirito. “Unless we accidentally jump in the AI’s action range, we should be able to collect the ore and then run right out before we take any damage.”
“You’re willing to go through that much for a freaking Elucidator?”3Of course. It is, after all, the gnarliest sword you can get from a monster drop. Mikoto muttered. “Fine, sounds wonderful.”
“I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic,” Kirito muttered.
“Oh, I’m totally being sarcastic,” said Mikoto in a sarcastic tone, just to confuse Kirito for fun. She had to resist laughing aloud as her intention succeeded, and Kirito looked more confused than ever.
“Never mind,” said Mikoto. “How long will it take anyways?”
“Shouldn’t take too long.” said Kirito. “The monsters there respawn pretty slowly, but they’re also pretty high level, so it’s better if at least two high level players go. That’s why I needed you.”
“Right. And why didn’t you take the Flash, Asuna, with you?” Mikoto said. “I know who you are, Black Swordsman. I only just remembered why your username sounded so familiar. You’re a big deal around this floor. And you’re friends with the vice commander of the Knights of The Blood Oath, right?”
Kirito rubbed the back of his head and sighed. “Well, friend is a bit strong. We argue during every dungeon clearing meeting. We don’t actually get along well. I guess we just work well together while clearing bosses.”
“Right…” Mikoto knew that explanation made perfect sense, but in truth, she felt that there was a reason why Kirito had chosen her, somebody he barely just met, instead of some of the other high level largely reputed players that it was common knowledge he knew.
Mikoto sighed. “Fine. Let’s get some rest. Tomorrow we’re going to need our strength.”
Kirito got up to leave, but he stopped at the door. “Railgun… are you sure there’s nothing you remember? Nothing at all?”
“Well… I remember my name,” Said Mikoto, taken off guard by the question. “Why do you care?”
“It’s one thing to be fighting in this world so that you can live to see everyone waiting for you in the real world,” said Kirito, “but to fight and not know what you’re fighting for, to have nothing to cling onto to keep you motivated… it must hurt.”
Mikoto remained silent. She put her hand to her chest, as she was prone to do after a fight with a high level enemy, and clutched her heart desperately.4Yet another sentence that couldn’t quite come out right. Getting this effect across in an actually good looking sentence is pretty much impossible.
“I’m sorry, it wasn’t right of me to bring that up,” said Kirito. “Rest well, ‘kay?”5Grammar nazi fact: ‘kay is a contraction of okay and therefore should have an apostrophe to denote the missing “O”.
The next day, Mikoto and Kirito walked along the cliff path in silence. It was an uneventful journey. The massive craggy cliffs on one side and the endless drop on the other were probably the only interesting things about the dungeon. While enemies were rare, Mikoto didn’t let down her guard. Generally, large numbers of enemies tended to be lower level. Enemies that appeared in smaller numbers, however…
“Watch out,” Kirito held out a hand to stop Mikoto and pointed at a massive troll carrying a club. It was lumbering around near a large cliff that dropped off into a giant ring of rock. Below that was the dragon’s lair. “It’s slow. We should have a speed advantage. Ready? Want me to go in first?”
“Nah,” said Mikoto drawing her Demon Smiter. “I’ve got it. Get ready to switch.”
Mikoto dashed up the cliff with Kirito close behind, her sword glowing with brilliant light as she readied her Three Point Combo. “Demon’s Scream,” Mikoto whispered. Before the Troll AI could even react, she flashed around the monster, landing three consecutive strikes. She jumped into the air and landed the spiraling critical blow onto the monster’s horned head. The moment she did so, she kicked off from the creature’s face and yelled, “Switch!”
“Yeah!” Kirito lunged in, drawing his sword and landing four consecutive slashes to the Troll’s chest. His sword then glowed green as he activated a Four Point Square combo, moving around the troll and dealing four powerful strikes on the monster, dodging the troll’s slow club.
The troll let out one final roar before shattering into nothingness.
Kirito scrolled through his item pouch. “Well, that monster dropped a lot of gold. Wanna split it?”
“Keep it,” Mikoto said emotionlessly. “You killed it. It’s yours.”
Kirito gave Mikoto a sad glance. “Why can’t you ever let anyone help you?”
“What?!” said Mikoto. “What the hell is with you?!”6Well. That escalated quickly.
Kirito shrugged and smiled. “Nothing. Let’s just get-“
“Yeah! The Grim Ore!” Mikoto roared. “If that’s really why you’re here! But it isn’t, is it?!”
Mikoto stomped up to the edge of the cliff and turned to face Kirito, rage and hurt visible in the tears in her eyes. “Why!? Why why why why?! Are you trying to be some sort of psychologist?!7Nah, he can’t be. Those guys wear all bla- actually, he might be. Do you think you can take advantage of me because I don’t know the real world?! This entire time we’ve met, you’ve been really weird! You’ve been kind to me for absolutely no reason! This has to be some sort of setup!”
“R-Railgun… hold on…”
“No, you hold on!” said Mikoto as rain began to pour down from the sky. “I am sick and tired of your pretend kindness! How do I know you’re not just using me?!”
Kirito shook his head frantically, as if trying to tell Mikoto something. “W-wait! Hold on! Railgun there’s a-“
“Are you using me? Huh?!”
“Railgun, wait! It’s raining! We shouldn’t be doing this when it’s raining!”
“What about the rain is so damn important?!” Mikoto roared. “Are you trying to distract me from your real objective?!”
“N-no!” Kirito pointed behind Mikoto. “Behind you!”
Mikoto turned around to see a massive black dragon hovering behind her, flapping its massive wings and roaring loudly. Terrible dark flames exploded from its hide as it stared down the two tiny players.
“Oh…” Mikoto squeaked. “Right, almost forgot… rain drives dragons out of their dens.8I’m sorry, what? Heh… Oh, crap…”
“Get behind me!” Kirito dashed towards Mikoto, but too late.
The dragon’s tail slammed down between Mikoto and Kirito, shattering the cliff. Mikoto fell through the rubble, her hand grasping only inches from Kirito’s. As she fell, she saw Kirito’s face, an expression of desperation… desperation to save somebody he cared about.
“Impossible…” Mikoto murmured. “He can’t actually care… nobody can… nobody…”
Mikoto fell through the air as the ginormous dragon flew down at her in an attempt to devour her, but as this happened Mikoto found herself astonished to see Kirito dashing down on the dragon’s armored belly, running fast enough to defy gravity itself.
“Railgun!” Kirito yelled out. He slashed his blade alongside the dragon’s stomach as he ran, causing the beast to roar and miss the bite that would have snapped Mikoto in two.
Mikoto shook her head and collected herself. She let out a yell and drew her blade, stabbing it into the dragon’s wing joint as it passed. She then swung on the hilt of her blade like a gymnast before landing on the dragon’s back and flipping around the spines like an acrobat, dealing as many powerful attacks as she could in the process, leaving a trail of glowing cuts as she went.
“You idiot!” Mikoto screamed at Kirito as he kicked off the dragon’s tail and ran towards her. “You’re going to get yourself killed!”
“I don’t care!” Kirito yelled. “You’re not going to die on my watch!”
Kirito grabbed Mikoto’s hand and threw her up into the air with an astonishing amount of strength. She knew what this was: he was keeping her out of the dragon’s attack range.9Because clearly the best way to do this is to throw her in the air where she’ll be back within attack range in a few seconds. He intended to fight the beast alone!
Mikoto could see herself quickly approaching the cliff,10I thought he threw her up, not over. but… no… no! She wouldn’t let someone else fight her battles for her, especially if they were risking their life!
Mikoto kicked off the face of the cliff and jumped onto each piece of rubble as it fell through the sky, leaping from falling rock to falling rock11I don’t think this is how physics works. until she reached the end of the dragon’s tail and jumped onto the beast’s back.
Kirito, who was riding the dragon’s back by stabbing his blade into its shoulder blade and using that as a hand hold, turned in shock as Mikoto grabbed onto his shoulder.12Yeah, not even trying to clean up this one. Too much happening in one sentence to be worth the effort. “Wh-what are you doing?! You’re going to get hurt! Plus, where’d you get skills like those?!”
“Screw that!” Mikoto yelled. “Tell me, why… why did you save me?! You could have used the momentum earlier to get out, but you didn’t! You laid on the wire so that I could crawl over you!13Wait, when did this happen? Nobody does that with me! I’m a glitched NPC!”
“No you’re not!” Kirito roared. “You wanna know why I saved you?! It’s because-“
Before Kirito could finish his sentence the dragon crashed into the hard ground below, throwing up an explosion of dust and rubble.14Yeah, probably a good idea to not have conversations on the back of a falling angry dragon.
Mikoto felt herself being thrown and braced herself for a hard impact, but it never came. Instead, she felt a pair of arms catch her.
“Gotcha!” said Kirito as he landed skillfully on the granite floor of the den.
Suddenly, the dragon roared and rose from the crater it had created. It exhaled a massive blast of black flames and Kirito rolled out of the way, clutching Mikoto protectively.
Mikoto punched Kirito in the face and jumped out of his arms. “Stop it! Stop pretending to care!”15I’ve been ignoring it this whole time, but this is too much tsundere, even for Misaka.
“I’m not pretending!” said Kirito, shaking his head. “And I understand!16Understand… what exactly? But I want you to live, because I don’t think that somebody who doesn’t know or remember the real world, should have to die and never know what it’s like to have a real life! A prisoner who has experienced life outside prison at least has the memories of that life to ease the pain of death, but a prisoner who knows nothing but prison… nobody should have to go through that!”17Okay, I’ll be honest: I kinda liked this quote. On the surface it was awful and didn’t work, but I really wanted to make it work. If I succeeded or not is up to you.
Mikoto’s breath caught. The world seemed to freeze around her, not because of a glitch in the game this time. Her heart seemed to slow down as she heard these words, as if it was a dream. This was impossible. Who would even care? Who had the audacity to ever care? Who would ever want her as a friend?
Suddenly, an image flashed through her head…
She was kneeling on a bridge, crying as held a boy’s head on her lap. He had spiky black hair and had just withstood a barrage of electric attacks from her without even defending himself.
The boy smiled and held up a hand to pat Mikoto’s head. “…I was just thinking, I’m glad I’m on her side…“18I love this scene in the anime, and I just finished watching it again as I was editing this, so I replaced the original quote with the one I distinctly remember from that point.
“Railgun, move!” Mikoto was thrown out of the sudden vision as Kirito tackled her out of the way.19That said, “there’s a time and place for everything, but not now.”
“There is… somebody…” Mikoto whispered as tears poured down her face. “There is…”
“Snap out of it!” said Kirito. “Listen! This isn’t the time! We’re fighting for our lives here!”
“Our lives…” Mikoto muttered. “I… do… have a life out there… there is somebody… somebody out there who cares…”20Who would have thought the abuser of ellipses would get it right?
Mikoto stood up slowly, her sword held at ready. “I want to know… I want to know who it is!“21I’ve been removing a lot of the excessive capitalization, but I’d say this works here. Post-edit note: As mentioned in chapter 1, I went with italics instead.
Before Mikoto knew what was happening, she dashed at the dragon, letting out a feral scream that could make a demon turn tail and run. She came at the dragon’s armored belly22If it’s armored, why is that the part you choose to attack? and let out a vicious barrage of attacks, then dodged the black flames forming around the massive claws.
A shock wave radiated outwards as Mikoto blocked a claw swipe and knocked it aside. She leapt into the air, aiming towards the dragon’s neck, and her blade let out massive stream of energetic blue light as she stabbed her blade straight into the base of the monster’s throat.
Her mind gave complete control to instinct and a newfound desire to survive. Slash and dodge, slash and dodge. Mikoto was in complete autodrive. Finally, her sword let out one final glow as she prepared for her final blow.
Mikoto leapt up and stabbed the dragon straight between the eyes, pushing her blade further and further in as she watched the last of the monster’s health drain down. When it was just getting into the red zone, however, a massive claw slammed into Mikoto’s side and her vision went red as her health bar turned the same color with exactly 3 hit points left.
This is it, Mikoto thought. I’m dead. It ends here. I’m never going to figure out who that boy was…
As Mikoto’s vision faded away, she saw a black coat fly in front of her, then a blade, then she blacked out.
When Mikoto opened her eyes, Kirito was carrying her through the stone path in his arms.
“Eh?” said Mikoto. “I’m not dead? Or are we both dead? Oh God, this is what it’s like on the other side? That stinks…”
“Actually we’re both alive,” said Kirito. “It was amazing. You managed to finish off the Black Flame Dragon.”
“Th-that can’t be it…” Mikoto murmured. “I-I didn’t finish it off…”
Kirito smiled. “Nah, it was totally you. Don’t move too much. You’re not heavy, but I think you’ve earned a break.”
Mikoto narrowed her eyes suspiciously and opened her stats menu. The full experience from the dragon kill, as well as the gold and items dropped, were in her pouch.
“You’re a terrible liar,” Mikoto muttered. “I can see the transfer history for the experience and gold. You gave it all to me.”
“Eh…” Kirito looked the other way with embarrassment. “I didn’t think anybody still looked at transfer history.”23Okay, if the transfer history is easy to see from the inventory screen, why did Kirito think she wouldn’t notice? If it isn’t, what possessed Misaka to check it?
“You saved me…” Mikoto muttered. “You deserved all of the monster drop rewards. Why give it all to me?”
“Well, I wasn’t in it for the boss kill anyways,” said Kirito showing Mikoto his Item Pouch. “See? We got what we came for, the Grim Ore. Enough for both of us. Come on, there’s a blacksmith back in town, and we should be able to teleport safely after one more mile.”
When they got back to town, and after Mikoto drank a couple of health potions, they were finally able to get to a blacksmith.
Kirito swung his new black blade in the shop to get a feel for it. He stared at the black sword carefully and smiled. “It’s perfect. How’d yours turn out?”
Mikoto didn’t answer. Her sword had grown in length thanks to the Grim Ore. It was now pure gold with a black lightning bolt shaped hilt. The blade was elegantly shaped and the sword in general was slightly heavier, however a little more maneuverable.24I don’t claim to be a physicist, but I don’t think that’s quite how it works. The inventory list said it was a Static Smite, and at the moment it was the only blade of its kind in the entire game.
“It’s… amazing…” Mikoto murmured. She sheathed the blade and started to walk out of the store, then turned back to look at Kirito and smiled. “Mikoto Misaka.”
“What?” said Kirito.
“That’s my real name.25Remember kids: never give out your real name to random strangers on the Internet. I don’t remember anything about my life, so I don’t feel that bad about revealing my actual name,” said Mikoto. “I feel like if I’m going to figure out who I really am, I should at least get used to hearing my actual name. And next time you need somebody to clear a dungeon with you… don’t hesitate to call.”
Kirito grinned. “Alright… Misaka. I’ll look you up.”
Mikoto frowned. “Aren’t you going to tell me your real name?”
“You kidding? I don’t have amnesia,” said Kirito, winking at Mikoto. “Good luck, though, Misaka.”26…Alright, this was actually kinda funny.
“Oh you are just the worst! Augh!” Mikoto stomped out of the store.
However, as she walked away from the blacksmith, Mikoto smiled slightly. For once, she had something to fight for… and that made all the difference in the world.