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 chapter was intimidating and was gone in two passes. The first was the fix spelling and punctuation, as well as some grammar. The second pass was to rewrite some of the abysmal lines in the chapter.“Alright! Here’s how it’s going to go,” Asuna, also known as the Flash of the Knights of the Blood Oath, slammed her fist down on the round table in the dark meeting room. “We’ll lure it out into the fields, and while it’s busy killing NPCs, we’ll pounce on it and kill it.”
Asuna was the vice commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. Her skill with her rapier was an in-game legend. She wore the uniform of her guild, white armor with red highlights. Her elegant features and long light brown hair drove many male players crazy. Her cold demeanor allowed her to lead her guild with extreme precision.
And now, with the members of her guild as well as many other high level players gathered, they were preparing for an assault on a powerful field boss.
“Wait! Hold on!” said Kirito raising a hand. “Are you sure we should be sacrificing NPCs? That’s a little harsh!”
“They’re NPCs. They’ll just respawn later,” said Asuna coldly. “We can’t respawn. It’s either them or us. I am Asuna, vice commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath, and you will follow my orders.”2I agree with the sentiment, but that last part was unnecessary.
“But…”3No. There is no “but.” Human lives trump NPC “lives” and it ticks me off that Kirito is trying to suggest otherwise. Kirito began, and everybody else braced for another argument between the Black Swordsman and the Flash.
The meeting was suddenly interrupted as Mikoto burst through the door of the room. “H-hey! Sorry, only just heard about the meeting!”
Asuna sighed and folded her arms. “Late again, Railgun. Seriously…”
“Well, I was out hunting and lost track of time,” Mikoto said.
“It’s the same story every time!” said Asuna. “It’s always I was dungeon-clearing or I was hunting! Do you ever take any of this seriously?!”
“Of course I do!” Mikoto growled. “There are lives on the line! How dare you?!”
“Here we go again, Kirito…” said Klein, a red haired player wearing a headband, samurai outfit, and sword. “The Flash and Glitch Blade are at it again.”
“Don’t call her that, Klein. She hates it,” Kirito muttered.
“I’m not going to get in to it with you again, Railgun!” said Asuna. “So let me explain what you missed. Thanks to you, I have to go over our strategy for taking on Rasrack the Demon Eater again.”4Who names these things?
“Oh…” Mikoto rubbed the back of her head sheepishly. “Uh, how long has this meeting been?”
“Two hours,” said Asuna. “Why?”
“Ah… you’ve spent two hours talking about Rasrack, eh?” said Mikoto chuckling nervously. “This is awkward…”
“What did you do?” asked Asuna
“I might have already killed Rasrack the Demon Eater…” said Mikoto.
“You what?!” said Asuna.
“Well, it’s the reason I’m late, actually,” said Mikoto. “I was out hunting, then I found it just bumbling around… and I noticed that it was really slow and didn’t have any long range attacks, so I spent five hours just shooting arrows at its huge eye… and eventually it died.”5As an aside, Sword Art Online doesn’t actually have archery. Which is dumb, but so is trapping people in a game for two years for no explicitly stated reason.
“W-we spent three days of meetings trying to figure out how to kill that thing!”6…I wonder if the KoB didn’t choose the wrong vice commander? Asuna roared. “Meetings you never attended!”
“Oh, those? Sorry, I was busy killing Taric the Shield Breaker.”7Seriously, who names these things? said Mikoto.
“Th-that was going to be the next meeting!” said Asuna.
“Oh… oops…” Mikoto stammered. “Er, sorry? Just so you know, I did you a favor. I didn’t sleep for two days ’cause I spent twenty-two hours hitting it with everything I had. Used up all my potions, too.”
“You could have been killed! You didn’t sleep for an entire twenty-two hours?! And you spent that entire time fighting?!” Asuna stammered.8I don’t see any stammering here. “Are you insane?! This is why we have meetings like this! This is why we never fight alone!”
“I don’t see what the big deal is as long as the dungeons are cleared,” said Mikoto. “If we beat the game with minimal casualties, it doesn’t matter when or how it’s done. All that counts is if we survive and beat the game.”9These were originally exclamations instead of simple statements, but I feel like Misaka’s personality would have caused her to be a bit more calm here rather than shouting.
“And skilled high level players like you are rare enough! We can’t have you dying!” said Asuna. “If you keep on jumping on strong bosses like this without consideration for the consequences we’ll… we’ll…”
“You’ll what?” Mikoto challenged. “Throw me in jail? I’m not a red player. Reprimand me? Demote me? Well, I’m not in your guild.”
Asuna took a deep breath. “Fine… At least remember to be here for the meeting about taking on the werewolf near the Enchanted Gold Wood on the northern sector.”
“Oh… the werewolf…” said Mikoto. “If it makes anybody feel better, I’ll share the gold after I sell the Legendary Wolf Head he dropped.”
Asuna’s eye twitched as she stared at Mikoto with incredulity. “You. Outside. Now.”
Mikoto glared at Asuna with determination as she put a hand on the hilt of her sword. “So, we’re finally doing this, huh?”
“Gladly,” said Asuna. “First strike wins. You know the drill.”
Kirito put hand to his forehead. He was wondering when the tension between those two would reach the breaking point. Mikoto had gotten much more experienced since the two first met. Mikoto’s armor had changed; she now no longer wore a white shirt under her outfit. Her breastplate10This word was such a rabbit trail. It started with me just arbitrarily taking the space out of chest plate and ended with me confused as to if it should be chestplate or breastplate. Breastplate is used in canon, so I decided I’d be retroactively going with that. was now gold with a lightning bolt near the center. Her scarf was longer and, of course, she now wielded the Static Smite.
Kirito had heard that Mikoto had been doing solo raids on weaker field bosses lately. It was a dangerous move considering that even the weaker bosses were tough to take on alone. He suspected she was being motivated by her memory of that boy. She was so determined to figure out who she was. It was as if she was determined to beat SAO as quickly as possible to find out.11I considered dropping this paragraph entirely. Honestly, I didn’t like it before I tweaked it, the tweaks I did make were minor and it felt like I might just be better off dropping it entirely. Ultimately it stayed in because there needed to be some transition between the paragraphs before and after.
“Wow,” said Klein as he and Kirito walked out of the building. “I could tell tension was building between Railgun and Asuna, but I guess they’ve both finally snapped, eh? Well, you’re probably happy. Whenever Railgun isn’t around, it’s you and Asuna going at it.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” said Kirito. “I kind of agree with Asuna on this one. Still, I get where Misaka is coming from. She’s a solo player. She doesn’t have to listen to anything Asuna says.”
“Whatever the case, looks like they’re finally going to settle things, eh?”12Is the “eh” a verbal tic of Klein’s or something? Legitimate question. said Klein as everybody formed a wide circle around Mikoto and Asuna.
Mikoto glared at Asuna as a duel invitation opened up in front of her. She clicked the Yes option and readied her sword. “Alright, princess. Ready to get schooled?”
“Bring it on, Glitch Blade,” said Asuna.
“Oh, that does it!” Mikoto lunged at Asuna, swinging her blade in a quick right-to-left slash.
Asuna blocked the blow and dashed to Mikoto’s right, firing a multi-hit jab with her rapier. Mikoto avoided the attack and rolled out of the way before somersaulting into the air over Asuna’s head and slashing down with an overhead blow. Asuna blocked easily.
Sparks exploded between the two blades as they repeatedly clashed against each other.
Mikoto knew Asuna’s fighting style from months of boss raids. She was quick, fast, and hard to see with ordinary vision. This meant Mikoto had to stay light on her feet and block everything before it got to her.
Mikoto grinned as she dodged another slash. This was going to be fun. She moved like the wind, parrying every single blow that Asuna threw at her.
“They call you the Flash?” said Mikoto as she blocked several high-speed blows from the rapier. “They should call you the slug!”
“Really?” said Asuna. “Because the way you’re moving, I’m wondering why somebody as slow as you picked a name based off an electromagnetic super gun!”
“Hell if I know why I picked that name! It just sounds catchy!” Mikoto growled.
Asuna gave a steely glare that she tended to give when she fought boss monsters, and her sword gave off a brilliant light as she activated a combo. Sparks flew into the air as Mikoto gritted her teeth and blocked the blow.
This was the mistake that she had been waiting for. Activating a big move like that caused Asuna to overextend her blade for just a moment, which meant, during that moment, she was wide open.
Mikoto took a deep breath and activated an ability only usable to players who had maxed out their speed stat. She became a blur, moving too fast to track, before stopping at a point directly behind Asuna. “Gotcha!” Mikoto swung her sword down toward Asuna’s shoulder for the victory blow.
Or so she thought…
The blade moved so fast it was only visible as a yellow blur of light. Mikoto was knocked back by Asuna’s rapier, leaving a temporary damage indicator on her breastplate.
As Mikoto fell onto her back, the results screen, displaying Winner: Asuna, appeared in the air.
Asuna held out a hand to help Mikoto up. “Sorry, but I guess this one goes to me.”
Mikoto didn’t take the hand. She remained silent and expressionless as she stood up and walked off in silence.
Asuna stared after Mikoto for a moment as the rest of her guild gathered around to congratulate her.
“Why… do I feel a bit guilty?” Asuna muttered.
Mikoto sat in a local restaurant, silently playing with her food with her fork as Kirito frowned from across the table. “Hey, Misaka, you know if you don’t eat that for a while it’s going to disappear, right?”
“Not feeling hungry,” Mikoto muttered.
“Look, forget about it,” said Kirito. “So you didn’t win. It’s not a big deal. You’re both skilled players.”
“It’s not that,” Mikoto muttered. “Listen… she’s right. I’ve been so focused on trying to figure out who I am that I didn’t consider everybody else trying to beat this game. Four thousand people are already dead, and not many of those remaining are high level players. I can’t just carelessly risk myself. It’s selfish of me. That’s part of the reason I’ve never joined a guild.”
“At least your reason isn’t as bad as mine…” Kirito muttered.
“Nothing,” said Kirito. “Anyway, I don’t blame you. You’re the only one in the game who has amnesia. I’m sure Asuna understands.”
“Guess you’d know,” said Mikoto with a sly smirk, “with the way you’re always looking at her…”
“You’re letting your imagination run away with you,” said Kirito. “Our relationship is strictly professional.”
“Riiiight,” said Mikoto. “Sure it is…”
“Ahem… Mind if I sit here?”
Mikoto looked up in astonishment to see Asuna there.
“Er… hi,” said Asuna attempting to give Mikoto a cheerful smile.
“Oh…” Mikoto muttered guiltily. “Hey.”
What Mikoto actually thought was, Oh great, she’s here to scold me…
Asuna nodded at Kirito. “Hey Kirito.”
“Asuna,” said Kirito with a bored voice.
“Mind if I speak to Railgun?” said Asuna.
Kirito shrugged. “Sure. I’ll see you at the next meeting, Misaka.”
“W-wait!” Mikoto blurted out. “Don’t leave me alone with her! She hates me!”
Kirito waved at Mikoto and walked out of the restaurant.
“You freaking…” Mikoto began to growl, then she noticed Asuna sitting across from her in the booth.
“You… think I hate you?” said Asuna.
“O-oh…” Mikoto stammered. “Er… maybe a little?”
Asuna looked down slightly. “Look, I wanted to apologize.”
“You? Apologize?” said Mikoto. “That’s wrong! I’m the one who should apologize while you tell me how I messed up as usual.”
“You don’t mess up. It’s just that you run in without asking anyone for help,” said Asuna. “And I’m talking about challenging you to a duel in front of everyone. Calling you out just to make an example was an immature thing to do, and it didn’t help anything. All it did was make you angrier with me.”
“I’m not angry…” Mikoto murmured. “You were right.”
Asuna frowned. “This isn’t how I pictured this would go.”
“Disappointed?” said Mikoto.
“No,” said Asuna. “Listen, if it’s any consolation, you’re the fastest swordswoman I’ve fought in a while. You’d give every single player in my guild, plus Kirito, a run for their money where reflexes are concerned.”
“Me? Beat Kirito? Yeah, right,” Mikoto chuckled. “I’ve tried that.”
“You’re just a bit reckless. When you see an opening, you get excited and go for it without thinking,” said Asuna. “I used to do the same thing.”
“Yeah, sure…” Mikoto muttered.
“Look, do you really think I hate you?” Asuna said.
“Why wouldn’t you?” said Mikoto.
“Plenty of reasons,” said Asuna. “Listen, I’ve been thinking, and I want to bury the hatchet. I would like for you to join the Knights of The Blood Oath.”
Mikoto dropped her fork. “What?!”
“We could use somebody like you,” said Asuna. “We don’t have many people with your archery skills and-“
“Forget it,” Mikoto interrupted. “I don’t join guilds.”
“E-eh?” said Asuna. “Why not?”
“I have my reasons,” said Mikoto. “And I’m sure Heathcliff wouldn’t want the Glitch Blade in his guild.”
“Oh… so you know that-“
“That everybody calls me that behind my back?” said Mikoto. “Yeah, I do. I’m better off alone. Thanks for the offer though.”
Asuna watched Mikoto, trying not to let pity show on her face. Railgun seemed to be shunned and disliked even more than the beta testers of SAO, who were blamed for abandoning the newer players when the game started. Everyone thought Railgun was some sort of glitch in the game because of the strange distortions that happened occasionally around her. It wasn’t right.
“Listen, Railgun…” Asuna began, but she was interrupted by a sudden terrified scream coming from outside.
Mikoto and Asuna both stood up, their hands on the hilts of their swords.
“What was that?!” said Mikoto.
“Let’s go!” said Asuna.
By the time the two girls had made outside, a large crowd was gathering around a small young female player who was crying into Kirito’s shoulder as he tried to comfort her.
“What’s going on?!” said Asuna. “Make way! What happened?!”
“M-my brother… was just murdered in the dungeon beyond here!” said the sobbing girl. “I-I… why?!”
“She just got the news,” said Kirito. “Some of the survivors from her guild just told her. They’re over there.”
“Murdered?!” said Mikoto. “Who would do that?!”
“Take a guess,” said Kirito grimly.
“Laughing Coffin, the murder guild,” growled Asuna. “So, some of them are hanging around this floor, huh? Typical, ambushing random players for fun.”
Asuna turned to several of her escorts, who had been waiting outside the restaurant. “I need more of our people down here. We’re forming a party to hunt down Laughing Coffin. This can’t be ignored.”
Asuna turned to Kirito next. “Coming with?”
“Yeah. I’ll walk this one home first,” said Kirito, referring to grief struck girl.
Mikoto sighed. What a way to put a damper on a day… Murder and feeling like a jerk. Guess it was time to head back to the inn and-
“Railgun, you’re coming too,” said Asuna.
“Wait, what?!” said Mikoto.
“Is there a problem?” said Asuna.
“Er, no, just… nobody ever asks me to party with them,” said Mikoto. “Er, I mean, yeah, I’m ready. Let’s go.”
As Mikoto got busy checking her item storage, Asuna pulled Kirito aside.
“Listen,” said Asuna, “You know her better than13MisakaLovesYou seemed to have trouble realizing “then” != “than” in this chapter. anybody.”
“Probably because I’m the only one who bothered to get to know her,” said Kirito.
“Stop trying to make me feel guilty. I’m already there,” said Asuna. “I just want to know, how did you manage to break her shell?”
“I didn’t,” said Kirito.
“Really?” said Asuna. “Because you’re the only one I’ve ever seen call her by her real name.”
“Listen,” said Kirito, “it’s more complicated than that. But if you want to get on her good side, I can think of something.”
“You know that event item you got last month?” said Kirito.
“The Gekota?”14Gekota ex machina.
“Yeah,” said Kirito. “Don’t tell her I told you…”
“Oh, we’re not discussing anything!” Kirito jumped back.15Smooth.
Mikoto narrowed her eyes suspiciously at Kirito. “Okaaaay? Anyway, Asuna, these people, Laughing Coffin, they’re murderers right?”
Mikoto nodded, and Asuna was stunned find an incredible righteous fury in the girl’s eyes.
“We’ll hunt them down,” Mikoto whispered. “We’ll hunt them all down.”
Mikoto turned away and walked down the street in a stalking fashion, almost as if she were already on the prowl for Laughing Coffin.16It seems like I didn’t have much to talk about in footnotes this chapter. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I had to correct word choice more than I’ve had to before or if there just wasn’t enough plot to snark at. Don’t worry, if I remember the next chapter correctly, there’s a lot of sarcasm to come.