AN: I know that the person Ichigo made a deal with seems to have no purpose for what he's doing. Unfortunately his reasons won't be explained until a long way done the line. Just know that he will have an active role in reshaping various realities. He will also toy with the people within Ichigo's currently lost memories. That's all I can really say at the moment.

Disclaimer: I don't own SAO or Bleach.

Chapter 3: New Rules

All around the group of three were hundreds of other players appearing in the town square. Each wondering what was going on and why they can't log out. As more and more players continued arriving their conserns grew.

"Hey Kirito, what do you suppose is going on?"

"Don't know. They probably brought everyone here to explain the reason why we can't log out."

"Well lets just hope it's not something too serio-" Looking up at the virtual sky, Mugetsu noticed a red hexagon that seemed to be blinking. "What the hell is that?"

Both Kirito and Klein turned their gaze at the object in question. Soon the entire sky became red as it was covered by thousands of the same figures. A red liquid that strongly resembled blood suddenly started to ooze down. But before it reached the ground, it began to crackle with electricity. It started to take the shape of a red hooded being hovering above the plaza.

『Players, I welcome you all to my world. My name is Kayaba Akihiko. By now many of have noticed a key feature from your menu is missing, the log out button. Rest assured this is no error. This is how Sword Art Online was meant to be played.』

Soon many started muttering. 'What's he talking about.' 'He can't be serious.' And many other things denying the words they just herd.

『I can assure you, what I am saying is the truth. From this point on, if a player's HP drops to zero, they will die and not respawn. Simeltaniously the nervegear shall emit an electronic pulse that will destroy their brain. If anyone in the outside world attempts to remove it, the same thing shall happen to the wearer.』

"No way! Is that even possible!?"

"It is." Both Klein and Mugestu turned toward Kirito with starteled expressions. "The nervegear has a large battery in it that should be able to emit a strong enough pulse to kill someone."

『Regrettably over 200 players' helmets have been removed. Thanks to the reports, the chances of a nervegear being removed are now minimal, at best. Rest assured, the necessary steps have been taken, and your physical bodies are being transferred to hospitals to be taken care of. Now, the only way for all of you to leave is to clear all 100 floors of Aincrad. As a show of good faith, I have placed a certain in your inventories. Please, check and take it out.』

Reluctantly, everyone did as told. The item was a simple mirror. Soon each player started glowing. When the light died down, everyone's appearance had changed in some form to match the way they truly look like.

『With this, the «Sword Art Online» tutorial officially en-』

Everyone watched as the hooded figure of Kayaba Akihiko started to shimmer. "What the hell is going on now?"

"Hey, maybe someone found a way to get us out!" But there hopes were soon crushed as they watched the image going back to normal, only this time it was wearing a black cloak instead of a red one.

『Hello players, and sorry for giving some of you false hopes of salvation. I am merely here to inform you of a few... updates that have been made to this world. The first is the addition of long rage weaponry. I know that some of you think this might be a disadvantage agenst others. But keep in mind that this all comes down to just how skilled one is agenst such opponents. The second matter is more of a gift. Amongst you there is someone I made a promise to, and this is my way of keeping it. Time, now within the game, time has been accelatated to four time that of the real world.

This caused mutiple questions to start flying through peoples heads'. Was this guy for real? Could he really make time go faster in the game? But what really caught most of their attention was what he said about a promise. Someone seemed to share a conection to this man. If so then perhaps if they found him, he could be used as leverage to get out.

『Now before I leave, there is one more mater I must inform you of. There is now a very special set of quest that have been scattered throughout all of Aincrad, along with new and dangerous areas. The quest will be many time more challenging than clearing high level dungeons, but the rewards will be well worth your time. Though they do have an extreme down side. Failure to complete some of them might result in disaster toward everyone as a whole. In addition, each quest will only be available once. So choose wisely or you might bring catastrophe upon is all.』

With that the figure vanish and the sky retuned to its blue color. Everyone soon started an all out panic. Some mourning there circumstance, other in complete outrage, and some just stood in shock at the event that just transpired.

"Guys! Over here!" Both Klein and Mugetsu followed Kirito into an ally, away from the commotion. "Listen, soon players are going to start clearing the plains of mobs. Our best chance is to start heading towards the next town. I know a quick rout that should get us there with no problem. Would you two like to come?"

"Hm..." Mugetsu thought of the idea for a moment before making up his mind. "Sure, I'll go with you. After all, there still a couple of thing I want to ask you about."

"And you Klein?"

"Sorry," he said, "but I logged in with a couple of friends and I can't just leave them. But hey! We can still stay in contact. That way, if one of us needs help the other two can help." Both smirked at his idea before nodding their head in approval.

"Great! Let me just you and... Hey wait a second!" Both looks at him with puzzled expressions. "I just realized, you haven't said your name this entire time," he said pointing an accusing finger at Mugetsu. The accused simply rubbed the back of is head sheepishly.

"Sorry about that. Guess it must have skipped my mind." At this, Kirito and Klien looked at him with a deadpan expression. "Well in any case let's fix that. My name is Mugetsu. But if you want, you can just call me Mu."

After exchanging their player info, both party went their separate ways. With one staying to help his friends and the other two setting out to clear the death trap they were now in, the events that would shake all of Aincrad were set in motion.