N/A: For my new readers: This story will be different from canon in a certain way
Please note that in this version the players are able to bleed, feel pain and even get sick while being in SAO
I will go into further detail later on in the story, but after getting a confused comment I felt I had to place an important note again
(I did have one before I rewrote it, but I deleted it - you guys seemed to like the idea)
I know it's different to canon but I liked the thought of the death game being much more dangerous and truly gruesome
It was droopy day, considering it was the middle of summer. The ground was slowly becoming drizzled in the salty rain that fell from the heavens.
It glittered and glowed, making even the coldest of hearts smile. The town would buzz with life, people walking around, laughing and talking. Their voices echoing out around the buildings, into the high blue sky. The town would be busy, bursting with anything and everything. But this day, it was not. It was quiet, with not even a fly out.
People of the town would stare through their windows, just watching the water lick the glass. The youngest children would pout. They whine about not being allowed out the house. The women would spend endless hours on their phones. Nobody would really stop briefly and take the little time to appreciate the wonderful scene.
The morning was known as a downpour.
The beautiful sky that had just been glowing with bluest of skies and golden rays of orange, yellow and red, had not been dark. The blackening clouds circled the sky, puffing out to one and another and flashes of lightning erupted between them, dancing through the cotton-candy like objects easily. Slicing without much resistances.
A soft sigh escaped pale cherry lips. A young 16 year old girl shifted on the spot.
She sat at her windowsill. The girl's eyes was kind and warm. She carefully placed down a half glass of water, it clicked as it knocked into a gently shade of lavender inhaler. The girl lets out a soft sneeze, and her little button up nose flushed red from a developing cold.
A low ticking sound gained her attention. She turned her attention to the purple clock that sat on her bedside. She knew her best friend had already logged in, she could practically hear his computer beeping away across town. Another tired sigh escaped her lips, and she wondered why she had agreed to do this again. The thought filled her mind briefly before she pushed it away and carefully got to her feet.
It was about time, she quietly noted to herself. She reached out with delicate fingers for the silver helmet sitting on her desk. The wires from it all leading up to her computer. The computer had small flashing lights that flickered across the sides.
The computer beeped to let her know it was done installing.
"Beta-testing..." she said, her fingers cured tightly around the helmet, "This is a bad idea."
She chewed on her bottom lip. Her gentle eyes looked along the smoothness of the helmet. She pressed her thumb to the glass part of the helmet and swallowed a sticky lump in her throat.
It was just a game. Just a game. She could always just log out if she needed too. No reason to be so afraid, but she hadn't even wanted to fill out that application. She had not filled out the application to be a beta tester to the game.
People said it was the start of a new era.
She groaned. Her stomach twisted with uncertainty. She was no good at games. She always died within the first few seconds. She could never get past the first level, let alone complete a game.
She was that bad.
She looked at the case of the game. It was bright colours, an aqua lake with tall trees and even taller grassy mountains that reaches the two suns. One white while the other orange. She could only wonder about the moons.
'Are there going to be two of them as well? Like the suns?'
So many thoughts flashed across her mind. She felt for the bed behind her, and sat down with the helmet on her lap. Her fingers tapped against the archway of the helmet. It being wide. It covered a head completely with panels on either side and had a glass shield over the area where the eyes would be.
"From what Diavel-kun said… b-beta testing is just… j-just playing friendly a-and noting down a-any bugs…" she muttered.
Her throat itched as she spoke. Her red nose twitched and she let out another sneeze. Her cheeks flushed as she made the small action. She pushed a loose, midnight colored lock of hair behind her ear. Her heart started to beat painfully in her chest from how nervous she was. Her shoulders raised before sagging.
"W-Well… here g-goes nothing…" She said.
She turned the helmet, and lifted it above her head. She allowed it to slid down. The helmet crushed her hair against her forehead and neck.
She felt the soft locks curl up against her skin. Her eyes shuddered, and shut briefly. Sachi laid herself down on her bed. An unfamiliar sound with gentle bells that vibrated around her. Her cherry lips spread and she let out a soundless gasp as the objects of her bedroom melted into nothingness. It was so quiet. It was so quiet that she couldn't remember exactly what it was that had made her so panicked in the first place.
'I have nothing.'
She couldn't feel her fingertips, nor her toes. She was cold. The game burned her eyes fully. It sucked the color from her eye sockets and left her empty. Her ears burned and absolutely nothing kissed at her sides. Sachi's mind was filled with the forgotten shards of the past. Every time she tried to understand, her stomach would coil and she'd be left with lucidity in the deepest parts of herself.
'Is this supposed to happen?'
Sachi peered at the darkness that lured all around her. The more her brain turned, the more she felt a sting like sensation in the back of her head. It was like her very soul was being ripped apart. Her lungs felt as if they had closed up, tied up tightly with a red string. She couldn't breathe, or maybe it was because she no longer needed too? Maybe her lungs had turned black and pulsed with the crumbling loneliness. Sachi's mouth opened as if she was about to suck in a desperately needed puff of air, but instead she didn't breathe in a single thing, nor was she able to make a single sound.
It was like her vocal cords had short circuited leaving her in a pile of nothingness.
A sound. The music was growing louder before becoming quiet, barely even heard. It was muffled, as if somebody underwater was talking, but she ignored it. It was so peaceful, so calm. She had never been so calm. So relaxed before in her life.
She had always been teased, nervous, and worried about everything. She had always felt as if the walls around her were closing in on her. The walls crushed her, overpowered her. She had been nothing before. She had always been scared and always tried hard to make herself stronger than before.
She was scared of something, something big.
She was terrified of something wryly dark which was in the corner of every room and it ripped at her stomach. But whatever it was, she couldn't remember. Her mind came up blank. Her mind wheeled around, overcoming her being. Sachi felt herself thinking more and more on something she couldn't quite put her finger on. It always leaned over her as if she was an insect.
A gentle pink light appeared above her. She could hear soft whispering bouncing.
Gentle voices whispering and giggling, everywhere. A sakura petal-like shred gently passed by her face. Sachi's eyes narrowed to look at the shred. She watched the beauty of it fluttering around. Like a blanket of calmness was placed over, Sachi felt her person melting into nothingness.
The words emerged from her throat without her consent, and the darkness around her suddenly began to flash repeatedly. The low music swiftly cut off and a low beeping followed.
Sachi reached up to cover her ears. At first, she expected to feel the cool surface of the helmet, but was surprised when she felt her ears instead. Sachi lowered her soft lavender eyes to her body. She was floating, in mid-air she noted. Her skin was white, pure white and not the normal kind either.
"W-What?" She gasped. Her voice coming out barely louder than a whisper.
She expected to feel her short hair, only she felt nothing. Her stomach twisted and her eyes widened. Had she somehow gone bald? Her heart was pounding so loud that it echoed through her ears.
'What's going on?!'
As if to answer her afraid prayer a low male voice erupted around her. She sniffled and lightly gripped her hands together.
"Welcome, Beta Tester." the male voice bellowed out. It echoed through the nothingness.
Sachi tried to find the owner. Her eyes searched the abyss for another being.
"Welcome to Sword Art Online, SAO for short," the voice continued.
The voice sent a shiver up her spine. She pushed herself through the air. Sachi felt odd. Her body felt like it was being zapped repeatedly.
It didn't hurt. It just left a strange sensation.
"I am Kayaba Akihito, the creator and manufacturer of SAO. You have accepted the terms of my game by placing the helmet onto your head. To complete your side of the contract is to take note of any mishaps and bring them to my attention through the messages in your menu. It will automatically be brought to me," The voice explained.
A dark box popped up.
Sachi let out a soft gasp. She had not been expecting it. Her mind jolted and she rubbed her eyes to double check to see if she was seeing things.
It was still there. The box was wide and much bigger than herself. It looked like an empty space on it. It could be filled with something.
"Now. Please state your name clearly. It doesn't have to be your name, it can be a nickname if you like. Please remember you will be referred by this name throughout the game. As well as your birthdate, height, weight, blood type, and gender."
"Oh… u-um… K-Katsu Sachi," she called out somewhat brave.
Her white shoulders lifted as she watched the box in front of her flashed. Black letters began to fill up the tiny space.
Her name! It was recording her name.
Insert Name: Sachi
Sachi chewed her bottom lip. The game asked for a password. A password that was over eight letters with two numbers. She searched her mind for something she would always remember before letting out a tiny sigh. She finally chose her password.
It was childish in her opinion, but at least she'd always remember it. The box faded away with a large 'successful' beeping below her.
"Oh… u-um, my birthday is D-December the 27th…oh, my b-blood type is A, a-and I'm f-female." Sachi muttered.
Sachi's long eyelashes casted gentle shadows across her cheeks. She counted them off her fingers.
"Um… t-that's it…" she said.
Insert Gender: Female
Insert Blood Type: A
It was quiet for a while, when finally the words 'Signup successful' appeared in front of her.
"Well, Sachi, welcome to game and I do hope you'll enjoy yourself." Kayaba's deep voice echoed.
Sachi's stomach flipped. She stared as immediately the blank area in front of her fizzed out into white. An odd sensation overcome her body, and made her fingertips unaccountably twitch. It made them flicker in every direction. A burning twinkled flickered from the tip of her head to her toes. Everything around her flashed with whiteness. Clouds begun to transform out of nothingness.
Little white sparkles flickered around her. They nipped at her skin and made her shudder.
'Welcome, Katsu Sachi. Assigned color: White.'
The words filled the space in front of her face. She twisted. Sachi looked from one side to the other, before her body glowed a burning white color.
'White?' She frowned, 'White? I wish I'd been given purple or blue. White is so boring, so plain.'
Ironically it seemed to pin-point her perfectly. Sachi puffed out her cheeks as she felt herself become warm. It was something hot. It was painted across her soft body. Sachi's mouth opened while her eyes fluttered. White and pink flashed before her. The colours surrounded her. They burned her eyes. She felt like she was being pulled through the open air.
Sachi let out a sigh of relief as, finally, her legs buckled. Her feet shifted. She stumbled across the ground. She hiccupped and tilted her head back. A cool summer breeze blow across her face. It blow her avatar's shoulder-length hair out of her face.
Sachi pushed herself up properly. Her eyes blinked as she took in the area around her. She tilted her head back and sniffed. The air was sweet. she gasped to herself.
It was certainly unnatural. Something she hadn't smelled before. It wasn't back in the real world. She stretched her arms out. It felt good to stretch them out. A row of pops erupted along her arms.
"Sachi!" A familiar voice called out to her.
Sachi breathed in deeply and turned her head. Her soft lavender eyes glowed as an unfamiliar being ran up to her. A wide smile appeared on his face.
"Sachi? You're Sachi, right?" The male asked.
He looked strange. Unnaturally beautiful, she noted to herself. He didn't look like somebody she'd see back in the real world. Maybe in a model book or something along those lines.
'Is this what all the avatars is going to look like?' She wondered to herself.
She peered at the boy. Other flashes of light flickered around them as other beautiful people began to appear. Laughing and awes filled her ears.
"Sachi?" The male repeated..
"D-Diavel-kun?" She wondered out loud.
Sachi's eyes widened as she looked at the boy. She gasped when he made laughed.
He grinned so widely. It made her flush with warmth.
"Y-You look s-so… so…"
She couldn't find any words. No words fell from her lips. It was just too much. She turned her head. She looked at the others around her.
The other Beta Testers.
Everyone looked like models, so unreal, unnaturally real. It was certain she wouldn't see any of these people walk down the street. But the thought alone made her giggles to herself. Sachi noticed that almost everyone was wearying such odd clothing. Martial that looked as if it had been stitched together with dark lace up the sides. She hadn't ever seen such martial before.
"This is S-Sword Art O-Online, huh?" Sachi said.
She looked at the west grasslands with wide, bushy forests that outlined the small town they had begun in. Her eyes narrowed as she took in the form of legendary creatures floating within the air. Petals of unknown plants danced around her, creating human-like figures.
"S-So what now?" She said.
She looked her childhood friend. Diavel had always been there with her.
They had met when the two was barely in middle school. Sachi had become so sick that she had collapsed out in the street. Thank god he had been there to prevent anything bad happening, he had gone and got his mum straight away.
Ever since that day, he had been her best friend. He had always been there to lend a helping hand if she needed it. In fact, he encouraged her to push herself, to do things that she would never do in a million years.
Such as this...such as applying to Beta Test. She didn't have the willpower or courage to do anything like this on her own.
Diavel grinned, "Hehe, I know. Come on!" He called out.
Diavel's eyes sparkled. They glowed somewhat beautifully in the sunlight. He rubbed the back of his neck. He turned to walk through the gorgeously lit street.
Sachi shifted her body weight from foot to the other, nervously. She gasped as another gush of wind blew along her, making the short white skirt she now possessed flip up briefly in the wind. Sachi flushed and tugged on the skirt. It was way too short for her.
'Maybe I can buy tights or even a longer dress?' She thought.
Sachi wasn't the type to walk around with such short and tight clothing. Thankfully, she had a long-sleeved white shirt and a pale pink vest. It helped to conceal the top half of her body. The only thing she didn't like was that her face was not her own. It was her avatar's. Blond hair with green eyes. They weren't hers, not at all, and looked alien on her. Sachi wished she could somehow have her own face and features.
Sachi shook her head and turned to face her friend. She trailed after him like she would always do when suddenly another body collided with her own. The force of the other person throw her to the ground. Or would have. If a hand didn't reach out to grasp a firm grip on her arm. Sachi blinked in a daze. She was pulled up rightfully onto her feet. The world spun around her briefly. She blinked once more.
"Sorry," An unfamiliar voice said, "I wasn't watching where I was going."
Sachi slowly turned her head to look at the other player. The owner of the voice was a male. He was an inch taller than her with thick, midnight hair that framed his face. He had high cheek bones with narrowed blue eyes. His lips spread into a smile. He bowed his head in apology once more.
Sachi let out a sharp breathe. Her soft cheeks turned a soft pink colour. Her shoulders raised and she inhaled sharply. Sachi slowly tilted her head with a blank expression on her face.
"Sachi?" Diavel called out from behind her.
Sachi let out another shuddered gasp. She snapped out of the daze she had fallen into. She peered back over her shoulder. She could see her friend further down the street.
"Sachi, come on!" He called to her, waving his hand.
Sachi's eyes widened when Diavel winked teasingly at her. She swung her head back around and jolted away from the other Beta Tester. It was like he had burned her. She rubbed the arm he had gripped. She gently stroking the spot he had touched. Sachi's eyes shifting side to side shyly, unsure of what to do or say. Sachi went to talk, only to second guess herself, and closed her mouth.
Diavel called to her once more, becoming a little impatient actually.
"Ah. Well, I guess I'll be seeing you around then." The boy said.
He saved her from the embarrassing need of talking and making a fool out of herself.
Sachi could only mutely nod her head. She turned redder from embarrassment. She watched as he turned around and walked away. She stared until he was no longer in sight. Eventually, she tore her attention away. She shook her head furiously while rubbing her cheeks. She was hoping the colour would melt away.
"Sachi, finally!" Diavel smiled.
Sachi walked to his side. She had her head down from embarrassment.
Diavel's eyes sparkled from the sun. He winked at her and grinned even wider. His head was clocked back with his hands in his pockets.
"Did you have fun?" He chuckled.
Sachi cocked her head to the side. Confusion clearly evident on her face.
Diavel couldn't help but bounce his eyebrows. "Googly eyes at lover boy over there." he snorted playfully.
Diavel jerked his head in the direction where the other player had disappeared to.
Sachi stared blankly for a few seconds before gasping. Her eyes widened and her cheeks becoming pink once again. Her shoulders trembled.
"N-No… I was n-not!" She blurred out from pure, horrified embarrassment.
Sachi clapped her hands together tightly. Her fingers threading between one another. She nipped at her bottom lip while avoiding her closest friend's eyes.
"Sure you weren't." Diavel snickered.
Diavel rolled his eyes. He twirled on the balls of his feet. He walked along with Sachi quickly following.
Sachi whined rather loudly. She shook her head with her face turned red, "I r-really wasn't." She said.
Diavel eyed Sachi, his eyes narrowed briefly and he smirked at her. He playfully winking again.
"Of course, I'm not disagreeing with you," he teased.
"D-Diavel-kun!" Sachi sighed, "Where are we g-going anyway?"
Diavel stopped at all the stalls. He looked at the products.
Sachi briefly tilted her head. The game was really like real life. She was really in this market with everyone else. Everything felt so real, she could easily reach out and touch something, or someone. Of course she held back and nervously walked along.
What could possibly go wrong?
"To the Boar field of course."