So yeah, this is basically a continuation of the last chapter, I just cut it 'cause for some reason at 7k words it starts getting kinda slow at saving (yes I write directly in fan fiction) (and at a little over 9k it just fails to save at all)
It totally isn't delayed at all.
Well, I can deal with figuring out how close this is to the anime I watched later, but if it is at all close, killing this guy once won't be enough. What was it? 12 I think, or is it 12 extra lives and he needs to be killed 13 times? Either way, if I can kill him once, then it's just a matter of repeating the process... kinda.
I slowly approach during Saber and Berserker's fight, hoping that Berserker will be too busy fighting Saber to notice my presence.
"Yuki, what are you doing?" asks Rin.
"I have an idea," I respond.
My first attack should be directly on him, because if I do it right, I might be able to knock off one of his lives and hitting his sword will be pretty easy at any time.
I get about 5 meters away and then decide to check whether I can use sword skills, because if I can, that would make things a lot easier. In SAO I could activate one-handed sword skills with both hands at once, so if I can use sword skills, I'm guessing the same rules apply. I raise both swords in the position for [Sonic Leap] and lo and behold, my left and right sword were each shrouded in black and white auras respectively and a moment later I was propelled forward at the Berserker, both swords coming down.
Surprisingly, the Berserker reacts just barely in time to avoid the blow hitting him. Of course that would have been too easy. Perhaps Berserker actually knew I was there all along.
Comfortingly, I did see a small chip fly off of his blade, while mine remained intact. It was a very small chip and actually destroying his sword at that rate would take forever, but it meant it could be destroyed. If it was, for example, an A-rank Noble Phantasm, that would make things a bit more difficult, for example my swords, they were a permanently active anti-person Noble Phantasm, much like Saber's near-invisible sword.
"Yuki, are you insane? It doesn't matter how good with your swords you are, you realize you are an Archer by class and that thing outclasses you in strength, endurance, and even luck, you won't be able to kill it," Rin says.
"Yes, I am insane, actually. As far as insane things I've done go, this doesn't come close to the top, I even have a plan," I answer.
The moment my feet touch the ground I jump back, putting distance between myself and Berserker. In a 1v1 fight he could pursue and while if I turned and ran I would outrun the thing, while I was turning I would probably be killed, but since this isn't a 1v1 fight, and attempt to pursue would lead to serious damage from Saber and me getting away anyway.
I really wish I had the [Parry] skill right now, but I had only started the quest for it the evening before I went to bed in SAO and hadn't finished it.
Berserker, instead of pursuing, also jumped back to avoid a hit from Saber, who had barely missed the opening created by my attack.
While Berserker was in midair I launched all 8 knives at him, 7 of which he blocked and the last one I made go separate from the other 7 and hit him from the other side. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, it was almost completely harmless, but it distracted him for a moment and Saber retreated to where I was. "Let me lure him away from the city and into some park, that way we can avoid any collateral damage," she said.
"Alright," I say. She was right, that's what I get for being used to fighting bosses in indestructible boss rooms, which even if they were destructible, I wouldn't care about them being destroyed outside of problems with the fight.
She once again charges at the bo- Berserker and immediately after hitting him jumps in the direction of the park. "Berserker! Pursue her!" Illyasviel yells.
This would be the perfect opportunity to attack—and if this were any other Servant, I probably would—but in this case, he wouldn't die even if I could get a perfect hit so it would be stupid and make it harder for Saber to lead him away.
"I'm following them," I say.
I bolt after them. Hm, I wonder if [Hiding] would still work, I forgot about it entirely because of a Servant's natural ability to dematerialize, but I find it likely that I wouldn't be so easily detectable if I used [Hiding]. I try to activate it and—rather unsurprisingly at this point, given that sword skills work—it works.
Following doesn't seem like it will be difficult, quite a few trees are missing in the right direction. If I hadn't known what I know, I'd feel sorry for the priest who'll have to clean this up and explain this somehow. Oh I know, an invisible tornado came through here... totally.
I ran along, dodging between the tree stumps and reached a grave yard where they were fighting... well destroying graves is better than killing people.
As I walk around Berserker, I search for any weaknesses, finding none. Well, now that I'm behind him, now would be a good time to try again.
I position one rapier-longsword hybrid in position for [Linear], a basic rapier skill and the other in position for [Sonic Leap], one of two longsword dash attacks. At some point, I had gotten my swords from a boss, and found that it qualified as both rapier and longsword, kinda like a bastard sword was a two-handed sword and one-handed one. I then immediately picked up the rapier skill. Though the sword was too heavy to make ideal use of it, the lung skills can come in extremely handy.
I lept forward, propelled by both the skills, unlike with two [Sonic Leaps], which being the same skill, didn't double the effect.
The [Sonic Leap] was poorly angled and glanced off his extremely tough skin, but the [Linear] went almost all the way through him. Unfortunately, [Linear] was a poke and much more effective for hitting weak spots, something I had entirely failed to do, thus despite going almost straight through him, I didn't manage to knock off even one of his lives.
Fortunately this allowed Saber to also stab him, causing him a more severe injury—though less severe than I would like—which while still not killing him, would make this fight much easier and he wouldn't really be able to heal it mid-fight without using up one of his lives, which would be pointless.
I yank out my left sword in the most injuring way I can—causing Berserker to roar, likely in pain and/or rage—and activate [Inverted Vertical] with my right sword to parry the blow almost certainly coming down on me from Berserker.
As predicted Berserker brings his stone sword down on me and it clashes with mine, getting knocked back up by the force of the sword skill.
I jump back and retreat, allowing Saber to continue fighting him.
Illyasviel was nowhere in sight, so it is quite likely she was fighting Shiro and/or Rin.
Well, no time worrying about that now.
We needed to get rid of this thing, either by killing it, or just making it and its master retreat.
It would be nice if I could support Saber better, because the way I'm fighting now, I need to strike with individual strikes and I can't just fight at the same time because Saber and I will get in each other's way.
I feel like an idiot. I forgot about the special ability of my swords... because I never use it because using them as swords is generally faster and I play solo so I don't need to provide support, but still, actually forgetting about it, I feel dumb.
I put the handles of my swords together—each sword facing in opposite directions—and the two merge together, the blades becoming round rods and then bending, finally a strand of darkness connects the two tips.
I pull back the bow with fingers in position to hold an arrow and an arrow of light appears. Hopefully I somehow manage to shoot it without basically any practice, but given that in SAO you can throw throwing weapons without practice thanks to the swords skills, I should manage.
When I draw the bow back completely it is surrounded by a very slight light. I aim at the back of Berserker's neck and release the arrow. As it flies a streak of white light follows it, not extremely practical for sniping, not sure whether it was made that way for game balance or just for it to look cooler. Then again, the streak only lasts a fraction of a second, going back no more than a meter behind the arrow, so while if they're looking my they'll see where I am, but if they aren't and just turn around, it won't give them much.
The arrow flies towards Berserker, who moves a little late, but it stabs into his shoulder instead of his neck, then it promptly dissipates into white particles which themselves fade into nothing. I draw the bow back again and fire, this time Berserker dodges the arrow entirely. Well, it distracted him from Saber's sword, which was hurtling towards his neck.
He still somehow managed to partially deflect the blow and it landed on his chest instead, drawing a long gash along his chest which I was able to see as Saber jumped around him and he turned to follow.
There wasn't much blood, which was a good thing, because I'm not exactly used to blood, as in I've never seen more than a few drops of real blood before. Oh sure, anime have blood showers and whatever and action moves often have blood, though not all that much actually. But in real life—and this counts—I've never seen a significant amount of blood before.
I wonder if I can shoot multiple arrows at once. I put my hand in a position where I could hold 3 arrows at once when I draw the bow and this time 3 arrows appear. I draw the bow all the way back and rotate the bow 90° so that one of the arrows heads for his throat and the other two head for each of his shoulders.
Unfortunately he succeeds in blocking all three arrows with an extremely well timed horizontal swipe of his sword. I guess it's back to plan A, destroying his sword. I twist the handles in opposite directions and the string vanishes, the limbs straighten, once again become blades, and then they spilt apart. I flip them around so I'm holding them in the correct direction and then dash forward, activating [Linear] with my right sword, aiming for a dent in the side of his sword.
With my left sword I activate the sword skill [Snake Bite] which is basically two simultaneous attacks from left to right and 'then' right to left, though since I activated it left handed, it is right to left and 'then' left to right. I say 'then' instead of then because they happen at basically the same time, but it does change the angle and stuff. The combo of [Linear] and [Snake Bite] create a sound other than the collision of blades and tiny cracks appear in a few places on the giants sword.
This might work.
The giant swings his large sword down on top of me and I raise my swords in a most certainly futile effort to block, since I had neither the time to use sword skills or dodge.
However, Saber gets between me and the giant and blocks the sword.
"Thank you," I say and jump back.
"I still owe you," she responds as she forces back the injured Berserker's blade. Wait what? How, I helped her a few times, but it's not like she would have died if I hadn't, but okay, whatever.
She jumps back and asks, "Why do you not aim for him, you seem to be aiming for his sword?"
"If I try to hit him, he blocks with the blade of his sword, while if I aim for his sword, I can hit the side and cause severe damage to it, as a result I can destroy his sword much easier than kill him. This is helped by the fact that while my swords are made of a adequate for swords material, his is made of rock," I explain.
"I see," she says. Then after a moment more she says, "It seems a reasonable approach, as we have failed to land any good blows on him, even working together. We shall aim to destroy his sword." The way she talks is a bit awkward... then again, given that she's the king of Britain from a millennia and a half ago, that isn't all that surprising.
"A little help please," Rin said telepathically and I say out loud, "I'm sorry, my Master requires my assistance."
"Go then, I can hold this thing off," she says.
I nod and leap into the trees and onto the roof a conveniently placed tower. As I jump I fuse my swords into their bow form and look out.
I spot Rin in a bit of a problematic situation. As in there was a floating sword pointed at her. I drew back an arrow and aimed for a little bit in front of the sword. The sword glowed and streaked forward and I released the arrow. It soared and—thanks to either Archer class or the way it is made as part of SAO—hit its mark and knocked the flying sword into the ground and shattered it.
Rin used the opportunity created to run and Illyasviel looked annoyedly in my direction.
"Are you alright?" I ask her.
"Perfect timing, thank you," she says.
I look to see where Illyasviel was and see that she had gone, dang.
"I'll head to your and Saber's location, you just support Saber however you were doing before," she orders.
"Alright, don't forget to call for help if you need any," I say.
I turn back to the fight and see that Saber had managed to land a few more blows on him, though he was still standing strong.
I saw Rin and Shiro arrive and take cover behind some dirt and rocks.
Saber raised her sword and wind surrounded it, then she charged forward.
Berserker swung his sword downward, creating a wave of rocks and stuff which Saber ran right through.
She stabbed forward and Berserker stopped the sword with his hand, it pierced through but stopped inches away from his body.
3. 2. 1.
Saber drove her sword forward and it stuck into Berserker's side, then a moment later a beam of light erupted from the sword, tearing through Berserker.
For a moment her sword—Excalibur—was revealed before being turned into nothing but a column of thin mist once more.
Berserker wouldn't be dead yet, well he would be dead once, but he still needs to be kill 11 or 12 more times to really die. Oh right, I forgot, the lives restore themselves after a few days, though the anime didn't make it at all clear whether it took 3 days to restore one or 3 days to restore all that are lost.
I draw back my bow farther than before and the light arrow gets coated in darkness, dark and light wisps forming from the air around me and flowing into the arrow.
"I suggest you move away from Berserker!" I yell.
Saber doesn't hear me, but Shiro does and runs, grabbing Saber's hand and dragging them behind cover.
Good. I release the arrow and it flies at very high speed, almost instantly creating a beam of dark-light(?) between me and Berserker, the dark arrow sticking out of his just recovered body.
A second later, darkness erupts from the arrow, forming a black sphere that was pulling things into it, then the black sphere itself contracted and there was an explosion of light and I regretfully realized that I had probably been too close for using that as the searing heat poured over me, as I had no cover.
When the light cleared the ground was melting and on fire and Berserker stood in the middle and recovered once more. I have no doubt that that took a ridiculous amount of mana.
A bit later Saber says, "I appreciate you coming and saving me like you did, Master, but will you please unhand me."
Shiro blushes somewhat and lets go, jumping back and saying, "Oh right, sorry."
This causes me to laugh slightly, reminding me of how Kirito and I sometimes act around each other.
"I've changed my mind Rin, your Archer interests me, I will let you live for now. Berserker, let's go. Let's play again sometime, Big Brother," Illyasviel says and walks away.
Well, there go two of Berserker's lives... after two uses of A rank anti-fortress Noble Phantasms, but whatever. Actually, what Saber used might be anti-army, but what I used is definitely anti-fortress.
I could get used to this bow, maybe I should actually try it out once I get back to SAO, could make for a cool build.
Shiro coughs up some blood and collapses.
Next morning, after Rin and Saber take Shiro back to his house and after he wakes up, Rin and I are sitting on a bamboo step.
"How did you know to shoot it again? And how the hell it walk away from that?" she asks.
"Well, so you probably won't believe me and I'm currently operating on the theory that this is probably a dream, but the world I come from, this world is an anime, well approximately, things are already somewhat off thanks to my existence, but it doesn't change as much as you'd think, since the Archer that should have been summoned also was from the future."
"Anyway, basically, Berserker's name is Hercules and his Noble Phantasm grants him the following 2 things I know of, firstly, it grants him 12 lives or maybe 12 extra lives, and these lives recover after some time, though I don't know exactly how—all I know is one life takes 3 days to recover, but I don't know if two is 6 days or still 3 days—and second, it grants him conceptual armor against any attack below rank A, it may have other abilities but I do not know of them,"
"And I would like to not really interfere too much so far for the sake of keeping it close to how I know until a catastrophe so that I can use my knowledge to prevent that instead of trying to prevent it now and just creating new ones, once this was is over I can summarize the whole thing to you if you want," I explain.
"And the reason I didn't tell you this right away is because I only remembered during the beginning of the fight with Berserker," I add.
"That's... unnerving," she says.
"Probably more so for you than for me, but it's pretty weird for me too," I say.