(1st person, Yuki)
Slow. Or maybe I was just fast. That's probably the right answer, this guy did make it to the finals, after all. And the finals go to me. Again.
Once I walk off the competition area and try my best to disappear into the crowd—something rather difficult given my appearance and the fact that literally everyone here had seen me—Kirito, Kirigaya-san here, I guess, approaches along with his cousin/sister. She probably dragged him along with her to watch the kendo tournament, since she really liked kendo and wanted her 'onee-chan' to get back into it.
He starts to say something and I wave for him to follow and escape, miraculously avoiding anyone following me.
Suguha looked like she'd met a celebrity and Kazuto just looked confused.
"What is it with your movements?" Kazuto asks.
"They're not just ridiculously fast, but they don't look like someone moving fast, you look like you were fast forwarded," he adds.
"It would take a while to explain," I say.
"Wait, onee-chan, you know her?" Suguha asks surprised.
"For better or for worse, yes," he says with a sigh.
Suguha's eyes were shining.
Before she could ask him to introduce her which would put him in an awkward position since he didn't actually know my name I say, "I'm Mitsui Yuki, just call me Yuki. Nice to meet you, Kirigaya-san."
"U-umm, hello, I'm Kirigaya Suguha, n-nice to meet you," she says, somewhat flustered. How do you become a fan of someone that much in a few weeks? With the amount of attention I'm attracting, I wouldn't be surprised if Kikuoka contacted me again.
I make a sharp movement and feel my muscles complaining. The drawback of my inhuman speed, the other was mental and that it made me tired. Well that was the increased reaction speed, not the physical speed.
"Ow ow ow," I mutter.
"Are you alright?" Kazuto asks.
"Can you really expect moving that fast to have zero aftereffect?" I ask.
"Oh," he says.
"I'm fine, I'll be sore for a day or two and then I'll be completely fine," I say.
"Well, I'll be going, I gotta go collect my prize," I say.
"Bye," Kazuto says.
"B-bye," Suguha says.
A couple days later, a little after school—which is my case was SAO Survivor School, despite not really being an SAO Survivor, Kikuoka didn't pry too much and I was able to avoid telling him the truth, which he wouldn't believe anyway, and if he did he would try to find out what I actually know and see if I can help them with something—I received a call from Kazuto, really the only person with my phone number.
"Hey Kirito," I say, I tended to use his username because it was the name he was known by in the anime in general and so I was used to that, he didn't seem to mind but referred to me as Yuki.
"Hey Yuki, remember you told me to call you if I needed help right after SAO?" he asks.
"Yeah, I expected you to call sometime soon," I answer.
"Please meet me in ALO," he says, assuming I knew what it was.
"Alright, I already started a couple weeks ago so I can log in whenever," I say.
"Right now would be fine," he says, sounding in a hurry. Only natural, since he believes Asuna is there.
"Okay, just wait where you login," I say and hang up.
I had been logging in through my NerveGear 'cause why the f*** not? Thanks to whoever brought me here, ALO also contained my gear so I had spawned in with a full set of high quality gear and insane stats. I had also spawned in almost the exact same place Kirito had in the anime confirming my guess that it was the coordinates of players being stored in the same way in both games.
I lie down own my bed and put on my NerveGear.
The world fades into white and then a bunch of colorful cylinders fly by. Then it came to the 'select character' which was almost exactly like the 'choose race' when you first start the game, but instead it shows your current characters and one thats cycling between the default characters for each race. There was no need to log in every time since the server stored some data, for example your face or something, and it used that to login. You could put on any full-dive device with ALO on it and it would get your account, unless you don't have one. If you don't have one you can create one or login with someone else's if they give you the password. I think you can logout even if you have an account, but I never tried.
I select my only character, which was Cait Sith, and enter the game.
The view of Swilvane, the main city of the Sylphs replaces the blackness of the selection screen. The reason I had logged off there was because the Sylphs and Cait Sith were on friendly terms right now, though the official alliance would be tomorrow. I immediately lift off into the air and start flying toward where I had spawned in thanks to the bug—or the intervention of whoever brought me here in the first place—and arrive there about 15 minutes later.
"Hey Kirito," I say as I land, something that had taken more than a little practice to perfect. It was night because of the half length days in ALO but it was easy enough to spot the place because there was a Kirito there.
"Hey Jun," he says.
"Hey Yui," I say to the little pixie sitting in his breast pocket.
"Have you been waiting long?" I ask.
"I actually just logged in a minute or two ago, I was still heading home from Agil's place when I called you," he answers.
"Let's get going, but you lead," I say.
"Yui, where's the nearest city?" he asks the pixie in his pocket.
"There's a one in Sylph territory just west of here, it's called Swilvane," she says pointing to the direction I came from. Suddenly she makes a surprised sound.
"What's wrong?" Kirito asks.
"There are players near here," she answers.
Needless to say, we start heading there. Of course we flew.
We see a small clearing with 3 Salamanders corning a Sylph, Leafa.
We descend slowly towards the- crash.
Sorry, I descend slowly and land, Kirito just crashes head first.
He quickly gets up and puts his hand on his weapon.
Unlike him, I didn't even touch my weapons, this was because drawing them only took a tiny fraction of a second and because it was clear that I was effectively saying 'he doesn't need help to deal with you.'
Kirito asks Leafa, "Excuse, do you mind if I take care of this?"
"I guess if you really want to," she answers unsurely, slightly skeptical of his ability to fight the three Salamanders with basic gear.
"It's not like they were gonna let you walk out of here alive anyway," she adds more seriously and quietly.
"I'll leave this to you Kirito, since I'm feeling too lazy to draw my sword," I say.
Kirito dashes next to one with sword out and kills him.
The expression on Leafa's face at that moment is totally priceless.
Then kills another one.
"You wanna fight?" he asks the leader in the middle.
The guy shakes his head, saying, "I just got my fire magic up to 900, I don't wanna face the death penalty."
"How about you?" he asks Leafa.
"I'll pass," she answers.
"Next time you're going down!" Leafa says to the Salamander as he flies off. This was undeniably true, she was very good at kendo and also a good ALO player.
When Leafa sees me she looks at me suspiciously, probably recognizing me, since my avatar looked almost exactly like the real me, plus cat ears and tail.
Well, for a first attempt, getting that much speed is pretty good, I guess.
In the anime I felt sorry for him, but in person it was hilarious.
As he returned to us, rubbing his head, he mutters, "Even you, Jun?"
Afterwards, per Kirito's insistence, Leafa takes us to Swilvane.
Once we arrive, Kirito crashes head first into the launch tower rather comically. Once again, funnier in person.
Leafa and I land next to where he crashed and I help him up.
"That was so not cool," he says to Leafa.
To me he says, "You knew that was going to happen, didn't you?"
"Yep," I say.
He growls at me and then drops it.
"Thank god you're alright," says a boy who looks to be a little younger than her named Recon.
"Hey Recon," she says.
"A Spriggan?!" he asks in surprise when he notices Kirito, grabbing the handle of his dagger.
"It's okay, he saved me from the Salamanders," Leafa says.
"Oh," he says and shakes Kirito's hand, "Nice to meet you."
Then "Wait, I take back what I said, are you sure about this guy? He could be a spy,"
"No he's cool, besides, if he was a spy he wouldn't be so clueless," she says.
"Gee, thanks," Kirito says sarcastically.
"Don't worry, she's not the only one who thinks that," I say jokingly.
"You I'm willing to stab," he mutters.
"Sure, let's go, let's duel right now," I say.
"I'll only you use one sword since you don't have two right now," I add quietly.
Meanwhile, "Well anyway, Sigurd and the others are waiting for you."
She thinks for a moment, then says, "Sorry, I can't come today, I promised to buy him a drink for saving me."
She then grabs Kirito's hand and literally drags him along.
"Hey," I say to Recon and then follow them.
After we get some drinks and Leafa explains about the world tree, then insists on coming along and helping and tells us to meet her here at 3:00pm sharp tomorrow. I planned to arrive 5 minutes early when she actually arrives so I can tell her that Kirito is her brother to save her the pain of falling in love with him before finding out.
Then we all logout, Leafa right there on the spot since we were in a Sylph town and Kirito and I getting rooms upstairs because once we logged out our avatars would stick around for 15 minutes before disappearing.
Once I logout and I call Kazuto.
"Hey, what's up?" he asks.
"I just thought I'd tell you to look up the next time you go into Sugu's room," I answer.
"Um... alright," he says unsurely and I hang up.
I walk downstairs from my room at the inn/cafe at 2:55 and see Leafa just entering the place.
"Hey Leafa," I say.
"Jun," I say.
"Hey Jun," she says. Actually, I can't tell her yet because it might mean she chooses to help him instead of the Sylphs. Then again, we're nearing the end of the first part, so maybe I should just say screw it and just make things go how I want them to. No, I think I'll let it go anime for now.
"Hey Kirito, before we get going, how about that duel?" I ask.
He hesitates for a moment and then asks, "If one of us loses, how long will it take to get back together?"
"I could revive the loser so it wouldn't add much time," Leafa answers.
"Alright then," he says.
"Since you only got one sword, I'll only use one," I say, I also won't use my ability to speed up my perception of time, which given that ALO lets you move as fast as your brain lets you with basically no limit, is effectively allows me to speed up about 5 fold at no cost save some mental exhaustion. In ALO it almost felt like actual cheating.
"Okay," he says and we walk outside.
"Also no wings, since I have more practice with those than you," I add.
We stand about 10 meters apart and draw our swords, with Leafa standing between us and to the side with her hand up.
At this point a few people had gathered, not only were duels in general interesting, here were a Spriggan and a Cait Sith dueling in the middle of Sylph territory.
Kirito's eyes show that he plans to dash past me on my right, but it was likely a feint and he plans to dash on the left like he did with the Salamanders.
The instant she says go my sword flashes to be facing down in front and to the left of me, held with both hands, and I jump right and back.
Kirito's sword slams into mine as he dashes past me at a ridiculous speed and since I'm in the air without wings, I get launched back and take almost no damage.
I land and turn to face Kirito. At this point a ring of people had formed around us, watching. At this point, both of us had already displayed speed that most people couldn't hope to reach and we were just getting started.
I push off the ground, jumping about 45° to the right, then the instant I touch the ground again, I push off back in his direction, aiming to pass by on his left.
As I fly past him sword meets sword and I lash out with my hand, grabbing the wrist of his sword hand. He spins round once as he forces off my grip and I am sent flying back to where I was before I started my attack, landing and rolling to a stop.
We were both still at practically full HP.
We both squat down and dash forward, clashing in the middle, we started to exchange blows and while for every one of his blows I made nearly two, his sword was heavier so neither of us made much progress, both of us slowly losing HP.
I doubt anyone of the spectators could follow our motions at all, even I couldn't consciously process where his sword or even my sword were, parries and attacks were both done on complete auto-pilot.
After this continues for a minute or so with both of us having lost comparable portions of our health Kirito's sword suddenly shatters, it's durability having run out.
I stop and jump back.
"Since the only reason your sword broke is because mine was better, let's call it a tie," I say.
"Fine, I needed a better sword anyway," he says.
The crowd disperses somewhat disappointed by having watched a fight which they couldn't follow at all which ended in both people having more than 90% of their health.
"You two are awesome, I couldn't follow your swords at all," Leafa says.
"Neither could we, at least me," I say.
"She's right, I wasn't consciously deciding what to do, just blocking and attacking without any thought," Kirito says.
We buy Kirito and then head into the main launch tower. As we head towards the elevator 'someone' calls out, "Leafa!"
Sigurd walks up to us with his two goons.
"Leafa, you where were you yesterday?" he asks.
"I promised to help them, I'll be leaving the party for a little while," she says. More than a little while, actually but I didn't need to say that.
"You can't just do that!" he says.
"I agreed to join under the condition of that I could leave whenever I wanted," she says, rather pissed.
"Still you can't..." he says.
"Why not?" I ask. I'd always really wanted to punch this guy in the face, like more so than Kayaba. Kayaba, aside from the part where he killed four thousand people was one of my favorite characters and stuff, but people like this guy and 'Fairy King Oberon,' now those people I just couldn't stand. There's also people like 'Subtilizer,' aka 'Gabriel Miller,' aka 'God/Emperor of Darkness Vector,' who were undeniably villains and horrible, but they were still not just plain disgusting like Oberon and to a lesser extent Sigurd.
"Shut up you stupid cat," he says angrily.
"I'm just glad people like you aren't in charge of the Sylph politics, because then the alliance with the Cait Sith would never happen," I say coldly.
"And that would be sad, 'cause I like this city," I say in a more cheerful tone.
He 'ignores' me and says to Leafa, "I know what I said but if you leave now it will ruin the party's reputation."
Queue Kirito rant. It was totally correct by the way.
"Hey Kirito, let me rephrase that for you," I say once he finishes.
"People. Are. Not. Tools, you fucking asshole, learn to keep your promises," I say.
Kirito and Leafa look at me slightly shocked.
"What? You think I'm some perfect girl who never swears?" I ask sarcastically.
"Well kinda, actually," Kirito mutters.
"I'm a complete asshole a lot of the time," I say.
"Oh, really?" he asks.
"Yes, really," I say.
"That's not the impression I got of you," he mutters.
I don't respond.
Sigurd looked like he was ready to kill us. Or at least try. Even if we couldn't actually hurt him, we could still win the fight, like Asuna did to those ALF members in the anime. And while we could take damage, that doesn't matter if we don't get hit.
Unfortunately his two goons held him back saying, "It wouldn't look good if you attacked them in Sylph territory where they can't fight back."
"We can have a duel if you want, I'd love to grind your face into the floor," I say tauntingly.
"We don't have time for this," Leafa whispers.
"Don't worry, it will only take a moment," I answer, pretending to not want Sigurd to hear me while actually letting him hear me.
"People like him are all bark and no bite, after all, if he was a half-decent player he wouldn't be breaking his promise and trying to get one person to stay in his party, even if they were the strongest," I say, continuing to taunt the Sylph.
"Tsk. Fine, let's duel," he says, angrily.
And it works, as usual.
He sends me a duel request, full death, something Kirito and I had entirely forgotten about in our duel earlier this morning.
I accept and he gets ready. The time given to get ready was 30 seconds, which was about 30 times more time than I need to get ready so I just stood and did nothing to taunt him further and not reveal my weapons.
I wasn't planning to hold back, I wanted to see how many tiny pieces I could turn him into before he turned into a remain light.
Well, I was only planning to use 1 sword, but I was willing to use the time deceleration. I know what it is, it's the exact opposite of going berserk.
As the timer hits 1 I draw a sword and then as it hits zero times slows. I push off the ground, from my perspective moving with the speed I used in the duel with Kirito but from his I would be moving nearly 5 times faster.
I dash past him, chopping him in half and stopping right behind him, spinning round and chopping him vertically in half with an overhead strike, then proceeding to just slash randomly as he ever so slowly turned into flames and as he turns into a remain light and the duel declares my victory time returns to normal speed.
Every single person in the room is starring at me in shock, Kirito included.
The time of the duel had been almost exactly equal to the time it takes a player with zero HP to turn into a remain light, in other words, just shy of the shortest possible duel.
"What. Was. That?" Kirito asks as I walk over to where he and Leafa were.
"What do you mean?" I ask, playing dumb jokingly.
"You moved at least 5 times faster than you did in our duel," he says.
After a moment he realizes, "It's the same thing as in the kendo tournament?"
"Yes, but unlike in reality, my muscles don't burn afterwards, it's basically cheating," I say.
"What you did was basically the definition of overkill," he points out.
"I wanted to see how many tiny pieces I could make him into before he turned into a remain light, I'll explain what I did as we fly, let's go," I say.
"Okay..." Leafa says slowly as she slowly is freed from her shock.
We take the elevator, leaving Sigurd's goons to revive him and arrive on the launch platform, looking at the view.
Right before we take off Recon arrives and gives the speech.
We take off and I say, "If you want I'll explain now."
"Please do," Kirito says.
"Well I'll start with that it is quite likely that nobody else will ever be able to pull it off," I say.
"I wasn't getting my hopes up," he says.
"Basically, it's the opposite of going berserk," I say.
"What do you mean by that?"
"It's a state of calmness and the whole world slows down. Generally by a factor of 3-5, but I could probably manage even 10. Just like adrenaline can make you much stronger and faster, this allows my brain to push my muscles proportionally more.
In reality my muscles are obviously not designed for that and as a result it hurts to do it, but here, it's basically cheating," I explain.
"I can't explain how I do it, by the way," I add.
"Is it something from 'that?'" he asks, implying me coming to his world with my avatar having the abilities of a fanfic character.
"No, I've been able to do it before 'that,'" I answer.
"Seriously? That's an awesome thing to be able to do though," Kirito says.
"What is 'that?'" Leafa asks.
"Sorry, can't tell you that right now," I say. There were currently 4 people who knew, Kirito, Asuna, Yui, and Kayaba. No wait, 5, Yulier also knows. I hope she's forgotten, or doesn't think to tell anyone.
Leafa pouts a little but accepts it.
"So how old are you?" Leafa asks me.
"Almost 15 now, a few weeks away," I say, accounting for the fact that I had gone forward in time about 8 and a half years rather than 8.
"Seriously?! You're younger than me?" she asks in surprise.
"Depends on how old you are," I say pretending not to know that she was 15 since she never told me.
"I'm 15," she says.
"Well then yes, obviously," I say.
"It was a rhetorical question," she says.
"I knew that," I reply.
"Then... ah whatever," she says exasperated.
"Just get used to her," Kirito says.
"Like that'll ever happen," I say.
"That's probably true," Kirito says.
"Hey Jun," Leafa asks.
"Yeah?" I reply.
"Is that your real hair color?" she asks.
"I mean, Cait Sith don't really have a color of their own so avatars often end up with the hair color of the person in real life, so I'm asking if that's your natural hair color," she clarifies.
"Yes, it actually is. I didn't dye my hair or anything, I'm albino so my skin color, eye color, and hair color are all this way in real life too," I say.
"That's actually half the reason I chose Cait Sith, so I could have my normal hair color. The other half was because I was curious about what having cat ears and tail was like," I say.
"I guess I should probably make use of the improved beast taming abilities at some point and get myself a pet of some kind."
"What kind of pet are you gonna get?" Leafa asks curiously.
"I dunno, I don't particularly like any animals, but I guess some kind of bird, or maybe dragon if I can," I say.
"How long have you been playing?" Leafa asks.
"A couple of weeks," I say.
"That's pretty impressive," she says. Less impressive than you think, since I didn't do anything but write some fanfiction.
Here we were, cornered by 12 Salamanders just like in the anime, 3 tanks, 3 healers, and 6 battle mages. I was tempted to take out my bow and just shoot them, but I didn't feel like revealing that my swords turned into a bow in front of, well, any of these people really. Except maybe Kirito.
The other option was just fight them, head on, with 1 sword and without using my cheating-like ability which I still needed to name. This would almost certainly result in a win, so I should probably just go with that.
Leafa, Kirito, and I all draw our swords and Kirito says, "Leafa, can you stay back and heal please."
She was probably about to protest but decided that 3 people fighting at the same time would get in each other's way and that she was the best magic user and worst sword fighter of the three of us. At least in the virtual world.
"Hey Kirito, can you throw me over?" I ask.
"Huh?!" asks Kirito in surprise.
"Throw me over them and I'll attack the mages," I say.
"If you insist," he says.
"You could beat them without me, it would just take longer, so even if this doesn't work and I die, you'll just kill them and Leafa will revive me, just do it," I say.
"Alright," he says, facing back to the Salamanders and cupping his hands. I take a few steps back and run at him, jumping off his hands. As I push off he throws me over and I go really f***ing high.
I land behind the Salamanders and roll.
They turn to me, but it was pretty hopeless for them, the tanks were all on one side, and besides, it took all three tanks to block the path so they couldn't block both sides. Against normal players, they'd probably still win, if all 6 mages attacked me at once I would probably die before reaching them, if I were a normal player.
The 6 mages appear to intend to do just that, as they turn to me and start chanting.
6 fireballs fly at me, forming a wall that blocked my path.
I drew my sword and pulled a future-Kirito, chopping two of the fireballs in half with an overhead strike and in the delay between destruction and explosion dash through the flames, from the perspective of the mages practically appearing between them and the healers, two of the mages dressed in paper with slow reaction times are instantly chopped in half.
I proceed to swiftly slaughter the remains 4 mages and 2 of the healers, leaving a single healer alive. Meanwhile, Kirito had gone all Gleam Eyes and killed the tanks, only failing to kill the healer I left alive because I pulled him out of the way of the blow, he then reverted back to Kirito form. And there are 11 dead and on in custody. I had also confiscated the living healer's dagger.
"You two are... awesome," Leafa says as she comes up.
"Hey Kirito, do your thing and get him to tell us what's going on," I say.
Kirito just assumes I mean to do whatever had come to his mind, because of, you know, who I am, and does what he does in the anime. The healer says the same thing he said in the anime.
We walk into the town and Kirito reminds Leafa that she had received a message from Recon.
"I'll logout and call him," she says.
"Jun, can you watch my body?" she asks as she logs out. I laugh slightly, to assume something like that of someone she knows is her brother, sigh.
"Just out of curiosity, how are things going compared to how they went in the version you know?" he asks.
"Pretty much exactly the same, we're here just about at the right time, after decimating those Salamanders, and about to rush off to help Leafa," I say.
"Eh?" he says, probably referring to the last part.
"You'll find out in a moment," I say.
"Hey, I'm back," Leafa says.
Queue the thing between Kirito and Leafa where she says blah and he says blah and then we're on our way to the meeting. Descriptive!
We run through the tunnel—well Kirito and I run, Leafa was being literally dragged along, or would be if her feet were touching the ground, instead she was flailing around and screaming—while avoiding the hordes of monsters blocking our path and literally run off a cliff, activating our wings. Leafa was still being held by Kirito and had forgotten to activate her wings.
"Hey Leafa, you realize you're still hanging from Kirito's hand, right?" I point out.
She blushes slightly and activates her wings, letting go of Kirito's hand.
"We might make it in time if we hurry, come on," she says and starts flying in presumably the right direction.
Ambassador of the Spriggan-Undine alliance... escorted by a Cait Sith and a Sylph. Well I guess he was, supposedly, flying to meet with the Cait Sith and Sylph, so it wouldn't be that surprising if they sent someone to meet him. Still, smooth man.
I kinda wanted to be the one to fight Eugene, but I'm Cait Sith so it wouldn't work. Maybe I'll just ask him for a duel afterwards.
And another pretty random ending, lol.
Please, please, leave a review and tell me what you thought.