A/N: Hey readers. I managed to get this last chapter out pretty quickly compared to last time. I hope you all enjoy the end to the Great Galaxy Relay.
Viola. For many veterans of Galaxy Star Online, that was a name that was fairly well known. A female Venesian player that had a lot of money to throw around. Many assumed she was rich in real life, transferring that money into the game to use at her leisure. And with that money, she had a lot of influence all across GSO. She hired players to work for her, extorting cash and items out of other players. She was a bully, plain and simple.
Ayumi still remembered her last encounter with Viola. Back during the Ghost incident, Viola had appeared before her, Ren, Alice, and Elza with information regarding Ghost. But they hadn't gotten that information from her easily. They had to fight her and her goons first, a fight that had been rather difficult to win. For someone like Viola, that loss had undoubtedly left a stain on her pride.
"I can't tell you how glad I was when I found out you were competing in the Great Galaxy Relay." Viola told her with a smirk. "It's such a shame those other three from before weren't competing too, but oh well. I'll just have to let you experience their suffering as well!"
Ayumi quickly dodged an attack from Viola. Letting her guard down for even a moment could prove fatal against an opponent like this.
"I already have four kills to my name." Viola said. "I made sure to wait for you to be my last and final kill. I hope you appreciate it!"
Once again, Viola attacked with her shadowy hand attack. Ayumi evaded, but she knew she couldn't keep this up forever. She needed to put more distance between her and Viola.
"Hahaha! That's right! Dance for me, little Plutarian!" Viola laughed as she attacked with her magic over and over again, destroying all of the scenery around them.
Drawing her two guns, Ayumi fired a series of bullets towards Viola. The Venesian woman managed to block most of them, though a few managed to nick her and lower her HP by a small amount. 'My guns won't be able to finish her off. They can't deal enough damage.' Ayumi stopped her shooting and grabbed a pair of plasma grenades from her belt, throwing them at Viola. The damage her grenades would cause would be much more than what her guns could do. However, before the explosives could get near Viola, she used her magic to hit both of them, causing them to explode before they could get close enough.
Viola smirked at Ayumi. "Using grenades for your main attack. I see you're still using the same strategy you used during that last fight. Too bad for you, because I won't be falling for it this time." She readied her next attack. "Now then, allow me to make this battlefield a little prettier." Viola inhaled a little before breathing out a toxic mist.
'Crap. If I get caught in that, I'll be poisoned.' Ayumi thought. She quickly turned away and ran.
Seeing Ayumi flee caused Viola to laugh. "That's right! Run away little girl! Run away like the worthless loser you are! But don't think for a second that I'm going to let you escape me! I won't rest until I hear you scream in agony!"
The poison mist got bigger and bigger as it spread. Ayumi ran as fast as she could. She caught sight of some stone stairs leading to the next level. The Plutarian made a beeline for them, quickly getting to the next floor.
'If I want to beat Viola, there's only one way.' Ayumi thought as she ran. 'It's all or nothing.'
As Ayumi ran, the floor in front of her burst apart as a hole formed. Viola's shadowy hand from her magic reached up and hoisted the Venesian to the second level where Ayumi was. She grinned maliciously at Ayumi. "Peekaboo."
Ayumi gasped as Viola grabbed her and pulled her towards her. Her grip tightened around the Plutarian girl, suffocating her. 'Crap. I need to get free.'
"This is what happens to worthless pieces of trash that go against me." Viola told her. "But I'm a reasonable person. Beg for mercy and plead for forgiveness, and I'll make your suffering quick."
"Never." Ayumi said as she spat at Viola.
The woman wiped the spit from her face as a glare became present in her eyes. "Fine then. Long and painful it is." She brought out a dagger from her belt and stabbed it into Ayumi's gut. Ayumi cried out in pain as Viola twisted the blade into her. Viola grinned as she listened to Ayumi's screams. "That's it. That's what I wanted to hear. This sound is much more fitting for garbage like you."
'Damnit. I need to get out of this hold and fast.' Ayumi thought as she watched her HP plummet. Enduring the pain she felt, she swung her leg up at Viola's arm holding the dagger, making her drop it. Quickly after, she swung a kick with her other leg, striking Viola's cheek and forcing her to drop her. Finally free, Ayumi sped away.
Viola clenched her fists tightly. "You're not getting away that easily, brat!"
Ayumi saw the next set of stairs leading to the following level and dashed up them. Thankfully, her Plutarian speed was coming in rather handy for getting away from Viola. She needed to keep her distance for now. Just until the time was right. Looking towards the center open area of the battlefield, Ayumi could see players on the ground level heading her way. With Viola's rampage going on, it was likely attracting plenty of others who wanted to take out whoever won once they were weakened from the fight going on.
'Come on. I just need to get a little farther.' Ayumi told herself as she neared the stairs leading to the fourth and final level of the battlefield. She got to the top, but as she did, Viola emerged from right behind her.
Ayumi put up her arms in a desperate attempt to defend herself as Viola knocked her back. Her small body rolled along the ground as her HP fell even further.
"Nowhere left to run." Viola said as she slowly walked closer to Ayumi. "Seems our little game of tag is at an end."
"Seems so." Ayumi agreed as she picked herself up off the ground.
"So you've finally given up?" Viola asked. She smiled as she pointed a finger to the ground. "I'll give you one last chance to beg for forgiveness. Though this time, I'm going to make you lick my shoes as an apology."
Viola scowled at Ayumi. "Excuse me?"
"You just don't get it, do you Viola?" Ayumi said. "You think just because of your influence that gives you the right to trample on everyone else. To belittle them and make them feel like they're not worth anything just to satisfy your own pathetic ego. Who the hell gave you the right to act so high and mighty?" Ayumi shook her head. "Well I don't care who you think you are. I'm not going to lower myself to some plaything. I'm better than that."
"You've got a big mouth, you know that?" Viola growled. "Weaklings shouldn't talk so big."
"You're right. I am weak." Ayumi said with a bitter smile. "The only reason I got this far was because I had such amazing friends at my side who helped me improve and encouraged me. And one of them told me something once that I'll never forget."
"And what is that?"
"If you can't do something, then don't. Focus on what you can do." Ayumi told her, reciting the words Ren told her so long ago. "And while I can't beat you in a head on fight…" Ayumi reached into her pocket and pulled out a detonator with a smirk on her face. "I can lead an overconfident fool right into a trap."
Ayumi pressed the detonator and Viola suddenly felt the area she was on rumble. Suddenly, the part of the floor she was standing on crumbled apart and she fell. As Viola fell, she noticed the pillars that had been supporting the level above her destroyed. And it wasn't just the level she had been on. The floor of the third level she was falling towards was giving way as well. Rubble was falling all around her, threatening to crush her once they hit the ground level.
'That damn brat. She wasn't just running away.' Viola realized. 'She planted bombs at the pillars in specific locations. All to create this giant trap hole.'
"How does it feel to lose to a worthless piece of trash?" Ayumi muttered to herself, knowing Viola couldn't hear her.
"DAMN YOU!" Viola screamed at the top of her lungs as she fell. Her screams died out as the chunks of rubble crushed her as they hit the ground level.
It wasn't just Viola either. The players that had been attracted by the battle and rushed over were in for a nasty surprise as rubble buried them with Viola, taking out all of their HP.
Ayumi fell back to catch her breath, exhausted from her desperate gamble. The kill counter above her head went straight from zero to five. With the amount of wins needed to move on, Ayumi vanished in a blinding blue light.
When Ayumi could see again, she was standing on a straight path. Hundreds of players were gathered, their cheers deafening to her ears. About one hundred yards away was a green line with a sign saying "Finish" over it.
"And the first one to arrive is Ayumi from Team Girl Ops!" the announcer said. "What a stunning upset, with a Plutarian winning in the battle zone!"
Ayumi was a little bit overwhelmed by everything. But hearing the words that she was the first to arrive told her this was no time to be resting. She took off running towards the finish line. The end gradually got closer and closer in sight. Her ears didn't even pick up the noise of the crowd anymore. All of Ayumi's focus was on reaching that line before anyone else.
It was less than ten seconds but to Ayumi, it felt like an eternity when she finally crossed the line. Fireworks shot up into the sky as players cheered.
"And there you have it, everyone! The winning team of the Great Galaxy Relay is Team Girl Ops!" the announcer spoke out. "What an amazing race! And these five players are the ones who proved to be the best!"
All of a sudden, blue lights flashed around the area Ayumi was. All four of her teammates appeared. They all looked to Ayumi and lunged at her.
"We did it!" Melody said with an excited cheer. "We won!"
"I can't believe it!" Himiko said.
"Well believe it! We're the champions!" Mai grinned.
"We all earned this win. Together." Kione told them.
Ayumi was so happy, she thought she might cry. She hugged her team tightly. "Thanks everyone. I can't thank you all enough."
"No need to thank us. This was a blast." Himiko told her.
The five girls looked out to the crowd, accepting their cheers. They waved to everyone, taking it all in. The five of them had worked hard for this achievement. And it had finally all paid off in the end.
Video drones hovered in the air, covering the event with footage and sending it to the MMO channel for others to watch. The event had been all over the site, with thousands watching. At their respective universities, four students in particular had been watching and smiled proudly when they saw the winning team. Dan, Alicia, Marcus, and Sarah. Each of them were happy to see their younger siblings emerge victorious in the event.
"Alright! To the winners of the Great Galaxy Relay!" Alana said as she raised a glass. "To us!"
"To us!" Clair, Emi, Kione, and Emma said together.
With the big event finally over, Alana and her friends had decided to hold a special victory celebration at Dicey Cafe. Each of the girls were enjoying a nice drink as they celebrated their achievement.
"Man, that race was crazy." Emi said. "GSO really pulled out all the stops for it."
"I thought I was done for when that jerk began blasting me and my ship." Clair said. "But I showed him in the end."
"Not as much as Alana showed that Viola jerk in the battle zone. That finish was awesome." Emma grinned.
"I thought I was finished a couple of times." Alana admitted. "But we showed her in the end."
"Let us know when GSO does another event like this." Emi said. "We'll be glad to do this again."
"I'll be sure to." Alana nodded. She leaned back in her chair and looked up. "You know… this event really reminded me of how much I love GSO. And I think it's helped me figure out what I'm gonna do with my life."
"Really?" Kione asked. "What is it?"
"I want to be an astronaut."
The four girls widened their eyes. "An astronaut?!" they all asked together in excitement.
Alana nodded her head. "Yeah. With how much I've explored space virtually, I want to see what real space is like. I'm sure it won't be as exciting as GSO, but there's bound to be other kinds of fun things along the way."
"That sounds amazing." Clair said. "Well I say go for it."
"What about you guys?" Alana asked. "Any plans for the future?"
"Hmm… not really. I'm still figuring that out." Emma said.
"Me too." Kione nodded.
"Same." Clair said. "I'm a little busy with things going on in the present for me."
Emi shot a grin at her friend. "You mean like your new boyfriend?"
The mention of the word "boyfriend" got the attention of the other girls as they all jerked their heads towards Clair. The young Hiryo girl waved her arms in front of her. "N-No, it's not like that!"
"You have a boyfriend?! Who?!" Emma asked.
"It's Jun. From the Sleeping Knights."
"Get out! You and Jun?!" Alana exclaimed.
"We're not dating!" Clair told them. "At least… not yet…"
"Cut it out!"
The topic of conversation slowly drifted away from Clair and onto other things. The five girls talked throughout the afternoon as they enjoyed themselves. They had managed to accomplish something great together. And it was something none of them would forget anytime soon.
A/N: Well that's it for this story readers. I don't have a new Lost Story planned for the immediate future. I'm likely not doing a story around Alicization, since it would only be applicable towards the middle to end of the current War of Underworld arc going on right now. I may possibly do a story with Wyvern's Inferno and the gang in the Unital Ring arc in the distant future, as I am enjoying that arc with the first light novel volume for the arc. But for now, I'm going to try and finish up Blazing Generations. Until then readers.