Floor 80: Mining Area

March 10th, 2025

6,068 Players Remaining

Kirito doesn't close his eyes for longer than a blink after what happens with Klein. The samurai was sitting, and staring into the sky, a tuft of grass between his fingers. Plenty more mobs appear before the miners are done, and the day turns out to be extremely productive in terms grinding.

Yuuki and Agil handle it most of the time, while Kirito and Asuna explore the perimeters. The position was oddly defensible.

When the sun begins to slink toward the horizon, inch by inch, the group prepares to be off, the miners heavily laden with stone and ore for smelting. Agil and Asuna take the front while Kirito settles in the middle, and Yuuki takes position at the back, standing next to Klein. Kirito lifts a hand to cover his eyes, squinting at the light shining straight into his face

"How was the first day?" Kirito jumps a little before looking at the man next to him.

"Oh. It was kind of boring actually,"

"Yeah, way back in the mine swinging a pickaxe side to side for so long gets pretty tedious, but sitting around for eight hours doing nothing must've been awful,"

"Something like that yeah,"

"I'm Hyrogem,"

"Kirito,"

"I know who you are,"

"Really?"

"I think most people in Aincrad do at this point,"

"How'd you get wrapped up with Heathcliff?" Kirito asked, slightly anxious to change topics.

"We go back a ways. I was his assistant for a while,"

"What did he do before... all this?"

"Hm? Oh, he was a financial advisor to the Board of Directors at RECT Progress,"

"Really?"

"Yeah, I heard he knew Kayaba personally before all this happened,"

"Damn. Is that how he got into SAO?"

"Beats me man. I was gone long before this happened. Got an offer I couldn't refuse. Can't believe I'm back with Heathcliff now,"

A silence fills the space between them.

"Well, its nice to meet you, Hyrogem,"

"Well met indeed, Black Swordsman," the man laughs at his own tone, and turns his gaze to the stars. "Y'know, I never feel like I'm back home, 'cept when I look at the stars. They seem so real,"

"I've never really looked to be honest,"

"You're missing out, after all what's the point of beating the game if we never even bothered to live,"

Kirito shudders a little

'Your fault,'

"Yeah, you're right about that,"

"Sorry man. I know we don't talk about stuff like that in here... still, the stars are beautiful,"

The two fall silent, each stealing a glance at the sky when he can. The walk is actually entertaining, despite taking several hours. Nearly 20 shooting stars had fallen across the sky by the time they get back to town. Thankfully they were on the industry side of town, else they would have had to walk an extra mile.

The depot captain grins at them as they slog in. "Thank god! I was about to send out a search party for you,"

"Bullshit, Solus. You just want to sleep,"

The blonde man grins back at them, not at all abashed. "Just offload and get out of here, so I can lock up,"

"You got it man," Hyrogem gestured to the group, pointing out three separate piles.

As soon as the last of the resources were dumped, Solus turned to them menacingly, "Now get out of my station,"

"Goodnight Solus!" Hyrogem's taunting retort is thrown over his shoulder as the twelve of them leave.

"Shut it!" Solis' booming voice follows them.

A loud creak and clatter is their final good bye from the man.

"Great job gents! A hard days work at an end!" Hyrogem's raspy voice carries throughout the group.

"And now we find the nearest bar?"

"Good lad!-" Hyrogem turns to the Sleeping Knights "-And you're free to join us if you want,"

"No thanks," Yuuki says timidly.

"I'll come. You game Agil?" Klein asks

"Sure,"

"How about you guys," the ginger turns to Asuna and Kirito.

"I want to sleep," Asuna grins apologetically.

"Same here. See you tomorrow," Kirito waves at the others, and the couple sets off for the hotel, following Yuuki.

"Good night!" Klein and Agil call out to them before they disappear from sight.

Kirito lets out a sigh of exhaustion and lets his shoulders slump.

"I'm worried about Klein," his voice barely reaches the buildings on either side of the street.

"Me too," Asuna's brows furrow as she frowns.

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Floor 80(1): Bailerainh

March 10th, 2025

6,068 Players Remaining

Heathcliff's eyes went over the page again trying to capture another detail.

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Ores acceptable for Coin Making:

Revinite

Adite

Forminite

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Heathcliff taps the first again.

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Revinite is the most abundant ore of the three, but the hardest to process. Refineries must be capable of reaching extremely high temperatures to smelt Revinite ores.

Revinite Ore can be found on Floors: 11, 28, 32, 57, and 87. Look anywhere away from cities and towns, and you'll find the red ore.

Once Refined and shaped into Currency, Revinite takes a burnt orange hue.

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The next one.

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Adite, is the least abundant of the three. While it easily processed by an average refinery it can only be found on Floors 79 and 82. The emerald ore spawns in exceptionally deep areas.

Once Refined and shaped into Currency, Adite is green in hue.

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And the last one now.

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Forminite is a good medium in every way. It is the second most abundant and second most easily processed. Pay special attention to mountains, where you will most likely find the silver ore at the surface. It can be found on Floors 49, 63, 76, and 79.

Once Refined and shaped into Currency, Forminite is black in color.

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He makes a mental note to send miners to Floors 76 and 79, before clicking on a tab labeled Population Sizes.

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Current population of Bailerainh: 390

NPC Bonus: 2 for 1 Player

Current Economy Description: Low Value per Capita. Recommended that development in businesses be encouraged immediately to avoid imminent and total failure. Majority of Player Citizens inactive in the Local Economy.

Sectors Requiring Most Development: Food and Housing, Smithing, Textiles, Retail, and Infrastructure.

Would You Like to Proceed to Preferred NPC Occupations?

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Heathcliff taps the affirmative icon.

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Please select three boxes pertaining to the Sectors in Which You Would Like to Encourage Development section.

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Heathcliff looks out the window, gazing over the sprawling residences, before selecting Food and Housing, Retail, and Infrastructure.

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Information Updated.

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Heathcliff stands up and walks around, stretching his legs.

"Fultz!"

"Yes sir?"

"Message Thinker and Argo, and set appointments for tomorrow morning,"

"Right away sir!"

"Thank you Fultz. Once you're done with that, you're dismissed for the night,"

"Of course sir. Have a good night,"

"And you as well,"

Heathcliff chances a look at the clock, and mentally reprimands himself. There wouldn't be much sleep for him tonight.

As he walks he messages Asuna and Hyrogem the pertinent details for tomorrow's mission. They would be shifting from general gathering to targeting Forminite and Adite actively, and with Agil's high level appraisal skill the task would be easier for them than most.

It was nice, having a bed to sleep in, within the walls of the supposed castle, cutting down on travel time to an extreme.

Heathcliff lies down to sleep, and is unconscious in seconds...

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..

Heathcliff wakes up with a groan, stretching as he moves from underneath the sheets on his bed.

Still bleary eyed he equips his armor and stands up tall, cracking his back wonderfully as he does.

A message alert flashes in his HUD.

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Argo and Thinker will be coming together at 8:30.

-Fultz

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Heathcliff glances at the clock, which reads 7:42, before leaving his sleeping quarters slowly, enjoying the soft sunrise.

His first action of the day is contacting a blacksmith named Lizbeth. She was, according to Asuna, and Kirito, the most skilled blacksmith in all of Aincrad.

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Floor 79

March 11th, 2025

6,068 Players Remaining

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"What are we even looking for out here?" Kirito's weary call comes from the very end of the group.

"Forminite and Adite!"

"And how the hell are we supposed the find it in all this snow?"

"Carefully!"

"Ugh,"

Barely a second passes before a rumbling from from above them causes the party to stop in its tracks. Hyrogem looks up the mountain, squinting mightily.

"Avalanche!" his scream rings through the group, as the far off dance of landlocked snow comes into view.

"Sonofa-" Kirito doesn't finish, choosing instead to sprint after Asuna and Hyrogem. He chances a look sideways, and gets swept away in snow.

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