Well, another chapter. In all honesty, I think I'm going to end this pretty soon. I don't really have the same mindset I did when I started it, and I'm starting to get a little sick of the characters. Also, I went back to Alicization and discovered it actually gets really good past the third episode. Kinda wished I had watched a little more before I decided to drop the series.

"We're going to the beach today!" Klein announced as the eight of them stood outside Suguha's house.

Silence followed.

"Seriously? We're just doing this? No setup, no jokes, no dream sequence with Leafa?" said Suguha.

"You've been having them too?" said Yuuki.

"Yeah, we're going to the beach today," Klein repeated. "Why else do you think I had everyone bring their swimsuits?"

"I thought today was just a generic fanservice episode," Keiko noted.

"Stay off the fourth wall, Keiko," said Rika.

"Uh, I don't know guys…" Kazuto rubbed the back of his head.

"Shut-in," Asada chuckled.

"No, that's not it. It just feels like every time we decide to do something as a group, it inevitably leads to a monster attack,"

"What makes you think that?" said Keiko.

"Well, remember back when I went to the park and found Rika?" said Suguha.

"Or the time we went to the cemetery and fought Laughing Coffin," said Rika.

"Or those two times we went to school, and fought both Rosalia, and the Heroes of Aincrad," said Keiko

"Or that time we did absolutely nothing and the Gleam Eyes showed up close to the side of town where we live," Suguha added.

"Or that time we met Asuna and then fought the Water Elemental," said Keiko.

"I thought he was cute…" said Yuuki.

"Or that other time we went to school and fought those slimes,"

"Or that time when we had a picnic and then got attacked by Granite Elementals and Dark Dwarf Miners and Kazuto suddenly started having some kind of PTSD seizure while screaming the name of someone called Sachi…" said Rika. Kazuto's eyes shrank.

"Don't remind me…" he said.

"Ah, who cares?" Yuuki grinned. "With every challenge along the way, with courage, we will face! We will battle every monster that comes our way to protect this world!"

"When exactly was the last time you went full chuunibyou?" said Asada.

Yuuki shrugged.

"I don't get a lot of lines,"

"The point is, it feels like Kayaba might be waiting for us to let our guard down," said Kazuto.

"Oh don't worry about it! He hasn't sent anything particularly strong in a while!" said Klein.

"Isn't that what you said before we attacked?" said Asuna.

'Yeah, but I have a pretty good feeling about this, that nothing will go wrong!"

"You're just planting these death flags," said Yuuki. "The Cult of Laughing Coffin might pick up…"

"Cult?" said Suguha.

"I have no idea what that means. Anyway, let's go to the beach!"

A little bit later…

"I understand why they don't want me to change in the same room as Kazuto," said Suguha. "But why are you here?"

"Reasons," Yuuki replied, pulling her shirt off. "Say, what exactly is the relationship you have with your brother?"

"He's just my brother, nothing more, nothing less," Suguha undid her skirt and slid it to her feet.

Liar liar.

"Gah!" Suguha snapped her bra off.

Yuuki's eyes widened.

"How old are you, exactly?"

"I'm fifteen,"

"What on earth do you eat?"

She sighed.

"Contrary to what I've been told, eating does not have anything to do with it. Besides, my mother was way bigger,"

"Bigger than that?" Yuuki incredulously glanced between herself and Suguha.

"Yes. Way bigger," Suguha took off her panties next. "Why were you asking about my brother?"

Yuuki smirked as she shed her own pants. "You like him, don't you?"

Suguha felt herself heat up as she reached for her swimsuit.

"How would you know that?"

"Who doesn't know that?" Yuuki showed her an image on her phone. "I took a survey, and 99% of the school knows about your crush!"

"Why would you take a survey like that?"

"For emphasis!" Yuuki put her phone away. "And besides, I've had my fair share of crushes. Heck, I once thought my own sister was pretty hot…"

"Excuse me?"

"It's 2026, lusting for a girl is perfectly normal,"

"No, I mean it being your sister,"

"As I said, it's only lust," Yuuki started putting on her own swimsuit. "And since we're not biologically related it's perfectly normal…"

"Wait, since when were you step-sisters?" said Suguha.

"My name is literally Yuuki Yuuki, how did you not notice that?" Yuuki gave a strange look "Yuuki is Asuna's dad's last name and it also happened to be my first name. Did you really think that was intentional?"

"Wait, I thought your full name was "Yuuki Konno,"

"Nope. It's Yuuki Yuuki. I get confused for an idol on a daily basis. Anyway, you should really find someone else."

Suguha slipped on her swimsuit.

"I guess…" she said. "But who?"

"How about the Nagata kid who's always following you around, both in-game and at school?"

'What about him? He's just a friend who doesn't see me at all that way," she said, innocently.

"Doesn't he leave notes in your locker?"

"Friendly ones,"

"And he's always trying to sit with you at lunch, but you're always hanging around someone else?"

"He is?"

Yuuki groaned.

"Is your brother's denseness genetic or something?"

A little later...

"Surf's up!" said Rika. It was a great day at the beach. The sun was shining, and the ocean was spraying the air with salty wind…

You're just waiting for me to describe the swimsuits, huh?

Well alright. Silica was wearing a frilly yellow one-piece and was sleeping under an umbrella with Pina. Yeah, that girl brings her cat everywhere. Rika, as you can imagine, was wearing a tight red frilly bikini, you know the super-revealing type. She was playing volleyball with Klein, who had on some simple blue swimming trunks. Asuna and Yuuki had matching blue and purple bikinis, while Asada wore a black strapless one-piece. The three of them were playing in the water with the Kirigaya siblings. Kazuto wore a generic school swimsuit, and Suguha had a bright teal V-neck one-piece with a green and yellow fade pattern.

Happy now?

"Coming out here was a great idea!" said Suguha. "Not one monster, and Leafa's nowhere to be heard!"

"What was that?" Kazuto glanced over.

"Nothing!" she blushed a little bit. Suddenly a large wave sent her tumbling into Kazuto's arms.

"Eep…" she squeaked. Asuna glanced over, noticing that Suguha's chest was pressed up against his torso, and she had somehow landed in such a way that his eyes were right in front of her cleavage.

Suguha yelped and got off. "Pervert…"

"Hey! I didn't do…"

The entirety of the female cast was already shuffling away from him.

"Gender equality at it's finest," Klein remarked.

"I don't get it," said Kazuto.

Meanwhile, back in Aincrad…

"You missed the parry!" Alice said, tapping Eugeo's shoulder with her sword.

"I'm sorry!" he said.

"Don't be sorry, just fix it!" Alice resumed her fighting stance. "Okay back to the pattern. Left, and jump, and right, and hit, and duck, and guard, and Horizontal Square!"

Alice and Eugeo exchanged a flurry of sword blows. Eugeo saw an opportunity.

"Slant C!" Eugeo knocked the sword out of Alice's hands with a swift upward blow.

The sword landed a few feet away, and Eugeo's blade ended up a few inches from Alice's face.

"Gah!" Eugeo dropped his own sword. "Sorry! I got carried away!"

"Don't be sorry," Alice chuckled and picked her sword back up. "You've made some serious progress!"

"Oh… thanks,"

"I think you're just about ready for real combat," Alice started clicking about in a menu.

"Wait, are we at war or something?"
"No," said Alice. "Actually, this has to do with my true purpose. The assassination of rogue AIs,"

"Okay, back up a sec. What's a rogue AI?"

"Artificial Intelligences that defy Kayaba's orders. My job is to get rid of them to avoid problems. And you're going to help me."

"Seriously?" Eugeo's eyes widened. "I mean, that sounds kinda cool…"

"Great!" Alice handed him a red crystal. "Use this to get to the Ruby Palace in six hours. Kayaba will send us to the real world in order to carry out our mission."

"Okay…" Eugeo looked at the crystal. Alice pulled out a second one.

"Teleport: Ruby Palace!" she said, before vanishing.