I wrote a Discord bot for this. Here's the RP itself—this is obviously not the start, but the quality is just gets worse going back (or looking at it more positively, got better going forward), so I figured I'd start with posting something good. I'll probably post the earlier sections as well, but I want people to actually give this a chance so I'm using this as an intro.
Each character is written by a specific person, though I've restructured it a bit to make it read like a normal story.
Who wrote each character:
Xera Stark: Argo, Kiko
Speedyquader: June (FFN Author, though doesn't write SAO afaik)
Venidus Vidicil Victus: Victus (Ace Fiction server member)
Walking up to the colossal door, Kiriko put her hand on it. "Now," she declared, "we kill it. That's really the whole reason we came here, isn't it?" With those words, she gave the door a shove, triggering the opening mechanism. Slowly and dramatically, the door swung open, though nothing was visible beyond the doors themselves, the content obfuscated by an unnatural darkness that would clear once someone passed through the door.
"Chances are, the boss is a dragon of some kind, so if you don't like those-" a rather pointed look and a smirk directed at Victus punctuated those words- "you may want to consider sitting it out. Or not, I don't care all that much. Typical loot policy—whoever gets it, keeps it."
June popped up next to Kiriko with Kiko still in her arms, giving Kiko a happy nuzzle and a hair ruffle, hammer at the ready. "I'm ready~! Who's in?" She looked around at Argo and Vic, and gave Vic a somewhat concerned look. "Vic might need to go back to town… What do you think, Vic?"
Victus groaned as he rolled onto his side. "We're killing this one, right? Not trying to ride it?" He pushed himself to a squat, equipping his blade. "I'll be fine. Just needed to scream."
Argo was probably one of the only ones to roll her eyes at Kiriko's dramatic flair. If anything, Argo swore that girl seemed to be born with the natural habit of making things too dramatic, even something as simple as opening a door with the most lackluster but impactful thing she could say.
"Well, if we're all going in, just play to your strengths and make sure to call out whenever you're taking a switch, okay? Don't want anyone stepping on each other's toes in there, even if some of us don't need to be so careful…" That last part was directed at Kiriko and Kiko directly.
Kiko was so distracted by June's nuzzles she practically missed the opening of the door altogether, the small girl busily rubbing her face into June's cheek with the biggest, warmest smile plastered across her own. She loved being carried, and being nuzzled while being carried was just about the best thing she could dream of.
She was unhealthily addicted to affection…
At seeing that, Argo sighed and started lightly tugging Kiko by the collar, knowing it'd bring June with her seeing as the two were attached by the arms and hips. "Let's just get in there. And Vic, yes, we're killing this one."
She flashed a look over her shoulder before passing the threshold of the boss room door, lightly pulling Kiko and June along with her.
Following Argo inside and stepping ahead, Kiriko scanned the room. Calling it a room didn't really do it justice, the colossal cavern just under 70 meters in height and nearly double that in radius. Spires of jagged, dark rock—obsidian, on closer observation—reached into the false sky, supporting the ceiling of rock as black as pitch and brilliantly glowing crystals.
The ground itself was made of the glass as well, though abrasion through unknown means—there was no wind for obvious reasons—had left it smoother and often covered with sand, the shiny particles appearing a light grey rather than black in the surprisingly bright crystal-light. Shorter and smaller pillars of obsidian dotted the landscape, ranging from close to half the cavern's height to less than that of a person, presumably there for cover from the inevitable fire breath.
In the center of the arena was a large boulder, roughly semi-spherical and over a third of the caverns height. The boulder's peak was slightly depressed, though what was inside could not be seen.
"Dramatic," Kiriko commented. As if responding to her words, a massive shimmering shadow rose from the jagged monument, obsidian scales scattering the light of the crystal ceiling in a mesmerizing display. As it rose, its chest swelled with inhaled air. Titanic wings eclipsed the stars behind it as it raised its head and bellowed out a thundering challenge. Bones rattled and the ground trembled as the roar, almost a sheer wave of pressure, echoed off the cavern walls. Its wings spread to their full length of twenty meters and a muted white light lit up in its chest, casting shadows of bones onto its scales as it crawled up the beasts neck.
"Very dramatic," Kiriko amended as two health bars and the words «Obsidian Wyvern» appeared next to the beast. The orb of white flames reached its mouth, welling up like a new-born star as if to challenge Kiriko's assessment once more.
June obediently followed Argo into the boss room, figuring on giving Kiko love and affection, only looking up when the Obsidian Wyvern roared. Of course, since she wasn't too worried, all she did in response was to nuzzle Kiko some more.
Vic stared up at the Obsidian Wyvern with a small smile. Despite his hatred of dragons, and creatures like them, he was always there for a good fun boss fight, and if he got to stab a scaled beast in the process, that would wipe this whole bad day from his memory. "So what's the plan, and how quickly can we get to carving this thing?"
"Currently? I'd advice finding a nice sturdy crystal to hide behind for this breath attack!" Argo called, darting herself forward while dragging Kiko with her, pulling June right along for the ride to get behind the nearest crystal. A few seconds passed, hopefully giving everyone else enough time to duck into cover too as that white fire building up in the boss's maw finally released in a spanning wave of molten light, blanketing the ground. It was an AOE designed attack move, built to cover the entire arena, from what it looked like. But the area just behind each crystal protruding from the ground had a small pocket where the flames didn't touch.
The perfect barrier to use… but Argo heard and saw some of the smaller barriers chipping under the immense pressure of the attack. And by the time the torrent died down, some of the smallest structures were entirely shattered, overtaken by the breath attack.
That could only mean they had a limited amount of breath attacks they could bate out of this boss before all the barriers in the area were destroyed.
"Kiriko, any chance you can draw that thing down to the ground?" Argo called out, peeking around to try and find the front-runner.
Kiko peeked her head up over June's shoulder after the blast of white, her cheek rubbing against the girl's own before deciding to reluctantly ask her a question. "Do you think we should help fight? We can always cuddle lots afterward."
Hearing Argo's call, Kiriko grinned. Ducking out from behind her cover, she began to sprint in the dragon's direction—the light in its chest would give her clear warning of another breath attack, and if the several-second wind up was anything to go by—and knowing SAO, it was, as SAO was many bad things, but 'unfair' was not one, and boss animations didn't randomly speed up without phase changes—she was safe to stray fairly far from any of the obsidian outcrops.
As she ran, she noted the state of their cover for future attacks and realized that while they'd gradually run out of the smaller ones, the larger ones—especially the dragon's nest boulder and the spires supporting the ceiling—would not be going anywhere. So it'll get harder to find cover, but never impossible. Good to know.
As she closed the distance to the wyvern—150 meters wasn't all that much at SAO running speed—she slowed and grabbed a chunk of obsidian off the ground. It looked like a large chunk had fallen out of the ceiling and shattered into many smaller pieces, though whether that was a thematic occurrence or from when the beast had roared was another question.
Either way, it was a heavy and pointy projectile which she immediately lobbed the remaining fifty or so meters to the boss, blue aura of a throwing skill surrounding the projectile and streaking behind it as it traced an visually-pleasing arc and slammed straight into the «Obsidian Wyvern's» face. She saw gleaming obsidian dust fly from the impact, but she was quite certain that it was her projectile and not the boss's face. Still, she had its attention.
The wyvern's legs bent, muscles coiling as it raised its wings before pouncing towards her with speed which belied its size, crossing the fifty meters between them in mere seconds. Kiriko leapt to the side, raising her left arm to shield her face from the shower of glass that exploded from where she was moments prior—a small crater now. The boss raised its head and crimson eyes gleamed at her with murderous intent.
Holy shit it did that with its nose, Kiriko thought as she leapt back out of what should be its lunging range. Still, seems manageable. Its attacks seem to be dangerous but with clear and fairly long windups. "Got it on the ground!" she called to Argo with a carefree grin.
June rubbed Kiko back with her own cheek, giving a reluctant sigh. "I guess you're right, we should help…" She set Kiko on the ground beside her, pulling out her hammer from who-knows-where, peeking out from behind her cover. "Think we should give them the initiative, or what?"
Once Kiriko got the beast to the ground, Victus slipped into stealth, sticking to the cave wall as he made his way around the Wyvern, looking for it's weak spot. It had to have a big, obvious one, as this wasn't one of the higher level bosses.
Argo gave her signature, coy salute to the flying Kiriko, her gaze flashing to Kiko next with a familiar look tossed her way as well. She didn't really say anything, didn't need to, but it was a look she often gave the girl. A silent order.
Kiko nodded and drew her sword, slipping away from June's arm in a blurred dash across the dark floor before slapping the tip of her sword against the ground, ringing out a harsh clang. The noise drew the boss's attention away from Kiriko's retreating form, and before long, the dragon's body surged forward and its head lunged Kiko's way.
A brilliant flash of blue cleaved upward to intersect the attack, Kiko and the dragon itself reeling back into a post-skill animation after the deflection. "Switch!"
It went to show just how much strength Kiko had, if she managed to send a beast this large reeling. And for good reason… deflecting a boss's lag-heavy strike often left it vulnerable in a generous opening for dps.
And Argo's own dashing frame appeared just above Kiko's rebounded figure, the small girl serving as a willing stepping stone for The Rat as a glowing streak of claw marks erupted across the dragon's face and down its neck.
Leaving plenty of room for other attacks to accompany Argo's before the creature recovered.
Taking advantage of the generous opening created by Kiko's violent clash, Kiriko ran up one of the larger nearby outcrops, the rough surface making the task near effortless. The obsidian pillar was considerably higher than the stunned wyvern's head and Kiriko kicked herself off of the side, directing herself back down at boss.
With a thunderous crack, she slammed into the dazed creature's head, first with a «Vorpal Strike» which pierced through its tough hide (unfortunately, bosses were not so easy to kill as a single stab to the head) and ripped away a large chunk of its first HP bar, and then with the fist of her other hand, carrying all her unreasonable velocity into knocking the wyvern down onto the ground, it's head colliding with a rounder obsidian boulder which surprisingly did not shatter. We've got an anvil, now all we need is… "June!" she called out before landing, rolling as she hit the ground.
June popped her head out from behind the pillar where Kiko'd left her, and she smiled a smile that would send just about any mob running for the hills. "Ok~!" She ran at the wyvern with all the speed she could muster, spinning a few times to get her hammer up to speed and activating a sword skill that sent her massive -now glowing cyan- warhammer smashing into the wyvern's head, knocking another significant chunk off its health bar. Afterwards, she blew a raspberry at the dragon, skipping back towards the pillar, keeping an eye on it just in case it decided to blow fire at her.
Victus had managed to get under the dragon, slashing away at it's underside with his blade. He was hoping the dragon wouldn't notice him as he landed a Leaver, causing a bleed. He figured it would be best to move once the beast started leaking, so he had tried to sneak back around to it's backside, hoping it would be too distracted with everyone else to notice him.
Argo grit her teeth a little when she watched June take the lead in sudden burst dps, the momentary hit striking a certain threshold of damage high enough to re-register who had aggro from this boss. Kiko wasn't holding it anymore.
"June, get ready to move!" The Rat yelled out, knowing those pillars were good enough to block fire but likely stood little to no chance if this thing decided to ram one.
Kiko landed out of her delay in time to see the big puppy's head shake and let out a loud snuff of air, billowing the ground in steam as it got its bearings, its haze seemingly hiding Vic's escape to let him slip away again. Before long though, its eyes locked with June's retreating body and growled, claws digging into the ground before entering a charge.
Charges were dangerous in games like these. They often upped defense to the point of making stunning a creature mid-charge nigh-impossible without a large structure to lead it into, and in a place like this, the dragon's body was plenty big enough to rip through obstacles in its way.
At least, that's what it would've liked until a small, child-sized figure darted in front of it and another illumination of blue erupted across the walls and ceiling. A vicious clang shook the loose obsidian riddling the ground as the dragon's charge flashed the "Interrupted!" status, its body rocking backward from its impact against what it could only have presumed to be an unbreakable wall.
Instead, it was just Kiko stuck in another post-skill delay. "This window's longer! Hit it hard!"
Kiriko grinned. "I can definitely hit things." Set on the task of relieving June of the boss's agro—and the boss of its first health bar—the taller of the two overleveled, black-clad swordswomen leapt forward, covering the distance the wyvern—and Kiko—had managed to cross in a mere second and landing on the obsidian creature's back. The jagged scales supplied ample purchase even though the dragonoid was still reeling from its clash with Kiko.
As her feet connected with the beast, she immediately kicked off high into the air, activating a sword skill which rarely found use due to a combination of long windup and cooldown with damage that was frankly excessive for normal purposes. The skill, deceivingly bearing the simple name of «Meteor», was the reward for reaching max proficiency in wielding martial arts and one-handed swords alike.
As the skill activated, Kiriko hung in the air for a moment, her lateral velocity eliminated entirely, as her feet, fist, and sword alike lit with a brilliant incandescence befitting the skill's namesake. After a second hanging in the air, like the slowmo before an epic move in an anime, Kiriko fell like a shooting star, turning into a glowing streak as she slammed fist-first into the wyvern's neck, releasing a nova of light and sound. Arcs of light cut a deep cross into its neck before her feet plowed into it, another nova followed almost immediately by the sound of the creature slamming bodily into the ground as she was propelled to unsafe heights—fortunately, the skill handled a graceful landing before it near froze her for a full 5 seconds.
As it slammed into the ground with enough force to shake the cavern and bounce pebbles off the ground, the boss's health plummeted, the first bar rapidly emptying of its remaining HP and shattering. The black bulk of the wyvern's body slowly rose, knocked out of its stun by the phase transition.
As it stood to its full height, the «Obsidian Wyvern» once more drew in air, its chest swelling. At close range, the roar was more difficult to ignore, the sheer volume enough to deal HP damage and inflict the «Deaf» debuff. The cavern shook and pebbles from both ground and ceiling bounced in the echoing sound. Light blossomed once more in the boss's chest, but instead of crawling up its long neck as it did before, it spread in all directions, filling the cracks between its scales first with light and then with fire. The wyvern stood tall and proud, wings spread as it illuminated the dim cavern with its burning magnificence. Flames wreathed its colossal form, jetting out from between the black scales. Then, they began to brighten, fortunately after more than enough time for any post motion delay to wear off. "I suggest cover," Kiriko commented dryly, before realizing even she could not hear it and hoping the others had a shred of sense.
June had already been meandering towards cover; all the light show did was increase her speed towards said target. She'd managed to just barely get out of range of the debuff, and ducked behind the pillar, peeking out from around the side to keep an eye on the fight. The pillar she'd chosen was one of the larger ones, so hopefully it'd survive any and all blasts/attacks that could hurtle its way, shielding her from the wyvern's wrath. "This looks fun, don't you think?" She smiled at Argo, having ended up close enough to her for The Rat to hear her, assuming she'd also escaped the debuff.
Victus shuddered at the dragon's roar and could see on the cave wall that it was too bright to even consider the idea of looking at it. He considered getting under it again and shook his head. He moved to the nearest pillar and stayed there, wishing he'd learned the spear instead of the scimitar. Covering his eyes with a hand, he looked to his immediate left and right around the rock, trying to see if anyone else was nearby.
Argo rolled her eyes at June's comment and popped a coy smile her way from where she stood behind her own pillar, spotting out the cat-eared warrior not too far off from her own. "If by fun you mean nuclear, I'd be inclined to believe you!"
True to her words, the dragon's light was only glowing all the brighter as an ascending whine started to fill the air. It wasn't the kind of whine a dog would emit, or even the whine a metallic object would echo when warped or heated… but the superheated whine of fire condensing and molding itself into a long, dangerous charge-up of a blast Argo knew was going to be powerful.
And there had to be some kind of twist to it…
Kiko darted by Kiriko once her own post-skill delay was up, grabbing the girl's hand and tugging her behind cover just a few pillars shy of where Vic hid. She wasn't sure how long Kiriko's delay was, but given she'd triggered the boss's next stage with it, she was worried its transition overruled what might've been its impact delay from her sword skill and ultimately might've caught Kiriko out during her stall in animation.
But now that she was safe and sound, hopefully, the short girl smiled at her and gave her a heads up on what she wanted to do. "After this, I'm gonna flip it over like it's gonna get one big belly rub, okay? I want you to make sure everyone uses a skill while it's down. It'll take a good while for it to roll back over."
After a suitably dramatic windup—during which Kiriko considered using a healing crystal to restore her hearing, but quickly decided that she'd need it after—the grossly incandescent dragon flapped its massive, blazing wings, carrying it several dozen meters into the air, intangible pressure building to a peak. The whine, building in pitch and volume till now, suddenly vanished, replaced by an unsettling silence. For several tense moments, the world seemed to freeze, the dragon hanging in the air.
And then there was fire.
The wyvern lashed its curled wings outwards and an omnidirectional white-hot wave of flames expanded from it, filling the room with searing, blinding white faster than the speed of sound. Kiriko could see nothing but the dark forms of her cover and Kiko, both mere shadows in the blinding light. Moments later came the shockwave, rocking through the chamber and despite being broken by their cover, it still felt like a punch to the teeth. And the gut. And pretty much everywhere else, all at once. She noted that her HP bar—the view of the HUD unimpeded by the light—had dropped by 10% despite having been as close to 'blocking' as was physically possible.
Even as the flames began to fade, the shockwave rebounded off the walls of the circular cavern, coming back for round two, significantly weakened but still a blow, rattling her bones and taking a few precent more off her bar. The next echo registered as damage, but felt insignificant compared to the last. The following bounces rapidly diminished into a low-pitched rumble that could be gently felt, though not heard due to ruptured eardrums.
Globules of lava fell from the ceiling onto the smooth floor, the small cover having all melted into the crater of lava. Kiriko watched in eerie, concussed silence as the 'droplets' fell and shattered, spraying drops of lava before clearing her head and using the healing crystal ready in her hand, restoring her ears and removing the 'spots' (if a single blotch covering her entire vision could be called that) from her eyes.
Her cover pillar seemed to have withstood the shockwave without significant damage, but the heat had melted the epicenter-facing surface, causing the side to gradually spill down, molten. The floor outside the shadows cast by the sufficient cover was, well, lava. The crystals previously embedded in the ceiling were gone, but the two thousand degree lava formed a suitable alternate light source. The air itself was paradoxically cool, but Kiriko chalked it up to balance reasons and that if the damage matched up with the visuals and corresponding physics, they would have been nuked out of existence. Chunks of obsidian that were only partially molten fell from the ceiling, defying physics once more by settling with a mild splash instead of shattering, littering the ocean of lava with solid platforms.
"Ooooh boy," Kiriko sighs, realizing that this had just turned into a lava platforming puzzle. Everyone's favorite. "Well, on the bright side, the boss isn't on fire anymore," she commented, noting the small blessing. The no-longer-flaming beast in question landed on the molten rock without noticeable concern.
It was a good thing June had ducked for cover before the dragon exploded, but it didn't help the enhanced pain her cat ears were registering. They felt like someone had shoved red-hot irons into the top of her skull, which sent her to the ground in pain, curling up in the 'shadow' of rock the pillar had left behind, a low keen escaping her lips, her hands pressed into her skull. Had the rendering system been coded to show it, her hands would've been white from the pressure she was exerting.
Victus frowned at the puzzle, looking over at the wyvern. He looked at the nearest platform, unable to determine how long it would support him. He sighed and stood, half of his protective rock melting away. "Everyone alright? Anyone know if that thing's incapacitated?"
Kiko shook her head and rocked on her feet, visibly disoriented. But even amidst the blinding spots in her eyes and her dulled hearing, she heard a low keen quietly drift through the air from across the room. The small girl's dizzy head perked up before peering around Kiriko, the obsidian platforms still falling into place by the time the girl took off.
She lithely bounced along a fairly straight path to get to that keen, dodging falling rocks and lava alike, landing softly behind June's pillar with worried eyes. Out of the big stage change and the concussive effects of the dragon's latest move, Kiko's primary objective was coming to her aid.
The still dizzied girl knelt down, lightly tugging the curled up catgirl's head into her lap before she shuffled around in her inventory for a few seconds, pulling out a healing crystal to shatter over June a few moments later and clear up her hearing impairment and health loss. "You okay, June?"
Another sound and healing glow of a shattering crystal illuminated Kiko this time as Argo stood above her, hiding a small smile behind her scowl. "Hey, next time you go and heal a downed ally, remember to heal yourself first."
The Rat sighed and turned to observe their new challenge, watching as the lava bubbled and platforms fell to blanket the area in fragmented areas to move and fight. "It looks like a baiting game to me…"
Deciding to buy some time and create an opening, Kiriko looked out from around the pillar. The wyvern appeared content to let them recover, which suggested it needed recovery time of its own. Considering it just went fucking nuclear, that's only fair though.
Quickly assessing a path through the platforms, Kiriko ran along it, circling around the boss room to put the boss between her and the others as she approached it, noting that the platforms must be, rather logically in retrospect, resting on the floor as they did not bob.
As Kiriko neared the boss, she decided to skip the part where she grabs its attention through ineffective taunts and just activated a sword skill, the «Sonic Leap» carrying her through the air. Trailing green light, her sword cut across the boss's chest, leaving an angry red mark as she landed on a platform beneath the beast's feet.
The PMD from «Sonic Leap» was short in exchange for a long cooldown and Kiriko recovered before the boss finished rearing back to roar in pain, allowing her to skirt effortlessly around its stomp and jump back from its bite, sword glancing along its head, angering it further but not doing much damage. As she landed on a small platform, the boss leapt forward after her, enraged, and smashed its head into the ground, much like it had with its very first attack. And with similar results, the platform shattering into shrapnel moments after Kiriko jumped up off it, slashing the boss across an eye.
Roaring in pain and rage the boss flapped its wings, the current of air throwing Kiriko back. Fortunately for Kiriko, she wore armored boots and the lava was dense and viscous, so she was able to spring off it before taking significant damage, the lava that stuck to her boots rapidly cooling. Her jump carried her to a platform, which she bounced off of as the obsidian creature crashed into it. Kiting it around in a half circle only served to build its anger and so when Kiriko picked up the pace and retreated back to a large patch of land near the others, the snarling beast didn't hesitate to charge.
Kiriko grinned as she faced the charge head on, much like her shorter counterpart had done before. As it approached, she activated «Cleave», a single powerful strike available to most slashing weapons. Maxed out «Parry» skill, absurd attributes and gear, and a powerful sword skill combined as charging wyvern head met glowing sword and with a flash of light, both recoiled. As the boss staggered, Kiriko called out, "Hit it!" before adding, "Or flip it, I guess, if you're Kiko."
It took a couple moments for June to realize the pain was gone, and she sat up slowly, smiling brightly when she saw both Kiko and Argo with her. "Thanks, you two~!" She hugged them tightly, letting go after a few seconds, then pat Kiko's head a few times in gratitude. "Wanna tag-team it, Kiko?"
Vic stared at the dragon for a second in caution, making his own path to it after watching Kiriko assault it. He stepped around the beast, humming as he inspected it. "Hey, do you think it can still breathe fire? If not, I've got a plan If we can get it's mouth open."
Kiko shot Argo a thankful look as she nuzzled June's cheek, her gaze soon drifting to Vic as she nodded. "We're gonna try to get it to open its mouth."
"Just make it quick, whatever you're doing." Argo added, watching as Kiko stood herself up with June and took her sword back up into her hands.
By then, Kiriko had stunned the dragon, giving them all the perfect window of opportunity to move in. And with it disoriented, the half-pint shot June and Argo a playful grin and darted in, only half-paying attention to the fact that Argo slowed herself down just a tad to let Kiko take the lead.
The small girl darted past Kiriko and gave her a light tap on her shoulder, flying by her to slip under the dragon's wing then leap upward into its underside, putting her speed and strength into a powerful, gleaming, upward skill to turn and force the dragon's weight up into the air.
Argo followed the movement, leaping for the creature's other wing to appear just above the flailing appendage and slash it downward, sending the whole creature into an aerial roll before letting it crash back into the ground.
If June hit it in its throat, or anywhere near there, its maw was going to fly wide open.
I don't know why, but I was half expecting her to suplex it… Kiriko followed after Kiko and Argo, landing on one of the splayed out wings. The massive appendage served as a boat, easily supporting Kiriko's weight despite laying on lava rather than solid ground. Surprisingly, the boss had barely used its flight to inconvenience them so far, but there was no guarantee that would continue, not to mention that it had used its wings plenty. Therefore, it was natural to use the opportunity to strip it of its capacity for flight.
Well, that, and also I wanna see what the hell Vic's plan with going in its mouth is, so I can't just go for pure damage. Wrapped in blazing light, Kiriko's sword flashed out, rending a deep cut into the membrane of the wing. The boss's roar of pain was music. Lava began to leak through as she progressed towards the base of the wing, several more radiant slashes ripped through the wing material before she reached the base of the wing.
A crimson aura wreathed Kiriko's black blade as it ignited with her favorite skill. With a mighty lunge, «Vorpal Strike's» crimson spear of light lanced out, piercing straight through the joint at the base and rendering the wing useless. The wyvern spasmed and let out a roar—no, cry of pain, but was still too stunned to recover and so Kiriko had ample time to recover from the limited PMD of the skill.
A malicious grin graced Kiriko's features as, with her sword still impaled into the wing's base, she activated another skill. A sheath of green light appeared around her sword. Moments later, «Cyclone» activated as the swordswoman performed a full spin—side flip, rather—and a green disk of light practically appeared around her as the sword tore viciously through the wyvern's wing, severing it. That woulda been a lot more epic with a shower of gore, but I'll take what I can get.
In the final frames of the skill, after she regained control but before being frozen, Kiriko leapt off the severed wing. Moments later, it shattered, exposing the lava beneath as Kiriko's collided with her target platform, laughing gleefully as she gracelessly rolled to a halt.
June nuzzled Kiko back, watching excitedly as she and Kiriko straight-up demolished the boss, rendering it helpless for the next attack, if she started it soon. Of course, not one to be left out, she started towards the boss, hopping dextrously from platform to platform, a massive grin on her face and a certain large hammer in a one-handed grip, held loosely by her side as she ran. Seeing Kiriko sever the wing of the boss, she decided to angle her approach from that side, where it would be easier to access the wyvern's body - its neck, to be specific.
With the wing having shattered into shards, there was a large open space of lava right next to the dragon. Her goal? To hurdle it, smash the boss's neck, and send it into that open space on her way past it, where its movements would hopefully be hampered by the molten rock. Being made of obsidian and having pyrotechnic abilities, she didn't expect the dragon to take much, if any, damage from its future dip into its homemade hot tub.
She circled the gap, coming up fast on the staggered and crippled boss, hefting her hammer into a recognizable two-handed stance. The Sword Skill she'd chosen for this wasn't one she got to use often; her nickname for it was 'Whack-A-Mole' for good reason, after all. Of course, it was a rather advanced Skill in the tree, so not only did the hammer head light up, but the entire weapon did, exuding a visible neon green aura that extended beyond the confines of the weapon's model. She planted her left foot, springing off it over the boss's neck, which turned most of her forward momentum into rotational energy, and activated the skill, causing the hammer to hurtle towards the throat of the dragon in a swift arc, strongly resembling the swing of a professional golfer, crashing into the weaker - comparatively speaking, of course - scales there. Immediately, the pained roars were cut off with an interesting combination of a vicious scrape and grind, like sheet metal on glass, and a deep choking sound, putting another visible dent in the health bar and winding the dragon, causing it to wheeze hoarsely, its mouth having opened wide in an attempt to recover from the decisive blow.
Of course, a skill executed with that much power inevitably had some repercussions, namely Newton's Third Law of Motion. In this case, recoil. She bounced bonelessly away from her attack, stuck in her post-motion delay and barely staying on the platform next to the boss, the face-splitting grin still on her face. "Alright, Vic! He's all yours~!"
Vic crossed himself, and went back to the edge of a nearby platform. He wasn't as fast as anyone else, but he had the speed necessary to cannonball himself into the dragon's maw, sticking his tongue out at June before he landed inside. He landed on his feet and made his way towards the dragon's throat, swearing to nobody that if he died here, he'd haunt this game for the rest of his unnaturally born life. He managed to get himself to the visible dent in in the Obsidian Wyvern's, amazed at June's affinity to destruction. Placing his blade in the middle of the dent, he began attacking in a wild circle around him, using every sword skill in his arsenal to slowly damage and dig his way out of the dragon's throat. He exited with a powerful Fell Crescent, expelling him from the wound. Vic took one large breath, then fell over, exhausted. "Plan's over. Please tell me it's dead."
"Just about, anyway." Argo commented, crouching down in front of the collapsed Vic to pat the top of his tired head. "You brought it down to a few attacks, but I think Kiko would like the LA bonus. She really wants that pet dragon…" The Rat smiled and stood back up, glancing June's way with a mildly impressed look before shooting a cautious glance Kiriko's way. Kiriko was the one most infamous for stealing LA's, but when it came to Kiko, she often just gave it to the girl.
With that realization, Argo glanced to Kiko last and shot her a smirk as the dragon wheezed and writhed on its back. "So, which flashy move you going to use? You're not one to be outdone."
Kiko tilted her head in thought before pointing up, Argo's eyes following the movement before a look of recognition fell over the info broker's face.
It only took that silent, small second to formulate a wordless plan before Kiko sprinted forward, darting at such a speed to all but vanish. Her black attire and small profile made her practically impossible to track, and admittedly, showed a subtle, foreboding sense of the danger an enemy might be in if facing off with the girl.
Argo, on the other hand, didn't waste any time in tensing her legs and leaping into the air, turning and pivoting herself in such a way to reach out toward the ground in a sideways spin once she hit her highest point.
Kiko's hand slapped into hers in midair, and Argo rotated into the smaller girl's momentum, throwing the girl higher into the air while sending herself downward. The movement happened in a flash, and Kiko'd just about doubled Argo's natural buffed AGI jump height and then some, damn near touching the ceiling by the time she flipped herself around and positioned her sword in an old, early floor sword skill initiation.
It was a particular upgrade to the ≪Sonic Leap≫ skill.
One of the few sets of skills to incentivize the danger of fall damage, the impact numbers increasing with the more height you initiated the skill at.
And it was unblockable.
Instead of the classic green illuminating her blade against the obsidian ceiling, a vibrant, streaking white erupted across her sword before an unnatural propulsion shot her downward, her small form ripping through the air from a standstill to practically instant terminal velocity in a falling blaze of her sword skill before meeting the chest of the recovering dragon. An eruption of white light shot out from the point of impact with the equivalent concussive ring of a falling meteor, a stylistic shake and crater sinking and shattering the obsidian and lava in a web of cracks and splashes as every limb on the dragon's body jerked upward under the small, dense, and explosive impact of the hilariously small but cold girl.
That radiating pulse of white light shuddered before slamming into the distant walls, fading into the black obsidian there. The only light remaining were the white wisps streaming up from the impacted ground, threading around and through a violent scattering of polygons.
"It's dead," Kiko answered finally, standing at the center of the cratered, lava-dispersed ground in a sea of still glimmering white energy from her sword skill.
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