One of two projects I've been "working on" (last time I touched this story was I think in March)—I figured I'd post it because I want to be able to say I actually posted something this year (I know that it no longer qualifies for many people, but I'll have you know that for me it's 11 PM on December 31st, 2019 as I write this note and shouldn't take me an hour to actually post this) and this chapter's basically finished. No promises for the next chapter, but seeing as I've got basically infinite free time until next fall when I go off to college, it might actually happen.
The story itself, as the summary should say unless 10-minutes-in-the-future me suffers from a sudden stroke of genius, is a fem!Kirito (aka Kiriko) x Sinon yuri story, though Sinon's pretty OOC. It's set in Aincrad and is hopefully a romance story.
The premise of this story was basically "so what if Kirito was female, kinda perverted, and an asshole," so have fun with that. Also Sinon's here, naturally. I think it's pretty good, tbh. If you feel like telling me I did something wrong, please do. If you feel like posting rage reviews in the name of God... also please do! I'll make sure to screenshot them and laugh at you with the people on the Ace Fiction discord server (shameless)-plug. If you wanna join, standing open invite is discord [the small circle thing, so FFN doesn't censor] gg [slash] YU8A6Bp.
Chapter 1: Wanna party with me?
The crack of snapping bones echoed through the dungeon halls as Kiriko caved the skull of a «Skeleton Warrior», the staple enemy of the 38th floor dungeon, against the wall with a punch of her metal gauntlet. As the remains of the final skeleton shimmered and shattered into familiar polygons, Kiriko sheathed her sword and got moving again.
The pause was short lived, however, as clangs of metal on metal and metallic footsteps soon pulled Kiriko's attention once more. The only skeletons with metallic footsteps were the «Skeleton Knights» and «Skeleton Juggernauts», elite enemies and minibosses of the dungeon respectively. She picked up the pace towards the telltale sounds of combat.
Soon, she rounded a final corner. Fighting there was a lone player, armed with a weapon rather rare among the ranks of SAO players, simply due to difficulty of use under pressure. A bow. The girl's light blue hair hung down on either side, framing her cute face and a light, green tailcoat without a right sleeve clad her body. Under it were a pair of black short shorts and a tight black shirt which left her stomach bare and was almost entirely covered by a simple metallic breastplate. Black combat boots adorned her feet. The outfit left her toned legs and stomach bare, something which played absolutely no role whatsoever in Kiriko's following decision.
Those fucking legs.
Hearing heavy metal footsteps, Kiriko tore her gaze from the archer('s ass) and turned it to the 'imposing' sight of a «Skeleton Juggernaut» as it charged at her. She looked at the 8 foot tall mass of bone clad head-to-toe in heavy, dark plate armor with what could only be described as extreme irritation. Neither the spikes nor the greatsword were enough to phase the swordswoman. The giant was, frankly, a terrible match for the archer. The skeletons only had joints in a very loose sense, and shooting through the weak points at the joints would deal very little permanent damage—severing the two bones did little as they would just reattach.
Which is what made the archer's achievement of having reduced the Juggernaut's HP down to 60% actually impressive. All its weak points were peppered with arrows with pinpoint precision. And yet, as the quiver on her back neared empty, the same could not be said for the Juggernaut's health bar.
Hey! I was busy… (ogling a certain someone)! Leaving behind her more perverted part, the swordswoman leapt forward, her sword cloaked in the blazing crimson of «Vorpal Strike». Using the skill's extended range, she struck the Juggernaut before entering its reach, piercing through the Juggernaut's wrist and severing its right hand. Even as she came to a halt in front of the mountain of armor, a «Martial Arts» skill was already activating around her left fist, slamming into the Juggernaut with absurd force. A clang of metal rang out as the behemoth staggered back.
Before the skeleton could regain its balance or respond with its remaining hand, an arrow blazing with blue light slammed into its helmet, knocking it further off balance and buying enough time for Kiriko to recover and jump up, spinning around and slamming her violet-clad foot into the head of the staggering skeleton. The blow connected cleanly and, using the leverage of the monster's own height, sent it over backward. An arrow to the knee interrupted its attempt to catch itself.
With the 'ground' portion of 'ground and pound' complete, it was time for the other half, and Kiriko happily attacked the skeleton while it was down, rapidly beating its HP into nothing until it shattered.
"Isn't it a bit dumb for an archer to be alone in this dungeon? Being solo is dangerous, y'know?" Kiriko commented, straightening her coat as she got up. "You could've gotten killed, and you're cute, so that woulda been a shame."
"A bit rich coming from someone clearly solo themselves," the archer shot back, irked by both comments but not dignifying the latter with a response.
Kiriko shrugged as she double checked that she didn't get anything interesting from the «Juggernaut». Just the usual. "'Do as I say, not as I do.'" Then, with a teasing smirk, she added, "It would be unfortunate for those legs to go to waste, after all!"
"Thank you for your concern," the bluenette spat, her tone venomous.
"Gee, what's got your panties in a bunch? Want me to straighten 'em out for you?"
Hello Glare-chan, I'm Kiriko, nice to meet you! The lecherous noirette thought, entirely unfazed by the other girl's glare, seemingly aimed at killing her on the spot.
Kiriko shrugged again, to herself this time, and said, "Well, good luck on your continued survival, I'll be on my way. Maybe if we ever see each other again, you'll buy me lunch for saving your life."
"Not. A. Fucking. Chance," the archer hissed.
"Aw, come on, why so cold?"
Glare-chan, we meet again! It's been so long! I missed you!
Kiriko laughed as she started to walk off, "Name's Kiriko! What's yours, Icy?"
"None of your business."
"Noneofyo- Eh, that's too long, I'll stick with Icy!" Kiriko blew a kiss before skipping off, her day of monotonous grinding significantly improved by the encounter with the cute, scantily-clad girl.
Winning personality, too.
By the time Kiriko left, Sinon was just hoping that their first meeting would be their last.
A futile hope.
"Kiri-chi! How ya' been?" greeted the mousy girl as she attempted to ambush Kiriko with a hug from behind. Rather than sidestepping as she usually did, Kiriko spun around and put her foot out for Argo to 'land' on.
"Oof" Argo winced as she collided stomach first with the extended foot, promptly falling backwards and landing on her rear.
"Hey Argo!" Kiriko's tone matched Argo's in excitement and contained no comment on the events of moments past.
Argo, too, made no comment as she hopped up and asked, "So whatcha need?"
"Hmm, nothing much. Just wanted to know about a player."
"Oh…? That's unusual. Got a name?" Argo asked, suddenly curious.
"Her name was 'Noneofyourbusiness' or something like that. It was pretty long," Kiriko said with a shiteating grin. "I just called her 'Icy'."
Glare-chan, are you eating well…? You're looking a bit, uh, dead(pan)?
After a few moments, both started laughing. "I'll need *hah* a bit *hah* more *hah* to go on," Argo said through her laughter.
"Archer, blue hair, cute, not very much clothing, bit of a bitch," Kiriko said.
"I think that last one's probably your fault," Argo commented, knowing her shameless friend well enough to know that any 'bitchiness' displayed by the other girl was likely well-earned.
Which isn't to say that the icy-haired archer wasn't equally an icy queen though—she most certainly was. "Anyway, I know 'er, she's a regular. Anything else 'll cost ya'."
"Whaddya wanna know?" Argo says with a smirk.
"Let's start with her name and who she is."
"That'll be 3000."
Glare-chan, you serve me now!
"Okay, okay, 1000."
Thank you, Glare-chan!
"Scam artist. Deal." Kiriko produced a bag of col and handed it to the Rat.
"Her name's Sinon. As you guessed, she's an archer. She's relatively new to the frontlines, though she's been playing catch-up and helping clear dungeons since Floor 15, before then she was a midliner. She's one of the relatively few solo players and the only solo archer. You'll have to pay more for anything else. Wanna know her three sizes? Or the color of her underwear?"
"Argo, come on, you know me. I'd never buy things like that... It's way more fun to find them out on my own!" Kiriko stuck her tongue out at Argo.
"Good luck with that," Argo answered with a teasing grin.
"One more free tidbit, she'll probably be participating in the next boss meeting." Her grin turned smug at Kiriko's annoyance—she knew how much the swordswoman despised the boss meetings.
The days until the next boss meeting were filled with more of the usual for Kiriko—brutal murder of poor, innocent monsters which never did anything wrong. Of course, "innocent" is a stretch and their lack of wrongdoing is purely the result of a lack of opportunity for aforementioned activity, but that's entirely besides the point.
But her feelings as she walked towards to the gathering of Clearers, were quite unusual for Kiriko, well aside from the quite usual annoyance—an unfamiliar mix of anxiousness and anticipation-
"Well well well, if it isn't the great Black Swordswoman, finally decided to grace us with your presence?" Her musings were interrupted by a nasal voice which made her want to bleach her ears. The second-in-command of the Divine Dragons Alliance.
Well that was his title, but as his real role was as a glorified secretary who never attended the boss battles themselves, Kiriko knew little about him. However, the two main things she knew about him—his voice and cowardice—left her with a rather poor opinion of him.
Kiriko raised her fist, casually extending her middle finger without sparring a second glance to the man whose face matched his voice.
Their combat sub-leader is much more tolerable… Schmitt, I think.
"H-hey! I'm talking to you!"
"'H-h-hey! I-I'm t-talking t-to y-you!'" Kiriko mimicked mockingly, finally facing her solicitor. "What are you? A schoolboy in front of his crush? Sorry, I won't date someone whose voice is worse than nails on a chalkboard."
The secretary's face turned red with anger as he worked his jaw, trying to find something to say. "Do- Do you have any idea who I am?!" his voice escalating to something between a yell, a scream, and a voice crack.
"Hmm…" Kiriko hummed, placing her hand on her chin. After a moment's pause, she shakes her head slightly and says with a cheerful smile, "Nope!"
"I am the second…" he began, but by the time he'd finished striking a pose, Kiriko had already tuned him out entirely and walked away in search of more interesting company. Like legs- sorry, Icy-non.
Moments later, Kiriko found herself addressed once more. "Kiriko. Glad you decided to join us, though I'm sure you have some ulterior motives beyond attending the meeting." The words flowed smoothly in the crimson-clad Paladin's regal, charismatic voice.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Kiriko said, lifting her head dismissively.
"Really?" Heathcliff gave her a disbelieving look.
"I find that unlikely considering that you've seemed perfectly happy to demand the contents of the meeting 15 minutes before the boss fight the last dozen floors. Not to mention that I recall you saying something along the lines of, 'I'd rather fight the fucking floor boss on my own than show up again to one of…' and then proceeding to describe these meetings in a such a way that I do not want to relive the mental imagery it provoked by recalling it." Heathcliff delivered the quote without inflection.
"I did say that, didn't I…? If you need help recalling exactly-"
"I like to think that I have a way with words," Kiriko said with a teasing grin.
"That you do. So, what brings you here?"
Kiriko shrugged. "I'm looking for someone, have reason to think they'll show up."
"I'd wish you luck, but I'm mildly worried about them," Heathcliff said, a slight smirk on his lips.
"Hey!" Kiriko feigned a hurt look. "I'm hurt by the implication!"
Heathcliff just shrugged. "Well, unlike a certain freeloader, I have a boss meeting to organize. I hope that regardless of why you're here, you do pay attention."
"Have fun!" Kiriko cheerfully waved after him as he turned away.
Stand up guy. Now, where was I… Ah, yes. Looking for Icy.
"Hello there." Sinon turned towards the voice, raising an eyebrow questioningly and gesturing to herself, silently asking, 'me?'
The chestnut-haired girl speaking nodded. "Are you a new Clearer?"
"If I am?" Sinon answered cautiously.
"Oh thank god! There's not enough girls here. I'm Asuna, lieutenant commander of the Knights of the Blood. Nice to meet you!"
"Sinon. Solo," Sinon answered with far less enthusiasm.
"You're solo at this level? I'm impressed; there's only a couple solo Clearers."
"Well, I am." Sinon's demeanor had not thawed.
"I can see why you're solo…" Asuna groaned in a strained voice, earning a small chuckle from Sinon. "Come on, there's like no other girls here! You can't just leave me alone!"
The archer's mind wandered back to her encounter in the dungeon a couple days ago. To her annoyance, she found that she'd remembered the infuriating swordswoman's name.
"What about Kiriko?"
Asuna somehow managed to choke on her saliva. "Have you actually met her?" Before Sinon could answer, she added, "Besides, she hasn't shown up to boss meetings since the 25th floor."
This managed to pique Sinon's curiosity.
"Why's that?" she asked despite herself, the desire to distance herself from Kiriko battling curiosity and losing.
"Well, you know how the 25th boss went horribly wrong?"
"Approximately. I don't know specifics."
"Well, to make a long and sad story short, 19 died and many others came close. Kiriko hasn't showed up to a boss meeting since."
"Why did she stop showing up?"
"Sorry, I'm not an expert on the psychology of… her. It was something along the lines of 'I told you so.' Anyway, she doesn't really count and there really aren't enough girls on the frontline."
"Oh? Fancy yourself an oversexualized battle android?" Kiriko commented, a satisfied grin on her face as she awaited Asuna's reaction. Whatever Sinon was going to say, Asuna never found out.
"What are you- No, wait, when the hell did you get here!?" Asuna exclaims.
Definitely worth waiting. Kiriko glanced at Sinon.
"I've been here the entire time you've been talking," Kiriko announced smugly. "Should have paid more attention to your surroundings."
Asuna just groans. "Why are you even here?"
"That's for me to know and for you to find out. Or not. I really don't care either way."
"I take it you two have some history?" Sinon asked.
Kiriko turned in response and curtseyed, disregarding the question. "Hello again, M'lady."
"What's with the sudden change in manners…?" Sinon directed a suspicious gaze at Kiriko.
"I know not what you speak of, M'lady." Neither Kiriko's face nor voice gave away a hint of mirth.
"With pleasure." Kiriko waited patiently for the second it took to sink in before adding, "M'lady."
Hello again Glare-chan, how've you been? I didn't know you had a twin!
"So anyway, how've you been, Icy?" Kiriko asked, cheerfully ignoring the glares directed at her by her peers.
"Better before you opened your mouth," Sinon stated dryly, "And my name's not 'Icy.'"
"That is generally the case," Kiriko agreed with a sagely nod before amending her previous statement, "I meant aside from that."
Sinon—deciding that maybe humoring the swordswoman would make her less of, as Asuna put it, an annoying bitch—answered, "Bored, mostly."
"Look on the bright side! I'm entertaining!" Kiriko comments.
"I think the word you're looking for is 'infuriating'. Being bored is preferable to dealing with your shit."
"You just gotta relax a little. Like me!"
"Relax!?" Asuna interjected, "How can you say that!? We're trapped here, fighting for our lives, and you're telling us we should relax?!"
Kiriko paused for a second before letting out a snicker, unphased by Asuna's assault.
"What?" Asuna demanded.
"It's just," Kiriko said with another snicker, "Icy needs to warm up a little while you could really stand to cool down some. I should start calling you 'Fiery' after your temper. Maybe if you two 'mingle' it'll balance out."
Cheerfully, Kiriko began to sing, "Fiery and Icy laying in a… tree... L-I-C-K-"
"Shut. Up," Sinon commanded coldly the moment she realized where Kiriko was going, though the effect was ruined by the blush decorating her cheeks.
Really brain? 'Laying in a tree'? That's the best you could come up with...
Two simultaneous slaps could be heard as Kiriko and Sinon face palmed Asuna's innocence in unison.
Asuna replied with a glare. "Is she serious?" Kiriko asked, feigning an incredulous tone.
"How should I know? I just met her," Sinon answered before realizing in horror a moment later that she'd just agreed with Kiriko.
"You- wha- You know what? Forget it. I asked you a question!" a flustered Asuna fumbled out.
"You did?" Kiriko questioned.
"You know damn well what I'm talking about!" Asuna exclaimed.
Kiriko paused for a moment. "Oh, you're right! You asked why I'm here. I told you already, that's a secret!" The living incarnation of insufferability said with a teasing smirk.
Asuna let out a long-suffering groan. "I swear, Kiriko, one day- one day you'll regret the way you treat people."
"That would only happen if I actually needed people for something, so… nope!" the swordswoman said confidently, "Besides, Heathcliff likes me, so I'm pretty much covered."
"Heathcliff does not like you! He tolerates you at best. And, honestly, I have no idea how he does even that."
"Keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better," the smug noirette said before addressing Sinon, "So anyway, Icy, wanna party up for the boss fight?"
""What?!"" Asuna and Sinon exclaimed in shared shock, though their reasons differed.
"Why the fuck would I party with you?" Sinon asked in genuine confusion.
"Since when do you even party with people?"
"Because I'm the strongest player in the game and being an archer is actually really bad for being solo, especially on this floor?" Kiriko supplied helpfully. "Also I'm cute and charming!"
This earned a snort from the icy archer and a startled cough from her fiery counterpart.
"Suppose for a second I accept that answer—why do you want to party with me?"
"You're cute," Kiriko stated shamelessly.
"Seriously? That's it?" Asuna demanded, "You didn't want to party with me–"
Kiriko cut her off, "In my defense, she's wearing like half as much clothing as you."
Asuna just looked at her blankly.
"Also you're annoying."
It was Sinon's turn to choke on her own digital saliva.
"So, how much have you partied before?" the shameless hypocrite asked without breaking figurative stride.
Sinon paused. It was a perfectly reasonable question that didn't seem to be designed to irritate and infuriate. Which was highly suspicious.
"Why…?" Sinon asked warily.
"Well, if we're gonna be partying we need to coordinate, so I need to know how much experience you have and what I need to teach you." Kiriko's answer seemed perfectly reasonable and earnest.
"That makes sense. Though how would you teach me? From what Asuna says, you're not exactly known for partying with people."
"Believe it or not, Asuna's not all-knowing." A teasing smirk graced the soloist's features.
Sinon gave her a pointed look. "She may not be all-knowing, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out you don't party with anyone."
"I'm still here, you know!" Asuna interjected…
… and was entirely ignored. "You're not wrong, I suppose, except the part where you are."
Glare-chan, you seem to be really close friends with Icy!
Needless to say, Kiriko was unfazed by Sinon's icy glare.
"I actually do occasionally party, it's just not public knowledge."
"Why do you party with them?" Sinon questioned suspiciously.
"What, is Icy jealous?" Kiriko teased.
The girl in question had the good sense to not grace the teasing with an answer, biting down her denial.
Pouting, Kiriko repeated, "So what's your experience in parties?"
Before Sinon could answer, Heathcliff's amplified voice boomed across the plaza, "Alright, quiet down! We're already a bit behind schedule and it seems most people have arrived, so let's get started."
"Well, that's my cue, gotta run. Nice meeting you, Sinon," Asuna said, running off to join Heathcliff.
"Well, guess we'll figure it out later." Kiriko shrugged before sending Sinon a party invite, which she thoughtlessly accepted. "I hate these meetings so I'm gonna run too!"
With those words, Kiriko vanished into the crowd and then, presumably, out of it, leaving Sinon to realize that…