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« SAO:NA - Chapter X: Empty Hands

Sword Art Online: New Aincrad
Written by: FedeTkd
Published: FedeTkd (talk) 20:20, November 1, 2014 (UTC)
Chapter 11: Free Man

SAO:NA - Chapter XII: The Path We Follow »



Floor 50th, September 13th, 2026

Roar of the crowd.

The strong echo of steel and wood clashing strong.

The steps of the watchers on the wooden grandstands, making the entire arena shake.

The sound of blades piercing flesh.

The Gladiators screaming by the pain.

Tears of blood falling to the sands.

A Lancer falls to the sands, but quickly gets back up. His adversary, a Saber, rushes towards him. The lancer attacks with his spear, but the Saber quickly blocks with his large tower shield and then counters with a slash with his blade. The Lancer blocks with the handle of his weapon, and then tries to impale him with it, however, the Saber parries with his shield and starts spinning to attack him again with his sword, but the Lancer blocks with the small shield on his left forearm. He continues to advance, but leaves his chest opened for an attack, enough for the Lancer to impale the beginning of his stomach.

The crowd screams in joy.

The Saber falls back as the Lancer remained calm and changed the dagger in his left hand to his right. The Saber removes the spear from his body and throws it to the ground.

KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL! KILL!

The saber attacks him, but the Lancer, totally calmed, parries with his shield, spins and impales him with his dagger right in the back, piercing his vertebrae. The Lancer removes the blade, as the drips of blood splatter in the sands. The body falls dead to the ground at the same time.

The victor looks at the Pulvinus and roars. On it, Magnus, Thanos and other high ranking members of the Legions and nobles friends of Magnus praised him and his noble efforts. Thanos found himself in a horrible situation.

Magnus: “Fine showing.”

“To be forever remembered by adoring crowd, along with the name Magnus.” Hakku, one of the nobles, said.

Thanos: “Right. He won’t ever be forgotten.”

“The same can’t be said of all men.” Issis, one of the noble ladies said, referring to Thanos.

“I really want to thank you about this Magnus. Your games have given the players much needed distraction on these dark times.” The governor of the city says

The trumpets sound.

Issis: “The executions begin.”

Hakku: “Glorious finale for our stay in Luccinea.”

“If only Kirito was among them…”

Thanos: “The man will be soon dead, Cassios!”

Magnus: “Until then, we’ll send a message to them, written in blood.” He gets up, with both arms raised to the crowd. “FIRE IS DEATH! A phrase used to invoke fear on the citizens of the republic. A specter of the salamander animal who attacked our Kingdom, many moons past. But as is the fate of all enemies of the Kingdom, GENERAL EUGENE WAS DEFEATED AT THE END OF OUR KING’S BLADE! ”

The crowd roars to his speech.

“A fate that will one day be shared by the rebel Kirito! The AEsirs don’t have such sight prepared for us, but rather, they tell us of a potentially certain future for him! Three of Kirito’s most trusted men, their deaths to serve as warning for all who challenge the Kingdom.”

The iron door of the right side of the Pulvinus opens, as Asuna, Klein and Kunimittz. The crowd begins to shout and even throws to them things, like rotten food and rocks, though none of the things strike at them. The three of them are in chains on their wrist, but with a blade without edge on their hands. They get to the middle of the arena and stop.

“They’re to be executed ad gladium, by the warriors whose victories today earned their position in the primus. But who shall lead the forces of our Kingdom? Who deserves the greatest mantle? There stands but one. The only gladiator that never lost a duel…”

One of the locks of the door at the left side of the arena is opened.

“…The true Champion of Aincrad….”

The second lock opens.

“…I GIVE YOU…GALANT!!!”

The doors open, as the crowd roars in enjoyment.

A serious Galant raises his head looking towards his adversaries, standing in front of the soldiers dressed with his gladiator outfit, but this time, with two manicas protecting his arms.

GALANT! GALANT! GALANT! GALANT! GALANT! GALANT! GALANT!

As he begins to walk inside the arena, the crowd instantly roars. Petals of flower fall upon the entering gladiators, with Galant standing at their vanguard when he raises both blades to the crowd and turns 360º while walking to his adversaries.

Klein: “Why is he here?”

Asuna: “Because he has neither loyalty nor moral code.”

Galant and the others gladiators rapidly get in front of them.

Galant: “I’m sorry for this. I told you it wasn’t a good idea going there.”

Asuna approaches him.

Asuna: “Is it true then? Did you tell them? Did you participate in an ambush against us?”

Galant looks down, shaking his head.

Galant: “Asuna…”

Asuna screams and raises her blade clashing against his own. They begin the battle before Magnus even told them. Asuna keeps her constant assault on Galant…

---

One day earlier…

Floor 55th, September 12th, 2026

The Knights of the Blood walk thought the deep woods near the great volcano of Muspel. The forest was called “Redwood Forest” for the red leaves growing on the threes that made the whole place beautiful. It was also called Muspel Forest or The Volcan’s Forest because players believed that the infrequent eruptions caused the leaves of the trees grew colored in a red resembling the hot boiling lava inside the sleeping giant.

They were near to their new base, but still most of them were tired after the long day’s journey.

Lamorak gets next to Kirito.

“We shouldn’t have divided our forces.” Lamorak apologies to his leader. “If we’d been with you at the mines…”

“Even more would lay dead inside of them.” Kirito interrupts. “Mistakes were made in both sides. We’ve got to forget about them, or we may repeat them…”

He advances to the front of the group, when they hear a song from up ahead. Kirito raises his hand telling them to be still and get ready for the worst. Agil, Recon and Silica appear from the woods up ahead.

Agil: “We’ve found something, come.”

Kirito: “Wait here. We’ll be back.”

Kirito and Lamorak follow them, advancing to the place they were scouting. They move with discretion to the upper part of a small hill while crawling on the ground. Agil is the first to look.

Agil: “There.”

They could see a big clearing of the woods and behind that the great volcano, Muspel. But more importantly, a small and abandoned temple surrounded by a 3 meter high wall, at 100 meters from them and the same distance from the volcano. Between the two of them, the trees also spread deeply.

Lamorak: “Finally, the gods fucking help us a bit.”

Kirito: “We’ll go there, and see to how much luck we have.”

They advance with weapons in hand all five together until the entrance at the side of the wall. The temple had a small garden with no plants on it, rather just sand. The walls surrounding the temple looked strong enough to hold an attack. The inner side of it could be entered by walking up a five step , at there were two white stone four meter high columns. The rest of the temple had normal walls and a long and wide corridor in the middle. Still, most of the temple had broken things from the ceiling and the place looked nasty; like if it been abandoned for decades.

Kirito: “Silica, bring the others.” She runs back to their comrades. “Search for weapons, perhaps we find some.”

Agil and Rekon advance to the insides of the temple, leaving Lamorak and Kirito.

Lamorak: “Finally, a roof over our heads.” He looks up, to notice that half of the ceiling was broken and they had to repair it. “…mostly…”

Kirito: “We should rest, consider future…”

“THERE’S NONE FOR YOU…”

“NOT HERE IN OUR FUCKING TEMPLE!”

Two female players appear out of the shadows. One was an Imp with long black hair and violet eyes, as was great part of her outfit. She was aiming at them with her bow. The other who had just insulted them was a Cait Sith with a brown, yellow and green outfit, with dark brown hair and sky-blue eyes. Her cat ears could be spotted out of the top her head and she wielded two backhand daggers on her hands.

Both of them were ready to fight if needed to be.

The two sisters hear the sound of metal right behind them. The Cait Sith girl turns around, giving her back to her partner. Agil and Rekon were there with weapons in hand, waiting for the two girls to attack first or a command of Kirito.

“Seems we’re finally out of the war, sister.” The Cait Sith grins.

“Maybe he doesn’t care to join us?” The Imp girl responds, referring to Kirito.

“We seek only shelter.” Kirito lets down his blade. “Nothing more.”

“Kirito…” Lamorak says.

“Wait you, are Kirito?” The Imp asks.

“I am.” Kirito responds.

She looks to his eyes as he does the same. Both sisters look each other by the corner of the eye when the Cait Sith finally speaks.

“Then we fucking mistake you!”

She begins to laugh out loud, sheathing back her daggers. The imp as well let down her bow and joined their laugh. Kirito relaxes after this.

“You can call the rest of your men if they’re near. Come!”

Both girls go to the back side of the temple, where they have a small room filled with things, but without order at all.

“This temple has remained without worship for much time. It doesn’t offer a lot of comfort, but we’ll share what we have.” The Imp girl says.

She offers Kirito a jar of wine.

Kirito: “Thank you…”

He grabs it, but Lamorak stops him.

Lamorak: “You trust drink and words from girls we just met and just threatened us?”

“Oh where’re our manners! Introductions!” The Cait Sith says sarcastically. “I’m Kana, and she’s my sister, Diana.”

Lamorak: “And I’m Lamorak, commander of…”

Kana: “Pleasure to make fucking presentation!”

After sarcastically saying that, she grabbed the drink and took a sip of it.

Kirito: “Why’re you here, girls?”

Diana: “We’re once players trapped inside SAO, the same as you. We’re members of Pendragon Court we luckily survived the game.”

Kirito: “I’ve heard much about Pendragon Court. You destroyed the glitch Skieth defeated the Guardians of Darkness.”

Kana: “That was the guild of Hao, when he was on SAO, trying to conquer it. Ishi, the Blade Master, a friend of us, defeated him.”

Kirito: “I’ve heard of him.”

Lamorak: “As I have. It’s said that he was a selfish and a dick.”

Kana and Diana smile.

Kana: “Yep he was. But he still defeated Hao. After the game was cleared, we joined here. But since we found out Hao was still alive trying to finish what he started and punishing everyone who dares to defy him!”

She throws the jar of wine to the wall, breaking it.

Kirito: “Your eyes brighten, when you heard my name. Few players do that, after all the bad publicity from the Legions.”

Diana: “We once followed Ishi and our leader, Knight, to fight Hao. Now we’ll follow you, if you let us join your guild.”

She extends her hand to Kirito, who grabs it. They share a handshake, sign that he accepted them on her guild. They would need two experienced players.

Lamorak: “Kana, couldn’t you’ve done speech BEFORE throwing the jar of wine?”

Kana laughs, and so Lamorak does.

Kana: “If we’ve known you’ve come here, we would’ve stocked it to the celling…” She stops for a moment, and then looks at them. “We thought a lot of you’ve fallen, in the mines of the 49th floor.”

Kirito: “Where did you hear that?”

Diana: “The streets of Bluewater Bay, which we frequent for trading. The place’s a fire with news of your defeat.”

Kana: “The only survivors to be executed in General Magnus’ fucking games.”

Lamorak: “Survivors?”

Kirito: “You have names?”

Diana: “I know that just three will step to the sands of the arena, and one is marked as the “Berserk Healer”.”

Kirito smiles and his eyes brighten.

Kirito: “Asuna, she yet lives…”

Diana: “But only, to see the sun rise once again. The games end when the sun sets tomorrow, as do the lives of your men.”

---

Floor 50th, September 12th, 2026

Hikami with a bunch of soldiers arrives to the base of Thanos. They pass walk nearby the cell where the three prisoners wait for death. Upon seeing Hikami, Klein struggles and shakes the bars of the cell. Hikami smiles and continues walking. They notice two soldiers carried a pallet with the dead body of colonel Valon.

Klein: “Kirito still eludes death.”

Kunimittz: “But we fucking not.”

Asuna looks at Klein, but then sits down on the ground and sights.

Klein: “What is it, Asuna? Aren’t you happy your boyfriend is still alive?”

Asuna: “I am. I just wondered…who we may face in the Arena.”

The corpse is carried before Thanos, who looks at his best friend, now dead and out of the war.

“How did he fall?” The general asked

“We found Kirito and his men while we gave chase. The villain himself did it.” Hikami responds.

Thanos looks at him, deeply to the eye. After a few minutes he speaks.

“But, you stand before me still alive.”

“I came for your colonel’s aid, to heal the wound the rebel caused.”

“A noble effort, which was useless. Send word to General Magnus. Kirito won’t be among the players executed tomorrow. And you, salamander, get out of my fucking sight!”

“General.”

He walked out of the place alone, smiling. Everything went according to his plans…Soon enough he would have what he always dreamed of…Power. Unlimited Power.

Thanos places his hand on the chest of his friend and looks down.

---

Floor 50th, September 12th, 2026

“How you amazed the crowd! Tales of the prowess of the Champion of Aincrad still fill the air, rivaling those of many other great SAO players.”

“Thank you, Cassios.” Galant responds. “I don’t want to offend you, but when I’m to receive my payment?”

“It’s alright. You’ll receive it on the conclusion of your services.”

“Right now, I’ve got almost no money. A few coins given could be very useful.”

“Of course.” He takes a bag of coins from his menu, and gives fifty Yrd to Galant, which was only 10% of his payment. Enough for him at that moment.

Galant closes his hand, and seriously looks upon it.

“I’ll do it.”

“It’ll be a glorious spectacle, with you in shining helm. Come! I want to present you to the Governor, and General Magnus himself.”

Cassios was about to continue walking, but he’s stopped by Galant.

“Let them gaze on the legend tomorrow in the arena with the rest of the howling mob. I’m going to rest and drink in the meantime.”

---

Floor 55th, September 12th, 2026

While Sybil rest on a bed, she’s been healed by several Undines. Leafa was helping them, when Lamorak appeared.

Lamorak: “I owe you one, Leafa. Kirito told me what you did for her. If it weren’t for you…”

Leafa: “It’s because of me Sybil’s almost dead. You never should’ve come to the mines.”

Lamorak: “I did what I could to stop them.”

Leafa: “Would that you’ve done more, maybe this wouldn’t be happening…”

Lamorak: “Leafa…”

Leafa: “The hope of seeing my cousin again was what kept me alive. Every day, I prayed to the Aesirs he would save me. And this is how they fucking answer?! By allowing more to take my place!?”

Lamorak: “Klein and your cousin wouldn’t rest until you were out of that place. Not until you’re safe. None of them would.”

He looks to Sybil, referring to her as well.

Leafa: “Maybe Valon should’ve taken my life. So that no one else sacrificed their own…”

Sinon: “Kirito calls for you.”

Kirito is sat on a fallen wooden beam, with sword in hand and its tip against another beam, spinning the sword on it, while thinking. Looking to the players resting finally in a safe place. He looks down and spins the sword again.

Sinon and Lamorak arrive.

Kirito: “Sybil?”

Lamorak: “She still fights.”

Sinon: “We’re all the same. Fighting.”

Kirito: “Most players believe otherwise. Diana and Kana told me they believe we’re all defeated.”

Lamorak: “Let them come then, and they’ll find the rumor false.”

Kirito: “We can’t wait for that. I won’t see our partners die in the arena.”

Both of them look at Kirito surprised.

Lamorak: “You’d attack the arena…”

Sinon: “Our numbers are very low. And more players skilled with sword.”

Kirito: “Thanos and his men know that. They wouldn’t expect this coming then.”

Lamorak: “For good fucking reason….What’re you thinking?”

Kirito: “The execution is a message. The Legions extinguish any flame that burns against Hao or the Kingdom.” He gets up, looking to Lamorak. “But I want to send our own message. One that shall ignite the hearts and souls of all the players in Aincrad!”

---

Leafa: “It’s possible?”

Kirito: “I’ll try to make it, or we’ll all fall together in the sands of the arena.”

“Where do we go?”

Lamorak: “Sybil!”

She was with bandages over her belly and could barely walk. Lamorak approaches her, placing his hand on her left cheeks. They both smile once they see each other. Sybil turns to Kirito afterwards.

Sybil: “Give me Gae Bolg and Fawx. I want to join you!”

Kirito: “You should rest a while longer.”

Lamorak: “This time you stay, and I go…”

Lamorak approaches his face and kisses Sybil in the lips. They part quickly, but remain looking to each other’s eyes.

Kirito: “We must go!”

Lamorak, Sinon, Agil, Recon and others join him.

Sinon: “She cheats death. Perhaps that’s a sign.”

Kirito: “We can’t rely just on beliefs and omen. We need strength, will and a just cause, and making good use of them.” He looks to the players on the players on the garden. “You’ve all heard what we intent to do. It’s true. WE’RE GOING TO THE ARENA IN LUCCINEA!”

They were all surprised.

“And if you don’t return?” One player asks.

“Kana and Diana know well these lands. If we’re too long gone, I’ll ask that them to show you a safe path out of Aincrad. Far from the reach of Hao, Thanos and their legions. To go back to ALfheim.”

Both sisters nod their head.

“We’ve suffered wounds and losses. We’ve been divided. But we’re free. A thing that stands beyond any price, and I want to see my friends with us again. And, while doing it, spread the word to any player of this game, THAT EVEN THE MIGHTY LEGIONS BLEED, WHEN THEY’RE STRUCK!”

---

Floor 50th, September 12th, 2026

“Bartender, two more beers.”

The Bartender nods his head, and prepares two beers.

Galant waits, and places his back against the bar table. A girl on a chair with short brown reddish hair and brown eyes waves her hand at him and blinks her eye. She was wearing a shirt with no sleeves; which was unbuttoned, revealing her cleavage. Unluckily for her, she had little-to-no breasts. She was also wearing a short black skirt. On her legs were black and white stockings, and black shoes on her feet.

The bartender gives him the two glasses. He walks back to the table, sitting down in the chair in front of the girl and giving her the second glass. He quickly takes a sib.

“Thanks. You’re still polite offering me a drink.”

“Yep.” He says after finishing his short sip. “It’s been a long time after all, Otome.”

She begins drinking her own drink.

Otome was an “old friend” of Galant. She was one of the multiple girls he usually dated before he fell in love with Sakura. Not even after her death he could date of other girls. He could if he just wanted, but that was his problem. All of them reminded him of Sakura and what he had lost.

He had just found Otome, on the bar, where she always was. According to her, they served the best bear on Aincrad there. Galant thought it would be nice to try it. She was right indeed.

Galant took another longer sib of his drink.

Otome knew what happened to Sakura, and could notice on Galant’s face that he still loved her. She was also a bit jealous of her. She was really pretty, with longer hair and bigger breasts than hers. But even still, she wanted to be with Galant, so she placed her from mind, and focused on him.

“I didn’t know you played this game.”

“I started as soon as they released the game for the second time. Never stopped playing since then.”

“Six after SAO was cleared?”

“Yep.”

“And what brings you here? To the beautiful city of Luccinea.”

“I came for the games.”

“I wish I could see them.” She says smiling. “There’re already no sits to occupy inside, they sold out in a single day.”

“Because of the executions. If I could, I’ll trade places. You stand upon the sands, and I’d drink and do whatever I wanted until death took me.”

She looks to his coat, placed on the back of his chair. The twin golden blades on his back.

“The sands…don’t tell me…You’re Galant! The Champion of Aincrad!”

“Shadow of the same guy.”

“I’ve never heard of another with two twin blades and a rudis. Can I see them?”

He gives her the blade still on the sheath. That way she could have it on her hands. Otherwise it would fall as dead weight to the ground because of the condition to wield Maximus Caliburn.

She then looks to the Rudis.

“These markings…They tell of your victories in Aincrad.”

He grabs it.

“They tell of glories, long forgotten.” He says, looking deeply to the wooden blade.

“Seems it troubles you. Why do you carry it then?

“It must always remain at my side. Even inside the arena. It proves that I’m a free player that works for the Legions…and reminds me of things that happened inside SAO.”

He closes both eyes remembering all his great loses inside the Death-Game, before reopening them again looking to the purple ribbon.

“Enough talk for today Otome.”

“Why? So soon?” She asks surprised.

“Sorry, but tomorrow’s an important day. I want to sleep well, finish this beer, and prepare myself for upcoming day. I’ll be back here tomorrow and we’ll share another drink.”

He smiles at her, what she widely replies.

Galant leaves to find an Inn to pass the night.

---

Floor 50th, September 13th, 2026

The games begin.

Magnus: “Citizens of The Kingdom, we gather this glorious day to witness the last games of your humble editor, General Magnus.”

Claps of the crowd and all the nobles in the Pulvinus, with the exception of Thanos.

“And on this last day, I have a special offering for all of you. The normal executions will take place at the Primus! AND EACH CONTEST WE WITNESS TO DAY SHALL TO SEE WHO IS WORTHY OF DELIVERING THE JUSTICE OF THE KING!”

The mob roars in approbation.

“Now let the show start! Enter Makko, Curved Saber!”

Makko enters from the left gate.

“Enter, Abilon, Saber!”

Sanwise enters and turns 360º while looking to the crowd and yelling.

“May the Aesir make this day, one to be forever remembered by all! BEGIN!”

---

At the sewers inside the Arena, few players patrol near. While they’re distracted looking to the opposite side of the water, a head with black hair comes out of the dirty liquid. Kirito arrived to the Arena. He looks around with his eyes, noticing just of two soldiers near. His partners appear behind of him.

Lamorak and Agil follow him and grab the soldiers from the back, forcing them back. Kirito closes the door.

---

Kirito and Lamorak finish putting on the armor of the soldiers.

Agil: “Two against an army? You’ve got few odds favoring you.”

Kirito: “You’ll make them turn to favor us?”

Agil: “I’ll try.”

Kirito: “Yui, we’re here thanks to the data you gave me about the Arena. Now you need to go with them. Tell them where to find those columns”

Yui: “Yes.” She flies to Sinon’s shoulder. “Papa, once you go out, you need to go up on the first stairs you find. Then you go left again and you’ll find the entrance to the Arena.”

Kirito: “Alright. I’ll bring your mother back with me.”

Sinon: “We’ll do whatever we can to help you. Good luck.”

Kirito: “Thanks.” He places his hand on her neck. “I’m happy you’re next to me.”

Lamorak puts on his mask and so does Kirito; they advance to the corridors inside the arena, where gladiators and Soldiers walk.

“We have to go quickly!”

“If you guys believe in the Aesirs, now it’s good time to fucking ask them some help.”

They grab jars of pitch from their menus and also go the corridors inside the arena, ready for the plan they’ve prepared.

---

Magnus starts his speech before the entrance of the Gladiators.

Meanwhile, Kirito and Lamorak had gone up the stairs and walk through the corridors near the left entrance, where the Gladiators were preparing to come out. The masks on their faces were to avoid being recognized. It was possible for the soldiers to not know their faces, but they couldn’t risk it.

The pass by though the front of two lines of legionaries, and then they stop and place themselves next to the gate. Kirito looks inside the arena, glad to see his girlfriend and Klein still alive.

“Gladiators! Form!” a soldier says

The five gladiators that had won the previous matches form up. One Saber. One Curved Saber. Two Lancers, one with a spear and the other with a trident (also called Fisherman). And the last one, an Axeman.

Galant appears out of the changing room, dressed with his new gladiator outfit. Two orange manicas and his normal forearm protectors. He uses his normal trousers and this time with Aegis leg protectors. His rudis is slung on his belt, as he couldn’t fight without it.

He walks to the front of the gladiators, while a player gives to him Maximus Caliburn and he uses the blade skill, Dimachearus, to duplicate the blade. He finally stops in front of the bar metal gate. Both Lamorak and Kirito look at him impressed to see him there. Lamorak thinks that he was there for the money of killing KoB members. But Kirito doesn’t, he thinks something was behind that.

“This day gives me and great honor.” The Lancer that just won the battle says. “I’ve always wanted to know Galant. The greatest warrior who ever entered the Arena.”

“There’re no champions here. Only man and their fates.”

“You know that you’ll be fighting were prisoners of SAO, the same as you.” Kirito asks him.

Galant looks to him, surprised since it was the first time a soldier at that position spoke to him. They generally remained silent. He didn’t recognize his voice.

“I know. I know them from that game. We’re somehow old friends.” Galant responds.

“And now you step to the sands, to claim the lives of those you call friends?”

“If they must fall, they need an honorable death, given by one who still cares about them.”

“…I GIVE YOU…GALANT!!!”

The gates open. Galant walks inside the arena, accompanied by the gladiators.

Kirito and Lamorak follow them, but stop at the end of the small corridor between the gate and the actual arena. They could see a everything inside gigantic stadium from there.

Kirito looks to the pulvinus, noticing Thanos there. He closes his fist firmly after that.

Lamorak looks around, noticing the number of soldiers outmatching them two several times and Agil said.

“I begin to question this fucking plan.”

“We’re committed.” He looks at him. “Nerves of steel now, and get ready for…”

Asuna screams and raises her blade clashing against his own. She attacks again, but Galant parries again, this time with his right blade while going back. She attacks two more times, but Galant parries the same way. She tries one of her signature fast stabs. Galant can barely parry, and the blade of the sword slashes the inner side of his left arm. He continues never less, parrying other slash of the Berserk Healer, and then another following. Galant then counters with a slash of his own, but Asuna eludes it bending her body back.

The Axeman attacks Klein. Before the gladiator sends the axe downwards, he manages to block it with his blade. The Saber attacks him next, but Klein parries the attack with the chains of his shackles and attack then, but the Saber blocks with his shield. He eludes a second attack of the Axeman, by moving his head as the large axe blade passed inches from it.

Kunimittz exchanges fast blows with the Curved Saber, and then moves to his right, eluding an attack to his back from the Fisherman. However, while he eludes, the other gladiator manages to place a good slash on his right arm with his scimitar.

“WE WERE FRIENDS!” Asuna screams to Galant.

Asuna kicks Galant on the leg, sending him to the ground.

His rudis flies away after that powerful strike.

“AND YOU BETRAYED US!!!”

She gets ready to stab him, but the Lancer appears attacking Asuna. She changes the strike to deflect the spear. The gladiator then tries to hit her with the handle of the weapon, but she quickly bends her knees and the weapon passes above her head. The Lancer tries to stab her, but she parries still, sending the spear up with her blade.

Galant pushes the soldier back with his shoulder.

“SHE’S MINE!!!”

The Lancer falls to the sand. Galant attacks Asuna three times with wide slashes but she parries either with her blade or the chains.

Klein rolls on the ground eluding an attack, but the Axeman gets close to him and manages to slash his arm, making him turn with his back against the sands. The Saber runs towards him, but he rolls in the ground in the opposite direction, making the gladiator fall to the ground once they clash. Just between them, the Axeman sends downwards his weapon; Klein eluded it for just a few inches. He stands back up and the Axeman attack him with the handle of the weapon. Klein parries it. However, the unexpected attack of the Lancer to his back forces him to fall to the ground, but also eluding it. He takes the Saber at his back to the ground with him, rolling on his arm and falls below the gladiator. The Axeman sends his blade down, killing the Saber, which serves as shield to Klein and saving his life. He gets back up, but is smacked on the face by the handle of the axe.

Kunimittz forces the Lancer back and then faces the Curved saber, but he’s pushed back by the Fisherman and the Lancer places his blade in front of his legs making him spin in the air and land heavily on his back. However, he gets back up.

Lamorak and Kirito look around, nervous. Looking for the signal. Nervous, any of them could die in any moment.

“They take too long…” Lamorak tells him.

“We must wait, or our effort will be useless.”

The fight continues. However, Galant was holding back a little for some reason he didn’t know.

Galant attacks Asuna, but she parries this blow. He then tries to stab her, but she also parries, this time with the shackles. Galant passes at her side turning 180º and trying to slash her face while passing. They change positions. Galant uses Shimmer Spike after this thrusting fast, but Asuna matches his speed and parries.

“I NEVER WANTED ANY OF YOU FIGHTING THE WAR, CAPTURED OR DEAD!” Galant cries out. “I NEVER WANTED ANY OF THIS!!!”

Asuna attacks him and they continue their battle.

Kunimittz roll in the ground eluding an attack, he gets back up, but the Fisherman appears and impales his leg with the trident. Then the Lancer impales his back with the spear, which comes out bloodied from the middle of his chest. At last, the Curved Saber impales him with his blade.

“Kunimittz!!!” Klein screams, while he struggles against the Axeman.

They three gladiators withdraw weapons and Kunimittz falls dead to the ground.

Lamorak: “Fuck…”

Kirito: “Wait…”

Out of rage, Klein manages to take the axe from the hands of his opponent and places a hard hit on the face with the handle, sending him to the ground. He turns around and hits the upcoming Curved Saber with it. But the Lancer appears and pierces his side with the spear, delivering a serious wound.

Now the four gladiators would focus just on him.

He tries to attack the Fisherman with his axe, but the Fisherman blocks with his trident and then the Lancer thrust his weapon, impaling his side for the second time. The Fisherman continues pushing with his trident, making the axe slip from Klein’s fingers and fall to the sands along with his body. The Lancer raises his spear and thrusts, but Klein rolls on the ground back, eluding the tip of the blade. He then rolls back, grabbing the spear and making the gladiator fall to the ground. With the lance on his hands, he attacks the Curved Saber, impaling the right side of his belly. The Lancer again appears, hitting him hard on the face, and then the Curved Saber kicks him hard on the face making him fall to the ground, laying down on his back. He couldn’t continue for much longer and the Gladiators were already just playing with him, making the battle long for the enjoyment of the crowd.

Near the wall of the Arena, Galant parries an attack to his knee and then another dozen of flash speed thrusts from Asuna, before thrust his own blade. Asuna parries it and then eludes Galant’s Stardust Slasher to her face by bending the knees. Galant tries another slash but Asuna parries again. He trusts again, but Asuna chains the blade with the shackles, making his sword slip from his fingers and fall to the sands. Galant charges Crescent Stardust Slasher and makes two powerful slashes, forcing Asuna back. He attacks again with the same sword skill, making the blade slip from the grasp of Asuna. He uses her own knee to jump up and place a hard kick to the chest, sending her to the ground. Galant falls and point his blade at her face.

“I’ll send you out of this madness…”

He raises his sword…

A part of the arena falls, along with the audience which is killed by the result. Hellfire begins to come out of that part. The rest of the crowd, testifying their deaths, screams in fear. Another part of the Arena, this one was next to Galant and Asuna. The Champion turns around, as the leather ceiling used to cover the crowd from the scorching sun fall above them two.

The plan of KoB had begun.

“NOW!!!” Kirito screams and begins to run towards the center of the Arena.

Lamorak draws his gladius and kills the two guards on his back with a single slash.

Kirito runs and slides on the sands, slashing the leg of the Fisherman while he passed next to him. He quickly gets up and slices the throat of the Curved Saber, killing him.

More parts of the arena continue to fall in fire and blood. Nothing is left afterwards. Panic, desperation and confusion had already taken control of the situation.

Part of the ceiling of the Pulvinus falls, killing Cassios while he was running to the exit. The rest of the place leaves Magnus friends scared, wondering what was happening.

Kirito removes his helm.

“I want to leave fast Klein!”

Klein smiles as soon as he looks at him.

Vorhes: “Kill them!!!”

Vorhes runs towards the Black Swordsman, but he manages to hit him hardly with the helm still on his hand, knocking him out.

Lamorak engages battle with a soldier, clashing swords, he eludes the second slash and when the player tries to attack him, he grabs his right hand and shits the soldier hard on the face. He sends him to the ground and slashes his back.

Kirito parries the spear of the Lancer, and approaching him more. He sends all his body up, grabbing the gladiator with his legs and falling to the ground, making the gladiator spin in the air and fall as well. The Axeman raises his blade to smash him in half with it, but Kirito thrust upwards his gladius, defeating him and getting back up and starts fighting with the Fisherman again.

A soldier attack Klein, but he dodges it, and then places the chains above his head and grabs the head of the soldier bellow his right armpit, braking his neck. Lamorak hits a soldier hard on the face. He then turns around and slashes other first on the chest, while moving to his side. Lamorak then quickly slashes his back.

Kirito eludes the thrust of the Trident. He grabs the weapon and slashes upwards with a crimson sword skill, leaving a huge gash from belly to chest on the player.

The nobles manage to clear the exit, which was blocked by a large stone. Thanos looks at the arena as the audience runs on the sands, trying to find a way out of that burning hell.

Kirito thrust the trident in the body of the last Lancer. He turns spinning below the handle of the trident, using it to block the attack of another soldier and in the meantime, he slashes his leg. He lets the trident on the body of the lancer and gets up looking to the Pulvinus.

“Kirito…” Thanos says.

Kirito grabs a spear on the floor and throws it at the Pulvinus. Thanos eludes the edged tip for barely inches, as the blade slashes his right cheek. The weapon impales one of the nobles, Hakku, killing him.

Kirito is disappointed to see this, but hast not time to attack again as another soldier attacks him.

Magnus: “The path is clear! We can go!”

Magnus and the nobles start to leave.

Issin grabs Thanos from the clothes on his chest.

Issis: “Kirito makes you a fool! Your days on the Council have finished!”

He pushes him to a wooden column that had fallen on the pulvinus after the fire started. Issis leaves the place. Thanos follows him after looking with hate the man that causes all disasters on his life; Kirito.

He walks through the corridors going down, but a voice calls him. It was Issis, trapped beneath a beam of wood that was on the ceiling.

“Thanos, help me please! Please!”

Thanos grabs it and lifts it a bit. He then looks at a smiling Issis.

I’m not the fool you think me…” he blinks his eyes which were red after opening them. He had activated VRSMA.

Issin is chocked to see this. That’s the last thing he felt, Thanos smashes his head twice with the beam, killing him in game as well as real life.

Thanos smiles and leaves running before the rest of the arena felt above him.

Kirito impales a soldier and raises him up before the body falls dead with the sword still on it.

Klein kills the Fisherman with his own dagger after a long struggle. A soldier runs to attack him, but Kirito throws his Gladius, impaling the legionary in the chest and killing him.

He draws the dagger on his belt and looks to the pulvinus, but finds no one there. He sighs disappointed.

Lamorak kills the last soldier.

“KIRITO, WE HAVE TO GO!!!”

“No. We must find Asuna! This way!”

Kirito and Lamorak run where they last saw Asuna.

Galant was getting up with both blades again on his hands, while Asuna was unconscious on the ground. Both leaders and the gladiators stare to each other, while they had weapon ready to continue fighting if necessary.

Klein appears right behind them, looking to Galant as well.

Galant puts both blades back on his inventory menu.

“Help me with her!”

Klein approaches him and together they lift Asuna up, placing her arm on their shoulders and going thought a small gate at the wall.

Kirito looks a final time to the falling burning arena.

He kept his promise.

They’ve sent a good message to all the players in Aincrad.

He follows his friends afterwards.

---

Sinon, Agil and the others KoB players that had managed to set the stadium on fire leave the arena using same the sewers they used to appear inside.

Sinon is the last, and stops for a moment. Agil looks at her.

“Go! I’ll follow.”

“We must wait for my papa!”

Agil nods and dives into the water.

Sinon turns around waiting for Kirito and the others. After some seconds, they see a single shade coming out from the smoke on the lower part of the Arena. It was a soldier. He was going towards them when a hand grabs his mouth and a dagger slices his throat.

“Papa!” Yui says smiling.

Right behind Kirito, was Lamorak. The Sylph keeps on running and dives to the water.

Behind him, Klein and Galant were carrying Asuna.

Sinon’s becomes surprised when he sees Galant, alert that wasn’t one of his tricks.

“What’s he doing here!?” She yells out.

“Oh, I’ve missed you a lot, kitty!” Galant says sarcastically, before the three of them dive to the water as well.

“I-Idiot…”she says, before looking again to Kirito.

“It doesn’t matter right now. He’s helping us.” Kirito says grabbing her. “I had enough games. Let’s leave this arena forever!”

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