Galant woke up.
He refused to open his eyes.
He felt pain across his body again. The torture was not over yet, and he was notably hurt, he could nearly move himself, a reason why he did not even open his eyes, and remained up.
“Was that all real?” He started to ask himself. “She was right next to me, with that white dress, the same she was using in the dream I had when I was sick. Her hand, felt as warm as it always did, and so where her worlds, her appearance, and her caring. Still, she was dead, Then why she still appeared there?”
Tired of thinking, he decided to go back to sleep, and try to forget everything.
A mixture of odors covering the air, ones he had never felt in ALO. He then heard at distance a mixed sound, vehicles, people, a bicycle, but in time,
“It is my imagination…”
In few time, he also herd other sounds that became clearer and clearer in time. It became similar to the sound of a truck, cars…street sound.
“Fuck it, what are you doing Sugou?!”
He tried to open his eyes, but he could not, a light pierced across his pupils. He waited a bit, as he noticed he could hear better time by time. After some minutes, he opened his numb eyes again.
He tried to move his right hand, and with difficulty, he managed, placing it just before his eyes. It did not seem his own hand: pale, thin, with his dark blue veins totally visible.
He moved both middle of index finger, to see if a menu appeared. It did not.
“…in the Real World…”
“Real”, a very relative thing. For he, the world of swords and battle was his reality for two long years, and then several weeks in the world of an asshole.
He moved his head several times; asking himself where he was It was a dark place, with some shut lights on the ceiling of the room. A shut window, with dark curtains and dark mist outside. It seemed really cold. He moved his head to his left, noticing there was a machine, which showed his vital signs. He noticed he was in the room of hospital.
He moved his head back to his left, to see something that shocked him. His jaw began to tremble, as his eyes recovered the typical bright, wide and will. Next to his right him there was a bedside table of the same height of his bed. And there it was…a photo of her and him on a mark, and the purple ribbon of real life…
Galant wanted to speak, but a pain appeared in his throat after two long years of not using it. Still, he did not care.
He wanted to go to her. To meet her again. To touch her golden hair. To kiss her… She was no longer there, no longer on the real world. Long time passed since he lost her. Still, his heart did not beat at it used.
A tear rolled down his cheek as he made a try to get his back of the bed. He could not. Something heavy was on his head. He placed both hands on the “NerveGear” and removed it. He briefly looked at it Kayaba, and SAO. The things that changed his life.
He left the helmet beside of him, and extended his hand to grab the ribbon. He grabbed it. It was. The same he had given years ago, in real life. That photo was reflection of that moment, Galant was grabbing her in front, and both of them looked towards the camera. He tied the ribbon to his wrist, and noticed all what he had lost…never to return
Galant looked to his front, as his typical determination went back to his eyes. All the things he had lost. Each of his friends, some new. Even Diana could be dead. Because of his former friend…Miya Kiryuuin…no, Mordread. Miya Kiyuuin had died long time ago. The only thing left, was Mordread. The same he could say about him. The person he was, his real name, that person, was dead. The one left, was Galant.
“This is not over Mordread. Not yet…”
Galant woke up. He looked at the hour and it was 10:00 o’clock. He received breakfast. And he finally ate for the first since 2 years.
The doctor also appeared and exanimated how he faired. He would be ready to leave on three days. He would also need to do some rehabilitation on the gym. Most of his muscles where much thinner than before. The same of his body, and face. Besides, his hair was much longer, even more than what he had in ALO. He also needed a good haircut.
Galant sat back on the bed and rested. He was still without much energy.
In few time, a well-known person appeared.
Jonathan ran to him and hugged him. It seem he had been missed.
Jonathan Jols. The butler of his family, and previously, from the family of the mother of Galant. Jonathan was almost an uncle for him. Jonathan had taken care of him since he was a kid, and cared about him as if Galant was his son, yet still, he called him “master”, and then his name.
“You are alive! Master H…”
“Please. No more that name. Galant please.”
“Many things have passed. Inside of that Game, I will talk me later about them.”
“Alright. Master Galant.”
“Where are my parents?”
“Master Kiritsugu and Miss Norah…”
“They…are dead. Am I right?”
“Yes…Both of them are. They could not afford the depression of you trapped inside the game. They passed out few months after you were imprisoned. I became your legal protector since them.”
“I am the only one left of my family. I have no relatives. I have nothing left.”
“I am sorry.”
“Ymir fairs well. The shares of your parents are now yours. You have like 37% of the organization. ”
“Well. No financial problems at least.” He said, and then continued. “You placed that photo on my desk?”
“Yes. I knew it would give you the strength to survive. I also, took the ribbon. I knew it held important meaning for you. I am sorry about her. About all of them.”
“Where are they buried?”
“All together. In the graveyard of Tokyo. There was an especial place created for players of SAO. Your parents are also there.”
“What of the parents of all my friends?”
“All of them gone. I lost their trail. They left the city probably never to return.”
“I awoke from a world of shit, to enter into a world of shit.”
“I imagine how that fells like.”
“You do not have an idea.”
“Maybe. I am your legal tutor now. I will take care of you. Also, someone wants to meet you.”
He looked towards the door, and Galant did the same. From it, a man with glasses and short black hair, dressed with a suit came. He hanged his hand to Galant.
“A pleasure to meet you. Galant.”
“Kikuoka Seijirou. Member of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Technology, Second Separated Advanced Network Division. I am the one responsible of meeting some of the player that have lived in SAO, and help in their re-accommodation to real life.”
“I would leave you two alone, master.”
“Alright John. We will have words later.”
Jonathan leaved the room and closed the door as Galant continued sitting on the bed, and leaning on the big comfortable pillow.
“So Galant…You mind that I call you that or I have to call you by your fist name?”
“It is alright. Call me that.”
“Okay. So Galant, I herd many about you actually.
“It seems, I made reputation for myself.”
“True you have. Your name is one of the most sounded among the player of SAO. There are few that have managed that.”
“I owe it to my victories in the arena. Nothing more.”
“You aim to low. You have also defeated Cerdic. Became the first champion of Aincrad. Leader for the Royal Knights.”
“You, seem to know a lot, Kikuoka.”
“I do. Yet I must know more. I have heard the tales of many players that were trapped in SAO. Therefore some names start to be more named than others Lots of player talked me about, the Slayer of Cerdic, and the Champion of Aincrad. You were also trapped in other VRMMO known as ALfheim Online. One of the member of the directive court of its company, RECT, and, now, former director in the research institute, Sugou Nobuyuki, trapped you there. Alongside other 300 players.”
“Sugou Nobuyuki…I was working for him, as I had no choice. I managed to brake free and fought him. Lost. And received this on return.” Galant showed his arms, revealing multiple scars nearly visible, result of the pain inflicted to his bod by the Pain Absorber in level Zero.
“He did this.”
“He commanded it so.”
“You should be one of the victims for his trial.”
Galant smiled. “I will. And if possible…I would have worlds with him…If possible…”
“I think, we can manage something.” Kikuoka sat next to Galant on as chair.
“I would know your full story. All what you lived inside SAO.”
“I would request something in return…”
“All the information gathered of things that happened in Aincrad was recorded and classified by a player known as the Chronicler.”
“I do know that.”
“Well. I want a copy of all that information. And also the names, both of avatar and real life, of all the players that survived SAO.”
“I can manage that. I will give it to you. I will hear of your story now, if possible.”
“Do not dare to lie to me. Well, it all started…”
May 16th, Tokyo, 2025
Wind caressed softly the trees of the Cemetery of Tokyo.
Leaves danced in the air, in whirlwinds, going each of them back to other, rolling faster and faster and faster.
The sky held some dark clouds, but sometimes, the yellow shining sun appeared, blessing everything with his touch. He noticed he had miscalculated. He bought more roses that he should. He had several more than he actually needed.
Dressed with his fathers’s black suit and a blue tie matching his eyes, Galant walked by the graves. The ribbon on his hand waving matching the millions of leaves on the sky.
He had left a violet rose in the tomb of his parents. They were together. Galant now walked towards the part for players that had died in SAO. The place was large. Yet not all the players were buried there. SAO had been released an all the wide and long of Japan, meaning there were this kind of cemeteries everywhere. Still, in all of them, there was a large stone, where the name of all the 4000 dead were inscribed,honoring their names and deeds, even as their faces and names faded from the memory.
Some known and close to Galant. Others, not so much.
He continued his walk and quickly got by the place where his friends were buried. One next to the other.
He found a well-known man there, standing next to Izumi Wong/Galahad’s tomb.
“Ah. You came by.”
“Sorry. I needed to pay my respects to two I knew that were inside SAO and died. I am glad that you are here.”
“You call me here? It had to be exactly here?!”
“I am sorry. Yet. I think they must know this. They must testify what I am doing. Today at 00:00, is a new start.”
“I know…Yet know that I do not favor what you will do…”
Wong gives a bag he was carrying to Galant. He opens it. There it was: a disc of ALO, a AmuSphere and another object.
“That thing…is a Virtual Reality Sensation Mega Amplifier. A VRSMA. It makes the sensation in game being more real. Similar to how the NerveGear worked on SAO. It has the disadvantage that the body does not feel much of the real life, much as the NerveGear did, It makes the mind FullDive to the game. They will be using this. I know they will…”
“How does this work?”
Connect it with the AmuSphere by its USB port, and then to electricity. Once you are in the game just blink both of your eyes and focus on activate or deactivate it. You will notice if it’s active by the color of your eyes. Once you are on the game just blink, activate it and slash your HP until there is nothing left. And the machine will do the rest.”
“I heard…it could backlash.”
“True. If you are left without HP, you have 50% possibilities of receiving the backlash. And…”
“I will take the risk!”
“I will. The least I owe them. I do not care of me any longer. Just for what I must do.”
“Alright. There is no way that I can stop you now…”
“No there is not.”
Galant grabbed the bag with his left hand. He continued speaking.
“Your son. He saved my life. I would not be here before you if he had not done it. He sacrificed his life for mine. I will forever be in your debt.”
“what will you do now?”
“I do not know. My life was absent purpose since Izzy died. I Should have never helped to create that game.”
“You did what you thought was good. It is easy to take decisions knowing our future. Do not blame yourself. It was Kayaba’s fault. And right now, we cannot do anything”
“Kayaba Killed himself. I had hope to do it myself…I not know what I will do now. I resigned to Argus, before it broke down. I think I may travel, see if I find peace…somewhere.”
“I hope you do so. As I hope to find my own.”
“Good luck. You will need it. Goodbye.”
Wong walked out of the Graveyard. As Galant left his roses and the bag. He placed one rose on each of the tombs. And briefly stared.
“Today is a very important day. Today I will start to make the promise I once made you true. Aincrad will be cleared. And those that were responsible shall pay for what they have done. I may perish on this. But I accept it. And if I do, it will be after it is cleared. After it I may join you. But not yet…not yet. Bye guys.”
Galant turn to leave the place, but stayed for a second looking to Sakura’s grave. His eyes tiered a bit, but he closed them with anger. He would no longer cry. He inhaled, and exhaled strongly, and opened his eyes once again, with no more tears on them.
“I still love you…And I will always do so. Bye…”
Galant walked out of the place towards the entrance of the cemetery, where a black Ninja Kawasaki was parked. Galant opened the small vault and got out his black helmet, as he placed the things Wong had given to him inside of it.
He placed the helmet and secured his head. Bending one of his legs by the motorbike and started the engine felling the strong vibration it caused though his body. Powerful, and constant. Galant touched the right button of his helmet as a crystal visor covered his eyes, shielding them from the winds. He touched the accelerator, and began journey to his home.
He was riding as the max speed capable on the district of Tokyo. Enough to not call the attention of Cops and at the same time ride the hell as loud and move fast. He passed by a school, where he briefly gazed to it…he saw her there. Asuna, just next to a black haired kid of his same height. They were walking hands grabbed. And looking to each other’s eyes. In Glant’s memory a similar thing appeared…He and Sakura, the same position. Years ago…
His distraction almost causes him to clash frontally with a stopped car, but he managed to brake just before clashing. His maneuver caught the attention of everybody near, including the couple. Galant briefly stared to the couple with his helmet on, while they did the same. Semaphore’s light became green; he accelerated, leaving behind both of them.
The chestnut haired girl continues to looks at the rider.
“Nothing…I just thought…he was someone I knew…”
Galant arrived to his home. A small mansion in Kawagoe, Saitama prefecture. In the Outsides of the city of Tokyo.
His parents were dead true, yet their work in the company of Ymir had saved enough to Galant to live for 30 years without working. He was on good financial status.
Galant removed his helmet and looked upon the sky. Seriously.
“Master Galant! You want food?”said Jonathan from the inside
He placed his bike inside the garage, and got inside. He had much to do…In just some hours he would be back....
“Welcome to New ALfheim Online! Please enter your gender and character name.”
Now please select your race.
Galant took a looks at all the races.
Cait Sith, Gnome, Imp, Leprechaun, Pooka, Salamander, Spriggan, Sylph, Undine.
Five of them with elemental capabilities: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Darkness. The rest, other capabilites, such as music, beast tamer, Illusion and crafting.
He did not favor any of them. He briefly looked at all of them. And finally decided, Salamander, but when he was about to click on the options…
“Wait! We have found an avatar for you. The computer said.”
Suddenly his two former avatars appeared, one next to the other: SAO and ALO prisoner. They began to move towards Galant and merged with him. A shining light appeared as he took shape.
His Real life face. Avalon’s Coat, a new sleeveless shirt with a red decal. Aegis forearm protectors and shoulder pad. On his back, Blamung blade. This standard jeans and new boots. Carnwennan to his right in his second belt, and Laevatein also there, to his left. The purple ribbon tied on his wrist, and pair of white wings that disappeared and reappeared according to his will…
“Now you will be teleported to the world tree good luck!”
Galant appeared materialized in a gigantic tree looking above the world of ALfheim, white the moons shined, as did everything where the light touched.
Galant briefly stared to it, while he noticed his new body was much more like his avatar of SAO, even thought he was a fairy, as he had wings.
“You are late!”
“I am not the server said at twelve the main event starts. In the meantime, explain me what race is this avatar.”
“Mmmm. I know. The world of ALO was a copy of SAO servers. The engine programming and graphics format are the same. Still the Cardinal System controlling the game is a bit outdated.”
“Holds sense. RECTO progress Inc. took the game once ARGUS was gone, and began using the programs. It would be logical to the company Ymir to use the same. Still what of my personal Data and this avatar?”
“Some things of your skills have changed. But still, it is the pretty much the same. Including the equipment. It seems that your avatar of SAO “fused” with your ALO prison avatar, creating this body.”
“My skills are nearly identical. But what of magic?”
“You have no MP bar. You cannot use magic.”
“I will be fine. Just using sword skills will be more than enough for me.”
Galant walked towards the edge of the World tree where he and the new leprechaun blacksmith Antinomy looked towards the moon.
A strong bell sound was heard. Similar to the one of a church.
“Here it comes.”
The moon began to be eclipsed by a large oval like object, making a large shadow of its shape. The object finally covered the moon, as the moonlight reflected by it, illuminating its shape as it became closer and closer. As the object stopped, it began to shine in golden light, emitted on all directions. The thing was made of lots of metal lyres, one above the other and it stretched more near it’s peek, with a caste at top of it.
“That’s it.”Antinomy said with a smile.
“The Floating Castle of Aincrad” he said, as he could see already hundreds of other fairies on the lower part of the tree, already flying towards it. “This time I will finish it. The task we left behind. I will get to floor 100, and conquer the caste, whatever the cost. That way, their deeds may be well honored. Even as their faces fade from memory.
“I imagine HE is thinking the same as you right now.”
“He is. I will find him...”
Galant walked near the edge.
"hey, you think this is what your freinds wish? You have given them everything”
He looked back towards Antinomy.
“Not everything. Not yet.”
He turned to the edge and jumped from the world tree beginning a vertical drop at high speed.
He span several times while doing it. At the end of the branches he widened his arms as his wings appeared as he began to fly in the endless night sky, towards his Fate.
SAO: PoA- The End
TO BE CONTINUED…Sword Art Online: New Aincrad