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Sword Art Online: Advancer
Written by: Advancer0
Published: 4/15/17
Volume 1

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Chapter 1

[ November 5, 2022 ]

Today is the start of Sword Art Online sales in stores. Felord’s stomach grumbles as he fights his hunger. He has to save his allowance to be able to buy the Nerve Gear and the game. Today is finally his last day to endure such hardship, because after saving his money today he will finally be able to buy the game SAO. After the school ends he went straight to the store.

Felord is bored of his everyday life; eat, go to school, then sleep. He got tired in following his everyday routine. After he heard about SAO 6 months ago before its release, he was thrilled by the idea of playing in a world of VRMMORPG. He wanted to experience something new aside from the boring world and decided to save up his allowance in order to buy both the console and the game.

After buying the game, Felord went home straight to his room to try out his new console. He read first the manual on how to use the console before playing (of course ate first before he did). Did what the manual told him and tapped all over his body. After that he lied down on his bed, wore the nerve gear, and then spoke the phrase.

“Link Start.”

[ Town of Beginnings ]

The next thing he knew, he is now in a different world. Advancer (his IGN) looked around and was astonished on how magnificent SAO is. As he was exploring, he came across a stall in the market with a mirror displayed. From there he saw his avatar. He was wearing a black long sleeve shirt, pair of black pants, and a pair of black rock shoes; his basic avatar set.

Strolled around more at the market and found a blacksmith shop. Inside are displays of fascinating weapons such as swords, knives, shields, armors, etc. He checked the price and the starting money he have and calculated he could be able to buy a weapon or two. He then picked a glaive and a gladius from the displays and presented it at the counter and then bought the weapons.

“Thank you for buying!” said the blacksmith waving goodbye.

Advancer looked like an idiot humming while waving around his glaive and gladius in the air. Helplessly swinging his glaive, it hit a wall behind him then it bounced back and hit his head. The players that saw him laughed at him. He felt embarrassed and moved on to the grasslands.

[ Grasslands ]

Again, Advancer foolishly waves his glaive. But this time, its blade accidentally made a shallow slice through the belly of a boar he didn’t know that was behind him.

“Oops.” He said. Then the boar’s nose holes smoke, getting ready to charge at Advancer.

“Oh no.” Then he started running and the boar followed.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” He screamed, begging the boar for mercy. But the boar kept following him. As he notices that the boar is catching up, he finally decided to face the boar and fight it. He stopped from running and made a stance holding his glaive. Waiting for the boar to come closer, he then strikes straight at the boar with his glaive but failed because the boar dodged his attack. The boar charges its hard head to Advancer’s stomach.

“AAHHH!” He screamed and got knocked back from the impact. Advancer saw his HP went from 100% to 25%.

“What!? Just how strong are these boars?” as he stand back at his feet. The boar is getting ready to charge again. Advancer can see its HP and it seems like it hasn’t been damaged despite the shallow cut from its belly. Again, Advancer makes his stance waiting for the boar to charge, then the boar charges. When it gets closer, advancer then holds his glaive near its blade and bends his knees, strikes upwards to the boar’s neck while planting the back of the glaive at the ground to break the boar’s momentum, then pushes the glaive down slicing the boar in half. The boars HP drops down then scatters into broken glass shards.

“Phew. That went well.” Advancer said wiping a sweat from his face. After having a hard time killing one boar, he looks around and finds more boars lurking at the grasslands. And drops his jaw after knowing that the boar he just killed was actually just a weak level 1 monster.

“I guess I have much to learn about this game. This is fun.” He said then opens his menu.

“Huh? How do you log out in this thing?” He noticed that the [log out] button was missing. He knew that there has to be a log out button from the menu because he checked it out earlier. He just thought that maybe it’s just a temporary bug from the game.

“Huh?” Suddenly, his body was glowing.

[ Town of Beginnings ]

The next thing he knew, he is teleported back to where he started. And it seems like he is not the only one. A lot of players were also confused why they are suddenly teleported back. Then the blue skies suddenly turns blood red.

[ 18:00 ]

(A/N: We all know what will happen here so I’ll just skip it. Akihiko will announce that SAO now officially a death game.)

“No way.” Advancer said refusing to believe what Kayaba Akihiko just said. Then the players start panicking and getting angry. He knew he had to leave now if he doesn’t want to get caught up in any trouble. So he moved out of the place and went on an alley somewhere inside the village. He sits down on a small wooden box. But something feels strange.

“What is this? I’m smiling? Why am I smiling?” he said holding his head. Instead of being covered in fear, Advancer felt delighted after knowing that SAO turned into life and death game. This is it, the moment he has been waiting for. This may change his normal everyday life. Then he just smiled and let out a small laugh.

Chapter 2

After the announcement of the official start of SAO, Advancer is alone sitting on a small box at an alley somewhere in the village. After knowing that dying in the game means dying in real life, he felt thrilled rather than about that idea.

The next thing he did was swiped his finger horizontally to open his menu. He thought that the best thing to do in order to be able to survive in the game is to know more about the game, so looked at his inventory in found that there is a guide book about the game, and then he clicked the item. The item appeared and he was surprise to see that it’s a book that is about 300 pages thick.

“This will take a while.” He sighed.

Advancer spent that rest of the day reading and flipping pages. After he finished reading he looked at the time and it was already 5:12 in the morning. He blinked his eyes and felt the heavy eye bags from his cheeks.

As soon as the sun rises from the skies Advancer felt drowsy and very sleepy. He tried fighting it to stay awake but ended up falling asleep while sitting on a small box and leaning his back at the wall.

Ever since the announcement, a lot of the players are complaining for trapping them in the game. They have families and friends waiting for them, jobs and schools where they have to attend to in the real life. They were yelling at the skies where Kayaba Akihiko appeared hoping that he will listen to them and let them log out. But no matter how much they tried, the game is still on.

[11:45]

It was getting noisy around the village and Advancer whole up from the alley where he fell asleep. He can see the market from where he is sitting and can hear their conversations. Players are gathered into group chatting and planning what will be the next thing they will do, or deciding whether they will believe if what is happening is true or not.

“I guess I’m still in the game huh.” He thought then let out a sigh.

Advancer tried recalling what he has read last night. But nothing really comes to mind nor did he remember understanding. I guess that’s what you get for reading too fast, pressing information into your head.

***

“Today is my son’s birthday, I wanted to make him a cake but I do not have the ingredients. Can you help me and fetch me these ingredients?” A Mother NPC said then a window UI popped up showing the ingredients she needs.

[ Boar meat x10

EXP: 300

COL: 150 ]

“She’s going to make a cake out of meat? Weird.” Advancer thought.

Advancer is roaming around the village talking to NPCs looking for quests that would suite his level. After all, the fastest way to gain experience and level up in RPG games is by doing quests. Then another window UI popped up.

[ Accept quest? ]

It seemed like it’s something he can do and the rewards seemed promising so he decided to accept the quest.

[ Grasslands ]

The boar charges again. Advancer predicts its movement and does sidesteps to dodge the attack, and then slices upward using his Gladius hitting the boar at the belly turning it into glass shards. This is now the 10th boar he finished fighting. This is also the last monster he needs to complete the quest.

Now that he has completed the quest, he sat down on the grass and took a breather. He was looking up the skies and noticed that there is a tower not too far from here.

“I guess that’s a dungeon.” He thought.

He read it from the manual. Aside from the open fields there are also dungeons in this game.

“Maybe I’ll try it in a bit after I’ve leveled up more.” For now he knows that it’s risky to try and clear a dungeon from his current state. For now he only knows how to kill boars which is to dodge and strike. That is effective to boars since they only charge at you head on. But who knows what kind of movements other monsters can do. Boars are like the easy slimes in other games and he is already having a hard time dealing with them.

He let out a sigh and lied on the grass using his hands as a pillow. He was watching the clouds from an orange sky. It was already the afternoon when he finished his quest. The sun is setting. While he was watching the skies he stretched out his hand to reach.

“The only goal in this game is to clear all 100 floors. I’m far too weak to do that. For now, I guess I’ll need to get stronger. Just you wait; I’ll get the hang of this game, and then I’ll conquer this world, Sword Art Online.”

[ Devember 21, 2017 ]

A month has passed and Advancer has been doing a lot of different quests to level up. But he hasn’t changed his armor; he is still wearing his basic clothing. He had a habit of spending his entire COL to refining his weapons, Gladius and Glaive. He did not bother increasing his armor because he is confident that he can dodge any enemies’ attacks. The only thing new about him is his new sheath and spear carrier chained to his waist and body. He bought that so that he would not have to carry his weapons all the time.

Advancer defeated floor bosses and has reached the 13th floor. He understood more of the mechanics of the game ever since he started playing. He did most of his quests clearing dungeons, since the quests gave more promising rewards than the kill quests and items quests. Also he got bored killing the same monsters again and again. In dungeons there are rooms, mazes, traps, and mini bosses which game him more thrill. That is why he liked clearing dungeons.

Now he is doing another quest and is standing in front of a cave which is a dungeon. He is getting ready as he was about to enter.

[ Arachnia’s Lair ]

Chapter 3

[ Arachnia's Lair ]

Advancer pulls out his glaive from the back and pulls out his gladius holding it on an ice-pick-grip. A mother spider is shooting webs at him but with his reflexes he could dodge it. Baby spiders, which came out from the mother spider earlier, are releasing venomous spits but he was able to deflect it using his gladius. None of their attacks are getting through.

Advancer runs inside a long narrow place doing a stance, getting ready to attack. It looked like a dead end. His glaive glowed blue as it charges, ready to use a skill. The spiders were all approaching. He was waiting for the right moment to use his skill, and that is when all the spiders would line up with each other. Then as soon as he saw all the spiders crawled up inside the narrow passage, he releases his glaive with all his might charging through the spiders and killing them in one single blow.

"Phew~ I've only been on the 4th room. This would take a while." Advancer sighed first then wiped a sweat. After that he went to the next room feeling excited. He still have 36 rooms to go through. That is a total of 40 rooms inside the dungeon.

What thrills him the most are the inevitable events which can alter his predictions about the worst things he could imagine, simply the unexpected. Rather than worrying he might die, he would feel rather challenged under dangerous circumstances.

[ Room 39 ]

"That's the 39th room. I almost got hit on that last monster's attack if I weren't lucky enough to dodge. Given my armor, I could die with just one hit. I have to be careful." Advancer puts back his glaive and galdius to its sheaths.

He may be able to finish monsters quickly because of his well refined weapons but the risks are in his armor which he never bothered changing. He is well aware that one hit would also mean death. But he ignores the importance of his defense because of his confidence in dodging the enemies' attacks.

Before fighting the boss, he took a rest outside the gate and to catch his breath and rest. Sitting while leaning his back at the wall. He has been fighting all day long. The next room will be the boss room. He needs to be ready.

He took one last deep breath then said "Okay." with a serious face.

Advancer opens the gate for the boss. Inside he finds a dark room full of cobwebs and eggs, and at the center lies a large spider about 10ft with its name written on top of it "Arachnia.".

As soon as Arachnia saw him it screamed and the eggs rumbled. And then the eggs hatched spawning a number of baby spiders.

He walked slowly, smiling, and thinking "Now this is what I've been waiting for." pulling his weapon out of their sheaths. Then all the baby spiders charges at him.

...

He has only been successful to land a hit on Arachnia and it already caused a 1/4 of damage. He just needs to land 3 more hits and this boss is as good as defeated. But it wasn''t that easy.

The baby spiders are spitting venoms at Advancer which he kept on dodging and deflecting. He is so focused in not getting hit that is why it was so hard for him to hit Arachnia.

He kills the baby spiders while he had chances but Arachnia keeps on giving birth to eggs, more than what Advancer could kill. At this rate he wouldn't make it.

He have to finish this quick, or else the room will be crowded with baby spiders leaving him with no room left to dodge.

Advancer charges fast at Arachnia while dodging the venomous spits. He swings his glaive sideways at the same time uses his glaive to deflect a spit.

Given the distance between them, he felt greedy and tried to land another hit using his glaive. He swings his glaive once again but failed because a spit from one of the baby spiders hit him in the arm causing him to hit downwards. He took a damage of 75% of his HP. He also acquired a poison status ailment. Slowly losing his HP, he panicked. At this rate he is going to die.

Arachnia lifts its hairy leg to attack, while the baby spiders just kept on spitting venoms at Advancer.

"No way." He thought fast and deflected Arachnia's attack with his gladius and strike, then went underneath Arachnia to dodge and use arachnia to dissolve the venomous spits, striking from the bottom with his glaive.

"You'll die first before me!" He screamed, leaned downwards then followed another strike with his gladius, piercing it from below. Arachnia screamed in pain.

8% HP remaining.

"Ahhhh!!!" his weapons glowed purple as he tried to crack open Arachnia's insides by pulling his weapons away from each other, dismembering the boss. Causing it to shatter into glass shards along with its baby spiders.

2% HP remaining.

1% HP remaining.

"It's over." He thought fighting to stand till his last breath. The gate opens. At the exit, he sees a silhouette of a person. And then passes out unconscious.

[ Inn ]

Advancer opens his eyes, adjusting to the light. Then sees that his in a room lying on a bed. At the side of the bed are his weapons lying on a table.

"Huh? Where am I? Ugh." He said as he got up and had a headache, holding his head.

The fight with Arachnia flashes back in his memories. And he remembered that he defeated the dungeon boss.

He tries to remember what happened next after that, but it only causes him headaches. He also remembers that he was poisoned and that his HP was dropping to 0.

"Shouldn't I be dead now?" He asked himself surprised he is even alive.

"Don't be so hard on yourself." An unfamiliar voice said after hearing the door creak open.

He looked at the door to see who it was.

Chapter 4

"Yo!" The person with the voice said raising his hand.

"Paolo!?" Advancer blurted after seeing his friend in real life which is also his classmate. Inside, he was glad, knowing that his friend is okay.

"Hey Felord, and its Asinine by the way. Since we're in the game." Asinine replied making a shh gesture.Then sat at the bed beside Advancer's feet.

Asinine is a guy who has short black hair, brown eyes, and a petite body. He is wearing a white V-neck, red jacket, brown shorts with suspenders, and brown boots. Behind him are 2 large circular blades that look like large shurikens.

"What happened? I found you passed out at the dungeon boss exit and gave you a potion. And then I carried you here at the inn." Asinine explained.

"I was hit and had a poison status ailment. My HP was dropping fast so I rushed to kill the boss. After that, I have no idea. The next thing I knew, I woke up here." Advancer explained.

Asinine grabbed his chin, closed his eyes and thought for a second.

"Advancer, maybe the poison ended before your HP dropped to 0? Woah! That would have been so lucky." Asinine said looking at Advancer.

"Maybe so." Advancer said short smiling.

"But what where you doing there all alone? And a dungeon too? I did saw you but I didn't see anyone else there with you. Did you clear a whole dungeon by yourself?" Asinine asked surprised.

"It's what I do, I clear dungeons for clearing quests for exp and col. Also its more fun clearing dungeons since those can be really unpredictable." Advancer said smiling.

"What!? Are you crazy!? You know that dying in this game means dying in real life right? Why would you go off clearing dungeons all alone? Its very dangerous. You are really lucky to be alive till now." Asinine scolded concerned at his friend.

"Yeah, I'm well aware of that." Advancer said looking down, smiling.

Asinine and Advancer have been friends in real life. He knows that its hopeless getting something to reach into Advancer's head. Advancer is a person who likes to do what he wants without giving to what other people might think. Asinine is aware of this attitude of his. And so, he let out a sigh.

"Fine, just don't try to do it again okay? If you will enter dungeons again make sure that you are in a party. It will make clearing more easy." Asinine said raising a point.

"Yeah yeah~" Advancer said looking away while waving his hand shoo.

Asinine smiled, he missed talking to his friend. It was like being in real life all over again, being able to have a conversation like this brings back memories.

"What about you? what brings you there?" Advancer asked.

Asinine told Advancer his story on how he ended up to be there to help him. Then they spent the night talking about what happened to them after the game was officially announced as a death game. They told stories of their adventures till they felt sleepy.

Asinine rented another room at the inn and insisted to pay for Advancer's stay. Since he doesn't have enough money to pay for it after spending all his col on refining weapons. And the col he received from the drops from the dungeons weren't enough.

...

[ 13th floor field ]

Advancer strikes a 5ft goblin and it shatters into glass shards. Another goblin was behind him raising its axe to attack from behind. Asinine saw the goblin about to attack Advancer and throws his shuriken, hitting the goblin, turning it into glass shards.

"Told ya you need someone to watch your back." Asinine said smirking.

"I was just getting the hang of these monsters. It's my first time encountering them." Advancer said turning around to face Asinine.

"Advancer behind you!" Asinine yelled as he saw 2 goblins about to attack Advancer from behind.

But before he finished his sentence, Advancer already killed the 2 goblins using his weapons to hit them even from behind.

"Told ya I'm getting the hang of it." Advancer said spinning to slice another goblin that pounces him from behind with his gladius, at the same time pierces his glaive close to Asinine's neck, hitting another goblin.

Asinine was just surprised by Advancer's quick movement recognition of the monsters. They have only just started killing the goblins and Advancer looked like he has been fighting a battalion of goblins in a long time.

Earlier, they formed a party and took a quest. Just to see each others' skills. Because the two of them were bragging last night for how strong they have become.

Advancer was surrounded by the goblins with nowhere to be able to swing his glaive. Asinine's shurikens glowed orange as he throws it at the surrounding goblins. Advancer was surprised he was able to kill a large quantity of goblins in one swoop.

It took them half the day to successfully hunt 500 goblins for the quest.

At the end, they reached to a conclusion that both of them excel at different fields in combat. And that the two of them have become strong in just a month after playing the game. Then they turned in the quest to the NPC.

After that, a group of players approached Asinine. It was his guildmates reminding him of the upcoming raid tomorrow.

"Hey Advancer, wanna join the guild? They have really good people in the guild. They can help you with quests and make you stronger." Asinine said inviting Advancer.

Advancer crossed his arms and looked up to think.

"Hmm... Sorry, I think I'll have to decline. Parties are good though, but I don't think I'll feel comfortable with guilds." Advancer said.

Asinine just let out a sigh. He knows there no way to change his mind to join a guild. Also he can't force him to be part of the guild.

"It's okay. Just take my advice. Work on parties, it will make quests easy. Take care of yourself. Bye!" Asinine said them waved goodbye then joins with his guildmates. Advancer waved back goodbye.

Chapter 5

The next after Advancer and Asinine parted, he has been looking around town for a player he could party with. He thought it was practical because it could make him beat monsters twice as fast with the same quest rewards.

Although he decided he would look for someone, it appears it wasn't that easy. He roams around town and most of the players were in groups, so it was hard for him to approach them. After all, you can't just barge in a group of players saying "come join my party." there is more to it than that. Plus Advancer's shy personality towards meeting new people.

"This is more harder than I thought." He sighed.

After going all around town, he couldn't find a single player he could party with. And so, he decided to move out to the fields for a change of pace and he if he could find anyone.

As he was walking at the fields, the goblins are now hiding from him. Not like before when his level was still low, the goblins would pounce and ambush him.

"No! Get away!" he heard an unfamiliar voice. It sounded like it was in trouble.

"Should I help?" was the first thing that went to his mind. Normally people would rush off to save a damsel in distress. But we're talking about Advancer.

"AHHH!" the unfamiliar voice screamed. without a second thought he ran straight to where the sound was coming from. Maybe somewhere deep inside, Advancer had a heart after all.

"This is my chance. If I help her she'll be indebted to me, then I will make her join my party." Advancer thought while smirking and running. I stand corrected.

After he reached to the area where he heard the scream, he finds something he did not expect. Rather than a girl in distress, he finds a girl all alone and perfectly fine.

The girl has a tied blonde-medium-hair and blue eyes. She is wearing a white sleeveless armored blouse with blue linings, blue short skirt, long white socks, and blue shoes. And she wields a blue longsword.

The girl turns around and sees Advancer. The girl was surprised there was a boy standing behind her.

"Aren't you a damsel? Where's the monster?" Advancer blurted exploring his eyes looking for a monster.

"Eh? Sorry, what were you saying?" She asked puzzled by the question.

"I heard you scream, so I thought you needed help." Advancer explained.

The girl thought for a second and did a reflection. And realized what the strange guy was talking about.

"Oh that. Sorry, but it was a misunderstanding. You see, I've already defeated the monster. And I kind of screamed out of frustration because I still haven't got the item drop that I needed." The girl explained apologetically, bowing at the end.

Advancer let out a small laugh at himself for misunderstanding. It's fine though, at least the girl is safe.

"I see. Hey wanna form a party? I'll help you find the item you are looking for." Advancer said inviting her out of the blue. The girl was just surprised.

"Uhmm. okay,l yeah, sure." The girl responded fidgeting. It would be better to have him look for the item too. that way, chances of finding it are more likely to increase.

Advancer swipes his finger to open a menu, then invites the girl for a party. And then the girl accepted the request.

An HP ui appears below their HP's name with the name of the player. This is what happens when you are in a party.

"Ad-van-cer." the girl said reading his name from the bottom of her HP bar. So that was his name, she thought.

"Yes, Kairi." Advancer replied, also reading her name.

Kairi replied with a nod. Then they both awkwardly smiled at each other. Not knowing what to do next, and since they only just met.

"So, what is this item you were looking for?" Advancer asked not being affected by the supposedly awkward situation.

Kairi told Advancer the item and in what monster the item can be dropped. It turns out that the item she was looking for is rare, that is why she was having a hard time hunting for it. And so, the two of them worked together hunting for the item as a party.

...

An ogre smashes its mace at Advancer, but does a sidestep dodging the attack, causing the ogre to smash the mace onto the ground.

"Switch." Advancer said with Kairi running towards the monster.

Her sword glows blue as she does a slant slice to the ogre's body. The ogre screamed in pain, lifting its mace once again. This time attempting to smash it onto Kairi, but failed, deflecting it with her sword.

"Switch." Kairi said with Advancer running towards the ogre doing a slice with his glaive followed by another slice from his gladius. Then ducks.

"Switch." He said with kaori spinning while doing a back-to-back lift, then pierces the ogre's body with her sword, delivering the final blow. Then the ogre shatters into shards of glass, defeating the monster.

[ Item Acquired ]

A UI popped up viewing an item drop from the ogre.

"Found it!" Kairi celebrated after acquiring the item she has been looking for.

"Phew~ Finally. We've been killing ogres for hours." Advancer said exhausted then sits on the ground.

"Thank you so much Advancer! You know, for helping me find it." Kairi said smiling at him.

Then, the two of them went back to town to turn in the quest to an NPC. Only Kairi had the rewards since they only found one of the item.

"Hey! Since you helped me. I'll treat you on a meal." Kairi insisted. Advancer accepted the offer. After all, he deserved it.

[ Restaurant ]

Advancer and Kairi are having a meal together. They already had their orders and started eating.

"Kairi, do you have plans tomorrow?" Advancer asked after finishing his meal. Kairi thought for a second before answering.

"Hmm. Nothing comes to mind though. I've got nothing to do. Why do you ask?" Kairi said. She already finished her meal.

"I heard that a group of players a raiding the boss tomorrow. Wanna join them?" He asked.

"The 13th floor boss. Sure I think I'm ready for it." she answered.

Then Advancer told her more details about the raid like where and when will they meet up. They also added each other on their friends list for easy contact.

Chapter 6

[ The next day ]

Early in the morning, at 7:00, Advancer and Kairi went to the meeting for the boss raid. The meeting consists of information regarding the 13th floor boss. They planned, strategized, and talked about their tactics beforehand. Everyone was attentive. They would not want to jeopardize the plan for it costs them not only their lives but also others’.

The plan sounded great and perfect. Everyone felt at ease. With plan like that, the raid is bound to win for sure. The leader said that the plan was not made by him, but by another player who did not show up at the meeting. It was said that the player who made the plan was responsible for many successful boss raids. The leader said he will meet up with us at the boss gate.

The raid leader asked the players to form into parties of four. But Advancer did not find any player to add up to his party because the other players already knew each other and formed parties themselves. It was only him and Kairi in his party. The meeting was over in just an hour.

The time set for the raid was at 1:00pm. At the last part of the meeting, the leader asked the player to ready themselves before the raid.

“So we have about 4 hours to spare. What do you want to do?” Advancer asks Kairi while they walk into town.

“I’m going to refine my equipment. I had tons of cols because of the last quest you helped me with.” Kairi said then walked inside a blacksmith shop.

Kairi refined her armor and weapons to increase her defense and damage. Unlike Advancer, Kairi balances her stats. Advancer focuses only on refining his weapons and increasing his damage.

After the refinement, they went out of the blacksmith shop.

“What’s next?” Advancer asks Kairi. He doesn’t have anything planned to do today. He Just needs to kill time before the boss raid.

“Hmm… It seems that I’ve done everything I have to do. What about you? Don’t you have anything you want to do? I’ll just tag along.” Kairi said smiling.

Advancer tried to think of something to do. And nothing came to his mind. He has been prepared for the boss raid since last night.

“Nothing.” Advancer replied shortly. Kairi frowned.

“Let’s just go to the town square and look for cool looking items.” Kairi said and started walking.

“Oh, you mean window shopping.” Advancer said and followed.

[ Town Square ]

At the center of the town, players are gathered to sell their items, armors, and weapons. There is a system in SAO where you can sell items to other players. The players are sitting on the Town Square tiles with their selling items placed on mats.

“Whoah! I like this one. It looks so shiny.” Kairi said while drooling on a sky blue colored shiny long sword.

“That’ll be 99999999 cols. It’s a legendary sword I got from the 30th floor boss.” The vendor said.

“That’s a lotta nines.” Advancer said surprised. Kairi dropped her jaw after hearing the price.

Advancer and Kairi strolled around the Town Square window shopping. While doing so, Advancer came across a vendor with a refinement orb placed in his mat. The vendor was wearing a hoodie so he can’t see the face.

Advancer grabbed the orb in his hand and did a careful look into it. He thought this would make my weapons stronger. The hooded vendor looked at Advancer. The vendor was surprised at first, and then lets out a smirk.

“That’ll be 100000 cols.” The vendor said.

That’s  a lotta zeroes. Oh well, what would I expect in a place like this. Everything here costs gold. Advancer thought and let out a sigh, and then puts the refinement orb back to the mat. Advancer then walks away with the vendor’s eyes following him.

“Hey Advancer! Look what I got!” Kairi said showing her hand to Advancer.

“What is it?” Advancer said narrowing his eyes and trying to look for something new in Kairi’s hand.

“You know that I don’t read palms right?” Advancer said still not seeing anything new about her.

“It’s my bracelet! Isn’t it pretty?” Kairi said waving her hand in different angles.

“Oh that. Yeah, pretty.” Advancer said unenthusiastically and obviously sarcastic.

“What did you say!?” Kairi yelled and pounded Advancer in the head, and then walked away.

I did say it was pretty didn’t I? Advancer asked himself.

[ 13th Floor – Boss Gate – 12:30 ]

The leader counts the head of the players, seeing if everyone is present. The leader counted everyone present. Even Advancer and Kairi is there. 30 minutes before the boss raid.

Now that everyone is present, the leader calls on a player from the crowd to come to step out to the front. The player was wearing a hood. Advancer notices that it was the same hooded vendor he saw from the Town Square earlier.

“This person here is the master of this raid. He was the person I was talking about earlier in the meeting, the one who made the plan.” The leader announces, presenting the player beside him. The hooded vendor removes his hood and reveals his face. Advancer was surprised.

“The player who is responsible for many successful boss raids. Yvhell.” The leader continues.

Yvhell has a brown curly hair and blue eyes. He is wearing a basic plain navy blue novice armor and a kodachi placed in his left weist.

“Hey.” Yvhell said raising his hand saying hi.

Advancer was surprised to see his friend from real life.

“Long time no see.” Yvhell said to Advancer. Advancer smiled.

“Been a long time.” Advancer replied. Kairi who is standing beside Advancer was just surprised that they know each other.

This isn’t the time for reunion. They both know that.

Yvhell proceeded and recalled all the plans they talked about in the meeting and recap their strategies. After that, they readied themselves to the fight the boss.

The leader does a countdown. “We’ll open the gate in 5…4…3…2…1”

They opened the gate and start fighting the 13th floor boss.

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