Sword Art Online: The Unseen Stories (Hanako and Rell)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Hana, Mar 19, 2015.

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    "Class dismissed."

    Yuzuki Akiyama looked on with a slightly exasperated smile as the boys in her class cheered, noticing the teacher's resigned look. She took a look around the other students in the classroom. The girls in class were quite happy as well, though not to the extent of the boys - she could hear one girl, who was the Ms. Academics of their year, sigh in irritation.

    "It's that game launch," she could hear the girl mutter to her friends, who laughed slightly. "My own brother has been talking about SAO nonstop. And he didn't even get a copy, you should have seen his face."

    Standing up, Yuzuki smiled to herself as she shouldered her bag. She nudged her best friend, Akira, who was asleep on the desk with a smirk. "Hey." She poked Akira's cheek. Her eye twitched slightly as the other girl merely stretched in her sleep and mumbled, "Five minutes, okaa-san..." Did she just get called 'mother'? Smiling and shaking her head, the long-haired girl sighed. How many times have you fallen asleep in Yamamoto-sensei's class, Akira-chan?

    Sometimes, Yuzuki had a hard time believing Akira was even the best female player on the girl's soccer team. The girl was oblivious, playful, and often had her head in the clouds. It was as if Yuzuki was the anchoring presence that kept Akira from forgetting why she was even in the classroom in the first place... Groan. At least she didn't have track today... Of the two of them, Yuzuki was dubbed 'the responsible one'.

    I wonder if that means I'm the boring one...

    "Oi, Akira!" Puffing her cheek in frustration, Yuzuki nudged her sleeping friend in the ribs - then proceeded to tickle the other girl.

    "AAAA - Hyahahaa!" The short-haired girl shot up from the seat and almost tackled Yuzuki in the floor, had the other girl not been as quick as she was. Akira pouted at her, and she raised an unimpressed eyebrow. "Akira-chan, you still have soccer practice. If you want to get to the SAO launch soon and catch up after me, you know you shouldn't be late to your coach. She's already been mad at you for being late so many times in a row, and you know..." She trailed off. Akira would be the one to clean up after the others once they finished practice.

    "Ah!" Akira's dark grey eyes widened, and she scrambled to get her bag and books off her desk. Yuzuki merely blinked and stared as the other girl raced out of the classroom, with a call of, "See you later, Yuzuki-chaaaan! Don't play too long without me!"

    Rolling her eyes and laughing slightly, Yuzuki headed out of the class, after giving a small smile to the remaining classmate who had to clean up the classroom for the day. She kept quiet as she slipped in between the people in the crowded hallways, hearing some boys speak loudly about SAO.

    Sword Art Online. The first ever VRMMO, using FullDive technology and operating on the NerveGear system. Yuzuki only heard of it from her uncle and Akira. Her best friend loved video games, and had been trying to invite Yuzuki to play MMOs with her, but this was the first time she had been convinced.

    After all, the idea of a realistic videogame, in a fantasy world, was a little tempting. So Yuzuki had gotten the Nerve Gear she had gotten as a gift from her uncle, and had Akira's extra copy of SAO shoved in her face. Apparently, Akira had won the other copy off of a raffle draw.

    Lost in thought and looking down on the ground, Yuzuki didn't see the boy in front of her until it was too late.
    #1 Hana, Mar 19, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
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    Noboru sat impatiently at his desk near the back of the classroom, waiting for his literature class to finish. It was the last period of the day and the last five minutes of felt like it took a hour as Noboru constantly peered over at the wall clock near the classroom door. He eagerly welcomed the sound of the dismissal bell when it rang, grabbed his notebook off his desk, and immediately went for the door. Besides wanting to get home to play Sword Art Online, he was more concentrated on exiting the school before he could be swarmed by other students and their curiosity. Noboru was one of the few people that played in the beta before the launch. When word got out about this, he became a center of attention among students who were also gamers. While at first he was pleased with this, eventually it became annoying. Students would constantly ask about Sword Art Online to the point where it would start to bother him and with today being the launch, it's guaranteed that some students will seek him out for advice.

    Just moments after he stepped out of the classroom, a group of students rushed over to him; as he expected/ They barraged him with a flurry of questions all at once. "Noboru-san, what time will you be on? Do you want to form a party together? Which weapon would be best for an independent player? Which quest should I go for early on? Which skill should I focus on first? Would you be interested in joining my guild if I form on? How long does it usually take to level up a skill?" Noboru stood frozen, not knowing which question to answer as they continued on. Ugh, again with this. Such a nuisance. "Oi, give the guy some room" someone said from a distance. Noboru turned to the direction of the voice and noticed his close friend Arata approaching, waving off the group. "No questions today. Keep it moving" Arata said as he directed the students away. Displeased mumbling can be heard as the walked away followed by a sigh by Noboru. "Arigatou, Arata-kun" he said with a relieved tone. " It's no problem, Yuki. I thought you might need some help today" Arata responded. Yuki was a nickname derived from Noboru's surname the Arata often called him by. Like Noboru, Arata was also a beta-tester. Though, unlike Noboru, Arata kept it relatively a secret only telling a select few of people, including Noboru. Because of this, he was able to avoid being pestered by others.

    "So, where are we meeting up later?" Arata asked.
    "Same place we usually did back in the beta." Noboru responded.
    "Alright, but you know it might be crowded." Arata commented
    "It doesn't matter. We more than likely won't be there long anyway" Noboru said with a smug expression
    "I agree." Arata responded, doing the same. "But, I will be a little late. The student council is having a meeting and I have to attend it" he said with an unenthused tone.
    "Ugh, that sucks. Hope it doesn't tske too long" Noboru responded.
    "Same here. Anyway, I catch you later" Arata said as he turned and walked away.
    "Later." Noboru responded.

    During the beta, the two of them had cooperatively played together the majority of the time. Due to this, they were able to both completed several of the early quests and even were able to explore a few of the early floors. Though there is still much to discover, they both believe that would have a strong start on today's launch and probably will be few of the several people to level up the quickest. Just thinking about it made Noboru excited and anxious.

    After saying goodbye, Noboru turned to make his way to the staircase to leave. As he turned, he bumped into a girl, knocking his notebook out of his hand onto the floor. "Suimimasen" he said with an apologetic tone as he immediately reached for his book. As he picked it up, he realized who the girl was. "Oh, Yuzuki-san, didn't even recognize you."

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    "Ah!" She stepped back as she saw the person's notebook get knocked down to the floor. Yuzuki started to mumble an apology, blushing in embarrassment and annoyance at her inattention, when she heard the boy speak. He took the notebook before she could bend down to pick it up for him, and she looked up. A tall boy with slightly messy hair and glasses held his notebook in front of her, and she craned her neck up to meet his eyes, blinking as she recognized him. "Yukimura-senpai," she replied in surprise, before bowing. "Sorry again, I didn't see you coming."

    Yukimura Noboru was in the year above her, and she remembered hearing from the other students that he was a beta tester for SAO. I wonder what it was like, she thought to herself. Akira had been quite vocal about how much she had wanted to become a beta tester for the game, and had sulked and whined to Yuzuki for days when she wasn't chosen. At first, Yuzuki had wondered what was so great about becoming a beta tester, and her best friend had explained it to her.

    The beta testers, due to being able to play the game for a period of time before the majority, knew most of the game's places. Which places were great for 'farming' mobs, 'farming' being a term that, as Akira explained, was a good way to level up and gain EXP. The beta testers would also know what mobs would give up great item drops and good amount of EXP, and also how much money they would earn from every loot. Apparently, some mobs dropped pretty rare finds, and players were quite competitive about having great equipment. But the most desirable part about being a beta tester, Akira had mentioned, was knowing what to encounter during the 'Floor Boss' battles.

    Her best friend was really enthusiastic about the game, to the point that Akira had been on the forum boards, like MMO Today, everyday. Because Akira regularly participated in other MMOs, she was pretty known across the forums, and knew some beta testers. That must be why Akira knew so much, though from her pouting, Yuzuki gathered that what had been shared wasn't enough.

    What Yuzuki was curious about was the mechanics of the game itself. How was she going to move about or fight in the game? Akira hadn't told her much about that, only mentioning it was something to be experienced. Probably because she herself hadn't played it yet. 'Don't worry, Yuzuki-chan! I'll take care of you,' her best friend had cheerfully assured her.

    Though, looking from how Akira was running late to her coach's soccer training, the girl was probably going to get late to the SAO launch. Yuzuki wondered what she would do then, since she had wanted to be at the start with her best friend. Fortunately, both of them had decided on their player names beforehand. Akira was going to be {Milano}, and had pressured Yuzuki to go as {Alita} at first. Eventually, though, Yuzuki had decided on naming herself as {Raine}.

    Knowing beta testers, though, was what brought her attention back to the older boy in front of her. "Excited about the game launch, Yukimura-senpai?" Yuzuki smiled slightly at him. "You seem to be in a hurry to get home." Not that she was one to talk, she had been unconsciously rushing along to get back herself.

    "Akira-chan would have loved to talk to you. She's very excited about it as well." Everyone knew that Noboru was a beta tester, though looking at how often he was swarmed by their classmates, Yuzuki had taken pity on him and told her friend not to ask or come up with too many questions. Unlike the others, Yuzuki hadn't made her interest or intent to play SAO known. She was simply known as the best friend of the gamer in her class, Akira, and she was content to let them see her that way. Besides, once they got into SAO, they'd be known by different names.
    #3 Hana, Mar 26, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
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    Noboru paused, noticing her face was blushing red. Though she was being kind, he chuckled at how apologetic she was. "No, it's quite alright. I should have been more careful. No need to be so sorry" he replied with a slight smile. If anything he was the one that felt embarrassed for stating he didn't recognize her.

    Yuzuki was a year below him and they were acquainted. He couldn't recall the first time they were introduced to each other, but most of the time they spent together were within groups of mutual friends, usually through Akira. One thing he knew for sure was that she never questioned about SAO, so having her within his company didn't bother him at all. While Akira did have questions, she didn't badger him about it.

    Noboru's slight smile turned into a toothy grin. "I'm extremely excited. I can't wait to get back into Aincrad. Such a beautiful place" Aincrad was the name of the world with SAO. It was composed of 100 different floor, each with its own design, environment, locations, monsters, and unique floor bosses. It was an incredible spectacle to experience. The architecture of the world was flawless. Well, at least the floors that Noboru explored, which was only up to the 3rd floor during the short beta. This just made him more anxious to play; to discover what else the game consisted of. He hoped the developers hadn't changed too much from the beta.

    "Akira-san? In her case I think 'excited' is an understatement. Knowing her, she might be more excited than I am" he replied followed by laughter. He knew how avid Akira was on forum boards looking for information on SAO, being that he was a member of some of the same boards. Though he and Akira only played a few MMOs together, she was a compassionate gamer which was a reason why they were cordial with each other.

    Noboru did a quick scan of the hallway, looking for Akira. "She's not here? I guess she rushed home faster than everyone else" At least this was his assumption, since Akira and Yuzuki usually accompanied each other. He always found it weird how Yuzuki could be close friends with a gamer like Akira and not play any MMO. Well, at least it seemed that way since she didn't seem too interested most of the time. It made him curious to think if she was even considering to play SAO. "What about you? Have you managed to secure a copy? I know you don't play many games, but Sword Art Online is not your everyday game. It's so revolutionary and truly is a fun experience. You'd really be missing out if you don't even give it a chance. You'd enjoy it."
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    She couldn't keep a slight grin from appearing on her face in response to his, seeing how eager he was about SAO. While she wasn't as excited about it as Noboru and Akira, their positive energy and excitement was rubbing off on her, if only for a little bit. Especially since seeing the small smile on Noboru's face turn into a full-blown grin, his eyes looking happy and admiring behind his glasses further convinced her about the beauty of this virtual world. It couldn't be bad to try something like this every now and then.

    Maybe I'll even like it enough to continue on playing it regularly. Akira would be on the moon if that happens. Yuzuki wasn't a gamer like her best friend, but she did spend time at Akira's home. Afternoons were spent with the two girls just spending time together in each other's rooms, and whenever they were at Akira's her friend would sometimes play while Yuzuki either watched or read beside her. It was peaceful and contenting.

    Now because of some of their circles of friends, with Noboru being a friendly acquaintance of Akira's through their mutual friends, she had gotten to spend some time with 'gamers'. They were always friendly and accommodating to Yuzuki, who while she felt a little out of place did like the people. She wasn't as well known as Akira, who was on the girls' soccer team and a known gamer even on forum boards, but people knew her and mostly everyone was friendly. Those friends were mostly males, with only a few female friends, and she found she didn't really mind the noise and the friendly jeers and jabs the friends would exchange during one of their get-togethers.

    Yuzuki laughed with her upperclassman at his comment about Akira. "She's late to her soccer practice, so Sugimura-sensei is probably going to make her clean up again," she stifled another laugh. She did warn Akira, but the girl was incorrigible in some habits. "She might end up running late to the opening."

    At his question, she blinked up at him. After a moment, she gave him a small, secretive smile, before sharing. "I agreed to go to the opening with Akira-chan, she gave me an extra copy of the game," she shook her head at Akira's ways of getting what she wanted. "More like she pushed the copy on me," she muttered fondly. "I had my own Nerve Gear lying around unused at home, from my uncle," she smiled sheepishly. "We both figured it was a waste and I had to use it at least once, and since SAO has received such glowing praise-" Here, she shot him an amused look, he had just tried to tell her she would be missing out if she didn't try it. "It wouldn't hurt to try. Akira-chan thought it would be a good bonding experience and we could spend more time together." Then, she looked around. "Isn't Arata-senpai going with you for the opening?" Arata was another acquaintance of Akira's.
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    Noboru chuckled at the thought of Akira rushing to practice. "Well, that's unfortunate. Definitely the wrong day to be late." Those who start off early in a game will usually have the advantage if they keep an effort to stay ahead. Though in Akira's case, he wasn't really concerned. An avid gamer like her could probably surpass many others in very little time.

    As he listened to her, smile on his face slowly turned into a bemused expression. He paused for a moment as he looked down at her. "Yea, he's going to be late too." he answered curtly. He slightly tilted his head to the left, taken by surprise by her comment. "Wait, you've had a Nerve Gear you've never used? he asked dryly. "And Akira is giving you an extra copy of the most demanded game at the moment and you say 'It wouldn't hurt to try'?" He raised a brow as his eyes widened. "Come on. You've got to be at least a bit stoked that your first game will be such an amazing creation." he said cheerfully. She almost seemed uninterested in the game and that playing it tonight is almost like a favor, at least in his opinion. At the very minimum, he was trying to get her somewhat excited. There are thousands of people who would love to have the opportunity to play. He knew she wasn't much of a gamer, but being the first of the official launch of a game like Sword Art Online is momentous. Sword Art Online will be a benchmark which future games will build upon, even amateur gamers knew that, but it seemed that Yuzuki wasn't aware or just didn't care enough. Wow, she more laid back than I thought. While they both occasionally mixed together with groups of mutual friends, she wasn't very talkative. She'd just laugh along with the jokes, but mostly just remained quiet. Having this conversation is now sparking Noboru's curiosity of her.
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    Watching the bemused expression make its way onto Noboru's face, Yuzuki was almost more than a little startled at his next words. She blinked, detecting the dryly amused tone in her upperclassman's voice, along with the hint of disbelief. "Well..." She hesitantly started to talk back, but his next words cut her off from speaking. Her eyes widened slightly as he finished, a bemused smile of her own appearing as she tilted her head up to look at him better. "I am excited," she chuckled a little self-consciously, "But I've never really played anything before so I don't know what to think." It must have been bemusing from Noboru's perspective - as someone who knew games inside and out, and could be considered an expert at them, he knew better than her. It just wasn't easy to understand Akira and Noboru's great enjoyment of the game if Yuzuki had never tried it before, it felt like a different world.

    And SAO was supposedly just like a whole other world, made by the mind of a brilliant man. It was a little hard to believe, but she was also curious.

    "You and Akira are sometimes a little hard to understand," she admitted after a moment. "But I know you both really love games, and maybe I'll understand you both better with this," she smiled. "Either way, we'll both see when we're actually in the game, senpai." Here her tone was a little playful as she stepped out of her usually more polite and quiet demeanor. She smirked slightly as she stepped to the side, looking off to the stairs. "Maybe you and Akira-chan can teach me a thing or two then, senpai?" She caught the rising playfulness in her tone and flushed slightly, shaking her head. "Ah... I have to go. You wouldn't want to be late either." She still had to get her shoes to change out of her slippers from the lockers a floor down, and then walk home. She usually had Akira to walk home with her, since their houses weren't too far apart. They grew up in the same neighborhood, after all. Yuzuki stifled a slight sigh at the thought of her friend, but it happened often enough. Their mothers often reminded them not to walk home alone, but it was still not too late in the afternoon. She would have been more worried about Akira going home later than usual and possibly by herself, but Akira had friends in the girls' soccer team. It shouldn't be too bad, but she had always been the worrier between the two of them.
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