Floor 55th, September 29th, 2026
It was the ninth battle of the afternoon.
Kana and Sinon vs a male Imp and a female Pooka.
Kana was holding the advantage over her opponent, but the same couldn’t be said of Sinon, who could only use a “hit and run” strategy, trying to use her speed against the slow strength of the dark fairy.
On the stairs, Sybil was sitting while touching her wounded forehead.
Lamorak scratches the top of her head.
Lamorak: “You always lower your guard each time you attack. That’s how he got you.”
Sybil: “You’re advising me a bit late…”
She smiles and keeps on watching the fight when Hogun appears with a jar of wine.
Hogun: “We lost…”
He says seriously, while looking to Agil and Fandral together at the other side of the temple, waving their hands at them. The Sylph couple gets ready for a fight, noticing the tone of the Gnome.
“But little girl…” he continues. “…you battle like a Giant!!!”
Hogun and Sybil hug, settling their differences.
Kana’s tackled down by the Pooka girl and falls to the ground, lading on her back. However, she manages to use the girl’s momentum to make her pass above her and land on the ground as well. Kana quickly jumps while rolling backwards, landing hardly on the girl’s stomach and blowing the air out of her. Kana then proceeds to choke her.
Sinon keeps her distance form her much larger attacker, who rams at her like a crazed goat. She jumps above him. Once she landed behind him, she hits his right side with a roundhouse kick. The kick efficiently damages the player, but it doesn’t leave him out of battle. He turns around, trying to hit the Cait Sith. Sinon has few seconds to elude the strike ducking under his arm and then thrusts her open hand to his ribs. The attack doesn’t stop him this time either. He grabs her neck with his right hand, throwing her the ground and proceeds to choke her with a hold.
The Imp would’ve succeeded in defeating Sinon if Kana hadn’t defeated her opponent first and attacked the Imp, making him loosen his hold on Sinon, letting her go. After that, they all get up. Quickly, the girls have the upper hand exchanging quick strikes with the dark fairy until they kick the back of his leg, making him fall to the ground. Kana readies to finish him off, but the male manages to throw Kana to the ground. Sinon tries to help her, but he catches her with his other hand and throws to the ground as well. However, Kana manages to kneel next to him while holding his left arm tightly, him blocking his movements and giving her partner enough time to get up and step on the Imp’s head, finishing the battle.
The fellow Knights cheer and clap, while the two Cait Siths get up and raise their hands together in victory.
They hug after shearing the taste of victory, settling their differences.
Asuna walks next to her boyfriend.
Asuna: “Drinking and a contest. This was a great idea to bond them.”
Kirito: “You gave it to me, back when the Sylphs and Gnomes joined us: ”Sometimes fun, drinking and stupidity is needed. This helps to create strong bonds.” remember?”
Asuna nods with a smile.
“Now we need to create even more…” Kirito adds.
He walks down the short stairs, next to the two victors.
“GREAT FIGHT!!!” He says raising his arms, while the guild roars. The four fighters left the center of the courtyard. “Let’s have another fight! Lamorak!”
The Sylph players roar.
The Salamander players roar.
The two commanders glare seriously to each other.
They reluctantly walk down the stairs and separate, but Kirito catches Klein’s shoulder just before they did.
“You guys fight together...” Kirito says with a smile.
The two commanders stare again. They angrily remove their weapons and stand next to the other.
A small part of the players clap. Galant’s surprised when he realizes he was called.
“And Asuna! Fight against them!”
Most players roar after hearing her name.
Asuna didn’t like Galant as her partner, but the Champion walks next to her and whispers something to her ear.
“You know we can win this…but for that we need to fight as one.”
He walks into the courtyard leaving his weapons and a jar of wine behind.
Kirito walks next to Asuna.
Yui: “Do what it takes…”
Asuna smiles and gives Kirito a smooch on his cheek. Yui flies from her mother’s shoulder and sits on her father’s. While walking next to Galant, the Berserk Healer unstraps her belt and leaves her weapon behind.
All the members of the guild pay attention to the upcoming battle, since some of strongest players of the guild were about to clash.
Galant raises his guard and nods to Asuna, who just briefly looks at him. Klein and Lamorak focus.
Lamorak and Klein engage combat with Asuna and Galant respectively.
Klein starts with an onslaught barrage of fire punches while advancing on his adversary. Galant relies on his speed to elude or block the attacks while going backwards.
Lamorak advances rapidly towards Asuna and punches her gut. She manages to deal with the pain and resist the hit, but this doesn’t last long as Lamorak quickly moved to strike her side. Quicker than him, she catches her arm and pulls while using her weight, making him fall to the ground. Lamorak smiles.
The Champion finds an opening quickly and deflects. He punches his gut and kicks his knee to make him fall to the ground. However, Klein manages regain balance with his other leg and doesn’t fall. He uses his new position to swiftly grab Galant’s neck and start punching his face.
Asuna jumps and attacks with a descending kick aiming to his head, but Lamorak eludes the attack by inches. He double kicks her on the chest, making her roll backwards. After being distanced, both get back up quickly.
Klein deals several hard hits, but the Blue Knight manages to catch his hand and hits him with it, forcing the Salamander to release him and back off.
Lamorak advances again while punching, but Asuna blocks the attack with her open hand and reaches Lamorak’s back quickly. She elbows him on the back and kicks the back of his knee, making him kneel. However, the Sylph manages to reach back and grab her nape, dragging her to the ground in front of him.
Klein refuses to give up. He attacks with one more hook with each hand, but Galant blocks both with his risen guard and deals a hard uppercut directly to his chin. Klein falls hardly to the ground.
Asuna uses the momentum given by the fall to roll forward and get back up. Lamorak again assault her, but she eludes the attack and, at the same time, grabs his neck back and kicks his leg forward, making him fall to the ground.
“NOOOW!!!” Asuna shouts.
Galant nods and they rush towards each other. Just before crashing they jump and grab their hands. By the momentum given by the impulse of jump, they spin and, after spinning 180º, they open hands, separating.
They land hardly on top of the stomach of the adversary they didn’t fight against, blowing the air out of them and ending the battle.
The crowd cheers for the two victors.
Galant looks to Asuna with a smile and nods his head. Asuna smiles back.
They help their adversaries up and respectfully share a handshake. Some watchers of the fight even enter the center of the courtyard and congratulate the winners.
“Hey Lamorak…” Klein says, walking towards him.
Leafa and Sybil approach the team they supported.
“You gave a good fight, for a dumbshit Sylph…”
“The same as you…for a Salamander shit-eater…”
Klein laughs and quickly Lamorak also does. They handshake.
“Let’s have a drink…and heal to our hurt pride.”
The Sun had already set on the horizon.
Most of the players were either resting or sleeping after a long day of drinking and fighting.
A still drunk minority remains up, singing songs loudly and without any harmony or talent at all. They just wanted the good day to keep on going to the breaking dawn of the next.
While talking to Kana, Diana and Jack, Galant sees Kirito alone on top of the wall. He gets up, leaving his friends and carrying with him one of the last jugs of alcohol. He walks where Kirito was, lost in his thoughts while looking to the horizon and hearing the horrible sing of the drunken Knights.
He climbs up the wooden platforms.
“I still think you’ll pull us to an end soon…” Galant says.
Kirito extends his hand and helps him to get on the wall.
“But as a good friend of mine always said…” Galant continues.”…It’ll be a glorious fucking death…”
He laughs after this and takes a long sib after finishing.
Kirito grins at his joke.
Galant eyes widen. He stops drinking and points toward the volcano.
“What’s that?” he asks.
Kirito also looks.
On near one of the peaks of the mountain, a small light was moving from side to side.
“I ordered low level players to take watches on one of the tops of the volcano as a sentinels for enemies.”
“Yes…” Kirito says interrupting him. “…Thanos is here…”
Few minutes later of time, all the members of KoB get ready for the upcoming battle. Even the drunkest players manage to prepare.
Once they are all ready, they gather on the courtyard.
Kirito appears from inside the temple, accompanied by his three main commanders. He now carried Holy Sword Excaliber strapped to his back, between Elucidator on his right side and Longsword on his left side. All the players gather around him.
“Thanos commands his army from the rear. He’ll make them advance in a tight formation, trying to overpower us. It’s a good strategy for this kind of place…But we’ll show them a better one!”
They march out of the temple, ready for battle.
The Legionaries walk through the woods, advancing towards the temple.
The night was dark, and it didn’t matter how much light came from the white full moon, it was blocked by the tall trees and deep forestation. If it weren’t for the torches some of them carried, they wouldn’t be able to see anything.
The commanding officer at the front raises his left hand closed, signal for stopping.
He looks to the gloomy front, attentive to any strange sound or movement. He moves his head slowly 180º, but he stops when he was almost over. He remains looking to a spot for several seconds. He realizes nothing was there and was about to continue walking when an arrow struck in his eye, killing him instantly.
Seconds later, several more arrows nail the first line of Legionaries.
The squad of archers commanded by Sinon and Diana started the battle, hiding behind trees while drawing and nocking their arrows, and revealing themselves when taking aim and shooting.
“Attack!” Another officer shouts.
The Legionaries advance on the direction where the projectiles came from, but on half-way, Klein, Lamorak, Asuna, Jack, Leafa, Agil, Sybil and several other players attack them. While the archers covered them, they could kill a large number of the Legionaries, but before long, reinforcements appeared.
“FALL BACK! BACK TO THE TEMPLE!!!” Klein shouts.
The archers take leave, but the Klein’s squad remains there, winning some time for the archers to take distance from the soldiers, but the reinforcements where closer by each second.
One of the Knights is killed by one of the officers, who slits his throat.
“KLEIN, THEY’RE TOO MANY FOR US!!!” Lamorak shouts.
“MOVE!” Klein shouts.
As quickly as the squad appeared, they disappear, falling back to the temple, followed by the Legionaries.
At the rearguard of the small clutch of Legionaries, the General waits on top of his horse, accompanied by another soldier on a horse. A Colonel arrives from the vanguard squads.
“My General, the Rebels retreat.”
“Alright then…” The General says. “Order the third and fifth-“
He stops talking when two different battle cries are heard nearby.
Kirito and Galant attack appear from left and right respectively.
Kirito pushes the General from the saddle, along with the horse. The leg of the General ends up bellow the belly of the animal trapping him inside. Once Kirito lands on the ground he rolls and gets back up. In the meantime, Galant slashed the throat of the other player on the horse and landed firmly on the ground. They get back to back with their swords drawn.
“So what’s your plan, Black Swordsman!?” Galant yells out.
“You take those four; I’ll worry about my three and the General.
The soldiers advance on the duo and the duo advances on the soldiers.
The soldiers arrive to the wall surrounding the temple. One group of five players raises their shields above their heads, right next to the wall. A second group kneels right next to the first group. They form a stairway with their shields.
The reaming players rush and use the human staircase to get to the top of the wall and enter the courtyard.
They are warmly received by the Knights.
Klein, Agil, Lamorak and Asuna rush from the temple. They jump to the courtyard, beginning the second part of the battle. While they could take most of the players entering the temple, they couldn’t block each one of them. Few numbers of Legionaries manage to get through them and advance inside the temple. But they quickly find archers commanded by Sinon, who start shooting at them and even killing some. Lamorak is pinned down by some soldiers, but from the roof, Diana nails two of them with her arrows, giving Lamorak enough time to kill the two remaining ones. Klein parries the attack of two soldiers and briefly falls back.
“NOW!” he yells out.
Three archers loosen their arrows as Klein moved, eluding the projectiles and killing three others players.
More soldiers appear from the wall.
Klein cries out and attacks the soldiers with his guild mates right behind him.
Galant takes on three soldiers and the Colonel of the vanguard.
He kicks the Colonel away and engages with the three soldiers. He parries the blade of the one of the right and ducks under the spear of the one of the one of the left. He turns around, spinning with his blade as well, slashing the leg of the first attacker and the belly of the other. The third soldier attacks frontally, but with great ease, the Blue Knight blocks the blade with his right and pierces his chest with the other. The soldier at his left attacks, but Galant draws the blade out of the player he just killed and slashes the others throat with Stardust Slasher. The last soldier attacks. They exchange some blows, but in the end, Galant stabs his face with his blade. He turns around and engages combat with the Colonel.
Kirito parries the spear of the first attacker and slashes his arm. The soldier turns around to hit him with the handle of his spear, but he breaks the weapon in half with Elucidator and kicks the soldier off. The other two attack him. Kirito parries the blade of the first one and attacks the other with both blades, but they’re parried by his shield. However, the strength he put to the attack is more than enough to make the player fall. The standing soldier attacks Kirito again but he jumps forwards and rolls on the ground. The soldier attacks, ramming his sword downwards, but Kirito turns around faster. He gets up while advancing forward and slashes the player’s right thigh. Once he’s at his back, the Black Knight slashes the back of his neck, killing him. The other two players attack Kirito. He blocks the attack of the first one, but then he’s pushed back by the shield. The other attacks him while he’s off balance, but the Black Swordsman somehow managed to parry the sword and pierce the chest of the player with Longsword. The last one again attacks, but Kirito parries the attack with a strong sword slash, dividing the weapon in two. He kicks the soldier against a tree and nailed his chest with Elucidator.
He turns around and sees that the General had just managed to get up along the horse and he was preparing to leave.
After a short battle, Galant cuts down the Colonel, cutting his throat.
Kirito leaves Elucidator on the tree and grabs a Lancea of one of the dead soldiers. He aims and throws the weapon to the horse, killing it. The General falls to the ground. He attempts to draw his sword, but Kirito had already placed his blade on his neck. The guild leader raises the Generals face and takes off his helmet.
Green eyes and blonde hair.
It was Magnus.
Jack cuts down a soldier with a single draw of his sword while he advances towards the wall. Behind him Kana slashes soldiers one by one, closely followed by Sybil. They arrive to the courtyard. Kana jumps to the back of soldier and deeply stabs his heart with both daggers. Sybil kicks her opponent to the ground. He attempts to turn around and flee, but she grabs his neck and slits his throat from the back.
Kirito and Galant arrive back at the temple, and most of the soldiers were killed or wounded. They were scattered across the small courtyard.
“Drop your weapons!!!” Magnus shouts.
The soldiers look at him, bewildered by his order.
They drop their weapons to the ground.
Kirito makes him kneel, and the remaining legionaries also kneel. The Black Swordsman takes his weapons away and raises Magnus’ gladius.
“NOW WE’VE GOT STEEL!!!”
The Knights roar approving, happy for their victory.
“GATHER THE WEAPONS!!!”
The Knights start grabbing the weapon on the ground left by the soldiers.
Magnus: “So that was your plan all along?” He asks. “You they drew my armies forward, leaving me unprotected so you and the traitor could abduct me?”
Kirito: “Yes that was my plan…”
Klein: “Magnus…” Klein says angrily after seeing the General. Klein grabs the collar of his armor. “You remember me?! Back in Luccinea, you killed my two friends Kunimittz and Harry One!!!”
He raises his blade to kill Magnus, but Kirito catches his hand just before.
Kirito: “He’ll pay with his life, but before he needs to tell us something….where’s Thanos!?”
They all look up. On the roof, Diana was pointing towards the sky. They look in that direction and see a catapult fireball, which was going in their direction. It impacted the soldiers in front of Kirito, Galant, Klein and Magnus. All those soldiers died. Other fireball came from the woods and kills several KoB members. Several more fireballs destroy parts of the temple, killing more Legionaries and Knights alike, descending more chaos inside their base.
“WE HAVE TO LEAVE! NOW!” Kirito shouts to the few remaining KoB members in the patio.
One second and a half later, a fireball clashes and pierces through the wall surrounding the entrance of the temple, creating a large circular hole. The impact is so powerful that it sends several players close to the wall flying away and landing hardly on the floor.
Kirito was one of those players.
Shortly afterwards, another fireball pierces through the wall, destroying it and creating a large gap between the two different sections of the wall.
Kirito’s ears ring and his head couldn’t process any information. He didn’t know what was going on and had no idea what had happened. How he’d arrived there or why he felt so weird and bad. Slowly, he turns around and sees a large part of the wall destroyed. Out of the dust left by the explosion, several shadows appear, accompanied by screams and yells.
Four of the five members of the Band of the Nine appear through the new gate, closely followed by soldiers and mercenaries.
Klein along some of the highest level members of KoB jump to the patio and face the upcoming stream of players.
In the middle of the courtyard, the two factions clash.
A second battle rages on.
Kirito’s attacked by a soldier, but he somehow manages to get up, block the attack and kill the player.
Fully regaining his consciousness, he realizes what was happening and that they were badly outnumbered. The small gap between the two parts of the wall served as a bottleneck for the Legionaries. The Knights could kill the ones inside, but for each they killed inside the temple, two more entered. They could hold them off for a while, but not forever. And it was highly probable that dozens or maybe even hundreds more waited outside.
“FALL BACK! INTO THE TUNNEL!!!” Kirito shouts.
Kana looks around and recognizes the player who killed Recon, Lyn. Thanos’ best soldier. The third member of the Band of the Nine. A deadly and brutal Sylph girl who used her same dual-dagger fighting style.
Kana attacks her frontally with her right dagger, but she blocks it with both daggers of her own and they begin a CQ battle combined with hand to hand techniques. Though evenly matched, Lyn slowly starts to gain the upper hand.
Jack engages with his old rival, Lyunatix and Klein exchanges attacks with the Undine, Kalius.
A second and larger wave of Legionaries appears from the large gap.
Kirito rolls in the ground and gets up. He blocks the attack of a soldier nearby and slashes his body.
“FALL BACK!” He shouts.
Sybil stabs a player with her spear when Lamorak appears right next to her.
“GO, GO, GO!!!” He shouts to her.
She rushes the stairs up and goes to the inner part of the temple. Lamorak also goes up the stairs, but remains there for a while longer, fighting the soldiers.
Rapidly, all the KoB members fall back and continue fighting against the soldiers
Diana and Sinon remain at the rear of the first and only line of their guild mates, but soon they know it was all useless.
Klein kicks away his opponent.
Klein: “YOU GO! WE’LL FOLLOW!!!”
Galant looks back for a short while to Diana.
Galant: “YOU GO!”
Diana nods and rushes with Sinon to the tunnel. Leafa, Agil, Silica, Hogun, Fandral, Dale and Dynamm follow. This leaves Kirito, Galant, Klein, Asuna, Lamorak, Kana and Jack as the last line of defense against the Legion.
Galant cuts down a soldier, and just behind him, Hikami appears and attacks. The Champion of Aincrad blocks the blow and slashes with his other blade, but the Salamander eludes it. A mercenary appears to help his commander, but Galant cuts him down without much effort. However, his sacrifice gained enough time for Hikami to slash Galant on the arm. Nevertheless, he jumps back and continues to fight.
Not far from him, Kana continues to fight the savage Sylph. She had lost her daggers, but continues fighting. She punches Lyn’s ribs several times while grabbing her right arm, but the attack was useless. Third could endure any pain she inflicted. The Cait Sith attempts to attack her eyes with her claws, but Lyn uses her left hand and stabs Kana on her forearm, putting her back against a wall. Lyn readies to finish her, grabbing Anubis forehand and stabs her face. Just before that, Kana puts her left hand on the way of the blade, which pierces through her palm and slashes her face, near her left eye. Lyn draws back Anubis and stabs her again in the chest.
“KANA!!!” Galant screams.
Asuna appears out of nowhere and places a strong uppercut to Lyn’s face, making her fall to the sand and release Kana.
Galant kicks Hikami away and helps Asuna to carry the screaming Cait Sith. Just behind them, lashes away Lyunatix and grabs Kana’s Daggers. The four of them rush to the tunnel. Once they leave, just Kirito, Klein and Lamorak are left to fight against the Legionaries and the four members of the “Nine Demons of Hell”. To make things even worse, Thanos arrives through the gap, followed by the men who remained outside the temple.
In the meantime, the KoB members escape through a tunnel, which leaded through the ground and ended close to the foot of the volcano. They created in case of an emergency. It was very narrow and just allowed one person, so the players make a long line and start walking until they arrive to the end. Diana advances at the vanguard with an arrow nocked, ready to shot if she needed to.
Kirito and Klein run inside of the temple with Thanos, the four members of the Band of the Nine and their army just behind him.
“LAMORAK!!!” Kirito shouts while pointing his blade towards several jugs left on the ground.
Lamorak grabs them and tosses them to his two friends. They throw the jars to the ground between them and the Legionaries, spreading the pitch inside. Once it was on the ground Klein lights fire on his Katana and touches the pitch, creating a large wall of fire, impossible to a Salamander to absorb or for an Undine to extinguish. Thanos angrily stares the three players from the other side of the wall, next to his four men who glare at them the same way. The three Knights stare the same way, but before long, they use magic to create earth wall, impossible to destroy by normal strength means. Even with Thanos’ inhuman strength, it would take him a while to destroy it, and for trying that, he’d have to wait for the fire to extinguish alone.
“Let’s go now.” Kirito says.
They follow the others and all together, they get out of the temple.
However, they can’t keep quiet and run from their chasers at the same time. It isn’t long until one of the girls is impaled by a Lancea through the chest. They look in the distance, and see that part of the legion was outside the temple and advanced on them. They throw several more spears. The Knights fall back.
Sinon takes aim but Kirito stops her.
Kirito: “Save them. We’ll need them afterwards. GO TO THE PATH TO THE VOLCANO! HURRY UP!!!”
Klein: “BUT THERE’S NO OTHER PATH TO GO DOWN! THEY’LL TRAP US!!!”
Kirito: “I KNOW, BUT WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOISE! WE HAVE TO MOVE!!!”
“Get these chains of me!”
Back on the temple, a living and in chains Magnus is brought before Thanos by two Legionaries. They make him kneel in front of the Shadow of Death.
“General Thanos…” He says.
“Why’re you here?”
“Because I didn’t care about the order the Council gave to me.”
“Yes. I can see that. Well…you did well! Now you can help me-“
“Yes. Kirito’s been defeated now. You’ll need my help if-“
“Your help? My men where the ones who defeated the Rebels…Not yours…”
“Well. That being the case, you’ll need a comma-”
“Do you remember what you told me today, back on my HQ?” Thanos says, interrupting again.
Hikami and the other League of Darkness members arrive to their new base.
“What...?” Magnus says.
“You told me, that if I refused to step aside, both Thanos and Mordread would despise me. And with all that pressure above me, it’d be impossible to come out from that bog of shit. But the worst of all would be that nobody ordered me to do so. My actions alone would’ve caused it.”
“Yes. I remember…”
“Well…” Thanos says taking his halberd off his shoulder. “Let see, how you get out of this bog of shit.”
Thanos blincks his eyes, activating his VRSMA.
In milliseconds, Thanos raised his giant blade and slashed Magnus with it. The attack literally divided Magnus into two halves vertically. The dead corpse fell to the ground and blood splattered all over the ground.
“Get him out of my sight.” Thanos orders to his men.
Without any words, they follow command.
“How did that went?” Thanos asks.
“Not well. We couldn’t go up.” Hikami answers.
“Did you find any other way to reach that top of the mountain?”
“There’s none. The only one is the narrow path they used.”
“We lost several scores of soldiers, trying to pursuit them.” Kalius adds.
“Forget about that. They now have a higher ground. We’re in disadvantage.”
“Wait…General…You’re going to let them go free?!”
“Of course not. I’m just using the situation. There’s nothing left for them to eat or drink there. I’m letting them stay there for the moment. Sooner or later, hunger, madness, desperation and sickness will force them to leave their safe base… and we will kill them all...”