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Sword Art Online: Past of Ashes
Written by: FedeTkd
Chapter 1

SAO:PoA - Chapter Two »

Floor 4, December 29th, 2022

Run. Run. Run as fast as you can. Heartbeat fast and uncontrollable breath, legs strong and as swift as the wind itself. A male player with a long sword in his right hand and shield in his left, several Death-Bringers on horseback were chasing him. No matter how quickly he moved, his speed wasn't comparable to one of the horses. Continued through the dusty road, turned left, continue, turned left one again.

“Enough running, time to fight.” he thought.

The player turned back and pointed his sword towards the horsemen, as one of them attacked, trying to spear him. He managed to dodge it, and the blade just slashed his back. Counterattack, as he cut the monster's throat, deleting him instantly. Two more approach, but they also fall. A spear and two arrows stuck in their bodies, ambushed from nearby rocks: a perfectly calculated ambush. Five other players got out of hiding, killing two more monsters.

The player threw his shield towards one of the horseman, then slashed another two. A big guy with a mighty war hammer kills two more and another with an axe and mace slays the same amount. Fist, fist, down! As the other player killed a Bringer overpowering him it with his Knifed-Knuckle Dusters, another attacked him, blocked him with his two weapons, followed by punching and then kicking him. As he was about to kill him, the hammer-wielding player deletes the monster, smashing him with his hammer.

“He was mine.”

“Someone has to take care of you Bors, and I'm your big brother.”

He turned back, as another monster was about to attack him, just to be stopped by a swordsman that stabbed it.

“And who takes care of you, Dagonet?”

“Shut up, Galahad!” said Dagonet.

“Both of you shut up!” Said the two-handed weapon user responded. "We're in a battle."

He easily took two enemies down at once, and deleted both of them with his axe.

Jumping towards the enemy and fighting three at the same time, the first player was slashed in the back of his left arm. He spins on the ground and grabs his shield, and hitting the death-bringer hard on its face, then he kills another by slashing through the neck. The last one of them tries to kick him, but he spins back and readies himself to attack but the last enemy is stabbed in the back by another player; a curved blade user.

“Thought you were dead.”

He removed the sword as the monster fragmented into polygons, and then stabbed the other in the floor.

“I was just late.”

“TEN MINUTES! I didn't know what to do, Galant.”

“I'm sorry Lance, but I didn’t manage to get these monsters to pursue me so easily.”

“Next time, I'll be the living bait.”

“Alright, as you wish."

Galant looked around, almost searching for something or someone.

“Where is Guinevere?”

“She didn’t want to participate. She's behind the rocks where Tristan and Percival are.”

“I'll go with her. Royal Knights, be ready for a surprise attack. Lance, you're in charge. As soon as I return we'll leave."

Galant walked towards the rocks when Percival approached him.

"Galant, she's sad, and I don't know why. Do you want me to take care of this?"

"No. She's my girlfriend. I must cheer her up."

He continued walking a bit, before stopping.

"...Thank you Percival. And good work with that spear today"

On top of some rocks sat a beautiful girl with long gold blonde hair, which shone brightly in the sun, as if it was made of long golden threads. She had curved body, covered with a purple outfit and other black clothes. She carried a brown belt of her waist, and attached to it was the sheath of her rapier-like sword. A precious face in every detail, but her lovely shining blue eyes like the sky, which was the thing that Galant liked the most about her.

Yet they were saddened, as was her face.

Galant sat next to her.

“Are you OK?”

“Yes…I’m fine, just…”

“No you are not. Lance told me that you didn’t want to participate in the ambush."

Tearing up as she spoke, she regained her confidence bit by bit.

“I don’t want this. This game is a prison, and the worst we could have ever imagined. We're forced to kill other beings just for the sake of progression. Killing or dying are the only choices. I wish to go back to the first floor. And remain there forever. I don’t want to die."

“I know you have fear of dying. But you're not the only one. We all have fear of it. Me. Lance. The other Royal Knights. All the players must have. Yet we have to continue. We can't just give up.”

“I can’t focus on field of battle, not while I'm scared. I'm just dead weight for the guild. I would be better off dead...”

Galant hugged her.

“Don't ever say that again! Without you, there's no reason for me to continue. There's no reason for breath. We must take this risk. I want to spend real moments with you, in the real world. Walking, shearing, breathing, kissing. I know you want the same. I'll fight until the bitter end, with you and the rest of the guild. We will never give up. Ever”

Galant kisses her.

They separate.

After a few seconds of silence, sharing a deep stare to each other's eyes, the axe and mace wielder appeared.

“Galant, there're more of those bastards coming back. We must go.”

“Good work Gawn, Guinevere, let's go.”

The guild walked towards the city, where they teleported back to the 1st floor .

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