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"Really, you think so?" Midory asks but Kyome has already begun walking off. "...I guess we'll just have to find out for ourselves."
"I can't believe we managed to get past everything... it really, really was a good thing you managed to tame a centaur!" Shio says. "I would have just logged off if we had to run on foot past all those spiders..." She then shivers.
"Heh... oh look, someone else made it through too!" Midory says as she waves back at the new person walking by. "I wonder if those others that died will ever try to get here again?"
"By the time they manage to get everything ready again, it would be pointless because another land might open up then." Shio replies. "We should probably stop standing in front of the gate and actually go in now."
The both of them walk inside the city and decide to do some sightseeing first.
"You know, I realized that we're both not really in a guild." Midory says. "I mean, we're sorta in one but we don't do anything for it- actually, we don't seem to do much of anything with other groups of players at all!"
"Now that you mention it, yeah... this was the first time we ever joined up with others since the time we both first started in this game." Shio responds. "We just didn't need help that much once we figured out what to do."
"Do you think we should actually join something, maybe make new friends in the process?" Midory asks. "I don't think trying to create our own would be a good idea since getting people to join would be near impossible now."
"We should just stick together instead of joining something for now unless someone comes over to us with a very good proposition that isn't trying to scam us." Shio answers. "I doubt that will happen anytime soon by the way."
The two continue to roam around the city a bit.
Candle, Wel'ren, even Alerian had all died on the quest, They had originally planned on staying behind so that their party could go onto the third test without a problem. It was however the fall of the weaver's web that had caused the three of them to fall into an abyss that would swallow the weaver herself along with several spiderlings and spiders themselves along with the three Brother hood of Ashes leaders. The three of them had put a very valiant fight, Fending off spiders and the weaver herself until the very end of them. It was Alerian to go down first, she had become the biggest threat as she was the far ranged damage doing the most with fire and ice both and caused many of the spiders run at the sight of her.
The weaver had taken care of her quickly and snuck up around the party snatching up the undine and snapping her neck while shaking her furiously and eventually leading the creature to rip her body in half. It was with her final words that had given Wel'ren a burst of rage and Candle his everlasting armor. It was Wel'ren to die next, as He was constantly drawing threat from everything around him in his rage mode seeing Alerian die in front of him. Candle did a very decent job of keeping him alive, however candle eventually ran out of mana and so Wel'ren became to venerable and the poison from the spiders he killed around him was pooling round his feet. It was what eventually killed him.
Candle himself however was a different matter, while he was out of mana Alerian's last gift to him was an enchantment that forced any attack to heal him and so he was unkillable by direct means, however the Weaver had different plans. Using her spiders she stripped him of his blessed armor and hung him as a prize in her nest. He eventually died from the wounds, but before he could disappear the weaver had done the unthinkable she had placed her baby spiderlings the several hundred that came from a single egg inside Candle to eat him from the inside out.
It was upon their disappearances that the one person stepped up. His real life name was Matthew, but his gamer tag Was Anjui, his reputation he had gained was being the only member of the brotherhood of Ashes that could easily take on Candle, wel'ren and Alerian all at once. His reputation earned him the title of the Light forger. He had left the main land shortly after the party leaders did, and so would not be informed of their demise until his return to a safe zone or city in the new area, but when he touched the gate it seemed to bar him, at first it popped up the Athenian Right quest that recommended a party of people. The male just laughed at it and snapped his fingers.
With a puff of smoke several armor suits appeared, each animated by a bright ball of black light in the armor itself, Each also carrying separate weaponry and it seemed they were all alive themselves. Assigning each one a task of tank, damage, and the like he set off. While he was the Groups main healer sense Candle's taking over of the guild he did the position justice. His reputation did not come from his power of healing, but his skill with armor. He could animate armor like it was nothing, and for each set of armor that was around him it boosted his own powers and extended their distance along with boosted the armor and damage output of all the other armors around.
Anjui had gone through the first trial just fine, seeing the glowing off in the distance close it very quickly to snuff out the glow of magic coming from the armor he quickly packed it all up and grabbed all the fur off the armor and put it into a small jar. Walking around he eventually found the olive tree. Upon answering the second riddle he was teleported into a very spacious room. It seemed it was far much grander then he though as upon activating the armors again. The first was the [https://i.imgur.com/0I9Ol3B.jpg tank]. Its armor glowed a shade of purple. a single blade in its hand with a buffer to armor it was meant to take hits not deal them out.
Anjui let the faint glow of the armor help him assemble the other armors and activate them. The next was the [https://i.imgur.com/jzyxsR3.jpg melee] damage armor. It sat like a behemoth in comparison to the tank. The armor however has no helmet as it wasn't intend to take damage, but deal it out quickly. next was another [https://i.imgur.com/acPD5L0.jpg Melee] Damage armor. It however had more defense as its function is to take over tanking if the tank armor was to be broken or not in use, so its damage output is on the medium scale. The last armor is that of a [https://i.imgur.com/EJFyXF1.jpg ranged] damage armor. It has spikes built into it to throw and a tail to use as a whip.
The second task was a bit harder to go through, but still a simple task. The light given off by the armor kept the snakes away, and any that got to close either got a blade or a spike to it before it could make it to Anjui who stood in the middle of all the armors. They had formed a square around him and easily moved in motion with him as they all acted like one giant body. It wasn't until he heard it however that he understood what was going on. The laughter had caught him off guard, but he quickly went into a defensive mode. It wasn't until he was in the middle of the room that Anjui realized it wasn't a room at all, but a giant dome that housed a bunch of runes.
[b "Foolish of you to come here alone."] said a wicked female voice which hissed out. [#810de7 "If I'm foolish why do you hide?"] the male called out into the darkness. It was then he heard it, the bow shot went off and he stepped back in time for an arrow to hit where he was standing. [b "Lucky you are, but I won't miss twice."] it was then he heard the second shot and he reacted by ducking this time the arrow bounced off the armor he was standing next to however. It was then that she had appeared. The Gorgon he would be facing. The armor started in on her quickly, but the snakes started pushing towards Anjui, and so they stopped.
It was then he decided how to work it. He would send two armors after her and he would keep two with him. It was an easy thing as her stone powers didn't work on the armor as they didn't have eyes to look at the creature with. Upon returning with the head anjui ran out of the building into the light and was faced with the ghost from the city. Offering up the head the creature only held up its hand. [b "You will need the olive and the head for your next task."] confused Anjui looked upon the creature. [b "The next riddle, is what flies high in the sky, and deep under your feet, stand taller then the gods, but were defeated."] Confused for a bit as it couldn't be a Titan they did not fly.
[#810de7 "A giant."] the ghost nodded and disappeared with him the fading voice came. [b "You have chosen the path of Alexander."]
It was then Anjui disappeared in a flash of light the armor with him. Being placed inside the Library of Alexandria the ghost was floating with him. [b "You have tell the sand runs out to find the volume that does not belong."] Raising his hand a giant sand glass behind the creature slowly turned itself over. It stood in the middle of the library and it seemed he had maybe a series of ten hours to find it, but how would he do that? Perhaps this task was why they said to have five people not just one.
Concentrating hard on what he knew about it the library had one copy of every volume before its fall into the sea. Going through the books that had yet to be returned Anjui started putting away the books, but he caught it at the very last bit. The books had taken hours to return and the last few seconds of sand were dripping away, but it was there. On the return pile was a copy of a phone book. It couldn't belong as phone books weren't in creation until long after its fall. Grabbing the book he called out. [#810de7 "I have the answer."] Being returned to the front gate's he smiled as the three items disappeared from his inventory, however what caught his attention was the other two beings also at the front of the city gates.
The male waved to them both, however he recognized them as the pair that the three leaders took off with. It was strange to see the two of them here, but none of the others. It wasn't until he stepped into the city that he understood. The three of them were dead, Their characters set way back to the bottom of the member's register. It meant he was now the leader of the Brotherhood of Ashes, it also meant he had a big responsibility on his hands now.
Getting the reward of several coins and the blessing Anjui had headed towards Dionysus' temple. It was then he got a message. The Spriggins, Imps, Undine, Salamanders, were already within the brotherhood of Ashes, but they had sense his coming here gained several Cath sith, Leprechauns, Pooka, and even Gnomes to join the guild up. The only race left to not have any members within the brotherhood of Ashes was the Sylph group, but they were fiercely loyal to their leader and would unlikely join a guild with all the other races. but their cause was a great one. He would morn the defeat of their leaders who now would have to regain everything, but he would build them a great monument here in the new lands.
[h3 [center ~ Brief TimeSkip ~]]
After completing all three tasks that involved collecting a specific item, the group found themselves back at the statues guarding the entrance into Athens. They presented the odd artifacts. As the objects disappeared before them, the effigies spoke in unison. [b “Your group has passed the trial of wisdom and gained the right to enter our pristine capital.”] Their voices faded out with a rumble. The pathway was now open and a quest completion notification popped up.
The rewards for completing Athenian Right included money in the form of drachma and a Level 1 Blessing. Kyome also spotted an additional notice at the bottom of hers, [i By being among the first to attempt the Olive Tree Trial without violence, you have gained the orthrus hatchling’s trust. This creature is now a willing companion on your journey and will be reborn to you after you offer your first blessing.]
Kyome immediately opened her inventory and read the description for the blessing. [i This item is used to gain favor with the gods of Olympus. Blessings can be offered at one of their dedicated alters and will be used up after single usage. Offer at your own risk. See Blessings Notes for further details.] She saw a papyrus labelled with that exact title. It listed possible benefits under each god and any restrictions that went with it.
[#1256c4 “Looks like this is where we go our separate ways. It’s been nice. Who knows, maybe we’ll get the chance to join up again,"] Kyome says while deciding on which altar she's going to use. Before walking away, she remembers the small egg they found on one of the trials. [#1256c4 "Oh, one more thing. Midory, Shio, take care of that egg. I'm sure it'll hatch into something great.”] Kyome then heads to Zeus’ temple with nothing more but a wave off to the others. They made it to the city. There wasn’t any more reason for them to remain as a group.
The group had all rushed into the hall and pushed their way agonizingly slow to the nest that seemed to form in front of them. However as they drew ever closer more and more spiders piled up on them. As candle had done the burst of magic one of the cait sith rushed forward to the nest and it seemed grabbed and egg Drawing one giant spider out chasing her angry as all hell.
Quickly Wel'ren ran up and slashed at the creature drawing its attention away from the cait sith who slid into place in the center of the group as the spiders grew closer and closer. Alerian had looked over the egg and sighed. [b "That is the wrong egg."] Pulling out a small piece of paper from her invintory. It was a much smaller egg about the size of a dime with yellow, blue, and red dots all over it. [b "My guess is that the spider you ended up agroing after grabbing the egg is a Nest guardian."] Pulling out her whip Alerian dove into the fight next to Wel'ren as he used his sword skills to drive back the spiders around him with fire.
Candle quickly grabbed his staff and rushed down the hallway after Alerian and Wel'ren calling to the other two to move before they get surrounded again with spiders. He had eventually caught up with the other two and pressed farther and farther into the tunnels. Eventually Candle saw Fire's flickering from the corner of his eyes. Their flames a weird purple color instead of a natural red or orange. [b "Hey tunnel there, Lets go it probably leads into the center of the nest."]
Candle once again threw he staff up above everyone's head and a burst of light came out of it in a form of a single ray of light that blasted all the spiders in front of them to bits. [b "RUN"] Alerian called to the group and forced them all forward as spiders started surging forward from behind them like they were trying to stop them from going any farther.
"That's right!" Midory responds. "I wonder if this fur will stay glowing long after we're out of here..."
After they had arrived at the olive tree and received olives, a big silly grin forms across Midory's face.
"Uhhh, wait, Midory, please don't waste your reward when we don't know if we need it for anything!" Shio says after noticing Midory's grin.
"Awe, come on, I'm starting to get hungry!" Midory replies.
"Then eat the bread you have!" Shio says.
"You're no fun..." Midory says as she takes out a piece of bread from her inventory then eats it in an instant.
After they had suddenly warped to another location, both Midory and Shio looked around from where they were standing, only to see the army that was trying to flood them.
"Pffft, is spiders all you've got to throw at us?" Midory says. "Shio, can you see any eggs?"
Shio just stands there, shivering, not saying a word.
"Shio...?" Midory says then sees Shio standing in fright. "Oh... I guess it's up to me then!"
Midory hops off Tak and gives Shio a pat on her shoulders.
"Do you think you could keep Tak alive while I go on ahead?" She asks. "You can even ride him with Kyome if that'll help."
"I-I don't how you can be so calm and cheerful at a time like this!" Shio responds.
"Well for starters, they aren't really real and there's not much to fear from this game, unlike its previous one." Midory explains. "But it's not like I don't understand why anyone else would be scared and or take it super seriously."
"Eheh... careful what you say, you might make the others mad." Shio says then carefully climbs on Tak. "Don't do anything stupid, alright?"
"When have I ever did something stupid?" Midory cheekily says then charges through the spiders, killing every any that get close to her.
Midory makes her way past the spiders and towards the nest while Shio takes Tak as far away from said spiders as possible. Once Midory sees the nest, which surprisingly didn't have any around it, she walks up to it and inspects each egg for the one they are looking for.
"Umm... I have no clue what a weaver's egg looks like!" Midory says to herself the notices one that stands out from the rest. "I guess that's gotta be the one!"
The moment she touches it, she feels some kind of slime drip down onto her shoulder. She looks up to see what one would assume to be the mother of the nest, a spider many times the size of the others.
"O-oh... hi there... I guess I am invading your home, aren't I?" Midory says. "But wait, is that a giant can of bug spray I see over there!?" She points off in a random direction.
Somehow, she managed to trick the mother spider into looking where she pointed, and she took that moment to take the weaver's egg and sprint back to Shio.
The mother spider was of course, not too happy and of course, chased after Midory.
The rest of them managed to get the glowing fur, one storing it in a lantern and another became a walking furball. As ridiculous as the salamander looked, it worked. As they all started their search, Kyome heard a large animal coming her way from somewhere behind her. Prepared to see the orthrus, she turned around. However, it was the other cait sith on the newly-tamed centaur. Realizing the girl just asked her if she wanted a ride, Kyome relaxed a bit from her combat ready posture and replied [#1256c4 “Sure, thanks. Midory, right?”] After hopping on, she looks at the lantern and says, [Here’s the fur I grabbed. It’ll be better if we add this to yours in the lantern.”] After doing that, they could see even further out and the immediate surrounds were even clearer.
It wasn’t long after that they located the olive tree and cleared the task. Sadly, they weren’t done yet. There was a second one immediately after. Kyome stored her olive in her inventory right before everything around them changed again. The new terrain appeared before them. [i ‘Weaver’s egg? Wait, no…’] she thought to herself, thinking about the new objective. As she heard what sounded like a stampede shuffling their way closer from all directions, her theory was all but confirmed. [i ‘Great…’] Kyome kept her cool as the Undine freaked out over the oversized creepy crawlies… She didn’t blame her, Kyome didn’t know anyone that actually liked spiders.
They all began exterminating the seemingly endless number of pests. No matter how many they killed, there were always more. Luckily the healer was skilled, so no one got too low on health. No matter what attacks they threw, they weren’t making much progress. They needed to get moving. When the imp yelled for everyone to run, that was their chance. [#1256c4 “We need to find where they lay their eggs. The sooner we do that, the sooner we’re out of here.”]
Candle had looked over the city’s shield as the group approached it. Something was amiss, but what? Stepping to the city gates the make shift group all were stopped by a guardian to the city. The Parthenon was the answer that the cait sith had given, but Candle knew of two other buildings that could have been the answer. The first was Hadrian’s Arch, the entrance into the city that was built in the early second century to honor rome’s emperor Hadrian himself. The second was the Theatre of Dionysos.
Shrugging he went along with it. Disappearing however was not the plan. Seeing the giant glowing dog just walking around Candle held up his sword Gathering a little light into it, That had caused the dog to instantly look in his direction. Alerian quickly stopped Candle from gathering anymore into it. The wild creature seemed to lose interest. [b “You idiot remember the guardian said any magic that emits light will be snuffed out.”] Wel’ren smacked his head. [b “If candle can draw enough power into his sword it won’t matter what is coming at him it’s an instant removal of anything in a cone shape in front of him.”]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/2WpNQ82.jpg]]
The salamander drew his weapon and charged the creature only to phase right through it. Having caught a bit of its fur on his armor he shuttered. [b “It can’t physically be harmed?”] Swinging his sword at the creature’s legs Wel’ren moved back in time for the Orthrus hatchling’s heads to smack each other trying to get at him. [b “Wel’ren don’t be stupid like your brother. We can’t fight this thing head on.”]
Candle ran his hand on Wel’ren’s armor and gathered up the fur from his back. [b “We don’t need to Wel’ren will be our lead. He has the most fur on him it seems, as he is covered in the stuff.”] Wel’ren once again shuttered at the thought as he clad on his tank armor and trudged forward.
Eventually the group found the olive tree, and the guard to the city. [b “You have come to the second test. Name one important detail to Greece’s Culture.”] Drawing back into her memory Alerian popped off. [b “Their form of Belief in the importance of one single man in a society. They value individuality. It can be seen in their art, philosophy and even their government system.”] The guide nodded and placed an olive in each of the parties hand.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/cWLXW7X.jpg]]
[b “You have chosen the path of the Architect. The path ahead leads to but a single dangerous place. Follow the Athenain mark and return to the gates with the weaver's egg.”] With that the group disappeared and once again appeared underground, only this time a scuttling sound could be heard all around them. Screaming Alerian jumped up. [b “Spiders, why did it have to be fucking spiders.”]
[center [pic http://7wallpapers.net/wp-content/uploads/17_Dota2-Broodmother.jpg]]
Wel’ren raised his hand and pointed straight out. [b “Ek, Fleygja, Prir, Geirr, Muspilli.”] as he finished three fire spears shot from his hand in front of him to show giant spiders all around them. [b “Defensive ring. Everyone behind me, we got company.”] Candle quickly drew out his staff and switched to healing mode. Raising the point of his staff to the air he called out. [b “Oss, Naoa, Nott, Lysa, Auga, Gropa.”] casting a version of Night vision on the entire group he saw exactly how many spiders were around them now. It looked like the whole tunnel they were in was full of them. [b “OUT OF MY WAY.”] cried Alerian as she charged forward he whip lashing out. Turning any spider that got near it’s tip into ice and falling to the floor shattering.
As the group proceeded down the tunnel bigger spiders appeared. Up ahead one could see a bunch of webs in the way, but behind them were something no one could think of. [b "Wel'ren shoot off more of the fire."] Alerian called out to the man and he did so. Shooting three more fire spears ahead of them the spiders moved out of the way and it burnt away the webs. [b "I knew it. Its a nest."] Alerian kept throwing her whip around, but she saw her health, and everyone elses going down and up like crazy. [b "Candle how are you holding up?"]
The male only grunted as he finished another group healing spell [b "Sea firra heiraguru ausutoru, burotto subaru bani."] as the party slowly progressed Candle drew light into his staff. [b "Move everyone."] Placing it into the ground and diving off to the side The thing blasted in both directions from the gem on the top, as the light shot out the staff itself seemed to change into many different shapes and forms all going with Candle's collected weaponry.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/si8N2bY.jpg]]
The very last staff shape took hold and blasted the entire area in fire [b "RUN now."] wel'ren called out as he got himself up off the ground and started running towards the nest.
"I wonder what Athens will look like?" Midory says.
"Either what the real Athens looked like long ago or their own version." Shio responds. "It really comes down to creativity or historically accurate, and I'm betting on the creativity."
"Do you think many players have already gotten to Athens?" Midory asks.
"I'm sure there's quite a few that stayed up all night, waiting for the new area's release and charged forward the moment it was available to them." Shio answers.
When they were stopped at the city's entrance along with everyone else and were asked a question about Athens, Shio wanted to answer it but wanted to see if anyone else also knew the answer.
"Will our reward be delicious olives?" Midory asks after hearing what their quest is.
"What- why is that the first question you think of?" Shio questions.
"I don't know, maybe they're magical!" Midroy answers.
Then when they were suddenly brought to another place, Midory and Shio looked around only to realize that that is kinda pointless.
"No magic, huh?" Shio says then takes out and lantern and lights it. "Lanterns and torches aren't really magic so maybe we can-"
And suddenly a wind blows out the lantern.
"...Never mind." Shio says.
"Oh look, Kyome's going after that, um..." Midory says.
"Orthrus hatchling." Shio says.
"Yeah, that thing." Midory replies. "Oh, and she's trying to tame it!"
"But it seems like it isn't working and we should probably start moving with her instead of commentating." Shio says.
"Hey Tak, do you think you can gets us close enough to ortheris hatchling so we can get some of its fur?" Midory asks.
"Orthrus hatchling!" Shio says.
"Yeah, that!" Midory says.
Tak nods runs past the beast with Midory and Shio gliding their hands along its fur, only getting a small handful of its glowing fur.
"Okay, give me the fur you've got." Shio says.
"What are you gonna do with it?" Midory asks as she hands her the fur she has.
Shio takes out a glass jar with a handle and places the fur inside it then seals it tight.
"Makeshift lantern." She answers. "I think the more fur that's placed in here, the brighter the light becomes."
"You have everything, don't you?" Midory questions.
"I've always got to be prepared for any occasion." Shio explains. "Especially in new lands."
"Hmmm... do you think Kyome would like to ride with us?" Midory asks. "Although, I don't know if Tak could handle three people."
"It's fine if I walk, I don't need to be carried the entire way." Shio responds. "In fact, I would like to stretch my legs some more."
"Let's just hope we won't need to run away from that orethires-" Midory tries to say.
"Orthrus hatchling!" Shio interrupts. "And you don't need to worry about my capabilities in running." She then hands Midory the makeshift lantern, hops off Tak and follows along.
"Heheh, I guess I shouldn't worry then!" Midory says then takes Tak over to Kyome. "Hey, Kyome~, wanna a ride?"
As the makeshift party arrived at the entrance, the large statues stationed at each side of the passage rumbled and then blocked the way in before any of them could safely get through.
They began to speak in unison. [b “None of you have proven worthy to enter the city of Athens. Therefore, none of you may pass.”] A quest bar then popped up before her. It required a minimum party size of 5 players. The quest bar read: [i Would you like to begin the Athenian Right quest? Yes. No.] Since there didn’t seem to be another way into the city, Kyome pressed the ‘yes’ option. The entire group came all this way to enter the city, so they were going to enter the city.
[b “What’s the name of the most famous building within Athens?”]
Kyome took a moment to think back to what she learned in Early Western Societies class. [#1256c4 “Parthenon,”] she blurted out the moment the answer came to here.
[b “That is correct. Your party has evading the way of war. Your trial is that of wisdom. Make your way to the olive tree and you will be granted entry into the city.”]
At that moment, their surroundings went pitch black and the shifting of the landscape could be heard. After the shifting ceased, one last message was given by what sounded like the statues. [b “A warning: any magic that emits a light will be snuffed out.”] With that, the party was in utter darkness and silence.
[i ‘Well, this doesn’t look good… There has to be a trick to finding the olive tree…’] she thought to herself. However, a blue glimmer could be seen in the distance and it appeared to be getting closer. As it approached, Kyome realized that the light not only was an enemy, but an orthrus hatchling that was about double her size.
Although the orthrus illuminated its immediate surrounds, the light didn’t travel too far from it. So she still couldn’t tell where the rest of the party was. If possible, the best option would be to tame it and have it lead the group to the tree. So, she got close enough to jump on its back and establish a connection with the two heads. However, after her attempt, it showed it was untamable. She was really disappointed reading that… She didn’t tame many beasts, but she kinda wanted this one… Regardless, even though that idea was out, the creature had to be the key somehow. Before either head could do any damage, she jumped off.
After landing, Kyome noticed she could see a bit better. In fact, she could make out her surroundings. She looked and noticed some of the orthrus’ fur got caught on her hand and was still glowing. She then shouted to the rest of them, [#1256c4 “It’s fur sheds and still glows! If you run your fingers through its fur, you guys should be able to grab some without agitating it too much. Do that and we’ll be able to find the olive tree.”]
Wel'ren had taken and stabbed his blade's into the cyclops's eye as Alerian shot her whip around the creature's neck. Both were causing the thing to bleed but it seemed his health wouldn't go down at a very fast rate. Being players from SOA they had some of their old skills, especially their special skill.
Candle had put away his staff and pulled out a small single handed blade which he raised above his head. Gathering light into the thing he called out. [b "Wel'ren move."] the salamander quickly jumped back and out of the way in time to see a blinding bright light crash into the creature and decimate the thing. The magic came from Candle himself. The blade shattered and disappeared as the magic finished. Candle himself breathing heavily like he had been running for a while.
The cyclops was gone, but the ground they stood on was scorched like a fire spell had been casted in a cone from where candle was. Wel'ren just barely above the thing, and Alerian standing just to the left of Candle. Grabbing ahold of Candle Alerian helped support him. She had heard what the Cait Sith said and started trudging with the others in her direction. [b "Candle you shouldn't have done that until we could get you a replacment, now you can't use your skill until we are back in town."] Candle only smiled. [b "That part of it anyways."]
Wel'ren came up and took candle's otherside and just shrugged. [b "He could use the other two forms, but I am sure one of them shouldn't be needed yet. We've not yet run into anything to big. We could have taken on that beast with normal skills. You know your talent should have been used on any dungeon or raid bosses."] Candle rolled his eyes. [b "Lets just go."] hurrying to catch up to the two Cait sith, and the spriggen Candle invited the three of them into a party he didn't say anything to them as he did, but he knew it seemed that as long as they could find each other they were safe until they reached the outlying portions of Athens. Even then perhaps being in a party would do them good as they discovered the new area.
Wel'ren had reached into his bag and pulled out a map, however as Alerian opened her bags nothing seemed to change other then she had a small dimond in her bag now. Candle opened his bag to find something very shocking o anyone. He had recived a cyclopse eye ruby. However the suprise was the Shinning ball of black light that appeared as he kept scrolling it was a blessing. Putting it away Candle noticed the three people had joined up. The first name that came up was Kyome Cait Sith. The second was Midory another Cait Sith. The third was Shio-rishi who was the spriggin.
Shio is hit from the middle of a spear and thrown across the ground in the process.
"Shio!" Midory calls out. "Oooo, you're gonna get it now, you-... you... whatever!"
She then charges towards the centaur with her sword out and strikes at its chest, only for it to narrowly block her attack with its spear.
"Ugh... that really hurt." Shio says as she gets up. "Don't worry Midory, I'll return the favor to it!" She takes out her bow and aims it at the centaur.
"Wait, I just got an idea!" Midory says after dodging a thrust from the centaur's spear. "I'll try to tame this one!"
"Wait, what?" Shio responds. "Have you ever tried taming anything?"
"A few times but they all failed... that doesn't mean this one will!" Midory says then runs at the centaur again, this time quickly climbing onto its back and holding on while it tries to throw her off. "I'm not letting go until you're mine!"
"I don't think you understand how taming works..." Shio says with a sigh then notices a taming percentage bar on the centaur appear with it steadily rising. "Or you... what?"
"Woohoo!" Midory shouts while keeping a firm grip on the centaur. "I don't care what you say, this is fun!"
"But aren't you supposed to feed it something for that to work?" Shio questions. "Well, it is half horse so I guess it makes sense but I still think you would need food to tame it."
"What do you suggest?" Midory asks. "Take your time if you need it, I'll just be holding on to this flailing centaur!"
"A carrot or an apple or wheat." Shio suggests. "But I only have this one apple so, here!" She then tosses an apple to Midory who just manages to catch it.
"One apple for the mister centaur coming up!" Midory says then tries to give the apple to the centaur. "Could you please forgive my rudeness earlier of attacking you, pretty please?"
The centaur stops and glares at her then the apple. It contemplates the offer for a bit then accepts the apple.
A menu pops up in front of Midory saying taming successful.
"YAAAAY, I made a new friend from a new land!" Midory exclaims. "My first success in taming too!"
"I c-can't believe that actually worked..." Shio says. "Uhh, wait, wasn't there another battle going on?"
The three of them now look off towards the distance where a battle once took place, only to see that there are more players now and they were all successful.
"Wow, there are a lot of players here now." Shio says. "First, what is your new friend's name?"
"Oh, um, Tak- er, T-Tak, yes, just Tak." Midory replies. "That is of course, if you like it, mister centaur?"
The centaur shrugs.
"Well Tak it is!" Midory says.
They both then hear the Cait Sith say something about Athens.
"I think she said Athens is the way she's heading." Shio says. "We should follow her since we have no idea what to do here."
"Yeah, you're probably right." Midory responds. "But we can follow her on Tak, as long as that's okay with you, Tak!"
"Come on Shio, I'll help you up!" Midory says while extending our her hand.
Shio grabs her hands and climbs on then the two of them ride on Tak as he follows the Cait Sith to where Athens is.
As Kyome readied herself for her multiple opponents, she noticed that six of the centaurs were closing in on her and they were all using different weapons. So, she decided on her strategy then. There were three range weapon users: bow and arrow, javelin, and throwing knives. One used magic. The most immediate two quickly approaching her used melee weapons. One had a sword and shield, the other had a mace. She confronted the swordsman and mace-wielding centaurs first.
As one centaur attacked with his sword, Kyome parried it and slashed him with her blade. Immediately after that, the one with mace came rushing toward her was going in for his attack. She deflected him by using his momentum against him and redirected him as her sword clashed against his mace. By that time, the sword bearing one had just about circled back. As she turned to face him, an arrow shot right by her cheek. [i ‘Looks like those ones in the back aren’t just for show after all,’] she thought to herself, knowing that if she hadn’t turned, that would have been her head.
Without time for another thought, she clashed sword with the centaur and was pushed back. She dodged an offensive spell and a knife flying her way as the legs of the centaur before her shot out blood.The movements were too fast for the average player to notice, but the moment the centaur overpowered her blade, Kyome had quickly sliced his legs at the junction as she was thrown backward. She quickly delivered the final blow to the creature and dodged the mace that came for her head. [i ‘One down. A lot more to go,’] she mentally tallied. This time, she took a more aggressive approach and closed the distance as he was about to circle back. Before he got the chance, she jumped onto his back and then sliced his head off.
Now that those two were out of the way, there were only the ranged-weapon and magic users left. Evasiveness was the key attribute to her strategy with them. She had to close the distance between them. However, she knew that the more she did that, the higher the risk of damage. Either way, she knew she could do it. She was confident in her abilities. So, she began her pursuit.
That was when she noticed two female players coming her way and a centaur right behind them. However, she had her hands full with her own opponents. [#1256c4 “Look out!”] she shouted across the valley, hoping they don’t take any unnecessary damage. Without checking to see if they reacted in time, she returned her focus to her own battle with not enough time to completely dodge a magic fireball. Kyome managed to avoid a direct hit, but still took some damage.
Shortly after getting revenge on the centaurian mage, she saw another group show up and manage to attract a cyclops higher up on the hill. [i ‘Just when I thought there were just centaurs in the area...’] she thought, just before backflipping into the air to avoid being impaled by a javelin. Upon landing, she used the impact to project her forward towards the closest remaining centaur and sliced through it. It wasn’t long after that that the other two were slain as well.
After everyone finished their first battle in Gaia, Kyome picked up what was dropped. One thing that stood out to her was that the currency they left were coins called drachma. She noticed a small window popped up showing the conversion rate between drachma and yrd. Although there wasn’t an option to actually do the conversion. She also noticed the map and started looking at it. Not wanting stick around, she chose a route to the nearest city, Athens. She was not playing the game to get all buddy-buddy with random people online, but with all these creatures showing up just right outside the portal, travelling alone wasn’t the best idea…
[#1256c4 “Everyone, Athens is this way,”] she said as she started walking in that direction, completely disregarding greetings or introductions.
The clash of metal broke the wind's hollow that passed between the foothills and the battle that was going on. The first side was the guild Brotherhood of Ashes, to be more specific its leadership were the targets of the fight, but it seemed the enemy was uninformed that the leaders always traveled with guards. The opposition was the remnants of the previous player killer guild they had run into. The battled seemed to be quick, however it was a blood bath all together, for the one side had taken heavy losses to the heavily armored units in the Brotherhood of ashes, that and their leadership’s special abilities.
Soa had been beaten, but not forgotten Ari and his brother Jorian had been in the killer game, and had but faded memories of the dangerous place. It is where they had earned their titles. Ari had become Candle the Diamond prince. His deadly accuracy with his claws seemed to make it seem like he was untouchable it had earned him Diamond prince. He was to say the least the top player on the American servers in the game. He had even started the Brotherhood of ashes in the game with his brother Jorian and their best friend Aleria. It was the brotherhood of Ashes one could say that had become well known.
With each new race that joined the brotherhood of Ashes in Alfheim a new self sustaining farmlike estate popped up with the brotherhood's symbol above it. The brotherhood always made themselves available to be helpful to their race, or to the guild itself. As they made a name for themselves the leaders were all given a nickname in the game. Candle, ari, was given the Diamond prince, just like in SOA. Wel'ren, Jorian, was given the title The Ardent Dawn, while Alerian, Aleria, was given the Drowned princess.
[right [pic https://i.imgur.com/2WpNQ82.jpg]]
Joining Alfheim online the two of them quickly made the brotherhood of Ashes in the game as well making a name for themselves even then. Recruiting players like crazy in their beginning days the brotherhood of Ashes had become widely known as a force potentially able to take on the world tree themselves, that was until it was later found out that the tree originally wasn’t meant to be beaten. Once the game however was taken over by another company they got rid of the raid at the base of the tree to replace it instead with a capital at the top of the tree players could reach by a teleportation gate.
That is where most of the Brotherhood’s recruitment went on, at least for a while. Then The twins got their friend Aleria to join them in ALO, who chose to join up as an Undine, and so they split the brotherhood into each race specifically. Then came along Jotunheimr, the land of giants. The guild itself went into the realm and was destroying the place like there was no end, only as they finished the raid itself for the great sword Excalibur they find out that it wasn’t real, and only a small nameless blade.
Ari, also known as candle in the game had been one of the first to download the new update to ALO…The land of Gaia. Stepping through the portal the male stretched his arms and swung around wildly, that was until his brother Jorian, or known as Wel’ren in the game stepped through and just pushed him and laughed. With them they had brought their third commander Aleria, who was known as Alerian.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/cWLXW7X.jpg]]
The three of them were merrily trudging along to find the first base of operations point where would be a good place to set up a city, however before they could a clash of metal came across their ears. [b “Candle, Wel’ren we need to help whomever that is.”] Wel’ren just nodded his agreement, but Candle disagreed. Perhaps it was the imp side of his character’s nature, but he was more interested in getting their stuff started instead.
As the group kept going it seemed the metal ringing grew closer and closer to them. Stepping up a hill and seeing the battle go on down below Alerian called out. [b “CYCLOPSE.”] as the last of the centaur bodies seemed to disappear from the battle. Wel’ren charged into the battle at the Cyclopes grabbing its attention and forcing it to attack him. Grabbing his duel knives he dove left and right hoping his reflexes would carry him around the slow brute of an animal. As the Cyclops was focused on Wel’ren, Alerian pulled out her whip and stung the creature in the neck to pull it off its feet. Candle pulled out his staff and started calling out healing spells for the group it seemed that was formed from the fight between the centaurs and the Spriggan and the two Cait Sith, their group of three along with the Cyclops.
"Heeeeey, Shiori!" Midori calls out while running down the school's hall. "Waaaaaiit uuuuup!"
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/AMwb6CW.png]]
"You're not supposed to run in the halls, you know?" Shiori responds once Midori reaches her.
"Oh come on, school has ended today!" Midori says. "Say, have you heard about the new region in Alfheim Online?"
"Uhh... I don't think so." Shiori says.
"Well, the new region is called Gaia and there is a whole lot of new content in it!" Midori explains. "But... we haven't played Alfheim Online for almost a month."
"And you want us to play it again?" Shiori asks.
"You know exactly where I was going with that!" Midori answers. "So, will you play it with me, pretty please?"
"You know I can't say no when you ask me like that." Shiori replies.
"Yay!" Midori exclaims while jumping up and down. "Would you want to bring your AmuSphere over to my house?"
"S-sure." Shiori says. "Does that also mean you want me to stay the night?"
"You're always so good at picking up where I'm going with what I'm saying!" Midori says. "Sleepovers are always soooo fun!"
"I'm sure my parents won't mind." Shiori says. "It's a good thing we don't have any homework this week to worry about too."
"I forget why we don't but I'm not complaining!" Midori says. "Let's go home now!" She then dashes off.
"W-wait, the floor is-!" Shiori tries to say.
[b *BAM!*] Midori slips on the recently mopped floor and lands flat on her back.
"...wet." Shiori finishes.
"Ow... these clothes needed cleaning anyway." Midori says as she gets up. "Welp, I'll see you later then!"
"Yeah... alright then." Shiori responds.
Midori more carefully makes her way back home from school and soon Shiori arrives there too.
They both head into Midori's room, activate their AmuSpheres and log into Alfheim Online.
[left [pic http://i.imgur.com/bPQUX1Y.png]]
Midory blinks and looks around as she tries to remember where she last logged off.
[i Ummm... okay, I'm near this, uh, tavern!] Midory thinks to herself. [i I was, erm, oh yeah, Shiori was inside there before I logged but I have no idea if she went anywhere else afterwards.]
Midory decides to head inside the tavern in order to find Shiori, known as Shio-rishi or just Shio in Alfheim Online.
As she enters the tavern, she peers around and spots Shio sitting at a table.
"Hey Shio!" Midory calls out as she runs over to Shio. "Now, I don't know how to get to Gaia at all..."
[right [pic http://i.imgur.com/cTCuN0K.png]]
"You are hopeless sometimes." Shio says. "We have a notice in our inventories about how to get it, or at least I do anyway."
"Oh, yeah, I see it now." Midory responds. "It's not that far from where we are actually."
"We just need to fly over to the portal, which shouldn't be too hard as long as you remember how to." Shio says then gets up from her chair. "You do remember how to, right?"
"Aha, of course I don't!" Midory answers. "Oh wait, I think I remember how to now."
"D-don't try inside here, just wait until we get outside!" Shio says.
The two of them leave the tavern and head towards the portal that happens to not be far away from them at all.
"Wow, how did I not notice it earlier?!" Midory questions. "It kinda stands out from everything!"
"You really need to focus on your surroundings more." Shio states.
The two of them fly through the portal to Gaia and land at a clear spot. Well, Shio does anyway. Midory is too busy admiring the land around herself and forgets about the limit on flying.
"Uhhh, hey, Midory, you have to land!" Shio shouts.
"Gaia is so cool, I just can't wait to explore it all!" Midory says as she glides further and further away from Shio.
"Yeah but you don't have forever on flying around so please land already!" Shio shouts.
"Hey, I think I see someone fighting some centaurs?" Midory says. "Must be a new enemy but anyway-"
Midory's wings run out on her.
"O-oh dear- WAAAAH!" Midory exclaims then falls and lands on her face.
Shio frantically runs over to Midory to see if she's okay.
"Owww!" Midory muffles in the soft grass the sits herself up. "It's a good thing I'm a healer- woah, hold on, was there always two of you?"
"You seriously need to focus and listen to me, please!" Shio says as she helps her up. "Especially since you are a healer, you would have to pay attention to everyone's health, including your own!"
"Yeah, yeah, I understand, they don't call me-... well no, I don't actually have nickname for my healing so never mind." Midory says. "OH, the person fighting, let's go help her!"
Midory quickly stands and heads towards where she saw someone fighting centaurs with Shio trying to keep up with her.
They soon see who Midory was talking about but get surprise-attacked by a sneaky centaur behind them.
Back in 2022, Kyoko and her sister, Rin, were Beta testers for the game Sword Art Online. She was 10 years old at the time and really enjoyed testing out the game with her older sister. In fact, they excelled as an inseparable duo, though they were pretty skilled gamers on their own. When the game officially came out, of course they bought it. They were both so excited to play once again. However, they were only giving one game per household during its big premiere. As the older sibling, of course Rin got to play first. That was the last time they talked. Her last words to her beloved big sister were ‘Go for it!’
As positive as those words were, she still wished she could have said more. There was no way to know that the game they were looking forward to so much would kill her. It was two months before the game was cleared that her brain was fried in her hospital bed. About 2,000 people died like her sister did. She survived for so long, being one of the last of the group who did not make it out. That was a feat of its own.
After that incident, NerveGear was replaced by AmuSphere, a much safer technology that was made for gamers without any health risks like before. To many family members’ and friends’ surprise, Kyoko immediately bought one. Many thought that it would be too painful for her to return to the VR world, especially since she was so young. However, it was the exact opposite for Kyoko. She felt closest to her sister when in an VR.
When Alfheim Online was out in the very beginning of 2025, she bought it. Even though it was only a few months after her sister’s death and a couple since the end of Sword Art Online, she wanted to return to the game world. It was the world where they spent hours upon hours having fun testing it out and the world that her sister spent her final moments. So, for the last four years she’s been playing various VRMMORPG’s, but her main one has been that first one she bought by herself, ALO.
In Alfheim, Kyoko was a Cait Sith fairy with the username Kyome. It was not a really creative name. It was just the first characters of her given name and surname in reversed order of a normal Japanese person, since the surname usually comes first there. Cait Sith fairies have been known for having the best sight and high speed among the other races. However, even among the Cait Siths, Kyome was known for her speed and precision in her fights. Due to the main color seen during extremely accurate and fast attacks, she received the nickname ‘Blue Lightning’.
It is now 2029. With grand release of the new region, Gaia, Kyome was ready to venture into it. She heard it was a difficult area and she was looking forward to defeating bosses and going on quests. The moment she was in, she flew over to an area not far from World Tree and entered the portal to this unexplored realm. Upon arrival, she almost automatically ran into a herd of centaurs. [#1256c4 “Looks like this area really is going to be Greek lore,”] she thought out-loud. Kyome drew her sword and engaged her opponents, which now had her surrounded and were charging. A slight grin could be seen for a moment as she welcomed the challenge.
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