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    • Shark

      Donations and Recognition!   12/22/2016

      Hello everyone! We are becoming a huge community and that doesn't come cheap. All staff here are volunteers and do this because they love the site. Right now, everything is paid out of pocket, by Erroneous. We would love for you to donate in order to help out with the site costs (i.e. Forum License, Domain Name, Hosting) so that we can keep Security and Forum Software up to date and possibly add some new features. If you do decide to donate, we have some fun, snazzy gifts of appreciation for you ;) Please message me (Shark) so we can get you the gifts of appreciation! We thank you for your support! Please use this link for more info   _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ How To Donate Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the donate button.

      NOTABLE DONORS LIST Here is where we honor the donors who go above and beyond the call of Aincrad! Top Tier Donors! Percival Row  Teayre Nezumi Zandra Alice Arc Atzo Baldur Claim Corvo Dominion Genji Ignavus_veneficus Jomei Kaya Lee Lessa Mack Macradon Nocturn Persephone Piera Ruus Sarial Hawke Shi Unyeilding Vale To express our gratitude, here is a picture of the iconic duo for all you wonderful supporters!
    • Shark

      The SAO Staff Team!   02/21/2017

      Hello members of SAO-RPG!

      I'm sure most of you (if not some) have noticed or heard changes were made to the staff team. If you are applying to staff, you may have noticed that the application process has recently changed. This has all happened because of a reformation of the staff team and the way it operates. The staff now has separate teams for development. These teams are: Floor Creation Team [Floors, Quests/Events, Bosses], Systems & Clarifications Team, and Player Support Team.

      "Who is on these teams?" Well the answer to that lies below! Floor Team Systems & Clarifications Team Player Support Team * - Denotes Team Lead

      We also have a team to work on and develop the current systems but that team will search for its members and is not allowed to be applied to.

      Now you may be asking, "Shark, how does one apply to the Staff Team?" And I have but 1 simple answer!
      Go read this thread and it may answer all your questions!

      If you have any more questions, send me a PM and I will answer your questions about staff. (Only the format of teams and/or the application process)
    • Cardinal

      [Live] 2.5.0 Patch Notes   10/02/2017

      <<2.5.0 Patch Notes>> Main Guide: The main rules/tutorial section has been rewritten. Resources: A Resources section has been added. This contains reference material such as the SP/Level chart, Skills list, Enhancement list, individual profession stats, and a new FAQ. General Rule Changes: Word count requirement in Merchants & Shops section has been reduced to 100 from 150. Col logs are no longer required to include in journals. The Banker system will be used to track currency/materials going forward. New characters and Rebirth characters may choose a Starter Package containing a variety of basic equipment, col, materials, and/or potions. NK/KE tags have been removed. The table for SP gain based on the number of players in a thread has been removed. SP gain is now issued at 1 SP per 3 posts, up to the number of completed pages. (e.g. 3 SP for three pages, requires at least 9 posts) A Skill Refunding System has been added. Players may now pay a col cost to remove known skills and receive a refund of the invested SP. Rules on vanity items have been clarified. Health regeneration outside of combat has been adjusted to (10 * Tier) per post. Stealth and Stealth Detection no longer have a base rating for players. Both now use a LD roll plus a Stealth Rating/Stealth Detection modifier. NPCs and monsters still utilize a base rating (10 as a baseline for player-created mobs). 'Using cover' no longer adds to Stealth Rating. Low light or darkness conditions grant a +1 to Stealth Rating, down from +2. Switch has been added as a game mechanic (no longer a skill). Players may call for a Switch when landing a successful attack. If the Switching player also lands an attack, a Switch is performed and the two players may immediately swap hate values. Players are required to post their level, stats, equipment, skills, etc., in their first post in a thread. This should be a snapshot of your character and should not be changed after the initial post. Players are still allowed to declare their characters at a lower level or with fewer items than what they currently have, but may not claim items that have not been approved or were obtained in an unlocked thread. Turn order rules have been modified slightly to reflect the leniency of Boss Raid combat. Players may post in any order so long as each player and the enemy has gotten one action in a single round. Outside of Boss Raids, parties may have a maximum of 4 players. Combat with more than 4 players should follow a Group order similar to boss raids. When fighting multiple enemies, players must now make individual rolls for each mob. This applies to both making attacks against multiple enemies and multiple enemies making attacks. One roll no longer applies to/for all targets. The Running Away mechanic has been updated. Running away from combat now uses a LD roll with a set of situational modifiers. The col/material values and frequency in the loot table have been adjusted. Labyrinth searching rules have been adjusted. The map fragment system has been removed. Bonus rewards for scouting and defeating the field boss have been adjusted. Housing and Guild Halls have been completely revamped. PvP rules have been adjusted. Players must make an initiative roll when engaging in combat with other players. The extended Player Killing rules/restrictions have been removed. Rules on player cursor colors have been expanded. There is now a strike system for criminal infractions that would cause a player's cursor to turn orange. Killing a green player outside of a duel now results in a permanent orange cursor. An NPC Guard mechanic has been added. Orange players may now enter safe zones, but must stealth/run from guards in certain safe zones. NPC guards have a Stealth Detection rating equal to (Floor / 3), rounded down. Added more detail to character death rules. The RGQ system has been removed. Crafting Changes: Fishing as a profession has been removed. It is now a skill. The CD result chart has been adjusted across all professions (except Merchant). Good and Bad quality items have been removed from the CD result chart. Salvage chances have been adjusted. Alchemists now have a chance to salvage one or both materials when attempting to craft crystals. Crafting Die tools no longer have an effect. Consumables, familiars, housing, and some items still provide EXP and Crafting Attempt bonuses. The process of crafting Feasts has changed slightly. Cooks may now take 3 identical food items and spend two materials to combine them into a Feast. A Feast can be used in a thread to provide that enhancement to up to six players. Artisan craftable item types have been modified (Trinkets, Jewelry, Sculptures). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Alchemist craftable item types have been modified (Salves, Potions, Crystals). The buffs they can provide are largely unchanged. Skill Changes: Extended Weight Limit Removed Ranks - 15 SP cost Now adds +3 Battle Ready Inventory slots Adjusted Mod: Large Pockets Now has 3 Ranks Cost set to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3) Now increases single Battle Ready Inventory slots to 7/10/15 Removed 'Larger Pockets' and 'Largest Pockets' mods New Skill: Fishing Cost: 10 SP Effect: Use a dice roll to fish something up based on a natural CD result: Gatherer Now has a chance to yield 1-3 bonus materials based on a natural CD result Sneak & Hide Renamed to 'Hiding' Now grants +1 Stealth Rating per rank New Rank 3 Mod: Untraceable Cost: 9 SP Effect: Negates the effect of the Tracking skill against the user. New Rank 3 Mod: Blindside Cost: 9 SP Effect: Gain +2 Stealth Rating. Natural BD rolls of 9-10 reduce the target's accuracy by 1 for one turn when attacking from stealth. New Rank 5 Mod: Vanish Cost: 12 SP Cooldown: 5 Turns Effect: Allows the use of a post action to re-enter stealth while in combat. Getting a killing blow on an enemy allows Vanish to activate without using a post action. Search & Detect Renamed to 'Searching' Now also grants +1 Stealth Detection per rank Mod: Night Vision Now requires Rank 1, down from Rank 3 Cost reduced to 5 SP, from 9 Mod: Reveal Now also grants +2 LD when searching for Labyrinths and allows Labyrinth searches at 15 posts. Mod: Tracking Now requires Rank 3, down from Rank 5 Cost reduced to 12 SP, from 15 Tracking requirements for monsters, players, and NPCs have been clarified. Mod: Detect Cost reduced to 9 SP, from 15 No longer uses or affects Tracking. Now Grants +2 Stealth Detection. Grants +1 LD when searching for sub-dungeons and labyrinths Battle Healing Now recovers 1% of max HP per rank, instead of (Rank * 5 * Tier) Mod: Emergency Recovery Cost reduced to 10 SP, from 15 Now recovers 10% of max HP, down from 25% Block MIT gained is now set per rank: 5/8/12/18/25, down from 1 MIT per SP invested. New Rank 3 Mod: Shield Bash Cost: 10 SP Cooldown: 2 Turns Energy Cost: 10 Energy Effect: Make an attack with an equipped shield. On a hit, deals (Base * 10) damage, stuns the enemy for one turn, and applies paralyze/thorns/flame thorns enhancements present on the shield. Note: When calculating Base Damage for Shield Bash, Weapon Skills do not apply. Mod: Safe Guard Reworked into 'Rampart' Added a 5 turn cooldown Added energy cost of 8 Now uses a post action to reduce final damage that would be dealt to you by 25% (rounded down). Effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn. Energist Removed Ranks - 12 SP cost Now adds (5 * Tier) to total energy, instead of (Rank * 2) Howl Added energy cost of 10 Mod: Focused Howl Added energy cost of 8 Parry Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 1 turn cooldown Energy cost has been fixed at 5, instead of (2 * enemies parried) 50% damage reduction has been specified to apply to the final damage (after mitigation). Effect applies to the next attack against the user, and cannot reduce damage from multiple enemies at once. Mod: Vengeful Riposte Increased SP cost to 12, up from 10 Added a 3 turn cooldown Damage reflected is now 50% of raw damage, up from 25% of damage taken. This damage can still be mitigated. Switch Skill has been removed. Two-Handed Weapons The +2 DMG bonus for 2H weapons has been clarified in the first rank of 2H weapon skills. All Weapons The Ferocity and Finesse mods have been condensed into a single description. You must still specify the weapon type when acquiring the mod(s). Mod: Ferocity Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now increases base damage of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by 1. Mod: Finesse Rank requirement set to 3, instead of ranging from 1-5 Now has 3 Ranks Cost adjusted to 5/3/2 SP (10 total for Rank 3), down from 15 at Rank 5 Now reduces energy cost of all sword arts for the chosen weapon by an amount equal to its rank. Mod: Quick Change Cooldown reduced to 3 turns, down from 5 Now allows the user to swap, equip, or unequip a weapon in their Battle Ready Inventory. Mod: Stamina Now reduces the energy cost of all attacks by 1. Heavy Armor Increased the amount of MIT gained to 8>12>18>25>35, up from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health increased to (15 * Tier), up from 15 Mod: Stonewall Bonus health has been adjusted to (15 * Tier), instead of equal to mitigation from other skills. Now also grants 10 MIT when wearing heavy armor Now also reduces damage taken from damage over time effects by 25% (rounded down) when wearing heavy armor. Light Armor Adjusted the amount of MIT gained to 5>8>12>18>25, down from 3>7>12>20>30 Mod: Athletics Bonus health adjusted to (10 * Tier), from 15 Familiar Mastery 'Accurate' now has 3 ranks. 'Assistant' now provides bonus EXP (crafting attempts at max profession rank) instead of CD. Meditation Removed Ranks - 8 SP cost Added a 5 turn cooldown Now recovers (3 * Tier) energy. Getting hit by an attack before the beginning of your next turn reduces the energy recovered to (2 * Tier). Survival Added 3 SP cost Increases out of combat health regeneration to (15 * Tier), instead of 20. Enhancement Changes: Life Steal has been renamed to Vampiric. The Crafting Die enhancement has been removed. Alchemist and Artisan item types for enhancements have been modified. Sword Art Changes: Multipliers have been simplified to a single number (x6) from the two-part formula (2x3). Several descriptions have been updated. Quest Changes: The 'Redemption' quest has been revamped. The level and repeatable restrictions have been adjusted to affect only the bonus SP rewards: The First Few Lessons Are Free The Second Lesson is Also Free The Third Lesson is Just As Free The Fourth Lesson is Actually Free The Venemous Warg Repeating the 'Earning a Living' quest now allows a player to change their profession. Changing professions will reset experience to 0. Repeat completions of the Earning a Living quest will only award bonus materials if the quest-taker is changing their profession. The following quests have been removed: «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.M.H & S.B.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures: T.L.C.» «Witch of the West and the Three Treasures «The Falling of Tagas» Housing Changes: The cost and size of Player Housing is now determined by a 'plot size'. The plot size dictates how many room slots, yard slots, and stories a house can have as well as the initial cost when purchasing. Purchasing a PK-accessible home (outside of a safe zone) has an additional cost. Buffs from Guild Halls/Player Housing now comes from the type of room, rather than furniture. Certain rooms for Player Housing have upgrades. Player Housing buffs must be assigned to a player. Home owners may use the Housing Evaluation topic to re-assign a room's player(s) once every 30 days. New/Rebirth Character Changes: Players who have submitted a new or rebirth character journal for approval in the past 30 days are eligible to add one of the starting bundles. <<2.5 Update Survival Guide>> Skills: If you spent more than 15 SP on the Extended Weight Limit skill, refund any SP over 15. If you have spent less than 15 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 12 SP on the Energist skill, refund any SP over 12. If you have spent less than 12 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. If you spent more than 8 SP on the Meditation skill, refund any SP over 8. If you have spent less than 8 SP, the skill is inactive until a total of 8 is invested. If you have the Parry skill, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you have the Survival skill, you must spend 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 3 is invested. If you had the Switch skill, remove it and refund 10 SP. Mods: If you have the Detect mod, keep it and refund 6 SP. If you have the Tracking mod, keep it and refund 3 SP. If you have the Emergency Recovery mod, keep it and refund 5 SP. If you had Rank 1 or 2 of the Ferocity mod, lose it and receive a refund of the SP spent. If you had Rank 3 or 4 of the Ferocity mod, you must spend 6 or 3 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 15 is invested. If you spent more than 10 SP on the Finesse mod, refund any SP over 10. If you have the Large Pockets mod, you must spend 1 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 10 is invested. If you had the Larger Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 2 SP. If you had the Largest Pockets mod, it becomes the new Large Pockets mod and you receive a refund of 5 SP. If you have the Night Vision mod, keep it and refund 4 SP. If you have the Vengeful Riposte mod, you must spend 2 SP to continue using it. Otherwise, it is inactive until a total of 12 is invested. Professions: If you had the Fishing profession, all EXP may be transferred to any other profession. If you had a Tool with the 'Crafting Die' enhancement, you may post it for re-evaluation with the Ambition or Crafting Attempt enhancement (item name/description may not change). If you retake the Earning a Living quest in order to change professions, your EXP resets to 0 for the new profession. Edit your existing shop thread with your new profession information. Housing: Existing Guild Halls and Player Housing have been removed. They may be repurchased through the Housing Evaluation template. Players who previously bought a home or hall have been reimbursed for the total col cost in their original housing application. If a guild had shared col lost due to the removal of a guild hall, PM the details to @Teion for review/reimbursement.
    • Aereth

      2.5.2 New Mechanic: Thread Invasion/Protected Threads   11/08/2017

      Hello Players,
      Once again your feedback is needed, so head over to the thread and tell us what you think. LINK  


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About Kiru

  • Birthday October 31

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    doing sword arts with spoons

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  1. now no one can tell me to change my profile pic because its C H R I S T M A S ; )

    1. Show previous comments  9 more
    2. Hikoru


      Yeah you do

    3. Kiru


      @Hikoru you right, but it's a tradition at least

    4. Hikoru


      True. True

  2. This is a collection of a thread Zelrius and I have done on a separate forum, for this thread. ZELRIUS: It seemed the word hate would resonate with Zelrius a lot in these moments, consistently coming up, unable to express how else he felt about the situations at hand. He hated how tied everything he did became to her. The boy tried his best to steel himself in the face of emotional strife, favoring for trying to keep the consistent, unwavering and unflappable, expression he usually always held. The last thing he wanted to do was break down in front of Kiru, therefore influencing her to do the same. To be honest, he was sick of doing everything for another's well being, but also couldn't help himself; feeling so compelled to do it, by thoughts and feelings he couldn't accurately define at any moment. The name, the definition, the features, of those aforementioned tumors of thought would constantly tickle his mind, and when he would metaphorically spin around to [censored] them, they'd flutter away furiously. He couldn't think of where they came from, or why so often; considering that he couldn't recall, off the top of his head, an instance between the pair that ended in relatively good feelings all around. Even the boss meeting that he invited her to a few months after their initial meeting ended not necessarily with rising tension between those two, but indirectly in anxiety, as it was Zelrius' first Command of a Boss Fight. The silence between the two when she said his name, his face lighting up slightly in anticipation, ever anxious about her response. The chuckle made him more uneasy than any amount of mood lightening that it did, though of course he threw a witty comment back at her for the joke. "Maybe if there were ten of you. and Only because I wouldn't fight back," Though he meant it as a joke to follow-up on her own comment, his tone was still in the solemn, flat, end-all-be-all pitch that he had given his short speech in, the words wobbling in between breaths as he continued to let his eyes be vertable wells of tears, prisoners of his blue eyes as they were still being held back. Then came her apologizing, for things that were never her fault. It seemed neither of them wanted to blame the other in this situation, but both wanted entirely to blame themselves. Situations like this, at least in Zelrius's mind, is what drove them so far part; unwillingness to see fault in the other. It was the "thank you" in between "sorry's" that made him blink in confusion, causing a single tear to roll from each eye and down to the ground below. Though those two would be the only ones at the moment, as he felt dumb for crying when she already was, there was almost certainly more to come. I lied; more came immediately after her mention of time again, and how much he had spent of it. The words It was never a waste if it was for you whispered in his mind, though he didn't have the courage to say that; finding it increasingly difficult to speak to her at all. The finishing lines kind of hurt, for reasons the boy couldn't explain. He winced, speaking through an airless, barely audible, voice. "Scared you...?" What caused another blink and then rush of tears from his eyes was her immediate follow up after wiping her own eyes. But it doesn't matter, those words and the following sentences stung him. She was still thinking about Keith, even after all this. that's what he hated more than anything; how willing she was to remain so attached to someone who wasn't around anymore. Though he also supposed he'd like it if those close to him remained attached even after his own death... On the topic of death; Kiru mentioned Daeron, causing Zelrius to tightly grit his teeth, expecting her to announce him dead, but as of the method; suicide. He leaned back from her, motionless for a moment, a bit unbelieving. And even before he could react to that, another hard, emotional punch to the stomach as she began to remind him of things he reminded himself of every morning and every night; People keep disappearing on him, they slowly drift apart. For one reason or another, this made him lean back forward toward her, poising his body in such a way that it appeared he was ready to take flight; run away at the speed that he had moved toward Dai. Though those specific motions hadn't been executed, he was ready to; the whole affair becoming more and more unbearable for him. She went back to blaming herself, something he knew he should've responded to, but between sniffles and breathlessness, he couldn't find the ability to do so. Try as he might, Zelrius was wholly unpowerful to keep Kiru away from the horrors of SAO. Why did he care so much anyway? When it was all broken down in his mind, she was just some girl. Who a friend of his once dated. Just like Flints, or Azazel, or Maeoka are to him now. Those are all just some girls that Tristan, or Dom, or Rebekah had all once dated. And then, who were those three? They were random people, who had somewhat similar mindsets to Zelrius himself, who happened to be in the same death trap as him. So why, Why the attachment? The last thing the golden haired boy wanted to do was answer that question, having a conversation to focus on instead. He couldn't agree more with her words. In trying to selfishly protect a girl that didn't need nor want protection, they're now both hurt. Not even by this single incident, but all the ones that happened separately from each other as a result of actions that were done over a year ago. His voice cracked trying to respond "K-knowing me is a regret?" It really was becoming too much, her expressions saying that she cared, her words saying that she had nothing but contempt for him. It was her final words that made him clear his throat to speak properly, having thought about it before; "I wanted to hate you, so bad. I initially approached you, taking your little slime kill, with the intention of sowing your dissent toward me. Keith would go everywhere, do everything with you. He wouldn't spend anytime with the original Commandants, and I wanted my friend back." And now for actual crying from the boy. "I felt I had a group of, as dumb and cheesy as this sounds, family. And then, Keith ran off with you, and would abandon his guild duties, which none of us really cared for. And then, he-" Zelrius stopped short to flick tears off his cheeks and just didn't continue the sentence. Then the question he had asked came back up, only in her voice this time. "I don't know why I care so much. You're just some person. You should've stayed just some person..." A bit of bitterness came out of his voice, "But somehow, you played your little spell, and then you became a friend. I formed the elaborate plan to save some person from another person. I could've let you die here, and I honestly, cannot explain to you, why I didn't." He let the words hang there, and immediately softened, understanding how cruel and harsh that may sound. Adding more in between sniffles and wiping his face, "But, I am so glad I didn't. You mean the world to me, you're one of the few people who I feel like I can talk to for hours, and never get enough. You're both the best and worst thing that's ever happened to me. Yet, I don't know why you care so much. I never intended for you to. Or maybe I did, but for different reasons..." He stopped there, being that was the closest had ever come to mentioning any sort of feelings toward the girl, but being wholly afraid of mentioning it directly. He took in a moment of silence, and then looked at her only for a moment. He leaned his head an inch or two toward her, stopped, closed his eyes and leaned back, leaving it at that. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- KIRU: It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, all of the conversations I have deemed important with people had turned emotional rather quickly. I remembered my last talk with Tristan, the crying, and worrying. Even after his cycles of women after me, he still cared, and I guess that somehow made the scar deeper. There was a metaphorical scarification sequence that I always referred back to whenever something of slight inconvenience presented itself as a challenge. Why was there always a repelling force in talking? Speaking with other people these days was like a magnet. One way, the words tumbling from my mouth could push them away, (which happened more often than not,) but on the other hand I could also attract people. And in this moment, I realized that my situation was like a magnet. For some odd reason, he was attracted to me that day. However, I have also made him become distant of course. It was the opposite for me, I resented the arrogant prick at the time. Now, I could not stand to see him leave. Every time he turned away from me I felt something inside me shatter. If anything ever happened to him, I was afraid to admit what I would do. After averting my eyes from his, I glanced back. In his dark set blue eyes were traces of tears. In the corners of his eyes I could see his emotions welling up. He looked as if he was doing everything he could not to cry; which of course made it worse. It made me even more impassioned than I was currently. Noticing this, I decided not to anything for the time being, as I would like to hear everything he had to say before doing anything or making myself look less than I already did. I forced a miniscule laugh for his comment to my joke. We both knew that in no universe could I ever come close to beating Zelrius in a serious confrontation. He had the possibility to kill me in one hit if he wanted to. I was surprised that he hadn’t already, or at least hadn’t done something to physically hurt me based on the way I treated him for the past year. As horrible as it sounded, the more open I became with someone, the worse the relationship had gotten. And of course, Zelrius was no exception. He had become a major part in my time in Aincrad and there was no changing how included he was to be later on. The tears on Zelrius’ cheeks were not invisible this time, I could visibly see the small droplets come from his eyes before he questioned me. It seemed as though he could not believe that his actions and absence frightened me. To say the least, I was terrified that he had died, glad that he was alive, “Of course you scared me. How would you feel if someone you cared about suddenly disappeared without a trace?” I asked, not expecting a response from the blonde boy. I did mean my statement, but meant not to hurt him more than he already was. From the looks of it, he was not as composed as I thought he was at all times. But of course, there’s always more than meets the eye, especially when speaking of such a complicated young man. It was unjust to think otherwise of him, which was my mistake. Because of this, Zelrius has probably bottled his emotions for a long time now; and I was forced to deal with those repercussions. Due to my poor choice of words, Zelrius had once again completely misunderstood what I said. It was time for a change, the truth this time without too much of a filter, “Zel, by regret, I meant something different. Meeting you is regretful because I cannot bear to be responsible for wasting your life. I just cannot see myself being the reason you have decided certain things. Meeting you was one of the best things to happen to me, but the worst to happen to you. I have caused widespread destruction and chaos for you while doing nothing for you,” I paused for a moment, physically holding myself back from breaking once again, “I just, I hate that I was so blind to how I effecting you at the time. For that, I am sorry.” A word sprung within me: jealousy; I finally figured it out. Somehow, it felt wrong for me to even use such a term to describe Zelrius, the strong one in these situations. However, based on his sudden outburst against Keith, I could strongly say that all the while I ran along with Keith, he was hurting. Even after Keith disappeared, I reminded Zelrius everyday of it. I reminded him that I chose Keith over him anyday. And that’s how it was. “I’m such an idiot, Zelrius,” I whispered, whilst looking down. Zelrius was actually crying now, not just trying to suppress it. His composure had officially been lost for the second time today, even in the past hour. As he spoke, I could not stand to look at him. His voice sounded more pained than I had ever heard it. He sounded as if everything he believe in as a child had been proven fake, like Santa Claus. But this was real, and the blame was on me. I had the overwhelming urge to look up at him. To wipe away his tears and smile at him. I wanted to tell him it was going to be alright and everything would turn out fine; but that would be a lie, now wouldn’t it? Suddenly, his tone changed. He almost sounded happy. I blinked, only now realizing that a few tears had slipped from my eyes and were now dropping to the pixelated grass. Zelrius was being sincere, and for the first time, showing a form of positive emotion towards me. This only made me cry harder, he was truly a nice person. I looked up at him just as he was leaning close to me. Something washed over me. I waited for him to lean closer, but he never did. Instead, he closed his eyes and leaned back. I sniffled a little and laughed slightly at his small outburst of sudden emotion. I wiped my eyes again and leaned forward towards him. I took in the outline of his face for a moment. He looked relaxed. I stared at his chin, then his lips. I paused, then leaned in ever so slightly. I moved my body closer to his and pressed my lips slightly to the top of his forehead before wrapped my arms around his neck and hugging him. “You’re always family, Zel.” _____________________________________________________________________________ ZELRIUS: There was no way this was healthy, Zelrius thought, in regards to the constant shift in tone and emotion. This was a consistent thing in interactions with Kiru; The change from sadness, to happiness, back to sadness or even anger sometimes. The boy didn't know a whole lot about mental health, be he couldn't imagine a psychologist recommending this kind of mental state. That was one of the good things regarding Manta; there was very little of this constant shift. They kissed and hugged, but only because she wasn't terrible and Zelrius had a void to fill, and she just happened to be a target. A terrible behavior the Commandant had picked up from another, Tristan. A habit he'd had to get rid of soon, having become increasingly conscious of such an issue, but being too selfish to correct it immeadiately. He had wondered if Kiru, like many others, saw him in the light of selfishness. Though answered his own question with the assumption that it was probably so. Why would she have any reason to think otherwise? He hoarded Uniques and Money like they were Food in a famine. That thought made him slightly hurt more. He couldn’t care less what others thought of him, but was wholly oblivious to what the other Commandants thought of him, especially Kiru. And while this exact conversation that he was having kind gave some implication; Zelrius never had the confidence regarding her to ever make any assumptions, which is part of the reason he is in the situation he is in now. The boy’s inability to read into her and understand anything is what also caused him to push her so far away, unwilling to do anything, thinking she’d hate or push him away for one wrong move. Then you had situations like this one, where sometimes he tried to read into the words too much, over emphasizing meaning in every sentence, trying to guage how serious or ambiguous she was being. To be quite honest, Zelrius didn’t actually know which side of the spectrum she had laid on; Was she more like Dom; Upfront, everything said to be taken at face value? Or was she more like Zelrius himself; Flowery with wording, always with a deeper intended meaning? Or the very probably answer; more like Tristan, where he actively flipflops between the two, for one reason or another. While those questions and a hundred more remained unanswered, the boy became more and more confused; the laugh that came from the joke, sounding more like a force giggle than any actual humor. Though understandably, it was difficult to find a moment of laughter in this kind of emotional environment, so he kind of just glossed over that fact. The question still resonated _Why did SHE care so much?_ A question resparked by the forced laugh. He’ll never understand these things without asking questions, a rule of life he knew, but seemed to never apply to her. He didn’t address the scared detail, he understood already, as it was obvious. Zelrius hadn’t thought about that until just now; his disappearances into the wild. The first time, he had been aggravated by not being drafted for the First Hydra fight. Taking that time to prove he was better than those who went into the fight. Of course he was right in his advisement; it was a mistake. That was proven by their loss. Then he came back to find that SAO was leaderless without Ebon, and he had decided to organize the raid himself. _Now we’re back to Square one,_ He thought, as he remembered it was Kiru he had invited to help organize and host the Second Battle for the Hydra There were no feelings for her then. At all, he saw her as another potential ally due to strength and that was it. It was this thought that made him want to pinpoint the exact moment that changed, but was caught from this thought when she gave another lengthy explanation to his misunderstanding of her words, something he found himself doing quite often. He had no words to respond to her though. He didn’t know what to say that wasn’t already said, despite the fact that he could reassure her, Zelrius didn’t this time. She was right in that in atleast the last year, there had only been pain between the two. Still, Zelrius refused to see fault; trying his best to search for positivity. Yet there was none, not with the “searching” for Keith. He had hated how adamant she was on doing it, and he really couldn’t care less, having felt abandoned by Keith. Yet he still tried to search whenever she asked, only out of kindness for her, trying to make up for the thoughts of hate. Her words made him want to once again try to lighten the mood. “Not much more of an idiot than the rest of us, anyway.” His way of reassuring her without sounding lame in doing it. “You think that if I thought you lacking in the brain department, that i’d have you around as a Commandant? Lost your god damn mind if you think that. Though, maybe we all have.” He stopped there, before what was meant to be a little joke evolved into a ramblingfest of the “intelligence” of the Commandants. It was only moments after his own lean in and then retraction, that she did his own. For a moment, he backed away, feeling his heartbeat rise; the constant thumping resonating within his chest becoming louder, feeling each shudder throughout his torso. He was caught extremely off guard by it, and even more so by the forehead kiss and hug. He let out a long, relieved breath as it hadn’t turned into what he thought it was about to. The boy quickly reciprocated the hug; his arms wrapping her back and pulling in a bit tightly, never knowing how firm hugs were supposed to be; a little quirk that he never seemed to get over. “As are you,” The boy began, “And even though you don’t think so, I’ve enjoyed every moment with you up to this one.” His voice was a whisper, one with little air behind it as he was still shaken by the unexpected hug. He held the hug for a bit, and then continued with his whisper; “You said you’d never done anything for me, but I can confirm that’s wrong,” He broke the embrace, pulling back and placing his hands on the sides of her shoulders. His expression softened, his dark blue orbs meeting her icy eyes, holding that for a moment. Leaning in once again; his heartrate picking right back up to that terrifying pace as he pushed to do something that had taken him over a year to build the courage for, pulling her closer as he leaned in, placing his lips on hers for only a moment before pulling only a few inches away to meet eyes again, his face flaring up to a bright crimson in embarrassment. ___________________________________________________ KIRU: There was a slight retraction when I leaned in. Zelrius probably was not comfortable, but that was not on my mind. I felt as though it was my job to make him feel safe. And as “motherly,” as that sounded, it was true; Zelrius was someone I watched after. Yet, he also watched over me this past year, so we were same in that mindset. It was a never ending cycle of overhead observation without communication that probably drove us apart and caused arguments like this. But like a coin, there were two sides; it’s what kept us close as well. That’s why I didn’t stop, even with the slight unnoticeable flinch. I closed my eyes for a moment, taking everything in and allowed the my sudden burst of affection to settle in. If he did nothing, I would not really be hurt necessarily; he was not the type of person to just express such feelings. However, if he did in fact decide to suddenly mix it up, I would be surprised. The last time I ever saw Zelrius do anything in regards to caring for someone was when he was with Manta last night. I could not see anything clearly but I saw enough to know that Manta obviously liked Zelrius. And by doing this, I was not exactly trying to Zelrius that I loved him. Don’t get me wrong, I did love Zel, however it was on a deeper level than just an SAO marriage or something. I did not know precisely what I was attempting to accomplish with my gesture; I guess something along the lines of calming or consoling could have been part of it. Certainly, in my mind, I was sure that somehow it gave him reassurance that I did not hate him. He needed the moment to go on, for his life to continue without having me as a roadblock. We stayed together; and Zelrius began to reply to my statement. It made me smile, only a just a little, that he was finally opening up a little to me, “It is impossible to enjoy every moment with another person. Take that time I fell from a chair while you watched, for example, that was not fun. Well, at least not for me. Anyways.” After a moment, Zelrius released. I did not want him to, I loved hugs. He placed his hands on my shoulders. I could have sworn his hands were shaking just a smidge; maybe he placed them there to stable himself. It didn’t matter to me, as long he was happy for now. Zelrius looked extremely nervous. Or was it happiness? It did not matter either, suddenly he began to lean in. My heart rate rose quickly. Was he actually? Too late. I felt his lips press against mine. Something washed over me. Was it guilt? Guilt that I was kissing Zelrius when Keith could possibly be alive still? That was not very probable, but it was in the back of my mind. Was it fear? Fear he would suddenly leave right after this? Or was it simply jitters? Zelrius was always solo, and for him to come this close to me was rare. Very rare. I decided in that moment to stop thinking so much, to enjoy the moment. Once again, too late, he pushed away from me. His face was bright red, but I could guess that mine was too. The corner of my lip raised, and I placed my hands gently behind his ears and leaned forward. I returned his kiss, not sure if it was the right thing. All I knew was that it’s what I wanted right now: Zelrius. I let go slowly and looking straight into his eyes with a very tiny smile. “I think I’ve done something for you now.” _____________________________________ ZELRIUS: In the moment he pulled away from his moment of passion, Zelrius hated himself again. He thought about Manta, the white haired woman who clearly had feelings for him, emotions the boy himself didn’t return, even though he so badly wanted to. The way she turned red when he had asked her out on a date, and they went up the way to the church; so willingly sticking close, constantly pressing against him, so willing and happy to have someone. For what reason? Zelrius himself could recall the nights drinking with Dom in which they’d throw shade at the low levels who placed too much emphasis on affection and companionship. Yet here he was, throwing an entire day away for a girl he couldn’t help feeling attached to. That moment seemed to hold over well with her, very surprisingly. The golden haired Commandant thought back to all the times he had the chance to do something like this, pull her aside and express his feelings, and was too afraid to; terrified of the implications of her saying no, worried for Azure and the implications of her leaving it had things become awkward in spite of that. And then he finally did it, just then, and while no response was given; she didn’t seem instantly repulsed. A good sign, I suppose was all he could muster in his mind in that second. He had another thought come to him, one that never saw fruition. His heartrate picked back up as he felt her hands on his head and watched as she leaned in once again, returning with a moment of passion of her own, the difference being; the boy felt the heat in his cheeks fade. He didn’t feel nearly as embarrassed when she returned the gesture, but more than anything, he felt guilty. Especially about how long this took. He returned the smile, his own being not as small, unable to control his happiness with the situation at hand. “You beat me to the punchline Princess.” The sadness of a few moments ago having completely vanished, replaced by the usual teasing he bantered her with, with a tad of something else tinted into his words. His hands idly rubbed up and down on her shoulders and then his smile dropped a bit, letts his arms fall and looking around, as if looking for someone or something. “Maybe I should turn my tracking back on to make sure no one is peeping on us.” He joked over his shoulder to her, still scanning the area. He was worried, that somehow, someone would stumble upon them, and he was irrationally worried that that person would be Manta. The horrors that would ensue. Yet, he also reasoned, that it wouldn’t matter. Who was she? Some Brigadier who was moderately cute, and now he had Kiru. Or did he? Now Zelrius was back to the infinite questioning, one he decided to cut short by spinning back around to face Kiru, swallowing nervously and leaning in to quickly give her a peck on the cheek, raising an eyebrow once their eyes met again, as if to ask a question.
  3. Hola so OBVIOUSLY the Azure Brigade Holiday Party did not happen partially because I got extremely caught up in a few things and yeah but I apologize, I kind of dropped the ball there lol. Anyways as you can see I am not very active on this site anymore, however I will try to be! Also happy holidays to everyone since I did not get the chance to say them at the appropriate time! <3 Kiru

    1. Mack


      *Hauls @Michiko off to a safe location*

    2. Azide


      I think Azure is sorta RIP. Happy late holidays though!

    3. Tristan Delaney

      Tristan Delaney

      Technically Zel officially disbanded it. Though I still live in its guild hall with the waifu.

  4. Hey everyone, SO I was thinking about maybe either starting the Azure Brigade Holiday Party either this weekend or the next, please let me know if you're coming. (count this as an "rsvp," lol)

    1. Baldur


      I will try to be there! Maybe we can get @Oikawa to poke his head out from retirement.

    2. Oikawa


      *raises brow* possibly :P

    3. Vargas


      Sounds. Cam get Vargas to interact with people and make more connections/relationships.

  5. Read!!!!!

    Okay, first of all, hello~

    - My Santa hat is finally relevant again after an entire year of keeping it as my user. (thanks zel.) 

    - Zelrius, so sorry I missed your birthday bud, I also missed mine on here lmao

    - I am extremely sorry to anyone that I haven't responded to over the past two months, I've started school again. (uh oh) 

    - Unfortunately I am not back on the site right now UNLESS I get some people (preferably the people I know, but all are welcome) are wanting to come to the Official Azure Brigade Holiday Party. Please let me know if you're interested in this event in it's third year!! 

    <3 Kiru 

    1. Show previous comments  6 more
    2. Hakai


      A tiny group with more power than you could possibly imagine.


    3. Kiru


      Thanks everyone! I just may do the third annual AB Holiday Party! ily all <3

    4. Kotori
  6. [PP-NK-F13] Shattered

    "Yes, well, I'd like to think it's because I'm pretty but we both know why I get into trouble. It's like I'm unintentionally calling anything and everything murderous to me; Death for some reason desires an audience with me I presume. But not you of course. If I see him I'll say hello for you though." I said, slightly gesturing my hair from my eyes, "But back to the common ground thing. I do not see a solution to this odious predicament I'm afraid. I will not let you kill her, but you will not let me die. The only possible way for this to go both our ways is for some elaborate plan. Opal said to come alone and to have nothing up my sleeve," I paused, with a smirk, "But when have I ever listened to anyone?" There was a certain feeling, like temerity, in me. I felt as if I needed to absolutely rebel against Oikawa and fight Opal one on one with no plan. However, this was not going to happen in a million years. The only choices I had were to lie, cheat, or make a plan. The last one seemed more respectable, not that Opal was. "We can further discuss our plans another time, or finish right now if you like, but all I know is that someone is going to get hurt, and I certainly would not like it to be one of my friends. I think that when Opal challenges me to the total loss duel, I should just accept it and try my best. Though you and I both know how that is going to go, I did provoke her," I smiled just a little and focused on his blonde tufts of hair, "Of course, that is unless you would like to do something to aid me in this fight. She has a green cursor, so there's not an option to attack her first, but what if I didn't need a challenge in order to strike? I'm sure there's some loophole to this, I just cannot think of it."
  7. Happy Birthday, Echo! You were one of the most active writers with me two years ago, so thank you!!

  8. It's Daeron!!! I miss youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!

    1. Kiru



  9. whoops I seem to have disappeared during a plot 

    1. Calrex


      All the plots! XD

    2. Ariel - The Crowned Lion

      Ariel - The Crowned Lion

      what kind of plot are we talking about?

    3. Calrex


      The gunpowder kind?

  10. Guys!! Please come and join Zandra's party!! 


    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. Kiru


      oh whoops @Jomei I guess Kiru's psychic  

    3. Helios


      does that mean i am too?

    4. Kiru


      I would assume so, @Helios

  11. [OP-F16-NK] Fall beach fest

    This was my first time to the sixteenth floor in Aincrad, I had not even known we made it this far. This went to show just how many boss battles I had sat out of during my leave. However, this did not stop me from admiring the scenery, everything was a shimmering utopia in my eyes. Other than Delilah Village on the third floor and the Fourth Floor, this would have probably claimed a spot in my favorite floors list. If there was one word to describe the floor it would be bountiful. It was like a volcanic island of the sorts floating in the ocean. My breath was taken back by this sudden surprise until I remembered the blonde ahead of me, I had not realized that I had stopped in my tracks to enjoy the view. Quickly, I began towards him and kept his pace, a tad embarrassed for letting go so easily. After all, anyone who knew me would know that I had been acting uncharacteristically spacey ever since Zelrius died. Though his death did not make me happy, it was more of a self defense mechanism, not letting anyone other than Oikawa and Opal know how truly devastated I was. Even with the young Zel in the back of my mind, I pressed forward and would force myself to be happy because I knew if he were here he would want me to be. Slowly, the image of Zelrius' blonde hair merged with Oikawa's and I was once again brought back to my knight, Oikawa. I nodded even if he could not see it. Once again, his bare hand touched mine. I was only slightly surprised with his action, but not too much. Ever since our run-in with Opal he had been with me. He only left my side a couple of times to go do personal things or quests that I could not participate in yet. It didn't bother me when he left, in fact it probably counted as a breather for the both of us since we were both too pent up to think of anything other than the promises that we would die to keep. Doing training for awhile possibly augmented them as well, so they had taken over both of our lives. Not only that but the sheer amount of time we were with each other most likely strengthen our bond even more, and perhaps elevated more than that. Even so, I gave a slight squeeze to hide hand to let him know I was paying at least a smidge of attention to anything he might say. This quickly changed however when we suddenly arrived at the party scene. I once again had not realized how out of it I was, especially today. The only people I recognized were Jomei, whom I could not recall where I knew him from, and Hikoru. I was pretty sure he was married to my self proclaimed sister, Ariel. The other three I had never seen before, or at least I didn't remember it at all. Instinctively, I looked at Oikawa's cursor, something I did with Keith whenever we went somewhere with other people. I was sure Oikawa must have felt a little compelled to explain his crystal but I figured he was too polite to leave me, the person he came with to justify himself. We walked over to a younger girl, who I presumed was Zandra, the host. From her looks I could tell that she was a higher level, which automatically meant respect. I smiled out of courtesy to Zandra and nodded my head slightly, "It's very nice to meet you, Zandra. I have never met a healer before and I can say, I am not disappointed, I hope you're on my team if I do the next boss battle. Oh and if you don't know already, a Maverick Hunter is someone who hunts down PKers, kind of like a hitman," I stated, attempting to alleviate any confusion, "Of course, I do pick and choose which ones stay alive." I gestured my hand to Oikawa and smiled a little. Surely she would wonder how my cursor was green, and if she did I might explain- but give the shortened version. After I exchanged pleasantries, I turned to look into the crimson pools. which were already staring at me. "We shall."
  12. Taking this quest reminded me of the times that weren't so grave. It reminded me of the times where I was killing a boar just to level, and not practically killing someone for the sole purpose of escape. I guess I never really noticed how drastically my goals changed until I was taken back to simpler times in which no thought was necessary. I couldn't exactly say I missed it, it was a smidge boring after all, but there was still the small part of me clinging on to the past. If I hadn't endured any of what I had, I wouldn't have met the few friends I had today, I wouldn't have gone on that quest with Calrex. It was hard to know what even triggered everything, maybe it was when I crashed a guild leader's meeting and was put in charge of a team in a boss raid. Possibly it could have been when I met Keith. Or even, could everything have fallen apart the moment I said hello to an orange player? There was no actual to all of these questions of course, but the simplicity of this quest had brought them on, and for that I was thankful. "Daggers are pretty easy if you know what you're doing, they suck if you aren't fast though. I don't see why no one uses them, they deal the same damage as a sword don't they? They aren't heavy and you don't have to swing them around. But I guess that's a flaw too. That's what makes dagger users rare I'm sure. I don't ever recall meeting another dagger user. Unless Mari was one? I can't really remember, I try to push the things I didn't like out of my memory you see. Quite dumb thing to do, but oh well," I sighed, stretching my arms behind my back and walking a little faster so I could keep up with Calrex. I was used to walking behind people, not because of importance or anything, it was just somewhat of a habit. Ever since Keith took me on missions or trouble came to us, I always checked behind us. However, I was with Calrex, one of the best swordsman I knew, so I felt completely comfortable with letting my guard down. As I walked beside him, I couldn't help but notice how calm he looked, how cautious he was being. It was a hard expression to explain, but he was definitely experienced. But even with that, he was a great navigator, something I was never good at. In what felt like minutes we were back at the gates of Urbus. I nodded back to him with a polite smile, "There is never an inappropriate time for hot chocolate, Calrex. Trust me on that," I said, following on his left until we reached a small line of outdoor seated areas. Bakeries and cafes. My eyes gleamed for a moment, I couldn't remember the last time I had just sat down without needing to go anywhere, "You choose, I am fine as long as they have the literal only thing needed to survive."
  13. There are so many birthdays today, so I wish you all a good one! (Davros will probably never read this, lol, but happy bday Hikoru and Manta.) 

    1. Manta Gaul

      Manta Gaul

      XD Davros is my main account. And thank you. ^~^

    2. Hikoru


      Thank you!!! ^-^

    3. Kiru


      What? @Manta Gaul Omg! I never knew that lol.


      Welc @Hikoru

  14. [PP-NK-F13] Shattered

    I shifted my weight to the right and crossed my arms over my chest, "As rude as this may sound, I don't care about your promise. I will stay on my selfish route and think of only my own promise. However," I sighed, Oikawa was right. The both of us were way too stubborn to simply let our promise go down the drain for the other. And though I didn't particularly agree with his offer, I couldn't say no. If I did, we would be back to square one again and I would probably do something twice as stupid as what I just did. "I see where you're coming from. I will not go into detail unless you want an explanation, but Zelrius did exactly what I just did for almost an entire year. I believe I told you some parts of it, but to be honest I really did not like it. Your promise and mine counteract with one another, but I think we can reach an agreement if we try. I am not sorry that I went off in the first place, I'm sorry that things went sour and I didn't tell you about it. That's one of my most redeeming traits, right? Running off and doing something stupid without telling anyone," I stifled a chuckle but once again returned to a more serious state. There were many obstacles to go over if we wanted even remotely agree on something. For example, the grounds. As in, in what way would he protect me, how far was he allowed to go before he had to stop? There was also me, how far could I go without interfering with his promise? The guilt of Keith and Zelrius was still in my stomach, but I chose to ignore it and push forward for now. I needed to get through this. I opened my eyes, not realizing I had closed them in the first place, "What about the total loss duel? She told me to come alone, and if you come with then I'm pretty sure that means I'm not alone,." I rambled, not meaning to. "The one thing I know for sure is that I need to attend or else something is going to happen. Whether it may be to you or me or someone else, I can't let that happen. IF you're really still on board with this, we need to figure out a way to settle this." I paused, Oikawa most likely did not want to hear these words, "If I battle with Opal I have a very slim chance of winning, you and I both know that. And it's not like she is going to give me months to prepare. So most likely, if a duel breaks out, I will die," I steadied my stare, but kind of focused on his hair more than his face, I couldn't look him in the eye while basically stating I was going to die, "But that makes your promise invalid doesn't it? So, the question is, how do I win against Opal?"
  15. [PP-NK-F13] Shattered

    The situation I was in required thoughtful planning, and doing so right now would not do much good. In all honesty, I was exhausted from the past two days. Every since my meeting with Oikawa I had been in and out of the guild hall, setting everything up and accounting for anything that could have gone wrong. I had spare weapons, potions, and even a mass PM to send if Opal suddenly were to make a move. Everything had been calculated to the minute exactly, Eleven. Since then maybe a couple hours had passed; it was all the same dark color outside to me. The result of all my work had been ripped to shreds. Yes, I got Opal here to talk, but she left knowing a few things and placing death upon me. She had the upper hand in this situation from the moment she stepped in the door, and I was a fool to think otherwise. Thinking of the time, I looked over to the spots on the floor where the light of the moon spilled inside. It crept through the entire hall from the door and up a few steps, almost illuminating the walk to my bedroom where I could sleep this away and hope tomorrow was the actual day. I could dream that Opal came and I was the one pulling the strings. I could think of what it would be like to have an entire Azure Brigade behind me on the matter. That thought left as quick as it came as I peered through the window above the giant door to the Guild Hall. Finally, I close my eyes for a second and returned to my conversation with Oikawa. Guilt was practically scratching from the inside out. Why did he insist on protecting me when he knew full and well what would happen? Why did he stay when he had a high chance of dying if he stayed by my side? Of course I could take a guess at the answers to those questions, but deep down it all felt wrong. Why did he have such a deep affection for me? Did he merely feel culpable for everything that's happened since the Festival? It all came back to me. He was in this because of me, and it hurt to know that the fault was on me. Suddenly something broke my train of thought. Specifically, Oikawa poked the middle of my forehead, then guided his hand to brush my hair back gently. My feelings from two nights ago suddenly broke through again, forcing a small smile upon my lips as he stared at me. Quickly however, I retracted the smile before he removed his hand from my face. I couldn't keep this up. Oikawa was making it very difficult, but I couldn't keep pulling him closer and closer. Because one day, I knew that something would happen. Whether it be to him or me, it would hurt it I continued on with the blonde. "I remember my promise to you, and I intend to keep it. However, I cannot keep it if you are in any way involved in this with me," I said carefully, knowing he was probably just going to reject my statement. And for a moment, I let something more slip. "I don't want to lose you."