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Kiru

[PP-NK-F13] Shattered

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It was late, too late for me to still be awake, but did it really matter? I never really got into the routine of sleeping at a specific time at night, or even at all. Mostly I slept when I was tired or when I was simply too exhausted to continue doing anything. For example, falling asleep while keeping watch and guarding Keith from Player Killers or falling asleep at a fancy restaurant with Tristan. Now that I thought about it, I couldn't remember the last time I slept. I mean, there was no way I could with everything I had to plan. I needed to end things, but carefully and without any casualties other than myself and the person I was going after. And it just so happened that I was after was the leader of Laughing Coffin, the biggest and most well known guild in this game other than Azure. 

The woman I had asked to meet with me went by the name of Opal. There wasn't really much on her other than the fact that she was the player that had killed Ssendom, a dear friend of mine. Of course my speculations as well that she drugged Oikawa into pushing his emotions that he worked so hard to keep composed, to overflow. There was a very persistent gut feeling that it was Opal who did something to affect the deaths because out of everyone that showed up that day, she was the only name I didn't recognize. After further questioning with Oikawa and days later I settled on Opal, messaging her with the hopes that she would be so kind as to share my company.

Spoiler

"Opal. 

Please accept this invite to the Azure Brigade Hall at Eleven tonight; that way you can take care of your business before meeting me. 

At this point you may be wondering why, why you should meet me? Well, there's simply one answer for that isn't there? It could be the fact that you've mindlessly given another player a potion with an intent to kill, that you killed a good friend of mine, maybe it's your poor fashion choices? Perhaps I want to formally introduce you to my dagger? Or it could be the fact that I would like a harmless chat with you.

I'll see you at Eleven, 

Kiru <3"

I opened the curtain in my bedroom slightly to see outside but the sky was as dark as it was throughout the day. After all, this was the Thirteenth Floor. It was roughly ten minutes until the specified time I wrote in the message sent to Opal but I wasn't worried that she wouldn't come. If anything she would be here on the dot. I shut the curtain, closing off light to the outside and crept out into the hallway, making my way down the stairs until I stood at the end of the staircase. To the left of me there was a full length mirror, on the right there was another one as well. I wasn't wearing anything too fancy, I wasn't even wearing anything combat related. I took a deep breath and leaned against the wall, awaiting the Player Killer to walk straight through that door.

Edited by Kiru

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As Opal reached for the inn of the door she was buzzed with a message. Opal stood there, allowing the white hair to fall into her face as she shifted from her position and stood up breathing slowly. Her violet eyes blinked casually and she brought her hand up as she moved out of the way of other players. She was currently in Urbus, she was used to sleeping on this floor due to its high rate of Orange gone Green players, they felt safe in their own numbers and Opal naturally slept in the same Inns as they did. She would stay with her Leader, Sensui, but she had not heard from him in awhile and they only messaged one another when it came strictly to business. 

As Opal leaned against the Inn walls on the outside, a cigarette dangled from her black lips. She read the contents of the message, her eyes scanning every word. She did not recognize the name of the player but it was requested rather polity in the message to meet this person. Her dark eyes sank, she was tired and in much of needed rest. But apparently this was some sort of Vendetta written message. Despite the words written in, Opal did not feel threatened by them, even the mock emoji heart at the end made her smirk. 

"I suppose..." she said to herself. Taking in the last full drag of her cigarette, the woman pinched the stick in her fingers and flicked it away from her body. Tilting her head upwards, she exhaled the orange smoke from her mouth and blew outwards allowing the sweet toxin to curve her appetite for it. Settling in her normal gear, the woman walked towards the portal and left for the destination. 

--

A pale blue light ejected the feminine creature, Opal from the portal. Her feet gliding along the rocks of floor thirteen as she made her way towards the Azure Brigade Hall. She had thought the guild was dismantled from the rumors she heard about, but apparently this Kiru was still amongst them. What a thorn in her side, although her plan was not perfect, she would tie up loose ends tonight if possible. 

Smelling of oranges, the Laughing Coffin member briskly walked towards the massive ornate doors of the stronghold. The pale blue moonlight was like a picturesque foreshadow of what might happen within the walls. Opal's black lips curled into a smile as she pulled on those doors as they slowly creaked open. No light from within crept out, making her believe she might be ambushed by someone. Her violet eyes scanned the entrance, "[censored]. Should have invested some points into Night Vision." the woman moaned to herself. The orange citrus smell seemed to continue to stick to her like a small aura of aroma, a slightly burning smoky scent accompanied it as she continued to move through the halls of the once proud Azure Hall. Her eyes moved left and right until she stood in the middle of a massive foyer. 

"Alright, you wanted me? You got me. If you waste my time though I will have you down on your knees begging for forgiveness." The woman gave her command and threat in the same line of words. She did not see the figure that was Kiru leaning on the wall, but she did notice the pale tricklets of moonlight cascading through the large windows of the Manor. 

 

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My eyes snapped open and a smirked played upon my lips as I heard the doors to the Azure Brigade open. From the faint light outlining the edge of the doorway I could make out a figure. Though I could not see the exact features of the player I knew right away that it was Opal. Mostly because I told her to meet me here, but also because of the aura that came from her- it was powerful yet calm. I heard the young woman mutter words under her breath, which made my smirk even bigger at the point. Even though, like Opal, I hadn't invested in Night Vision, I had spent more than two seconds in the dark room, so I would make at least objects out without needing such a thing. Besides, the skill was pointless to me anyways. 

I allowed for a few moments of silence, mostly to make things smidge more dramatic and keep her on edge, before I pushed myself off of the wall and walked forward a few steps. "I was contemplating whether or not to use something to mask my appearance or give me a stat boost but I felt like it would be necessary. You know, I also thought that just seeing your face would give me intent to end you but surprisingly I am calm. I mean, this could be just because I haven't seen your face yet but either way. You're comforting, but in a scary way. You remind of someone I was once very close to, almost too close to. Like you, she was a PK and she did it for fun. Opal, you're scary as a thought, but in person you're nothing more than a regular player to me," I took another step forward and stood directly into the spot where moon spilled onto the floor, "at least not yet. I haven't heard your story yet."  

There was a certain smell that made it's way to my nose now. With every breath it grew stronger. At first, I thought it was a gas of some sort, to paralyze me for an easy kill, until I realized that didn't smell that bad. It smelled of oranges and was coming from Opal. I crinkled my nose at the smell and continued. "I'll get straight to the point: you gave Oikawa a potion directly before the boss fight, correct? If you did then we're going to have a slight dilemma. If not then, we'll see because I am like two-hundred percent sure you're the only one that could have done this." 

Edited by Kiru

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Opal twisted her head at the sound of a voice. It came above her near the stairwell. Her eyes were fixed on the location and the traveling voice, she heard the words but her black lips gave a half smile as the words came out, "Your information is interesting. But I am not a Player Killer," the woman pointed to the green crystal floating above her head, "I killed a player that was Orange, the system justified my kill which means I did nothing wrong. Instead, I did everyone a favor and removed a possible threat." She laughed, while it was true the system justified her kill, it was not her reason behind the committed crime. 

She sighed as she stepped forward, allowing her face to be seen for Kiru so she could get the exact features of the woman, "Now it seems we have seen each other for who we are physically. But you are just a little girl." The woman spoke in a sense that Kiru looked younger than herself, Opal being the more mature and adult woman of the two. She smiled none the less, walking around Kiru as if studying her words and her body, giving her a look up and down as she continued to speak.

"Player killing can be fun, I wouldn't know though. I only killed one person so far, was it fun? Perhaps. More so like a necessity, it's simple. The weak will die and give way to the strong. That's a fact of life. The smaller fish are eaten by the bigger fish, yada yada." Opal said, continuing to circle around Kiru as she spoke answering the questions and comments that were fired off by the white 'n black haired girl.

There was a comment about Opal being scarey, was this woman afraid of her already? She softly laughed to herself from the comment, once more stopping in front of Kiru, her arms folding over her busty chest as she examined the girl, "Yes, I gave Oikawa a potion. But that proves nothing now does it? I gave out many potions out in the past, I am an Alchemist after all. I did not force him to drink it either, that was his own undoing. I simply told him what it would do to him and he drank it without hesitation before I could actually explain the full effects of it." Opal shrugged her shoulders and brought herself closer to Kiru, her chest inches away from the young woman standing there. Opal leaned in, the orange and mix of ash seemed stronger the closer she would get to the bi-colored hair woman, "But between you and me...There was nothing in that potion that made Oikawa do what he did. He needed to have the desire to do what he wanted to do before the effects of it would actually take hold. If he was able to stay calm, the effects would not have worked. So...Oikawa killing the little child...was all on him." 

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"But of course you aren't technically a PK, I mean, then that means neither am I. You are still a PK even if you do not hold an orange mark above your head, Opal." I proceeded to point to the green crystal that bounced over my head as my smirk faded. I had to play my cards correctly with this woman or else things would not turn out alright for me, "Even though my crystal has not been stained it doesn't mean that there was not a crime. I'm surprised you don't know who I am, who I was. Sad." I could hear myself scoffing slightly, but feeling just a little relieved. Anyone who had an issue with me somehow knew literally everything about me, Opal didn't- or at least she didn't express it. It was not like I was some hot shot with a bounty on my head or anything, but from the moment I began to hang out with Keith and Zelrius I had become a target of the sorts. That was also one of the reasons why I chose to become a Maverick Hunter, to protect myself and call people forth. Mostly everyone I've faced was dangerous and knew something that could change the outcome of the situation, by using anything against me. And with this time around there was no one that she could threaten even if she knew about me. Zelrius was dead, Dom and Daeron were too, Keith is MIA and basically everyone else has moved on to different things. The last person was Oikawa, and even then- I hated to say it but- even then, her threatening Oikawa wouldn't anger me all that much as I was still in the process of forgiving him. Of course if she was serious about doing anything I would jump in. Even though I wasn't on the best terms with the blonde I would still jump in front of a bullet for him. Which brought me to my next point.

"A threat you say? That's interesting because I can't quite recall a time when Dom was ever violent," I flipped the white half of my hair back behind my shoulder and crossed my arms over my chest, "Ssendom was never a threat, you just didn't want a power struggle over him." At this point, Opal has stalked closer to me. I could make out some of her face and of course her body. That's when it hit me, I saw her at the Knight of Blood party. "You saw Dom carry me from the pool back here. He was caring and kind. So don't tell me that's the real reason you killed him because that's not the correct response, Opal." 

The taller woman began to circle around me, as if she was studying my body, trying to find something. The only thing I could think of was my weapon, but that was concealed behind my hair. I tightened my grip around my arms and shifted my weight onto one foot. I decided to bite my tongue at her comment and continue to listen and watch. I didn't know if she was armed. "Of course you wouldn't know, because you didn't just kill someone," I stated sarcastically growing just a little impatient with this girl. She sounded like Zelrius, or at least her words did, but she meant them in a different way. It was hard to explain but there was a specific tone to Opal's voice that ticked me off.

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as she stepped closer and closer. I knew it was to intimidate me. To counter, I  stood on my toes and leaned up to her ear. "It proves everything I need," Once I was on the balls of my feet I let myself lean back on my heels before returning to a normal standing position. I exhaled slowly, keeping calm even if just for a little while. "He may have had the desire, but you gave him the will to do it. You knew, didn't you?" I could hear my voice growing more tense with every syllable, "I guess we're gonna have a problem." 

Edited by Kiru

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"Of course I did, Little Girl. It was my potion after all." Opal laughed, she wondered how hard it would be to pull the strings of this little doll in front of her. Already she was blustered, her tone of voice changing from it once was before. Opal on the other hand did not feel threatened, "A problem? Yes, I suppose this does cause a bit of a conundrum does it not? Well, at least for you. Now then Little Girl,  you mentioned something about being surprised not knowing who you are. I must be honest with you, in fact, I have no idea who you are. I didn't even think you were part of the guild. No one talks about you, no one calls you by name from those who I have spoken to. When Azure Brigade comes up, the only names that come to mind are the Pip Squeak, The Broken Berserker and the Fire Crotch, minus those who actually left that sorry excuse for a guild and joined the more Prestigious Knights of the Blood Oaths, which I helped create and make a power house Guild. For all the silly trinkets your so called guild collected, the Knights would have ripped you all apart quite easily. But I am getting away from the point of all of this..." Opal chuckled and she brought her hands to her back and looked down on Kiru, "The question is...Who is this little girl standing in front of me? The answer? No one important, or no one that deems worth. You are just another child caught up in the Politics of this world like the rest of us."

Opal leaned on one of her slender legs, arms bound over her chest as her violet eyes scanned the woman and showed a curious grin, "So, you are nothing special. You are nothing, Little Girl. Just a child, like that Pipsqueak was. You are never gonna make a solid mark on this world, you will be nothing more than a little Freak carrying the garbage name of a now forgotten guild, just waiting to be cast into the shadows of oblivion. Myself? I will be forgotten, sure, legends are born and then they die."

The member of the Laughing Coffin Guild took a step back, the moonlight parading around the room as it echoed its ghostly beams into the shambled place of the Azure Hall, "You have the information you wanted. Unless there is something else you wanted from me, I believe we are through talking to one another. At the current moment, you are not even a threat. You are just a pile of [censored] that I so happen to have stepped on while removing this...Gutter Trash...from the face of Aincrad." The woman gestured the Azure Hall with her hands as she spoke of it being trash and that Kiru was not even a threat. All the while, Opal's plan was to make her explode and do something stupid. She mused with the idea of having this girl break under her, shatter her heart and all that she loved and held to heart. If by chance that would fail, then there would be other times, apparently those who have died were important to her. Opal smiled, her black lips curling as she turned around to face the exit, but before she did, she would place one more nail in the coffin, "I wonder...What else in the future I could rip from your arms...That would bring me great pleasure. Hahahahaha!" 

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[ OOC: Let's see what I can do after literal months of not writing. ] 

My feet returned from my tip-toed position, to a normal, defensive, stance all the while Opal taunted me. 

"She's messing with you, she's just messing with you, it's not worth it," I thought, attempting to keep my calm even after her poisonous words. It seemed like everyone was good at dealing venom these days, and they certainly were not just the alchemists. This girl was good at mind games and definitely was like Mari, except Opal didn't regret what she did, or at least it really seemed like she did not. There were certain similarities between the two of them: both dealt dangerous potions, killed people, and treated me like some toy to just bash as if there were more of me. However, there were differences to them as well. Opal had a drive for power, Mari simply wanted vengeance. Mari kept herself secluded and was ashamed of herself, Opal was loud, proud, and obviously not ashamed of murdering other players- my friend. It was her plan that took to lives. Sure, they were not innocent ones, but they were the best ones to me. Dom and Zelrius were really close to me, while Zel and I...well, more than friends. He and I had a bond, stronger than any other person before Keith. But I think that because of Keith, Zel and I were able to grow so close. It was only just a few days ago, but I finally realized that Zelrius had always watched over me, even before my blue haired best friend and (almost,) fiance. For Opal to just barge in and destroy that friendship, that love, was absolutely unforgivable. 

I gathered my thoughts for a second before looking up at the taller female. "Again, this is an issue. You may be thinking that this is merely my problem, however it is yours as well, seeing as though I'm your problem now. You gave Oikawa an addictive potion, and intentionally made him a murderer. Yes, he is at fault for not thinking. Yes, it's my fault too for reasons I will not share. But mostly, it's the root's issue: you," I stated, looking her directly in the eye. " And there are quite a few reasons as to why you've never heard of me. First: I have not been outside this Guild Hall we stand in for three months, possibly even more. Second: that blonde? You know, Zelrius? Yeah, he did not speak of me because he thought I required protection from people like you. The others in the guild did not talk simply because Zelrius distanced himself from them, and me being an extension of Zelrius, I was never talked about. At least, not among Non-Pkers at the time. And Third: You are new, not to the game of course. But to the front lines, to the killings, so you have no idea who I am. All of the Player Killers know who I am, because some time ago, my partner and I were the ones running around making them all disappear. The Front Liners know who I am because I lead boss fights, got last kills bonuses, and was part of Azure. You're pretty dense if you cannot even remember something so crucial about your enemy. I mean who knows? Maybe I've taken the Redemption quest and I'm actually cold blooded Maverick here to kill you?" At this moment, ever part of me was telling me to stop threatening, stop provoking, and making almost lies about myself, but I didn't listen. I knew there was no going back now, "Zelrius and I first met when I was at least twenty levels above him, and he even expressed later how he was surprised that I was in fact, not a Maverick. Keith, from the moment I pointed my weapon towards him, was confused as to why I remained green. I will not express what I did in the first months of the game, because to be honest you would probably laugh. But moving along, you really should not underestimate the person in front of you. Kiru." 

Everything in my fictional body felt like it was pulsing, blood was rushing to my head, and everything became more intense. This was definitely not the most intense situation I've been in, however it was pretty high up there. There was too much pressure in the situation at hard, especially with my boasting and the leader of the Laughing Coffin guild looking down upon me like I was nothing. 

Opal's words were getting to me, and I was sure that I was showing signs of desperation or despair. I swallowed hard and cracked one of knuckles out of nervousness, "That pipsqueak, just happens to have let marks all over Aincrad. And though most of them may not be positive, he has left marks all over my heart. He's engraved more than you ever will. Even if you continue to kill and kill and kill countless, the Hero of Aincrad will not be forgotten because a legend, (kiru air quotes), like yourself may die, very soon, but a hero never will. I may die here. I may not ever achieve greatness or ever gain recognition again, but at least I will leave knowing that someone who deserved it did. Zelrius was the only thing left of me in Aincrad. Unless the impossibility of Keith is still here- which I highly doubt, there is nothing left. Just you try and break this Little Girl. Please, try and do it- it would be fun to watch what you could conjure out of nothing," I said, holding back anything and everything. The desire to rip her apart, to cry, to run and hide, and to protect the few things I had left. She did not know of this one thing left, because she was way too thick in the head to even think of it. 

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Opal's gaze lye on the newbie as she talked, and talked...and talked...and talked even some more. Rolling her eyes, the female knew this was the best time as any for she now had a chance to speak, "Listen you little Bitch. This is coming straight from me to you. I will have your head and your heart one day. If you wanna make this into something, you best find yourself a sword and talk to me in battle. I issue a challenge to you, a full loss duel. I had to listen to your insistent babbling and now you pushed and I am going to shove. You have some days to prepare for this battle. If you do not show I will take your name and obscure it into the dirt and everyone who knows you will fall in line as well. I am tired of you children who think you can play with adults because of your past and your history. I did this, I did that. You are a nothing now and you will be a nothing tomorrow. I will make damn sure of that." 

Opal took a moment to look over the dual colored hair of this little whiny girl, "Feelings get you nowhere in this world. Because they are so easily ripped from people. Now, I will rip and take everything from you. Your name, your heart and your friends. You got guts, now lets see you back up that claim as the Infamous Player Killer you are so proud to shove in my face." 

The woman lifted her hand to say goodbye as she kicked at the dirt and rubble around her, "I'll PM when you I have set a date for our battle. Come alone and come prepared." she said throwing her voice behind her. Left behind was the laughing of the Coffin member. She will enjoy killing that one. 

OOC: Challenge issued, I'll PM you a date. A no call, no show will result in dire consequences. Opal leaves thread, you may have Oikawa enter and do as you wish here. 

Edited by Opal
yes this is for real.

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 The woman's profanity shocked me, and I was sure she could see it on my face. It was not as if I had never heard anyone swear. I swore in my head, mostly at Zelrius, but no one even has directed something so vile towards me and meant it. For a moment, I recovered from the verbal blow but I was so lost at this point that most of the vicious words spilled towards me lost their meaning, only their tone was kept. 

I could feel my hand instinctively reach behind my back, ready to strike if Opal decided to end everything right now. But then something else happened.Probably one of the last things I excepted to happen, occurred. The tall, purple haired woman, issued a duel to me, a total loss duel. Suddenly I felt sick. Of course there was absolutely no way I would bail, as she had just claimed to soil my named and anything left of me. I was not worried about her coming to kill me, I was more worried about the few people that would get caught in the line of fire. In my head, I went over a few names and knew that some of them she would never know, but there were at least three that were more obvious to even someone like her. I could not let her just walk over those people, and who's to say that she wouldn't just kill them after she had (obviously) beat me in a duel? I would be dead and no help to them. I felt my mouth twitch as she began to finish her thought.

The words, "Player Killer," ran through my brain. Even if my crystal did not show it, I was technically one. And it had just dawned on me that one of us was going to die. If I killed her I would have more blood on my hands and possibly even more fear than I already had. There was an upside to this however, kill the LC leader meant killing the guild. Then again, if she killed me she would have free reign on anyone I've ever made contact with, and with no way to warn them, it felt hopeless. Then came the anger. I felt my hand grip the handle of the dagger tighter, and with a sudden rush of adrenaline I pulled it from behind.

Opal was nearly out the door but there was still time, I could end this right here, right now. I flipped it once and began forward, full intent to kill before she had the time to do any more damage to my life. 

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A golden head rested upon laced fingers as crimson orbs absorbed the scene below. He had missed most of the conversation between the two, but the faces and demeanor of the two conveyed everything. Silence shrouded him as he continued to watch on; his ears perking up and catching comments here and there.

"I wonder...What else in the future I could rip from your arms...That would bring me great pleasure. Hahahahaha!" 

Surely she doesn't think she can kill all of those of us who still value Kiru as a friend? Ce... His mind reeled at the thought. His mouth begged to be let free, his sword even more so as they continued.

"Zelrius was the only thing left of me in Aincrad. Unless the impossibility of Keith is still here- which I highly doubt, there is nothing left. Just you try and break this Little Girl. Please, try and do it- it would be fun to watch what you could conjure out of nothing,"

"...there is nothing left", echoed within in his mind several times over. His heart aching all the same.

That hurts, thought the blonde. He had poured out his soul and pledged his unyielding allegiance and he still didn't scratch the surface it seemed. Zelrius and Keith will always be at the forefront of her heart it seems. Dismissing the thoughts, he continued to observe.

"Now, I will rip and take everything from you. Your name, your heart and your friends. You got guts, now lets see you back up that claim as the Infamous Player Killer you are so proud to shove in my face."

What started as discouraging feelings quickly flipped to anger however. Teeth clenched and his grip tightened, as he physically forced himself to sit instead of leaping down from his perch and splitting Opal in half. His fingers now twitched, itching to rip the malice from her digital soul and using her pixelated dust as confetti in celebration. He seethed, quietly calming himself only to get riled up once more as Opal walked away and Kiru charged after.

That was his cue.

With speed unbeknownst to himself, the blonde landed between Kiru and the opening Opal had just exited. A slight cough sounded from him, as he looked down at the dagger implanted in his armor. The pain was minimal and the damage even less so, but he had accomplished his goal. Though this was not the outcome he had intended. Grasping Kiru's hand he inched the blade from his chest and chuckled.

"Well hello m'lady..." 

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(OOC: If you read the PM and say otherwise, let me know so I an rewrite this thank) 

She was almost out of the door by the time I got within distance of her, focus directly placed upon my target: Opal. Something switched inside me, to tick me off, to make me so intent with finishing her off right now. Opal would recieve no mercy for staining Oikawa's hands and killing Dom and Zelrius. It was all too much to be forgiven, too personal to let go, and too much of a narcissist to let her have her way. So, with all my pent up emotions towards her, I pulled the small knife behind me and pushed it forward, only a few feet from her now. 

In such a blind rage I didn't even see the white figure from above. It was only known to me when my movement suddenly halted, armor stood before me. My mouth twitched with even more anger at whatever, whoever, stopped me lost me possibly my only chance to get the jump on Opal. However, this anger went out quicker than it came as my eyes trailed from the hand slowly retracting the blade, up the chest plate, then to the face. It was Oikawa. My rage was replaced my shock and guilt. My mouth hung open in surprise as I stared into crimson pools. "Oikawa?" I asked, but it came out strained as if I forgot how to speak or was in dire need of water. I dropped my dagger and wrapped my arms around his neck, standing on my tip toes. "Are you okay? I'm so sorry, I...I just.." I let myself trail off, not sure how to explain myself. I had not only lied to him about when I was going to meet Opal, but what would happen after our meeting. I was not even supposed to contact her for a couple more months and now I had practically an entire murder guild on my trail if I didn't show to Opal's little duel. And now if Opal saw Oikawa she would know.

If she saw him. 

I pushed away from him, my eyes widening at the blonde, "did she see you, Oikawa? Please tell me she didn't...she's going to-" I whispered the last part, eyes tracing for anything on his face. "It's the end if she saw him. She's going to kill him if she saw." 

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Crimson eyes relaxed as Kiru questioned whether it was really him. Her ice blue eyes settled into his own, as muffled questions rolled off her lips; losing their sound as she trailed off in embrace. His arms slowly lifted and returned the hug, his words just as equally stifled as he tried to answer back.

"In the flesh love and stop apologizing, I'm fi-," he stammered as the two-tone haired girl suddenly pushed away from him. Puzzled accurately described the look upon his face as his gaze met hers once more. The next few moments didn't help, as she questioned whether or not if Opal saw him. His mind reeled for a moment, trying to piece together why that would matter and then it clicked.

His expression quickly softened and he closed the gap between them once more. His hand reaching for hers as he answered her questions and the concern that seemed to painted against her features.

"I highly doubt she saw me, but even if she had, worry not. While she may be a force to be reckoned with, she can't kill me one on one. Furthermore, I made a promise to protect you and I can't do that if I die now can I?" The question itself was indeed rhetorical, but he needed to get his point across. He wasn't afraid of Opal and he planned to protect Kiru no matter what.

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My eyes met with his, wild with anticipation of his answer. One of the main reasons I kept Oikawa in the dark about this was for his safety. Not only that, but for his own sake. For example, if Opal intended to remove me right then and there while Oikawa was with me it would not have ended well. I would imagine that Opal could have screwed with his head some more, or even worse, lead him to the point of wanting to kill her. If that happened it would have gone one of a few ways: Opal kills he and I both, leaving satisfied. Or possibly Opal killing one of us, leaving the other to go and kill her. And maybe even if Oikawa got to the point of murder, I would have stopped it exactly like I stopped Zelrius, I would have tried to kill her before he could do anything he would regret. Even if there was a one hundred percent chance that this situation would have ended well for myself I might have still had setbacks to keep him away. I did not like dragging other players into my affairs, especially dangerous ones such as these, but the damage had been done; only time could tell what the consequences of my ignorance were. 

For a moment, I felt Oikawa reach for my hand as he stepped closer in reassurance. Before I realized it, my eyes slid towards his hand and stared for a moment. There was no glove outlining his fingers. It was strange to see Oikawa, self proclaimed "Knight of Kiru," without them. I had wondered about the matter for a second or two before slowly returning my attention to him, hoping his response to my questions were negative.  

I let out a small breath of relief when Oikawa stated she did not see him. "That's good to hear, I was afraid if she even had a glimpse of you that...that, you know," I said, hoping that Oikawa would pick up what I was trying to say without me having to actually explain why I was so worried. It would be a pain to go too far in depth, and honestly after puffing up my ego to Opal, I did not have the strength to do much. 

"I believe you would be a good swordsman, Keith taught you did he not?" I smirked slightly, tightening my hand a little, "And no, I supposed you cannot protect me if you are just pixels floating through Aincrad," I looked at our hands for a moment, "But you don't have to you know? I know you said you would be my Knight until the end, but you also said you would not march into death with me. And to me, this looks like death. If she did not see you then you have no part in this until she finds a reason for you to be. If I don't show up to this total loss match, she will definitely find your ties to me, and I don't want that. You may be able to take her but, I don't want you to kill anyone else- you shouldn't have to," I paused, attempting to regroup my thoughts. Everything was jumbled and I didn't quite know what I was trying to say. My point was not getting across very well and it was frustrating. 

"Unless there you think of a plan that does not involve you killing Opal, me not going, or dismissing this situation, then I'm all ears. Other than that, I do not think I see a light at the end of this tunnel." 

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His grip slightly tightened. She once more hinted at her fear of what Opal could do if he realized the connection they shared. Kiru's fear was well warranted and Oikawa reasoned that in her mind, there was no correct outcome to the scenario that could unfold from it. Knowing the girl all to well, he could easily imagine the thoughts coursing through her mind as she pondered over the outcomes that could ensue. He imagined that for her, death, no matter whom caused it, would be the last thing she wanted unless it was on her terms. Oikawa's hands were stained, whether intended or not, and Kiru's were too seemingly, but her crystal betrayed that thought, where as his invited the topic. He knew had Opal seen them and decided to act, he undoubtedly had one option. An option he didn't wish to exercise, but would be necessary to protect her.

However all these thoughts came to a halt. Questions ringing out from Kiru as his gaze returned to her. "Silly Queen, I know I'm free to do as please, yet here I am. By your side once more. Once again keeping you from doing something foolish." Raising his index finger, he poked the middle of her forehead before brushing back her hair and staring in awe. Of course she was still nothing short of gorgeous; his grin lamenting the thought as he cleared his throat and withdrew his hand.

"I've already told you that I recanted that statement. My involvement in this affair has been solidified whether you intended it to be or not. I don't wish to take another life, no matter how vile that life may be. While I don't currently have an alternative to your duel, I will not allow you to die. And my resolve is brighter than any dark tunnel you may think you're in." 

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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 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."  

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A smile flickered. A small one, but one nonetheless. The blonde could only cherish it for a few seconds before it was retracted and replaced with a serious expression. One he knew was part of the many walls the icy woman cycled through. His gaze followed hers while she explained her issue with his presence. He knew that she had no problem with him being there, but rather him being there while in the situation she was in is what truly bothered her. Though her last words took him by surprise. He resisted the urge to place a finger to her lips and tell her to stop. Her mind seemed intent on bringing up the worst possible outcome for the issue at hand and furthermore with both their promises there wasn't a physical way for them to both achieve their goal without being near each other At least on his end.

He chuckled internally. The thought of Kiru lecturing him about keeping promises subsequently brightened his day, despite the context of the promise being as grave as it was. He only shook his head and sighed. He couldn't let Kiru do this alone no matter how much she pleaded. His lips parted, reminding her of his end of the deal too. "How can I keep mine when you go off to do things like this hmm? I intend to keep my promise just the same and and just as you said it isn't my job to protect you, I could easily and more convincingly say the same. You are the last person I want to lose, and with that reckless attempt, I'm more inclined to stick around." He hadn't wanted this to be a lecture in the least. His mind swelled with thoughts of what could've happened. What if Opal had killed her, then she couldn't even keep her promise and Oikawa would've broken his as well.

Another breather escaped. He looked down into the icy orbs that cast judgement over him and let his mind settle on how to word his request. "We are both stubborn. That much is evident so meet me halfway on this. We confront Opal together. No more lying and sneaking off and I don't have to play ninja to keep you safe If we can agree to disagree on this, my mind will be at ease, and despite you not wanting her to know or connection, it wouldn't take long before she found out on her own anyhow. So rather than nip it in the bud and hide it, lets use it to our advantage."

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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 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?" 

Edited by Kiru

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"You always did have a certain charm for being the damsel in distress love," agreed the blonde as he to muffled a laugh. "But that said, we agree that neither one of us are backing down from our promise and as such finding a common ground would probably be best." As much as he hated to admit it, even the The Faint couldn't be everywhere at once. His promise could only be kept if he knew her whereabouts at all times, and even with the friend tracker, keeping her safe across the eighteen some odd floors at all times would prove to be impossible, no matter his resolve. Reserving a sigh, Oikawa glanced at the girl. His eyes searching for a proposal that could work for them both. One that would allow them to keep their promises while still maintaining the appearance that they were not in the slightest fighting for each other.

His sigh deepened. He found no such answer, at least for the moment. His gaze shifted as the tone in Kiru's voice took another tone. Her concern fell around the parameters of her eventual duel with Opal. As much as he wanted to say, 'I'll handle it', he knew her pride and promise wouldn't allow her to so easily hand the fight to him. No he mused that if nothing else, he would have to insert himself in the fight. Forcefully making his presence known and dealing with Opal then and there. His thoughts were fleeting though. He knew full loss meant exactly that. And if push came to shove, he would have to carry out the act if Opal wouldn't stand down. His mouth opened, no words came out. He sighed once more, closing his eyes before opening them once more and carrying on.

"First and foremost, you will not die. If I have to intervene, to prevent that so be it, and I will not let you stop me. If your life is on the line, no matter what, I'm coming for you. So that's my bottom line. Everything else is fair play." Looking down, he continued. "I don't have a plan for you to beat Opal. You've simply been away far too long. I can only suggest we grind. we grind and grind until your arm does sword arts with spoons while eating breakfast. Until then however, I need you to refrain from picking fights. Otherwise I will enforce my will as your knight and do what needs to be done to whomever opposes."

A deep breath expelled from him, his brain juggling everything he felt and thought.

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"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." 

Edited by Kiru
meow Kiru is lazy

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Crimson eyes glossed over her frost blue gaze as she unraveled her yarn of ideas on what to do about their situation. Part of him wanted to just grab her, take her hand in his own, and protect her with everything he had. The other part of him knew what is was like to have pride. The unyielding feeling to take task head on regardless of the known outcome become you know you wouldn't forgive yourself otherwise.

"Hmm," he murmured. "I suppose we call it a day for now and revisit the subject when we're both not running on emotions." Glancing around, he nodded before continuing. "The immediate threat has passed and I fear we will just argue in circles at this rate. So lets go shall we?"

He hadn't a place in mind where to go. For Kiru, she had a plethora of options at her fingertips, the guild hall being one of them. For himself however, the blonde was limited to all but one place, his shop.

"My shop should still be warm enough to hang out at. Given its safe zone qualities and the fact that its one of the few places I can go with this cursor over me, I will be heading there if you care to join me m'lady?" he offered with his hand. 

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