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Arabelle

[PP-F4] Throwback <<Avalanche>>

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Arabelle let out a puff of cold air and tightened her black cloak around her small frame. The informant wasn't kidding when he said Floor 4 was a frozen hell. Even though she was dressed in the warmest winter clothes she could find, the bitter cold still managed to seep in, past layers of cotton and onto her skin. Heck, there were probably icicles on her face now. Self-consciously, she checked her reflection on a nearby store window. Skin a bit bluish from the cold, but otherwise she looked okay. She let out another puff of cold air and turned to the bulletin board in front of her.

Leveling progress had been a bit slow for her lately, and she'd decided earlier that it could only be solved by trying one of the harder quests. Like, quests-with-mobs-that-could-totally-one-shot-her hard. A huge risk, she knew, but even the lower-leveled quests had their risks too. Leaving the safe zone was a risk of. Sleeping in inns whose doors could be easily picked with a well-leveled lock-picking skill (if that skill was still around) was a risk. This particular quest just had higher chances of killing her than others, that's all. And she was fine with that--as long as it wasn't a 100% sure death. That would be suicide. Besides, she was pretty confident in her knowledge about the Hate mechanic, though not so much with her subpar combat skills. Which was why she was here, in front of a bulletin board. Bringing up the bulletin board's menu, she quickly typed a short message: 

Quote

Re: Avalanche Quest Help

Looking for low to mid-leveled players willing to help complete the quest <<Avalanche>>. Willing to give the quest drop in exchange for help. If interested, contact Arabelle.

PS. No need to look for an informant. I already have the field boss's coordinates.

 

With that, she pressed 'Post,' and decided to wander around Floor 4's small main settlement while waiting. Hopefully, someone would take up the request within the hour.

[WC: 333]

@Outlander @Vigilon

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Vigilon needed to train. He needed to find some allies, he needed to make more friends, and of course, he'd need to set a time to ask his girlfriend out. "Ever since I'd even gotten a crush on her, I'm always worrying myself about what would be happening to her while I wasn't there to protect her. But she's a smart, justified young woman, I'm sure she'll be fine....She'll be fine...." Despite the mental man-to-self pep talk about his girlfriend's welfare, he was still worried. "Oh, who am I kidding?" He walked over to the Snowfrost Bulletin Board, hoping to find something that he could do to get his mind off of worry, and back on track. "Let's see here...uncommon material search, been there done that.....help with beginner quests, no use due to being overleveled....someone wanting to take on Avalanche....hmm......" He thought for a minute. What level was the player taking the quest? Was this Arabelle one of the players involved? "Why not? I could easily make a friend or two here...possibly. At the very least, I could try helping out and potentially keep them from getting killed or anything..." With that in mind, He pulled up his menu, and then the messenger system.

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To: @Arabelle

Subject: Avalanche

I'm interested in helping out. Kinda need to practice anyway. I'm level 18, and can tank it for you if you'd like, though I know no hate-generating skills.

-Vigilon

He would then wait, or look around the town, until he either approached someone, was approached by someone, or received a reply.

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Outlander was walking through the town, which was suprizingly cold, he lived in Alaska at one point, so is consideration was that this was nothing. Though he still felt a bit of a breeze, dispite he was wearing metal plated battle gear. He was a DPS character, swiftly do massive amounts of damage in short periods of time. He saw the bulletin board out of the corner of his eye. "Ah, what the hell..." Outlander siad to himself, his breath becoming mist. He saw one that caught his eye. 

Quote

Re: Avalanche Quest Help

Looking for low to mid-leveled players willing to help complete the quest <<Avalanche>>. Willing to give the quest drop in exchange for help. If interested, contact Arabelle.

PS. No need to look for an informant. I already have the field boss's coordinates

He was interested, but he needed to clarify some info first. He opened his messager, and messaged the player "Arabelle".

Quote

Hello? Hi, um, yeah, I'm interested in the quest you placed up on the bulliten board. Im a DSP main. Though, I can occasional take damage as well as I give it. If you feel you need High Dmg in such little time, contact me.

                                     -The Outlander

 

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Arabelle was surprised. Only a few minutes after she put the request up on the bulletin board, two PMs popped up in her inbox with only a few minutes' gap between them. She dismissed the map she had been looking at and read the players' names. Vigilon and Outlander. Both unfamiliar, though the former did mention he was at level 18, and the latter claimed that he was a DPS build player. Well, as long as the Vigilon guy landed the first hits and she and "The Outlander" (what kind of name is that?) kept their Hate down whilst landing hits, they should be fine. But, she supposed it was a bit too early to strategize since she hadn't even met them yet. I wonder if they're good-looking, she thought distractedly.

"Huh, interesting," she said to herself flatly. "I didn't expect people to be so nice around here..." Bringing up the PMs, she typed out a response to the both of them.

Quote

To: Outlander, and Vigilon

Hey! Thanks for taking up on my offer. Meet me by the town's west exit. I'm the girl with the purple hair. You can't miss it. :3

(Conveniently, she didn't mention that she was a lot shorter than most. Her dyed hair was a good enough identifier.)

Edited by Arabelle

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It wasn't long before Vigilon received a message. Turns out, he wasn't the only one who had responded to the message, for this message had also been sent to... "Outlander!? ...Crap. Now I absolutely HAVE to go and help!" He broke into a sprint towards the west exit of the town. He had to get there first to avoid anything going wrong. Most likely, he'd be stuck working alongside him during this, but not only did he not have to like it, but, well, someone had to keep an eye on him in case he was up to anything stupid again... He felt the cold, he felt the freezing air rush by him as he sprinted, and although he was definitely getting cold, he decided to not focus on that. So what if he forgot to think about some winter garments to have over his light armor and other apparel? Well, he'd probably get cold. Then again, he'd once tried to sleep on this dang floor. On a bench. With almost nothing extra to try keeping him warm, which was extremely difficult. He arrived at the west exit and stopped for a minute to take a breather. "*huff* *puff* Whew...made it!" He noticed a small girl with purple hair. He also noticed he'd gotten here before the other player did. "Hello."

@Arabelle

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"Alright looks like I have a job to do... Wait what?! Vigilon? Oh god dammit. That guy is definitely in my sh#t list." Outlander said to himself after receiving the message. "I better get something good from this quest..." Outlander said, he began jogging to the destination. He used to be a great track player, before all this. At one point it began snowing, untill the point were he couldn't see in front of him. It stopped of course, but it was irritating for him. He examined the towns building's.  They looked cozy compared to the outside. It might look like a Christmas Card if not for the fact he couldn't stop the cold to admire it, he began humming to take his mind of the cold. He saw to figures in the distance, it must be them. He waved, signaling them he arrived. He had his hood donned because it was almost freezing, without the wind-chill factored in. He casually walked up to the two players. "So... Vigilon, nice to see you again, this is awkward. Let'shurry this up, shall we?"

@Vigilon @Arabelle

Edited by Outlander

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The two players didn't take long to find her. A boy with unusual red eyes, whom she assumed was @Vigilon, and a hooded player who was probably @Outlander. They seemed to know each other, though Arabelle wasn't sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. "Hello," she greeted with a friendly smile. "As you already know, I'm Arabelle. Call me Ara. Or Belle. Whichever you prefer. And I'm level one, DPS main." As she spoke, she brought up her menu and sent the two players party requests. They came here to help her with her request, so she guessed they wouldn't want to chat and idle around. "Also," her small leather notebook materialized in her hand, and Arabelle flipped through a few pages. Finding the right page, she carefully ripped it off and showed the two players the coordinates. "I'm new to this floor, so if one of you would lead the way, it would be much appreciated."

"By the way," Arabelle began, her voice taking on a curious tone. "Do you guys know each other?"

[WC: 179]

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"Good evening..." Outlander said, taking his hood down for a moment so that they could see his face. "...I'm Outlander, Level 6 DPS Main." He added, accepting the party invitation. Then looking at the two players, he donned his hood again. "Im also new to this floor, I've never passed the third floor before because I didn't want to walk into a high level zone and get myself killed. So, I'm pretty sure Vigilon can be a better guide then be for the time being. Right?" Outlander said looking at Vigilon. Then Ababelle asked if they knew eachother. "Yes, and its not like I don't like him either, its just that, I'm not nessacarily excited about his existence..." Outlander then looked back at Vigilon. "...No Offense." Outlander looked around and said. "You know, this almost looks like Alaska, In the summer. Also, what is the quest, looting? Monster hunting? Both?"

@Vigilon @Arabelle

Edited by Outlander

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Vigilon saw Outlander arrive. "Can't say the same, unfortunately. We've got good here, and we've got bad. Since we have to work together for the time being, let's not involve ugly, shall we? That is, unless that giant icicle counts as ugly." Arabelle introduced herself, and said she was...wait, level one!?!?! "Whoa whoa whoa, did you say level one?" This might prove to be a problem. Arabelle sent party invites to the two players, and Vigilon pressed accept. Honestly, he never imagined to see Outlander's HP meter display under his in the interface; he never thought he would actually team up with such a person. At all. Clearly, by what Arabelle and Outlander had said, Vigilon would be leading the way to the target monster. "...Right. I'll also be sure to stay close by...just in case." He thought about the party's levels. "Outlander and I could try making the first strikes, and you could jump in once we have the icicle's full attention. How's that sound, Ara?" Arabelle asked if Vigilon and Outlander knew each other. "Well....we aren't exactly on good terms. At least, that's what I'd say." Outlander made his own explanation of what was going on between him and Vigilon. "Dude, I took offense when you were up to something stupid back on floor one. I've got my eye on you..."

@Arabelle @Outlander

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"Alaska...in the summer?" she echoed. She'd never been in Alaska, but she'd heard that it was always snowing there. But other than that, she didn't have the necessary information to respond to @Outlander's statement about the fourth floor, so she didn't say anything else about it.

"Yeah. I'm level one," Arabelle couldn't resist letting out a faint giggle at @Vigilon's reaction. She silently watched their names and HP bars appear underneath hers while coming up with a suitable response. "One hit from the boss and I'm out of the running. Buuut, I'm pretty confident in my combat skills and my knowledge of the hate system, so you don't have to worry much." Okay, she fibbed a little at the last part. Swinging her heavy axe around still felt a bit awkward, but she wouldn't ever learn if she didn't get enough experience. Vigilon presented his plan, though he still seemed a bit concerned. That's understandable. "I'm good with that." Arabelle agreed with a nod of her head.

Upon hearing their responses to her previous question, Arabelle decided it would be a bad idea to pry any further. The three of them would be working together, and she would need to rely on the both of them to protect her. If they were to get into a fight...she already knew the outcome. "Well, let's all get along for now, okay? If everyone's ready, we could head for the boss' location now."

[WC: 240]

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He listened to the first thing thing Vigilon said. Outlander did a facepalm. "You can't just use a movie reference in a conversation and expect me to take you seriously."I listened to what he said next. He said that he wasn't one best of terms with him sense floor one. "Understandable, have a nice day. Look Vigilon, life is too short to be serious. So if you can't kqugh at yourself, call me, I can laugh at you." He said with an unusually calm smile. Then he listened to the battle strategy. "Sounds good to me, I tend not to make plans for my day because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around the courtroom." Outlander said sarcastically. "Well, if we are going to get going, I suggest the soon the better." Outlander said looking qt the location indicated on his menu's map. They we're gonna be walking for a bit.

Edited by Outlander

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This player was in absolute danger. Period. He'd have to make sure something didn't go wrong, and protect Arabelle since he obviously can. The girl pulled out and swung around a heavy two-handed axe. Not exactly what you'd typically see. Still, there was more danger than potential at the moment, but the right decisions would definitely change that. Hopefully, things would go well, no conflict would occur here, other than shattering the abominable iceman, and Vigilon would have a new friend. He'd still keep an eye on the idiot, but, yeah. Outlander had a few things to say, but only one of them was worth giving a single reaction to. "It's a strategy, not a plan." Arabelle suggested that they start on the path. "Yeah, let's go while we still have time." As they started on the path, snow began to fall. "Just like the last time I went off to face the thing. Wouldn't be surprised if it escalated to a blizzard like last time either."

@Arabelle @Outlander

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"Strategy, Plan. Same in the end." Outlander said but was soon suprized to see that the girl had a battle axe, they were slow and heavy, not something you'd want unless you were swinging down, so gravity would help. He decided to show them his weapon. "Battle Axe, unexpected, but nevertheless useful. I use a longsword instead of a battle axe, it comes in handy then and again." Outlander said, drawing his longsword from his back, its two handed, one on the hilt, the other on a dull part of the longswords blade that was meant to be held. "Alright, lets get going, I'd really like to get this over with." Outlander said sheathing his longsword. "If you've got directions, lead the way." Outlander said, he then added. "I'll stick behind in case something ambushes us." Outlander then pulled out a small knife and began fiddling it at his fingertips, hastily twirling it with such speed, at the same time not cutting himself, he tends to do this when bored.

@Arabelle @Vigilon

Edited by Outlander

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Arabelle nodded and followed behind @Vigilon with a slight skip in her step. Being the lowest leveled player in the party, the two players walked in a formation where she was in the middle. Just to make sure she wouldn't wander too far from the group, or get ambushed from behind. She watched @Outlander pull out his weapon long enough for her to see it, and sheath it again. "A two-handed sword, right? Pretty nice choice for a DPS," Arabelle commented if only to dissipate the somewhat tense atmosphere between the two players. With their formation, she was literally caught in between.

They walked for a few more minutes before Arabelle got bored and started a conversation. There were three of them over here, they should at least be talking. "So," the purple-haired girl began, catching the attention of her fellow teammates. "How did you guys get here? In the game, I mean."

[WC: 153]

Edited by Arabelle

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Vigilon had yet another comment on the subject. "See, there actually is a difference between plans and strategies, primarily in the outcome. Strategies have a decent chance of working, usually, as it usually depends on one's mind, and knowledge of the situation. Plans? Don't even get me started. It happens all the time in books, shows and movies. The plan is made, the destination is reached. The next thing we know? Boom, chaos." Outlander and Arabelle noted to each other that the weapons that they preferred were good for a DPS. "Yeah, and I'm stuck with this one handed sword until I can get enough col to drop the skill. Afterwards, I'll be putting on handwraps, and settling fights with my fists instead." The snow began to fall a bit more. Arabelle decided to bring up the topic of "How did you get into this game". "Ah....well...it's a bit of a long-ish story...I guess..."

@Arabelle @Outlander

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"Actually, I could explain it pretty fast." Outlander said, looking through the blizzard. "I prefer not to tell though, the less that others know about me the better. Wouldn't want to watch someone I know die, now would I? But here's the base description: I liked to spend most of my time isolated because I have to spend at least 40 hours a week with people who make me feel angery just to buy laundry detergent and toilet paper, oh, and nerve gear, thats about it though."  Outlander then whispered: "Not again..." The ventured further towards their destination. The blizzard eventually came to a halt and was replaced with light snowing. "So, where are we supposed to be going again?" Outlander asked curiously, looking ahead of the trail past the other players. He said this because he worried they would be ambushed. He really didn't like the sound of that.

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Arabelle asked a question, only to receive two vague maybe even somewhat unenthusiastic responses. All while the two male players debated about the difference between a plan and a strategy. Plans don't usually accommodate anything unexpected happening, strategies were more flexible. Arabelle didn't know why they had to make such a big deal about it but decided to keep her mouth shut. Gosh, this was maybe one of the most awkward conversations she'd ever had. It even trumped that first conversation she'd had with a guy named Pinball. A bunch of walking contradictions that he became so hard to predict, that one. Arabelle smiled. "Well, as for me, I had pretty much the same backstory as everyone. Gamer with a bunch of gamer friends. Heard about SAO through one of them and looked it up on the internet. Bought it. And boom, death game trap." She didn't prod any of the two guys anymore, they seemed pretty unwilling to talk.

The three players passed a group of Ice Elementals, large creatures that, exactly as advertised, were made completely out of ice. The mobs stomped through the snowy field, occasionally appearing to have conversations with each other in the form of non-verbal gestures. "We're almost there," Arabelle stated as Vigilon continued walking, steering clear of the mobs. She adjusted the battle axe strapped to her back and looked over her shoulder to make brief eye contact with Outlander. "You ready?"

[WC: 239] 

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Vigilon ended up hearing Outlander and Arabelle share how they got into the game. He didn't really understand Outlander's by the way it was spoken, it was just too confusing. Arabelle's, at least, could be understood. Vigilon finished putting his thoughts together on how he got here. "Well...I heard of SAO and the NerveGear from one of my few friends that were in the real world, and I started trying to save up for it. Of course, on one fateful day, which just so happened to be another off day, my mom came around and tried to cheer me up with a gift she'd gotten me. Right now, I bet she's still breaking down in tears over the fact that she never anticipated that it was all going to be a big, nasty trap. I practically have a new life here, and by surviving in this world, I can save my other life. Honestly, I would also help others to survive as well, but if only monsters and NPCs were the only things to worry about..." He resisted the urge to look at Outlander at this moment. The worst thing to do would be to set someone off. As the group steered away from a small group of mini-avalanches, which Vigilon had faced before, though these were probably weaker, it seemed as the snowfall that was progressing to a blizzard had slowed down to a light snowfall again. "Oh, thank goodness, I was afraid it was going to be exactly like last time..." He looked ahead. "Shouldn't be too far now. You guys prepared? Ol' Iceberg should be around about any moment now."

@Arabelle @Outlander

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"That's--I'm so..." Arabelle stopped speaking and stared at Vigilon's back. She wasn't normally one to empathize, but his story was quite...sad. I'm sorry, she wanted to say, but she doubted Vigilon hadn't heard those words yet. It's been two years. He probably didn't need to hear those words anymore. She focused on another part of their conversation. "Did you mean...player killers?" Arabelle asked. She expected a 'yes,' but she might as well clarify. Naturally, she was completely oblivious to the type of conflict between her teammates. She'd actually assumed that it was some sort of bitter rivalry or something. "They are a bunch of trouble for everyone."

Arabelle smirked at Vigilon's remark. "Got stuck in a blizzard once? Shouldn't you have prepared for another occasion?" she teased, referring to the boy's lack of winter clothing. Arabelle wasn't any better, though. She was wearing her warmest clothes, though they weren't exactly the best choices for the wintry floor.

A distant rumbling sound brought the three players into 'combat' mode. Arabelle drew her battle axe and stepped closer to Vigilon out of instinct. I'm not scared. Definitely not. I'm only stepping close to you so I can hear you in case you need to add something else to our general strategy! Baka! A part of her wanted to say, just to mess with the guy. But they needed to be serious now since the quest mob was close. Arabelle looked up and squinted, spotting a huge mass of ice stomping its way towards the team. Every step seemed to make the ground tremble, and small pebbles of ice rolled down the hill. "I'm ready."

Spoiler

[H: 0] Arabelle: 20/20 HP | 2/2 EN | 4 DMG
[H: 0] Vigilon:   ??/?? HP | ??/?? EN

Avalanche: 100/100 HP | 40 DMG 

 

[WC: 272]

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Arabelle seemed slightly taken aback, judging by the choice of words that were cut short. "There's...no need to worry about it. We just need to work together, and every day will get us closer to returning to our lives, and the people in them." Arabelle then focused on a different subject that was being spoken of. "Yup. Killers and criminals are among those that pose a threat to freedom. Granted, there are some players with an orange cursor for the right reason, just the wrong action, but that is no excuse to not be wary when around one...or someone you believe may become one..." Once again, he was resisting the urge to look at Outlander during this moment. Arabelle asked if Vigilon had even thought of being prepared for another blizzard coming through. "Well, you got me. To be honest, I wasn't expecting this little trip to happen, but considering the circumstances...coming here as fast as possible to help out trumped over warmer garments for several reasons. Oh, and if you want to take on something that's weaker than the giant icicle later on, there is a monster known as the Wasp Queen over in floor 2." After a rumbling noise, Vigilon drew his sword, and noticed that this time, the living mini-iceberg came out to them this time around. Arabelle came near to Vigilon, which did mean a possible problem. "Stay back! If I don't get enough of it's attention here, you might get killed! I'll call you over to jump in when it's safe to do so!" He turned to Outlander. "And Outlander, don't give me a reason to cut you!" He then rushed for Avalanche. He attacked with Horizontal Square, stunning the monster in the process. "I still don't recommend jumping in yet! If you hit this thing too hard, it'll come for you when it can attack again!"

@Arabelle

ID# 99101 BD: 5+1=6(Hit)

Horizontal Square- 6x4=24

[H: 0] Arabelle: 20/20 HP | 2/2 EN | 4 DMG
[H: 1] Vigilon:   360/360 HP | 34/41 EN | 6 Base DMG | 9 MIT | 1 ACC | 1 EVA | 2 Recovery | 1 Bleed

Avalanche: 76/100 HP | 40 DMG {Stunned}

Edited by Vigilon

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