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Jinx

[Floor 1/PP] A genius' absences

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Alisea Dariem, who had been using the online name of ‘Jinx’ let out a deep breath. She had been on the 1st floor, in a tavern with several books spread out in front of her. Each of the books had nearly 300 pages, and each page had been written in painstaking detail. Each and every aspect of Sword Art Online that was possible for players to know.

It had taken the girl nearly two years to compile all the information she needed, using her own sharp mind and the information brokers to gather everything. And now, it was nearly time. Time for the girl to live.

Dressed in a plain white jacket with black pants, her long white hair a mess behind her back, there were a few things unique about her appearance. The first was earmuffs that, despite her hair, were clear. White the earmuffs were white, they bulged out her hair and make a mark. The other was much more obvious.

The girls left eye was covered by an eyepatch. Black with markings of red on it. Those two items allowed the girl a chance to operate without burning out. Although it would be impossible for anyone to know the reason why unless you knew why.

She was going over her notes for the front lines, it was the hardest part of information to keep track off. It was constantly swapping, and would be the ‘strongest’ of the information to gather.

There was two people sitting across from her. Both of them were a little annoyed at the girl who was either not listening to them, or answering them in a language they didn’t understand.

“I told you before Alisea” Said one of the two men angrily “We weren’t able to find out anything new. It’s the same information we gathered a month ago, and the month before that. We’re not some errant team you can do with what you want!” He slammed his hand into the table, which seemed to attack the girls single uncovered eye onto them. Crimson in colour as it looked at him with an unfocused glare.

“It was for research purposes” She started saying in Chinese “I wanna know if…”

“Dammit speak English!” Yelled the second one “You pay damn well but you’re so annoying to interact with”

The girl frowned, and tilted her head slightly at the men before her “I needed to update these” she said in English softly, pointing towards her notebooks “Now I need to update them….” She put her eyes back onto her books, and the men slowly stood up and barged their way out, talking to each other about how annoying the one-eyed girl is.  

Alisea rolled her eyes "Even idiots have their benefits, even if they know not their power" She muttered to herself in German, before prompted swapping over to Russian "But at least all my data is up to date..."

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It had been some time since he had been to this floor.... He had only had the funeral a few days ago, his best friend had jumped here...  On this floor. He knew it was time for him to go see where she had gone, where she had jumped. Where she had sent the messages off. He really wished he didn't need to come here, and do this.. But he had to. He knew she was gone, but he wanted to make sure. He had to go check again, for himself. He had come here the moment he had gotten that message, to the Monument, and he had seen it then, but it was behind a veil of tears.

Maybe.. Just maybe it won't be there, maybe i was hallucinating

He desperately hoped, as he walked through the town of beggingings. He was well known here to a lot of the static players, as he came here a lot and offered help, they would know he was normally cheery and bursting with energy, and while he wasn't crying while walking, he had the dullness around him. Like something important had been taken away.

I can't let this happen again... It.. hurts to much

He was dressed in his normal clothes. He was worried that if someone went after him, like a PK, he wouldn't be ready... He wasn't ready to see her again, besides, she wanted him to live, he couldn't risk dying to soemthing stupid. His blue hoodie unziped showing the black shirt he wore underneith, his tracksuit pants on. Sure, it was a daggy look, but it was comfortable and didn't hurt him when he moved and fought. Behind him, his wolf Silver, like always. He had his jacket on, the shield over his heart on the jacket. His grey gloves, and his armored guantlets all equipped. He looked as his guantlets. She had made them for him, and they had kept him safe. He only wished he could have done thes ame for her. 

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Alisea had spent all day  fixing up her compiled information, and finally, it was all useful. It pleased her greatly, and meant that she could maybe risk exploring the world. She knew she was ‘weak’, and her build was ultimately selfish as a ‘tank’. The harder she was to kill, the safer it was to be her.

Satisfied at the notes, the girl placed them within her inventory and exited the tavern. She had one more task that she’d written down to do, then she could…hmm? She frowned, she wasn’t sure where to go next. She checked her log.

‘Update on memorial wall’

Part of her knew it was a bad thing to track, the lives lost, but there was something that had made her write it up there. She couldn’t remember why though….She walked towards the memorial, but paused several times in her trip. Pausing in front of the building of the memorial, the girl looked around before opening one of her books from the inventory.

It was only a single page, containing a single letter. S

The girl couldn’t remember the day itself. She’d written it down, clearly important? But what was it. Was S a player? Her mind explored the ideas and the dazed look entered her eye as she leaned against the door of the Hall of the Dead.

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It didn't take to long for him to get there, his trance he had been in along the way completely zoning him out to anyone else. Anyone who said hello, tried to get his attention, none of them mattered. Only thing he cared about was making sure his eyes weren't, or were, playing tricks on him. He wanted them to be, he wanted it so bad to be fake. But when he was there, he realized it was true. There was nothing he could blame, no tears, yet, nothing that he could say was obscuring his mind. It was there... 'Eatos <<Dead>> Killed by fall damage'. He collapsed right onto his knee's. He didn't care how many players were around, he knew this was the one place no one could really judge someone for letting it out. He just sat there, on his knee's for a moment before falling onto his butt, staring at her name.

"Why wasn't i strong enough..." He said to himself in english, trying to think of what he could do. Could she be brought back? Is there any way for him to do anything...

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The girl had managed to pull herself from her daydream and double-checked her notebook. She placed it back in her inventory, and entered the hall. It seemed…fuller today? She looked at the people as she walked past them. She didn’t know them, but some of them looked familiar. She assumed she’d seen them before.

She walked up to the wall. In never ceased to amaze her, how big it was…and how it was constantly getting bigger. It was sad in a way. So many lives taken before their time. Something she knew all-too well personally.

“Wonder what’ll happen if…” she muttered in Chinese as her single eye looked over the names. Namely, at the players under the S name. She was looking for the letter. Why else would past her write it down?

“Nothing again…” She said out loud, swapping over to Japanese “Maybe it’s a blessing he isn’t on here. He’s alive, even if no one knows who they are” She let out a sign. She hadn’t expected anything, and yet, still felt disappointed. She heard a gentle rumble through her earmuffs, but other than that, it was silent. Just like how she liked the world. No loud noises to overwhelm her mind.

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Sky was slowly turning from depression to anger. He was angry at himself, why wasn't he strong enough to stop her? He wasn't smart enough either. She had told him, she had TOLD HIM what worries she had, and he hadn't done anything. He did everything he could, and it wasn't good enough. At this point he was back on his knee's, leaning forwards. He didn't know what to do. He didn't know how he could keep leading this guild without her! How could he press forward without her guidance? 

She is the reason i am here, its becasue of her i am alive! She made me my first sword, she helped me break that stupid rock, she was always there! What am i meant to do without her! DAMMIT!

At this moment, Sky punched the monumnet, yelling loudly as he did so. At that moment, no one else was in there but him. He didn't care about anyone else, for all he cared about, they could all be staring at him, he didn't mind. He just wanted his friend back, the tears pasling on the ground as he hit the monument a second time before just panting, his breath running short from the emotions running through him, the panic attack starting to rise as his breathing increased rapidly. 

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The girl let out a satisfied sigh and took a step away from the wall. The name wasn’t there, and while the boy had seemed to have vanished, it was better than him being dead. Maybe he was a player killer now, or a hermit? She tried to explore the idea…

Except earmuffs couldn’t block all the sound. A loud yell that caught her eye. A boy, wearing a hoodie and armed with what looked like gauntlets was punching the monument. She frowned at that. Why would he hit that? Curious, she walked towards the individual, and spotted a white-wolf nearby. Was that a familiar? Had to be.

She stood just behind, and to the side, of the crying boy. Even with the sound defened, it was overwhelming. The girl felt something in her chest move for him. What had happened? She looked up at the board, it seemed to be the E section. Although, none of the names looked familiar. She looked at the boy.

“Did you lose someone?” she asked softly as her mind tried to dampen the sound of the crying. There was, just one slight issue. She’d asked the question in Japanese. She often forgot that very few people spoke the language.

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“Did you lose someone?"

He hadn't expected to hear that, well, he did. But in Japanese? No one spoke that here, he had only spoken that language when he came here day one of the game, and around the one year marker... He remembered meeting with a girl then, but with his mind in the state of flux it was in he couldn't put a name to her face... Or a face to her face. He simply did his best to turn to look at where it had come from. Thankfully, at this point Silver was able to be around other players, at least in safe zones. She had worked out she was safe here, but not out there. She crawled up to her companion, rubbing her head aganst his arm in an attempt to take his attention off the monument. It worked, his arm starting to stroke her, while he wiped out a few of the tears in his eyes, but they were quickly replaced as he looked at the girl, his eyes closed, hoodie up. 

"Japanese... Haven't heard that one in awhile... Yeah... someone who has been helping me survive in this game for the last two years.. I met them shortly after i made my choice to leave this town for the first time..." He replied back in a very staggered and broken Japanese. It wasn't his accent, his wavy voice caused the words to not flow perfectly.

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The girl frowned. He was speaking…Japanese to her? Most people only spoke English, it was nice to be able to test her skills. Or would have been, if his speaking had been good. But, her mind allowed, he was distraught…And part of her felt annoyance. He looked super familiar, more so then the others. Yet a name didn’t come up as she listened to words.

He had lost someone, and from the time…two years. She could smell it in his voice. He was in pain, a knife had cut him deep. “A would to the heart is not one that can be covered up” She said in Chinese “Such a wound must be exposed, before it can be healed” Her voice was soft, despite not realize he wouldn’t understand what she was saying.

“The loss will sting” she said, her mind sharp enough to swap to Japanese “But mourning is important. Preserve the memory of the person” She said softly. She hadn’t lost anyone herself, but she’d learn enough from her parents. Loss like this was meant to be treated with care. Intense care.  

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Now... she was speaking chinese? He didn't know any of it, he hadn't learnt it, it confused him. Why the hell would someone be speaking chinese if they were speaking Japanese? He didn't understand a word seh said, until she finally switched abck to Japanese. Shetold him to... preserve her memory. He knew he would, he could never forget her. He gave a little smile, wiping off the tears and finally being able to open his eyes, seeing someone who was wearing... an eye patch, and mufflers for her ears? It was very confusing, why would someone need those?

"I don't speak Chinese, i only know how to say 'Hello, nice to meet you" He said, the last bit in Chinese. He then felt like he had said those exact words before.. Though he didn't know when. He simply pointed at 'Eatos' on the wall. "She... jumped a few days ago" He said, unable to say her name. He wasn't right to speak it, not with how he was... She wouldn't want him to blame himself, but... he couldn't help it. He was blaming himself, and he always would...

 

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The girl frowned. Why did no one speak any languages other than English? No one understood her Russian, her German, her Chinese! It was a shame no one was….Her train was derailed the moment he pointed at a name on the wall. And said the word ‘jumped’. Even in her state, she could work it out. In the early days, players jumped from the first floor to escape the game. There were hundreds of reasons…but still.

“May you find peace in whatever you lie” she said, swapping back to Chinese as she placed her hands together in a praying action “May you find serenity in the paths you choose, and in death. May you find happiness, as you were the one to take the final step”

The girl wasn’t sure how to act. Many people would want to cry, but she couldn’t. Instead, the girl sat down next to the boy, cross-legged. She didn’t reach out to touch him, but she looked him in the eye with her only eye. Her crimson eye, as sharp as ever.

“She made a decision. You feel blame, and yet, that blame isn’t yours” She spoke in English now “It’s not mine to say why. But wherever she is, she’s happier now than before. She has found herself peace. I knew not the girl, but…You can tell the actions of the person, not by the passing of their time, but the mourning of those who spent their lives with them”

Whoever the Eatos girl was, they held a special place in this boy’s heart. His heart was bleeding, and he needed to heal it.  

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She was... happier? Guess he really was that horrible then. She was being torn apart inside... Even the message she had sent him said that. The pain she felt, she could never escape it, that bastard, adam, in her head all the time... This girl had once again spoken Chinese, but this time he could guess to what she was doing, due to her hand motions. A prayer for her. Sky felt a little joy from that. Despite not knowing them, she was dooing a prayer. He wasn't religious himself, and didn't know if she was, but it was a nice jesture.

"Believe me... It is my fault. I knew she was being haunted by something, i even knew what it was... I knew everything, except how to help her. I tried, i really tried, but in the end i just... didn't have the words to save her..." He said, before quickly realizing something.

Wait... why am i bothering this random girl.

"I'l be alright miss... You don't owe me anything, you don't really have a reason to stay here with a failure" He said to her, not wanting to bother her. He didn't like putting his own... worries on others. Especially after this.

What if she has her own sins... i can't be responsable for another death

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He was blaming himself for the actions of another. She felt another tug in her heart at this boy. He had the world on his shoulders….She frowned. There was someone who did that before, although…she couldn’t grab the name for the person. But without knowing what happened, Alisea could only guess what had driven the girl to suicide. The answers were too many to count.

“She was being haunted, and you did all you could” she answered him. Her heart went out to this person, and in these moments, where her mind wasn’t dull…

“You were not the one who plagued her life. It’s clear to me that someone, or something, was on the other girl” She wished she knew what... she wanted to help! She reached forwards, and grabbed his face as gently as she could. She forced him to look at her, even wiped his face to remove the tear “There is only one person to blame. The person who drove your friend to her death. They killed her. Her blood is on their hands, and theirs alone. The very fact you are here, mourning her death with such care…You truly loved this girl, and the fact you tried…shows that you’re not failure” She slowly backed her hand away as something dawned on her. She'd spoken entirely in English. Why did she pick that one, when Japanese was the language of choice for her? 

The girl took a deep breath. She felt his pain in a way, almost as if it was her own. She pushed back any tears however. This boy, needed her. For once, she wouldn’t rely on others. For the first time in this game, someone needed help…And she’d offer it.

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All he could? There was no way he did all he could... Thorsten was able to get her through one rough time, he could do a second. If he had the tracking skill, he could have foudn them, and made them help her! Adam, he plagued her... But killing him wouldn't have helped, even if he could. He had scared her, he had made her kill in real life! Another death would only make her worse, and he knew, any more deaths that he could prevent would only besmerch her legacy... The legacy of the fallen guardian. It dawned on him suddenly, and this time, with a more harsh hitting reality. He had to replace her... Not for himself, but for his guild. He was the leader, and she was his second.... And now he would need a new one. Her legacy... what she left behind. Despite her grabbing his face, and wiping the tears away, the realization of this only made more come, as he essentially fell onto her. He didn't know what else he could do. She had told him... that the guild needed him. But he needed her... She had helped him every step of the way, and he didn't know how to do it alone.

"S..she was my best.. friend" He said, sobbing it out. Her words helped him come to terms with it... But he still couldn't see past the veil of his own blame.

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The girl hadn’t expected the boy not to be able to lift his own weight, and him leaning into her had caught her very much off-guard, and through more luck than skill, she managed to keep him and herself from falling over. She heard his crying, and the truth of the reality. A best friend, and someone who was important to him. The girl was still missing critical information, but she would make do with what she had.

Her arms wrapped around the boys, gently hugging him to try and comfort a lost soul. He was a ship, having lost his escort, now lost in sea. And it was her self-appointed job to get him to land.

“She is your best friend…Even in death, the memory will remain” She said softly “The blame is not yours to shoulder alone”. She wasn’t sure what words would help him. But she had to do something…anything. She had spent her whole life being helped, she needed to return the favour.

“Tell me about her, tell me what she would tell you right now…?”

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What... she would have told him? Even though his crying, his mind worked rapidy to imagine her voice, imagine her words. He kind of stopped crying for a moment when he felt ready to say them, at least, his voice wasn't crying. The tears still flowed down his face, splashing onto both himself and the girl he had basically collapsed onto, emotionally and semi physically.

"B..wehn she jumped... She sent me a message... In it, she told me... She didn't want me to fall for it, she didn't want me to fall because of her... She didn't want me blaming myself... But she knew i would be.... She would tell me to stand up... Probably say i don't have time to grieve for her when others are in danger... But not using those words... she had a way with words, a little like you do" He said, wiping a tear out of his eyes, the stream slowly slowing down, but not stopped as he looked at her. At this point, he really felt like he had met this girl before, a warm sile showing on his face as he remembered how amyn times Eatos had scowded him for making some dumb mistake. He remembered trying to teach her to fight, that had been a hard time... But he missed it... and he always would.

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She put a lot of effort into hearing him speak, hearing his words. She could feel her mind begging to slow down, begging her to turn it off. But she couldn’t, she’d tough it out for this boy. Help him like she had been helped, each time she’d had an overload.

That’s when it hit her. She did know this boy. It was the same boy she’d met on the first day in Sword Art Online. This was S! She tightened her hug around him, right before she remembered he was upset and loosened it a little.

“She sounds like a caring girl. In her last moments alive, she was concerned for those she was leaving behind. That says plenty of her character” Alisea lowered her arms, resting them by her side “She wanted the best for you. She wanted you to lead the way for others…and you need to do that for those who follow you” The girl could work out he operated a guild, and from the way he spoke…He was its leader.

A leader who had lost his will. S had lost his will. It was her turn.

“You’re a leader with a heart. They’re rare indeed. You cannot let this break you. It is ok to mourn, and a wound like this will take time to heal…They always do. So cry, you’re human after all S…”

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Some nerve in ehr must have been struck for she hugged him... Really tight for a moment, and due to the irrational breathing from his crying state, it caused him to be winded for a moment, but caught his breath rather quickly, around when she started talking about what kind of person. Eatos was, from what she could tell. This girl was intelligent, sshe was nice... He could tell that much from her. When she said something about him leading the way for others... He realized how many people had said that to him.. There had been that girl at the start, Eatos, Atzo, Thorstern... all of them had trusted him in charge... Then he heard something, her call him 'S'. Nothing else. He wiped his eyes away again, for what must be the thousanth time today, having a good look at her, his mind chugging to put a few pieces together. Spoke multiple languages, couldn't remember his name probaly, wore an eyepatch and a earmuffs.... 

"I don't think their that rare.... I mean... all the three leaders of my guild are like me... All of them care... Well, now theres two" He replied, in a light Japanese. He then realized he had been speaking Japanese, only one other person he had spoken like that to. He was close to remembering who this girl was... But he just, felt like he was missing one last piece of the puzzle.Most people wouldn't say they were human... 

"H..ey... we've met before... haven't we? I think it was back when the game just started.... I remember a girl who spoke a lot of different languages and didn't have full control over it... Thats you isn't it? Umm..." He said, trying to remember her name. But his mind was still foggy with tears.

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The girl made a laugh, more like a snort, when the boy finally remembered her. Despite that some might take it an offense, she simply nodded her head and smiled at S.

“At the very beginning of the game. Alisea Dariem…Although, you reminded me to introduce myself as Jinx…” the girl shrugged “Something I’ve struggled to do” she admitted. But he seemed happier, which was a step in the right direction it seemed. She smiled at him.

“It’s nice to see you without tears in your eyes again…” she paused as a wave hit her through the head. The energy it took to focus like this, it was draining her faster and faster the more this conversation happened “I was worried you might have been dead. I came here when I could, to see if you’d fallen. I’m not happy we meet like this, but you’re strong. I…I knew that the day I met you, you are strong”

She relaxed her shoulders and leaned back a little “I’m happy I met you again, after all this time…I just wish it was under better circumstances…”

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He smiled as he re remembered her name, with her introducing herself. He wasn't surprised she had a hard time saying she was 'Jinx' instead of Alisea, it was her first game after all. He couldn't help but give a weak smile, remembering something. Eatos had died without ever knowing his real name... He knew hers, but she didn't know his. He didn't want to feel like that again, like that... secret hid in the way. Then, something elss caught his mind.

That she had been worried he was dead. She came to check, and was glad he wasn't gone. He couldn't help but give her a smal grin at that one, though it is true, he would much have rather met her again after these circumstances. 

"Yeah... could have been better then seeing me here, broken down in a mess, mourning one of my fallen friends... She was the first one i'v lost... It really hits home" He said to her, his voice darkening a bit, before he flashed a warm smile, not a small grin, but a warm smile.

"Oh, and you doin't need to worry... you won't ever see my name up on that list... Iv got to much to live for. I'v got to get my guild out of this game, i need to keep everyone alive, and iv got to honor Katherines last request... I'v got to get to the front, i'v got to be better then i was last fight, and i need to lead the way out of this place" He said, smiling before remembering something important. Her overload! She seemed to be handling this conversation well, but he had noticed a pause in her last sentence.

"How about you, are you faring alright?" He asked her. His voice and tone were still a little shakey, and the tears were still dripping out of his eyes, but it was no longer a river, the liquid slowly starting to dry up. Thankfully this was a game, so it was easier to dry his... well everything.

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