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Snow

[F01-PP] The Gemini - Snow vs Calrex

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Spoiler

Snow's Stats
Level: 10
|| HP: 200 || EN: 20 ||

Blessing Set: || DMG: 5 || ACC: 1 || MIT: 35 || THN: 9 || RGN: 10 || BLD: 12/8-10 || 
|| Sif's Needle [+1ACC] [+2BLD] || Freya's Spite [+18MIT] [+9THN] || Gwendolyn's Wings [+9MIT] [+10RGN] ||
Benefits from: "Rested", "Clean", "Relaxed"

Rules of Engagement:
Duel Type: Half HP
Handicap: Calrex will not use any stat boosting armor or weapons. No Familiars. Only T2 MA Sword Arts. Calrex will only count 100 HP as his half. No healing or Regen Skills. No Thorns.
Premise?: Snow lost a friend to the front lines. Is upset Calrex didn't save her. Has an anime moment where she pounds on his chest and Cal takes it like a champ. Maybe punches/slaps her to get her out of it.
Initiative Roll: ID# 148596: || LD 6 ||

Blue hair. Snow saw the man with blue hair. A falcon dove from overhead in the high noon sky (or at least how players perceived it along the bottom of the second floor's base). For a moment, the other players in the central plaza of the first floor seemed as though they froze. Snow's gaze locked on him.

"...Calrex. He saved my life, Snow. He has got to be top five if not the highest level player here. Honestly, that last floor boss would have killed me if it weren't for him. Can I tell you a secret? He's kind of cute... Maybe if I work up the courage, I could see if he'd be willing to take me out on a date? Anyway, hope you're doing good on the first floor. If you need anything, let me know.

Hope to get out of here soon.

Love, 

Last_Chance
"

The last message she received from Daire played in her head.

"Calrex," Snow uttered. Her hair stood on end. The nails of her fingertips dug into her palms. She felt her vision turn a hue of red and summoned an array of menus.

Armor. Weapons. Skills. Most importantly, Snow targeted the bluenette and began to compile a single request. With a press of the accept icon, a window flew over to the man across the plaza.

<<Duel Challenge>>

Snow challenges you to a duel. Reason: You let Daire die. I will not forgive you. This duel is for her, accept or be labeled a coward.

Conditions are as follows: ....

Edited by Snow

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HP: 1760 | EN: 176 | DMG: 8 | MIT: 0 ACC: 1 |  EVA: 0 | ACH: 0.5 

Skills & Mods:

Two-Handed Battle Axe [Rank 5]

One-Handed Assault Spear [Rank 5]

Heavy Armor [Rank 5]: Athletics Mod (Inactive due to no armor being equipped)

Charge [Rank 5]: Bull Rush Mod

Battle Healing [Rank 5]: Emergency Recovery Mod (Inactive due to no healing allowed)

Block [Rank 5]: Rampart Mod (Inactive due to no shield being equipped)

Howl

Parry: Vengeful Riposte Mod

Extended Mod Limit [Rank 3]

Familiar Master: Accurate [Rank 3] (Inactive due to no familiars allowed)

Martial Arts [Rank 5]: Precision Mod

Quick Change

Survival

Disguise

Meditation

Fishing

Achilles [Rank 5]:
- 50% Damage Reduction (All Incoming Damage after MIT and Rampart/Parry reduction multiplied by 0.6 (Ex. [150 DMG - 50 MIT] /2 ACH = 50)
- Counter and DoT damage is exempt and doubled (Stonewall reduces DoT effects by 25% rounded down)
- Status effects that removes player action last twice as long

Roll:

Spoiler

ID: 148597
LD: 11

"Hm?"

As the Ultramarine Knight walked across the first floor, unassumingly with Roc soaring high above, he was suddenly greeted with a pop-up message in his menu, "This is...a duel?"

"Someone's trying to duel me out in the open? But I'm in the safe zone, so it's gotta be a green player right?"

Looking left and right for a moment, he turned around to see that it was a blonde, filled with rage in her eyes, enough that it put him on guard. Opening the request, the bluenette read out the details to himself, feeling a bead of sweat roll down the side of his face. There was definite conviction clearly coming through the request. It was short and to the point, and easily matched the fury he was witnessing in front of him, "Not going to lie...I feel like a jerk that I don't recognize that player name..."

"Is...this is really happening? What the hell have I gotten myself into?"

He gave a small sigh, looking down as his casual combat attire, unenhanced. The restrictions Snow had placed even had him disregard the usage of any familiars of weapons, leaving him only with his bare fists and skills. Calrex calmly closed his hand into a fist, softly muttering to himself, "I guess I'm really doing this..."

With that he sured up his skills and mods, "If I'm going to be dueling this person, it wouldn't be right to not take it seriously. Treat this battle as I would any, correct preparation for what may come, and tr to cover up my shortcomings where I can."

With his skills ready, he closed his eyes for a moment, letting the flurry of thoughts coursing through his mind recede, focusing on the battle to come. He had to remain calm and steady.

"If this is what you want, then I have no choice to oblige, I'll give my full focus to this duel. However, I have one request. Once this is over, I wish for you to tell me what exactly happened to your friend, Daire. If what you say is true, then I would like to fully understand what you know, and if it is my fault I want to take full responsibility for it."

Duel Tracking:

Spoiler

Snow: HP 200/200
Calrex: 1760/1760 (0/100 for duel end)

 

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ID: 148600
BD: 8 (ACC +1 / Charge -1) = 8 / (8+5) * 4 - 35 = 17 + Stunned / 9 * 2 = 18 Thorns Damage

Sword Art <<Delayed Sword>> + <<Charge>> (4 Energy Used / 172 Remaining)
Cooldowns: 
Bull Rush: 0/3

It seemed only silence was returned in response to his request, something that made the bluenette give another sigh. It he was being honest, he would rather not have had to partake in this request. But it was because the duel invite itself seemed to have serious intentions behind it, ones that were not fuel by ulterior means, he felt compelled to comply, "This was their friend, and if my shortcomings resulted in their death, then I need to make sure I make right by it. I just hope that she is open to that request."

"Alright then, prepare yourself..."

With his opening attack the Ultramarine Knight immediately shot forward like a bullet, carried by his <<Charge>> skill as he put all of his strength behind his approach. His hands and feet blazed light blue with his Sword Art energy, readying for his <<Delayed Sword>> technique, the most powerful in his arsenal due to the restrictions of the duel. To him, his opponent almost seemed to be standing still as he cleared the distance to her, unleashing his attack.

A flurry of kicks from both sides came out, slamming into Snow before Calrex turned a full rotation to come down with a powerful chop to the neck. Completing his attack, the bluenette took a step back, giving a calming exhale, ""No reactive damage huh? Guess that's also turned off for this battle."

@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (17/100 for duel end) - Stunned
Calrex: 1760/1760 (0/100 for duel end)

 

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 ID# 148601: || BD 6 + 1 + 1 || CD 9 || LD 13 || MD 5 ||

<<STUNNED>>

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 18/18 || <<STN>>
Calrex: || HP: 1760/1760 (0/100) || 

The minute her duel had been accepted, Snow felt the tug of Cardinal in her entire body. She knew right at the start, she wanted to see him unable to move. She wanted him on his knees, and the spear locked in her hands felt eager to heed her desires. The grip of the system pulled Snow toward her target and she felt justice favored her.

That was until the tingling numbness of a front line player's might blacked out all feeling in her side. Then the other side. Immediate paralysis gripped her whole body as the force of his hand met the crook of her neck and dropped Snow to her knees.

The players in the plaza gave a wide birth to the two. Looks of shock, smiles, and whispers surrounded them. Snow clenched her teeth, eyes firmly locked on Calrex but unable to move. Players asked why the legendary Ultramarine Knight would strike a girl. They asked why a duel had been accepted. Who issued it? What was happening?

"You..." the word slipped past Snow's lips, her body unable to move. "Why didn't you protect her?!"

Despite her anger, Snow immediately saw the gap between them. Doubt filled her mind, but her bottled fury needed reprieve. Despite the outcome, Snow needed the catharsis she felt in this moment.

Edited by Snow

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ID: 148602
BD: 2 (Accuracy +1) = 3 / Miss

Miss (2 Energy Lost / 1 Recovered / 171 Remaining
Cooldowns:
Bull Rush: 1/3

As he prepared to follow up his opening attack, limbs already bright blue with his Sword Art energy, Calrex rushed forward, but stopped in his tracks as he heard Snow cry out, asking why he didn't protect her. Breaking the motion of <<Delayed Sword>> still resulted in some of energy being lost, at with the amount the bluenette had it was a non-factor in the duel. Closing his eyes for a moment he slowly returned to a normal standing position, no longer lowered into his fighting stance to easily trigger <<Martial Arts>> based Sword Arts.

"I'd recommend you remain focused on this duel at the moment, since after all you were the one that initiated it, and if you wish to speak further we can do so outside of combat. Focus on the battle in front of you, especially if it's something this important to you. I'll reply this once, but will hold my tongue afterwards until this fight's conclusion, no matter the victor I will be good to my word and answer you honestly, as long as you are also willing to do so."

He gave a calming exhale, making sure he was still trying to mentally practice the mushin Baldur taught him so long ago, "You're referring to your friend Daire, the one you mentioned in the duel request right? Honestly at the moment the name is unfortunately not ringing a bell for me. Interpret that whatever way you will, but please let us complete this duel first."

With that he lowered himself back into fighting stance, ready to continue. The only audible sounds that would come from him after that would be his inhales and exhales as he kept true to his agreement.

@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (17/100 for duel end) - Stunned
Calrex: 1760/1760 (0/100 for duel end)

 

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 ID# 148616: || BD 7 + 1 + 1 || CD 12 || LD 11 || MD 1 ||

<<HIT>> [2X5, STUN] Twin Thrust
<<Relaxed>> Activates!

[-4EN]
<<Achilles>> Activates! Half Damage!

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 14/18 ||
Calrex: || HP: 1742/1760 (5/100) || <<STN>>

She had no choice but to listen to him chastise her. To his credit, Snow only recently joined the fight. She lacked the focus and conviction of a true front liner. Her experiences palled in comparison to hers, but the way he spoke...

"You've never experienced loss..." she hissed through her teeth, her body immobile.

Her eyes met his with ferocity. It was him. To admit that he didn't even remember Daire boiled Snow's blood. The quiet, pacifist girl felt nothing but anger. She wanted to blame him, to hate him. How could he not remember someone who died? He was a hero for Aincrad. Did they not know who perished beside them? Were they simply looking for gear as if this were a game?

Snow dug her nails into the shaft of her spear. In the numbness of Calrex's attack, she felt a slight tug of Cardinal. Her sword art began to catch and Sif's Needle took on a soft hue of blue, much lighter than her counterpart. While still knelt, the blade of her weapon swept along the cobblestones and into both of his knees. The light of <<Twin Thrust>> shattered as the assistance of Cardinal came to a close.

Snow slammed the butt of her weapon into the ground and used it as an anchor to rise to her feel. The shine in her crystalline blue eyes hinted at the tears she held back.

"I am focused." Snow spat. "More than I have ever been. I don't care who wins. I just care that you remember the name, Last_Chance."

The blonde rose her weapon high, prepared to strike. The players gathered around them held their breath.

Edited by Snow

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1 Energy Recovered / 172 Remaining
Cooldowns:
Bull Rush: 2/3

The bluenette grit his teeth for a moment as he felt a twinge of irritation at the blonde's words, stating that he had not experience loss. However, true to what he said, he held back his words and his desire to respond, "I wouldn't be surprised she doesn't know...about all of the others that were lost in the frontlines."

His mind traced back to the people's he had to bear witness too, of players from faint familiarity to friendships that vanished into crystals before his eyes. His eyes dulled as he felt his body slump over, a Stun effect from Snow's Sword Art, his mind for a moment being occupied for a moment with that feeling of loss he carried. The familiar lightning bolt symbol appeared next to his health bar, the Ultramarine Knight already knowing that this effect would last longer than usual. The Leviathan battle made that obvious: Achilles was a mere shadow of the powerful unique skill Tristan once wielded, barely considerable as even a "unique" skill at the strength it was at. It's damage reduction effect without armor was still welcome, but the new doubling of status effects and damage seemed to very much overtake that one benefit.

"Last_Chance...I...still don't recall that name..."

His eyes closed for a moment as he let the feeling subside, lost in the fire of his resolve. With that he simply looked forward, calm determination presented as he awaited for Snow's next action.
@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (17/100 for duel end)
Calrex: 1755/1760 (5/100 for duel end) - Stunned 1/2

 

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 ID# 148734: || BD 8 + 1 || CD 5 || LD 19 || MD 8 ||

[+1 EN]
<<HIT>> [4x5] Mighty Charge
<<Bleed>> Activated!
<<Rested>> Activates! 2/2

[-3 EN]
<<Achilles>> Activates! Half Damage!

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 12/18 ||
Calrex: || HP: 1742/1760 (15/100) || <<STN 1/2>> <<BLD 0/2>>

His silence angered her further. Knelt and eyes closed, Calrex stood as an immovable object to Snow. Without the perameters set for this duel, and even with these perameters set, he likely saw this as a joke. He weathered her ire as a courtesy and all she could do was scream.

"Say something damn it!" She shouted.

The tip of her spear slammed into his chest. <<Mighty Charge>> embodied her anger and carried her opponent off his feet. In a trail of glowing blue, she charged him into the archway of the central plaza's gate and pinned him against it. 

"Say something!!!" Tears ran down Snow's face. A wrenching pain in her chest knew he truly wasn't to blame. She knew that if he was present, they all would have worked together. Daire often talked about the comradery of the front liners in her letters. 

"I hate you!" Snow screamed. The last of her <<Mighty Charge>> arched Calrex over her head and slammed him into the ground with tremendous force. The spray of red polygons indicated the depth of the wound and her foe's almost unnoticeable decline of HP over time.

Edited by Snow

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1 Energy Recovered / 173 Remaining
Cooldowns:
Bull Rush: 3/3

Even though the woman cried out, demanding him to speak, Calrex kept his mouth shut. Even as dense as the bluenette could be, he was fairly quick to pick up on what was happening. This duel was not out of a desire for revenge or compensation for Snow. It was closer to a release of emotions, something she needed to get off her chest and directed towards something. Something that would serve as a sense of relief in the wake of her friend's death. The Ultramarine Knight ended up as that something.

Being thrown around by the blonde's Sword Art was of little effect to him, as his veteran experience fighting players and creatures of many sizes alike had conditioned his mind for being thrown around like a ragdoll from the reality-breaking power behind the weapon attacks. As he was slammed into the plaza gate, an <<Immortal Object>> notification popped up behind him before he was thrown against the ground. Looking at his health bar, he saw the Stun effect starting to fade, but the red teardop marker symbolizing Bleed took its place.

As he got to his feet, feeling control come over his body again, Calrex watched the sliver of his maximum health bar tick down a bit faster than before, "Bleed doesn't normally do that much damage. Chock that up to Achilles' update as well..."

He closed his eyes for a moment, letting his mind continue to focus, steeling for the expected assault of loud words that would be coming his way until the duel was over. 

"As much as I don't like being the punching bag in this situation...I have a feeling she needs this. I'm surprised that something like this hasn't happened sooner. With all of those that have died, this is the first that someone that knew someone on the frontlines has actually acted out, at least to my memory."

@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (17/100 for duel end)
Calrex: 1733/1760 (39/100 for duel end) - Stunned 2/2 / Bleed 1/2

 

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ID# 148735: || BD 8 + 1 || CD 7 || LD 6 || MD 1 ||

[+1 EN, +1 REC]
<<HIT>> [4x5, AoE] Hellish Twice
<<Bleed>> Refreshed!

[-6 EN]
<<Achilles>> Activates! Half Damage!

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 8/18 ||
Calrex: || HP: 1742/1760 (49/100) || <<STN 2/2>> <<BLD 0/2>>

"Why don't you say something?!"

Even the crowd fell to whispers. The excitement of a fight dwindled into questions and somber reflection. One figure in dark clothing clutched to a bag of col as though he bet money on the outcome. Overall, the crowd saw the duel for what it was: an outlet. Veteran players shook their heads or hung them low as they walked away. Players that made the first floor their home without ever taking arms watched in silence.

"Please..." Her voice sounded desperate yet her body still acted out of anger for her loss.

The system possessed her yet again, and she swung her spear in wide, sweeping arcs designed for multiple foes, not one. Her spear's tip carved deep red gashes across Calrex's avatar. Again, pixels of red poured from the cuts and pooled to the streets below. Despite her successful blows, the blonde hung her head. The blue hue of her weapon faded, her shoulders slumped, and tears shattered into dazzling light against her feet.

Edited by Snow

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ID: 148736
BD: 1 (ACC +1) / Critical Miss!

2 Energy Lost / 1 Recovered / 172 Remaining

What was originally a shocking and intriguing experience for the onlookers quickly turned to an unfortunate and dramatic sight. Save a few people that were continuing to bear witness with reluctant curiosity, as well as a seemingly strange cloaked person holding onto a bag of col, most of the original crowd had dispersed. The bluenette gave a small sigh, listening as he listened to the blonde vent at him, tears streaming down her face. At this point there was no reason for him to try and put up a fight. The battle was nearly over, and he already knew with the restrictions Snow had placed on the duel, there was no way he was going to be able to catch up in damage. He never was an all-powerful player, neither before or after he had gained Achilles, so losing a duel was nothing of surprise to him.

Putting his hands into his jacket pockets, keeping his calm demeanor as he weathered the storm of blows from the woman's fury, waiting for her attack to finish before he merely uttered a few words, "It's already near the end of this fight anyway..."

"Last_Chance right? I'll do my best to remember it."

@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (17/100 for duel end)
Calrex: 1687/1760 (73/100 for duel end) - Bleed 1/2

 

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ID# 148737: || BD 1 || CD 9 || LD 5 || MD 3 ||
[+1 EN, +1 REC]
<<Critical Miss>>
[-2 EN]

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 8/18 ||
Calrex: || HP: 1742/1760 (73/100) || <<BLD 1/2>>

She heard him say it. He said her name. Snow froze. Her eyes widened their gaze at the ground and it felt as though all the other ambient noise fell away. The streams of tears from her cheeks seemed to pause and she looked up. The way he stood there. The way his expression lacked confusion, lacked irritation, and lacked the interest to continue fighting, Snow felt conflicted.

She felt happy, sad, and still angry. Even though he said her name, it sounded as though it were the first time. Her chest heaved both from the effort she put into the fight and the screaming she had done.

"Did you..." her softly accented voice carried quietly over the hushed crowd. "Do you not remember her?"

Despite the lull in her rage, Snow's grip on her weapon remained. She didn't know what to do but already, even if he didn't know her, Snow started to feel heard. She started to feel acknowledged.

Edited by Snow

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ID: 148738
BD: 10 (ACC +1) = 11 / (8+2) - 32 = 1 Damage

Basic Attack: 1 Energy Used / 1 Recovered / 172 Remaining

The pause in both physical and verbal attacks was a breath of relief for a moment as the bluenette took his hands out of his pockets. The question Snow asked hung in the air for quite some time, longer to Calrex than what was in actuality only a couple of seconds as he took a small breath, closing his eyes briefly to continue keeping himself centered, "I'm sorry. I've met and fought alongside many players in my time on the floor raids, probably the longest out of any of the current frontliners. I've even had to helplessly watch many of them die, both to monster and player alike. But the name Last_Chance...is not one of them."

He looked outwards at the small remaining bits of the crowd that remained, shaking his head for a moment before clenching his right hand into a fist by his side. He looked at his health bar, seeing that only a few more hit points would result in the duel concluding with his loss. A small empty smile came across his face for a moment, "Raise your guard..."

The bluenette waited for a few moments before pulling his arm back and throwing a punch forward, targeting the blonde's shoulder to knock her back. He knew it was only the minimum possible damage, but it was meant more as a snap back to reality than a retaliation, "This is still a duel, and I've got a few more hit points left before this ends with my loss. So if you've got any more aggression to release, get it out now."

@Snow

Spoiler

Snow: HP 183/200 (18/100 for duel end)
Calrex: 1663/1760 (97/100 for duel end) - Bleed 2/2

 

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ID# 148739: || BD 9 || CD 2 || LD 9 || MD 6 ||
[+1 EN]
<<CRITICAL HIT>> Basic Attack!
<<Bleed>> Refreshed!

[-1 EN]
Achilles Activates! Half Damage!

Results:
Snow: || HP: 183/200 (17/100) || EN: 8/18 ||
Calrex: || HP: 1742/1760 (100/100) || <<BLD 0/2>>

<<CONGRATULATIONS!!!>>

The man walked up to Snow and slugged her in the shoulder. The force knocked her back a step but hardly shaved a mark off her health. He had a point. Her arms fell slack and head hung. To think so many died that she wasn't memorable. To think her room mate, the only real friend she had while abroad in Japan, didn't leave an impression.

He did.

Despite how many times Snow read Last_Chance's messages in her inbox, it didn't mean others cared as much. Everyone knew as these front liners fought, the less and less there were. A year ago? There were likely hundreds on the front lines. How could Snow expect him to remember?

"I- I..." Snow's feet carried her back to Calrex. Close enough for her to press her head against his chest. "I'm sorry..."

The girl raised her hand and pounded the butt of her spear and the ball of her fist against his chest. The force of it palled in comparison to a nudge, but happened to be just on top of a damage marker from earlier. The damage from her spear and light tap exploded the duel announcement into a massive <<Congratulations!!!>> with Snow's name as the victor.

She felt nothing like one.

Edited by Snow

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The bluenette felt a bead of sweat slide down the side of his face as his opponent came close, placing her head against him while dealing the slightest bit of damage with her spear, dealing the necessary damage to conclude the battle. With the duel over, Calrex gave a small sigh of relief, letting his battle mentality relax back into similarly calm, yet more relaxed demeanor, returning his hands back to his jacket pockets. His blue peregrine falcon familiar rematerialized, flying down to hover overhead a few seconds before swooping down to land on the ground next to him, "Yeah I'm alright Roc, no need to be concerned."

He could already see his health bar recovering back to its maximum, looking around to see if there were any remaining onlookers still watching. Of course, there were still a few, but with the conflict over they were less interested than before. Raising a hand he gently patted Snow on her shoulder to get her attention, "Well with that over, how about getting something to drink? I haven't explored the first floor in quite some time, but I do remember there was a cafe nearby that I used to frequent in my lower level days. We can head there to talk about what happened to your friend. Sound good?"

@Snow

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The sound of disappointed comments and whispers of the remaining onlookers faded as they dispersed. The overly sized notification window of the duel's end disappeared and Snow stood with her head in a stranger's chest. The soft pressure of his hand on her shoulder jarred her. Snow looked up, eyes red, vulnerable, and feeling lost.

Despite the scene she made, despite her attacking him, and not knowing her at all, Calrex acted as though they were friends. He acted like this had just been a light argument between friends and it was time to hug it out. He asked if she'd join him for a drink and if she'd like to talk. It almost made Snow completely lose it. She bit her lip to stop it from quivering and took a sharp breath. After a pause, she nodded, struggling to find her words at the moment.

What would I say? Would I apologize? No... Not after something like that. Why didn't he just shrug her off or ignore me in the first place? Would he even care about my problems? Maybe... maybe he knew where I was coming from. Maybe he understood. I don't even know...

@Calrex

Edited by Snow

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There was a lack of a response as Calrex awaited for Snow's answer, feeling the air of awkwardness continuing to build. Another bead of sweat formed and slid down the side of his head, glancing down at Roc, who had decided to hop up and rest on his shoulder, seemingly now completely ignorant of the current situation. Giving a small sigh the bluenette returned his arms back to his jacket pockets, looking back down at the young woman, who still had a look like she was on the verge of bursting into tears. Looking around, he saw that most of the onlookers had moved off, although there might have been some hanging around to see what would happen next, "Geeze don't you have anything else better to do?"

Placing a hand on each of her shoulders, he swiftly turned Snow around to face the other way, moving her out of the plaza and in the direction of one of the streets, mainly to get out of the public view before trying to continue the interaction. Now away from the plaza, he let out a sigh of relief, "Ok, now we're no longer the day's entertainment for the first floor residents."

Giving a calming breath, Calrex looked around to get his bearings before pointing in the direction of the all too familiar cafe he frequented back when he regularly stayed on the floor, "So there's this place called the Starlight Cafe. It's a pretty good spot to grab a drink and relax that I and a bunch of other players spent a lot of time in before. If you want to talk some more we can head that way, or if you'd prefer to head off from here I can show you to the teleportation plaza, at least if you haven't been staying on this floor."

@Snow

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Calrex guided them out of sight from stray onlookers. For a moment, she expected him to berate her. Instead, he continued to illicit a response from the girl. Snow, at this point felt collected a portion of her wits. She nodded quietly, still embarrassed.

"A drink..." Her voice broke into a short, sharp inhale; a small residual effect of her crying. "A drink would be nice..."

The blonde spoke quietly and timidly. She had so many questions. She had so much to apologize for and frankly, she would love the comfort of a warm mug of tea or cocoa right about now. 

"Thank you for not..." she struggled for the right words to say. "For not flipping out on me."

She hoped they would actually be able to talk more at the cafe, but she needed to at least clear the air. Her embarrassment and his presence both made her incredibly uncomfortable. She felt the same way when Shield first spoke to her. So, maybe she would get over it. She just felt more uneasy considering her actions. Outside of the duel parameters and catching him off guard, Snow imagined Calrex could swat her life away with the back of his hand. Whether or not that was something he was capable of doing, she wasn't sure 

@Calrex

Edited by Snow

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Hearing a response, Calrex gave a calming exhale, giving a nod and a small smile while he pulled his right hand from its jacket pocket, pointing in the direction of a nearby street, "It should be in that direction, so I guess we can get moving. Don't worry about it. It's not the first time I've been challenged to a duel out of the blue, heh, although this was the first time those restrictions were proposed in one, so I appreciate the changeup."

"Teayre has certainly done more than her fair share of that. Heck, I still remember the day after her, Oikawa, and I all went on a quest she challenged me to a first-hit duel. Still, those were certainly fun times."

With that he took point, keeping his hands warmed in his jacket while guiding the two in the cafe's direction. Roc remained perched on his shoulder for a short period of time, turned backwards to watch Snow, but it wasn't long before the peregrine falcon took back to the skies overhead. The Ultramarine Knight glanced back every once and a while to make sure that Snow was still keeping pace, "Also I take it from the health bars during the duel, your username is Snow right? The previous events aside, it's nice to meet you."

@Snow

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He seemed genuine and kind to Snow. His mannerisms were relaxed and he seemed to value being comfortable. Snow felt more and more guilty for her actions. A part of her imagined what demons he had to fight under that calming exterior. To think someone like this saw so many players lose their lives... Either he coped with it well, buried the memories deep, or didn't care. The latter seemed unlikely, but as Snow thought more, she wondered.

"Okay," she acknowledge and kept on his heels. Her head kept to the cobblestones of the street. Every few steps, she would look up to a pair of hawk eyes gunning her down as if she were a threat, or prey. Finally, his pet took to the skies again. Snow slumped and breathed out relief. She already felt terrible. The judgement from a bird was a bit much.

When the two arrived at the entrance of the Tavern, it seemed homey and welcoming enough. Snow had collected herself enough not to look like a complete mess, but still harbored guilt, embarrassment, and endless questions for Calrex. 

Most of all, she felt fortunate that he was willing to talk to her -- a no name girl struggling to cope with a world others have long since embraced and fought.

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