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The Kings

THE ULTIMATE SHOWDOWN

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A turn of his heel completely flabbergasted by what had just happened he could not begin to comprehend it, was it the final push? He opens his HUD and looks at his damage and it was just as pathetic as he knew it was. Then why did the creature retreat after his attack? "Uh what in the..." A rip awake in the halls of the guild, in a cold sweat Raidou began to wonder what was in Gaius's food. He staggers down the halls and looks at himself in a mirror, a memory of horrible nightmare tears through his skull. Did any of it actually happen? Juiblex manifests onto the left side of his face, with a coo inquisitively. "I'll be alright." as he tried to push it from his mind, for it was irrelevant. He had a day ahead of him, one that would be used to suppress this into the confines of his brain.

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At the sound of the Arabian yodeling, Bistro shot up in her bed.

Soon, the indication of combat had faded from her interface. Had they left? They must've. Gingerly she'd stepped outside her confines just to peek through the window. Sure enough, the skies were beginning to clear up, and the sound of the party had begun to fade from her ears. Heart still pounding, the broker let out a sigh, shaking her head in exasperation. Today was a long and already risky day -- she was just glad it was ending mercifully.

She wouldn't be around to watch the scenario fade away into nothing. She wasn't even focused on keying down the event as an important or entirely relevant matter.

Bistro just wanted to sleep. A part of her had wished that this was all some lucid nightmare, with fingers crossed that the next time she woke, she'd completely forget what machinations she'd even dreamed of during her evening rest. And though this would prove to be true, the suspicion of where her potions had went would breed a small nagging hint of paranoia in her, stashed away at the back of her mind, proving to always be ever present in her day-to-day life.

But that was a problem for another time. When her head hit the pillow, exhaustion stole her consciousness and returned her to dream land.

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Astralin had tried everything she could, but clearly, it was to no avail, and suddenly, it all stopped, and she couldn't control her own movement. She was forced to look upon the creature that had gotten up from its throne. It fired a gun that was apparently in its hand, and then the bosses just...left? The players were never meant to win the fight, were they? It really was a bit of a trap after all, maybe some kind of joke to get reactions out of the players... She watched the opponents drift off to the sky above, disappearing from view... the light shining trough the clouds grew brighter and brighter still...

 

Astralin opened her eyes to see the daylight pouring out of the window of the room she had been staying in. Confused, she reached her arm out slightly...and the sudden weight shift caused her to roll off the bed. "Whaaaa- oof!" She got back up, and brushed her hair aside, as to keep it from obstructing her view. It never happened...and she had another day to prepare herself for. She took some time to brush her hair before going to her notes. "Never thought that was the 'surprise' he told me about...but it's not useless..." She wrote the ingredient the enigmatic chef had mentioned that he used in the cooking he'd given her as thanks for her healing. A cruel joke, and yet it had its uses. "Drucinari Mushrooms: seemingly capable of potentially causing unusual dreams..." If anything, she hoped that this would be it from the effects of this mystifying material. Perhaps it could be used in potions as well as cooking, but the effects were likely to be the same...

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Everything was not going as it should. Dazia heard someone ask the bosses what it is they wanted. Before she could turn around and say something, the tank who had tried healing the boss earlier began changing equipment...in the middle of battle. Dazia covered her eyes with her free hand as she called out, "What the hell are you doing? You're not just in public, you're in the middle of battle, dammit!" Almost suddenly, the chaos ended as soon as it began.

Every strike, every blow, every attack...was all for nothing. The boss got up from its throne, and raised a hand as if commanding for silence. Dazia couldn't even move, but was forced to look upon her enemy. The creature would fire a gun that was apparently in its hand, and then the three bosses returned to the sky. When Dazia had control of herself once more, she made one last desperate attempt of assault, but her targets were too far away from the moment she was released. "Damn it all, damn you!!!" She shouted out towards the enemies, who were just returning to the skies without a care. The clouds broke, and the floor returned to its normal activity. Dazia took a deep breath, and sheathed her weapon, knowing there was no point in fighting any longer. "What was the point of all this...?" Suddenly, she felt the ground beneath her right foot shift. She looked to see the ground crumbling before her, and she fell in.

 

Dazia opened her eyes, realizing she had tumbled out of her bed. She sighed. "It was a damn nightmare..." After contemplating about what just happened for about a minute or two, she would hear a knock on the door, and a familiar voice, asking to come in. "Come on in, Yinangi..." She answered. Yinangi would enter the room to see that Dazia had fallen out of her bed. "You all right?" She asked thoughtfully as her head tilted to the side. "No." Dazia admitted. "I just had one of the worst possible dreams." Yinangi didn't appear to know what to say, and yet she would remark, "Oh...um, I'm sorry that happened to you." She would then give an explanation of her own recent experience as to try cheering Dazia up. "I didn't expect what happened over in my dream, but it clearly was a strange one, although fun, too! We were, or rather, you were planning on going off to scout some thing going on and I wanted to come along, you said no, as per usual, and in the end I gathered a few other friends, and we got the unexpected. We had front-row seats to witness the craziest show on Aincrad! Towering figures with monster heads, complete and utter chaos! It was fun to watch, actually, despite how ridiculous it seems." Dazia had only an expression of complete and utter shock on her face. "Uh, something wrong, Dazia?" Dazia was practically at a loss for words. She did what she could to restrain her reactions, as there was a child in the room, after all. "Wha-? What the f- Wha...?"

"HOW?????"

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Well...they survived, but they didn't win. Still, it was better than dying a fast and humiliating death while looking stupid, too. As the clouds broke and light returned, Vigilon sighed in relief. "We're alive..." He would look up to the sky and see light...and a blazing light...getting...closer...that crap was looking real close now. Wait was that a meteor? He closed his eyes and braced for an impact that never came.

Vigilon opened his eyes, it all turned out to be a dream. "Just a dream...just a hecking crazy dream..." He began to wonder why the dream turned out the way it did, and he eventually questioned, "What kind of mushrooms did that guy add to the burgers?" He got out of his bed, and decided to send a message or two. He considered going over to Shuliik's place, wondering if he was ever gonna let that guy in ever again.

Vigilon doubted it.

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So suddenly, in the height of all helplessness the players shared, it all ended, as strangely as it began. The boss on the throne got up, and raised its hand as to put an end to it all. Every player was forced to look upon the face of the monstrosity who's tyrannical reign would be the result of failure. However...it would seem that the creature had lost interest in the players. It fired its weapon toward the sky, and all three bosses would leave. "So then...we have freedom from this new tyranny, although in a rather unexpected way...Does this mean we have achieved victory, or does it simply mean that we were spared?" Krysta thought aloud. She would look to the sky, now shining brilliantly with the light of day...and everything faded so suddenly.

Krysta slowly opened her eyes. She was in bed. "It was...all a dream?" She asked herself, puzzled over the matter. It had been a busy night, with the encounters time and time again that hindered her progress, and then there was that...enigmatic chef, who really wanted her to try what he was making, which had some special ingredients...Drucinari Mushrooms, they were called? Whatever the case, Krysta felt tired, despite the daylight shining through the window. "So...this is how the night owls feel about mornings..." She muttered as she was drifting back to sleep.

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Pinball was not impressed. 

But that was pretty on brand at this point, wasn't it? After casually launching a player into orbit, the one in charge of the three kings lifted a webbed palm, and Pinball felt his gaze inexplicably drawn to the monster's menacing form. 

"Wack?" 

It was all they were left with as the three glowed with a golden light, ascending before their very eyes to an orchestra of doves and harps. No. He wasn't putting up with this anymore. He was disappointed, sure, that they weren't actually escaping Aincrad early - but honestly, what did he expect? He knew going into the... "fight" that there was no way in hell that they'd be so lucky. Again, though, what had he expected? As Pinball waded through a crowd of players, deciding to get as far away frorm here as he possibly could, only one real answer came to mind. 

Certainly not this. 

[Exit]

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We can still fight...

Wack...

Crozeph opened his eyes and saw the blue sky before him. His back had a tingling sensation and his arms are spread. He blinked a few times, as if he was asleep then he suddenly woke up from a weird dream. His right hand was wet like it was dipped on water and when he turned his head to see why he saw that it was inside the koi pond in Baldur's estate. He slowly pulled his hand out and sat upright. Katana on his side his hair brushed up and he felt no sign that he just woke up, it was like he was awake the whole time but on a different reality. He looked around him and saw how peaceful the place is right now. There aren't any signs of the Baldur and the other "they must be in the dojo" he thought. He stood up and fixed his yukata and began making his way to where it is.

As he walked, he tried to remember what just happened. Was it a dream? or he was simply imagining things? "a boar, some kind of goblin who turned into an expendable mercenary, and a gangsta reptile," he thought as he tried to recall the images which remained a blur in his head. He should visit Yuki soon after he practices, that should calm things down for him. After a few minutes, Crozeph reached the dojo and went inside. In the other end of the room is Baldur gazing outside with his back turned against the raven-haired player and the other residents of the dojo already practicing. "Hey Baldur I hope I'm not that late" he uttered. Baldur turned around and looked at him, his face wearing some mask looking like a boar that he saw in his dream "s-swine jesus?" he uttered. Then Baldur smiled and ask him how he looks and Crozeph lost it as he saw the face...

WHAT THE F...

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"RAIDOU WAIT" Eruda falls out of the chair of the guildhalls table with a sudden gasp of air, tears falling from her eyes. She looks around to see where she was while she tried to catch her breath. Thinking of everything that just happened "What it all just a weird dream..." she could decipher if it was real or not. Eruda thought about the last words that Raidou told her before he went to battle. "Cancel promise for dinner..." she says silently as tears continue to falls. Sitting on the floor she scoots her back toward the wall closest to her and pulls her knees to her chest. Thinking of Griswold, was that really her father. If that entire thing was really just a dream, was that really his true face or was Eruda just thinking of her dad more than she thought and just planted a face on another body to give the image that it was him. Eruda puts her hands to her face. She had no idea what to think about any of this. Eruda spent the rest of the evening trying to sort her thoughts from dream to reality.

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Sam    0

Sam wakes up humming...her eyes flutter open and she instantly becomes confused. She was sitting back at Eruda's shop in an empty room. "How the heck did I get here," as she opens her HUD to check her recent messages. There was no sign of that message that everyone got. Sam jumps to her feet and runs outside to see if anyone was still out there. No one was in the fields on the first floor. There was no trace of anyone or anything actually being there. Sam gets really confused by all of this. "Was it just a weird dream or am I actually losing my mind being in this game for so long," Sam rubs her eyes for a moment before saying "Uugg I need some coffee. To the Inn I go," Sam walks to Eruda shop and closes the door before walking to the Inn that she use to be in all the time to grab a meal and a cup of coffee.

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As the clouds parted and the light shown down on the three kings, they were lifted away into the heavens like cows being pulled by a tractor beam into a UFO. Yuki didn't even know what to think about this sitiuation. As the congratulations message appeared before the entire group, the paladin's crying ceased but her face still held it's pale expression. Getting up off her knees the girl turned to Arabelle, then looked over at Night. The both of them seemed to have no idea what happened either.

With a sigh the pink haired player turned and started heading back to the teleporter to go home and sleep. Of course the game was just jerking their legs. "I'll see you later guys. I- I can't take this, I just need to go home and sleep." Making her way through the crowd to get back to the Town of Beginnings.

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Once the victory screen rolled the raven-hair player groaned. It was a timed boss that weakened the players enough to make them feel like that they might actually lose. She knew the moment that she saw the boss that was invincible with no revealing mechanics that this was a joke. Good thing she decided to stay. 

This was some easy experience made. Ever since Titan had disappeared on her, she couldn't really find the will to get back to climbing. Maybe this was the call that she should get back to leveling and make her way up to the front lines. If she sat around moping about losing friends, she would never get anywhere.

Walking through the crowd, who was celebrating mostly, some others were even crying for their lives, the crimson-eyed assassin attempted to make her way back to the teleporter. Getting back into grinding would be difficult, but she could do it. Just needed to take a rest after that.

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With their enemies defeated(?), Megitsune was more confused than just about everyone else here. Thank god that they had gotten out of this alive, and the system was nice enough to credit them for their time. Actually, they gained an insane amount of experience for these trio of deadly bosses. It wasn't a waste of time, but the ending was something over-climactic. Why didn't they just die?

"Oi, Gaius." The Fox said turning to her duo partner, giving him a scowl that he could feel through her porcelain mask. "We're going to kill some [censored] that we're actually able to kill. Let's talk to four eyes so we can start gathering some useful items." The girl folded her arms across her chest and started to make her way back to the teleporter. She didn't even wait for the tall idiot to follow behind her. He would catch up with her eventually.

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When the bosses ascended to the heavens of the first floor, Shye was about to bust into a full-blown bawl. What kind of cruel joke was this? They were promised a chance to leave this game. Of course it wouldn't be so easy. It couldn't be that easy. She was beginning to wonder if she would have rather died to the bosses than walking away, but she took her victory where she could. You shouldn't be thinking like that Chelsea, cry about it later and see your family on the way out.

It had been a few years since they were locked away in here. She hadn't given up hope yet, and hopefully her family hadn't given up home on seeing her again. Maybe this was a really long dream and she would soon wake up in her bed like nothing happened. That really would be the best, though she doubted that would happen.

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Spoiler

 

As time went by, the chaos kept racking up, getting even worse than it was before, no one knew what was actually going on, no one actually knew how things were going ... it was an endless loop of nothing. While standing there flexing with @Mari Macradon could do nothing but to chuckle "What's going on here, I thought I knew it at the start, but it has deteriorated with every second that went by, so much has happened in these few seconds before us ... what is the meaning even of this." he said with a smile, not knowing how to react to the madness. "Wack." that was the only word they heard as everyone began to gaze up at the amphibian before them, with his gun he began frantically to shoot up at the sky, nothing made sense, nothing at this event had made sense, not event from the beginning. He shook his head and gave up on the pose as he loosened his muscles again and took to his head in a facepalm "Oh well ... probably not freedom today." he said with a disappointed sigh right before he glanced over at the girl calling out his name ... and something about his death, @Snow. "What, dead? Why should I be dead? I'm alive and well right here!" he said, thinking for a moment and correcting himself "Perhaps not well, but alive nonetheless. I'm sorry I don't remember you, but should I know who you are?" he asked out loud to the girl before waking up in his bed.

Covered in cold sweat, his body aching as if he had been tense his entire sleep, his body felt weird, tangled by constant flexing ... but he was here, in his bed, he wasn't out there fighting for their freedom, it was all ... a dream? If anything were to play right now, it would be Roundabout by Yes. He had some kind of fever dream, but why did he have this dream, what did it mean, why were there people in his dream he didn't even recognize. He sat up from his bad and rested his elbows on his legs, looking down into the ground with an empty expression "What the fu-" scene freezes as a sepia tint covers engulfs the scene, a small card jumps in from the side as the song's baseline kicks in.

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Hidden's eyes peered down at the young girl. "It is an event that is made known to all players." She looked away at the pig that was now running into the distance as it fled the battlefield. 'Seriously? I wanted to kill something today... all that died was my mood.' 

Assassin's words kind of ticked her off as she complained about what Hidden had done to her. "Nothing you could do huh? Well something you can always do is be smart and stay alive. Riding around on a boss isn't smart. If you were still on that pig, where would you been now?"

She shook her head, readjusted her hood, and shifted her eyes to the mass of players. She hardly knew any of them. "I suppose everything has ended for today. I missed it all. You can either go on your own, or come with me." With that, Hidden began to walk off at a brisk pace. She didn't feel like dealing with any questions from any random players or worse... someone thinking they could actually capture her for the bounty. 

@Assassin

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As Bahr's eyes flickered open, all he could see was the ceiling of his room, only dimly lit by the dull glow of his garden peeking in through the slit curtains attached to his window. Suddenly, he began feeling around the bed for any sign of Swine Bajesus and, when he felt it, let loose a relieved sigh that he'd been holding back. The micro pig, confused, stirred and sat up, looking to its master for answers. 

"You better not ever leave me, you little sh*t," was all that Bahr offered. Perplexed even further, the small animal merely cocked its head, furrowed its brows, huffed, then curled back into a ball on the vacant spot of the bed beside Bahr. Bahr, satisfied that everything was still normal, turned to his side away from his pet and tried to rationalize what he'd experienced.It had all felt so real, more real than basically anything else he'd experienced in Aincrad before this - dream or not. Had he eaten something before bed that had made his imagination go haywire like that?

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His chin slipped from his hand and his head began to fall, his face smashing directly onto the countertop he'd been leaning against. 

"THAT AIN'T NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY!" he roared as he came to, his voice echoing through the cave. Confused, he took a look around to gather his bearings. He was in his shop. "A dream?" he mused. "No, it couldn't be." The last thing he remembered was being really upset about all of the women the bosses had let down by evacuating like that. Not only had their shot at freedom been ripped out from under them, but the perfect physiques of the bosses had been fading back into the heavens. What were the women to look at now? Men like Jackpot? They didn't hold a candle.

But, as it turned out, it had all just been some vivid hallucination. It had to have been, as Jackpot was a decent salesman, and would never fall asleep in his shop. Ever. Has he hunched over and laid his cheek back into his palm, he vowed never to let something like this happen again while he was on the clock. He repeated the mantra mentally until he had drifted off once more.

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The hand of God had tugged on their strings, and it was time to go.

Lessa stared at the final line, scribbled in her cramped, rushed handwriting. Her script was even sloppier than normal, as her whole body rocked with lack of sleep. Creative writing had always been her preferred creative outlet, but this particular idea had practically forced itself into existence. Inspired by the most outrageous dream, the woman had rolled out of bed and plopped down at her kitchen table with a pencil and paper. There, she'd crafted some Lovecraftian horror, hand writing each line as if she were possessed. And she must have been, to birth such ridiculousness. 

"What have I done?" she finally asked, though the darkness served as her only audience. Such madness, such foolishness, so many memes. "There is no way anyone will take this seriously." Yet she simply could not bring herself to re-read her own work, to revisit the tale she'd told. Instead, Lessa scooped the pages into a haphazard pile, shoved them into the nearest drawer, and slammed it closed. "What?" she muttered when Riker lifted his head to gaze at her dubiously. "Stephen King did it." Without another word, Lessa climbed into bed, and promptly forgot everything.

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Then, suddenly, death was no longer approaching. 

Dederick opened his eyes to the welcome sight of a canopy of green shielding him from the harsh rays of sunlight that beamed down from beyond. He blinked, then blinked again before furrowing his brows and trying to make sense of it all. A fish man, boar, and goblin? Who would ever believe that something like that could be a threat? Dederick simply chalked up that it had only been a dream version of himself that allowed himself to become so perturbed by enemies so benign. 

Still, it had been a harrowing experience. He thought for sure that he, and his friends, were dead meat. Still feeling a bit shaky over the whole thing, he reached to his side for his source of comfort - a bowl of soup that was hopefully still warm. But when his fingers met with the bowl, something didn't feel right. His face crossed with fury as he snapped his neck to the side to gaze upon his food, and that's when he saw it. He'd spilled his soup in his sleep.

"MY SOUP!"

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