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Saix

[PP-BOSS RAID-F8] Paving the Way to 9

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It was amazing how sinister two simple wooden doors could seem. Yet there was an unmistakable chill in the air that permeated the area around the entrance to the boss room, as though the atmosphere sought to warn them of impending danger. The Assault Team had made their plans, done their preparations, and at last the time had come for the battle itself. And what a battle it would be. The force gathered to assault <> was larger than any previous Boss Raid to date, with over a dozen having committed to the fight, a far cry from the previous battles that barely ever numbered more than a half dozen. It was a strangely peaceful time, the calm before the storm, as the gathered players took a brief moment to compose and ready themselves before the battle began. If anyone had words to speak or final plans to make, now was the time.

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Miaki stood close to Shark and Saix, with the eighth floor boss room door behind them. This was the second boss raid that he ever participated in and he had the distinct impression that this would play out very differently compared to the last. Last time it was him with three other party members. This time he was sending over five times the amount of players into the lion's den. He stepped forward wearing his trench coat and matching fedora. Miaki gripped his saya, tucked away under his cloak with his left hand.

"Alright everyone. You should've been briefed already on who you are with but pay attention just either way. The squads will be arranged as so. We will be facing <>. However most of you here are tasked with taking on one of the four seed pods that project a toxin into the room. Soon as you have destroyed it you will focus on the boss itself until they respawn." Miaki projected a large display for all to see.

Squad A (Tank): Nikki - Miaki - Ayane

Squad B (Pods): Zelrius - Clarence - Shanok - Yunah

Squad C (Pods): Keith - Ruri - Haine - Lightfiyr

Squad D (Pods): Zero - Vandal - Seldentar

Squad E (Pods): 9Lives - Grim - Ethereal - Daeron

Overwatch: Shark - Saix - Miaki (tertiary) - (Whoever is close to death)

"This is the largest group we have formed yet and I don't want that to worry you. We have taken the utmost precautions in having everyone ready for this fight. Shark and Saix are gonna keep a careful eye on everyone. If anything goes wrong you are to disengage immediately. Alright?" Monitor your health and status carefully and give it your all. Now take this time to familiarize yourselves with your new teammates. Good luck everyone!" Miaki took a couple of steps away from the door and closer to the crowd in front of him. It was the calm before the storm.

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Zelrius looked about at the assembled members. He had a faint, cruel smile on him. This was going to be extremely easy for him. He was teamed with Shanok and Clarence, Two people the he knew he could rely on during his battle. Right now, since the fight hadn't begun, Zelrius felt like it was his absolute duty, to give someone some kind of Trouble. After a bit of thinking on who, Zelrius gave up. He touched and maneuvered the new Crown on his head. He let out a breath of happiness, Adjusting his tie and Mogul tuxedo as if they were what was important right now. Putting his left hand on his sword, Sange, Zelrius looked for the two he was to be partnered up with.

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The air grows cold, as a hooded figure, dressed in black approaches,the man standing alone, as now, the "Walking Reaper" has come, he looks up from his hood, a never ending darkness it held. As he removes it, what would be his face was a mask, a bone mask called the <>, that gave his eyes a hellish orange effect, as he unequips his coat <>, he equips <>, he looks around and sees two others around him, as Grim wanders over to a open space to sit, he ponders, "Hmmm... I wonder who I will be paired with, this might get hairy, no wait this will get hairy, I want to know who im fighting wih."

As he thinks some more, he goes through his inventory, Hmmm... I don't need the coat on me, check. I need the mask on, that gives me +2 to my accuaracy, which means I hit better, I also got healing potions (x2), a antidote potion, intermediate health potion(x2), and advanced health potion." "As well as my Scimitar, <>, this should be good enough for now." Grim closes his HUD and looks at Miaki, and Zelrius, as he waits for anyone else.

{OOC-equiped Items/ Inventory items]

Equiped items

<>

+1 Damage, Natural Critical (Natural Dice roll of 9 or 10/Paralyze:2 turns/posts)

<>

+2 Accuracy/combat die [easy translation]

Inventory Items

<>

<>

<>

<>

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Calm as ever Saix lounged near the door, the other Ebon Vanguard members who had elected to join the battle congregating nearby. If he was nervous about his first foray into the Front Lines and the dangerous Boss Battles that made the occupation so dangerous, it did not show. He was for all intents and purposes, the picture of calm preparedness, and was doing his best to ease the nerves of any of the other similarly low leveled players. Morale was a powerful thing, a potent weapon that could just as easily be turned against them if spirits began to lower. So Saix was playing the role of jovial entertainer, doing his best to raise spirits despite the soon to be mortal peril they would enter.

But he had every reason to remain confident. After all, the plan was set, they were in no real danger. Meticulous planning had become his forte, and allowed him to thrive in Aincrad even if he might not boast a level in the double digits. The fact that he had some of his most trusted Guild members with him as well also helped. The Ebon Vanguard had been founded on one very simple belief, that the many would triumph where the few would fail. His experience with group tactics had been a big reason that he had distinguished himself at the Strategy session for this battle, so he would hate to disappoint after raising the bar as far as the other Guild Leader's expectations on the caliber of «The Crimson Lightning».

More importantly, his guild was depending on him. He had to create the strategy that would win this battle, so that his Guild could continue to flourish in this Death Game. His proposed plan had been bold, daring, and confident; yet he had been hesitant to go into detail on what would happen once the doors opened. True battle plans never lasted past the initial exchange, and Saix was certain that despite how well he had laid the foundation for this battle plan, something was going to happen to shatter it. When that happened, he would be forced to think on the fly; with the lives of those gathered resting in his hands. He was confident that even when the time for the plan to change came, he would persevere, but the prospect of having the lives of his friends weighed in his hands was a heavy burden to bear.

But he had known that from the beginning, he could not have rightfully called himself a leader, even a simple Guild Leader, had he not realized early on that his every decision would risk the lives of those he commanded. He only hoped that he would find himself able to continue to rise to the occasion, because as he looked at his gathered friends, he was painfully aware that the alternative would be far worse than death.

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Nikki arrived at the boss room shortly after Saix. She had been taking some time to mentally and physically prepare herself for the fight at hand. She knew that as main tank her job here was to get punished, and while she was ok with that, she knew that the bruising to come would be tremendous by most standards. She had also taken some time to use her meditation ability, to better focus herself and guarantee that her will would not break or fail her guild, and the others who relied on her today.

Nearby the door several other members had already gathered close by. She immediately noticed a few of her guild mates had arrives, the ones who had volunteered to be here. Nikki couldn't help but smile at their courage for being here. She also noticed Saix, her captain, and one of the primary strategists for this fight. His ideas were one of the biggest reasons she felt so confident in how the day would turn out, and in turn his faith in her gave her the strength to stand firm. She gave him a nod and a smile. "Looks like were almost ready Captain." She said smartly, choosing to address him formally now to show respect and set a good example.

She also noticed Miaki. He had finished outlining the basics of the strategy, she was sorry to have missed it. She smiled again, a little wider now and made her way over to him. She had to push past a few of the other front liners, but quickly closed the gap between them. "Miaki... Can I speak to you for a moment.. alone..." she asked quietly.

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As Miaki broke way from the leaders he was scanning the crowd and saw Nikki pushing her way through to the front of the group. "Miaki... Can I speak to you for a moment.. alone..." she asked him quietly. He thought he saw some small concern in her eyes, if but the faintest amount.

Miaki nodded. "Sure, let's- let's go over here." He said to Nikki as he gently grabbed her left bicep and lead her off to the side. Miaki hadn't had time to talk to her yet since the final preparations for today's raid were in motion. "Whatcha need Nikki? Everything okay?" He asked her looking over her lovely face with his bluish-green eyes.

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Nikki nodded softly as Miaki pointed to a less occupied spot and led her over to it. She had been trying in her mind to figure out what to say, aside from the obvious. At first she was hesitant, she lowered her gaze avoiding eye contact, and held her breath as she psyched herself up. "Ok... So you will need to follow my lead when we are in there. I need to know that you are right where I need you to be in case anything goes wrong. Yer my second, and if my health falls to low, I need you ready and at my side." She looked up at him now, holding her gaze steady as if that had been everything she wanted to say.

After a moment or so she began to tremble slightly as the thoughts she had been wrestling with the previous night had rushed back to her. The reason why she needed to meditate and focus herself was because she was afraid, not for herself, but instead for him. She didn't want him to get hurt. "Im sorry... That's not what I meant to say..." She struggled with her words now, trying to find the ones that worked. "Just please... Please don't die." Her voice dropped to a near whisper and her gaze dropped to her feet again. She could only imagine how silly she sounded acting like this, after all he was a guild leader, there was no way a floor 8 boss could hurt him, and yet still she worried.

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Miaki listened intently to everything Nikki said. She seemed very nervous to him. He wondered if this was the first time she was given so much authority in a fight, a boss fight at that. Miaki let her speak and noticed her avoiding eye contact. At a normal tone he said. "I'll be there right beside you no matter what. You give the order and I'll obey it without a moments hesitation." Soon as he said that he felt he was drawing unwanted attention to them from the others. He didn't bother checking to see if anyone was watching them he simply focused on everything Nikki said.

"Just please... Please don't die." Miaki felt a slight chill like the one he felt a previous time with her on the fifth floor. She was worried about him. The craziest thing was he was worried about her too. Everyone else in the room probably thought Nikki would be fine and she probably will but that didn't help how he was feeling. He then realized he just how much he had begun to care for her. "What? And leave you alone in here?" He inched closer and brushed a strand of blue hair out of her face. He brought himself down to a whisper and said, "I won't. Especially if I have you with me right?"

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Seldentar arrives, with his familiar equipment still on. As he approaches the group and realizes there are no more NPCs to fight through to get here, he immediately begins changing things up. Scrolling through his inventory, his necklace, sword, and armband all vanish. Changing things up, a new black sword appears on his back, a shield forms on his arm, and a set of gauntlets form over his hands.

Items Chosen:

Midnight Blade: +2 Damage

Massacre Gauntlets: +2 Battle Dice

Shield of the Templar: Reduce Duration of Poison, Paralysis, and Bleed by 1 turn.

After selecting his items, he makes sure he has his two potions he bought ready to go. His Potion of Hercules and Survival, along with the NPC Store bought healing potions and antidote potion. Turning he looks at the group assembled.

"Well then, this should be fun."

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She smiled up at him and nodded. He was going to listen to her, Not that that was her concern, but it was comforting to know. He had also pledged to not leave her alone here. That was comforting, more so than he could have known. It was practically a promise, so he couldn't die now, not in her mind at least. She took a quick look around wanting to make sure that no one else was paying them too much attention, one of the last things she wanted was for people to think that they were giving each other special attention for whatever reason

Nikki looked back to Miaki still smiling. "That means a lot to me..." She spoke gently now, not like the nervous whisper before, but instead in a happier softer manner. "Listen this is gonna sound silly but... Whats yer name?... Yer real name?..." She stopped for a moment and looked around to make sure no one else was listening, if she didn't already know his name it was clear that he didn't want others to know.

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Miaki took a quick glance when he and Nikki broke eye contact to check where everyone else was. The last thing he wanted was to find out they were waiting on him. Their eyes met again and Miaki started to forget about everyone one else conversing around the door. Nikki's smile brightened up the room for Miaki and he smiled back.

"Listen this is gonna sound silly but... Whats yer name?... Yer real name?..."

Miaki had never spoken to anyone before about the "other" world beyond Aincrad. Except for once, with Nikki, once again on the 5th floor. He told her then about what he did, what kind of life he lead, and what his dreams were in the other world. But he never told her his name. As far as he was concern he was Miaki Murakami, the <>, leader of the <>. He stopped himself. She wanted to know who he was. Who he really was. "My name is Mia- sorry... It's Michael. Michael Lancer." He said with a tilt of his head.

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She had arrived with her armor on as normal, with her curved sword named <>. She then looked around seeing that Keith hadn't arrived yet, she stood by Haine, awaiting for Keith to come too. She gritted her teeth knowing that there was a boss among the doors if she were to open the doors. She knew she didn't want to see that poisonous octopus again. She had known the health... She hadn't really wanted to die but she knew along with Keith she could win practically and fight. She had grinned and then looked back seeing a few gathering elsewhere, Nikki and Miaki talking as she looked over to Haine. "Ready?" She asked her friend and {Co-Leader} rank. She had wanted to help out along to completing SAO not just sit around doing nothing, yet that might be safer, she wanted to help out like her brother. She then saw Seldentar arrive. Knowing that now that if he had helped kill the monster she might have to rank him up.

Equiped:

Spark (Sword)

+2 Damage +1 Battledice

Chest Of Recovery (Chestplate)

+2 Hp

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"I like that. I like it a lot." she had a glint in her eye now as she spoke. Michael Lancer. It was cute, and I suited him well. Him and his Fedora. Her thoughts drifted momentarily to that day when she first met him, she still had trouble believing how far things had come. She remembered her first impressions of him as well, with his fedora and dirty coat. Thinking that that noob player was the man in front of her now was enough to make her giggle. "My name is Abigale. Abigale Sticks."

More people had started to arrive. The time was drawing close. She knew that she couldn't keep Miaki much longer as she would need to speak with Saix and with her guild members before the fight, and she was certain that he still had business to attend to before hand. Nikki slowly moved closer and wrapped her arms around Miaki's waist, pulling him into a hug. "Good Luck Michael..." She whispered playfully. "After this... You owe me dinner." With that said she released her hug and backed up and turned to join her guild one more time before the fight.

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"My name is Abigale. Abigale Sticks." Abigale... Miaki's mind lingered on that name. While his mind lingered on that he began to feel the warm comforting embrace of her arms wrapped around him. He placed his arms around Nikki and settled his hands at the middle of her back. He took a breath and saved this moment to his memory.It lasted forever and yet was over in an instant. "Good Luck Michael..." She whispered to him playfully. "After this... You owe me dinner."

She began to step away and aimed to join the raid party standing away from them. So soon? No, not yet. Miaki didn't want things to end yet. He impulsively grabbed Nikki's wrist causing her to turn her head to face him. Miaki took a deep breath through his nose as they made eye contact. Miaki thought he saw the slightest bit of confusion on her face as he bit his lower lip and sprang forward wrapping his arms around her upper body and pressed his lips against hers. He closed his eyes as he began to loose all sense of everything around him. The boss. The people. Everything. That is everything except Abigale.

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Haine had arrived outside the dungeon with a serious face on. "I wont let myself die. I know I can do this, I'll try my hardest and give it my all. If I die, I know that I'll be dying heroically." the bluenette thought. She would wait by Ruri as she smiled lightly at her. "We can do this! We'll kill this boss," she nodded with a determined look, drawing her sword, <>. This was her first ever boss fight.. so it was kind of new to her. But she knew she would get out of this place alive. She had her mind set on that goal.

Equipped:

<>

+2 Damage +1 To Battle Dice

<>

+1 To Battle Dice

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"Aye!" She smiled back at Haine, wondering who would follow them into the boss raid. She smiled as she slightly hugged her friend. "Glad you could make it, and hope that you win this thing and make it out alive." She spoke softly to the fellow bluenette as she lounged on her sword against the wall near the trees and bushes off the path. A small smirk on her face as she knew <> would be a good weapon to kill off the pods of the boss.

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Nikki's eyes went wide as she was pulled into a kiss with Miaki. For a moment she couldn't comprehend what was going on, it was all so sudden, so fast, and then... She was enjoying it, that brief moment, that sudden explosion. Everything about it was exciting and new. Her eyes closed as she held the kiss a moment longer before slowly pushing away from him with a smile. "Michael... Thank you" Was all she could manage to say as she flushed a sharp red. She took a look around to see if anyone had noticed and then looked back to Miaki still smiling. Nikki tried to think of something else to say, but found herself choking on her thoughts and words.

"Wait for me after we defeat the boss..." She said quietly still smiling. Now she knew they would have been seen, and people would be wondering, but they could wait. For now there was something more important at hand. She needed to brief her guild members and finish getting ready. She looked him in the eye one more time and gave him a quick wink before turning away to leave. As she walked she couldn't help but smile a little wider, and her step carried a little extra spring. She took one last look over her shoulder before she returned to Saix's side.

"How are we looking sir?" She asked Saix as she looked over the group of fighters ready to fight their way past this boss.

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I was just walking around as everyone was listening to Miaki's speech. He sounded confident yet a bit scared. I can relate to his feelings. This would be my 6th boss battle. I have organized the battles on floors 1-6 so I have a general idea on how this will go. I returned up to the front next to Saix, You ready pal? I asked in a serious yet somewhat joking tone.

I then patted him on the back as I left to go talk to the guild members that I currently have here as well as vandal, since he is on a team with Zero. Alright guys, we can do this. I want you all to focus and protect each other. Remember that if anyone comes close to dying and does not have a health potion, then just yell and I will switch out with whoever is the closest to death. I don't want any of you to die. When we get out of here, dinner is on me. I told the team as I tried to pump them up.

I went back to the front and saw Saix and his guild so I went over to wish them luck. Hey guys, I just want to wish you all luck in the boss fight. Saix and I will do our best to make sure that no one dies today. Oh... Saix, After we get out of here, I'm taking my guys and paying for dinner. You and your guild is welcome to join us. In fact... I would love it if you did. I said as I kept a serious and calm. I wasn't scared because I knew how this was going to end since we have some strong and smart players. Saix, I am looking forward to working with you in this battle. I encouraged him as I extended my hand for a handshake.

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Michael's eyes rolled back under his shut eyelids has his lips locked with Abigale's soft, sweet, pink lips. He felt all of his senses go nuts as his mind began to spin. Everything felt the floor shift to the side as he held onto her and kissed her and poured much of his energy into that kiss. His brain began to laze about as he focused on the kiss until they slowly pushed away. His head swayed for a brief second as he regained his balance.

"Michael... Thank you" Nikki said as she turned bright red.

Miaki had a sheepish smile on his face as he looked at her. "Dinner." He said taking a short breath. "You've got it." He said breathlessly.

"Wait for me after we defeat the boss..."

"I will." He promised her.

Nikki walked off and if Miaki wasn't mistaken she did so with a little spring in her step. The Silver Swordsman stood there wow'd by the whole experience. "WOW." He said to himself. "No wonder they're out of breath in the movies." He walked towards the group completely oblivious if anyone was staring at him or not.

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