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Saix

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

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Deep in the Redzone, the Guardian was in her last moments of life. Enraged and hurting, she turned her full attention on Nikki, thrusting forward with one hand and commanding a host of spear like roots to burst from the ground. In an instant Nikki was gone, slammed upwards by the sharp wooden projectiles and lost from sight as the boss vented her fury. The moving column of wood slammed into the ground, Nikki hidden from view by the sharp protrusions, which amassed together were as thick as a tree trunk.

Keith: 56/67

9Lives: 09/17

Shark: 29/41

Nikki: 25/32

Miaki: 47/59

Yunah: 6/15

Haine: 48/61

Ruri: 41/53

Saix: 7/19

Zero: 9/17

Seldentar: 18/29

Daeron: 26/37

Lightfiyr: 15/27

Vandal: 15/15

Grim: 25/37

Clarence: 16/29

Ayane: 11/17

Shanok: 5/17

<> 4/128 [bleeding 1 turns]

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

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Normally level headed and calm if a 'berserk' button existed for Saix, it would be seeing his companions in danger. When he had planned this Boss Assault he had known that the players present could be in danger. He had done everything he could to plan the assault in such a way that they would all survive the battle, because they were one Assault Party, comprised of multiple guilds. But seeing his Lieutenant in danger broke that normally calm facade, and galvanized him into action. "Nikki!" He shouted, knowing that the Bluenette Tank's armor was going to be a tough nut to crack, but not caring, as he saw of his friends in danger. Rapier in hand, he charged the boss in a full frontal assault, dodging right past the massive axe and using it as a means to get closer to his target, racing right up the length of the weapon and charging the most powerful charging skill he had, activating <> he charged forward, disappearing into a red streak as he comet struck through the bosses face, the force and speed of his attack going through her, as she shattered into countless pieces. The huge root structure that had attacked his lieutenant broke away a moment later, falling away like glass as the Assault Team stood victorious against their deadliest foe yet.

[since Haine was on for most of the day but did not finish the boss off as intended, I have done a boss post and will try and finish this battle of now. Though much longer than I had intended, I still consider this boss battle a success in that I think we successfully captured the feel of the Boss Battles as shown in the Anime and described in the Light Novels]

Battle Dice: 9 + 2 = 11 [Crit]

Damage: 1 + 2 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 8 Damage!

Keith: 56/67

9Lives: 09/17

Shark: 29/41

Nikki: 25/32

Miaki: 47/59

Yunah: 6/15

Haine: 48/61

Ruri: 41/53

Saix: 7/19

Zero: 9/17

Seldentar: 18/29

Daeron: 26/37

Lightfiyr: 15/27

Vandal: 15/15

Grim: 25/37

Clarence: 16/29

Ayane: 11/17

Shanok: 5/17

<> 4/128 [bleeding 1 turns]

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

<> 0/16

Total Damage Dealt: 23

Members of the Assault Party Gain...

5,000 Col

10 Skill Points

Last Hit Bonus...

Loot Dice: 15 = Item 2/3

Item: Ironwood Armor

Quality: Unique

Description: This ornate light armored chest piece is fashioned of plates of a dark carved ironwood, and are as strong as light metal armor.

+3 Damage Mitigation, +1 Accuracy

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Zero sighed as he watched the boss fall in defeat, and sheathed his swords. "Well at least we managed to take it down..." He glanced at Saix, giving him a slight nod of approval in his victory, and turned around to his squad mates. "Well that was a pretty good victory guys, I'd say we all earned our share in this fight, some more than others." He opened his menu, quickly disbanding his party, and sighed walking towards the stairs for the next floor. "I'm going to go on ahead, celebrating isn't really my scene, and I'll check the next floor out." He waved back at the others as he walked away and scratched his head. "Wonder what this one's environment is. Can't be that bad.. Hope I didn't just jinx that..."

He slipped his hands into his pockets and began to make his way up the stairs. He caught the faint scent of brimstone and ash as he made his way up up the stairs. He sighed loudly and let out slight huff. "God damn it, me and my big god damn bloody mouth!"

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Zelrius emerged from the shadows clapping. His malevolent and arrogant smile sitting upon his face, Zelrius added in a rather slow manner. "Fantastic! Great work. However, as I look around, I am quite disappointed in the fact that no one had met their bitter end in this battle." He stopped clapping about mid way through and looked around the room. The assorted players certainly looked tired and beaten down. This brought a laugh to Zelrius. He enjoyed their misery.

"I thank you all for your hard work and dedication in giving me the free passage and walk through to the Ninth floor."

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Nikki turned her attention to the attacking groups again, she was holding her spear tightly, as it was still stuck through the boss. She could feel the giant woman weakening from the constant assault. "Were so close... PUSH" She shouted fiercely. AS she shouted she heard the sound of stone and wood breaking, she could feel the ground twisting, and when she looked back it was too late. The bluenette had no time to react as a giant column of roots, branches and thorny vines collided with her body, knocking the wind out if her. In a flash she had gone from secure and in control, to be propelled through the air, by the final strike of the massive boss. The impact had happened so fast and so suddenly that she had actually lost her grip on her spear, leaving it neatly pinned through the bosses midsection.

She tried to call out to her squad mates finding it impossible to yell after such a hit. As she was pushed through the air more and more branches and vines joined the center column, propelling her faster and faster, until they turned sharply rocketing her towards the ground. A moment later Nikki felt the harsh impact of the sudden collision with the hard stone floor. She could hear the ground cracking around her, as dozens of tendrils pressed into her, digging deeper into the stone. She tried to call out again, but found she had no way of doing so, the air that had been forced from her lungs had not been allowed to re enter as she was constricted tighter into the rock. A wave of panic swept over her as several more vines began ensnaring her body, blocking the battlefield from her view and eventually blocking out all light.

Everything was so fast, Nikki had not a chance to prepare, or gain any control. Instead she was now alone, restrained, unable to breath and hidden away in the dark. She could only guess what the scene looked like from outside. She had little time to dwell on this however as she suddenly felt a ratcheting sensation as the core vines began to twist. It was trying to grind her out of her armor, it was trying to kill her, this attack was meant to be fatal. She tried to scream now, as her fear took over, but like before, no air meant no sound. She didn't want to end like this, not buried under wood and stone, not hidden away from her friends. Not like this.

She had no idea how long she was stuck under the roots and branches, being slowly grinded. But eventually the vines weakened, they turned blue, and like all defeated monsters they exploded into thousands of beautiful fragments. Nikki gasped sharply as she rolled over onto her hands and knees, coughing, choking as she tried to bring as much of that sweet air back to her lungs. She hadn't looked up, hadn't looked around and had no idea who had struck the blow. She wasn't concerned with it, all that mattered now was breathing, and being alive. She coughed again, spitting a small amount of blood, and trying to smile. "Did we win?.." she asked hoarsely still not looking up.

Nikki suddenly heard a slow rhythmic clapping approaching the group. It started out quiet and slowly grew. it was immediately followed by that snide cocky voice. It was that Maverick, the one who had interrupted their meeting so rudely, and also tried to frighten some of the players before the fight. He had talked such big game, and now that she thought about it, he had been nowhere to be seen. Even with her vision clouded and her memory foggy she knew he hadn't been there. He had walked by her, that Cocky two faced coward, didn't even pay her a second glance. Nikki growled deeply as she fought her way off the ground.

He had been trying to irritate her from the beginning, she just knew it, even though they had never met she just felt in her gut that he had been trying to get a reaction out of her. Well now he had, he was going to get it, he called down the thunder and now she was going to deliver the boom. She began walking towards him, dropping her shield as she walked. Surprisingly despite her exhausted and near suffocated state she was still able to close the gap quickly, no doubt her anger played a big part in this. Once behind him she grabbed Zel by the shoulder and as he turned she slugged him hard in the face. This was followed by her leaping foreword into his midsection, knocking him to the ground. "YOU SON OF A

BITCH

" She hit him again now from a position straddling his waist. They could have died..." She yelled sharply hitting him yet again. "If anything would have happened to them it would have been yer fault... You wanted them to die... You wanted all of us to die." She fired off another shot, drawing blood this time. "What was yer big plan huh? wait fer us to be killed or weakened and then walk on by and pick off the survivors n loot us all."

She hit him a few more times venting out her fury as her fists began to stain red with blood. "Yer nothing you

[censored]

coward." She shrieked as she looked down on him.

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A crimson light streaked by in between Miaki and the Guardian slamming into her with a thunderous might. In a bright flash and with a final scream the <> was no more. Her last screams echoing throughout the large domed arena. Miaki was panting heavily, sweat beading down his face as he took the moment to catch his breath. He stabbed the ground with his katana and leaned on it. The giant word CONGRATULATIONS appeared high above the room with a small fanfare playing. Looking up at the letters overheard he sighed with relief. Another boss down and no casualties. Yunah was still beside him. Placing a reassuring hand on her shoulder he silently said a prayer of thanks that she was still breathing. "We did it Yunah." He said to her. "We beat it."

Looking over where the boss last stood was Captain Saix of the Ebon Vanguard. At his feet was Nikki's spear which had been stuck in the boss just before it was finished off. Miaki pulled his blade out of the ground and sheathed it walking over to the him. "I see what you did there." He said with a wink to the <> knowing that bosses dropped a last hit item. Miaki knelt down and picked up Nikki's spear the very one he gave to her. He turned around scanning the raiding party looking for the bluenette tank. The sounds of clapping, laughing, and congratulating filled the once poison filled air. Nikki's voice brought it all to a sudden halt with the distinctive sound of some being hit.

Zelrius hit the soil covered ground, kicking up a small cloud of dirt. Nikki was already on top of him beating him to death. The crowd of fighters around her jumped back too shocked to intervene. "Captain!" Miaki yelled, drawing the man's attention as Miaki sprinted forward towards the brawl. He had to break it up before another death match started. With only two meters between them, Miaki dropped the spear he had and slid beside the two fighting, grabbing Nikki hoping to pry her off. "Nikki stop this!" He shouted. Gritting his teeth and pulling her off. Her strength was fierce and a force to be reckoned with as Miaki put all his remaining strength into pulling Nikki off of Zelrius. He felt her fighting back, lashing out wildly at the player underneath her. Balling up his fist, he hooked his right arm around Nikki keeping it between her and Zelrius. With his other and he grabbed her left shoulder and pulled them apart. "Stop it!" He was still fighting Nikki's resisting but could feel a her ease up a little. He turned his head to Zelrius who began to pulled himself up and shouted. "Stand down Zel! You're out of line!" Muttering could be heard from the players around them.

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Zelrius stood, now dusting himself off. He was angry only for a second. He had expected a reaction, Just not from Nikki of all people. He listened to Miaki and considered his options. It wasn't hard for him at all. Without letting his anger show on his face for more then a second, Zelrius ran a hand to his nose and wiped the blood away, looking at his hand then back to Nikki. "Do you realize how hard it is to wash out Heavy dirt and Blood Stains out of this Tuxedo?" He said, acting as though it was the most important thing at the moment.

Without even hinting at it, Zelrius dashed quickly, His sprint skill playing an enormous part in his speed, Over by Nikki, Drawing his sword mid way through and swinging right down on the Girl Tank.

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Keith saw some trouble stirring up among the players and he sighed. Why couldn't everyone just get along and enjoy this victory. Keith dashed over and got between Zelrius and Nikki, holding up a hand to either one and trying to calm them down. "Guys, come on! We all just got through a really rough fight. Can't we just unwind and get along?" He said with a sigh, before crossing his arms and tapping his foot. "Really, we're all pretty worn out. Can we just go to Floor 9 and just live to fight another day?"

But at the last moment, Zelrius attack. "Wait! Stop!" He shouted, trying to prevent any fighting in the weak player group.

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Okay let Nikki - Nikki! Crap is she okay- wait Saix is attacking now..... is.. is it dead? My head is a swirl of thoughts and actions and thoughts as I see Nikki get thrown quickly across the dark boss room and squeezed to an inch of her life. then I hear an animal like scream of the word Nikki. Before even blinking a trail of Crimson flashes before me and charges the now Nikki-hitting creature. Again, things happen very quickly and a red trail of damage goes right through the thing's body and brings it down to its last health points, bring it to a bitter end. Blink once, Blink twice. I see a shower of blue bright crystals fill the room, almost looking angelic even though we are in a battle room. As the boss gets destroyed and opening another floor, i hear a familiar voice in the background.Zelrius? I thought he left! I turn around with a smile, him being a friend but I hear what he says, turning my smile into a un-amused frown. But again, things happen pretty quickly. I see Nikki, all mad and everything, charge Zelrius and punch him square in the jaw."Nikki! Stop!" I yell and run toward the two trying to block them from fighting. YET AGAIN I see Zelrius say something about stains to Nikki and charge her with a sword."Zelrius I swear to god!" I yell and push him, throwing him off balance from his strike towards Nikki.

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Nikki went to strike the Maverick again, only to feel hands pulling her back, slowing her down, stopping her. She let out an angry shriek as she fought against her restrainers, trying for that last desperate hit. All she wanted to do was tear him apart, was that really so bad. She continued to shriek and yell, ignoring everyone around her. Despite being so wounded she was fighting harder than she ever had, everything in her mind and body screamed keep going, and who was she to argue with herself. "Let me go.. Just let me have this." She yelled as she fired off a kick attempting to hit Zelrius again.

It took several moments to get her to stop fighting, and even when she seemed to settle no one dared get out her way or let her go. At this point the once rational thinking tank was an animal, anything could happen and they knew that. Unfortunately she was not the one to be watched as the Maverick got to his feet and dashed at her with his blade drawn. The attack was a complete failure, as the blade hit Nikki's armor and slid off clean. It had done no damage but it had sent a very clear message to the tank. This was an event. This was in the history of Aincrad a first. Nikki was shocked by this action, he had tried to one hit her. Suddenly her mind snapped back, the animal that had been driving her so fiercely found its cage and gave way to the much more dangerous methodical rational mind of Nikki Styx.

In a feat of surprising speed Nikki broke free of the people trying to keep her and Zelrius apart. She moved with purpose, and quickly snatched up the mans hand. As she did she place two coins gently in his palm, closing her own hand over his, pressing his grip on the coins tightly. She followed it up by pulling him in close, still holding his hand shut, while placing her other hand around the back of his neck to pull him closer to her. "This is the cost of crossing the River Styx."* She whispered softly before pushing him away. She turned on her heels and began walking away. She pressed her way past the other players, shouldering Miaki much harder than she had intended to, an act she would apologies for at the dinner for front liners.

She said not another word as she walked back and picked up her shield, taking a moment to gently reattach it to her wrist, before walking over to the spear. She picked it up, holding it in her hand for a few moments before lashing out one more time. She gave a sharp yell as she spun on her heel and hurled the spear with every once of strength she could muster, sending it flying like a missile past Zelrius, missing him by only a few mere inches. It continued on its path until it hit the wall, sticking cleanly from the surface like an arrow. She held up her fingers gesturing an inch, as if to say that she meant to miss, to show him she could kill him, or at least leave him wondering whether she could or not. Without another word or action she left the room, heading up the same flight of stairs that Zero had gone up.

-2 Col - Given to Zelrius

((OOC: *In greek mythology, One could cross the river styx if they paid the ferry man a pair of silver coins. Nikki is using her newly acquired nickname (Thank you Miaki) and the mythology to create dramatic effect.))

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Keith and Clarence rushed in between Nikki and Zelrius as the <> tried to hold her back. He coudn't see everything happening in the small crowd but he heard the sound of steel clashing. Miaki's eyes widened when he saw Zelrius strike at Nikki with his sword. With a sudden burst of strength Nikki broke free and was already at Zelrius. She said something to him that Miaki couldn't make out before she turned around and pushed her way through the players. Miaki wanted to say something to her but nothing came to mind. She shouldered Miaki out of frustration he assumed. Probably a little pissed off at his interference. Rubbing his shoulder Miaki then saw the spear fly through the air into the crowd missing Zelrius. Looking between the two Miaki was too surprised to say anything still. As Nikki stormed off Miaki turned to Zelrius and stormed towards him.

Keith and Clarence seemed to ease between Miaki and Zelrius and the man approached them. They probably expected Miaki to continue something too out of anger. Getting in as close as he could with the two players standing between them Miaki jabbed his finger in Zelrius' face and spoke in a low, furious voice. "You'd better be ready for a long talk after this." His voice trembling as he held eye contact with the <>. Bringing his hand down he turned away and saw Saix. He walked over to the man and looked him in the eyes and spoke calmly this time. "I apologize for this incident Captain. I don't tolerate this kind of behavior anymore than I expect you do." He said with a quick glance back to the players behind him. "If you'll excuse me I'd like to see about getting some fresh air and clearing my head." With that he walked towards the portal that opened and left for the next floor.

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Zelrius only glared at Miaki. As the General walked off and Clarence and Kieth stood there, along with Saix a little bit further down, Zelrius began to walk off himself. However the difference between his walk and the others' was he was going the Opposite direction. Zelrius was headed back down the floors instead of up. He stormed down back to Floor 8 and in the Clearing, The blonde haired boy wasn't going to be having any sort of talk with anybody, Miaki included. As the boy made his way to the nearest town in Floor 8, The one all of the players had met at the day prior to the Boss battle, Zelrius bought a teleport crystal, and disappeared from everyone's reachable range, for now.

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Grim looked at as the whole situation at hand, his head and body hurting from the battle, as he sighs and crouches down on the ground. "So that was a boss raid, well alot of fun, but I think I will rest for awhile." He says as he walked and saw all the comotion as he sighs and looks at Nikki, as he walks to her, and saw she was angry, "Hey Liuetentant, whats going on here?" He says in a depressed tone of voice as he looks at Miaki and Keith his eyes almost faded like, gone from this world as he was not acting like his hyper chipper self right now.

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Haine narrowed her eyes at the incident and gripped her sword tightly, not opening her mouth to say another word as she nervously watched things get horrible before it finally died down. "Why must they make war? I only wanted peace..." she thought with a melancholic expression before sighing and forcing a positive smile on her face. "This is cool for a first boss raid! I look forward to the floor nine creature."

The whole process played out in her mind, from finding the room, the start of the battle, until the very end. Purposely she left out the little cliché drama scene. Haine walked up to her big brother and gave him a small hug before making her way to a spacious area far away from the others. Swiftly she crushed a teleport crystal on the ground. "Teleport: Floor four!"

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After the boss was defeated, Shanok took a moments to let his health go back up, he wasn't in danger anymore, but he still didn't like his HP being in the red zone, it just didn't feel right to him. Because of that, he didn't see or hear the drama that went on between Zelrius and Nikki. All he saw was a bunch of player staring at the stairs, where Nikki had gone to and went up to the next floor. Shanok didn't see anything of interest in the room worth staying for, until he realized that somebody had gotten that last attack bonus item. He looks for the player who he had seen kill the boss. When he finally found him, he went up to him. "Hello, my name's Shanok, you were great out there. I was curious about what you got from killing the boss. I was wondering if you were willing to sell it to me, if you don't need it of course, I won't ask again if you say no." he said awkwardly as he had never talked to this man before. He then realized that he was the leader of the Ebon Vanguard. "Sorry didn't recognize you, again, I'm Shanok, from the Azure Brigade, nice to meet you" he said while reaching out his hand for a handshake.

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We finally beat the boss and cleared the floor. Now it is time to venture to the next floor and do the same thing. I looked around and saw some players going up and others staying to chat. I noticed that Saix was still here. I walked over by his side. Well Saix, Congrats on the last hit... I guess I have to follow through and get you a drink on the next floor right? I laughed as I looked for the rest of my guild members. I turned to Saix again, Hey, have you seen Vandal by chance? I need to talk to him. I opened my menu and saw that everyone was still alive.

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Yunah stood there and watched the Events on fold before. She stood there in awkward silence. she was invisble. a ghost in the mist, no one even noticed her. well except for miaki Right after they had killed the boss... not a single congrats or mention was sent her way after that... Yunah eyed the corner of her vision at her ever so small health bar. she could easily be killed by any of these players now, and so she decided that she should probably take her leave as well. She headed up the stairs and into the next floor.

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Daeron looked around the now nearly empty room. He knew that this was a tough task for a few of the players. He knew though, that the difficulty will only increase from here on. Hearing of what's been said of what the next floor is, he equipped his Solar Flux Robe, and he took the way up to the next floor, to see the view of the Volcanic Apocalypse. "Looks like this robe will come in handy after all." he said as he left the party he was assigned from the boss raid.

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