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  1. It was kind of embarrassing to have her first strike be totally no-sold by the rock, but it was also a little relieving to see that Randal also failed to make a dent in it, despite his previous experience. Well, perhaps relieved wasn't the right word, since if he was struggling to damage the boulder, then they'd probably be here a while...but at least it meant she wasn't a total failure for not actually damaging it on her first strike. Either way, she had to do better now, or they'd be there all day! This time, she measured herself and lined up the blow before throwing a punch, which put a sma
  2. Refreshing? What the hell was Aru on? Were all high-level players like that, or was that a tank thing? Or maybe he was just a unique weirdo, that was a possibility too. Either way, she had no idea how he could find that refreshing, but at least it was over! Now next was... Punching a boulder. This guy was a madman. He'd have to be, to believe something about someone punching through a mountain, but even this alone was absurd! This must have been the tedious part of the quest she'd heard about, because she couldn't imagine punching through a boulder with your bare hands would be particular
  3. Melissa didn't really delay, leaping into action the moment Etherial had taken down her own boar. It was good that she could oneshot them with that Sword Art, at least, though even if she couldn't she supposed that she herself could soften them up while Etherial could finish them off for her own tusks. For now though, she was simple going to work on finishing her own part of the quest. Then, she could work on helping out Etherial. Rapiers probably didn't have any AoE arts, so while she killed another one, Melissa herself could soften up a couple more. The redhead charged towards another p
  4. With her armour off, Melissa remained sitting cross-legged, one hand on each knee. Her eyes were closed as she attempted to gain some level of focus, after failing twice already...and slowly, her expression softened, little by little. Her jaw was no longer clenched in frustration, and her brow was no longer furrowed in annoyance. It had been a pain to handle, but after some time to get used to it, apparently she had managed to figure out a way to handle the distraction of the waterfall. That, or she'd simply accomplished it out of sheer spite. No way was she going to let herself be a complete
  5. Melissa gritted her teeth as she sat under the waterfall, brow furrowed as she tried to focus on her own mind...but the frustration of failure so far kept her distracted. Her expression continued to grow more agitated as she felt the water pound down on her back, drawing her out of any focus she was briefly able to obtain. How the hell were they meant to be able to focus on things with so many distractions?! This was absurd! She'd seen martial arts masters doing this kind of thing in movies, but trying it like this made that seem ridiculous. SAO wasn't exactly real life, but it was pretty clos
  6. Just boarlets, huh? So they were weaker than usual, that was a relief. The boars from before had required her to have Astreya step in and take their heads, but if they were weaker, she was certain she could handle them. Plus, Etherial was even stronger than she was, so it was certain not to be an issue. Still, even if they were weaker, that didn't mean they should simply let them do whatever they wanted, so when Melissa noticed that Etherial missed the boarlet, she stepped in to take it down herself before it could strike against her companion. It'd do minimal damage thanks to her mitigat
  7. Seeing the sweat practically dripping from the cloth made Melissa wrinkle her nose. She wasn't the dainty, ladylike type, but...that was still a tad disgusting. More disgusting than she was currently feeling, with her soaked-through clothing. Normally, she wouldn't be complaining about working out with two sweaty, muscular guys...but this was absolutely hellish. She couldn't focus on anything but the burning in her muscles and how heavy she felt, weighed down by her waterlogged gear. With all that, when she was directed to take a seat beneath a damned waterfall, she did a visible doubleta
  8. Melissa wasn't the type to deny help when she needed it, and so she took Aru's hand to help herself up from the ground. It was a bit embarrassing to need the help, but having a mindset of refusing help just to keep her pride was certain to get her killed in this world. "Thanks. And I think I'll do that, Randal. Would probably be better to focus on what I'm good at, rather than trying to force myself to do something else..." With that thought in mind, the redhead approached Master Yunxiang, somewhat sheepishly given how she'd seen him launch Aru a few meters. She didn't want that to end up
  9. Hearing Astreya mention not knowing their routine made Melissa wonder...what did the boars even do, day to day? Did they have a proper AI like some of the other NPCs? Or did they simply have a dumb AI that just had them mill about and attack targets nearby? The processing power of using the latter for every single mob would absolutely absurd, so it had to be the former. No way they had the technology to handle something like that yet! "Well, we've got Astreya here to help out if things go...absolutely terrible, but ideally we won't need to worry about that. Are these the exact boars for t
  10. Well, Astreya was certainly right when she said the guy was a jerk. How rude! They hadn't even managed to get a word in edgeways before he had shooed them out to go collect boar tusks. Absolutely ridiculous! He could at least have listened when they said they weren't even there for that, but nooo, he had to go and assume he was right and that they were there for something. What an ass. With that thought on her mind, Melissa huffed in annoyance as they walked out, hands on her hips. She shook her head in frustration, long red hair bobbing and bouncing as she did so. "Blaireau! How rude. I
  11. Running off all over Aincrad? What was Astreya even doing that would take her so far over? Another quest, perhaps? Either way, it'd be something to ask about later, not now. Because now was when they had to go deal with the blacksmith that her companion had called a jerk. So that's the kind of character he was, huh? From a bumbling mayor, to a kindly alchemist, to a rude blacksmith. What would be next, she wondered? When Astreya greeted the other girl that was lingering around, Melissa did so too, with a quick wave and a friendly smile. The curtsy earned a slightly surprised look. This gi
  12. Seeing Aru be blown back by the NPC called Melissa to jump up in surprise, almost falling over herself from stumbling. What the hell was that?! God, if that's how the Master introduced himself, then she could tell this training was going to be absolutely hellish. She certainly wasn't looking forward to this. Was it even worth the XP? She wondered what she'd gotten herself into as she tapped to accept the quest... Unfortunately, even with the Master's expert eye, Melissa didn't quite manage to grasp the task this time. She simple couldn't keep her own balance while squatting in such a way,
  13. Melissa had heard talk of familiars before, so she supposed that 'Pebbles' must have been one. Perhaps it'd be worth trying to find one of her own? Even if they didn't have any mechanical value, finding one was probably a quest, and quests meant experience! And with the redhead being as far behind as she was, she certainly needed as much of that as possible. "Ah, I really hope it's not as hard as this. I'm used to some physical exercise, but this is much harder. Tout fait mal", she grumbled, mumbling the last part under her breath. Her legs, especially, were feeling the fatigue, though at
  14. It was good to get a look at the two people she'd be doing the quest with. The leader, Aru, seemed to have a good grasp of his own head, and was clearly the most durable of the group, both from level and from the fact that he was wearing heavy armour. Then there was the martial artist, who, if the things she'd heard about this quest were true, would make it significantly easier to actually get this over with. Rumours and infobrokers had mentioned that it was tedious and hellish, but having three people in total would hopefully make it a cinch. Randal's 'scarf' certainly caught Melissa's e
  15. The search for players to assist in the quest had not gone unnoticed by Melissa. While the Martial Arts quest wasn't one she necessarily needed, being a two-handed weapon user, it was still a safe quest, she had heard...and that meant it would be a good way to earn some EXP without putting herself in danger! As such, she had taken Aru up on his offer, and made her way towards the teleporter of the second floor herself, arriving just in time to see him appear. "Hey, you're Aru, right? I'm Melissa", she introduced herself. She had a distinctively French accent, which immediately made her h
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