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i. | ii. | iii.

| somewhere in the nobles district.
 | but now also stuck in a tree.

"how... long are they going to be at that, do you think?"

two pairs of eyes were trained on the ceaseless horde of owlbears continuing to disgrace the base of their sanctuary with claws and fangs. time was passing slowly for the duo as they sat and rested, the early morning growing ever deeper still as the player checked her interface for the time. 3am.

how she wasn't entirely sleepy yet was only but a miracle.

"i don't think they're ever going to let up."

with a flick of her ponytail, the gemini stilled herself, setting a hand to the tree bough she was resting upon, legs folded and placed to the side as she continued to watch the masses. that stray curl of her hair's end caught night's attention, albeit accidentally, and the player let out a breath of relief, finally daring to spare her counterpart a glance.

"seems like it."

8hmll5P.png
| NIGHT
 | Status: [trying not to recall a taunting kindergartener's chant.]

Notes: 
Water Canister (-1) | +20 HP PER OOC REGEN
 | ooc hp regen: 60HP/post

Spoiler

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 122/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | Stealth Rating: 5


 equipment

  • Cosmic Devourer+1 
    | ABS. ACC, ACC, ACC
  • Jacket of the Prince
    | LD II, EVA, REC (3)
  • Silver Ring
    | PROSP III 

 battle-ready inventory

  • Gungir's Shard | Missing You (5)
    | -> 
    [ref] | HP RECOVERY III | INSTANT
  • Teleport Crystal (5)
    | TELEPORT | INSTANT
  • Spherical Yam Ball (5)
    | VITALITY II [+12 EN]

 skills

Spoiler

mod count: 7/7

  • 2HSS | RANK 5/5
    • ferocity, stamina
  • CLOTH ARMOR | RANK 5/5
    • athletics, nimble
  • COMBAT MASTERY: DMG | RANK 3/3
  • SEARCHING | RANK 3+1/5
    • tracking
  • BATTLE HEALING | RANK 3/5
  • EXTENDED MOD LIMIT
  • ENERGIST
  • FAMILIAR: PROFESSION

extra

  1. SURVIVAL
  2. CONCENTRATION
  3. HIDING
    • blindside, vanish, surprise attack-t
  4. [CS] METAMORPHOSES

 consumed buffs

Spoiler

statue

  • KUMATETSU | +1 DMG

consumables

  • Berry Crumb Bars | LOOT DIE III | [#178064]
  • Mousse | PROSPERITY III | [#190274]
  1. Crème Brûlée | ACCURACY II | [#176134-1]
  2. Super Speed Matcha Motchi | EVASION I
  3. Liquor of Light | DAMAGE III 
  4. Breakfast Fry | PROTEIN II | FILLED
  5. Divinity's Protection | OVERHEALTH III | [#174134-1]

 misc buffs

Spoiler

housing

  • Dimensional Backpack, Item Stash
    | +2 Battle-Ready Inventory Slots.
  • Well Rested
    | -1 EN for the first three expenditures of each combat. 
  • Relaxed
    | +(5 * Tier) HP per out-of-combat post. Full energy restoration occurs after two turns out of combat.
  • Squeaky Clean
    | -25% DoT damage taken from the first DoT applied to this player in a thread.
  • Skylight: Searching
    | +1 Expertise to declared utility skill. Cooldown of 30 days to reassign.
  • Multipurpose
    | +1 LD/Prosperity/Stealth/Detection to one post per thread. Can be applied after a roll.
  • Filling
    | +1 T1 slot to a food consumed by this player in a thread. Can exceed Cook enhancement caps.
  • Col Deposit
    | +5% col from loot-minimum mobs, +10% col from treasure chests.

paragon

  • Lv. 5 | Gain additional col equivalent to 10% of EXP earned in that thread.
  • Lv. 10 | +3% EXP Gain.

gathering

rank 2 | xp: 69/200

  • Greenhouse
    | +2 G.EXP, +1 CD&LD to gathering attempts.
  • Familiar: Profession
    | +2 G.EXP
  • Demeter's Cornucopia
    | +1 CD to gathering attempts. 

 

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night's tidying of her figure had only taken a fraction of her doppel's time, the player choosing to switch her attention to a small draft half-composed to be sent to fleur whilst watching the crowd and trying to ignore her gemini's presence. multiple predators, en masse in one location; certainly, something was up, especially in a hideaway that was meant to be devoid of creatures. sabotage? an event or a quest? she'd scribbled down the possibilities with curled fingers sifting through her hair. and when she'd gotten her thoughts down on text, the sudden clinking of porcelain grabbed her attention, sights shifting from dark to light.

day was pulling out a plain tea set, similar to the one they'd shared at home.

"i-- what are you doing."

the entity had two hands wrapped around a teapot, steadily pouring some of its drink into two cups. steaming warm; items kept in inventory were well known to preserve their temperature, but the sight was still unusual to the player, especially all of a sudden.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

194452 | 11 | CD | +3EN

194452 | 9 | -> Martlet #1
194453 | 10 | -> Martlet #2
194454 | 1 | -> Martlet #3
194455 | 8 | -> Martlet #4

| (-12 -8 +2) = -18 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Martlet #1 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #2 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #3 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #4 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 107/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [T: 0/2]

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night soured and reeled, shooting daggers at day with a look. "please don't tell me that's ours. or that you took it from our drawers before you decided to follow me."

"that's too specific a sequence," the gemini chided, eyes narrowed in parallel to her original's withdrawl. she'd paused her pouring in the act, pulling the teapot backwards as she frowned. but with a blink, day recovered, continuing to fill up the second cup with some tea. "i had a portion stored away some time ago. but i can't guarantee how it tastes. it's not made by either of us, so..."

"... huh?"

the player stared into the auburn liquid in curiosity. it looked familiar, though it wasn't of a shade that either of them had stored back in the kitchen. at the entity's gesture of an open palm towards one of the cups, night took it off its saucer, two fingers grasping onto the handle, questions rattling within her head. her other hand held its base in a gentle hold.

"... did you-- buy this?"

"well, you could say that."

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

194456 | 2 | CD

194456 | 1 | -> Martlet #1
194457 | 10 | -> Martlet #2
194458 | 10 | -> Martlet #3
194459 | 5 | -> Martlet #4

| (-7 - 8 +2 +4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Martlet #1 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #2 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #3 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #4 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186 

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 98/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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where'd her doppel even get the col?

night closed her eyes, unsettled at the thought of her entity breaking npcs norms, talking and interacting to other players on her own accord. not that the player should've been limiting the gemini's experience with the world, of course, but the gravity of their secret continued to dig deep into a pit in her stomach. but her attention was instead focused on the silky smooth way day had decided to avoid directly responding to her query. the player's hands resettled on her served drink. "something tells me that you're lying to me again."

it was with a bored look that her other glared back at her, matched with the twinkling of a canister being brought out of hammer space. devoid of fascination, her pause in movements stole night's attention from the tea to her duplicate. and somehow, that gaze sent prickles up her skin.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

194460 | 6 | CD

194460 | 5 | -> Martlet #5 || 5
194461 | 1 | -> Martlet #6 || 1
194462 | 5 | -> Martlet #7 || 3
194463 | 7 | -> Martlet #8 || 8

| (-14 -8 +2 +4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Martlet #5 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #6 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #7 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #8 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186 

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN:82/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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"and look who's talking but the master of secrets herself..."

it was all night could do to stay quiet, lips tightened, feeling more sheepish with each second that passed them by. day pouted, hands uncapping the additive with a twist; with two fingers, she gestured for the cup in the player's hands. in reluctance, the woman held it out for her better half, turning her gaze away, an empty hand resting on a knee.

"yeah, well. i don't think i want to hear about it from a compulsive stalker either, thank you."

while night fought to swallow the feeling of a stone lodged in her throat, she heard day's voice grate against her own, mixing the creamer into her original's drink. another small tinkle; the player caught a glint of light off a glass rod when day fished it out from mid air, and the clatter of delicate materials churning against each other were the only sounds, aside from the growls beneath them, that filled up their void of quiet between.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

194464 | 7 | CD | +3EN

194464 | 3 | -> Martlet #5
194465 | 2 | -> Martlet #6
194466 | 3 | -> Martlet #7
194467 | 6 | -> Martlet #8

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

Martlet #5 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #6 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #7 | HP0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #8 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186 

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 79/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [C: 2/2] [GD: 1/4] [B: 0/2]

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"there," her other muttered, once the task was finally done. the two drew apart once again, not sparing their other a second glance.

it was cold, this way. a fragile, thick tension, that barrier that stood before them. and night listened to the sounds of her secondary stir in creamer into her own serving, too, after turning her front away from her gemini's own. if there was anything to entertain her sights, it wouldn't be day now, the player resolved. she set her eyes to the skylight, the entire dome made out of glass, watching the canopy obscure part of her vision, the waves of the thick cluster of leaves in speckled green.

a sup to sate her wanting. the drink was refined; there hadn't been a hint of earl grey in its scent had night been asked just a moment before. and though it must've been barely tasteless, from night's realization on her second sip, that emptiness from her immediate attention only drew her towards careful acknowledgement about the tea in her hands.

it was warm. it pooled in her insides. night held her languid gaze up to the darkness above, wordless, hesitant. greatly unfulfilled.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

194468 | 6 | CD

194468 | 5 | -> Martlet #9
194469 | 2 | -> Martlet #10
194470 | 4 | -> Martlet #11
194471 | 8 | -> Martlet #12

| (-12 -8 +2 +4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Martlet #9 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #10 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #11 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #12 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 65/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 2/4] [B: 1/2] [T: 0/2]

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it was right as she'd set down her emptied cup that night had spotted something in the distance. barely a moment to have put real effort into her muted "thanks," her glazed gaze was attempting to regain hold on the present, making shapes out of the muddy shadows, that faint screeching of something unfamiliar.

"another welcoming committee?" day huffed, downing the rest of her tea before starting to collect her items. night rose first, counting out what she could make of the army in her periphery. if only she had the appropriate mod--

"that's where that weird... figure... person was last seen at, right?"

she gestured to the center of the flock, hazy against the darkness. her doppel hummed in affirmation, following night's in suit, just as the player started to take steps forth in examination of their temporary base of operations. the camphor was large; had the two of them wandered into the heart of its depths, night was certain they would've been lost in it for a week.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

194472 | 12 | CD | +3 EN

194472 | 4 | -> Martlet #9
194473 | 5 | -> Martlet #10
194474 | 7 | -> Martlet #11
194475 | 4 | -> Martlet #12

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Martlet #9 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #10 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #11 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #12 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 59/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 3/4] [B: 2/2] [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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day didn't even have to ask as she approached her player's back. that quick look over her shoulder once she heard shuffling told night enough; in her stead's hand was that all-too-familiar lance of white, and night summoned her own weapon in turn, careful not to set it alight.

"there's enough of them for us to be overwhelmed again," she explained, hand stretched to the bark of their tree. the tip of her blade was raised and waved towards the surrounding boughs. "so we're going to take the perimeter. do you know exactly what those things coming our way are?"

a shake of the gemini's head; negative. night did the same, shrugging it off with her hand. though her attitude seemed to speak of indifference, that grimace on her face spoke otherwise. "it's fine," she reiterated, uncertain if it was meant to be toward herself or her technically superior companion.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

194476 | 6 | CD

194476 | 8 | -> Martlet #13 || 9
194477 | 3 | -> Martlet #14 || 7
194478 | 6 | -> Martlet #15 || 4
194479 | 2 | -> Martlet #16 || 6

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

| 966 - 187 = 779 HP

Martlet #13 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #14 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #15 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #16 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186 

NIGHT HP: 779/966 | EN: 53/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 4/4] [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2] [B: 0/2]

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perhaps in a game that prided itself more on the realism of survivability, there would be some urgency, held in hands of care and caution as the pair made their way across the divides between their steady platforms. yet aincrad held very little of the former when it came to terrain and environment; the real danger truly lied within the beasts that it posed to its players, night realized, as she made it past different gaps of various widths, uttering thanks to a deaf system that one of its chess pieces were there to guide her at every step of the way.

realistically, through the motions of chaining sword arts, players might've been capable of exploiting the physics system of the game, hence putting cardinal's generative level design aptitude to shame. and yet, with the introduction of solidified cooldowns, it was difficult to justify the risk of capturing once fluid motions the same way, if the same art were to be used twice in succession, or even on a basis one swapped between two arts instead of relying on the one.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

194480 | 7 | CD | +3EN

194480 | 5 | -> Martlet #13
194481 | 3 | -> Martlet #14
194482 | 10 | -> Martlet #15
194483 | 2 | -> Martlet #16

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Martlet #13 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #14 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #15 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #16 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186 

NIGHT HP: 807/966 | EN: 40/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [C: 2/2] [B: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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with entities, this sort of technique wouldn't have mattered in the first place. and though night might've cursed her other every moment she needed that extra push, the additional clutch, deep down she knew that such an endeavor wouldn't have been possible anyway, in the first place, had it not been for the presence of her good luck charm. fingers wrapped around the palm of her other, she barely gave day more than a glance as her thanks each time she took the needed help; look too long and the player's gaze might linger, slowing them down. too quick, and she'd feel ungrateful for not having given any sort of thanks.

she was sure the thought had crossed both their minds as they continued between sections, night catching a glimpse of day's steady, yet often stoic expression -- 'how large exactly was this tree'? the player barely had anything to act as a compass in ensuring they'd be heading in the right direction, circling around the camphor.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

194484 | 6 | CD 

194484 | 8 | -> Martlet #17
194485 | 4 | -> Martlet #18
194486 | 6 | -> Martlet #19
194487 | 8 | -> Martlet #20

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Martlet #17 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #18 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #19 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #20 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED

NIGHT HP: 835/966 | EN: 26/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [B: 2/2] [GD: 1/4] [T: 0/2]

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but one of the rules of video games were that when one had caught wind of an enemy, doubtless they were headed in the right direction.

"over there."

and night saw it, saw them in all forms intriguing yet horrific. a flock of birds, large-winged, closely resembling a bunch of hawks or eagles circling mercilessly around the side of the camphor. had the player started from their position and walked in a straight line away from the tree, there was a high chance they'd manage to find their way out of the birch forest.

the problem was in how rowdy these beasts were, the woman noted. and for a moment, she wondered if they could wait until they'd settled, marking their home bough in the vicinity as a waypoint for the duo to return to in a few minutes' time.

day's hand on her shoulder as she turned back spoke at length for the entity. and the player, annoyed, turned back to the fowls for another examination.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

194488 | 5 | CD 

194488 | 10 | -> Martlet #17
194489 | 10 | -> Martlet #18
194490 | 5 | -> Martlet #19
194491 | 6 | -> Martlet #20

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Martlet #17 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #18 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #19 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #20 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 863/966 | EN: 17/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 2/4] [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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they had no legs.

no; what was even more tragic was the fact that upon a closer examination, they didn't even have beaks. it almost begged night to question where the screeching sound was coming from, had these birds, while whistling through the air, were incapable of making noise without a mouth.

an examination window told her they were martlets. a recount at a closer angle further emphasized the lot of their numbers. and as day returned from the extremity of the branch they were on with a shake of her head, night huffed, turning her gaze upwards to the tree's upper echelons as her gemini pointed the blurry dots her way.

"more likely they just got stuck here than halfway up the forest." day's hunch was only just; night's guess was that they were trying to find respite despite having a lack of proper raptor functionalities. she couldn't help but feel a tinge of sorrow for these sorry creatures, wondering if it was best to put them out of their misery as soon as possible.

Spoiler

RESTING | +60 HP, +1EN // ooc

194492 | 6 | CD

CONSUMING FROM INVENTORY

  • Round of Beef | TIER 3 VITALITY II | (1) | [154507]
  • Ikayaki Slice | TIER 3 VITALITY II | (1) | [153287]
  • Spherical Yam Ball | TIER 3 VITALITY II | (4) | [154346] [154346-1] [154346-2] [154346-3]

+72 EN // consumables

NIGHT HP: 923/966 | EN: 90/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 3/4] [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2]

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"i could stop them with tempest," night explained, after watching the fowls for a minute, blade twirling backwards in her hand as she looked upwards to continue. "and if you could cause a distraction further up the tree..."

day hummed, folding her arms and closing her eyes. a heartbeat's pause, "a flare of some sort might be able to do the trick."

given the possibility that flares might be used in large-scaled outdoor activities, night couldn't deny the possibility of such an item existing in the game, despite not having seen it before. but it was because of the fact of the latter that she objected, a wry look on her face to accompany it. "if only we had one. but we have to work with what we've got."

"right."

the gemini didn't sound too convinced, and that sentiment was written all across her face as well. it was in their mutual hesitation that night stewed on their operation's commencement.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

194493 | 10 | CD | +3EN

194493 | 7 | -> Martlet #21
194494 | 4 | -> Martlet #22
194495 | 10 | -> Martlet #23
194496 | 2 | -> Martlet #24

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Martlet #21 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #22 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #23 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #24 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED

NIGHT HP: 951/966 | EN: 79/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 4/4] [C: 2/2] [T: 0/2]

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was a heartfelt appeal the best way to start off this conversation? night couldn't even help but shiver at the thought, the side of her fist pressed up against her lips as she continued to think. it wasn't as though the player was comfortable with being straightforward or direct, either, and it showed through the anxiety, the small tick of the woman's shuffling of feet on the spot, as the duo were rooted there, day watching the lesser birds scurry around haplessly in chaos.

it was in some sort of panic after their silence for so long that night released a squeak, catching the doppel's unfazed attention, and sending the player into sudden distraught. by incident, the words she was so familiar with were strung along on instinct, entirely lacking in comprehension, caution and tact.

"i-it's not like i need you to act as a distraction or anything."

she just couldn't believe the build up of phrases she'd wanted to spill as her mouth went on a half-minded spiel.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

194497 | 7 | CD | +3EN

194497 | 9 | -> Martlet #21
194498 | 6 | -> Martlet #22
194499 | 6 | -> Martlet #23
194500 | 3 | -> Martlet #24

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Martlet #21 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #22 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #23 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #24 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 73/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [T: 1/2] [C: 0/2]

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because day already was a distraction in her own right. because day didn't need to act the part to be that way, the prideful bastard.

"i'm sure i could get by with wrecking tempest into one of those birds and sending a whole bunch of them to the floor in one go."

likely story. even day had raised a brow at night's sudden outburst, sending the woman into jitters furthermore. night swallowed, almost steaming, trying to find the right sentences with her mental processes working on overdrive.

"i-i just thought that if we were going with a less destructive, less dangerous plan, you'd get the attention of the birds much more easily, that's all."

and the woman summoned all her will to have forced herself to shut her mouth right there and then. the gemini leaned in with a tilt of her head, confusion and doubt mixed in the entity's expression.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

194501 | 4 | CD

194501 | 9 | -> Martlet #25 || 1
194502 | 4 | -> Martlet #26 || 6
194503 | 6 | -> Martlet #27 || 5
194504 | 3 | -> Martlet #28 || 2

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Martlet #25 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #26 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #27 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #28 | HP: 120/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 57/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [T: 2/2] [C: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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"how so?"

day's voice was soft. incredibly so. against the harshness and defensiveness that night herself had put up in her speech, that delicate, gentle query lulled out in a whisper almost had her shivering on the spot, if adrenaline wasn't pulsing through her veins, taking over her senses moreso than the slip of oxytocin the player suffered from being this close to her companion. a flushed, heated breath against one cooled and complicit, the player was left wordless with a fog of reasons to respond with.

(really, it was in the way that night might've compared her to the sun. unable to look at her directly at all, an entire hazard had she done so, and struggled to keep her within the player's own line of sight even at an indirect glance. the way night often felt warm around her, whenever they got too close to bear; the way her smiles often brightened up the room, the highlight to the player's itinerary on every occasion. even in the way day was persistent, persistent in following night around when most of the time, even in the way she stirred trouble, it was as though the gemini was a galactical body she couldn't escape from; night was trapped in a perpetual orbit, spiraling from her other's gravitational pull. the center of her galaxy.)

(inescapable. undeniable. they were the reasons why night was certain it would work, if the birds were anything mortal like creatures such as herself.)

(because there was no way night could ever shy away from the fact that was her doppel's inherent excellence.)

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

194505 | 7 | CD | +3EN

194505 | 6 | -> Martlet #25 
194506 | 8 | -> Martlet #26 
194507 | 10 | -> Martlet #27 
194508 | 1 | -> Martlet #28 

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

Martlet #25 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #26 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #27 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #28 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 54/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [C: 2/2] [GD: 1/4] [B: 0/2]

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in reality, night shifted closer with a held breath, a hand slowly raised as she near forced herself to forget her thoughts just the once, to look fiercely into her doppel's eyes; nothing but the truth and honesty in her words within these few, reckless seconds. a hitch in her breath; deep within, the player was still fighting back all possibilities to actually say something, to unfurl her thoughts with words, to explain all that was necessary between her other and herself.

that slow hand, empty, that was raised by night's side finally settled on something solid and firm.

immediately, the player shied away, because the force of cardinal instantly kicked into her form, sending several jolts of electricity running into her figure from the arm upwards. night stumbled, and day glanced downwards at what was nudged in the player's dazed state, eyes wide open as the two of them returned to the present in several, distinctly different ways.

night didn't need to say anything, because with one look day already knew the depth of her ideas.

"o-ow...!"

the gemini's spear was shiny.

birds liked shiny things.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> TEMPEST

194509 | 12 | CD | +3EN

194509 | 10 | -> Martlet #29
194510 | 8 | -> Martlet #30
194511 | 5 | -> Martlet #31
194512 | 8 | -> Martlet #32 

| (-12 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -14 EN
| 30 * 14 = 420 DMG

Martlet #29 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #30 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #31 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED
Martlet #32 | HP: 210/630 | DMG: 186 | STUNNED

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 43/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 2/4] [B: 1/2] [T: 0/2]

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if night ever had a certain, specific penchant for combat, it might be in the way that, during the sweeps of her blade against her enemies, she'd manage to strike them without fail with both eyes closed, vision entirely impaired. there were several times in the past that this had occurred before, unbeknownst to the woman, for every single occasion it had come to fruition, night had always entered it in a state of absolutely wanting to forget the scenarios surrounding that state of mind or the state of her environment, so much so that she'd lodge it to the back of her mind, never to be spoken of or thought about again.

this was one of those occasions.

with a hand almost strapped to the front of her vision, it was in repeated attempts at feeling the resistance of air in her hops along the camphor that she sent flying birds down to the ground with a stun from [tempest], and whirled back to safety with a deliverance of [cyclone] to nearby targets without fail.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> CYCLONE

194513 | 5 | CD

194513 | 10 | -> Martlet #29
194514 | 10 | -> Martlet #30
194515 | 6 | -> Martlet #31
194516 | 6 | -> Martlet #32 

| (-7 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -9 EN
| 30 * 7 = 210 DMG

Martlet #29 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #30 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #31 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #32 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 34/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 3/4] [B: 2/2] [T: 1/2] [CD: 0/2]

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any stray targets from loose, reckless and malpracticed strikes she'd dispatch with a [galaxy destroyer] once she was on solid ground, and if that wasn't enough to root them to the ground, a final [blast] would cull what was left of their health, the woman choosing not even to look upon her foes on two principles:

  1. the martlets already looked so sad without their essential, defining body parts.

  2. she couldn't believe her failure of communication actually convinced her other half to have gone with the plan from an initial, horrendous state of reluctance.

embarrassing. absolutely embarrassing. what heart of the flock of birds were now being lead up in an ascension towards their intended flight path, given both the warriors' guesses, leaving night to clean up the mess of birds within their immediate area. and, given the large number of such beasts concentrated in the same manner, it took the player several rounds of clearance before their numbers thinned enough to attract the attention of her doppel from her height, the entity abseiling downwards with a skid of her weapon into the tree as a reliable, frictional force.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> BLAST

194517 | 10 | CD | +3EN

194517 | 5 | -> Martlet #33 || 2
194518 | 7 | -> Martlet #34 || 1
194519 | 6 | -> Martlet #35 || 4
194520 | 9 | -> Martlet #36 || 8

| (-4 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -6 EN
| 30 * 4 = 120 DMG

Martlet #33 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #34 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #35 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #36 | HP: 510/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 31/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [GD: 4/4] [T: 2/2] [CD: 1/2] [B: 0/2]

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it was with a couple of skips that day landed by night's side. and the player was still, still holding onto absolute darkness in her hands, trying to forget that instant of near vulnerability, trying to shake off the shiver of immediate discharge once cardinal had decided her a threat to the arsenal of her doppel entirely. with a nod towards the scattered few birds that were still in the vicinity, the gemini stepped ahead of her other, traces of a smile lingering on her face as she paced along.

"you ready to go? it's not like they were inherently hostile from what i could tell."

the player merely grunted, trying to peel off her palm from her vision, the familiar burn of shame and distress marked as pink and red plainly on her cheeks. all day could read, failing the subtle signs of her original's infatuation, was in the job well done for their current scenario.

"y-yeah," night groaned, headed towards the trunk of the tree in a defeated shuffle, "let's just... get on with it already..."

before i make a bigger fool of myself, she thought.

Spoiler

SWORD ART -> GALAXY DESTROYER

194521 | 10 | CD | +3EN

194521 | 1 | -> Martlet #33
194522 | 7 | -> Martlet #34
194523 | 8 | -> Martlet #35
194524 | 4 | -> Martlet #36 

| (-14 - 8 + 2 + 4) = -16 EN
| 30 * 17 = 510 DMG

Martlet #33 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #34 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #35 | HP: 0/630 | DMG: 186
Martlet #36 | HP0/630 | DMG: 186

NIGHT HP: 966/966 | EN: 18/122 | DMG: 30 | ACC: 5 | EVA: 3 | REC: 3 | LD: 10 | PROSP: 6 | BH: 28 | ABS. ACC || [CD: 2/2] [B: 1/2] [GD: 0/4]

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