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[SP - F6] The Duelist <<The Gemini>>


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"Another one."

Receiving word from the Cardinal that another player has once more stayed inside Krycim for the required amount of time for his quest, the Gemini, pushed himself off the bench and quietly reviewed the data that's been sent to him. 

"A war hammer user, a reckless combat style and the tenacity to ignore the damage that comes as consequence from fighting said way."

The Gemini groaned internally. He had nothing against the more simpler weapons in Aincrad, however the duels he had with them normally devolved into who hit who first. And because of quest requirements, he was forced to employ the exact same weapon as his opponent as well as their way of fighting. So he silently resigned himself to playing whack a mole with his opponent, then get crushed due to his lack of Sword Arts, a player only skill that normally made his bouts one sided affairs, with him normally on the side that's slaughtered.

(Player Stats)

Spoiler

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 140/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Equipped Items:

  • | "Betsy” | Warhammer | 2 Handed Weapon | Tier 1 | Rare | Damage/Damage | 
  • | "Small Peppermint Sack" | Trinket | Tier 1 | Perfect | Accuracy/Accuracy/Accuracy |
  • N/A

Skills:

  • | “War Hammer“ | Rank 4 | Weapon Skill | Passive | 
  • | "Charge" | Combat Skill | Post Action |

Consumed Items:

  • N/A

Battle-Ready Inventory:

  • | 3x “Starter Healing Potions” | Potion | - | Heals 50 HP |
  • | 1x "Teleport Crystal" | Crystal | Use a post action to activate a teleport crystal. Teleports the player to the town or designated teleportation area they specify.
  • | 1x "Coffee" | Potion | Consumable | Tier 1 | Perfect | HP Recovery/HP Recovery/HP Recovery|

 

Edited by Kura
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The door swept open, and the Gemini stepping into a dingy tavern hidden in one of the back alleys of the village. A watering hole didn't exactly fit into the Amazonian aesthetic, but alcohol tended to flow in majority of the floors regardless of the lore. The Gemini wasn't exactly sure why, but he was thankful to the Cardinal for this its inclusion, the bar allowed him to pass the time when there was no players dueling him. But he wasn't here for a drink this time, no he was here for the guy drinking on his lonesome.

Glancing at the player he was meant to duel, he didn't seem like much. At first glance Kura had no armor nor weapons, but through the eyes of the system the Gemini could sense the accuracy trinket the player had on them. Quietly, they noted that they didn't have the evasion trinket that the player normally kept on them.

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Figuring that enough time had passed sizing up his opponent, and said opponent being completely oblivious to his gaze, the Gemini made his move. Taking the seat next to the player, they would wave to the bar man, asking for the same drink as the player. Curious, the player looked over to his side to the hooded figure.

"Hello there. Do you need something?"

"Ah, I just wanted a duel. I-"

"Ok, lets go."

Finishing his half drunken whiskey glass, Kura would then stand up and begin exiting the bar. The Gemini was flabbergasted at the speed the player accepted the quest. A thought flashed through his mind that perhaps this player knew that this quest was here, but checking his data made it clear that Kura was no planner.

"Excuse me, hooded guy. I don't want to fight in a bar if I can help it, but if you want to..."

Being called out snapped the Gemini out of his thoughts, and he saw Kura already next to the exit, waiting for him. Slamming down the drink he just received, the Gemini quickly made his way to the player.
 

Edited by Kura
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The newly formed duo walked outside of the village, with one still utterly confused at the recent events. Not exactly the events themselves, but how quickly it happened. The Gemini would look over to his adversary with a curious on them, at least as curious of a look a hooded figure could have.

"Do you not want to know why I randomly asked you for a duel? Or how I found you at that shady bar? Perhaps even who on Aincrad I am?"

"Nope."

Blinking underneath their hood, the Gemini then shrugged. Well he didn't exactly mind the whole process being expedited, but he was a little miffed about how he was randomly cut off during his dialogue. Though the Gemini eventually reasoned to himself that it was probably for the best, as saying that you've watched someone from a distance for a long time is a great way to have a terrible first impression, much less garner enough trust for a duel in a death game, but that was just his own opinion. 
 

Edited by Kura
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Feeling the Cardinal twist the world around him, while perhaps strange to the player, always brought the Gemini a sense of comfort. While he had the ability to communicate to the player and even eat as well as drink, they were first and foremost born a dueling A.I. Something that he silently took immense pride in, despite his track record as well as the track records of his predecessors.

The Gemini took a moment look at the pond beside him. Quietly, he thought about the previous Gemini, the ones who died being slain by the players who refused to spare them. He was lucky so far, either winning or being shown mercy with his previous bouts, but well, he felt his luck wouldn't hold for long. Shaking his head, he pushed those thoughts down for now. Summoning a replica of his opponents weapon, the Gemini smirked.

"Lets see who will win the duel today..."

Edited by Kura
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Dropping his disguise, the Gemini rushed at his opponent, who at this point didn't even have his weapon equipped. To Kura's credit, he didn't even flinch at the Gemini donning his looks, but what did give him pause was the war hammer slamming into his chest. A sickening crunch echoed through the clearing, and Kura felt numbness spread from his now broken ribs, the pain being nullified by the Cardinal. The system however didn't stop the wind being knocked out of him, as his lungs struggled to take in air.

Gritting his teeth, Kura forced his body to evade the follow up blows from the Gemini. It didn't even look like a fight for the first few exchanges, with the Gemini pressing his advantage and Kura desperately trying to disengage to pull out his own weapon. But eventually he found a chance, in the form of ducking under one of the Gemini's blow and tackling them to the floor.

Spoiler

Declaration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 140/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Gemini | HP: 210/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

Regeneration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 140/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Combat Phase:

<<Gemini Concentration Activated>>

<<Gemini Surprise Attack>>

ID #195228 | MD 7 + 3 + 1 = 11 | Hit | DMG: 56 | Gemini vs Kura

Resolution Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 84/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Gemini | HP: 210/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

 

Edited by Kura
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Luckily for Kura, the Gemini fumbled with his war hammer when he was tackled, causing him to let go of it as they both slammed into the ground. Being tackled was a first for the Gemini, so was the sudden fist crashing into the bridge of his nose. Rolling off of the now stunned NPC, Kura got the time he needed to access his inventory and equip his own weapon.

Blinking the stars out of his eyes, the Gemini grabbed his weapon off the floor and glared at Kura while ignoring the numbing sensation spreading from his nose. The Gemini wouldn't allow himself to be caught off guard twice, as he sprinted forward and began trading blows with Kura.

Kura was able to find the first opening, his hammer crushing his opponents shoulder. Whether through sheer force of will or due to them being an NPC, the Gemini pushed through their injuries and punished Kura's blow by smashing their own war hammer into Kura's head. Stumbling backwards, the Cardinal immediately blocked out the pain and replaced it with the numbing sensation for Kura.

Spoiler

Declaration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 84/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Gemini | HP: 210/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

Regeneration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 84/140 | EN: 32/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Combat Phase:

Post Action | "Fling" | x16 | 12 EN Cost

ID #195229 | BD 4 + 3 = 7 | Hit | DMG: 144 - 14 = 130 | Fling vs Gemini

ID #195230 | MD 6 + 3 = 9 | Hit | DMG: 56 | Gemini vs Kura

Resolution Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 28/140 | EN: 20/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Gemini | HP: 80/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

 

Edited by Kura
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Forcing his body to rebalance itself, Kura found his footing once more, just into time to side step the follow up strike from the Gemini. Any blow was now fatal for Kura, his health firmly in the red, and the lowest it has ever been in his whole experience in Sword Art Online. And despite that, he didn't even blink as he brushed against what he thought would be death while dodging, not realizing that he would be spared if he were to fall to 0 hit points.

For the Gemini's part, he knew that he needed to end this quickly. Despite seemingly having the advantage, a players damage output against his would easily out pace his own. He needed to capitalize his momentum from his surprise attack to give him the final push to victory, and so he recklessly pressed forward, refusing to give this player even an inch of breathing room.

Kura knew, it was now or never.

Pushing his body for one last burst of agility, Kura weaved through the Gemini's attacks and went for the throat. The Gemini's wind pipe was crushed by Kura's war hammer, leaving him gasping for air. A follow up blow slammed into the Gemini's side, knocking the NPC's health into the red. Then with his last bits of energy, Kura smashed his war hammer into the chest of his opponent, doing fatal damage and triggering the "Defy Death" ability.

The duel was now over, with Kura as the winner by a slim margin. Each of them refusing to collapse, Kura and the Gemini had their hammers acting as makeshift canes, both of them heaving with exhaustion from the brutal bout they just had.

Spoiler

Declaration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 28/140 | EN: 20/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Gemini | HP: 80/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

Regeneration Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 28/140 | EN: 20 + 1 = 21/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

Combat Phase:

Post Action | "Ripple" | x14 | 12 EN Cost

ID #195231 | BD 4 + 3 = 7 | Hit | DMG: 126 - 14 = 112 | Fling vs Gemini

Resolution Phase:

Kura | Lv. 7 | HP: 28/140 | EN: 9/32 | DMG: 9 | ACC: 3

<<Defy Death Activated>>

<<Duel Over>>

Gemini | HP: 1/210 | DMG : 56 | ACC: 3 | MIT: 14

 

Edited by Kura
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The Gemini and Kura stumbled off to one of the nearby trees and were leaning against the same one. When he caught his breath again, the NPC tried to give his spiel about whether or not he was going to spare him or not, but Kura waved him off, not caring about his words and much more interested in the canteen of water he was guzzling down.

Feeling fairly certain that Kura wasn't about to kill him, the Gemini began to tiredly begin his spiel about thanking the player, which was then interrupted by something falling into his lap. Looking down, he saw the same canteen that Kura was drinking. Not really wanting to go through the whole song and dance for the quest right now, the Gemini would instead focus on the water he was gifted as he popped the cork and began drinking. Idly, he noted that it was full empty.

"Thanks, player."

<<Ending: "Sparing The Gemini">>

<<Quest Complete>>

Edited by Kura
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They both eventually caught their breath in peace, with the Gemini quietly sending requests to the Cardinal to redirect roaming monsters away from the area. He was not going to defend this player from any sort of attack right now, not after that duel.

Suddenly remembering why they were both exhausted, the Gemini grimaced. He was grateful for Kura for sparing his life, do not get him wrong, however it hurt to lose such a close match, especially when the fact that he just needed to land one more solid blow and he would have achieved victory. It was especially frustrating to the NPC since he knew that players rarely, if ever interacted with the Gemini after they got their Extra Skill. But internally he resigned himself to being happy with this one bout, even if it ended up as a loss. Sighing, he began to push himself up, only to stop when Kura spoke up.

"You already done? I'm ready for another round."

Edited by Kura
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Those words made the Gemini freeze. The sheer absurdity of that statement throwing him for a loop. And his perspective was valid, with them having the equivalent of a life or death battle around thirty minutes before. Sure both their hit points as well as energy had recovered, but normally one would call it a day after that affair. Honestly the Gemini should have as well, but a stupid smile found his way onto his face instead.

"Your damn right I'm ready for another round. Want to try unarmed combat? I want to return that punch you gave me near the beginning of our last fight."

"Sounds good, but can I make a request?"

"Shoot."

"Mind taking a different form? It's strange to see my own face."

The Gemini suddenly remembered he was still disguised as Kura. Thinking for a moment, he decided to go for the look of another player who had a gender neutral appearance.

(Gemini Transformation)

Spoiler

492917397_Imnotsorry.jpg.ed8819653546ac35128fb453609e93e9.jpg
(I'm not sorry)

 

Edited by Kura
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Kura went still as he saw the Gemini turn into a new look. Confused on why Kura froze up all of a sudden, the Gemini tilted his head, wondering whether or not Kura was lagging or something. He pushed that aside for now, as the Gemini remembered that when he sat up, he felt something slip off his lap. He looked around for a few moments and saw the canteen that was loaned to him on the ground. Grabbing it, the Gemini would then turn back to the player.

"Here."

"You can keep it."

"Eh? Uh sure, thanks."

Curious, the NPC requested for the emotional state records of Kura from the Cardinal, which the System granted. He found that Kura was currently anxious, which was really strange considering that according to the data, when normally faced with life threatening situations such as their fight a few moments earlier, soloing field bosses or killing swarms of bats, he never felt this level of stress.

Edited by Kura
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Though as soon as it had begun, the data from his current situation showed that Kura had returned to his normal relaxed state. The Gemini shrugged it off, quietly wondering why those outliers in Kura's emotional state had occurred, without realizing that he was the cause of them, specifically his transformation. As for Kura, he had taken a few hard knocks earlier that he hadn't fully recovered from. While normally he wouldn't have blinked at such an occurrence, he admittedly wasn't at his best today and was distracted for a few moments.

Pushing the question of how his sexuality was affected by recent events in a dark corner of his brain never to be seen again, Kura thought about the fight ahead and he was able to clear mind as he made his objective to win. His trinkets were already unequipped as he pushed himself off the ground to fight the unarmed duel. Kura never joined in any organized fighting such as martial arts or boxing, but he was willing to give it a shot.

Edited by Kura
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While Kura had no unarmed fighting experience, the Gemini could cheat a little by accessing the techniques in the Cardinal system, the martial art sword arts to be precise. They couldn't actually use them like the players could, however the Gemini could glean the proper stance that needed to be taken while fighting unarmed.

On the other side, Kura took his best shot at mimicking the Gemini's stance, and while it was a good attempt, he was no artificial intelligence. And while Kura was trying to fix his foot work, the Gemini saw his chance and dashed into striking range. Unburdened by a war hammer, the Gemini was able to display their true agility, immediately getting into Kura's guard and going for an uppercut.

Kura would not get caught off guard again.

He slipped past the blow, and in the same motion went for a jab, trying to buy distance between him and his opponent. The Gemini was already moving out of the way when Kura went for his counter attack, and respected the fact that his surprise attack failed by backing off a bit. Despite this, the Gemini had a vicious smile on his face as they positioned themselves for their next attack.

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Going for a different strategy, the Gemini looked to exploit Kura's poor footwork. Sensing an opening, the Gemini slammed his fist into his unguarded stomach, and immediately took a step back, narrowly avoiding Kura's hook. While he missed, Kura was both able to weather the gut punch and regained the initiative, a fact that that he took advantage of as he readied to go on the offensive.

But Kura wasn't the only one who could dodge.

The Gemini blocked Kura's first jab, parried the second, and side stepped the third. Kura's last punch left him over extended, which the Gemini rewarded with a right hook to Kura's face. He felt himself stumble for a moment, before Kura forced his body to balance itself once more. Idly, he wondered if the stars in his vision were a glitch in the game, before he blinked them away and reset his guard. Meanwhile, the Gemini looked like a cat that caught the canary as he back pedaled out of Kura's reach, eyes alight with excitement.

Edited by Kura
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Kura was losing this fight, badly too. That didn't stop him from raising his guard once more, ready to receive his opponents counter assault. The Gemini happily obliged as they leapt back into the fray, opening up with a cheeky feint with their left hand, which then flowed into another vicious hook as Kura dodged the wrong way, taking the blow in full again.

While he wanted to continue the fight, that last punch left Kura's body reeling, only being held upright through sheer willpower. And even Kura's tenacity had a limit, which was exceeded when the Gemini went in for the kill, landing a clean uppercut on Kura's chin and knocking him to the floor. The system might have nullified pain, but the numb sensation all over Kura's body was equally disconcerting. Knocking his opponent down, the Gemini went over to Kura's side, both once again exhausted from the fight. Crouching next to the player, The Gemini tapped Kura's nose, as if to declare victory. 

"That was fun!"

Despite the Gemini being out of breath, his tone still conveyed a joy that was simply infectious, which made Kura smile even though he lost the bout.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few moments later the Gemini had joined Kura on the ground, both of them lying side by side while recovering from their fight. Kura lost handily, though rather than the frustration the Gemini felt earlier from her loss, all he had was a curious look on his face. 

"Got an idea on how I could have won that fight?"

"Five minutes after our bout and you're already looking for revenge... Hmm, your best bet was grappling instead of trying to match me in striking. You're a bigger guy, throw your weight around like you did in the first fight and tackle me."

"Couldn't you simply change form into a bigger guy to counter that?"

"One, that sounds like cheating. Two, I prefer this form."

With his question answered, Kura focused his attention towards the sky. The sun was already setting, and he knew that the stars would soon show themselves. He should have begun to make his way back home... But the grass felt soft underneath his back.
 

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The Gemini furtively looked over to the player next to him. Technically, as part of the quest line, he should have already left the player to their own devices. But like Kura, the Gemini had a few questions of their own.

"Why did you want to have another match? Most players would have already left by now, much less challenge me to a fist fight and then lay side by side with me under the stars."

"You wanted to fight again."

"Yeah that's true. But that's the thing, I wanted to fight again. Why did you want to go for one more round?"

"Well..."

Moving his body so his body was laying on his side and facing the Gemini, Kura idly noted that the Gemini's hair shone underneath the moonlight. Hearing the shifting of Kura next to him, the Gemini also turned onto their side facing Kura as well, realizing how close the two actually were.
 

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The Gemini was beginning to feel a little weird as they took in the situation they found themselves in. They were alone, underneath the stars, so close that their noses were about to touch. Programmed to fight, the Gemini had only the basics in emotional algorithms, so they weren’t exactly sure why they felt a little awkward. Not sensing the complicated feelings that the Gemini were grappling with, Kura continued.

"I wanted to be with you for a little longer."

"Eh?!"

The Gemini immediately sat up, a blush dusted across their cheeks as they stared at Kura in disbelief. Kura didn't seem to care as he went on.

"This was the first time I've been called out by someone. I didn't have many friends back in the other world, and it felt really good to be called out by someone, even if you just wanted a duel… Hey, do you mind if we stay together a little longer?"
 

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"Oh... Sure."

Not really sure how to respond to that, the Gemini settled on laying back down on the floor. The Gemini had no idea why they decided to give into Kura's request, chalking it up to paying this random player back for their second duel. But there was also a small part of the Gemini that also wanted to be together for a few moments longer. It felt nice being with someone for not the sole purpose of combat for once for the Gemini.

Hours passed as they quietly looked up into the night sky. Neither of them were one for words, content with being enchanted by the stars above. The silence was broken however, with Kura's yawn. Blinking at the sudden noise, the Gemini looked over to their sparring partner.

"It’s getting late, you should probably be heading back soon-"

The Gemini stopped talking when they realized that Kura had his eyes closed, and his breathing slowed. Flabbergasted that a player would casually fall asleep next to a stranger, in the wilderness of all places, the Gemini sighed and turned their attention back to the sky.

"When you wake up Kura, we’re going another round, ok?"
 

(Thread Summary)(Sparing the Gemini Ending)

Spoiler

Kura:
+ 400 Col [Total] | 400 [Thread Progression]
+ 1700 EXP [Total] | 1500 EXP [Quest] | 200 [Thread Progression]
+ <<Concentration>> Extra Skill

 

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