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[BR-F26] Paving the Way to Floor 27 [Gabrandr-The Broken King]

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Eruda steps forward next to Raidou. Shield raised and sword to her side. "You have also wasted our time. This entire debacle you could have been leading us to this King that you speak of, to destroy the real problem and grand all of us," at this time she looks to Firm Anima and then everyone else in the room, "Peace, including your mind and your companions. You chose your path, for that you will not be allowed to leave this room." Looking back, she finds Firm Anima walking to shadow behind her and Raidou, weapon at the ready for when the word was given. Today would be the end of this monster, all he had to do was speak first. He chose revenge over all things though. That was a very wrong choice on his part. Flames began to raise beneath her feet, that same flame that @Gabrandr had but lighter and much hotter. She was ready for anything that would happen from this point forward.

@Freyd @Freya @Sam @Shiina @Simmone



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The room was small and dimly lit as only a handful of torches lined the walls in the area that rested in front of the Boss room's door. A pungent odor filled the air, the same that had filled the long

General Notes: Please ensure that the following are included in your stats: - Shifts (or note as ‘none’ if you don’t have one) - Combat masteries  - Source IDs for all consumables* (ID roll

( @Raidou ) His eyes closed, a familiar voice would be the first to speak to him. It was the voice of the one that had been willing to promise the well-being of his people and to raze the Grand Impe

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Shiina teeters back and forth as the conflict seems to draw to a close, noticing her 'trusty' metal steed had died and was nothing more than a giant weird sculpture. "Lame." The girl exhumes as she slides off and clatters to the floor, rattling like a shelf full of pots and pans out of a cupboard. Picking herself up after a struggled girly push up and a grunt, she dusts off her legs and BATTLE SKIRT before glancing at the big ol' discussion breaking loose in the center of the fray.

The girl shrugs, chuckling as she shoves her hand out in front of her sideways. An extended thumb showing her indifference. In the back of her head, the girl starts to hear thoughts playing back behind her eyes.

     "He must die."

          "The man is broken, he is of no use."

               "I must be made whole."

Sticking out her tongue, and twisting that clenched fist into an upside down thumb, her choice was made. After all, he did yeet her. A harsh raspberry to show her disdain.

<< Kill >>

(OOC: Ignore this if you wish, this is an alt and I understand if her vote doesn't count)

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Dragging her scythe behind her as sparks spring in every direction. She could feel Freyd's presents, beside her as she walks forward. Black mist begins to leak from her form as she concentrates on the only this that meant her team harm in this chamber. "Your words mean nothing without proof," twisting that large weapon of hers, catching the middle of her hilt with the other hand. "You have given us no such thing." Stopping her trail to stand right behind her sister, Speaking over her shoulder toward the broken man now seeming to be pleading and very forthcoming knowing damn well that he was at his end. 

"You could have had a friendly conversation before all this damage was brought upon you, but you decided to move your pawn first. Bad move bro," saying as she waits for the others to collect around them as a whole. A demented chuckle escapes as a grin forms on her face starting this man down.



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"Activated what exactly?" Simmone remarked curiously, her eyes advancing up toward where @Gabrandr's eyes were trailing and finding nothing more than a ceiling. That rapier's energy fizzles out, scanning the others in the chamber for some disheartening. Curious if any would see the need to trust this blubbering buffoon looking to shift the blame away from himself onto some other unseen opponent and play the victim. "I'll bite, fine, we will protect this 'people' of yours, after all it shouldn't be too awfully difficult given how easily we dismantled such a carefully built plan." That tone still had a noticeable bite to it, something was still making her spiteful. "But as I said before, dear. To bargain, you need something to offer, and the way I see it. Your life isn't quite yours left to give now is it?" As she looked to the child that was tossed earlier in the fight and finding an extended gesture of what should be.

"There you have it. Nothing personal."

A sudden second message comes in without warning, one from a member of the guild she hadn't expected to hear from. "Oh? Interesting." Quickly tapping away at the keys, a pair of NPC twins somewhere were on the move at their mistress's behest. With quite a number of col at their disposal. Such a strange answer to an intriguing problem.

(OOC: Ignore this if you wish, this is an alt and I understand if her vote doesn't count)

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Sam says nothing as she watches the very tall man in retreat mode. Full on almost pleading to die right there. To Sam, he didn't deserve to live just by those actions that he never once owned up to. Everything that she had said right before this happened, they were all right. He could have had a chat before firing in our direction, but he let that revenge get the best of him. For that alone his companions might suffer. He was not protecting them, he was causing more damage than harm. No harm would have come to him if he just simply was a guide to the real problem, but up until now it was almost like he was protecting that King that he spoke of. Those pleading words meant absolutely no meaning in her eyes as soon as this came into her realization. Walking behind her guild keeping quite still, she readies her weapon. 


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As the room and the boss seemingly grew still, Calrex remained on guard for a moment. After many battles where a lull in the combat meant another was coming, he didn't want to take any chances. Brief pauses could mean a final wave was coming, much like how the Leviathan unleashed a tidal wave after retreating for some time.

However, as the choice mechanic appeared in front of him, that gave the Ultramarine Knight meaning to brief relax. Closing his eyes for a moment a calming breath escaped his lips, the building energy for his followup Sword Art technique being dispersed. A brief flick changed his grip on the Grand Blade IV into reverse once again. Reaching back to adjust the sheath he guided the sword back into place, stretching his arms and shoulders for a moment, "Well, I guess the Cardinal system is playing back into that moral quandary debacle we had some time back."

It may have been because of his many quests and battles leading to this point, but the bluenette's opinion of the NPCs had become a fairly neutral stance. While he could play along and deliver conversations with them in order to progress quests, deep down he still understood that at their core was a series of binary inputs. Their human-like complexity was produced as a result of the learning AI that SAO was built around, and these were at their base allocated resources for performing a certain job. To a degree, that was what every player in the game had become as well. While their appearances and the like were supposedly one to one with their real life selves, in the end they were still digitized copies.

All of that being said, he gave hesitance to the decision. As he glanced across the field, he saw many players from the other teams with their choices written all over their faces. If Gabrandr was some kind of martyr for his people, he had made a terrible first impression by choosing to attack the frontliners. However, how much of that was also chocked up to him programming? This was, after all, a floor boss raid. Fighting was to some degree inevitable. It reminded him much of what transpired with the Dark Elf Council, ending with sparing a couple of the remaining boss characters. They were still able to progress, which did clue in that the requirement of "killing the boss" specifically was not a hard and fast rule.

His eyes stared at the choice window in front of him for some time before the veteran frontliner gave a small sigh, walking over to the rest of his team, "Here we go again. From what I can tell, a good amount of the other players wish to see blood. However, I have a feeling in my gut that there's more to this whole thing. At the same time, I also want to avoid risking splitting the frontlines after we've finally got some cohesion again."

Giving a small pause, he looked over to @Baldur and @Shield, "I'm gonna defer my decision to the guild leaders on this. Whatever choice you think is best, I'll back you up on it."

Reaching into his battle-ready equipment slots, the Ultramarine Knight produced one of the extremely rare items in SAO, a Safeguard Potion, "I've still got a bad feeling about this, so gonna take a precautionary measure."

Tilting his helmet back and exposing his mouth to the open air, he tossed the potion back, the vial vanishing from his hand. A brief sheen became visible over his character temporarily as the protective barrier came into effect.


Consumed Item:

Safeguard Potion - First Attack Negated


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The battle came to an almost immediately halt. It was as if the king suddenly gave out. Frowning, he would watch as the King's name would suddenly glitch out again. Not only that, the boss had suddenly taken a shift from almost half of his unique Blue health to a low Red. How had that happened? What did the blue stand for and why had it gone away when Gabrandr gave up? There was something about this boss that was different. 

Listening to his words, the blonde could hardly believe it. Was he just giving it up there? He wanted them to take his torch? Why was he unwilling to fight them? Moving to the front, he would look to Gabrandr as ask the boss directly a question. "Why do you stop fighting? Is it because you won't? Or is it because you can't?

It appeared the entirety of Firm Anima had decided against the boss. Whether that had an influence on his decision or not, he was unsure. Their leader had killed so many. Now he was wanting to pass judgement on a man who simply threatened to? Much less, NPC's as well. Incredulous his audacity was. The others might've just been blind followers. He hadn't the chance to meet many of them. 

"I say we abstain our decision for now. Let him live, take us to the surface. We can see if he lies or not there. We've beaten him here, so if he ends up fighting up there we can put him down. Here, he just seems like someone cornered. He was left with one decision: to fight like a cornered rat." 

Sighing, Jonathan would stand with his katana pointed toward the ground with both hands resting on its hilt. "The Ascendants were taken from me... ripped away in an instant. Most of them are gone now. I did no less than this man before us. I lashed out on the one's who cause it and an innocent got caught up in it. A real person, not an NPC. All I'm saying is that I would give him the same second chance that was offered me. Should he be willing to accept it and Atone as I did." 

Taking his weapon and sheathing it, he would make a few steps towards the room's entrance. "Kill him or spare him, it may not matter. Hirru proved to us three floors back that a Boss can change. Who knows, maybe this one might actually be useful. I want to head up and see the city. If something is going on up there for real, the fight not be in this room anymore."


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A break in the fighting. Koga's grip on his katana didn't slack. Not until he looked at the boss. Gabrandr had paused, his arms falling to his sides. Without sound, his armor slowly dissipated, drifting away on unseen currents, revealing the man beneath it all. The King fell to his knees, vacant eyes staring ahead, and Koga knew that the fight was done. He sheathed his weapon, the quiet rasp of steel rubbing against wood following by a soft click.

This didn't feel like a victory.

Although Koga hadn't paid attention to whatever the boss had been saying throughout the fight, he'd heard fragments, enough to put together the pieces of the picture. A desperate regent, desperately trying to protect his people. That was something Koga could relate to. The swordsman drew his lips into a thin line as he slowly joined those who had begun to encircle the defeated boss. Words were exchanged between the boss and the red-clad man. Then a prompt appeared.

Koga stared at the small display, his eyes widening in shock. His head swiveled to look at the rest of his party, for what he wasn't quite sure, but the sounds of others speaking, pressing buttons indicating their choice, he wheeled around again. They were being serious. An entire guild had just condemned a man to death. A man who was only trying to protect his own. Weren't they doing the same thing?

Another glance back at his party, Calrex deferring his choice to his guild leaders. The muscles of Koga's jaw tightened, as he grit his teeth, threatening to crack them.

Well, Koga wasn't a part of any guild. He wasn't beholden to the decisions or opinions of others. Even if he didn't know what @Baldur and @Shield would do, he knew where he stood.

"We can't do this," Koga said, eyes filled with determination as he gazed at the two men, trying to convince them to spare the king. "The threat's been eliminated, there's no reason to put another man to death."

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“You speak to us of Fate, and denying its designs?"  Freyd's words simmered with barely controlled anger, barked out between clenched teeth in outrage at the system's flagrant attempt at a feint. 

"But you're the agent of that fate, are you not?  You're not a man, Gabrandr!  You've no soul, or body laying in some unknown, wasting state beyond the confines of this prison world.  You're a figment conjured to challenge and delay, spinning a tragic tale so that we feel bad.  Your deeds contradict your words, and what you spout as noble intentions falters in the face of ignoble action.  Raidou speaks truth: We cannot trust you.  Add to that your creator’s complete and total loss of credibility and the conclusion is already set.  That,” he added poignantly, “is truly fate’s hand at work.”

Fuming at Cardinal's interference, Freyd stepped forward to confront the mob's assertions with his own.
"Galtea is an off-screen non-entity," he added, matter-of-factly.  "It doesn’t exist within the bounds of Aincrad.  Even if it did, it’s just another imaginary construct, as are its people and those of Ladonia.  It has no more substance than a story.  At least the actions of Razwell’s goons can be tempered by our hands, even if only until their next respawn.  What you're spouting is pure poppycock!  Your kingdom's fate is a fictional tragedy – something sad that happened someplace else that we can never visit because it doesn't exist.  It lacks even the thinnest veneer of meaning carried by the rest of this digital world!"

Tension bled from Freyd's shoulders as he shrugged off the system's intended influence.  He wouldn't fall into Kayaba's trap - just another in a long line of sadistic social experiments designed to push players into turbulent emotional distress.  When next he spoke, his voice was calmed and steady, coolly rational and void of any hatred.

"As regrettable as it may be, Gabrandr’s tale matters only to himself.  To the players in this raid, he is nothing but an obstacle to be overcome, and overcome he must be.  Even if we choose to spare him, the outcome lacks any significance.  Floor 26 will fall by the wayside in our collective consciousness and become just another defeated level – a challenge already beaten and cast into the closet of our memories."

In truth, Freyd felt pity for the beaten mob, but not for the reasons anyone might expect.  The King was trapped in his own illusory world, condemned by his programming to an existence that could only lead here.  Even if he lived, he'd just fade into the background, like all the other mobs.
“You’re the teacher in Charlie Brown cartoons, Gabrandr.  Your words might as well be equally wonky and unintelligible.  It doesn't matter whether you live to fulfill your dreams or not, because the outcome holds no meaning for any of us.  We’re just passing through.  And though some may pass through here again in the future, it will matter little whether a Ladonian or Galtean sits on the local throne.  Guards will remain guards.  Mobs will remain mobs.  Merchants will remain, unaffected and unchanged, willing to provide col sinks to us either way.”
To Morgenstern, he counters: “And what significance did Hirru’s choice against the Dark Council make, save the stigma cast upon him by his fellow players?  Where is that saved NPC now?  Forgotten and lost to the ether.  I applaud Hirru for taking a moral stance and withstanding the fallout that followed, but also wonder whether his choice made any difference, save amongst ourselves?  He didn’t prove that a boss can change.  He proved that we can be our own worst enemies when we argue over trivial choices.”

Freyd's hooded gaze met the eyes of every other gathered player, in turn, stressing the true matter laid before them to decide.

“This boss lays defeated before us, and Cardinal suddenly jumps in with a choice that risks repeating the same incident that divided the frontlines once before.  Are we really willing to bite?  Have we learned nothing?” 
Turning to look at Baldur, Hirru and Koga, Freyd lowered his cowl.  It was a gesture akin to removing his own armor and laying bare the sincerity of his own arguments.
“Before we entered here, I asked you why you chose to come and fight?  Now, Cardinal’s pawn asks a slightly different one: what does the way we interact with its tales say about us?  It’s a red herring, meant to distract and confuse, leading us all to wallow on another floor for far too long.  I said it before by the campfire: my purpose here is to do what must be done, regardless of the risks or consequences.  This isn’t a question of morality.  It’s about whether we want to move on to the next bag of pixels, or linger on this one a while longer.  Make no mistake: this is not a person.  It is a construct, like all the others, and without any soul, will or freedom of choice.  If Kayaba flips the relevant ‘1’ into a ‘0’, it will turn upon us in an instant.  Such is its nature.”
Samael’s Pride flares darkly in his hands, screeching as the void within readied to loose its infinite hunger in the form of his most potent sword art, raring to be unleashed upon the broken king.  Freyd clenches it tightly, feeling the fractals from his own palms slowly disintegrating while the others make up their minds.  For him, the outcome was already decided.
“If morality still has any meaning here, how could firing off a pocket-sized Death Star laser on a city full of people ever be justified?  Your words are hollow, Gabrandr.  Your justifications are empty, appealing only to fear of guilt.  You are nothing but an image, Galtean, stretched over a hollow frame; just one more obstacle to be overcome, like all the rest.  Your fate is immaterial.  You’re just another Shadow or Orgoth, another name to be forgotten as a fable of past and fallen enemies.  Sadly, Gabrandr, and this is the real tragedy: nothing in your words really matters.  Ironic that Cardinal would appeal to us in this manner, yet also, regretfully predictable.”
His companions were right.  The time for these discussions was long past.  Eyes cast towards the ceiling, he dared to taunt their digital overlord directly.
“Next time, Cardinal, try providing an ally that we might rally behind.  You might have better luck.  Casting out more straw men as obstructions will only lead them to be obliterated.”
Even as he pressed the button, Freyd remained unconvinced that the outcome of the vote held any meaning.  The system would have already fleshed out the consequences for either choice.  Granting them the illusion of agency leading to two fixed options without offering any true glimpse as to their outcomes was pointless.  Death, at least, carried some sense of certainty.

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"What in the world.."

Throughout the battle, Hirru was trying to ignore the talking and reasonings of the so called king, the entire time they were fighting against him and his so called 'justice'.  What kind of justice was that?  Did he not plan any of it out?  Did he not think to test these things, these scathers, out?  Did he not think that taking out the tower may kill all of his remaining people.  The obvious casualties would be everyone in the lower part of the towers and the surrounding areas.  However, that would also cascade into the sewers and the slums, where the concentrated blast would roll into least resisted areas.  The full blast would kill everyone that didn't need to be part of this.

The way that they were easily taken out of commission meant that he had truly made them out of makeshift scrap and parts.  Obviously, these things were not going to work as they were intended.  Though, it seemed that Gabrandr was trying hard to get them to all work, even if it killed him.  The man was going to kill himself and everyone above him.

Hirru's eyes widened.

That was his intent the entire time.  Gabrandr was the only one in a room with two active scathers, nearly a third, that were ready to backfire on him.  It was apparent from the blast that the only scather that actually fired caused.  It was barely able to perform its job, but it did considerable amount of damage to his and Raidou's team, as if he truly needed all four to be active to do anything.  Though, that meant he knew how to work around the malfunctions and keep himself from dying until the very end.

Now, they had a moral dilemma, but that was the dilemma.  There was no dilemma.  The king was willing to die in the first place. 

Raidou's arguement was valid, as the king should face his sins for not trying to talk it out, instead of attacking the two tanks.  Though, they did throw the first 'punch' by deactivating one of the scathers, though that was their choice.  The front lines chose peaceful options in the start, but he did not.

Nearly all of Firm Anima went with this.  Hirru could only think that they must all be similar in mind, but their reasonings were sound.  Gabrandr only pleaded to the front lines to stop an unknown force that seemed to be more powerful than the creations that he made, but ran under the same principles.  If he could find out how it worked, maybe that would sway his decision.

He took two steps before Morgenstern began speaking, and mentioned Hirru's actions on the twenty third floor raid, which made him freeze in place.  His actions were being put up out there thinking that it would help change the boss.  The memories came back to haunt him more, as he used his selfish reasoning to try to gain the upper hand in a boss fight.  The moral implications be damned, as everyone didn't even see the boy as a child, but a digital barrier that was in their way.  He was the only one that believed that the crying real.

Now, he knew better..  These constructs that the one that trapped them all here, these things could mimic and poke into the human psyche, but never get properly perfect.  There were issues that could easily be seen in unimportant beings stationed around the floors themselves.  It wasn't until important quest givers came in that something would come up.  Rarely would they find something that would respond past a certain point, though.  It seemed that there were a few, though, that could.  Certain boss type creatures, namely humanoid ones, would be the closest to get there.

This was elaborated much more on by Freyd's long winded rant.  There was quite obviously no reason to believe any word that that a fake human should say.  That everything was the fault of the unbearable force that was the game, or what they called 'Cardinal'.  That meant that Hirru would just be able to ignore everything that they were saying, and just let them do their thing.

He stood there, before a thought.. a memory rushed through his mind.


(All quotes are from this thread, so they will not be counted in word count: 

"So knowing what you do know about the consequences of your actions, to protect the ones you believe needing so... Could I pose you a question, just to think about?"

"Say it wasn't a kid, but someone else you really cared about. Even though they were just... a series of ones and zeroes."

"Data to be deleted and didn't need to be heeded for its behaviour.' Even though I know it's true-- that we know it's true; given that situation... would you still think it right to have done it? To let them go, to spare them from the slaughter, despite them being an obstacle to us heading up the castle?"

"If so... forgive me for asking, but which side would you stand on, knowing what you know now?"

He didn't understand why, but NIGHT's conversation with him was coming back to him.  It was a conversation that he had about what they would do about an NPC, a construct of the system.  He remembered that he answered in kind.


"Knowing what I do now, would I do it again?"

"Although the circumstances are just slightly different, I don't think a slight difference will change much.  If that situation was to come again, but someone I knew quite well enough that I would regard them under my most cared for or trusted was there, then yes.  I would.  Now, that may be a bit difficult to do now.  As I come to understand some things about the game, some more than others."

"These signify more than just a player to me now.  They signify those that I can place my trust in more than anything else.  As I can see the green or orange colors and think, 'there is someone that is attached to the other side there.  They value their life as much as I do.  I can trust them to lead all of us to a better future.'  Although, that may be difficult to say after saying that I would protect a construct of the game, or an NPC as they are more fervently called.  They may act like people, and at times become the people that we wish to help.  However, they are designated by this game with a yellow marker.  It immediately designates them as part of this world alone, and that they have nothing that connects them to the other side.  Except for a select few, like Durares, whom was destined to die as a boss, and never appear again; all the rest of them come back at some point.  I can't quite see myself befriending one anytime soon, if they would be able to be reborn and forget all that was."

This man was someone that he didn't know.  He didn't care about.  Hirru had said so already to NIGHT that he wouldn't spare someone like that, as he knew better.  He knew that this world was a game now, just as Freyd had ranted about.


Hirru continued to walk past everyone, as they argued.  He had drowned them all out now.  While still in his paladin armor, he stood four feet away from the fallen king.

"Everyone says you should die for your sins."


"Now, my question to you.  It's the exact same, but a much more significant change.  Take out the crystals above us.  Take out the designator, and think; we are all these ones and zeros.

Hirru looked down at the pitiful sight, while fiddling around in a pocket of his trousers.

"I can't say that they're wrong or right.  It's not for me to say.  Not anymore."


These bodies that are standing in front of each other, are nothing but shells of data that are being filled by a mind someplace else, as so I am told.  Without the designators to show who is what, would you then think that everyone is connected to the other side? 

"By what they say, I've spared another like you.  A child that was being controlled by those that wanted to use his powers, but they were in our way.  Instead of killing the boy with the rest of their people, I chose to spare him."

Morgenstern was right that Hirru had changed something in the 23rd boss fight.  Though, it wasn't that the bosses could change.


Would you think that everyone should be saved, not just players, but NPC's.  Not because they are life like, but because you can't tell the difference. 

Hirru pulled out his hand from his trousers.  In his hand, was a little blue crystal.  The thing he learned was that bosses could use teleportation crystals.

"I spared him, because he didn't need to be there.  He didn't need to die, but more so, that I could get a pawn out of the way.  Now, you're in that way.  You obviously wanted to die here, but now that you've given us that choice instead of your suicidal attempt at vengeance, it's going to be some time later."


Would you save the loved one?  Would you save the boy?"

"I need some information from you.  Specifically, how the scathers work and how to dismantle them, or stop it forever.  I won't be getting that information when you're dead.  I can't say if, as you're adamant on your goals, and my people are adamant on theirs.  Your sins must be answered for, just as ours will someday too.  I would rather stall that, for what it's worth.  If this scather can destroy so much, it should not be left to anyone's hands.  It must be destroyed."


"Would you save another life?"

"If you can give us that information.."

Hirru looked over to the front lines, especially to Baldur and Shield.  He held the crystal tight, but not enough to break it.  He was not going to give it away so easily.

"..I'm sure we can work something out.  However, we can't do anything, unless you help us."

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Pathetically, the boss would fall to its knees. The armor had fallen off him, exposing his true self. All that remained of their boss fight was a sad shell of a man. Disappointing. The man was supposed to be a king right, why didn't he fight to the final breath? Why was the game giving them a choice. Pressing the only option that made any sense, she would step forward to simply listen to the conversation.

Annoyingly, it seemed she was on the side of Firm Anima. She didn't like the idea of agreeing with them on anything. However, Freyd's words matched her own thoughts. She was the one who had taken that stance on the 23rd floor. Against... the man who would step forward. A warning glare would flare from her violet eyes as he stepped forward and began to talk. As soon as she seen him pull out a teleport crystal, it would be on. No way was he going to give the boss an out and ruin their rewards. 

Instead, Hirru would take a different approach than the last. One that would... surprise her. Instead of attempting to save the boss, he chose instead to broker with the boss. Her body untensed, and instead one of her eyebrows would raise. While she didn't care for too much about the Scathers, it was different action than Hirru had taken than last time. It seemed he had changed from the last encounter. 

Stepping back away from the crowd, she would wait til a decision was made. She just wanted to get to the next floor after all. 




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If content was shipped and stored within a video game but no player was present to see it, did it really exist?

Loud. Everyone was getting so loud. A single window flickered to life within the blink of an eye, and the rest of the council were beginning to discuss something. Gabrandr's howls, now reduced to nothing more than simmers.

She noted the fall in health. Noted the way the man faltered, upon his knees, the singe of red captured in the king's eyes. Noted the way it shifted and grew in hue, blood red, marking the connection between a monstrosity and a dead man.

Loud. A rabble would never change.

The conductor to lead a choir, total cacophony, and every song he'd charged protested an end to violence. Violence, to beget violence, to beget violence. Each step was a drum beat, like the crackle of a thunderstorm, and the only tremble was present in the jaw of their convict. Here was their world's reckoning for Justice, Will of the People etched in song, hymn, and anthem.

Oh, woe was to the one who existed by Cardinal's will, for they had no gods to pray to. For no faith was present for the people that lived life as they did, upon this earth, in this Aincrad. For the only tangible idea of a god above them, it was cruel and malicious.

In her eyes, the horrors could only grow. In her ears, she'd wanted nothing more than to hear the thrum of her own heartbeat.

She wondered how much of the prayer on the flat of her tongue was in tandem with Gabrandr's. If the man had passed on enough to be carried on in his purpose, his will, to be done in his stead. She knew why she was troubled with the details of his end once color theory kicked in, the reflections of Gabrandr's eyes changing, just as she'd found herself locked in position. Stunned stoic, the woman had her finger hovering between the two options on the interface's window.

Loud. Everyone was so loud.

Lips pressed tight against each other, she sieved through the noise, footsteps pushing her along, until she could pick up on clarity once more. The room was dark, sure, but an ambient glow somewhere caught the glint of something shiny, and NIGHT was certain there must've been a tether of hope. Potential. Finally, the light of the crystal.

From what she could make out, Hirru's words long faded, echoes upon the ears of their enemy, it seemed... surprising he found himself recounting a moral dilemma. His moral dilemma. That question he asked not too long ago, almost practiced and certain with his position. An answer she gingerly provided.

Soft, quiet, contemplative monologue.

A shuffle, light, was not to ruin his proposal.

It was with a quick flick of her wrist she chose her answer, firm, upon that window with a query she hadn't understood. When the player found herself a few feet from the other, offer posed to the fallen royal, the tip of her blade bounced upon the ground with a harsh click, sword drawn to her side with a flourish.


Soft, quiet, contemplative. She had a question, and saw no reason, in this moment, to see it be denied an answer.

"I thought you weren't intending on making friends?"

NIGHT pivoted herself towards the audience, the jury. In the dark, she could barely make out the highlights from the atmosphere, outlining bodies and eyes of the opposition. To think she wouldn't have to rely on her imagination to place herself in this scenario, once again. That on her left was a construct, scared and afraid, but not alone. And on her right was the rest of the world.

"You know, I didn't really tell anyone what I was doing. I just did it. --And everybody disliked that."

"Sorry I'm interjecting all of a sudden," the woman purred out, in the shift of her stance. One foot forward, like a novice, and the edges of her blade shifted away from either sides of the quandry. Held up front, the weapon was obviously too big for her to hold -- NIGHT could only peer from behind it, half her vision obscured.

Yet it finally found purpose. The lousy weapon-holding from her Day One.

"I just had to protest on the dislike ratio for this fight."


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The sounds of various menus closing one after another, prompts filled and disposed, and Raidou couldn't help but glance. Watching an insurmountable count of them choose against the choice that should be obvious. Blade low, he'd look at Freyd and slowly remove his lenses from his brow. "For now? We don't have the luxury of a later trial." The nomad remarked, cleaning those fixtures on his robe. "Gabrandr decided to place these devices down here of his own volition. It's assumed that had we not arrived, they would have gone off." His eyes advance to the ceiling, casting a silver glare over those windows as they are replaced.

"Everything he has told us up to this point can be false. A manifestation to convince you that he has value." Eyes narrow as he was perplexed by the confusion here. Like Nemo, Like the Mysterious Broker. What is spoken can clearly not just be trusted. It surely couldn't be only Firm Anima that had undergone these affairs, could it? Did they stand alone and had dealt with such betrayals by themselves?

Mobs could lie

"Freyd has broken down exactly our concerns, and yet..." Another prompt closing, like a nail in a coffin but whose? Looking on to Hirru, the clearest in his motives by far, but yet was willing to make that plunge on happenstance. On the simple chance that Gabrandr could prove useful. "The facts are, Mobs do not sleep, they eat as a formality, breathe as a formality. I would much rather give him the benefit of the doubt, but that is resources we simply cannot offer. Who of you would stay by his side indefinitely, hoping that he will not shove a knife in your back the minute you doze off. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until we clear this game? We need to understand the scathers. This much is true."

Looking straight at Hirru, pushing the glasses up his nose.

"They are weapons, designed to erase an entire city. Hardly made to kill a single man, Razwell is but one man. Gabrandr hardly needs an atom bomb to do so, he held his own against us for quite some time. And yet he is to be that cities' savior? If this was all he could do to save his people, then his people are surely condemned under his crown. There are men and there are monsters. Washing an entire city clean is messy, and men would have been caught in that blast." His eyes lock to Gabrandr "How many were you willing to kill, to liberate your people. How many unseen faces were you willing to erase just to remove Razwell. That is your mistake, because this wasn't the way."

The way was, one that he was all too familiar. "To put it bluntly, we cannot trust you, we cannot imprison you, and we cannot watch you. There is only one thing we can do... But only as a whole." Looking to the rest of any able-bodied players so that they understand, Raidou's decision was one based in quite a bit of caution and careful consideration. His attention shifts to @Koga "The threat is still very much real, and we need to decide if how we are going to handle it."

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So far, the situation seemed to end up Firm Anima vs. the rest of them. Interesting how that played out. Another one of the lot spoke up with a grand speech. What was his name again? He wasn't sure he had caught it, but the man had been there when the suspicious situation involving Mina arised. His argument consisted of absolute logic. Gabrandr was an AI, they were players. It was a logic that couldn't be argued because he spoke nothing but the absolute truth. 

The blond's greenish gold eyes would rest upon this man for a short while longer until Hirru spoke up. It was surprising to see the man speak up with everything that had happened last time. It seemed that the man had opted for a neutral stance. He wasn't going to let Gabrandr off the hook without information. There was certainly purpose in getting the information. The player's were certainly left in the dark on the what and how

It was Raidou that would respond, the cool and logical voice wafting through the small crowd. His voice annoyed Jonathan, but simply because Jon didn't like the man. As he spoke, a fist would suddenly clench. Raidou's true colors would show through his words although shrouded they might be. This man was an unknown and he knew it. Cautious, meticulous, and deadly. The Wanderer held both strength in his words and weapon. In any form of match, the former Paladin would stand no chance. Regardless, he couldn't find the strength to hold back his own tongue. 

"Funny you would put your words like that, Wanderer." The American hissed. "But, to use your buddy's words: he's an AI. He will do what he's programmed to do. Regardless of whether he can lie or not, I don't see any logical reason why he'd be going out of his way to kill us. He already has a clear target. Now... a human can lie of course. They don't follow any pattern, any programming. Yet, most of us could trust just about everyone here." 

A crackling noise would be audible as Jonathan's words became more accusing. 

"Gabrandr's actions would've cost the lives of many NPC's. Now, using your friend's logic: entirely pointless. So what if a few thousand of 'Cardinal's Pawns' met their end? Not like it holds any real weight. Nowhere near the weight of... I don't know.... A hundred actual players?" The boy's words were spat with a hard venom. He had gotten sick of 'good ol harmless Raidou' just showing up and controlling everything. 

"Let's spin your question for a second. How many player's would you wipe off Aincrad if it meant you could save what was important to you? I can't blame you for any answer you take, but I'd be willing to take my chances with Gabrandr." 

A glare would pierce daggers into Raidou. He had told the man to stay away from Mina and now she was entering the boss fight with him? He didn't give a damn about her safety did he? Odds were, the whole thing before had been crafted by him for some unknown sick purpose. 

"I trust that mob more than you by a longshot, Red Wanderer. At least I know what his end goal is. You remain an unknown to the rest of us, doing whatever you please. Now you're gonna stand there and kill something for attempting what you already did? Isn't that some shit." As his last words echoed into the room, he realized he could hear his own breathing. It had become heavy in his rant against the man. This wasn't the place, but with everything that happened last time? It was amazing he had kept his mouth shut for so long. Tricking Mina into thinking he was some 'good guy' that was her friend? Raidou didn't make friends. He made tools. He had an entire guild of them by this point. The question was: what was all of the tools going to be put to work for?  

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Dumbstruck, Oscar watched as the scene before him played out. Had the Frontliners finally lost all semblance of sanity? Speaking to Gabrandr as they were was little different to speaking to a rock. It wasn’t real and any “sentience” it displayed was an insulting facsimile created by a very sophisticated AI. Bound to Cardinal and doomed to be wiped from existence the moment the servers shut down, Gabrandr constituted nothing more than an obstacle standing between the thousands of remaining Players and their freedom.

An obstacle they should have dispatched five minutes ago.

As Morgenstern and Raidou continued to belabor their points, Oscar’s incredulity quickly gave way to exasperation; exasperation to fury. Fury that built until, finally, he couldn’t keep his silence. With a smile on his face, he strode into the fore while sheathing his blade. He approached as if he were going to add something to the conversation directed at Gabrandr until, suddenly and swiftly, he turned on his heels to face the Raid.

“You all are aware that there are thousands of people outside that door waiting on us to kill this thing, right? So which one of us is going to sit down with little Sally from the Orphanage and explain to her that while she’s trapped in here missing her family, that we’re having morality debates WITH A FUCKING VIDEO GAME CHARACTER?!” For a moment, Oscar dropped all pretense. But like a flash in a pan, it subsided. Oscar took a brief pause to gather his composure. “The question was rhetorical,” he added in a deadpan voice. “I’m the one who has to explain this farce.”

He cast one look at Gabrandr, then back to the group. He was struggling to come to terms with the fact that people that he'd possessed no small measure of respect for had gotten themselves so swept up in things that they were talking to a construct like it could even really comprehend what was being said to it. As if its reactions weren't scripted. As if it could do anything beyond what Cardinal told it to do. They even made a point to highlight those facts and still treated this non-entity as if it was worth speaking to. “I get it. Gabrandr has a good story. A fallen king trying to liberate his people or whatever. Really tugs at the heartstrings. I can’t fault you for getting immersed into the video game. Hell, if it were a book I was reading in the comfort of my own living room, I might actually give a shit. But it’s not. And we have a job to do. Every single person trapped in here is depending on us to get them home. So where the fuck do you find the audacity to extend their suffering any more? Kill the bastard so we can all go home sooner.”

Oscar then turned his attention to Morgenstern, specifically. "And of all the absolute stupidity, you got this dumbass spouting nonsense like trusting a mob over another Frontliner. If that's how you feel, you got a teleport crystal. Fuck off. Don't sit here and act like you care about "a hundred actual players" when you're actively forestalling the escape of thousands with your inane debate. " Oscar let the last hang before finalizing his choice and rejoining his party. He had nothing more to say, nor would he spend further time defending his position. He would not allow himself to be sucked into argument and further propagate the very issue he'd brought into the light.



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"And we also have people like you insulting their intelligence for wanting him to live."

Violet stepped forward with a scowl, her weapon still drawn. The fight had gone from a king going out in a Blaze of glory, to them being in a court trying to see if the king had even a chance to live, however small. she turned to Oscar and Freyd, her voice brimming with anger "Look, If you're gonna advocate for the poor fucker to die, do it without insulting your teammates, and at least give more than a Reason than 'oh its just an NPC'. That's a shallow way to go about the decision. Lets not have a repeat of the shitshow that happened during the floor 23 raid, shall we? And besides, I don't even see him taking advantage of something like that to begin with, he doesn't even want to Fucking run away!" Violet was Angry now. Yes there were a bunch of kids in this fight, but some of the players here were grown-ass adults, and were bickering over this like children.

... including her own fiancee it seemed.

"Jon, Raidou voiced a very valid concern." Violet said curtly, the scowl on her face changing to a disappointed frown. "One I sincerely disagree with, but its certainly still valid nevertheless. I don't agree with him or Freyd for that matter, but I'm also not going to drag their personal morality  into it, because that accomplishes absolutely nothing. Don't sit there and try to argue about a hypothetical, we aren't fighting each other, we're fighting in the frontlines and fighting a boss." She turned towards Raidou, her frown deepening. "And we can still give him the benefit of the doubt, he didn't want this to happen from the looks of it. And we started it by damaging his scathers. He plainly stated right at the beginning that he didn't want this to happen." she then stepped towards him, her voice dropping to a whisper she knew that only he would likely hear, her normally bright red eyes becoming a cold, chilly red. "Just like I'm giving you the same despite all of my friends screaming that you happen to be a danger to me."

Violet stepped back, before moving towards the king, her expression returning to the frown she'd had when she was speaking towards Jon, speaking to nobody in particular at this point. "Jesus christ, poor guy's literally just sitting here in the damn red looking like someone kicked his dog or something, and Some of Y'all are apparently hell bent on killing something that won't even fight back? Seriously?" She stood in front of Gabrandr, closing her eyes. "He's Gabrandr the Broken king, not Gabrandr the Imma-stab-you-in-the-back king. He has no reason to be lying to us right now, and at this point? He's in absolutely no position to do so. One of us could fucking breathe on him wrong and he'd keel over, so we'd literally be kicking him while he's down at this point."


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Hirru was expecting something to happen.  There were a number of things that could happen, but most of those were the expectation of being admonished yet again for his actions.  That, and a swift backstabbing by a certain stealth user that was within the room.

In the end, he wasn't expecting the other stealthy one to step up to do so.  The tap of the blade on the group would pull the healer's attention to the person in question.  Yet again, he thought he saw blue hair where the black should be, but that image disappeared leaving only the stealthy NIGHT.  She had joined him next to the boss, and although abrupt, had drawn her blade, keeping it in an odd fashion between herself and the front.  Hirru sighed.

"I'm not trying to gain any friend through this.  I'm trying to make a deal.  Which will be slightly difficult, but.."

He stepped towards her and placed his red gauntleted hand close to her blade.  Motioning his hand down, by pivoting the hand by the wrist.

"..it will work slightly better if we keep this from becoming confrontational.  This is nothing like the 23rd floor, where I was too desperate and leapt in without thinking.  The choice is out there for everyone to choose to save or kill, instead of me forcing the issue."

Hirru would then be presented to by the man, the myth, the legend himself: Raidou.  His words carried upon Freyd's own, although much more refined.  His words seemed to weigh a little more on the situation and the weapons that Hirru was so interested in, but it seemed that he got something wrong in it all.  Hirru didn't care about these ones, he wanted to know about the original.  These things that sat around them, all decommissioned and unusable now, did not seem to have the power to destroy anything, except a decent chunk out of their health bars from a single blast.  Although, it would seem that they could probably do more, if Gabrandr's actions had any weight.  Especially, when he saved Shiina, which meant that being next to the blast would be much worse than what they did.

That wouldn't make much sense to the healer, as his tactical mind went over it all.

"Raidou, I agree with a few points from both you and Freyd, which makes things quite a bit easier.  I agree that this is all just a 'sob story' made by the games system, or Cardinal, as you all say.  There is no real reason to follow any of this, and we should all just press that kill button.  In fact, why are you pressing the button?  Just come over here and take his head!  He's literally giving it to us!  The scather that the boss is talking about probably doesn't exist, or probably won't affect the other floors of Aincrad, as everything is self contained, is it not?  So, we won't have to care about all of this.  You don't have to keep your promise to Gabrandr, as it is a promise to nothing, in Freyd's words."

He shrugged his pauldrons, the silver armor was still covering his form, so much of the speech was echoing around his head, so the healer took it off to reveal his green head of hair once more.  He wiped away some imaginary sweat, as the system didn't make them sweat like that.  He stared back

"It's not like we've had any events or boss fights that affected the other floors."

Hirru then looked back to Gabrandr before wagging his finger in a thought provoking fashion.

"Except, there was one that I know of.  The last floor boss, which everyone should be familiar with, even if they haven't fought it.  As we all got swallowed by that inky darkness, which seemly changed quite a bit of the previous floors below it.  Are there more that I'm not thinking of, that I haven't experienced while I was in the dark before it came to engulf me.  I'm sure there was.  So, we're going to ignore that aspect now?  'It only happened once, it couldn't happen again' your thinking.  Except, it could.  This is a game that could easily use the rules that it itself has made known.  We have lore that this scather has destroyed an entire kingdom, as evident by the king of said land trying to destroy, not only the tyrant that did it, but the weapon itself."

He started to pace a little.

"What's to say that if this scather exists, that it can't target other floors?"

He stopped for a second.

"What's to say that it can't target the biggest populated area in all the floors, that currently houses roughly 8000+ people both NPC and Player.."

Hirru looked at everyone sternly.

"What's to say that the Town of Beginnings, will become the next Galtea."

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“You obviously wanted to die here, but now that you've given us that choice instead of your suicidal attempt at vengeance, it's going to be some time later."

Had Gabrandr really been the one to grant us that choice, or was it his master, stalling to save its piece on the board and buy time, or perhaps just to draw things out as long as possible?  Freyd listened while Hirru made his case, but found it clung to optimism over evidence.

“You’re not wrong, in that these scathers need to be eliminated, completely.  But, this one’s solution was to make his own and then turn it on his enemies.  We don’t have time to wade into the middle of an arms race.  There are seventy three more floors above us, Hirru!  Tougher choices than this will need to be made before the end.  It’s time to move on.”

Freyd frowned and shook his head at  NIGHT's casual contrariness.  Her flippant comment was something he might have expected from Hidden, and he found himself wondering whether the assassin had taken on NIGHT’s form in some pique of dark humour.  It took a notch off his esteem for the capable swordswoman.  Disappointment at her reaction stung more than any of the other barbs being bantered about.  He'd expected better.

Raidou’s words echoed those he would have offered in response, leaving the balance of his unspoken retorts to dissolve in the gossamer recesses of his mind. 

Enter the raving lunatic.  Who was this guy again?  ‘Pinball-enstern’, or something like that?

“Regardless of whether he can lie or not, I don't see any logical reason why he'd be going out of his way to kill us. He already has a clear target. Now... a human can lie of course. They don't follow any pattern, any programming. Yet, most of us could trust just about everyone here." 

“Seriously, did you just hear yourself? Dude’s been trying to wipe out the raid AND a good chunk of the city above for a while now.  Or were you just not paying attention?  If you have issues with another player, this is hardly the time.”

"Let's spin your question for a second. How many player's would you wipe off Aincrad if it meant you could save what was important to you? I can't blame you for any answer you take, but I'd be willing to take my chances with Gabrandr." 

“That’s just…”

Pursed lips bit off what was meant to follow, knowing that they would only make things worse if said aloud.  Pinching the bridge of his nose, Freyd managed to fend off a full-grown migraine with the timely application of pressure and a hefty dose of dismissal. 

“Using that logic, we should spare every mob in the game that’s tried to kill us, including those that have actually already killed so many of us?  If these are your thoughts, why are you even here?”  A flare of spinning orange over the man’s head caught Freyd’s eye as he turned away, snaring his attention just long enough to display a sense of irony writ large.  Now was also not the time to engage it.  At least Oscar’s sensibilities hadn’t clouded over.  No, if anything, given his own challenges, his giant friend was all too keenly aware of the toll that Aincrad was taking on the psyches of its survivors.  Maybe Morgen-doodle had just snapped? 

“For the second time in a handful of floors the frontlines have been brought to the edge of strife by the same tactic.  Cardinal or Kayaba, or whichever boogeyman you prefer to cast on high, knows this is our weakness.  Are we actually prepared to indulge in our own demise?”

Mina’s emotional appeal came next.  It was not unexpected.  She ran on impulse, modestly controlled at best, or naïve to the point of self-injury at worst.  Engaging her frustrations was pointless.  You can’t have a logical argument with an emotional response.  It just endlessly loops back on itself and weaves a cocoon of angst that feeds a need to entrench.  Reason need not apply.  But she'd succeeded in illustrating the problem: some of the gathered players desperately needed to empathize – even if only to convince themselves that their own humanity remained intact.  Herein lay the heart of the frontliners’ dilemma, and it threatened to fracture their bonds.  It was the true scather in their midst, and would burn and scar them all if some other solution could not be found.

Hirru spoke again, passionately, but his words were so laden with supposition and guesswork that they lost all sense.  What if?  What if?  What if?  How many times could they go around on the same ride?  He was banking on hope in the absence of facts, and with odds worse than winning a Powerball jackpot.  Daring another player to end the boss?  That was like goading someone to make the same choice as he had on floor 23, and a ridiculously dangerous gamble.  What if someone actually called his bluff?  Freyd himself was sorely tempted.

‘Do what must be done.’  Montjoy’s voice rung out from his own shadow, heard only by his master.

Searing pain ate away at his palm as the weapon in his hand cried out with increasingly demanding waves of anguished hunger, literally eating away at its wielder instead. 

‘No.  That leads to the same conclusion.  Another way must be found.’

“What if we just don’t play the game?” He blurted out. 

“What if we push this issue outside the box, instead?” 

Freyd spoke loud and clear so that all could hear, but his gaze was set upon the broken boss.  He had seen the glimmer of sentience and self-determination in the eyes of mobs afflicted by the curse of the Sundered Spire.  He knew it was possible, despite his own protests, though all trace of it had vanished in the wake of Shadow’s Flood.  He held no faith that it held any sway here, but it offered a chance.

What if we make the system choose, instead of the other way around?  That might be enough.

“Gabrandr,” he asked calmly, his tone carrying sympathy and necessity in equal measures.  “If everything you have told us is true, and your motives are as pure as you claim, then it isn’t actually us who need to choose.  It’s you.  You want Razwell to suffer for his actions, but the collateral damage of your scathers will be catastrophic.  This isn’t justice.  It isn’t noble.  It isn’t even right.  Many here have spoken and brought us part-way to the solution, but only you can do the rest.  Prove yourself.  Tell us how to find and destroy the true scather and then embrace your fate by choosing to remove yourself from this twisted game.  Put your money where your mouth is, and end this."

Freyd's face remained a mask, his die cast to seek a workable solution to an impossible problem.

"Accept, and I will be convinced of your sincerity.  Take yourself off the field, and I will swear to see that Razwell does the same, by choice or force of arms.  But he cannot be stopped like this, or by you, or it will never end.  Galtea and Ladonia both need a fresh start – a good, old fashion reset.  The choice is actually yours."

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As his team without hesitation went on the assault, everything was going as “planned”, the scathers were disabled or disactivated and Gabrandr was hurting all over. The next parties to take their turn at the punching bag came barging in, ready to finish off the boss to get everyone out to the other side, safely to the next floor … or so Macradon had hoped. But nope! Visual Novel time let’s go! A prompt appeared in front of him, as well as in front of everyone else. It asked them all the same question, and there was a definite line between the frontlines, some would spare and others would go for the kill. Macradon looked around to start out, trying to identify whom where on which choice. One thing he scoured at first was Hirru, this wasn’t the first time he had distrust against him, nor would it be the last. It was just like back then, but now implemented into the fight.

The knight roared out into the echoing boss room, the sound of blades against armour had vanished, only discussions were had on which choice to make. “F*ck you Cardinal you piece of [censored]! This one time where I’m actually having fun, this ONE TIME where I’m enjoying my own presence, you pull this crap once again, but not just as a thing that could happen. WE’RE HAMFISTED THIS PIECE OF SHIT CHOICE YOU’RE GIVEN US.” He yelled and punched the <Kill> option for the prompt in front of him.

“I made that choice the last time, and I won’t make the same mistake again. I want to kill him now, I do not care what he stands for, I do not care the NPCs that rely on him, I just want this over with right away.” He said and awaited everyone else who hadn’t made a choice yet finalise their decisions.

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Eruda's eyes widen and glance to each person as they speak. Opening her mouth to speak, but then another spoke over. It was like a raged discussion that had seemly no end because no one could fully agree on one thing. Whether Gabrandr should live or die. As she listens to everyone of these people, each had some valid points, but it started to make her wonder.

Shifting her feet to stand closer to Raidou as it really did seem like almost everyone had something to say about what Raidou and Freyd had to say. It was also clear that Raidou may have pissed a few of them off... Clearing her throat as she turns to face the whole of the front liners. Glancing to @Morgenstern "Yes, this enemy is most likely advanced AI. Gabrandr is keeping us from getting from point A to point B. Cardinal is keeping us here and distracting us from getting further in this game by putting an obstacle in our way. This thing standing in our way doesn't have feeling so he will not mourn whatever is decided." At this point she was shifting her eyes to everyone that was in view. 

"Yes, there may or may not be a scathar that is the all big and evil, but we cannot waste time to try and decided if this obstacle is worth saving. He is simply not real, if he dies now he will most likely respond, as if we didn't kill him at all. We would just be simply removing him temporarily to move past him." Taking a breath as her eyes scan the room. 

"Another thing we do not know, lying or not, there may or may not be something else through those doors. I honestly choose to rely on sight alone. I want to see for myself if there is a scather or even another threat past this point. I simply trust what I can see with my eyes and what is being said is just hearsay until proven otherwise." Looking to Raidou and then to Freyd. Eyes shifting to her sister Freya now. 

"We have all gotten to this point under one thought of the same mentality. We all want out of this game. We all want to live and get to the next floor, we all want to survive this hell and see another day under our belt. We have all worked so fucking hard to get to this point." Taking a deep breath as she began to scan the room again. "Everyone below the front liners are counting on us to do the right thing. If we work together, all of us as one, we will all figure this out together as shit gets difficult together. Going past him or through him does not matter to me, we just need to see what is on the other side so that we can physically see that problem and deal with it..." You could see a sizzle of light blue flame under Eruda's feet as it starts to get larger while she spoke...


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