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Flynn Casanova

A tiny lighthearted girl with a dark past.

0 · 1,614 views · located in Sword Art Online

a character in “But.. I'm just a baker!”, as played by RedFox

Description

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xxFlynn Casanovaxx





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xxAppearancexx
Flynn has a conveniently kind appearance. One who sees her is most often put into a comfortable, warm state. Standing at a meager 5'2 and weighing 120 pounds, she has curves that make her seem cuddly and approachable rather than large. She has large hazel eyes that appear golden in most lights, filled with child-like innocence and curiosity. She has messy pink hair that falls to her shoulders, flipping outwards in several layers and straight-cut bangs. She has a remarkably small button nose and thick, pouty lips. If you get close enough to her face you may notice freckles dotting along her nose and under her eyes.
In game, she wears a white and blue Lolita-styled dress. It laces down the front and has a large ribbon in the back of it. Many layers of ruffles and frills make up the skirt composed of white and blue layers. She wears with it white stocking and black Mary Jane pumps. Her childish wardrobe only adds to her innocent factor.
Out of the game, she wears distinct red glasses that were removed before she joined the game due to her not wanting them to interfere with the nerve gear. She can sometimes be seen wearing the glasses in SAO, because it actually does help with her in game sight, though it is rare.





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xxPersonalityxx
Flynn represses most of her feelings. She has a lot of pent-up pain and remorse of which she hardly ever releases. Along with this is a deep and intense loneliness.
While she is extremely charismatic and can earn the affection of just about anyone, she never really feels like she belongs. She sees herself as lower than everybody else even when she is among those below her. Covering despair with a smile is her specialty.
Don't be confused, though, it's not like she doesn't enjoy life. She most certainly does. After all that she's been through, she sees all the good that life has to offer and appreciates every moment of it. She is very grateful for all that she has and doesn't put it to waste. She just tends to put other's needs and wants above her own, and while that is a good trait in moderation it often ends up with her feeling incomplete.
Flynn really just wants companionship and friendship. She's willing to work hard for this, though the connection that she requires must be a real one. This is why her search is so particular and her standards set so incredibly high.

Positive Traits | | Charismatic | | Compassionate | | Optimistic | | Empathetic | | Strong | | Baking Ability | | High Work Ethic
Negative Traits | | Emotionally Unstable | | Depressed | | Lack of Hope | | Low Self-Esteem





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xxSkillsxx
Flynn holds the highest level in Sword Art Online. This is due to her incredibly high work ethic and perseverance, and also motivation from Rose. She wields a two-handed longsword that Rose created specifically for her depicted in the pictures. It is created from a metal obtained from defeating a dragon-like boss on a high level hidden deep in a snowy cavern, discovered by Flynn and Rose when they were exploring far out beyond where any player thought to go. It was not a necessary boss, or a quest known about by many players, nor was it featured in the guide book.
Flynn is an expert at combos, most being undiscovered ones until her. As shown in the gif on the right, her technique is composed of long-ranged swings and circular motions. She puts an incredible amount of power and force behind each thrust of the sword resulting in a deadly blow with each attack. Putting these together combined with her precision and the power of her weapon is what makes her fighting style so legendary.





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xxHistoryxx
Flynn Casanova developed cancer in her lungs at the ripe age of thirteen. Doctors informed her and her family that she wasn't going to live to see another year. Filled with sadness, she was hospitalized. By a miracle, she recovered and was put back in normal school before her fourteenth birthday. While still having breathing problems, Flynn was absolutely overjoyed to be alive. She pledged to keep herself and other's happy after having a brisk realization on the importance and value of being alive. That's also around the time she developed a strong work ethic, though she'd always had one naturally. Still, when you were given another shot at developing your skills on things it tends to give you a bit more motivation to do those things to the full extent.
Once she was placed back in public schooling, a new girl swept her way into Flynn's life. Though Flynn was an awkward and shy girl who didn't have any friends, a girl named Rose decided to take her on. Rose was beautiful, popular, and generally perfect. Still, her friendship with Flynn blossomed. They became extremely close, and Flynn held Rose deeply in her heart for everything she taught her about friendship and loving yourself. Rose also began to get Flynn into video games, assuring her that it would boost her confidence and assertiveness. It worked, and Flynn really enjoyed playing the games with her best friend. When Sword Art Online was announced, they were extremely eager to play. They waited in line for it over cups of cocoa and playing games together. When the brutal time came that it was announced they would not be leaving any time soon, they pledged to stick together until the end. And they did. Playing with nobody but themselves and straying from the crowd, they fought their way through the floors alone. All they needed was each other. Rose was exceptionally skilled at blacksmithing, hence the sword she created for Flynn, while Flynn picked up cooking so that they'd have an appetizing meal at the end of each long day.
One day, whilst fighting a particularly rough boss, Rose was tired and off her game. One mistake that was fatal. Whether she'd gotten too confident, or simply didn't care anymore, Flynn never found out. Flynn saw her best friend die that die, exploding into a million twinkling shards in front of her. Flynn, in a sudden outrage, defeated the boss incredibly quick. That is how she developed her fast-slashing technique. She fought on in rage and anguish like this for a long time, leveling up incredibly quickly, though entirely alone. She eventually gave up, exhausted physically and mentally from all the fighting and pain. She retired to open a small bakery on floor 21 and hid away her past as an expert swordswoman. She never wanted to fight again, for it reminded her too much of her friend who had passed. She wanted it all to be over.
Obviously, it wasn't.

So begins...

Flynn Casanova's Story

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
.. It was a mildly busy day in Casanova Cakes & Other Treats. That, of course, is the name of Flynn's famous bakery. She stood behind the counter with an easygoing smile on her face, resting with one able on the table and her chin in her hand. A kindly male customer strode in and ordered a cake, which from his description was to win over a ladylove from his guild, and she jotted down the request on a tiny pink pad she put all orders on. She assured him it would be ready in a few minutes, and he took a seat at one of the nearby tables.

A calming tune played throughout the shop, giving it an overall warm and safe atmosphere. She disappeared into the back room while she made the cake, a three layered vanilla with strawberry frosting. With the in-game decorating feature, she added some romantic wording to the top in icing. Not much time had passed at all before she exited the room carrying her masterpiece with a thousand-watt smile plastered on her face. She gave it to the customer with a friendly good luck speech, and he paid her diligently. And thus, he was gone, and she was back to waiting.

This was her life.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
"Tch," Muttered the white haired youth, covering his eyes against the sun brightly beaming down upon him from the simulated sky above. Even if he couldn't get burned by its rays as he so often was in the real world, daylight still irritated him a great deal. Sighing, he kicked back against the tree that served as his shelter from the glare, his armor clinking as his cloak swished against the bark behind him.

It felt strange, just standing here amidst the quiet goings of the small town, his sword remaining idle in its sheath as the passive players passed by on their daily business. Ren - or rather, Burai, as he was called in this world - couldn't understand how they could be so calm about this. Any day, any of them could have died, and for each second that passed here in the game, their bodies became more and more rotted and helpless in the real world. He had never been the type of panic over the situation within the death game, by any means - actually, a twisted part of him still enjoyed fighting, even if now it was for his life rather than simply for fun. But at the same time, the thought of his body atrophying outside, in the real world, drove him forward. Even so, if he did go back...

Burai shook his head, grimacing at the unpleasant thought. No, he didn't particularly want to stay or to go. There was nothing to be gained in either course of action. But that didn't mean the choice wasn't obvious. There were people dying here. He had to help them return to the real world. Even if it meant... even if it meant giving up his own life here, to which he'd grown quite accustomed.

A soft, cold nose pressed up against his leg as the tame wolf which had been his companion on so many adventures circled around him, prodding him anxiously. "You don't like just standing around doing nothing either, huh, Kurogane?" He muttered. The wolf gave an enthusiastic grunt that was somewhere between a howl and a bark, causing the youth to instinctively reach out and pat it on the head. It might just have been an NPC, with no real mind of its own, but even so, it felt like a real pet to him. He'd always wanted a dog, and now, at least in part, he got to have one.

There it was again - the insistent calling of the home he'd lost. This was why he hated staying still. It made him think, and the boy hated thinking with a passion that dwarfed almost any other feeling. It made the longing come back, and he couldn't handle that.

Trying to take his mind off of the unpleasant reality of his situation, he returned to the matter at hand, swiping his hand across the air and opening his menu screen. Running over it with a practiced hand, he opened his private messages section. Even now, he still couldn't believe that he'd been sent on an errand like this.

"Seriously, Caben should do his damned recruiting himself... and a cook, too? Seriously? They've probably lost hope and given up already. Even assuming they're willing to fight, they're probably dozens of levels behind," He muttered, gazing at the small player-owned bakery across the street. "That annoying jerk probably just wants to get some good food in the guild hall. Granted, our rations taste like sewage, but still, that's no reason to just go around harassing random people." He kicked a stone into the street, habitually placing his hands where his pockets would be if his current medieval garb actually had pockets. "And sending me to ask, too, when I'm busy with the dungeon... Yeesh, who does he think I am, anyway, his messenger boy?"

Kurogane tugged slightly on the leg of Burai's jeans, as though to remind him that people were staring at him like he was insane. Annoyed, he slouched down, his head lowered behind the back of his high-collared cloak as he tried to divert the attention of the passers-by. Motioning to the tame wolf to come with him, he sighed, trying to push back his frustration with the situation long enough to make the request he'd been sent to deliver in a passable - if not civil - manner.

Opening the door, he glanced around. The gaudy decorations of the store assaulted his eyes no matter where he looked, various pastries and cakes and scones and cookies and rolls and countless other varieties of exotic confectionery. Normally, the bright colors and childish decor would probably be enough to annoy him right off the bat. He disliked the sorts of offensively cheery things that assaulted your very eyes with how upbeat they were, and normally, this would have been no exception. Normally.

But this wasn't a normal situation, for, as the boy in his anger hadn't even considered, there was something very important here.

There were SWEETS.

Completely forgetting his mission he hastily made his way over to the counter, peering into the display. His eyes shot from one item to the next, gazing intently at each for a moment before hastily passing on to observe what wonders awaited further down the line. At last, he had decided on what he wanted.

"One of those," He said, pointing to a rather large cinnamon scone. "And those." He added, motioning to a muffin.

"...And those, and those, and those, and maybe a couple of those too! Ooh, and that!" He dashed down the display pointing out at least a dozen items before he had finally satisfied his curiosity and desire for delicious sweets. And then it hit him.

Oh, right. He was supposed to be here on business. Serious. Right. He coughed, trying to compose himself as Kurogane skulked uneasily alongside him, its programming evidently not sure what to make of such a vast trove of delicacies. Well, anyway, it didn't matter if he splurged a little, did it? He was a big, badass knight with a huge pet wolf. SURELY she'd take him seriously.

...Speaking of her, who was this person, anyway? He hadn't really gotten a very good look at her - he'd been more focused on the sweets - but now that he thought about it, she didn't really seem all that impressive. Small, sickly looking, and pale, she struck Burai as being most closely similar to a doll on a shelf. Was this really the person he'd been sent to recruit?

Well, no sense beating around the bush, he supposed. He'd tackle this mission head-on, like he did everything else!

...After he got his sweets, anyway. Those came first.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
She put on her kindest smile as a boy wandered into her fair shop. With fair hair and a baby face, he seemed a perfect customer. He did look rather impressive though, in all that heavy armor, and with a beautiful wolf by his side. Her eyes lit up when she saw the creature. If she didn't spend all her time baking here, she'd be a beast tamer for sure. All animals, even animatronic ones, hit her soft spot deep in her heart.

She hastily scribbled down each treat he named off, though he moved from one to the next so quickly she almost missed some. Satisfied that she'd gotten every one correct, she smiled with the customary "That'll be just a few moments!" And motioned him to wait at one of the tables. She disappeared into the back room.

She thought about his appearance while she baked the treats. He seemed to be very strong, whether or not he had a baby face. He was probably a part of some guild she no longer paid attention to.

Brushing these thoughts aside, which she did whenever fighting came to her mind, she brought a large tray of baked goods out to him. "Here you are, sir!" She said cheerfully. She looked longingly at his wolf ally. How she'd love to have one!

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Seating himself at the table, Burai glanced out a side window of the shop, a slight grimace coming over his face as he wondered exactly how he was supposed to do this. What, did they expect him to just stroll in and say "Nice shop. Wanna abandon it and go risk dying for a cause you're uninterested in?" He sighed. He hated being the bearer of bad news. "Oh well," the youth muttered, blowing irritably on his bangs to push them back out of his eyes. Even if it was unpleasant, being perceived as heartless or annoying only helped his purposes.

With a pattering of paws, Kurogane hopped up into the seat beside him, splaying himself over the knight boy's lap. Without really thinking of his image, Burai gave a quiet chuckle, scratching his lupine friend behind the ears. "Geez, Kuro," He grinned. "You're supposed to be a wolf, not a puppy. Then again, I guess you don't have to worry all that much about appearances... Man, I'm jealous." Another half-bark, half-howl was given in reply, and the wolf continued simply wagging its tail in a manner that clashed entirely with its otherwise sleek and dignified appearance.

Returning footsteps snapped the youth's attention back to the counter, where the shop girl was just coming back with a tray piled high with various pastries and sweets. He grinned broadly despite himself, barely able to wait to start trying them - although with the heavy wolf positioned snugly in his lap, he had no other choice.

"Here you are, sir," Said the shopkeeper with a smile, placing the platter in front of him. Burai grinned, grabbing it and pulling it over to himself. "Thanks!" He replied casually before grabbing the first item that caught his attention - a rather large scone - and popping it into his mouth without delay. Almost in an instant, it disappeared, and after a few rather loud munches and crunches, the boy knight's grin expanded tenfold. "Hey, this is good!" He exclaimed, seemingly complimenting the cook on her work... until he broke one of the other scones in half and handed half to his pet wolf. "Here, try some!" He said, grinning. The hungry wolf gave a joyous bark and gobbled up the pastry with as much gusto as its master, its tail wagging cheerfully as it gave another chuff of approval, as though confirming its owner's earlier statement.

The platter of food did not last long before their combined appetites, as they hastily devoured each and every item on it with the enthusiasm of small children given free reign in a candy store. It was only after each and every one of the many pastries he'd ordered had vanished from his plate that he glanced back up to see what the shopkeeper was doing, remembering his objective once again. To his surprise, however, she was just standing there beside him, looking at... his lap? He glanced down, his gaze meeting with the red orbs of his pet, then back up to the girl. She seemed curious. Maybe she'd never seen a wolf tamer before. The look of amazement and joy in her eyes at seeing his pet made him feel proud, somehow, like he was something that was unique. And so, yet again, he forgot his usual image - a cold, heartless warrior - and acted without thinking.

"You like him?" He asked bluntly, grinning as he patted the wolf on the head for emphasis. "If you wanna pet him, go ahead. He loves attention."

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
She sat and watched in amusement as the boy and wolf duo began to eagerly consume her pastries and everything else this kid had ordered. Basically the entire shop, which she wasn't complaining about. She definitely wasn't after the money when it came to this business, in fact, she had boatloads that she never did anything with. She enjoyed moments like these most. It felt like she was actually making a difference in these people's lives. Because just for a few moments in the horribly tragic death game, they could come in and enjoy something entirely normal. A cake, some nice music, and a light conversation. You didn't have to worry about death, or fighting, or what's going on to your real life body.

Just the way she liked it.

She was snapped from her thoughts when he asked if she wanted to pet her pet. Well, duh! Who wouldn't? Still, she blushed deeply, a bit embarrassed that she was so obviously entranced, and she reached over the counter to gingerly pat the wolf on the head. He leaned his head into her hand, as if demanding her to pet harder, and she complied by scratching him behind the ears. Her mouth stretched into a large smile. She really did love animals.

"He's amazing," She breathed in total awe. "How did you get him?"

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
"I stumbled across him while I was questing on floor 29. Black Wolf Hunter mobs usually spawn in the Wolf Plains a floor below that, so I was pretty confused to see him all alone out there. He was being attacked by a bunch of Kobolds, though, so I figured I'd give him a hand. He's been my partner ever since." The boy shrugged, a slight smile yet playing upon his lips as Kurogane once again gave a lively chuff, licking the shopkeeper's hand once before once more lowering his head and pillowing it on his master's knee.

"Hey," Burai said suddenly, his demeanor taking a 180 shift as he realized once again that he'd slipped up and forgotten what he was supposed to be doing. "What's your name, anyway?" The phrasing of this question was somewhat odd, as though he expected that he'd know her once he knew her name. In his own mind, this was because if she had been deemed worth recruiting by a clearing guild, she must have been at least once a famous frontliner herself, but she, not knowing that, might be somewhat confused by it. Furthermore, he didn't actually clarify whether he was asking for her ingame name or her real one. Granted, basically nobody within the game actually gave out information about the real world willingly, himself included, so it was highly unlikely that she'd just go and introduce herself as she'd been in the real world. He hadn't been called by his real name ever since... ever since...

There he went again, going and thinking about the things he hated most to remember. He sighed, the smile vanishing from his face as he began to pat his lupine comrade absentmindedly, trying to take his mind off of the past. Right, it was probably about time he got down to business. Once he did that, he could go back to the frontlines and keep on searching for the way through the dungeon that had everyone stumped. There had to be some obvious thing he'd missed on his earlier runs, and the sooner he got to work on finding it, the better.

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
"Flynn Casanova," She replied. Her ingame name was really just a name she liked the sound of a lot. Nobody new her real life name. She never really thought about it. His tone hinted that he was here for another reason outside buying pastries. And now that she thought about it, he didn't seem like her normal customer. She stopped petting the wolf, since this no longer seemed like the fitting time, and withdrew her arm back behind the counter, fiddling nervously with her thumbs where he couldn't see.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Burai raised an eyebrow as the shopkeeper, Flynn, hastily seemed to draw back and retreat behind the store counter. What, was he really that scary? Well, he supposed that he'd probably be a little unnerved if some lanky guy with white hair, eyes like a dead fish's, armor, a cloak, and a crimson-eyed wolf by his side just strolled into his shop, too, Well, whatever. It wasn't his fault if she declined the offer, and he had never said he'd force her, just that he'd ask. Still, there was one odd thing about all this. Namely...

"Never heard of ya'," The boy said bluntly, shrugging. "Maybe the cake really was the reason..." He added under his breath, seeming a bit confused by the whole situation. He thought he had known all of the big names among the frontliners, both those currently in service and those who had retired like this girl evidently had, which made him doubt that she was really all that his guild master had said she was.

"Anyway, the name's Burai," He said. "And this fuzzball here is Kurogane," He motioned to his pet, who, hearing his name, raised his head and gave another quiet chuff of acknowledgement.

"Hey, ever heard of a guild called the Stardust Brigade?" He asked suddenly.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
She wasn't surprised to hear that Burai didn't know her. Nobody knew her as anything other than a friendly baker. She was glad for that.

She couldn't help a smile of amusement from tugging at her thick lips when the dog perked up at his name. They were NPCs, sure, but they seemed as alive as any other creature. She really had to find a creature for herself one day. "Nice to meet you!" She said cheerily, cheeks turning pink with warmth rather than embarrassment when she smiled at him.

"Yes, I have..." She said a bit hesitantly at his question, not knowing where this conversation was headed. Was this guild after her? She'd only heard of them from the idle banter among the other players, so she knew they were a big deal. In terms of specifics, she had no clue.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
"Good. I guess that makes explaining things easier," Said the boy with one of his usual shrugs. "I'm the Assault Commander of the Stardust Brigade - although saying my rank like it actually means anything is pretty much pointless. Basically I'm just the guy they call in to swing a sword at stuff so that they have an easier time advancing on the front," Burai explained. As he got to this point in his little explanation, he seemed to hesitate, averting his otherwise rather unstintingly focused, piercing gaze and glancing down at the wolf in his lap as though unsure of how to continue, feeling irritated that he had to be the one to ask. Sure, he presented himself as a rude, self-centered egotist just to make people leave him alone, but still, this went above and beyond any of his usual insensitivity. This girl probably never wanted to hear the word "frontlines," let alone fight there. And yet here he was, under orders to try and drag her away from her peaceful life and into the heat of battle.

"...And apparently," He said more quietly, unable to fully conceal his distaste for the subject. "I'm also the person they send for to harass other disinterested players into joining them." Sighing, he folded his hands on the table and glanced back up at the shopkeeper, but didn't entirely focus on her, his eyes trailing away to the side after he saw her uneasy expression. "Man, what a pain..." He complained. "I told them you'd probably throw me out of the shop the moment I brought it up, but they sent me here to try and recruit you anyway. Apparently, they think we need the help of more 'experienced players' to clear the 71st floor." You could almost hear the air quotes around the two words. Well, if making really good food constituted experience, he supposed she'd be useful, but he disliked complimenting people too much. It made his praise feel meaningless, and himself seem dishonest, like he was just flattering them.

"Honestly, if they'd just let me have free reign in the dungeon instead of sending me off on stupid errands to recruit bakers and the like, then we wouldn't be having these problems," He said, his rage at being so powerless slipping into his tone as he recalled the incident that had started the panic about Floor 71, where an entire clearing guild had fallen into a room occupied by a miniboss by accident, sealed themselves inside a no-crystal zone, and were eradicated down to the last man.

"But no, instead they just let herds of uncoordinated idiots like Seventh Star wander around looking for loot while keeping real, experienced people busy doing meaningless nonsense, and then act surprised when they stroll right into a trap and the whole guild gets wiped out overnight!" He tried to sound apathetic to convince himself that it wasn't his problem or his fault, but he didn't feel like he had succeeded. "This whole situation is just stupid," He said at last, seeming to calm down somewhat. "Nobody should be going in there except those of us who've got nothing to lose. Instead, we're off trying to force other people with better things to do to come serve as expendable shock troops to throw at the dungeon until it gives. It's pathetic."

Beckoning Kurogane to move, Burai rose from his seat and dusted the crumbs off his cape. As he appeared now, he was nothing like the energetic boy who had entered asking for sweets. His eyes were narrow and dead serious, their gaze cold as they focused intently on either the shopkeeper or the ground, and his face pursed back in its usual frown - an expression that should have been at least twenty years older than the face that wore it, looking more like a soldier on a battlefield than a boy in a sweets shop. The time for games had ended. He had a job to do, and couldn't afford to waste time harassing little girls on the whims of his irritating boss.

"Anyway, if you've got any messages to give my guild master, I'd be more than happy to tell him off for you. Maybe he'll finally realize that these stupid recruitment drives are getting us nowhere..."

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
She was silent for a long while as memories flooded her. Questions were racing through her head. How did they find out? She had kept her secret incredibly well hidden, and she never mentioned it to anybody. Who was the guild's head? Whoever they were, they had links to her somehow. Were they really this desperate? If they were really seeking her out from her humble baking shop, they must really need a helping hand.

If this was really the case, she had to go and get answers for herself.

"Anything I have to say to your leader will be face to face. I'm coming with you."

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Burai's eyes widened for a moment in surprise, then narrowed themselves in confusion. He looked at the girl. Then he looked to Kurogane, who looked back up at him innocently, as though to say "I have no idea." He looked back at Flynn, and then said the only thing that came to mind.

"...Huh?" He asked wordlessly. "You're seriously planning on taking him up on it?" The boy backpedaled frantically, trying to get her to reconsider. Since he'd been sent to recruit Flynn in the first place, if she actually accepted to offer, he'd probably be roped into metaphorically holding her hand while she leveled up to a sufficient level to begin work on the frontlines. That would mean protecting her, which would not only be a burden, it would be a threat. He couldn't trust himself with any level of confidence to hold someone's life in his hands and shield it. He'd thought he could save other people before, but he'd long since been proven wrong. At this point, he'd rather not risk it.

"I mean, I could understand perfectly if you didn't want to come along," He added hastily, trying not to seem too insistent whilst still voicing his disapproval. "People die on the front every day. Someone like you with things important to them - like this shop for example - has no place on the front. There's too much at risk, and they're likely to reconsider their decisions when things get rough. You've gotta have nothing to look forward to or look back on if you want to succeed out there." He looked away, seeming conflicted. "I mean, I tried telling the leader all that, but he sent me anyway." Once again, he spoke as an afterthought, not wanting to seem like he was undercutting his own duties too much.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
"I never said I was accepting his offer. I wish to speak with him. I haven't made up my mind yet." Her voice changed demeanor entirely. It took a new sort of intimidating tone. As soon as fighting was involved in the conversation, her shell came out. Her eyes hardened, she stood up a little taller. With the swipe of her hand, she pressed the command to close her shop - at least momentarily.

"Take me to him." It was obvious from her entire disposition that her mind was made up. As far as actually accepting the offer went, she wasn't thinking that far ahead yet. All she wanted now was answers. She'd decide from there. She'd gotten a little too good at hiding that part of her past away, apparently.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Burai frowned. Now things were getting strange. What reason could she possibly have to abandon her shop and speak with his guild master face to face when he'd already offered to convey any message she wanted to him? There was nothing to be gained by such a course of action, unless... She had something she wanted to hide, and was worried that he was onto her secret. The way her demeanor had changed in a flash the moment he'd mentioned the frontlines was a big tip-off too, since before that, she'd been practically hiding behind the store counter, while now she seemed as serious and composed as he always tried to be. Maybe she really had been one of the frontliners at one point...

But, as of yet, he had no irreproachable proof, and in any case, it wasn't really any of his business. She had said she wasn't fully intent on joining them, which meant that he might not have to worry about being assigned as her babysitter while she leveled her way back up, and he'd already done everything he'd been asked to by delivering the message, so there was really nothing else to do but return to the guild's headquarters on Floor 59. Then, once he'd dropped her off there, he could get back to more important things, like finding a way through the Floor 71 dungeon that wasn't filled with deadly traps.

"Fine," He said with a shrug before returning his hands to his waist, as though miming putting them in his pockets. "Follow me, then. Oi, Kuro, stop drooling over those cakes and get over here. We're going." The tamed wolf gave a somewhat annoyed chuff before reluctantly turning about and returning to its master's side as he rounded on the door, his cloak sweeping behind him as he stepped out. Stopping outside to hold it open for Flynn, he glanced back to see how she would act upon leaving behind her precious store. That would tell him all he needed about whether she was fit to be a frontliner or not.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
She followed him, flicking her hand to turn off the store light without looking behind her. She could tell by the way Burai spoke to her that he didn't think she was fit to be a frontliner, which she was absolutely fine with. It meant she put on a good show. A small part of her wanted the satisfaction of telling him what her true level was, but the majority of her knew that was a bad idea, for it would be throwing away everything she'd worked towards in creating a new life for herself.

After Rose, she couldn't again. She just couldn't. The image of her friend's expression right before she died flashed through her memory like lightning. She grimaced as if in physical pain.

Rose...

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Sure enough, the moment she was done making her little decision, Burai noticed a certain something creeping across the shopkeeper's countenance. He had never been tremendously good at reading people, simply deducing certain things from context and behavioral trends, but that lack of skill was irrelevant in this situation. Her expression was distinctly unpleasant, which he'd fully expected. She was regretting her choice of leaving, wasn't she? He sighed, turning away and stepping out into the quiet lane leading towards the center of town, and, by extension, the Teleport Gate that would lead to Danac on Floor 59, their destination.

The boy didn't speak after leaving the shop. He'd said all he needed to, and judging by her current attitude, she was probably mad at him for dragging her out of her quiet, peaceful life. Well, that was fine. She could hate the messenger all she wanted. That would just mean that if his guild ended up trying to force him into the role of her caretaker, he'd have an excuse to quit the job and go back to solo play sooner rather than later. And so, he simply continued walking ahead of her, leading the way to the town center with his wolf by his side. Glancing around himself, he noticed a few other players passing by on the edge of the lane, or looking at him out their windows. With his distinctive armor and pet, probably, a few of them recognized him, and those who didn't still knew what he was: a member of a clearing guild. Generally, the arrival of people like him was nothing but bad news in quiet communities like this one, making the hostility and fear in the eyes of those watching him unsurprising. Although, he could hear people murmuring amongst themselves, some of them sounding like they were cursing him. That was unusual. He glanced back behind to make sure that his charge was still following him, and then it hit him exactly why so many people were watching. This girl must have been a fairly well-known member of the community. Someone like him showing up and taking her away was probably cause for fear and outrage. After all, it must have looked like she was being coerced, walking in silence like she was with a gloomy expression on her face.

But that was fine. Burai was used to people hating him for what he was. He would just live with it, and keep on going like he always did - and so, he pretended not to notice, and just kept walking. It didn't take long to reach the Teleport Gate, and so, stepping up to it, he opened the control menu and activated it. Turning to face Flynn, he nodded his head towards the gate.

"The Brigade's headquarters are on Floor 59. If you're really intent on going, then I'll see you in Danac."

That being said, he rounded once more on the gate, and in a fluttering of cloth and a flash of light, he vanished, his companion wolf trotting into the portal only a moment later and disappearing in a flash of pixels.

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Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
As soon as he disappeared, she collapsed. Nobody was around, and the only sound was the wind blowing through the trees. Her hair danced across her face, and her eyes were wide. With a shaky hand, she opened up her menu and accessed an item from her inventory which then fell down into her open palm.

At a portrait shop in her town, when her and Rose were on a roll with floor clearing, they had taken a screenshot and printed it out. Like a virtual photograph. She hadn't looked at it in a long, long time.

In the picture, she was smiling. She was holding a sword not nearly as powerful as the one she had now. It was taken before Rose had crafted her longsword. She was on the left of the frame, turned so her and Rose's backs were against each other, Rose being on the other side of the picture. Flynn's cheeks were pink with happiness and life, her free hand not wielding the sword up in a thumbs up. Her mouth was curved in a grin so real she'd forgotten what it felt like to smile like that. Her legs were slightly apart, and she was standing tall. She looked confident. Powerful.

Rose, next to her, looked even more so. She always did out shine Flynn. And damn, she was as beautiful as she remembered her. Her hair was a deep brown, wavy and thick. It flowed all the way down to her waist, and it always looked perfect. A fringe framed her perfectly structured face, and even in the picture you could see how beautiful her emerald green eyes were. And the picture didn't even begin to capture what they had looked like in reality when she was still alive. She was taller than Flynn, and had a bigger bust and better curves. She wasn't wielding her weapon in the photo, though it was strapped to her back. A two handed sword made out of a rare black metal she had crafted herself. Her armor was made out of the same material, though in the picture she was wearing a rather skimpy outfit. But like always, Rose managed to make skimpy appear classy. A black crop top and leggings with a fur skirt, it looked like something you'd find in a Halloween store labeled "sexy Viking".

She could almost hear Rose's voice now. Words of eager encouragement, telling her to fuck this place up for what it did to them. The tears started, and Flynn's eyes closed as they fell from her face and decorated the picture. They disappeared into a series of sparkles once they hit the page, since they weren't programmed to interact with each other.

"Dammit, Rose..." She sobbed quietly. She collapsed inward on herself, head on her knees, her entire body folded together. Her hair spilled out over her, the tips of the strands reaching the ground. Her body convulsed with pathetic-sounding sobs. "We were supposed to make it out together. How do I go on without you when you were the only reason I was going on?"

She hadn't cried in so long it felt amazing to let it out now. She lifted her head back up towards the sky, eyes squinted shut, mouth open wide as she let loud sobs escape her. Tears kept freefalling from her eyes, then falling off her chin and landing either on herself or the ground. She was the image of absolute despair and agony.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Burai waited. He'd been sitting next to the Floor 59 Teleport Gate for several minutes now, Kurogane pacing about the small clearing surrounding the gate while his master leaned against the side of the stone portal, arms crossed over his chest and a frown playing upon his face. She'd followed him up to the Gate, but then what? Had she had second thoughts, and decided to return to her shop? Or perhaps she'd never actually intended to follow to begin with, and had just wanted to make him wait a while as payback for bothering her. Either way, it was becoming increasingly obvious that the girl wasn't coming.

Still, he couldn't exactly go back to the guild hall without a definite answer, and "She said she'd come visit but isn't here now" was most certainly not adequate. And, at the same time, if he had been tricked, he wasn't particularly keen on showing that he cared enough to come back. So, out of sheer, stubborn determination, despite his cynical opinion that Flynn had never intended to go with him, he decided to continue waiting, simply sitting at the foot of the portal grumbling to himself.

"Take it out on me, why don't you? I volunteered to leave and tell him you weren't interested, but no, apparently that's not good enough - you've gotta get even with the guy whose only crime was bringing you the message..." Burai muttered irritably.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by RedFox
It took a while for her to cry herself out. She cleaned herself up as best as she could, put the picture away, and came through the gate. She was incredibly surprised to find the white-haired babyfaced soldier still waiting for her. She didn't actually think he'd stick around. "Sorry for making you wait," She apologized, fist pumping internally when her voice sounded even. She was almost positive it would break. She opened her mouth, trying to find an excuse, but then discovered she couldn't fashion any believable alibis. So she just shut her mouth again.

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Character Portrait: Yuuki "Burai" Ren Character Portrait: Flynn Casanova
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#, as written by Feyblue
Burai blinked as he heard the portal flaring to life behind him. Standing up and dusting himself off, he turned to find, to his surprise, none other than the girl he'd assumed had run back to her shop to hide amidst the comforts of her ordinary life. So she'd actually come after all? That raised the question of why she'd waited in the first place, but Burai didn't particularly care much about why other people acted the way they did, so he simply shrugged off this thought and moved on.

"It's fine," He said, a certain pointed tone lurking in his voice that made it quite clear that it wasn't. "Let's just get going." With this resigned comment, he turned and motioned for her to follow, stepping out onto the main road. Danac was a rather spread-out settlement, with small clusters of houses and markets located here and there. The Teleport Gate was located in a small park-like area near the "center" of the town, alongside an open road leading to and from the village's square. It was in the latter direction that Burai set out, leading the way towards a small wooden compound surrounded by palisade walls on all sides, with a single, large hall at its center. Considering its proximity to the gate, it did not take long for them to reach the guild hall.

Knocking on the wooden gate of the hall, he shouted up irritably at the top of the wall. "Oi!" He called. "I brought the girl, like Caben wanted. She says she wants to talk to him. Ya' mind letting me in?"

"What's the password?" Called back a jeering voice from the top of the small rampart.

"Eh?!" Burai exclaimed, annoyance evident in his voice. "Piss off! There isn't a password, and you know it! Now hurry up and open this gate before I climb up there and do it myself. I've got better things to do than exchange quips with a retard who's stuck on sentry duty because he's too ignorant to know how to use Sword Skills properly and actually help us clear dungeons!" Taunting the sentinel in return, he sneered upward as head poked over the edge of the wall, anger evident on the older man's face.

"Whaddidya say?!" He roared back. "I don't want to hear that from a delinquent whose dungeon privileges got suspended for refusing to help the guild!"

"I didn't refuse to help the guild, just the idiots like you who are in it! I work best alone, without incompetent morons like you to slow me down, and until Caben sees that, I'm not getting all chummy with anybody! Parties are overrated, anyhow! Now will you open the damn door?! He wants this job done with as soon as possible, and if he hears you're getting in my way, I'm sure he'll have some choice words for you!"

"Tch! Fine, you don't need to throw a temper tantrum, ya' little brat," Snarled the watcher before stepping back behind the walls. A moment later, the doors swung open, and breathing an irritated sigh, Burai stepped in, Kurogane following a moment later after he'd stopped to snarl up at the watchman.

"Man, these guys are all such pains in the neck..." The youth muttered, forgetting for a moment that he was supposed to be escorting someone. "Oh, right," He mumbled, turning back to face Flynn. "Anyway, we should probably hurry up before some other dunce decides to get in our way. Guild Master Caben's office is in here." He said, opening the door of the main hall and holding it so that the shopkeeper following him could enter. Given his multiple glances around the yard, and the glares he both shot at and received from the other members who happened to be there, it was fairly obvious that his position in the guild wasn't exactly a welcome one.