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Asher Damons

"So... Back into the world of 1's and 0's...."

0 · 422 views · located in Lacrezia

a character in “Lacrezia - The Reborn World”, as played by Asher MstrImmortalis

Description

Asher DamonsBlade Slizer
ImageImage


Personal Information



Image
Name:
Asher Damons

Nickname:
Ash, Damon

Age:
21

Gender:
Male

Nationality:
American (Residence-Japan)

Appearance:
Asher is white skinned, 5”11’, and has short black hair with blue eyes. He has a slight muscle build, but still slim. He is normal weight, maybe 100 lbs. In real life, he usually wears blue jeans, a white T-shirt, and a black hoodie, whilst listening to his music on his iPhone10 with headphones.

Personality
Asher is friendly to all and hostile to enemies. Asher loves his friends and likes to keep them close. He would protect those important to him with his life, is necessary. Asher isn't the wisest or the smartest, but he is still above average. You won't see him boasting about it, though. In fact, Asher isn’t one to be in the spotlight, or become a leader. However, he can teach people, and if he can’t help it, lead a group.
While he can be laid back at times, there is a serious side to Asher Damons, especially after the ACO incident. He used to be extremely relaxed and laid back, but by being trapped inside a game, Asher knew the dark side of life and how to deal with it, something he never truely learned before the event.

Background
Asher had a normal life until he was locked inside the game. He went to school, became an above average student, went to high school, and enrolled into all the honor classes. Asher also took martial arts. Currently, he is a 1st degree black belt as well as an instructor in his school. All in all, he was pretty much an average Joe.
Asher liked to try new things from time to time. That included video games, especially the β€œInsitus Gear.” However, Asher never let the game take over his life, unlike most people. He was deeply saddened by the fact that most of the students in the martial arts academy were too sucked into the gaming system. When the new Insitus Gear came out, Asher finally bought it along with the Antiva Chronus, just to curb his curiousity in the game. However, he too was trapped in the game, like every other player.

With the end of ACO, Asher had finally experienced true despair and an actual event in which his life was in danger. However, with that experience came a whole group of new friends, as well as someone he loves- Kanna Suzaku. They helped each other, Asher helping Kanna get over her own faults while Kanna helped Asher recover from the dark side of life. When Lacrezia came out, Asher wanted to get back into VRMMORPG's in order to help the players inside it, in the case of another incident happening. However, with opposition from his own family, Asher asserted his independance from being a legal adult, and even moved out of the house and even into Japan, the country of Kanna Suzaku's origins. In the span of five-years between ACO and LTRW, Asher had also become fluent in Japanese, enough to actually live in it and become a part of the society.
Asher finally found Kanna, and the two began to live with each other in recent times. With the beginning of the LTRW incident, Asher began to take the game seriously, though also keeping up with his own life.


Data File



Image
Username:
Blade Slizer

Race:
Human

Class:
Warrior

Starting Realm:
Terra

Avatar Model Description:
Blade wears black clothes with only certain pieces of metal as armor. Blade's main appearance is a trench coat that is an extremely light tint of gray and jet-black, with armor covering the left arm. Blade's trench coat also has a symbol as a zipper, a diamond with angel wings on it (one of the more common Paladin symbols). His shoes are also made of metal, specifically lightweight silver.
Blade's avatar model itself is a tall, slightly muscular tall elven male. The skin is a slightly tanned white and has neck-long silver hair with icy-blue eyes. This model is based off of the appearance of "The Voice of Treason" of ACO.

AI Behaviour
Blade helps other players in need, being a nice guy. He isn't afraid to step up and save other players from Player Killers or assisting them in missions that could mean great injury (though he might get carried away). Blade himself is a bit on the quiet side, but has a smile that tells anyone that they are welcome to talk to him. Blade much prefers to be in the front lines, being able to help deal the main damage to the enemy.
In battle, Blade is very calculating and, with his sort of skillset, can easily turn the flow of battle around. Blade himself wants all allies to survival, even at the cost of himself. He's known to throw himself into the fires of hell to save a teammate, alone.
Blade usually waits for his opponent to come to him, and then continuously be on a defensive state as he studies his opponent's behaviour. Then, with a simple counter-skill, Blade would go onto the offensive and strike at the opponent's weak points. Calculating, confident, clever, he's an ally you would always want to have around, and an enemy you want to stay away from.
Blade Slizer's stat growth differs from the average Human Warrior. His main stats are those of like a Demon Assassin's, Attack (the MAIN main stat), Speed (secondary main stat), and then raising critical hit damage and chance. Blade is all about being on the offsensive with his skill set, however Blade has a few defensive skills that can dodge and/or counter attack an enemy. Slow him down, however, and Asher would be effectively be crippled.

Progress:
Blade himself is a veteran player, coming from the world of ACO. He had fought on the frontlines before, and is not knew to battling with the sword. Blade chose the Human Warrior in order to get an advantage of already knowing what to do and how to fight. He has not made himself known in the game, and his past popularity with Canon from ACO has not carried over from the last game, not that Blade cared.



Equipment



Lightweight Katana:
A Japanese light-weight blade that slightly curves towards the tip of the blade. Increases attack speed by 5%.

Vorenthul:
Image
A very light and extremely fast sword that belongs to the Avonthian princes, three brothers charged with the task of defeating the Dark One (from the Sword of Ancients mythology). Damage against Demonic Enemies are increased by 50%, and Dark Elemental Resistance of the user and all allies is doubled. Light element.

Knight's Armor (left arm only):
Armor belonging to a knight, only the left arm is worn. Strengthens to sword arm and increases damage and endurance. Also reduces stamina cost by 10%.

Warrior's Trench Coat:
Series of clothing that's light yet durable. It still does its job to protect the wearer while not being bulky at all. Defense increase by 5%, Speed increase by 10%.

Paladin's Steeled Shoes:
A pair of steeled shoes that's durable yet light. stamina: +5%

Hard Sheath:
A sheath for the user's sword. It's hard and durable enough to be used as a weapon and a small shield, yet still light.

Holy Cross Necklace:
A necklace with a cross design with a gem on the center. Increases resistance against Dark-Element attacks.

Others:
-Healing Potions
-Stamina Potions
-Mana Potions
-Antidotes



Skills



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Twin Blow:
The user slashes extremely fast, slashing twice nearly as fast as a normal single slash.

Blowback:
The user slashes upwards to send the enemy to the skies, allowing for a follow-up combo or time to recover. Heavier enemies has less of a chance of taking off.

Meteor Strike:
Must be activated mid-air. The user stops any momentum before crashing down onto the ground, the sword slashing down with damage boosted by the momentum downwards. Creates shock waves that spread out a bit around the user when the user slams into the ground.

Flash Strike:
The user dashes through an enemy, slashing them. Cannot go through walls. Cooldown is 10 seconds.

Arc Strike:
The user slashes in a wide arc, giving more power and range by sacrificing a little bit of speed.

Edge Chain:
The user slashes, stunning the enemy before stabbing in multiple areas of the enemy in an extremely fast speed before the user slashes upward and sending the target to the air, ending the skill.

Chain Strike:
The user dashes from enemy to enemy in one room, slashing with great power but with great opening, especially when slashing at the last enemy. The user does one slash from the air, then another slash from the ground. Then the user would dash to the next enemy doing the same until the last enemy in which the user would slash with great power. Cooldown is 15 seconds.

Cast Interruption:
The user, after identifying an enemy chanting to cast a spell, dashes towards the enemy and quickly slashes to interrupt the casting. Cooldown is 40 seconds.

Eyes of Wisdom ~ Battle Prowess:
Image
Passive skill. Allows the user to see the weak points of the enemy as well as its most vulnerable stat (resistance to magic or defense against physical attacks). Critical Hit Chance: +10%

Cross Slash:
The user slashes horizontally and vertically or diagonally twice, sending a wave of energy in the shape of a cross or an X at the opponent.

Grand Cross:
The user slashes once at the opponent, creating a beam of light going through it and stunning it. Bringing the sword back, the user slashes perpendicular to the first one, creating a second beam of light that goes through the opponent, completing the cross made of slashes and light on the opponent. Both slashes are of light element, and the skill temporarily weakens the target's Light Element Resistance by 10%.
Version 2: The user dashes through the opponent, slashing through the opponent and leaving a trail of holy yellow flames before continuing with the momentum. The user then jumps up and slashes perpendicular to the first slash, leaving a second trail before stabbing at the point where the two trails intersect- the target itself. The flames rise and engulf the target and user, though only the enemies near and on the flames, especially the ones near the intersection, take damage. Requirements include sacrificing all mana and stamina as well as being under 20% HP. The weapon equipped must also have the element of Light and the skill Cross Slash must be used right before activating Grand Cross.





So begins...

Asher Damons's Story

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


"Welcome to Lacrezia - The Reborn World! Before you can proceed to character creation you must calibrate the device. Please follow the instructions properly." A robotic female Japanese voice sounded in a boy's head. Right... With every new thing there always has to be some sort of calibration process... The boy thought. Calibration has become a mandatory thing with new game devices nowadays, considering the fact that it's all virtual reality. Players have to be very meticulous about conducting the process in order to ensure no unwanted errors to occur. That was the most annoying part of calibration: being thorough in the setups.

Suddenly, the player was surrounded by white. The boy looked around. A bit too much for the eyes.... Then, a single NPC walked up to him. Unlike most other MMORPG's, this NPC wasn't even reliant on fanservice. It was a little girl, dressed in white with white hair. Nothing too special. Thankfully, the girl didn't have some abnormal chest size to attract certain male players. "Welcome to Lacrezia's character creation screen. Please choose the race of your character." The girl said in a monotonous voice. Character selections really aren't known to be eye-popping anyway. Why waste time and energy on it?

Asher Damons flipped through the five races. A hologram showed the player himself, and it changed as the different races were selected.

Humans were, as always, the "Jack of All Trades" race with no natural strengths or weaknesses. Asher's appearnce didn't change, however he started with clothing that would be found on a peasant in the Middle Ages, just cut down the middle to expose his chest. I spoke too soon. Can't they have starting clothing that didn't reveal my body parts to other players?

Angels were all about striking from afar with their classes, maybe even from the air. Their classes consisted of archers, healers, and a class that buffs other party members. The reflection began to sprout wings, and the clothes became less revealing. There was a sort of holy aura around Asher's avatar. Next.

Demons, as usual, played dirty with things such as dark magic and assassinations. Asher's avatar grew horns and a tail, fitting the stereotypical appearance of a demon. It seemed that his eyes had become red, and the starting clothes seemed to be even more revealing than the humans' starting clothes. Great. This is even worse. Don't the developers know any privacy?

Elves were still one with nature, just like their incarnations in other MMORPGS. Their classes consisted of using nature against the enemy, either through animals or by nature itself. The avatar shrank in height, and he eyes became a bit narrower. The ears grew and became pointy, just like every other elf. However, the starting rags were just the same as a human's.

Mermen, on the other hand, seemed to be a new class. They didn't have any clothing, but there was a good reason not to. They lived mainly underwater, just like their mythological counterparts. However, their class choices were more for support as well, the only front line class being the Hunter.

While the last two races were very tempting, their classes weren't that much appealing to Asher, the latter even less appealing to the player. The angels rely too much on being the support of the party, which never was Asher's style, and Asher isn't the type to be a demon. So, by process of elimination, Asher once again chose the generic human. He was then prompted to customize his character. Asher fiddled around with the different menus, such as the coloring of his character's hair and eyes, trying to get the right colors for the right body parts. In the end, the avatar had mess silver hair and icy blue eyes. Asher smirked. He just recreated a certain other character.

"What would you like your character to be called?" The NPC asked Asher.

".... Blade Slizer." Asher didn't choose his last username. After all, it was a sort of a joke, and it did raise some eyebrows as to what it actually was. Who names themselves The Voice of Treason, anyways?

"Your character has been completed! Welcome to the Lacrezia - The Reborn World!" The NPC said, all of a sudden in a cheerful tone. Creepy. The room grew brighter and brighter. Asher couldn't even tell if he was in the same white room anymore, but it seemed that the NPC was gone. Asher forced his eyes to close. Seriously... this is really hurting my eyes... When the player finally opened them, he was in a bustling city, surrounded by buildings, running NPCs, and newbies. However, Asher knew what to do. After all, he WAS a survivor in the world of Antiva Chronus Online. "So... Back to the world of 1's and 0's...." Asher muttered, walking forward to the NPC that was marked in his hub.

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


Terra. It sounded so familiar to Asher. Why? Because it was the name of his starting realm inside Antiva Chronus Online, much like the one he was in right now. Speaking of ACO, you might be wondering why someone like Asher entered this game in the first place. Then again, Asher questioned his reasons as well when he ran the tutorial's errands to get the starting gear. In ACO, Asher had encountered so many unfortunate souls that had the luck to be trapped in there. Asher had, fortunately, fought alongside some of them and was one of the leading characters to beat the game. Like the others, Asher didn't even want another incident like this happening again and cause so many deaths. His reason is to help in the front-lines and help the players should any problems arise that would cause life-threatening problems within the games.

That was what went through this survivor's mind as he spent his lent gold on the starting equipment. A light piece of clothing that somewhat protected him, a sword that raised his attack speed, and shoes. They were a bit boring to say the least, as they were just a black T-shirt (thankfully without any intended cuts), pants, and a generic sword that you would see in an armory in the Middle Ages. Then again, it's just starting equipment.

His quest then directed Asher to the NPC that sent him on those errands. "Heh. Not too bad." The NPC said. "Now, before I can send you out to do certain quests, I need to try and see how you are in battle. So, I want you to hunt-" Blah blah blah. It's all the same MMORPG tutorial dialogue. Hunt 1 boar, then a couple, then several, etc. The only change would've been was to recover some item found only as a quest-related enemy drop. Being experienced in these games, Asher quickly finished off the hunting tutorials as well as the "Recover this item" quest within 10 minutes, if he wasn't quick.

By the end of the final tutorial quest, Asher had gained obtained a Short Sword, several potions, 1500 gold, and the level of 5. Seeing as how Asher is left alone to find out his own quests, he walked back into town and searched for a certain NPC- the knight. The NPC stood near the center of the town, standing straight and tall in attention with his hands laying on the hilt of a sword stabbed on the ground before him. "Excuse me." Asher said, causing the knight to respond as per programming.

"Yes?" The knight didn't move.

"I wish to talk to you about becoming a Warrior."

The knight turned to face Asher. "Do you have a sword?"

"Yes."

"Are you certain of your class?" The knight asked. "If you chose to become a Warrior, I will guarantee you that you will not be able to change classes."

"I am certain, sir."

The knight nodded. "Follow me, then."

And so, Asher quickly started his class-related quests. He had to learn certain skills, such as the basic Thrust skill. However, Asher completed the quests without a problem. They were similar to how Asher started out, really. He went onto the quests to master the sword in ACO, and it followed a similar pattern. However, Asher had to stop his quests because of the fact that the next few quests' recommended levels were much higher than his current one, which was now 8. Asher continued to search and do quests until he was level 11, when he realized there was a notification in his inbox, one that arrived at least 10 minutes ago.

"Dear players! To celebrate first day of Lacrezia we prepared a special event. Near all race starting places there will be Field Boss which if defeated will give you a nice amount of money to start out with. We suggest that players who haven't reached level 10 yet restrain from fighting this beast as it is not nearly as easy as monsters you've been fighting until now. Good luck!"

A small event, all to commemorate the opening of the game. Asher looked at the message, suspicious. No announcement of the game being like Antiva Chronus Online.... However this would've been an excellent trap.... Asher sighed and closed the message. The area nearest to the starting town was the Terra Woods, which is the place where these kinds of events may take place. And thus, Asher entered the woods and searched for this Field Boss.

His new enemy to face were trolls, which were a much higher level than boars. Their levels nearly reached Asher's, theirs being 9-12. Asher smirked and took a battle stance. Taunt was what he used, aggro'ing the nearby trolls to lower their defense at the cost of raising their attack. The trolls charged at them, their voices raised in a battle cry...

Asher sighed, coming out of the third troll battle in which he was multi-aggro'ed. He used up his first health potion so far. "This is getting annoying... When is that thing going to show u-" Suddenly, Asher's complaints were interrupted when he saw the glowing light of an enemy spawning suddenly shined behind him. "Nevermind..." Asher turned to face the Field Boss that recently spawned. "Well... this will be interesting...." Asher grinned before getting into a fighting stance once more.

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Blade Slizer V.S. Adaptive Troll

ImageImage





The troll spoke in its language, the same one Blade has been hearing the past half hour he was in this forest. It was beginning to annoy him. The boss acted first, raising its axes and swinging both of them in opposite horizontal directions. Blade hopped back, then countered with a thrust as it tried to recover. Due to how Asher allocated more skill points to his SPEED stat, Blade managed to get the hit in and still get back into a guard when the troll retaliated.

The Adaptive Troll swung again, though Blade managed to block the attack and only received chip damage. The troll kept its assault, trying to get Blade's guard to break. Blade kept swinging his own sword, now stepping backwards to try and gain some room between the two combatants. Just as the troll was about use a skill on Blade, the player rolled out of the way to dodge it, then came in for a few quick strikes. "Someone's a bit to excited to- Ngh!- Battle!" Blade grunted as he ducked under another axe swing before spinning and slashing. Somehow, Blade knew the troll cursed at the player as it slashed again at Blade.

"Guh!" Blade grunted as he managed to block an attack, only to be hit with a critical from the other axe. It took quite a bit of his health bar away, and Blade got into a fighting stance again. Damn... forgot about that other axe there... Blade thought. I need to stop relaxing. This guy's more dangerous than other ones. It's true that Blade didn't fight all out, mainly because he went up against easy-to-kill enemies so far, and he was still used to having better stats and a higher level than such nuisances that were now his match. Blade sighed and got into a fighting stance after getting some space between him and the troll.

The troll charged again, but Blade put his blade out and blocked with perfect timing, forcing the troll to be in a flinch state. Before it could recover, Blade then thrust his sword into it multiple times, shaving off more and more of its health bar. The troll then swung its axes, forcing Blade back while it recovers and got into a fighting stance. Blade glared at the troll, but simply got into his own fighting stance. Then the troll charged at him, but the player just stood their at ready.

The troll brandished its axes high above its head. It swung down, but the attack never finished. Blade suddenly dashed through the troll, slashing it and dealing damage. Blade exploited the new opening, slashing twice more at the troll's back, then chaining the combo with an upward slash, forcing the troll to fly before landing on the ground, hard. The troll slowly got up and turned to the player. It was just getting started.




A figure walked out of the forest, the figure's health bar dangerously low. Its weapons were sheathed. The figure smirked. "Well... That was a good time." Blade chuckled and looked at his spoils, finally. The drops the Adaptive Troll dropped were a thousand gold and, because he was the third human to kill the field boss, a bracelet, a Warrior's Bracelet. It gave stat boosts to attack and defense, which is a good thing because Asher needed to cover his own defense stat from being too low, and his attack power is further raised. Defeating that Adaptive Troll wasn't too hard, especially from his past experience in Antiva Chronus Online. From the Field Boss's defeat, Blade gained a lot of experience, enough to get him a level up.

Blade Slizer whistled as he walked into the town. That thousand gold should be used to get him some much needed healing and potions. After that, back to the quests. Asher sighed. So far, there was nothing wrong with this game. However this is still launch day, and anything can happen after this. Asher checked into an inn at the end of the day. Once he got to his room, he checked his menu. Okay... So there IS a log out button... Asher smiled. But does it work?

....

Asher exited his room and stretched. "Hey Kanna... That new VRMMO doesn't have any problems so far." Asher called out, smiling. "I wouldn't call it totally safe, but so far it is. Oh, and there's a new working feature. It's called a log out button."

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Kanna


"Really? That's good. I was just starting to worry I'd have to come in after you and pull you out myself." The words were spoken gently, with a sense of wry mirth, as a quiet voice piped up from a nearby doorway as a small figure, her long braid of silver hair poking out from beneath a somewhat out of place baseball cap - Kanna had recently taken to wearing the hat to cover her sensitive eyes from the light, which had a tendency to give her bad headaches and make it rather difficult for her to even see - poked her head out, leaning against the doorframe for support. The young woman smiled, adjusting the spectacles over which her violet gaze peered as she slowly, carefully made her way out into the hallway, carrying a small tray in one hand, while leaning on the small, featureless cane she held in the other. Despite her pronounced limp, however, Kanna managed to make her way down the hallway without so much as wobbling the contents of the tray - a small plate bearing a sandwich and a few miscellaneous snacks, as well as a cup of warm tea.

"I made lunch a little while ago," She explained, seeming a little uneasy as she awaited Asher's approval of the food she'd brought him, but also appearing quite proud of herself. "I saved some for you, so if you're hungry..." She trailed off for a moment before picking back up and continuing. "You were in there for a long time, so if you're hungry, be sure to eat up. It's no good to starve yourself just so you can play games." Making this little joke at her own expense, she gave a wry smile, and offered up the tray.

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


"Really? That's good. I was just starting to worry I'd have to come in after you and pull you out myself." Asher turned to the source of the voice. A small woman with very pale skin, yet not as pale as before, and a rare violet eyes behind a pair of glasses. She wore a cap to further protect her sensitive eyes, which covered her snow-white hair. Kanna Suzaku wore a black jacket over a yellow T-shirt and jogging pants that matched said jacket. In her hands were a walking cane and a small tray with a sandwich, snacks, and a cup of tea that still let off a small and transparent wisp that hinted at its general temperature.

Kanna walked to Asher, carrying the tray. "I made lunch a little while ago. I saved some for you, so if you're hungry..." Kanna seemed to let the sentence hang a bit, causing Asher to smile. "You were in there for a long time, so if you're hungry, be sure to eat up. It's no good to starve yourself just so you can play games."

Asher smiled as Kanna offered him the leftovers. Asher took the tray and set it down on a nearby table in his room. "Well, I don't plan on playing video games the whole time." Asher said in fluent Japanese. It was a VERY good thing his college offered Japanese as an option for foreign languages. "Besides, I have something- or rather someone else to spend time with." He gave a smile and kissed Kanna on the forehead. Asher proceeded to offer Kanna to go into his room and went to his bed, sitting on it with his arms resting on his legs and his back hunched forward. He took a sandwich and took a small bite. Needless to say Kanna's food was still delicious and appealing to any tongue. "So." Asher said to Kanna. "What did I miss this morning?"

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"Not much that I didn't miss too," Kanna replied with a sheepish smile. "I spent most of the day in my room drawing up sketches for panels. I guess even if I say I'll go outside more, it's hard to once I get hooked on something. Good thing I've got somebody here to keep me from getting too fixated, huh?" She grinned at Asher, adjusting her cap in the wake of his gesture of affection, blushing slightly but not letting her slight awkwardness at the contact show or otherwise affect her behavior, a far cry from her shyness before she had met and opened up to the boy who was now her housemate.

"Anyway, I'm probably going to get back and draw some more. I've reached the best part of this volume, but I just can't seem to get this chapter right." Kanna shrugged, giving a wry smile at her own inexperience. "I guess all there is to do is keep it up until I like what I've got," She continued resolutely. "The publisher said the pitch and the sample I included for that contest a few months back might be good enough, so I've got to complete this and send it in before the deadline." She tapped her cane slightly on the floorboards to punctuate this statement of purpose, a gesture she'd turned into a habit shortly after she'd begun walking with the assistance of the rather featureless yet characteristic item. "So, anyway, I guess I'm gonna be busy. I... I hope you enjoy the food. I'd best get back to work, then." With this, she turned sheepishly away, and giving a wave with her free hand, returned to her room, adjusting her spectacles as she shut the door behind her. The faint light of a computer monitor flashed across the lenses of her glasses, blocking her eyes from view and giving her a quite sinister aspect as she eyed the digitally generated avatar on the screen before her. This... this was her. Or rather, the appearance she'd assumed in Lacrezia, the newest hit VRMMORPG. She'd already managed to finish the flats of her first manga volume ahead of schedule, and had sent it in to her prospective publisher for editorial review. So, while she'd had nothing better to do, she'd decided to play an elaborate prank on Asher, purchasing the same game he'd decided to begin playing and starting it up herself. She'd managed to progress quite far that morning, and now, having locked her door like the olden days to keep from being discovered, she hoped to continue improving her new character in order to keep up with, and eventually surprise Asher.

Upon starting that morning, she'd initially been torn between the unique prospect of playing a Mermaid and the sad acceptance of the fact that doing so would mean playing one of several classes she was utterly unsuited to. So, eventually, she'd settled on the somewhat less unique but much more suitable plan of playing a Demon instead, and the equally irritating downside of the ubiquitous skimpy clothing that doing so would require her to wear. Still, she felt she'd chosen her starting outfit well enough. It was a one piece ensemble, consisting of a backless and sleeveless - not to mention rather uncomfortably low cut - dark red bodice that connected seamlessly to what was essentially a pair of short shorts. Accessorizing with a pair of opaque black riding gloves and matching thigh high boots, and topping this off with a hooded - and somewhat tattered - cape of matching color to the bodice/shorts mashup - she really wasn't sure what to call it beyond an excessively showy bodysuit that would be almost impossible to actually wear in real life - she completed her outfit, and journeyed into the world as a Dark Mage.

At first, she was worried the class wouldn't suit her. Aside from basic hand to hand combat maneuvers, it had very little close quarters ability, being unable to use most major weapons, and was also unable to heal, relying almost entirely upon demonic agility to dodge as a means of defense, and black magic attacks to retaliate. But, after she'd successfully reduced an entire field of imps to an ashen slate by fast-casting Silver Lightning and Fire Sweep - two of her starter spells - then as an encore had run circles around a boss and used the same spells, as well as a new ability titled "Frost Touch" to punch and blast it to death without taking a hit, she'd reconsidered. No, the Dark Mage class wasn't unsuited to her at all.

The Dark Mage class was AWESOME. Seriously, it almost made her want to travel back in time and try playing a mage in ACO, just to see if it had been this good. Although, you couldn't really beat the Blademaster Unique Skill in her opinion. It was going to be difficult adjusting to a fantasy world where she didn't have a collection of hundreds of legendary swords to rain down upon her opponents in a destructive shower of steel and death. But, hey, fire and explosions would do just as well in a pinch.

Speaking of which, it was high time she stopped reminiscing and logged in. Donning her new covertly-purchased Virtual Glass and plugging it into her computer, she started up the system, and assumed her new identity: Noel, the Vermillion Sorceress.

...Within fifteen seconds of returning to Lacrezia, three imps and a small bush had been incinerated. Kanna was back in business.

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"Not much that I didn't miss too. I spent most of the day in my room drawing up sketches for panels. I guess even if I say I'll go outside more, it's hard to once I get hooked on something. Good thing I've got somebody here to keep me from getting too fixated, huh?" Kanna said with a smile. Asher returned it with a chuckle. "Anyway, I'm probably going to get back and draw some more. I've reached the best part of this volume, but I just can't seem to get this chapter right. I guess all there is to do is keep it up until I like what I've got. The publisher said the pitch and the sample I included for that contest a few months back might be good enough, so I've got to complete this and send it in before the deadline. So, anyway, I guess I'm gonna be busy. I... I hope you enjoy the food. I'd best get back to work, then."

"Ah. Alright then." Asher nodded as Kanna got up and, with the help of her walking stick, left his room to go into hers. Asher smiled before eating the rest of his sandwich and turning on the gaming console again. The boy smiled as he entered the world of Lacrezia again, already aiming to go into a dungeon of some sort to complete a quest. Within a few hours he was able to get far into the game, already going for level 25.

Asher smiled as he walked through Terra. Finally, a game that doesn't try to kill you in real life. Asher thought. He finally got done his starter quests as a Human Warrior. They were easy for him since he has experience with VRMMORPGs, but usually the class's starter quests are the easiest of the game's missions.

Blade Slizer sighed, finishing off another goblin. Let's see..... 20 goblins killed, 30 to go... Blade Slizer had pit himself in an extermination quest in which he must kill off 50 goblins in the forest of a nearby town. The reward was pretty decent, but Blade really wasn't going for quests with the most money. He just want to bide his time before some kind of quest automatically makes his way into his Quest List and lead the player into a story-related quest or something.

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


Asher smiled, taking the front lines of the party. He held his sword up, two others walking up to his side in the front lines. As of right now the party Blade Slizer was in consisted of several humans. Half of them were Warriors, Asher included, some Mages, a Monk and two Paladins. There was also a Gunner who hung in the backlines. "Alright. The Boss Room is just in front of us. All we need to do is get through this last wave of enemies." Blade Slizer called out. "Are you all ready?"

Everyone gave their own versions of "Yes." Nods, fighting stances, and vocalizing their answers. Blade nodded and smiled as he gave the command. "Janeth, take point!" The Paladin went in front of the whole group. "Daine Leonardo, move up behind the Warrior group. Everyone move!" The whole party moved forward towards the Corrupted Noble Guardsmen. Almost immediately the Paladin used his [Taunt] skill, making the Guards aggro and charge at the Paladin, who blocked the slow yet powerful sword swings of the 5 Guardsmen. "Daine!"

Daine nodded and took a rifle. He snipes one of the Guards in the head, managing to get a critical. The Warriors then clashed with the Guards, swords swinging through the air. Blade took on a Guard with Daine, Daine doing some damage as Blade fought the Guard head-on. The Guard slashed vertically, slamming its sword into the ground and creating a shockwave. Blade reacted by using [Flash Strike], going through the Guard and striking its midsection. The Guard was stunned from the counterattack, allowing Daine to let loose a hail of metal projectiles from his twin pistols. The Guard swung horizontally, trying to get Blade to retreat, which he did, before charging at Daine. Daine swiftly rolled to the side, narrowly dodging the slash from the Guard before unloading his entire clip from his two pistols into the Guard's face.

Taking the opportunity, Blade slashed at the Guard once more, depleting all most all of its remaining health. However, the Guard swung at the last moment when Blade tried to get in the killing blow, forcing the player to clash swords and push against his target's weapon with his own. "Ngh..... Daine!" Blade grunted. "What are you doing?! Shoot it already!" However, Daine was busy helping the other players fend off the rest of the Guardsmen. The group of 5 enemies now turned to 3, including the one Blade faced. Grunting once more, Blade let himself be pushed back in order to concentrate on the activation of his skill. Using [Flash Strike] Blade got through the clash, taking some damage himself, in order to get in that one final blow on the Corrupted Noble Guardsman, effectively turning his enemy into a corpse. Soon after, the other Corrupted Noble Guardsmen followed Blade's opponent into nothingness.

"God....." Blade sighed. "Is everyone alright?" Blade looked around. The whole party was still present, however their healthbars were nearly empty. "Good.... Everyone's all here still....." Taking out a health potion, he opened it up and drank it, replenishing his health. The others did the same.

"Finally....." Daine muttered. "That was too tough...."

Blade turned and looked at the doors leading into the boss room. All this just for a sword... Asher thought. Damn... This quest doesn't give you any breaks....

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


As the group entered into the room, they were met with a surpising find. The NPC that started the quest laid on the floor, unmoving. A dark, towering figure stood over the corpse. It's silhouette shrank vertically, then it returned to normal. It turned around. The Dark One turned around, its eyes glaring at everyone in the party. It charged with great speed, and the Paladins had little to no time to react as he took the full force of the Dark One's sword swing. One of the Paladins flew through the air, crashing into the wall behind the whole party. "What the.. hell...?" Blade muttered. The Dark One roared before charging again at the party. Everyone rolled out of the white, trying to dodge the sword swing. Blade managed to not be one of the few people who were knocked away, those being 1 of the Warriors, the Paladin from earlier, and a Gunner. "Tch... Half of you, attack him head-on! The other half will blind side the boss!" Blade shouted before charging at the Boss, his blade in the air.

The Boss swung its gigantic blade at Blade, who jumped high into the air as 3 Warriors attacked the Dark One. The Boss, being too preoccupied with the other Warriors, failed to see Blade come down and slash repeatedly at its head from the air, spamming <Double Blow>'s in order to get as many hits in as possible. The Dark One turned to Blade, however it was stopped as its status changed into being [Dizzy]. "Good job!" Blade called out to the other group. It seems a Mage managed to get in a Spell that caused [Dizziness]. Blade smirked as all of the Warriors charged in for a barrage of attacks, with a Gunner closing in for some more damage...

However they were all blown away by an invisible force. The party members yelled as they flew through the air, just like the ones that were blown away before. They hit the walls and floor, [Unconsciousness] being inflicted on each and every one of them. However, this wasn't before the Boss had taken so much damage, and the first wave of people slamming into the floor finally woke up. Now I only have support with my blade as the only actual offense..... Asher thought as he viewed the scene. He didn't have much time, though, as the support he had just regained were now being targeted by the boss. "Tch...." Looking around, Asher tried to at least spot something that might work... until he saw the blade in the corpse's hand. Grab the blade. A voice was heard, but only to Asher. Asher immediately ran to it and picked it up. He examined it, closely. Use it. The voice spoke again. Looking at the Dark One, Asher sighed. "This may be the only shot at winning this...."

The Paladin managed to be alert this time, blocking the strikes from the Dark One with his shield strengthened by his magical skills. The Gunner kept unloading and reloading his guns onto the head of the Dark One, though it didn't do much damage considering there was a thick armor in the way. The Mages seemed to be doing well, as they repeatedly cast spell by spell onto the Dark One, though it seemed that their damage has drastically lessened. The Paladins gritted their teeth and continued to stand their ground, switching when the other couldn't handle anymore. However, they couldn't keep up with the Dark One and were soon knocked back into the other party members, leaving the Gunner and Paladin wide open. The other Warrior, however, managed to intercept the Dark One with a powerful skill, [Last Charge], which cancelled the Dark One's attack. However that skill too left him open, and he didn't have enough HP in order to survive another attack. Just as the Dark One swung for its first kill, Blade Slizer managed to get by using [Flash Strike], slicing the Dark One in the side before continuing for a [Double Blow] and following with a [Chain Strike], stabbing the Dark One in the stomach multiple times before slashing upwards. Blade jumped and spun, using [Arc Strike] to carry him even higher before using [Double Blow] again, slashing the boss twice on the chest and ending with a [Meteor Strike], a slash that brings Blade back to the ground in a diagonal angle from the air while hitting any enemies near the blade. Each and every one of those slashes had dealt more damage to the Dark One than any of the other hits. Blade smirked as the Dark One staggered backward a bit, its eyes obviously now on Asher, even if none of the players can see it. The Dark One's status window showed a special status. One was the cause of the lessened damage, [The Dark One's True Power], and the second one being the cause of Blade's greater damage, [Exposed to the Sword the Revealed It].

"Heh. It seems your true power can't really stand up against to this sword, eh?" Blade smirked. "Alright guys. Leave this one to me. I got this one." Blade called to his teammates before charging at the Dark One, Vorenthul clashing against the Dark Blade. However, just before the Dark One could over-power Blade, Blade used [Flash Strike] in order to get to the side, leaving the Dark One to slash at thin air and leaving himself open. Blade slashed in a wide arc, getting the Dark One in the arm using [Arc Strike]. Following it up, Blade also used [Chain Strike] to get himself closer to the boss and land some of the stabs as well. During the upward slash, Blade cancelled into [Meteor Strike], slashing downwards again at the staggered opponent and combo'ing into [Double Blow]. The Dark One staggered backward a bit more, its health extremely low.

Just as Blade came in for his last combo, one that would've ended the battle for him, the Dark One lashed out once more at Blade. This time, the invisible force lashed out at Blade, knocking him back. "Guh!" The Dark One chased Blade's body, slashing at him more and more as he flew through the air. The Dark One juggled Blade a few more times before hitting Blade with the blunt side of its sword, slamming Blade into the wall. Blade landed onto the floor and on one knee. He breathed heavily, as those slashes caused too much damage for his own liking. 33% of his health was left. Blade slowly stood up, only to be attacked by the Dark One once more, this time by a vertical strike. Blade rolled to his left, avoiding the attack before having to avoid the next by jumping. This left him open for one last attack from the Dark One, a simple punch, but it was more than enough to send Blade back to his party members in the far side of the boss room. Blade got up again, slowly this time. "Well.... So much for having this a solo...." Blade coughed. He could just feel that last hit connect to his stomach. Blade stared at the Dark One. A shadow was protecting it. "So that was it...." Blade muttered. "That's what knocked us all back." It seemed the others couldn't see the shadow. "Great... I do have to solo this...." Blade brought out a health potion and drank it, then did the same with a stamina potion. "How am I going to do this...?" Blade sighed, trying to think of something. Suddenly a window popped up. New Skill: Grand Cross. Eh? How is this... Oh, I see... So not just a sword then, huh? That's generous... Blade chuckled before getting into a fighting stance. "Get back guys. This will be my last shot and I don't want you all to get aggro'ed again." Blade warned. The conscious party members all stepped back, carrying the unconscious with them. The Dark One then launched itself at Blade, its shadow taking the lead. Blade stood still, Vorenthul brought back in preparation for a horizontal slash. "Grand...." The shadow and Blade both attacked at the same time, the sword and shadow clashing each other. However, the blade grew bright, engulfed with a holy light as it clashed. The blade then went through the shadow, forcing it to disperse. The slash resulted in a beam of light forming, one perpendicular to the direction of the Dark One's charge. Due to the momentum of the charge, the Dark One was subjected to literally run into Blade's next attack. "CROSS!" Blade then swung downwards, a beam of light crashing down upon the boss as it followed the direction of Blade's swing. From Blade's point of view and from a bird's eye view, the two slashes created a cross made of a holy aura.

As the light dissipitated, what was left was someone who looked too similar to the NPC. He laid there, his body unable to move from the blows that it took. "Great.... Swordsman..." The NPC whispered. "You... have freed me from this curse.... I thank... you...." The corpse then began to disappear until no trace of it was left. Blade stared as it disappeared, his breath heavy. Damn... More and more... I swear... Blade thought. Maybe it's because of that last game...

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


Asher Damons sighed as he arrived at the town. After that one hellish dungeon run that was mandatory for his quest, the party he was in disbanded in order to do their own quests. The others looked a bit disappointed, but then again, the most prized loot, the Vorenthul was just for one person.

Looking around in the town, he drank one last health potion that would fill his health bar back to maximum capacity. "....." So far, there wasn't really anything to do for him. Asher really didn't feel like going on to do his quests but... "Ugh...." Blade Slizer rolled his eyes as he looked through the menus. "What should I do now...?"

His options were pretty limited. He had a few quests still, and he could use some leveling. However, grinding is really boring with any RPG once you're so far in, and Blade CERTAINLY didn't want to do yet another quest right after the set of quests he just finished. Just what exactly should I do?

Without any other option, Blade chose to go and farm for EXP and gold. After all, there is still a good chunk of this world that still needs exploring, and even though this game's realms appeared to be similar to Antiva Chronus Online, much of the areas themselves appeared so much different to that game. So, Blade set off to the forest once more.

As the beautiful flora surrounded him, the traces of civilization, at least in the sense of towns and digital "man-made" objects, had disappeared from his sight. Blade sighed, walking around for at least 15 minutes into the forest and finding no enemies to fight. Just as he was about to go back into town and log out safely to preserve his character, Blade noticed the sounds of various skills activating and various enemies aggro'ing. "Oh? Another player?" Blade turned to his right and walked in that direction, hoping to find someone to talk to. For the past hour or so- Blade didn't really keep track, a dangerous thing not to do, he was going solo. Not being in a group in MMORPG's bore him, since these games ARE made for players to work together simultaneously. The sounds of the fighting grew closer.

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The spellcaster's dark mantle fluttered on a virtual breeze as Noel made her way through the forest. Already, she'd blown up two surprised players to recharge her compass, but aside from changing her bearing slightly, it hadn't shown much sign of her getting any closer to her quest objective. So, once again, she was on the hunt, searching for targets to eliminate in order to once again charge up the compass. And, as luck would have it, she could hear the sounds of battle nearby. She supposed she had time for one more fight before she logged off, and so she followed the sounds, approaching as stealthily as she could to see who her target would be this time. What met her eyes was a small girl, armed with a shortsword, soloing several trolls with surprising speed. She looked to be a Demon player, like Noel, but evidently had gone the route of playing an Assassin. So, if she ended up fighting the girl, it would be a match of DPS vs. DPS. A fair fight, save for the fact that only one of them had an actual weapon, and despite her agility, Noel had a feeling the girl would be faster. So, if she couldn't win in a fair fight... she'd just have to fight dirty. She was just getting ready to try opening fire from her vantage point - a large cluster of tall plants atop a small but steep ledge overlooking where the girl was fighting - while the girl was occupied with the trolls, when she noticed something else: a second player who had entered the area. Turning her attention towards this newcomer, she almost immediately identified him as a tall Human Warrior, with light armor and a large, unique-looking sword. But there was something more notable about him: namely, despite the fact that his hair and eye colors had changed, both his face and that coat he wore were far too familiar to her to be mistaken. After all, she'd fought by the side of a nigh-identical avatar for a long time in the last VRMMO she'd "played."

Is that... Asher? Noel wondered. The username "Blade Slizer" certainly helped her draw that conclusion - Asher's usernames were usually either plays on words or strange alternate spellings of "cool" English words, and that particular username was one she'd known him to use before - but she still couldn't be sure. It might have been an imitator, or, it might have been the real thing. Well, she supposed, the only way to determine which it was would be to attack him and see how he fought. But, for now, she decided she'd bide her time. She didn't want to reveal her own identity just yet, and if she just came bursting out of nowhere, spells blazing, the other player in the area might jump to the Asher lookalike's defense, which would mean a swift defeat for her. Instead, she reasoned, why not just wait to see how he fought when he stepped into the clearing full of trolls? That would certainly tell her what she needed to know.

Hmm... Maybe she wouldn't be logging off just yet...

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Shika had almost finished defeating the small group of trolls that she needed to complete her quest. In fact, she was down to the last two whenever she heard movement, at first she thought it was just a player wandering around the area so she payed no real attention to it. She finally finished defeating the trolls and her quest was updated, also gaining enough XP from defeating the creatures to level up to level twenty three. Just when she was about to start heading back into town to get her reward for completing the quest she got a message.

Dear players,
Few days has passed the beginning of Lacrezia - The Reborn World and we believe it is time to put your skills to the test. The first boss - Winged Wolverine has appeared in skies of Caelum. All players who have reached level 20 will be able to travel to Caelum, however in order to complete this quests one must obtain their flying vehicle or a pair of wings. Demons have to obtain Vampire Wings, Humans - Pegasus, Elves - Butterfly wings, Mermen - Astral wings and Angels of course have wings already given to them. 100 first players to defeat this boss will obtain a special flyer item with very high speed and a piece of valuable equipment. Good luck to everybody.
Sincerely, Game makers


"How interesting, this might actually be worth my time." she muttered as she closed the message. 'Would've been a lot more convenient if they told us how to actually get the damn wings' she thought as she un-equipped her short sword back into her inventory. It then dawned on her that there was another presence in the area, other than the player she had heard moving around before. She then activated "Stealth Blade" and climbed her way into a nearby leafy tree. She had no idea if they were planning on ambushing her but she wasn't going to wait to find out. "Great, just my god damned luck" she whispered as she peered through the leaves of the tree, waiting to see what events would unfold. Though Assassins were relatively strong, by themselves they would have to always be on their guard so they wouldn't get themselves caught in a trap and, it wasn't the smartest thing to go solo in a game like this anyways.

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


Asher watched as the player made some quick work out of each and every one of those trolls. He raised an eyebrow. That's one good player. Seeing how the skills of the mystery player looked, Asher couldn't help but watch, mesmerized, by how a Demon Assassin fought. Extremely fast skills that would rival those of the Vermillion Sparrow, the short-ranged yet effective attacks that seemed to deal a critical in every hit (exaggeration), and the constant switching between being visible and invisible, they all made Asher want to delete his current character and start over. Yes, it was THAT feeling when you see a character being played as and they practically become an instant badass to you. However, Asher still settled for his Human Swordsman class. After all, it was for the fact that they were the most comfortable to play with and the Human race didn't have any general strengths and weaknesses, allowing for an easy all-around build-up. However, Asher's thoughts were cut off when a message alert sounded, causing his inbox to open up in his HUB.

Dear players,
Few days has passed the beginning of Lacrezia - The Reborn World and we believe it is time to put your skills to the test. The first boss - Winged Wolverine has appeared in skies of Caelum. All players who have reached level 20 will be able to travel to Caelum, however in order to complete this quests one must obtain their flying vehicle or a pair of wings. Demons have to obtain Vampire Wings, Humans - Pegasus, Elves - Butterfly wings, Mermen - Astral wings and Angels of course have wings already given to them. 100 first players to defeat this boss will obtain a special flyer item with very high speed and a piece of valuable equipment. Good luck to everybody.
Sincerely, Game makers


Oh? The first boss? Asher thought. That would be fun. However, there was one simple problem. Asher is not able to get to Caelum, not as a Human. Scratch the "no weaknesses" part in the earlier rant. Humans can't fly. At all. Not without a pegasus. Asher let out a sigh and a louder sound- the sound of a hand smacking the flesh found on the human body's forehead. Thanks a lot, Game Developers. Thanks a lot. Looking up, it seems that the mystery player had disappeared. Asher couldn't help but shiver at that, mainly because maybe the player might be a player-killer. Against a Demon Assassin, a Human Swordsman probably stood no chance because of the Assassin's high speed and attack, while the Swordsman had only defense and attack. In layman's terms, the Swordsman was a simple punching bag.

However, what surprised even more was the sight of another player to his left, looking at him. Asher couldn't really see the other player clearly because he/she was too far away and too well hidden. However, Asher could barely make out a sort of scarlet clothing and silver hair. Asher stepped back a bit. He was well aware of the fact that player-killers are common in MMORPG's that allow instant PvP combat, and Asher wasn't fully sure if this was one of them. Whatever the case may be, Asher still had a bad reputation with player killers from his last game. Maybe it was because Asher kept picking fights with player killers and beating each and every one of them until their health was just 1 point away from killing them, then sending them to what would be the Antiva Chronus Online's prisoner's prison. Not only that, Asher had a fear of not being killed when it comes to PK's, especially since ACO basically kills you when you're killed inside the game. While this game doesn't do that, it can permanently delete the character, something any player wouldn't want unless they screwed the character itself somehow.

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Everything seemed to be going fine. Neither the player who looked like Asher or the assassin seemed to be aware of her presence. That is, until abruptly, the assassin leaped into a tree and vanished, and the Asher-lookalike suddenly stopped and stared right at her. Seriously? Her stealth skill might not have been terribly high, but she had hidden at such a distance that there shouldn't have been any way they'd notice her unless-

-unless they had leveled up a lot higher than her. Well, there went the "attack the person who looked like Asher" plan. At least, if she wanted any chance of not dying. With only a few rudimentary spells and some basic hand-to-hand combat skills, she'd be vastly outclassed in any battle against players of their level, herself being only level 15 due to starting somewhat later than normal.

And just then, things became even more complicated by an announcement that popped up. An event boss that you needed to fly to beat? Seriously? But she'd need to level up five times to be able to do that... Well, it was either that or find someone who could fly who was willing to give her a ride. Which basically meant Asher, now that she thought about it, since she probably would have been too uncomfortable to let anyone else carry her.

But the way she looked at it, if that was Asher, he'd probably be aiming to complete this event quest, and to do that, if he could fly - which she suspected he'd be able to - the easiest way to win would be to get a ranged attacker on his side. Or, in short, a mage. So, basically, if she just charged out there like an idiot, confirmed that he was the real Asher, and then teamed up with him - with or without revealing her own identity in the process - then she could solve all of her problems.

So, suicidal attack it was. Standing up - taking cover was useless since he was already looking at her - she adjusted her hood slightly to ensure that her face remained hidden, and then swept out her hand in an arc, casting a wave of fire that rushed down the hill towards her target, igniting the underbrush as it went. By the time it reached its mark, it had expanded in size to a quite formidable blaze that engulfed the path, leaving a fiery trail in its wake.

Of course, if that really was Asher, she held no suspicions that her attack would actually hit him. There was far too much time for him to dodge for that to happen. So, she started charging up a White Lightning spell, and waited for her target to reappear so she could try her hand at shooting him again before he inevitably closed the distance and beat the crap out of her.

What I wouldn't give for a few magic swords right about now... She thought sadly.

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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


Asher's eyes widened as the player in red stood up from his/her hiding spot. With a wave of her arm, a wave of flames that burned anything that were unfortunate enough to be in its path was sent at Asher. Almost without hesitation, Blade ran to the side and into the open in order to get himself away from the flammable environment. Asher glared at the girl. "What the hell?!" Asher shouted. However, that's all he would shout as Blade saw the player already chanting for another spell. Immediately, Blade Slizer used his Flash Strike to close in on the player. Blade swings the blunt side of the blade at the player's head in order to stop the casting.

Predictably, the enemy dodged. Equally predictably, when the enemy realized she was casting another spell, he leaped forward, using some kind of high-movement skill to close the distance between them almost immediately, already beginning a counterattack. The attack was certainly a familiar one, bearing a great resemblance to one of Asher's favorite openers: Ghost Wolf. It was a fortunate choice on her part to cast Silver Lightning, since despite the incredible distance between them, the enemy was already in range within a fraction of a second. If she'd chosen any other spell, the casting time would have been too long to retaliate.

Using the player's own momentum against him, she raised a finger and fired a stream of concentrated lightning directly at his chest even as she stepped backward, bringing up her front hand and activating her Blade Breaker melee skill. As the sword came hurtling in, she darted to the side, grazing the edge of the blade before hooking it with a spike on her gauntlet, then wedging it downward. Of course, given the weapon's high level, the attack completely failed to serve its purpose aside from dulling the enemy's blade slightly. Of course, given the enemy's speed and the velocity of his attack, it would hopefully still manage to pin the opponent's sword in the ground. At that point they'd be fighting on somewhat more even footing. However, this skill's use wasn't without its consequences. Even though she'd blocked most of the force of the attack, red cracks appeared across her character model's arm, her hitpoints dropping significantly. It seemed she'd taken almost a fifth of her health in damage just from a blow she'd almost perfectly blocked, which meant the situation was even more one-sided than she thought.

Wasting no time, she aimed her final counterattack. With the enemy carried forward into point-blank range of her Silver Lightning spell by his attack, he almost certainly would have charged right into it. The attack wasn't a very powerful one, but it would stagger him in conjunction with her counter on his sword, in addition to weakening his armor. If she landed a blow now, she could probably do some serious damage and maybe turn the tide of this battle. And, with his sword momentarily immobilized by her counterattack animation, she might even be able to fully disarm him. Thinking thus, she activated a third skill: Sweeping Assault. Bracing herself, she drew back the arm she'd fired her spell with, and then aimed a straight punch right for the enemy's solar plexus, around the point where she estimated her Silver Lightning would have struck. In an instant, she'd followed this up by dropping into a crouch and sweeping out her legs to kick at the opponent's own, before rising, bringing up her hand to finish the combo with a palm strike to the face, activating Frost Touch at the same instant.

If everything went as planned, her opponent's armor would be broken, his sword knocked from his hand, and himself knocked to the ground and frozen into the dirt by his face. Of course, the level difference between them meant that probably wouldn't even halve his HP, and on top of that, if this was really Asher, Noel had a feeling that everything wouldn't go as planned at all. But that was a matter for later. In any case, in the wake of her parry, he'd be stuck in a stumbling animation, which would prolong his next blocking or wounded animation, meaning that whether or not he defended himself successfully from her finisher or not, now was the time to get away from him and start charging a spell before it was too late. Jumping back, she hastily began chanting a spell on instinct, only to realize that, just maybe, it might have been a somewhat poor choice of incantations to use.

"Breeze that stirs the frozen forest, mighty tempest that brings mountains to their knees! Fang that invites ruin, pierce through without fail! Concussion Stream!"

That's what I get for combining old incantations from ACO with spells from anime... Noel thought sadly. Let's just hope I managed to freeze his face so he didn't hear that.

His rush-down tactic didn't work, as suddenly the player, who Asher could now tell with a closer look that is a girl, send a stream of lightning at him while casting. Ironic, because Blade Slizer aimed to use Casting Interruption after getting out of the animation of Flash Strike. The spell seemed to just blast him with electricity, though it served to damage his armor and slow him down a bit, enough for the mystery player to grab Blade's sword and bring it downwards to pin it to the ground. The skill, however, looked more like one used to disarm the opponent by breaking the sword itself. Blade was then treated to a nice elbow with the spiked part of the player's gauntlets and a palm to the gut, causing Blade to cough a little. The status <Bleeding> appeared below his health bar, something Asher could remember from when Kanna's arm was cut off by that one boss back in ACO.

Too make things worse, the opponent continued her own combo by punching him where he was struck by that spell before and sweeping him, giving him one last palm to the face with the added effect of <Freeze>. However, the opponent most likely was considerably lower than Blade in terms of levels. The combo only managed to take off 1/6th of his health, while Asher saw he managed to land his blow onto the girl, albeit a weaker version, dealing 1/5 of her health. Opening his eyes, Asher seemed to have have landed on his side. The girl was in the middle of chanting again.

"Breeze that stirs the frozen forest, mighty tempest that brings mountains to their knees! Fang that invites ruin, pierce through without fail! Concussion Stream!"

Now was his chance. Blade was too close now for the girl to escape his counter-spell measure, his only counter-spell measure. Immediately, Blade pushed himself up with his hand and equipped his other sword, <Vorenthul>. The sword earlier was his <Lightweight Katana>. Asher suddenly dashed towards the mystery player, using <Casting Interruption>, a technique designed to cut off the target when he/she was still in the process of saying the incantation. Just as the mystery player reached the last word, Blade swung, hitting the girl with the blunt side of his sword. Then, Blade quickly used his new skill. Blade used <Blowback>, slashing upwards to send the stunned player into the air before using <Flash Strike> once more. Then, for the end of his short combo, Blade spun horizontally and slashed, creating a beam of light parallel to the ground before spinning vertically, slashing the player from her head, down and sending the two down to the ground. Blade gritted his teeth, leaping back and bringing <Vorenthul> up in guard in case the player got up and attacked him again. It was unlikely, though, if everything went as planned. By the time the combo ended, the health bar should be large enough to be seen as thick as a piece of printer paper. "Who are you?" Blade said, glaring. He didn't have time for this, he needed to get back into the event, and quickly. Blade doesn't even have a pair of feathers to rely on if he goes to Caelum. IF.

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Character Portrait: Asher Damons Character Portrait: Kanna Suzaku (Noel)
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"Ah, that hurt..." Noel sighed, rubbing her head as she sat up, using the motion as a covert means of adjusting her hood to keep it from slipping back. "Or so I'd normally be saying." Grinning, she shrugged, crossing her legs and seating herself on the ground. It was pretty obvious that she was outclassed. This guy had negated her best spell, and even despite her attempts to block his combo attack - it helped that she recognized some of the skills he'd used, allowing her to defend herself from otherwise lethal damage solely on instinct - he'd still managed to reduce her HP to almost nothing. Noel was pretty sure she'd seen all she needed to see - what with him defeating her so easily, and with so many familiar moves, yet choosing to spare her instead of kill her on the spot - to determine that this was indeed Asher. What an odd coincidence, running into him so soon. But, she supposed, it would only work to her advantage if she played her cards right.

"Well, I guess this means I lose. Ah, well. Picking a fight with somebody like you, even for a quest, was pretty much hopeless from the start anyway," She said offhandedly, trying to be as casual as possible - and, by extension, as far from her real self as she could be. Shrugging once again, she uncrossed her legs, rolled back onto her back, and then hopped to her feet in an altogether rather showy manner. "Still, I guess I've got better things to worry about now." Glancing down to her menu, she gave an offhand nod towards the announcement to show what she meant by this. "Say, you seem pretty strong. Wanna help me get to Caelum and kill that flying boss? I'm not high enough level to use my Demon form and fly yet, but I can deal some pretty awesome damage, so if ya' carry me, I'll help ya' blow the thing up." Using as little formal speech as possible - as opposed to her usual polite manner - she tried to disassociate herself from the mental image Asher would have of her. It would make the surprise all the better later when he eventually found out her true identity.

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Character Portrait: Ayana Shizuka Character Portrait: Asher Damons Character Portrait: Kanna Suzaku (Noel)
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Shika's suspicions were confirmed whenever one of the two players launched fire at the play which she supposed would be a Swordsmen, this of course took him by surprise. Since they were paying little attention to her anymore she decided she would wait there to see how the battle turned out. It would also give her a chance to find out how both of them fought, so it was the best obvious decision, well for her at least. At first it only looked like the Mage was going to be the one to take the win for this battle but the Swordsmen quickly turned it around.

"Well, that'll be a enough spectating for me." she muttered to herself as she slowly stood up from the tree branch that she was sitting on. Shika had almost forgotten about the quest reward that she was suppose to already have collected by now if it weren't for those two other players. She leaped casually from the tree and into plain sight of the players before sprinting away silently. If they decided to chase her was another thing altogether, but she knew that they could barely catch up to her even if they wanted too. She went back to the NPC that gave her the quest she had completed moments ago and received her reward, leveling her up to level twenty three. She was making progress with her leveling, though it was a tedious task to do.

Then the thought of the boss came back into her head..She had almost completely forgotten about it. "The only problem is, I still don't know how to get the damn wings.." If they were really that important they would be able to buy it out of a shop in Caelum right? Well, that's what she hoped would be the case. She didn't want to spend time completing a quest just to get a wings whenever she could be spending that time fighting the boss. And with that idea in mind, she went and bought a teleport stone.

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Character Portrait: Asher Damons Character Portrait: Kanna Suzaku (Noel)
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"Well, no," Noel answered truthfully. "Actually, I attacked you because I'm on a quest to find a boss and to do that I have to use-" She withdrew the compass from her inventory without missing a beat. "-this thing, but I can only use it once before I have to beat somebody in a fight to recharge it. So, I started shooting at you 'cause you were there and looked like fighting you would be fun!" She grinned from underneath her concealing hood as though this explained and excused everything. "But the whole me testing you thing sounds like a better reason, so sure, let's just go with that."

Dusting herself off habitually, she opened her spell window. She did have an ability to teleport herself and any party members to any town she'd been to before - the mage's basic travel ability - and just her luck, it had finished recharging. If they needed to go somewhere to get Asher his mount, she could take them.

"You don't have a mount yet?" She sighed. "Ah well, them's the breaks. In that case, we probably still have some time, so let's go get you one, then hurry to the bossfight and win this thing before anyone else does!" Pumping her fist, she pointed dramatically in a random direction. "ONWARD!" She roared, relishing the confidence her anonymity gave her, and the chance to be as flamboyantly over-the-top as she could possibly manage. Rushing forward into the woods, she made it about a dozen steps before she came bounding back in an instant.

"Uh... where do you need to go again, exactly?" She asked with feigned sheepishness, serving as the punchline to her own joke. She couldn't help but want to laugh, imagining what Asher's expression would be when he finally realized that the hyperactive, manic girl he'd been talking to was actually none other than his own demure, shy girlfriend. Oh, it was going to be PRICELESS...

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Character Portrait: Asher Damons Character Portrait: Kanna Suzaku (Noel)
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Asher Damons ~ Blade Slizer


The girl in the red clothes explained her attacking Asher, saying that she needed to beat somebody, another player presumably, and attacked Asher solely because of the fact that he looked fun to fight with. Well, if fun was defined by her to be trying to get in the first strike without even asking about a PvP match, then getting the 1's and 0's beaten the crap out of her health bar with just a few strikes. Seriously, you'd think the hub would show other players' levels? Maybe not automatically but if they brought up the menu for more information of said player, sure.

The girl sighed as Asher explained that he didn't have a mount. Before Asher could say anything else, however, the girl declared that they will get one and, like a little child on every piece of candy obtained overnight during Halloween, charged into the woods without direction. Asher crossed his arms, positive that the scene will go through like it usually does in an anime. He waited for a few moments. Tre. Due. Una. Asher mentally counted in Italian, a class he took once in high school before enrolling himself into another foreign language the year after taking it out of lack of interest.

"Uh... where do you need to go again, exactly?" He smirked a bit at the girl's question as she came back. Smiling a bit because of her own mistake. Seriously, it really is like having to take care of a young kid who ate all the cookies in the cookie jar. The girl laughed at her own mistake, which Asher couldn't help but do himself.

"Geez..." Asher chuckled. "You're a it energetic. I haven't gotten the quest yet, but I heard that there is a stable for Pegasus (Pegasi?) are found in this forest though." He shrugged. "Anyway, we haven't exactly introduced each other. My name is Blade. Yours?"