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WriterForce6XV

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About WriterForce6XV

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    http://nullmetal.deviantart.com/

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  • My pronouns are..
    they/them

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  1. Ancient history, lol. You been commenting on my stuff for a while, I can barely keep track anymore. Actually though, I have written a fic where he does survive past the first raid. It can change things quite a bit, but I didn't really feel like doing it again. It complicates things quite a bit, especially if you try to keep him alive through the entire Aincrad arc. Which is why even in the fic where I kept him alive through the raid, I ended up killing him off a dozen or so chapters later, and using him as a plot device and footnote in the ascendance of that story's Kiriko along with her main rival. As for why my story made Diavel's survival seem like a possibility. Aside from the above actual experience writing fics where he survives, I tend to utilize a fair amount of subversive writing elements when I play along with canon plot threads, the main reason being that half of such threads are stupid enough to warrant eradicating, but I don't like to let people know which ones I feel like axing in any given story. If someone knows me well enough they'd be able to figure a lot of them out on their own, but that only really applies to a few specific friends of mine online, one of which is also my editor. Thanks for the feedback and sorry it took so long to respond! Catch you next time!
  2. Yo, we’re back with another chapter! Sorry about the delay, had to deal with some shit the past few days. Hopefully I can get back on track now, though. Anyway, not gonna keep you reading this author note much longer. See you below! Sword Art Online: Of Death Games and Diapers Chapter Nine: Boss Battle, Part I “Let’s win this thing. Come on, let’s go!” With a short cry, Diavel pushed the doors open with all his might. As the parties began their advance into the boss room, Kibaou stayed behind just long enough to growl something out to me as I passed him. “Listen up. Don’t get cocky. Know yer place.” I didn’t even pay his words any attention. I was too busy analyzing the boss room for myself. Was it always this vast? Looking at the first floor boss room for the first time in many months, my first thought was not about getting into formation, or anything focused on the current situation. My first thought was to question myself and my memory. “There he is…” Diavel breathed out as he momentarily halted his advance, gazing far out into the distance. I followed his line of sight and found myself face to face with the enemy we’d come here to defeat, all the way in the back, accompanied by his three goons. One of the members in his party, who seemed even more rattled than Diavel, spoke aloud, “King of Kobolds, boss of the first floor… «Illfang, the Kobold Lord»!” Since the 20th floor of the dungeon had already been mostly mapped out except for this room, its area could be estimated by looking at the blank area on the map. But even so, actually seeing it with my own eyes made it feel a lot larger than the numerical digits. A room purposely designed spaciously in order to contain gigantic monsters inside. With our advance halted at the moment, I almost wondered if we were going to issue a retreat order straight away on fear alone. We may have already been in the boss room, but in Aincrad’s boss rooms, the doors wouldn’t close even after the battle against the boss started. So even if events took a turn for the worse, we could retreat without having to wait for total annihilation. But if we just turned and dashed away, the enemy’s long-ranged Sword Skills would cover more ground than we could, and in the worst case, we’d be stunned. “His main weapon is a «Bone Axe»! His backup is a «Talwar»! And he’s got three sentinels!” Diavel shouted, pointing his silvery sword right at Illfang’s throat as it got up from its throne and jumped to the center of the room in an instant. “It all matches the intel! We can win! Follow my lead!” “Yeah!” After riling up the raid team, Diavel led the charge, and the battle against the first floor boss truly began. “All right! The boss is in pattern C!” Diavel shouted, pointing his sword at the boss. “Commence attack! Tank team A, pull back! Team D, advance!” As Diavel’s men advanced on the boss, Asuna couldn’t help but stare in wonder when she got her first chance to rest. It was incredible. Even against this gigantic monster, with the threat of death hanging over their heads, they kept fighting, like it didn’t scare them at all. They’re all… so tough. “I told ya, drink that damn pot!” a familiar voice growled from behind Asuna, instinctively making her turn around. Kibaou was forcing a teammate whose health lie in the red to drink a potion. But a Kobold Sentinel was closing in on them already. “Hurry! Drink it faster!” But tougher than anyone else— Asuna raised her rapier, preparing to strike the Kobold from behind. “S-swi…” “Switch.” Suddenly, before Asuna could even react, her partner flew by her and landed an intense combination of blows on the enemy’s exposed back so quickly the fencer couldn’t even follow the sword strikes with her eyes, only able to watch the red damage lines appear on its body after the fact. Two strikes, three, four, and then a casual stab through the back of its head as she turned around and went into her inventory and grabbed a potion of some sort, one that looked different from the kinds used to restore HP. And all of that was without the system assist, using only her left sword… ‘Psssssssss…’ Asuna was so awestruck by her partner’s battle prowess that she didn’t even notice her bladder release, even as her diaper swelled and her crotch grew warmer. Just as the swordswoman bit the cork off the potion to open it up, the upper half of the «Ruin Kobold Sentinel» exploded, and her sword quickly bounced back to her side as she walked back over to Asuna, seemingly unaware of how everyone in a fifteen meter radius of her had stopped to stare at her moves. I thought she was probably strong already… Asuna thought to herself as she stared unabashed at the swordswoman walking towards her. But saying it like that doesn’t do it justice. There was something about the way the dual-wielder fought, even with just one sword, that couldn’t be summed up by strength alone. Something that transcended measuring scales like power or speed, and felt as if it ascended into a higher dimension. As a beginner who had never played a net game or been in a FullDive environment before, Asuna couldn’t put it into words. But if she had to try, it felt like everything was optimized. Every movement had a purpose; nothing was wasted. And as a result, her techniques were quick and her sword had serious weight, even with casual strikes. One of the main things they had worked on while practicing party combat was efficiency. At the time, Asuna had wondered why her partner had seemed so concerned with it. It didn’t matter how you killed an enemy as long as it died and you didn’t, right? Wrong, and now she understood why. Eliminating wasted movements created more time to act, and that time widened one’s view. These Sentinels were much stronger compared to the mobs she almost died to, but she could clearly see their each and every move. “I told ya, don’t get cocky,” Kibaou growled at her partner as she casually drank her potion. He grabbed her on the shoulder to stop her from walking away, but she didn’t even bat an eyelash. “I’ve heard all about how ya stole all the «LA Bonuses» on the bosses in the beta. The tale of the «Dual-Bladed Demon».” “…” The dual-wielder didn’t even acknowledge his presence, much less reply, still drinking her potion. Was what he said true? What was a “LA Bonus?” And more importantly, what the heck was with that nickname…? It sounded like something an angsty child would come up with… and Asuna was expected to take his claims seriously? Kibaou’s allegations continued. “I figure you’re after the Last Attack on this one too. But that ain’t—” “Miss fencer? Watch out,” the swordswoman said, walking out of Kibaou’s death grip like it couldn’t even slow her down and nearly knocking him over in the process. “The next wave of Sentinels are a higher level. We’re up.” “O-Okay!” She’d have to ask her partner what Kibaou was talking about later… right now, they had more pressing matters to deal with. “I’ve heard all about how ya stole all the Last Attack Bonuses on the bosses in the beta. The tale of the «Dual-Bladed Demon».” When I first heard this, I almost choked on my stamina potion even if I outwardly remained composed. For someone like him to bring something like that up along with my most common beta epithet… what the hell was going on?! LA. Last attack. He didn’t lie, and he didn’t make that story up. In the beta, in battles against bosses, I prided myself on having a good grasp of the boss’s remaining HP to gauge when to use my strongest Sword Skills on the boss and get the LA bonus. But that story from the beta was just that— a story from the beta. In the current situation, it made no sense to prioritize the LA. Not only did someone tell Kibaou I was a former beta tester, but that person even knew my playstyle. Which meant that I was almost certainly dealing with another former tester on the other end of Kibaou. And then it hit me like lightning. Kibaou had been using the informant, Argo the «Rat», to attempt to buy both of my swords with a sum of money higher than their market rate. But even though I refused the offer, he didn’t spend the money on anything else. No, he couldn’t spend it. The money wasn’t his to begin with. The real buyer must’ve been someone else. And with Kibaou between Argo and them, no matter what I did, I wouldn’t have found out who the original buyer was. This person gave Kibaou beta information, manipulating him and inciting his hatred of the testers. Which meant that the buyer’s motive for buying my swords wasn’t to gain powerful weapons— it was to take mine away from me. They wanted to weaken me so I couldn’t properly use my skill at getting LA Bonuses. Between Sentinel waves, I swallowed my pride and walked over to Kibaou, alone. He saw me and sent me a glare before I arrived, but still broke away from his party to confront me. “Kibaou…” I called out in a low voice, just loud enough for him to hear over the clashing from the battle with the boss. “Whoever told you that story, how did they get that information on the beta test?” Kibaou looked at me like I was an idiot for even asking. “Ain’t it obvious? They put up a grip of cash to buy the info from the Rat. All so’s they could sniff out the hyenas in the raid party.” My retort was swift and severe. “Well then, they’re a liar, and you fell for it hook, line and sinker,” I said with an exasperated sigh. “Argo would sell her primary stats for the right price, but she doesn’t sell beta information on other players. Even to other testers.” As I explained all of this, the look on Kibaou’s face became almost apoplectic. Which meant that whoever I just insulted must’ve been someone he held in high regard. In my head, that confirmed who it was straight away, but I’d still need to verify it myself. “Watch yerself, girlie,” Kibaou finally told me before turning away to focus on the incoming wave of Sentinels. “Keep up talk like that, and it won’t just be monsters out fer yer life.” After threatening me, he walked back to his group, and I walked back to Asuna. She looked at me with a quizzical stare. “What did you talk about?” “I’ll explain after the next wave,” I replied, barely even paying attention. Go over it one more time. Make sure it’s not a mistake. In giving Kibaou the eighty thousand credits to buy off my swords, they intended to interfere with me getting the LA on the boss. But even though I still had my swords, their goal had more or less been achieved. As part of the raid’s extras, I could only deal with the Sentinels. I’d never get anywhere near the boss with them in the way. Which meant that the identity of our mystery player would be someone with the intention of landing the LA themselves. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t have been willing to offer up such an ungodly sum of money in order to buy my weapons from me. Not only are they not worth that much, but that’s too much money spent if the intention was just to weaken me out of spite. And being able to LA the boss themselves would more or less make them break even. It wasn’t a mistake. It can’t be anyone else… I thought, eyes finding their way to the cause of it all. His back faced me. He and his team drew closer to the boss as the last of its third HP gauge disappeared. As its health dipped into the final gauge, it tossed its Bone Axe aside and reached for its second weapon. Right on cue, the person aiming for the LA shouted out. “Yes! He dropped the axe! We’re nearly there!” Diavel… “Here comes his secondary weapon, the Talwar!” the knight shouted, completely unaware he’d just been found out. “Everyone remember what to do? The basic’s the same, deflect the weapon, hit his throat!” You’d really go this far…? “The next strike will finish this! Team C, up front!” our leader shouted, he and his team closing in. Just as he finished saying that, Illfang grabbed the hilt of his secondary weapon. As it drew it and held it high over its head, I immediately noticed something wrong. This boss king and the Kobold king I knew were slightly different. It wasn’t the color, size, face or voice. The source of the murky feeling growing in the pit of my stomach wasn’t from its body, but rather, the weapon in its right hand. “Do you know what a Talwar looks like…?” I asked Asuna, instinctively drawing my second sword. “Huh? Isn’t that a kind of sword…” As she looked at its weapon herself, the realization dawned on her, too. Then, the horror began to set in. “From south Asia…?” I immediately started advancing, shouting at the top of my lungs. “No! Get back!” “Hey, not so fast!” a familiar voice called out as a sword put itself in my way. With my movements momentarily halted, Kibaou used his chance to close the distance and block me. “You that desperate for the LA? It belongs to sir Diavel, punk! No interferin’ now!” I shouted back twice as loud, getting right up in his face. “Don’t be crazy! You have to stop them! His backup weapon is a Katana! That Kobold Lord is different from the beta!” Even Kibaou couldn’t help but soften his glare upon hearing that. He looked between me and the boss for a second or two, before the horror set in for him, too. “It’s… different?” “Diaveeeel!” I cried, desperate for my words to reach him. “Get awaaaaaay!” But the sound effects of Illfang’s Sword Skill drowned out my voice. The Kobold king’s huge body shook the floor as it jumped high into the air. It turned its body in midair, building up power and momentum before falling down with a flash of crimson light. A horizontal, three hundred sixty degree spinning attack. The starter, AoE Katana skill, «Tsumujiguruma», one of the strongest starting skills in the game. Five vivid red lights appeared, looking almost like pillars of blood. Though it was an AoE skill, it had a lot of stopping power. And the terror didn’t quite end there. Yellow lights rotated around the heads of the five people who collapsed on the floor. A temporary state that kept you from moving for a few seconds. They’d all been stunned except for Diavel, who’d blocked the attack with his shield. I forced my way past Kibaou in an instant and made a mad dash for the boss, Asuna following close behind me. But of course, we weren’t fast enough. It began charging a follow-up attack aimed at one of Diavel’s men. Is this the end? But as the katana— no, the «Nodachi» came down for the stunned player’s head, Diavel rushed in and blocked the combo with his shield again. Even though he blocked it, he still took damage from the attack, and it put him in the yellow. Do our hopes of clearing the game end here? Asuna and I passed the tank parties with ease, running as fast as we could. I made a gesture toward the boss with my right sword and shouted, “Hurry up, tanks! He’s gonna attack again! Get team C out of there before they’re wiped out!” Agil of team B responded, he and his party starting to follow us to the boss. “We’re on it!” he shouted as a Kobold Sentinel got between us and the boss. “But what about you? Your equipment’s too light to—” “We’ll draw him away!” Asuna and I shouted in sync. As we ran towards the boss, Asuna and I both attacked the Sentinel at the same time, me with a full-powered «Slant» that broke its weapon in two to stun it and Asuna hitting it in the throat with «Linear». We didn’t even slow down long enough to see if we depleted its HP, but I heard a shattering SFX from behind a few moments later. As we neared the boss, Diavel looked back at us, and I finally got a good look at his eyes from close up. I… recognize those eyes. His name and appearance had completely changed, but that look in his eyes was the same. We’d previously met face to face in the other Aincrad; I might’ve even talked to him at some point. He was an original beta tester, just like me. And like me, he’d fought while trying to hide that until today. But since he had made close friends while hiding his past, he must’ve faced a pressure far more intense than mine. As he turned back to the boss and blocked another attack with his shield, Diavel shouted out. “Good! Deflect his weapon! I’ll strike his throat!” But it was precisely because he had the knowledge of an original tester that he made such a fatal mistake. “This should do it!” he shouted, putting his sword in the pre-motion for a Sword Skill. I shouted as fast as I could. “No, Diavel! Focus on defense! Diavel!!” As Diavel’s skill continued charging, Illfang started one as well. But Illfang’s skill would activate first. Katana skills charged faster than one-handed sword skills. A low, sweeping skill that had enough range to not only hit Diavel, but also hit Asuna and I at this distance. “Don’t start your skill motion!” I shouted, realizing I might be too late immediately afterwards. “Diavel!” Illfang’s skill activated and sent his Nodachi straight at Diavel’s head right before our leader’s skill finished charging. I grabbed Asuna by the shoulders and pulled her right down to the ground just as Illfang’s skill deftly slid past Diavel’s shield and cleaved his head in two while catching Diavel’s sword with its mouth. Illfang’s skill just barely missed us, the long blade sailing right over our heads. But I could only watch in horror as Diavel’s mutilated head struggled to say something with his mouth, the only part that hadn’t been cut off. “Take it…” came his strangled, desperate cry as his left arm reached out to point at me. “from here—” He couldn’t finish what he was saying. His avatar shattered before he even got a chance. Yup, Diavel is dead, as expected. I could have written it in such a way that he’d live a bit longer, but I’ve done that in SFW stories already so I didn’t feel like doing it again. Also, I think I’ve finally figured out how to write without aggravating my Carpal Tunnel too much. So looks like I’ll be writing at full speed for some time yet. Anyway, back to chapter fifteen. Feel free to comment/critique and see you next time!
  3. First arc hasn't been fully posted, but it's been fully written out for weeks. You've got a few more chapters before it's over, by which point I'll be a decent bit more than I am now into the second arc.
  4. Thanks for the feedback! I like it when people tell me what specifically they like/dislike. Much more useful than typical vague statements of enjoyment. And yeah, the story's first two arcs are loosely based off of the first two floors of SAO Progressive (specifically, the manga), so the character and relationship progression is slower since Progressive's aim is to go through all 100 floors with no timeskips. Though after the first two arcs, I'll be doing a minor timeskip to floor 25 (it's like around a third of a year, from early December to the end of March), because it's one of the more interesting floors in SAO from a lore standpoint and a bunch of major developments happen right after it's cleared. Catch you when I update next!
  5. If I lived on my own, I'd probably give it a shot. But I live with family members who don't know about the kink, and it's a small house, so they can hear what I'm saying more easily than I'm comfortable with. Appreciate the thought, though!
  6. Nice. Glad you like it! And my hand isn't better, but I am learning how to more effectively deal with the issue, so it's not as problematic as it used to be. Thanks for the feedback. Catch you next time!
  7. Actually, that's a good point, as weapon variety goes. I do intend to show short spears later now that it's been pointed out, though (also, ofc, Argo uses a claw, Agil uses an axe, Silica and Philia use daggers, Lisbeth uses a mace, etc etc etc). They'd probably be usable with a mod for the Spear skill or a spear-based Extra Skill though, rather than something that you have access to right away. Pole arms are kind of their own thing though, at least in canon. They're a handful of weapon types which are categorized together as far as weapon crafting and upgrading goes, as a Composite Skill that Blacksmiths need in order to work with those weapon types. As for the gender disparity, yeah, I couldn't not mention it lol. It's so blatant, considering the entire lead group at this point only has three girls, and that's if you're generous and include Argo as a clearer rather than just someone helping the clearers xD. Thanks for the reply! Your feedback is great, as always!
  8. We’re almost to the boss battle! Well, the boss battle has been written out for a while, but we’re almost far enough past it in chapter count that I can post it. Also, I haven’t addressed this in every site I post this story on, so I’m gonna say it here. Over the weekend, I ended up developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my left (dominant) hand. Luckily, it isn’t too bad yet, so I can still type a decent amount before needing to rest my hand if I’m careful. Anyway, not much else to say in this note. Catch you at the bottom! Sword Art Online: Of Death Games and Diapers Chapter Eight: Scapegoat After Asuna and her partner had made a slight detour to change their diapers on the way out of the city, they rejoined the raid group in their march to the floor one labyrinth. As they walked, a sense of familiarity surfaced more and more, the atmosphere around her feeling innocently similar to an older memory of hers. The school trip she went on in January of that year. The destination was Queensland, Australia. Her classmates’ excitement went through the roof at the sudden shift from midwinter Tokyo to blazing summer on the Gold Coast, and they reveled in the moment wherever they went, getting excited about every little thing. The excited atmosphere emanating from the forty-odd people walking down the path beneath the treetops felt almost exactly the same as that time with her classmates. The endless chatting, frequent bursts of laughter, everything save for the presence of monsters that would spring out from the forest on either side from time to time. But of course, every monster that came close got slain in seconds by the skills everyone kept bragging about. Asuna offhandedly remembered how the swordswoman walking next to her had higher damage than any of them, if the time she saved her in the labyrinth was anything to go by. She could take out every one of those foes in a single blow, even the mobs in the highest level of the labyrinth. Asuna turned to the dark-clothed, dark-haired – well, pretty much dark in every respect – woman next to her and tried to strike up a conversation to fill the silence between them. “Hey, before you got stuck here, did you…” she started, losing her breath for a moment when her partner turned to her. Why did she have to be so stunning and sparkly when the midmorning sun hit her through the trees like that? “Did you play other… MMO games? Is that what they’re called?” She replied to Asuna’s question with a slow nod. “Yeah, I did. I wasn’t a pro or anything, so I didn’t make money off it, but I was pretty good at the ones I played, I guess.” The cloaked girl didn’t even know that professional gaming existed, so when her partner brought it up, it threw her for a loop, just a bit. She gave the black-clad swordswoman a curious stare. “So you were a… gamer girl?” “Not really, no,” she replied without a moment’s hesitation, visibly flinching for just an instant before immediately recovering. “Games are only one part of the thing I’m interested in— computer science, that is. Before getting stuck here, I worked as an IT tech online, and also tutored people in various subjects I already had down myself.” That last statement struck Asuna as familiar, somehow. For a few seconds, she couldn’t put her finger on just where she’d heard that before… but then it clicked. About a month before SAO’s launch date, Asuna had been having a hard time studying for the unified mock test, so she’d asked her older brother for help. But since he went to a school that never took it, he’d instead recommended a tutor who’d been helping him out with school for a year already. When Asuna contacted this person, they ended up getting in voice and video calls to go over the material together, and this tutor had helped Asuna right up until she got stuck in SAO, sometimes even just calling each other to have someone to talk to. And the tutor’s voice and face… no, surely she couldn’t have been… Only one way to find out. “‘Because unlike people, computers and academics make perfect sense,’” Asuna repeated the words from the tutor that had left the largest impression on her. “Do I have your reasons right?” “How did— wait, no way! Were you…?” the dual-wielder looked more flustered than Asuna had ever seen her. “That one rich girl I tutored from Setagaya?” “I can’t believe it took so long knowing you in-game for me to figure it out.” Asuna looked back on her own forgetfulness with a hint of disdain. “I mean, your voice is exactly the same, and so are your face and your temperament.” My old tutor looked back at me through narrowed eyes. “My temperament? What’s that supposed to mean?” Asuna had to suppress a chuckle at that. So it really was the same person… life really worked in strange ways sometimes. The world always seemed smaller than she thought. “Once you break through that cold shell of yours, you’re the same kind, patient, nurturing person you’ve always been,” Asuna replied with a warm smile. “Found me out, huh?” the dual-wielder replied, abashed. “It’s… sort of embarrassing…” The rest of the walk to the labyrinth was filled with a comfortable, amicable silence. Halfway through the climb to the top of the labyrinth, the raid party decided to take a small rest stop at a nearby safe area. What followed was… unsettling, to say the least. Asuna pulled the hood of her cape down over her eyes as she grabbed onto her partner’s arm for navigational support. “Where is it safe to look…?” “Nowhere, keep your eyes covered,” the dual-wielder replied instantly, voice quietly deadpan. Asuna felt disgusted by this turn of events. All the men in the raid party had picked a spot in the safe area’s inner walls to ‘point and shoot,’ as one of them had called it, relieving themselves of their need to use the restroom by just peeing all over the safe area walls. It was abhorrent. Did they always do this? Asuna had sat in this very rest area multiple times, so if they’d been doing this the whole time, then… She shuddered. She didn’t even want to think about such a thing. “By the way, while we’re here, we should probably relieve ourselves as well…” her partner suggested, voice barely above a whisper. “Don’t want the bathroom urges distracting you in the middle of a boss fight. Just try letting go, whether you think you have to or not.” As much as Asuna hated to admit it, her tutor was right. Bathroom urges could be very distracting in the middle of a fight… they could make it more difficult or even impossible to cast buffs or sword skills. She relaxed her bladder muscles in the way that had become second nature to her, and… ‘Pssssssss…’ The crotch of her diaper became enveloped in a rush of warmth as she began voluntarily wetting herself. She sure hoped no one could hear the subtle hissing, because it sounded almost deafening to her… “Yeah, like that. You’ll thank me later,” the dual-wielder whispered. Then, as if she could read Asuna’s mind, she continued, “But don’t worry, no one can hear us right now. You’d have to be standing right next to us.” A blush came to Asuna’s cheeks as she contemplated why she felt more comfortable peeing herself and clinging to a woman she barely knew in VR than she ever had doing anything IRL. Sensing she was thinking about something important, she inadvertently tightened her grip on her tutor’s arm, not sure if she wanted this moment to end or not. At eleven AM, we reached the dungeon. An hour and a half later, we finished travelling on foot to the top floor. I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief that there hadn’t been any deaths so far. The majority of our group members were experiencing their first raid at somewhere close to full capacity. And in this world, every first experience was chock full of room for human error and hardship. Hell, the situation here was even worse than that. Groups F and G only had people wielding long weapons like Spears and Halberds. If they got ambushed by the melee-type Kobolds, it could quickly become a nightmare scenario. In SAO, player melee weapons wouldn’t cause damage to other party members or turn their cursors orange, but attacks and Sword Skills would be interrupted. Since polearms were already at high risk from this, an ambush by melee monsters served to highlight this problem even further. Diavel made good use of his leadership qualities in the face of this issue. He boldly made all the surrounding party members fall back save for the individual leaders of each group, then made them use heavier sword skills to knock back monsters. Once they were staggered, he switched over to melee-weapon-equipped members without a moment’s delay. It was a strategy you wouldn’t think of unless you were already familiar with being a leader in everyday life. Looking at it that way, maybe it was a bit presumptuous of me, a solo player, to be concerned about ‘too much excitement’ before we’d left. Diavel had his own tried and true leadership methods, and as a member of his raid, it was my duty to put my trust in him along with everyone else. As I resolved to try and trust him a little more, a huge set of double doors finally appeared in front of us, and I peered over the sea of heads just beneath my eyes from the back of the group to look at them. Depicted on the surface of the gray stone doors was a relief of a terrifying monster with a beast head and a human body. As for his Kobold guards, in other MMOs these kinds of mobs were trash-tier, but in SAO alone these «Demi-Human»-class monsters were formidable foes which no one should make light of. The reason was that they had the ability to wield weapons such as swords or axes, and as a result could use Sword Skills of their own. With speed, power, and aim correction far better than normal attacks, even the weakest of Sword Skills could critically hit a defenseless enemy and drastically reduce their HP. The fact my partner Asuna made it to the deepest part of the dungeon using only «Linear», the starter rapier skill which didn’t even cost skill points, only served to reinforce their strength and terror. I looked back to the ground, tugging on Asuna’s cloak to get her attention. “Listen for a second,” I told her along with my gesture, and she turned to me. “Today, our opponents are the «Ruin Kobold Sentinels». Even though they’re small fries, they’re still strong enemies. Like the guide book says, a large portion of their head and body is covered and protected by metal armor, parts your Linear won’t pierce.” After listening, Asuna nodded with a reassuringly resolute look. “I understand. Go for the throat, right?” “Exactly,” I answered with a nod. “After I throw up their poleaxes with a Sword Skill, switch with me and jump in right away.” After Asuna silently nodded and then turned around to face the boss door, I held my gaze on her for a few more seconds. “We’re all going to die anyway! The only difference is when and where, sooner or later!” I still vividly remembered those words from when I saved her in the labyrinth’s nineteenth level. I couldn’t let those words be proven true. Asuna’s Linear clearly demonstrated natural talent on a level rarely seen that she herself was probably unaware of. Shooting stars didn’t always burn up and vanish in the atmosphere— a select few withstood those burning flames and managed to reach the ground. She has so much untapped potential… I can’t let it go to waste, I thought to myself, gaze hardening as I prepared to face the task ahead of me. A long, arduous task that could end up getting me killed. I have to be there, guiding that potential until it becomes reality. If she could survive today’s boss battle, Asuna’s name would become known throughout this world as one faster and more beautiful than any other. The countless players crushed by fear and despair would look to the guiding light of that shooting star, I just knew it. It was a role I could never take myself. Not an original tester like me, not someone who hated dealing with other people like me. This was a responsibility only someone like her could fill. Confirming my determination, I also faced the door, looking over the tops of everyone’s heads to confirm our progress. Diavel had finally finished fine-tuning the arrangement and lineup of each of the seven full parties. This time, even the knightly Diavel didn’t dare start a lighthearted cheer. Humanoid mobs would react to loud noises if he did. “Any last questions before we go in?” he asked of us. For a few moments of no one raising their hand to bring up the topic on my mind, I raised mine with a quiet sigh. He noticed it right away and called out to me. “Go ahead.” My raised hand curled into a fist, except for my index finger. “Just one,” I said, my voice making the crowd break up so everyone could see me. I heard a few murmurs about the presence of another female player, but chose to ignore them in favor of stating my thoughts. “What happens if the intel from the beta-based strategy guide is different from what actually happens in there?” The whole crowd went silent all at once. I could tell that none of them had even considered this scenario, and that proved itself a troubling sign, to put it mildly. Even so, I pressed on, more out of necessity for my own and Asuna’s sakes than out of a genuine sense of caring about and belonging with any of the others. “Diavel. Can I assume that as the leader, you’ll give the order to retreat?” “Of course. Human survival is our top priority,” our knightly blue-haired leader responded without hesitation. “But our simulated battle strategy is perfect. We’re not going to let anyone die.” “Don’t pay ‘em no mind, sir Diavel,” Kibaou interjected unexpectedly from in front of me. “They just dunno what kinda leader you are. Only reason they’d be so skeptical. Maybe if they’d taken part in the trainin’ session instead of goin’ AWOL, they’d know.” At his brash, foolish judgment, I scowled and snapped back without thinking. “Maybe if you had the third of a brain cell required to recognize that things rarely go completely according to plan and the word ‘perfect’ is a mythological concept, you wouldn’t criticize me for being cautious.” The cactus-haired man turned around with animalistic fury in his eyes, but before he could rebut my claims, our leader spoke again. “Both of you, that’s enough. Kibaou, she has every right and reason to tread with caution. This is the most dangerous enemy on the first floor, and should not be taken lightly. And Kiriko-san, your point is well-taken. I assure you that I won’t let anyone die in the raid. If things get bad enough, we will retreat.” I felt like a grade-schooler, having someone else resolve an argument that I easily could’ve ended myself. But I held my tongue and didn’t snap back at Diavel for intervening— my mind had just completely shifted topics to something else altogether. Diavel, he… He knows my name. I had never told him, nor had I ever interacted with him for more than a few seconds at a time. And I didn’t have a big reputation which could’ve told him who I was before we met. Yet for some reason, he knew my name. Who did he learn it from, and why did he want to know? Our noble leader seemed completely oblivious to my inner storm, turning back around to face the boss door. “Let’s win this thing. Come on, let’s go!” With that quiet command, he pushed the doors open, leading us to Aincrad’s next stage. December 3rd, 2022 Tolbana First Floor Boss Battle Eve Back in the beta, Argo the «Rat» developed quite the reputation for being an elusive player. Almost nobody could contact her directly, because next to no one got close enough to register her as a friend. And yet she always showed up right when people didn’t want her around. It was a safe bet if you were doing anything out of the ordinary, that info would be for sale the same day. In the retail game, Argo’s elusive habits hadn’t changed much. Now SAO’s true nature as a deathtrap had been revealed, she’d decided to expand her contact list as much as possible to increase the avenues by which information came to her and reduce her margins of error as much as possible… but all that really amounted to was a larger friend list and longer DM history. She still almost never showed her face to anyone. In that regard, Kii-boy and A-chan of the frontlines were something of a special case. But she’d initially made direct contact with Kii-boy looking for something of a bodyguard to be there when a deal fell through and suddenly became dangerous, and other things unsuited to a non-battle type like Argo. And her making direct contact with A-chan was… an accidental occurrence that she found herself regretting less and less, the more times it happened. But on this night, she had someone to meet— and for once, it wasn’t Kii-boy or A-chan. They’d been together all morning anyway. They’d chosen to meet up at an ironic place, given her client’s name. And so, wearing her usual tan, hooded leather cloak to conceal her identity, she made her way through the cold, dark winter streets of Tolbana until she found herself in front of a building reminiscent of an old-fashioned chapel of the Roman Catholic Church. There, she would meet the player with the devil’s name. She walked up to the front door, doing her best to ignore the pictures in the stained glass windows on either side. Turning the knob with a soft click, she entered the church and found herself in a room illuminated only by the moonlight that filtered through the stained glass windows above. This church only had a single room, as one would expect of a church set in medieval times. The room, whose only strong source of light came from a single large, non-painted glass window near the ceiling on the right, could only be described as a hall of worship. Pews lined the vast majority of the room, with a little space at the back reserved for the stage. During the day, there would be a priest NPC standing on the stage. If a player made an offering of 100 credits, he would perform a ritual that completely healed them, and if one came on a Sunday, he would offer them a quest that would give a green player upgrade materials, and restore the «Karma» of an orange player looking to go back to green again. However, at this time of night, the NPC would not appear. The whole room had an almost ethereal, empty stillness to it now, just as a real church did after closing. But Argo wouldn’t be fooled; she knew her client was in the room already. She walked down the aisle to the right of all the pews, making her way to the stage and hopping onto it without a sound. She sauntered over to the back of the stage, where a small room-like structure stood against the wall. A crisscross-patterned grate on the door in the center, with two curtains diagonally stretching out on either side. In religious terms, a confessional. She pulled aside the curtain on the right and quietly slipped inside, sliding it shut behind her as she turned and laid back against the outer wall. The information broker knew that if she had tried to open the door, she’d have found the person she was to meet, but she had no need for either of them to see each other’s faces. Each knew of the other, but they didn’t need to make their relationship as informant and client more complicated than it was already. “I’ll make the report brief,” she spoke loud enough for the other player to easily hear through the grate on the wall dividing them. “Around three hundred. That’s the number of confirmed dead beta testers in the month since the game started.” “That’s a large number for someone who didn’t even have a full day to look into it,” a smooth, clear male voice resounded from the other side of the grate. “I started lookin’ into it before you asked, so I already had it on hand,” she replied simply before continuing to explain. “Based on the login status toward the end of the beta, it’s likely that out of the thousand testers… seven or eight-hundred stuck around fer the retail release.” She heard her client stir from the other side as he began to realize what this meant. She spoke the heavy words aloud before the silence became too thick to break. “Meanin’ that the mortality rate… is around forty to fifty percent. That’s over twice the rate of the newcomers. The main reason…” “Is the alterations made since the beta,” her client finished for her. She nodded, though she knew he couldn’t see it. “It makes sense. Even the tiniest of changes can turn beta experience and knowledge from a powerful weapon… into a deadly poison.” Argo had lost count of the number of times she’d received a message from a beta player which had been cut off by their deaths. If you tried to write a PM while logging out, or got killed before you finished, it would automatically send if the recipient had already been typed out. And the number of times this had happened to her was so high, she could barely keep track of them all. “Of course, the newcomers wouldn’t realize any of this,” the man on the other side spoke the cold, heartless truth with a bitter voice. “In tomorrow’s boss fight, if the boss’s equipment or stats are different from the beta information… and if they’re late to recognize and react, causing even one person to die… the mistrust of the beta testers will be irreversible.” Argo took a deep breath. She knew what she needed to say here. But it took… real courage. “If that happens, lead their suspicions to me,” she finally said, voice sounding casual for how hard it was to say. “It’ll be the birth of Argo the beta tester. A cowardly, cheating info broker who combines truth and fiction in devious ways… interested in nothing but her own profit.” There. She’d said it. She’d even given him a way to spin it to his advantage. She let out a silent sigh, realizing that her time in the shadows may have finally come to an end. If things went sour at the boss battle, she’d be dragged out and flayed until she died a brutal, painful death. “No.” The Rat looked to the grate in surprise. That refusal had been almost instant, and it felt forceful. Like he hated the idea of blaming her for it. “I can’t put you through that. If anyone can bridge the gap between beta testers and newcomers…” he elaborated, sounding like he really meant it, word for word. “It’s you, and only you. And it’s your information that allows us to face danger head-on. If we lost trust in that, we’d never clear the game.” A window suddenly popped up in front of Argo. She scanned it lightly and found it to be a transfer of funds. He was paying her already… which meant he was about to leave. “Check my payment to see if it adds up,” he plainly stated. Argo smiled sadly as she hit «Accept» and the funds were added to her account. “Mm. Looks good.” She heard the sound of a knob turning and heard his footsteps leave the room. But then after he stepped out into the light, he stopped, turned back, and asked a question. “By the way… has anyone else asked you for the same info as I just did?” In any other situation, she’d have charged him for that info. But in this scenario, knowing that he likely intended to shoulder the blame for anything that went wrong in tomorrow’s battle for himself… “Just one.” She’d consider that a fair trade, just this once. “I see…” he trailed off, as if contemplating something for a moment before he seemed to reach a decision. “Good.” Argo’s eyes snapped up to attention, looking at the silhouette she saw through the curtain. What did… what did he mean by that? What was he thinking? “That means… there’s at least one person who can take over my role if I should fall.” “Hate to break it to you…” Argo told him as she smiled in relief. “But she’s not the type to step forward and lead the frontline players. She’d get the hell out of dodge the moment you tried to suggest her.” “So it’s Kiriko, then? That’s fine.” This time, his clear voice seemed farther away. He’d started walking to the door already? “But you’re mistaken, Argo. The role in this situation…” He left his own words hanging in the air for a moment, and then she heard him walk further away from the confessional. Finally, just as he would’ve reached the door, he spoke again. “Is a scapegoat.” With that as his parting message, the leader with a devil’s name left Argo alone to ponder exactly what would happen when the battle finally started tomorrow. All she could do at this point… was pray. So something funny that happened after I finished this chapter: when my editor got to the last scene, he started jerking me off because of it. He said it was atmospheric and shit, didn’t want to edit anything in it for fear of “ruining” it, said he didn’t know what he was missing before he read it, yadda yadda. I can’t claim full credit for it, since it was an adaptation of a scene from the Progressive manga that didn’t have an equivalent scene in the light novels, but I will say I think it’s one of the best scenes in the entire Progressive series, both manga and light novels, so it was a lot of fun to write and try and recapture the essence of it in purely written form. Anyway, I’m gonna get back to writing chapter fourteen. Catch you next time!
  9. One might be. I'm not sure whether I want to make her a DL, incontinent, or both. I've got time on my hands before she's even introduced to figure it out, though. Apart from that character, there's another who could be a DL for totally different reasons, but both of these characters are introduced at approximately the same time, so cause overlap would be somewhat problematic and boring. That being said, it's worth mentioning that if this story ever reaches a point where I can continue it post-SAO, pretty much every female character who ended up in diapers by the end of SAO will become a DL in some capacity or another. This continuity has the potential to get a story adaptation of the following gameverse titles: SAO Hollow Fragment, Lost Song, Hollow Realization, maaaaaaaaaaaaybe Fatal Bullet (refer to my initial convo with Darksyn earlier in this thread to understand why I'm not super enthusiastic about Fatal Bullet lol), and then Alicization Lycoris. Will there be other SAO games after Lycoris? Probably. Will I be adapting them? That's an almost definite no. Unless they decide to cover the War of Underworld in an entirely different game than Lycoris (which I would be fine with adapting, Alicization is my favorite arc in canon SAO, as low a bar as that is), then my loosely gameverse-canonical adaptations stop right there. They're going to be pretty distinct from the gameverse titles, though, because this story specifically changes the early to mid-SAO events quite a bit, and this is going to create a butterfly effect which will spill over into everything else. Silica, huh? Not exactly my favorite SAO girl, but eh, I'm no one to judge considering how compromised my own search history is. I do already have plans for her to an extent, though. PM me if you want spoilers, I don't mind giving them out but I'd rather do it out of the public eye.
  10. Which characters in particular are you looking forward to the most? Keep in mind, my SAO will also eventually have Sinon, Leafa and Yuuki in it as a baseline. But I'd definitely like to hear who you're looking forward to, along with any ideas you may have for them.
  11. Thanks for the feedback! SAO has been the series I keep coming back to for as long as I can remember. I have a love/hate relationship with canon, but the video game continuity (mostly) and Progressive are far and away better than the source material, so I tend to try to emulate them, for the most part, improving on them where I see fit. And ye, Starz are the first of many diaper "brands" the cast will be wearing throughout Aincrad. Stay tuned for more as the story progresses!
  12. Argo may be a prankster of sorts, but that's definitely not all there is to her. Just putting this out there, but a couple floors into Progressive (some point in floors 4-6, iirc), Argo actually beats Asuna in a duel, and Asuna is on par with/stronger than Kirito in the Progressive continuity, so she's no weakling. Though Argo's weakness as far as battling goes is the fact that she actually overspecializes. She's a pure AGI build, which makes her absurdly fast, but it also means her stamina and defense aren't that high, and she also doesn't hit super hard. But it's still worth mentioning that what she lacks in offensive firepower, she more than makes up for with insane attack speed. Especially because her main weapon is a claw, and claws are actually pretty strong iirc. And as far as her personality, her playfulness isn't all there is to it. Depending on who she's with, she shows that she's a complex and layered character.
  13. Hmm. I might do something of a combination of the two, actually. I already had an IRL component idea I could use, but I also always love myself some good old fashioned unpotty training. Also, am very much glad to find myself in the company of other Argo fans. She doesn't get enough love.
  14. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I fucking love Argo. She’s one of if not the best canon character for me. As a result of this, because of my twisted personality, I of course ended up giving her more bullshit to deal with than I do most characters. The more I like a character, the worse off they’ll be in my work, lol. Anyway, catch you below! Sword Art Online: Of Death Games and Diapers Chapter Seven: Secrets the Rat Won’t Sell After parrying the needle attack of the wasp-like insectoid monster with her right sword, the dual-wielder called out for Asuna to step in. “Switch!” As she moved out of the way, Asuna rushed in and stabbed it through its abdomen with a swift yet severe «Linear», piercing clean through the root of its wings. The last of its HP drained, it shattered into polygonal shards soon afterwards. Asuna turned around and smiled at her party member as the black-haired girl walked up to her, sheathing her swords in one fluid motion. “Nice work. That’s the general flow of switch-out team fighting. For someone who started a total beginner, you picked it up pretty quick.” “… Thanks,” the fencer replied, taking a bit to catch her breaths. They’d gone through around fifteen different wasps in a row up to now… “You should check your looted items,” her partner said with a casual smile. “By now, it should’ve dropped.” “Oh, so you chose this quest because of that, Kii-boy? Good call.” Argo’s voice chimed in, reminding the two of them they weren’t alone. Why had she decided to tag along when she ran into them in town, anyway…? “What are you two talking about, I only got a—” Asuna stopped mid-sentence as she finally took a look at her drop list. “A sword…?” “Yep. That’s a «Wind Fleuret»,” the dual-wielder said right as Asuna materialized it in her hands. The beauty gave her ebony hair a triumphant flip before continuing. “It’s great for a fencer, weighted towards speed and precision and having bonuses to DEX and AGI. Compared to the iron shop rapiers you’ve been using up to now, it’s in its own league.” Asuna held the long, slender blade upright in her left hand, gently caressing its side with her right. “It’s beautiful…” Before the silence could go on for too long, however, Argo cleared her throat to get the raid partners to snap back to attention. “Now you just need to upgrade it in town. After all that time in the labyrinth, you must have the mats to get it to +4. I can show you a good smith.” “Ah, thank you. Um, how much will I owe you?” Asuna replied, glancing over at the informant with a nervous look. “No charge. I’m the one who owes you,” Argo asserted, smiling over at Asuna like she was… grateful. But for what? “I’m sure you’d have preferred to stay out of sight back there.” Memories of bumping into her partner right out of the bath and flashing the informant flooded back into the forefront of her mind, and her cheeks flushed bright red. She averted her eyes, trying to find the strength to speak. “… Thanks.” As soon as she finished choking the words out, the fencer found herself facing a very different kind of “flood.” Just like before at the meeting, she had to go, bad, and her bladder wouldn’t be waiting around. But… now that she thought about it… they were pretty far off from town. She probably wouldn’t make it regardless. So maybe it’d be better to just let go now, before anyone caught on…? Before she even had time to second guess herself, she began leaking. But having resigned herself to her fate by that point anyway, she relaxed her bladder on the spot. In seconds, her padded crotch was enveloped in a rush of warmth, her eyes glazing over for just a second before she remembered Argo was looking right at her. But as she continued wetting her diaper, one look at Argo’s face told her that second was more than enough. This is so embarrassing…! But Argo didn’t even point it out this time. Instead, she merely winked at Asuna with the eye opposite Asuna’s partner, as if to make sure the black-haired girl wouldn’t notice. “So, if we’re going back to town, you could use the Col from the other loot to fill out your equipment. What do you say, sensei?” “A speed-first fencer doesn’t want much metal armor slowing her down.” Those violet eyes seemed none the wiser. Had the informant just… covered up for her? Argo replied with a casual tone. “Ah, good point. Hear that? Lucky you, A-chan, you’ll have extra money!” As Asuna finished peeing and they left for town, Asuna couldn’t help but think that as long as she was surrounded by kind friends like these, maybe being stuck in diapers for the time being wouldn’t be so bad. “Much obliged!” the NPC smith said with a hearty smile. After he took Asuna’s new rapier off the anvil, cooled it with water and returned it to her, I looked over at Argo with a smile. “Looks like it worked.” She responded without even looking up at me. “So it seems.” Looking over at Asuna with an appraising gaze, she addressed the fencer with a casual tone. “It’s now a Wind Fleuret +4. How does it feel?” Her hands now holding the rapier, Asuna started using her newly-upgraded weapon to repeatedly stab at the NPC smith, constantly triggering its dialogue to ‘be careful.’ With her new, stronger weapon, Asuna’s basic thrusting now seemed around as fast as her Linear from when we first met. To think her iron rapiers were holding her back that much… “It’s much lighter now,” she said as she continued to stab at a breakneck pace. “And it doesn’t wobble anymore.” As she finally stopped stabbing that poor NPC, Argo turned to me and concluded, “She’s got a good eye for weaponry.” I smiled down at her. “No kidding. She’s a fast learner.” As I turned back to Asuna, I felt a familiar pressure starting to build. It was small for the moment, but it would be hard to ignore. I kinda… had to pee. And given my new side job with Argo, that meant I’d be wetting myself during the day for the first time in years in short order. I took a deep breath, then tried to relax my bladder, but… It’s… not coming out. After almost ten seconds, I realized it wouldn’t be so simple. Guess I probably should’ve expected this, given how all my stats were all optimal just last night, but… given the current circumstances, it was still a little annoying. I quietly sighed, realizing that mapping out these stats would be harder than I thought. But then, I heard a bell SFX and a menu popup appeared in front of me. A message. From who, though? I tapped on it and the window expanded, revealing the sender as Argo. I gave her a sideways glance before starting to read. “Trying to wet yourself in public, huh? You sure are taking our deal seriously, Kii-boy. But if you really wanna do it, there’s a trick that makes it easier.” Just as I finished reading, Asuna stopped appraising her rapier and asked us, “Can this… go up to +5?” Oh, right. The Wind Fleuret had six upgrade attempts, but… “You can’t get what you need for it on the first floor,” Argo replied almost immediately. Asuna sighed, eyes closing in resignation. “Oh… too bad. So this is the best I can do for now. Thanks anyway.” Asuna slowly sheathed her rapier before walking to the door. “I have something else to buy, so I’ll see you later. Tomorrow at ten.” After saying the time while looking me in the eyes, she walked out of the smithy. Which meant that Argo and I were now alone together. Only one thing to do, really… though I could feel my wallet getting lighter already. “So… you mentioned there being a trick?” I asked, looking over at Argo through narrowed eyes. “How much is this gonna cost me?” Argo smirked up at me. “Gettin’ right to it, eh? Well, I haven’t verified this myself, so it’s nothing to charge for, but… I’ve gotten reports that visualizing yourself letting go makes it easier to actually do it. And the more you believe you can’t hold it, the harder it becomes to, well, hold it.” Visualizing it…? Something that simple? And then belief or willpower on top of that… well, it was worth a try. I closed my eyes, relaxing all my muscles… and then began imagining myself starting to pee. Imagining it leaking out of me without restraint, imagined my Starz diaper growing warm, imagined the white stars on the shell turning yellow… ‘Pssss…’ And just like that, it actually started happening. Even now that I’d snapped out of visualizing it, the flow didn’t stop. I continued wetting myself for a good ten seconds before the flow began to slow down. When it finished, I instinctively lifted the hem of my skirt to get a look at my diaper. Looked like I wouldn’t need to change for a while, it could still hold quite a bit more. “Thanks for the show~” Argo teased, nearly making my heart beat out of my chest from shock. Right, she was still there… “You wear the same ones as A-chan, huh? What’s the story there? Is this the return of «Ladykiller King» Kii-boy?” I dropped my skirt with a sigh before crossing my arms. “You’re never gonna let me live that down, are you? Look, maybe you had the courage to play as your actual gend— forget it. Not feeding the troll.” “I mean, if I can’t sell it, I may as well have fun with it,” she replied, smirking at me with a casual shrug. Can’t sell… oh, that reminds me. I uncrossed my arms, using one of them to lift my skirt for a second and the other to point at my slightly used diaper. “Speaking of things you aren’t selling, why did you choose not to sell the fact Asuna is wearing these? Pretty sure it belongs on the whiskers tier, if not higher. You decided not to do that right after making a deal with me about mapping out the bathroom stats, too. Don’t tell me that you… no way…” Midway through me saying all that shit, I dropped my skirt as Argo stretched out the waistband on her pants to reveal… a diaper. Like my Starz drops, hers only had one tape per side, but hers was a different print, with cartoon versions of some floor one mobs on the plastic shell. And… some of them had partially faded away, with the white background yellowed, so she must’ve— She let to of the waistband, letting it snap back into place as her cheeks got a little red. “I’m not selling the reason I’m in these. I keep you and A-chan’s secrets, you’ll keep mine. We clear?” “Y-yeah…” I stammered out, trying to fight the heat in my cheeks. Considering how embarrassed both of us were at this point… how about a distraction? “Moving on, I’ve got another job for you…” As Asuna walked through the crowds of «Tolbana» glad to finally be in a fresh diaper, she got the distinct impression she was being followed. It was probably just her imagination playing tricks on her, but… she had been feeling like this ever since she bought the last piece of battle gear to switch out with the big metal equips she currently had on, per her partner’s advice. It made it even harder to search for the store she was currently looking for. Because if she was being followed by some creep, for them to see her walking into this store would be…! Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that… But then, the shop she’d been looking for for the past twenty minutes or so finally entered her field of vision. She walked up to a storefront simply named, «Elizabeth’s Secret» and breathed a sigh of relief. “Found it…!” She hurried through the door before anyone outside noticed her, then set about slowly walking through the racks of underwear of all shapes, types and sizes. Yes. The thing she’d wanted to get to end her shopping binge for the day… was underwear. She knew no one could even see it, but… Now I can finally get a bra to match these diapers she gave me… It might not have seemed important, but the fact her bra was still from her starting equipment when her diaper had such a… flamboyant design— it really bugged her. Her mom had always insisted she do it as part of “dressing properly,” and now she’d gotten self-conscious about it. She knew it was really dumb to be worrying about this a day before her life would be on the line, but she wanted her underwear to match… After wandering throughout the store, her eyes settled on a bra of bright blue color, with a white and gold lace pattern. That… was close enough. She walked up to it and found that it was the last one. She stared at it for a second, feeling like something was off, before she finally noticed. “Aaaaaaah!” Standing on the other side of the clothing rack was a familiar, whiskered face. That of an informant. The literal last person she wanted to know she was buying this. After she stopped screaming, Argo addressed her with a low voice, barely above a whisper. “I was hopin’ I’d be able to sell this,” she said, seeming to fight off a smirk. “But considering the design, you’re gettin’ it to have a matching set, right? Or as close to it as it gets. Not sure why, but… I won’t tell a soul.” Asuna’s frantically beating heart finally started to calm down after hearing those words. She grabbed the bra off the shelf, using her free hand to clutch her chest. “Thanks, but… I can’t keep owing you favors. And after all the times I’ve heard you say you wouldn’t sell my info, I’m starting to doubt you really will…” As she spoke to Argo, she noticed something mildly unsettling. Her crotch felt warm. Had she… wet herself a little when she freaked out just now? That wasn’t good… she’d have to check her bathroom stats once she had some time to herself. She had a feeling they got even worse… But then Argo did something that… well… demanded her attention. She stretched out the waistband of her pants to reveal what she had on underneath, just long enough for Asuna to see it. “Sellin’ info on this kinda stuff would be pretty rich of me, wouldn’t it? No, this is one of the kinds of info I’d rather bury, if you catch my drift.” Asuna’s cheeks flushed bright red, but in spite of her embarrassment, she had to admit the informant had a point. And also, well… the knowledge that even the game’s greatest informant shared this particular struggle of hers was… reassuring. She was grateful for the kind gestures her partner had made in wearing with her, but ever since the boss meeting, she’d felt… abnormal. Like a freak who couldn’t control herself. But if this problem was so common that even someone like Argo suffered from it, then it might’ve been a bit more normal than she thought. And that put her at ease. It laid her insecurities since the meeting to rest all at once. She still wanted to get back into normal underwear as soon as possible, but… well, at least for now, she could live with herself like this. As I waited for Argo to show up at the designated meeting point in the alley between two buildings, I couldn’t help but ponder how long I’d be in diapers for, per my agreement with her. Though I’d also made a promise with Asuna, the deal with Argo was liable to last far longer than Asuna stayed in diapers herself. I pulled up my status window to check my bathroom stats again. And just like when I did this the last time, the bladder stats had barely changed, and the bowel stats remained untouched. If I really wanted to get through this as quickly as possible, I’d probably need to start eating and drinking more often. But using my diapers more frequently would mean changing them more frequently as well, and that kind of thing would be hard to do in dungeon crawling sessions… then again, Asuna had been wearing them in the dungeon when we met, so maybe there were adequate places to stop and change out of view of passersby. Even assuming I got the process of undoing my toilet training going faster, mapping out the stats certainly wouldn’t be the end of my time in protective garments. I’d said it to Asuna before, but I’d heard horror stories about what happened to people whose bathroom stats dropped below a certain threshold. It could be next to impossible to raise them back up from zero, if what I’d heard were to believed. Wait… Argo mentioned that belief and visualization both play a role. Could they also be used to hold it and raise my stats, rather than let go and lower them? “Yo. Spacing out, Kii-boy?” Hearing a familiar nickname, I looked up, finding Argo standing in the street next to me, facing forward. “Anyway, no need to worry. Nobody plannin’ to die tomorrow would buy things like that.” The tension in my body relaxed, and I offered a laid back smile as I stepped out of the alley. “All I said… was that I wanted to know where our beautiful companion was going shopping. Here, a thousand Col.” “Thanks.” After going through my menu and sending her the money, I began walking away, determined to find some new methods to cash out on my first fifty K payout as soon as possible. I threw Argo a wave with my left hand without looking back, almost disappearing into the crowd before she called out to me. “Huh? You didn’t want to know what she bought? You might regret it.” Rather than rise to her provocation, I just kept walking. If I wanted to get some extra capital to spend sooner rather than later, there was a lot to be done to make it happen. December fourth, Sunday, at ten AM. This deathtrap started at one o’clock in the afternoon on a Sunday, on November sixth. In three hours, it’ll have been exactly four weeks since it all began. When I first realized the logout button was missing, I believed it was a bug. I figured even if it was a tough one to fix, the button would be back in a handful of minutes, an hour tops. Then, the release condition of clearing all hundred floors of Aincrad was handed out to us all by Kayaba Akihiko, clad as a faceless Game Master. At that point, I vaguely expected we’d be imprisoned for around nine months. I knew an average of a floor per day or two was expecting too much, but to have two days to scout a floor out and one to clear it seemed a bit more reasonable. But reality was harsher than that. Four weeks in, and we hadn’t even reached the second floor. Now, I could only laugh sarcastically at my naive, optimistic miscalculation. And depending on how today’s boss battle went, we might be knocked down to a situation where the time of our release stretched out so far we’d die in the hospitals long before any of us would’ve died in-game. The forty-four players currently gathered in the fountain plaza in Tolbana, myself included, could be considered the strongest fighting force we could’ve hoped for at this point, headcount aside. If it were wiped out today— no, if it were even partially destroyed, rumors of it would spread to the «Starting City» in less than a day. And if that happened, the idea that SAO is impossible to clear would spread throughout the entire first floor in a similar amount of time. Reorganizing a second force could take any length of time, if a repeat challenge against the boss ever happened again to begin with. And as far as level is concerned, we’d passed the efficiency limit for EXP on this floor several levels over by now, especially players above level ten like me. The fate of this battle, and consequently clearing the game in general, hinged on whether the boss monster, «Illfang the Kobold Lord’s» strength and abilities had changed since the beta test. If it was the boss I remembered, it shouldn’t be impossible to keep it down to zero deaths with our current levels and equipment even as a single, incomplete raid party. But… With all the changes I’ve been forced to adapt to up until now… “You’re spacing out before the boss battle. Should I be worried?” A familiar voice called out to me from my left. I turned and came face to face with Asuna, who seemed clad in lighter attire than before. Though it was kind of hard to tell with the cloak covering most of it, only revealing glances at a time as she walked over. I waved at her with a smile. “Morning, miss fencer. Seems like you took my advice seriously and got some lighter equips. Nice.” “Thanks. Your advice really helped,” she said, her casual smile becoming demure. “I can feel the difference already. I should be much faster now.” And her speed was already comparable to mine when we met… it’ll be fun to compete with her as the game progresses. At this point, though the result of the raid could be called into question, I felt reasonably confident the two of us would survive this battle, at the very least. I’d seen Asuna fight, and she got used to party battling pretty easily, so I knew we’d have good synergy in the actual boss battle. Plus, we’d likely never get a chance to touch the boss anyway unless— “Hey.” Hearing a gruff voice that could hardly be called friendly call out to me from behind, I spun around with a hint of annoyance. Standing in front of me was a familiar male player with pointy brown hair styled to conjure the image of a cactus. My body wanted to flinch back in revulsion at my bad luck running into this cuck, but I fought the instinct and stood my ground. He sure did seem to glare at me pretty hard. Was he trying to intimidate me? Because it didn’t work. What exactly was his problem? After an uncomfortably long silence, he spoke. “Listen up. Today, you two stay in back. You two are only here as support for my party.” “…” Honestly, I thought of a lot of retorts for that in a small amount of time. But none of them were worth the effort and unpleasantness of making conversation with this asshat, so I stayed silent. Plus, considering just the day before, I rejected his offer of eighty-thousand Col for my swords, and then even learned his name that he’d tried to hide for so long through proxy and hush money, this situation would be awkward to anyone with context and half a brain cell. Were the roles reversed, I wouldn’t want to step within a twenty meter radius of him. What was this guy thinking, coming over to order me around in spite of everything? And on top of all that, his attitude just now suggested he thought I should be intimidated by him. Which was asinine. My level was higher, my stats were higher, my gear was better. He sneered at me arrogantly, hatefully distorting his face even more than before, and spat one more thing out. “Be a good lil’ girl and pick off the spare Kobold scraps we let drop from the table.” Okay, fuck this silence bullshit. “Oh? Look, pal, I’m not intimidated by your tough guy act, and I don’t take orders from you,” I replied without a moment’s hesitation, eyes narrowed to slits. “Just because you didn’t get some new toys the other day, you think you have the right to act like a total ass? News flash: I don’t take shit from anyone, least of all dopey cockholsters like you. Don’t like that? Then don’t talk to me.” The last four words were delivered with a ferocity that made even the rough-and-tumble Kibaou’s eyes widen in shock. And when I rested my left hand on the hilt of my left sword to further the point, he looked between my hand and my face in silence for a good five seconds, before turning tail and fleeing back to his party without even defending himself. I just turned away from him in a huff, angry at myself for even wasting words on that meatsack. “… What was with that?” In the heat of the moment, I completely forgot Asuna was even here, much less included in the ‘you two’ that Kibaou ordered around. Her glare off into the distance was almost infinitely more intimidating than the cactus-headed prick behind me. “He’s just mad I didn’t sell him my swords the other day, so he had to try and assert dominance,” I replied without even flinching. But then, a thought occurred. Or maybe… he doesn’t want a former beta tester to prosper. If one presupposed this, then he must’ve known I was a beta tester for a while now, probably since before we ever met in person. But how did he figure it out? Beta info was something even Argo wouldn’t sell. And up until now, I’d only ever mentioned the word beta to Asuna. And Asuna figured it out too late to have been the cause. I guess Coper would know… but I saved his life, and he isn’t the type to sell out his own kind. We didn’t even discuss it before parting ways. While feeling something unpleasant in my gut, I turned back over to look at Kibaou with a speculative glare. And then, it hit me. Two days ago, Kibaou offered a ridiculous amount of money in order to buy my swords, two «Anneal Blade +6» weapons upgraded with identical specs. That was the one undeniable truth of that exchange. And he probably intended to use at least one of them in today’s boss fight. Putting aside whether he could even wield a single copy as effective as I did both of mine after all the successive upgrades they’d been through adding to their weight, his motive should’ve been clear. He wanted to show off a powerful weapon at a crucial moment to add to his influence and leadership qualities. But if that were the case, he’d definitely have spent the eighty-grand on upgrading all his equips he already had, maybe even getting some new ones. But the scale mail he currently wore and the one-handed sword on his back were the same ones he already had equipped at the first meeting. They weren’t terrible equips, but with eighty thousand Col, it should’ve been possible to upgrade to much stronger stuff given the time difference between then and now. Heck, even Asuna had filled out her equipment with things much more suited to her weapon, build and playstyle in preparation for today. Depending on the flow of today’s battle, we could die, so what point was there in keeping a large stockpile of unused resources if it ended up getting you killed? However, my time to think about all this had just ran out. Our noble blue-haired leader Diavel had arrived and hopped onto the edge of the fountain, and just started raising his fitting, knightly voice. “Okay, everyone— first off, thank you! We’ve got all forty-four members from all eight parties present!” A cheer tore through the plaza, followed by a round of applause. I reluctantly dropped my thought process for the moment and clapped along with the others. With a hearty smile for everyone in the crowd, the leader pumped his fist and shouted out again. “Honestly, I was prepared to call the entire operation off if anyone didn’t show!” he admitted, sounding somewhat sheepish. “But now I realize that even thinking these things was an insult to everyone! I’m quite happy. We’ve got the best damn raid party you could possibly want, even though the numbers are slightly short!” Some people laughed, whistled, or bumped our their fists just like him. But this was the point where I stopped going along with the crowd for a pretty simple reason. I didn’t want to find fault with Diavel’s leadership right now, but… Isn’t he getting people a little too excited? Just as too much nervousness could lead to the poison called fear taking root, too much optimism and excitement could cause negligence. During the beta period, being defeated due to overenthusiasm would be a funny story to tell a friend. But now, our situation meant that failure could lead to one or even many deaths. Being a bit uptight would be preferable to this by a longshot. While I thought these things, I looked at the other groups around me. The leader of group B, the axe user Agil, and the five people around him all had stern impressions with their arms crossed. They for sure could be counted on in a pinch. Kibaou of group E had his back to me, so I couldn’t get a read on him… I’ve still got a bad feeling about him in my gut… wait. That wasn’t just any feeling in my gut. I’d been so focused on the mysteries surrounding Kibaou that I hadn’t even noticed. I had to poop. Good thing I noticed here, rather than while we were in the field or in the dungeon. Now I could go, change and slip back into the crowd before we all left. Visualize it… I closed my eyes and tuned out the cheers all around me, and began picturing my diaper bulging out, the mess ballooning out into the seat of my pants. And just like that, it actually started happening, just like I’d been practicing with peeing since yesterday. And… oh god, I was starting to understand why Asuna had foregone food in the dungeon to avoid this… Just don’t focus on how it feels… After a good thirty seconds or so, my bowels stopped pushing, and I opened my eyes, checking the back of my skirt without thinking. Good, I still couldn’t tell. I’d gotten a tailor to lengthen my skirt a bit in preparation for this, and now I felt confident that you couldn’t see it beneath the hem. And luckily for me, these Starz diapers had a bonus effect of completely blocking out odors, so no one would be the wiser… I just had to sneak out of the crowd to change before we left town. And try to ignore how it felt to have my own solid waste affixed to me until then… Around that point, amidst the cheering of the crowd, Diavel raised both hands to suppress the cheering. His audience quieted down and readied themselves for what he had to say. “Everyone, I have one thing left to say, so listen well!” He reached down with his right hand, the drawing of his silvery sword echoing in the plaza with a ringing peal. “Let’s win!” I couldn’t help but feel the huge roar of excited war cries that ensued bore more than a little resemblance to the terrorized screams of ten-thousand I’d heard at the center of the Starting City, when the horror of what we had to do and what was at stake became crystal clear. And just like that, the number of diaper girls in the story has increased again. Not gonna lie, Kiriko and Argo being in them is nice and refreshing for me, since I was kind of getting bored just focusing on Asuna. As an aside, I’m not sure what I want the reason for Argo being in diapers to be yet. I have some ideas, but nothing which would get her bathroom stats under 500, which is the goal. Let me know via comment if you have any ideas! Anyway, I’m gonna get back to work on chapter thirteen. Catch you next time!
  15. They do go up and down. I actually have a massive doc which dictates how the stats influence each other and how to increase/lower them. As for getting Asuna's stats below 500... give it time.
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