It’s been two weeks since we’ve recovered Enciel from Area Zero. Our group, Snirito M3rri and I, have since then been allowed rest from further dispatches until the next major event in WNWS: the prestigious clan tournament.
The clan tournament is a once per year tradition that gathers all the clans in WNWS and let them compete against one another until the top clan emerges. The winning clan, not surprisingly, receives the highest honor and recognition in the WNWS world, as well as a hefty reward from the GMs of the game.
According to Snirito, this would be the first for Tsukiyo, our clan, to participate in the tournament. Many members are anxious, and have been working hard this past two week to gather enough <<CP>> (Crowd Point, a point given at the end of each arena match measuring which faction has the most crowd) in order to qualify for the clan tournament.
The tension in the clan has been tense, with people calling each other out for foul plays and displaying bad manners all over radio chats, with Zerobei barely holding the lid of the volcano down in clan chat. There was no other words to describe the clan but “HUEHUEHUE, BR?”.
That is to say, all but a small part of the clan acted in such a way.
Ever since the exchange with Enciel after defeating her, I’ve been having strange visions in my sleep. Specifically, a vision of a metal door emblazoned in red paint to what appears to be “妹”, a kanji for sister, appears in front of me. Beside the door, there is a peculiar device, one that is reminiscence of a sonar radar, with a bar attached to it like a slot machine. It’s been the same vision every time: a door with the strange device and white that stretches through the horizon elsewhere. The moment I try to touch them, I wake up.
I stand in front of the door today, again. Wondering what exactly does it mean, sister. But not being proficient in the study of sisters, I soon gave up. Just as I tried to end the vision by touching the door, I felt weight hitting my lower abdomen part of my spherical body. It hurts.
“uggghh, I told you. Mornings are definitely not the time to be attacking clan mates, especially when they are still sleeping.”
The one who has her fist into me was a new and chibi’fied Enciel. After rebooting her automated doll system, M3rri put a cursed booster on her just in case there were any remaining elements that caused her to run berserk.
“…Wake up protocol.”
Unfortunately, despite having her memory reset, she seems to still have a grudge on me.
“There has to be a gentler, more proper way I’m sure.”
“404, requested search term: gentle, not found.”
Enciel was put into our group at the order of Zerobei, in her terms “To quickly recover her lost functionalities, she needs to be with people she is familiar with.”
“The plan seems to be working great! She’s rapidly regaining her abilities, ” said the other trouble maker of this group as she walks by, “..her COMBAT abilities! OHOHOHOHOHO.”
“Oioi, don’t be too hard on the panda cat. I’m sure he’s ENJOYING it though.” our fearless leader falsely accuses my preference as he heads to the conference room.
There was not a shed of sympathy in this group.
After having a quick meal of screw bolts, I entered the conference room, (just the cargoes in the open area of <<WIZ>>).
The rest of the members have all arrived, but there was no one standing on the podium (the bar sticking out). It was, however, not out of the ordinary as Zerobei is known to be (un)fashionably late to meetings.
“AHHHHHHH, GOMEN GOMEN. I was tied up saying goodbye to my waifu, Shinonome NozoMI.” said Zerobei apologetically(?) as she finally arrives. As usual, her postures are impeccably feminine…
The meeting soon ended, the summary was as follows:
1) To prepare for the tournament, as per the past weeks.
2) To be on standby for any other groups that need support as our group has just fully recuperated
3) And to participate in a <<TeamFight>> (a practice match) against other groups in the clan.
As part of the newer recruit, this was the expected treatment for our group. So I never gave much thought to the enigmatic wink Zerobei sent at the end…
The day of the <<TeamFight>> approaches. Both groups lined up and bowed to each other on the <<Hills that are Green>>. The group we are up against is a 3 men group nicknamed the “Young F[l]ags” of the clan. Known for their incredible speed in battle, some rumours go as far to say that the Young F[l]ags aren’t just controlling the avatar, that they are “Coordinating”.
Say “Kira☆” LEE. Despite being adopted and raised by the by a certain famous Taijutsu user, Say LEE is a pacifist. Yet again despite his dislike of war and conflict, he is more than willing to fight if it means protecting rhythm game machines or trap tutors. Recently he started a semi-blog-like outlet on /c0mma/, venting his pacifistic ideologies to the people of WNWS, claiming the autonomy of Tsukiyo has been a controversial topic, and has netted him audience with many of the big figures of WNWS. It is said he has since then abandoned his real blog.
Athjun Zala. Otherwise known as “the lonewolf ace”, a legend in the clan that claims Athjun’s ability to be on-par or even surpassing Zerobei but who always play alone…when no one is online to witness him. Athjun’s fighting style is said to be extremely varied and strategic, from close quarters ART style bombardment to running away swiftly while calling for medics. According to the official WNWS records, he currently has the most <<RT Warrior>> awarded in the clan. Seems to have some issues with Say LEE for overlapping his character in the trap loving department.
Last person on their group is Agalli Dula Dathha, or so the clan records say. My sources indicate that the records may have been tempered with, and that he only goes by the code name A.D.D. No other information was found regarding A.D.D.
A quick glance at their lineup was enough to tell our strategy discussed from the day before has backfired.
“Hey, what do you think we should bring to the <<Team Fight>>? I’m thinking we should just bring joke around avatars. You know, build our relations with the other group and save energy on our actual avatars when the tournament comes around.” <- M3rri.
“Yeah, that sounds like a good idea M3rri, lets do that.” <- Me.
“I don’t have any joke avatars so you guys go ahead.” <- Snirito.
*Silently sharpens her shield with a whetstone* *smiles in a scheming manner* <- Enciel.
Me, M3rri, Enciel, Snirito: (in respective order)
LocomotiveX, C-baller, Creamrose, Creamrose Sera
Athjun, SAYLEE, A.D.D.: (in respective order)
AlphaRaider (equipped with customized “METEOR” ASURA units), GAAHrula “Freedom” Bird, BLAZING baron (type-Sword).
It was literally going against mobile suit gund0ms with steam powered trains, we did not stand a chance.
During the first second of the match, Enciel’s Creamrose, who ran at me with her knife, disintegrated into particles with Athjun’s rainbow attack. Shocked, but at the same time relieved, I couldn’t help but mutter the words,
“I-isn’t this just a practice match? WE’RE USING JOKE AVATARS HERE.”
“Oh, but this is my joke avatar.” replied Athjun.
Realizing that my joke avatar is in danger of being eliminated, I scanned the field to locate my remaining groupmates. M3rri was slowly approaching the enemy from their blind angle, and Snirito was…scouring for battle supplies by destroying trees. So I guess I’ll have to be the bait.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been severely outclassed in terms of avatar strength, but if we can survive long enough so that Snirito can come out from his farm and carry us we might still be able to do something.
I took cover in the side caves below the cliffs, but still providing ample sounds to give away my location. Hoping that the enemy group would focus on me. However, it may seem that they are being extra cautious as not a single trace of snail liquid could be smelled after the first shot.
I decided to take a risk and run into the open, both to try to lure the enemies out and also get better vantage of the entire field.
They were right above me.
The beatings came down quickly: first a round of alphaburst from Athjun, then GAAHrula cyclone kicks, and lastly a slash that left a burning wound on my horn. Realizing I would never be able to drift in my locomotiveX again, I thanked it, and left the avatar into free camera mode.
When I came into the free camera, I expected M3rri to be ready to assault their <<Power Spot>> and Snirito to have farmed up at least 4 <<Flame Pillars>>. What I got was two group-mates who have completely given up and sat in the <<Power Spot>>.
Needless to say, we lost, badly.
“What a CLASSIC pannya THROW.”
The first phrase I was greeted with when I swapped back to my original avatar. Came from none other than my trusted group-mate M3rri.
“It’s what you get, your just deserts.”
Said the leader who farmed trees.
“S-sorry, I just thought we needed to act. Our advantage was quickly slipping and we needed to do something before they start to farm trees. So I tried to bait. Next time I’ll just turtle up like everyone else in the team.”
While I really thought it was our only chance back then at that moment as we can’t possibly catch up to their superior avatars later, it was my fault that we’ve lost for my reckless gamble. I could only lower my head.
It was at this time the Young F[l]ags walked over… (to be continued)