Demon, Janet decided, hair standing up on the back of her neck as the blue-furred, goat-headed giant slashed out again, snake-headed tail hissing. Twenty feet if it was an inch, with a massive blade to match, held as casually as a Marine would grip his K-Bar. That Kirito could even deflect the blade enough to dodge seemed impossible, much less that he was also dodging rings of blue fire licking upward from thin channels on the dark-stone floors.
The image panned up and wide, from Kirito’s desperate battle to a dozen-odd shaking casualties on the floor, armor and weapons cracked and battered. Klein, Asuna, and the rest of Fuurinkazan were pulling out the wounded, with the sort of desperate hurry Janet had seen on her rare trips through the ‘Gate when everything went to hell.
October 18th, Aincrad Year Two, appeared across the bottom of the screen. Seventy-fourth floor boss fight: The Gleam Eyes.
“That’s not a fight, that’s an evac,” Janet whispered, heart in her throat even though she knew this was past and over. “They’re running out of time.” He’s taking hits. There’s too many down for his friends to evac. He can’t keep this up–
–Klein! Asuna!- Kirito deflected the blade to one side in a shower of sparks. -Hold it off; I need ten seconds!–
Leaving the rest of Fuurinkazan, the other two dove in to keep the Gleam Eyes at bay.
Oh god, kid; ten seconds is a long time in a fight!
From the grim looks on their faces, Asuna and Klein knew that just as well as she did.
And they’re going in anyway….
Klein headed in first; trading a blow to force it to concentrate on him, before its second strike batted him away like a dazed wasp. Asuna darted into the opening he’d made-
Asuna ran up the spine of the demon’s blade, unleashing a green fury of blows into its chest. Let herself spin and fall, ducking under a massive fist by a hair’s breadth.
Klein’s katana licked out to slash under the furred armpit. Even armored, he was blindingly fast; dancing in and out of the demon’s range to give Asuna another opening.
But they haven’t fought together, Janet realized. Not like Kirito and Asuna have. They don’t have the same rhythm–
It almost killed them.