“…I made them come after me.”
Sam winced at the empty tone. Pale skin, staring into the distance, no obvious emotion…. Combat shock. A bad one.
Evidently Klein knew it when he saw it, too. Fuurinkazan’s leader pulled what looked like a medieval version of a thermos out of his inventory, shoving it into half-gloved hands. “Drink it. You need to get warm.”
Kirito shook his head, face still blank. “I don’t want to be warm-”
Asuna stepped right into his space, eyes bright. “You’re not the only one who had to!”
Black eyes flinched, blinking reluctantly back to here and now. “Asuna?”
“No. I’m not okay.” Her face scrunched up; but she swallowed the tears, and looked him in the eye. “But I’m the Vice-Commander. I can’t cry here. And… it happened so fast. They came at me, I had to….” She gulped again, eyes shining. “What happened? You were in the back….”
“They brought a boat in under the warehouse. They came through a trapdoor we didn’t find,” Kirito got out. “They had some kind of smoke bombs, they were already lighting them… some Divine Dragons spotted them, but they were green. The Dragons wouldn’t attack first….”
Klein muttered something under his breath. “So you let the Coffins see you.”
One shallow nod. “I baited them, Klein. It was a trap. I was a trap. I didn’t give them a chance-”
The redhead swept him into a one-armed hug.
“What are you doing?”
“You’re an idiot,” Klein said thickly. “You’re a live idiot, thank god… Kirito. Damn it, listen to yourself. You baited them with the Black Swordsman. And you’re still green. They took the first swing.”
“They were Laughing Coffin. You know what they had to do to get in.” Klein let go, just enough to ruffle black hair. “You’re alive. They’re dead. The ones who aren’t, the Army’s got now. Let’s get the hell out of here.”