It’s dead. Stheno stalked away from the fragments of a dragon-crafted nightmare, trying not to let her knees shake. Later she might rage, and weep. Right now there was no room in her numb heart for anything but exhausted relief… and slow-growing, gnawing terror.
They should have died. They should have all died. A psiwasp nest – it took Euryale leading our forces to destroy the last. None of these players are as strong as she was! None of them could be. The game isn’t even half over.
They should have died. Without Aeris’ Healing Rain to aid Issin’s firebird – many of them would have.
And Aeris’ interference had cost them all. Every true youkai here had an icon hanging in their field of view; a red hexagon, scribed with Actions under GM review.
I’ll review you, you fire-breathing lizard. Perhaps there are rumors of nests in Xen’drik. But there’s no reason to throw these children against monsters none in Khorvaire have seen for centuries!
Unless the ancient red dragon knew something they didn’t.
Stheno chafed her arms to ward off the chill, and looked for her adopted ashrat. Argo might claim she was fit to fight, but no one adapted that quickly to becoming youkai. In the true Aincrad it might not have mattered. In SAO – it could be deadly.
The edge of the clearing where the nest had hung. There stood Argo, and the lump of sodden comb, and Fuurinkazan. And one young draconic lass half hiding behind Dynamm as Klein blistered the air. “What’s happened?”
“Doesn’t ever think, need a damn leash– um.” Klein scratched the back of his head, bandanna bright in the afternoon sun. “Lady Stheno. Kirito just took off. Again.”