“Getting adopted does seem to add a few levels,” Kirito agreed. “Lucky for all of us, in that mess with Pollista. She outleveled almost everyone but Klein.”
“Just Klein?” Asuna tapped her claws on the table, slowly.
Kirito gave her his best wide-eyed, no idea what you’re talking about, lowly level forty look.
She flushed. “I’m not trying to pry. It’s just… the boss battles are getting more complex. There are more creatures to fight. We need bigger raid groups, and they have to be organized. The raid leader has to know what people can do if we’re going to win.”
And most of the time these days, the raid leader was Heathcliff. Never mind that Asuna was usually the one doing all the real work in planning the fights and getting stubborn guild leaders to take less than glorious positions when the plan needed that to work. “Does it matter that much? I’m always a scout or a distraction. I’m not a tank, or a healer like a shaman or potion-crafter. I go in, I hit what needs to be hit, and I get out.”
“I guess you’re right.” Asuna glanced away. “I just don’t want to assign you to something you can’t handle because I don’t know.”
The fang hung heavy against his chest. “If I get in over my head, Klein would try to get me out,” Kirito admitted. “So I won’t.”
Asuna’s shoulders straightened. “All right. I believe you. It doesn’t tell me where I should put you in a boss fight….”
Kirito rolled his eyes, and muttered a sincere wish in Draconic that Kayaba mistake poison ivy for toilet paper. “That’s part of the problem. The level boss fights are almost always in dungeon rooms. I’m better off fighting outside. Some of the magic I have won’t work outside the wilderness.”
Asuna frowned. “You go into boss fights when you’re already at a disadvantage?”
“I can call darkfire anywhere,” Kirito shrugged. “I track and scout bosses. It doesn’t matter who takes them down.” He eyed frayed wings. “I’m not the only one fighting at a disadvantage. You have a flight gauge, right?”