One of these days, Asuna thought as she rubbed her hands over each other, she’d have to ask Klein why Fuurinkazan let her keep a key to their house in Snow Springs. The whole point of having your own place was to have a safe spot away from other players….
“-Don’t care if you say you’re fine,” Klein’s voice jostled through the front door as he flung it open. “Cold. Event boss. You need a hot drink, a warm fire, and people. Or do we have to drag you over to Grandma Tiger so she can growl at you about winter undead?”
Asuna froze as Kirito stumbled into the room, most of Fuurinkazan herding him toward the blazing fireplace while Kunimittz double-checked the locks on the door. Winter undead? No wonder Klein’s message had asked for cocoa. Along with, please don’t kill me. Or him. “What happened?”
Fuurinkazan looked at each other. And if that wasn’t a ‘who breaks the bad news’, then she hadn’t been leading Knights long enough.
Issin cleared his throat. “Somebody decided to solo the Christmas event.”
…I’ll kill him later.
For now, Asuna pressed a mug of cocoa into Kirito’s chilled fingers, then helped him juggle it back and forth as she and Klein got what was left of his coat off. Given Kirito’s usual fighting style relied on not getting hit, it had to have been an awful fight. “What was it?”
Kirito took a careful sip. Then a deeper one. “Undead Santa with revenant goblins. And two ravens.” He paused. “Don’t ask me to explain the ravens.”
“Nicholas the Renegade is real?” Tae squeaked. Found herself the focus of stares, and blushed. “It’s one of Grandma Tiger’s old stories. The legend is that he used to be a kindly barbarian cleric in the hoarfell, so favored by the spirits that he was granted two spirit raven familiars. But a marilith demon disguised herself as a poor shifter woman, and, um…. Grandma always skipped that part with, ‘and there’s a lot of yucky stuff little kids don’t want to hear about’…”