“Lisbeth ended up on a quest like that about ten levels down. It was a leannansidhe, not a demon, but it was still a nasty fight.”
“Fairy versus smith? Ouch,” Tae said gleefully.
Smith seemed to catch Kirito’s attention. Asuna wasn’t surprised. If it’d been that desperate a fight, Kirito’s sword could probably use some maintenance-
Eeep. “Kirito, stay still,” Asuna said firmly, lifting her hand. “There’s something in your hair….”
“Don’t touch it!” Kirito caught her wrist, black eyes wide with alarm. “I don’t know if all the venom was discharged!”
“You put… of course you did.” Asuna glared at him. “What were you thinking?”
Issin choked on his cocoa. “How the hell’d you even do it?” He coughed, and shook his head. “I’ve had to patch people up after a few stunts. The system doesn’t care where poison hits you. If it’s on your body, it’s on your skin. If you’re immune, the dose just fizzles. If you’re not… why are you not a statue?”
“It’s not in my hair.” Kirito set his empty cup down, and headed for the bathroom.
Listening hard, Asuna caught the sounds of water running.
“Kayaba stiffed us,” Klein said quietly. “It’s not a resurrection. Just a revival – if you get it to someone in a ten-second time limit.”
Oh. Oh, no wonder. “Then we still don’t know,” Asuna said, horrified. “We could be dying in the real world. We probably are.”
“Who – what-” Klein’s jaw dropped, and he swore. “Oh man. I didn’t even think of that.”
“Think of what?” Dale frowned. “Come on, guys, make sense… oh.”
Issin nodded, grim as death. “If a revival only works for ten seconds, then… after that, there’s probably nothing to revive.” His ears twitched, just as Asuna heard the faint squeal of a faucet being turned off. “Heads up.”
Kirito looked a little better. His messy hair was swiped mostly back from his face, damp black threaded with a few tufts of near-black that cast back glints of dark green and violet.
Asuna sucked in a breath, finally recognizing them without the dull paste of venom. “You put cockatrice feathers in your hair?”