Labyrinth area, twentieth floor.
Needless to say, this was the closest place to Aincrad’s second floor.
Beyond this floor, lied Aincrad’s second floor where players will discover new environment, new challenges and new opportunities for the players.
However, before reaching the second floor they must first face the strongest monster and the biggest obstacle for the players, the Floor Boss
Defeating the Floor Boss was the only way to proceed to the next floor.
And finally, a total of 60 players have gathered there.
It was so silent that the sound of a player swallowing his saliva was heard by all players. But, no one laughed at this player.
Because what they saw in front of them was that nerve-wracking.
There was no other source of light other than the candle lit around them.
The atmosphere was heavy, and no one could laugh like they did in the outer field earlier.
Sixty players stood in front of a towering gate made of gray stone with a monster’s face carving.
Looking at the carving, these players couldn’t help but got goosebumps.
Even Rozen just stood there and observed the door thoroughly.
“Is it here?”
Rozen asked for Diavel’s confirmation.
Diabel nodded after rechecking his map.
In other words, behind the door in front of them was the Boss Room and beyond that lied the stair to the second floor.
“This moment will decide whether we can reach the next floor or not.”
Rozen’s words made them even more tense.
Diavel then looked at the players and said.
“As you guys can see, Boss Room is right in front of us.”
“I hope that we all can get through this, no we have to! Otherwise we won’t be able to show other players that there’s hope”
Everyone became even more serious hearing Diavel’s word, including Argo, Kirito and Diavel.
Even Asuna did not say anything.
Because everyone knew that Diavel didn’t say this to scare them.
“It’s safe to say that players who have gathered here was among the strongest players in SAO. If we fail or even wiped out, it’ll have the opposite effect, the rest of the players will be more anxious than before.” Kirito whispered.
“Yes.” Argo agreed with Kirito’s statement, and added: “If that really happens, then it will take more time to assemble the second Raid Team, or worse, the rest of the players might give up altogether.”
This was the reason why Diavel was particularly cautious during this First Floor Boss Raid.
If these players managed to defeat the Floor Boss and showed that this game was not impossible to clear, other players will be encouraged to leave the Town of Beginnings and level up to join the clearers.
On the other hand, if they failed, the rest of the players will fall into despair thinking that even the strongest players in SAO couldn’t defeat the weakest Floor Boss.
Therefore, although this was just the first floor, it was very crucial.
If this Raid Team could defeat the Floor Boss, it will boost the morale of all players.
On the contrary, if they failed, all players might fall into despair.
Because of how important this Floor Boss Raid was, Diavel kept emphasizing to all players in front of him that they had to win.
“I have only one thing to say to everyone.”
Diavel then raised his weapon.
“We must win this at all cost!”
Diabel screamed out of his lungs.
The rest of the players responded to Diavel’s encouragement.
Diavel then looked at Rozen, and Rozen nodded in response.
Both commanders of their own Raid Team placed their hands that represented hope and future and pushed open the door.
Followed by the loud rumbling sound, the huge door was opened and everyone entered the Boss Room.
It was a spacious and dark room with no trace of light. However, the moment players stepped into the room, light gradually filled the room, turning it into a room that looked completely different than before
Every players saw a throne in the furthest part of the room, and there was a huge figure sitting on that throne.
The huge figure’s eyes radiated a bright red color and it slowly stood up from the throne.
Finally, at this moment, all players could see that figure clearly.
It was an over two meter-tall creature, muscular, covered with red fur and had bloodthirsty copper-red eyes. That monster used a large bone axe, and carrying a knife-like weapon on its back.
This was Aincrad 1st floor’s Boss, Ilfang the Kobold Lord.
As the terrifying roar echoed throughout the room, three heavily armed Ruin Kobold Sentinel came to the boss’ aid.
“That… that Floor Boss…!?”
“Exactly like the information mentioned earlier!”
“It’s the same boss as the one during closed beta!”
The players were shocked by how massive the boss looked at first, but they cheered since the Floor Boss was exactly the same as Argo’s information.
Diabel shouted at Rozen.
Rozen nodded calmly.
After drawing his Anneal Blade +8, Rozen pointed the tip of his sword forward.
The rest of the players roared and rushed toward the enemies in response to Rozen’s order.
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