An awkward silence filled the atmosphere as Rozen brazenly was late for more than half an hour. It was no wonder that other Players were pissed at him.
But there were still some friendly faces who welcomed him.
“You’re late again, Rozen. Not that it’s something new, though.”
It was a dark-skinned, tall and burly Player with a Two-Handed Axe on his back, with other muscular players behind him.
It was Agil.
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to come as well.” Rozen, who noticed the familiar face, was slightly surprised.
Agil and his party always participated in every Floor Boss Raid. They were clearers who have been fighting along with Rozen and the others. However, he neither joined any guild nor created any, he just showed up in every Floor Boss Raid with his party.
There was one reason behind this.
“I prefer doing business compaed to fighting.”
That was right.
Besides one of the clearers, Agil was also a businessman. He‘d buy secondhand items and equipment from other Players and sold it at a higher price. He was notorious for utilizing his scary face and bulky build to intimidate the customers when it came to negotiating the price.
Because of that business, although he always participated in Floor Boss Raid, he rarely participated in Field Boss Raid, and that was the reason why Rozen was slightly upon seeing Agil there.
“Considering what happened on the 25th Floor, we don’t know what will happen. Plus, now that the Aincrad Liberation Squad was no longer part of the clearers, our overall strength is greatly reduced, so I think it’d be better to participate in this one.
Agil said in a heavy voice, and his party members nodded in response.
Although Rozen has asked Argo to notify the clearers that the 26th Floor’s difficulty won’t escalate suddenly like on the 25th Floor, it was normal if Agil was uneasy about this.
There was also another Player who spoke to Rozen besides Agil.
“Even in this situation, you’re still as lax as ever.”
It did sound frivolous and impudent, but he meant no harm.
The owner of the voice was a man in a samurai armor wearing a red bandana on his forehead. He looked like a lone samurai at first glance, but he seemed friendly upon closer look.
Rozen didn’t say anything, and Kirito deliberately averted his gaze from him.
The man noticed the Kirito and waved toward him.
“Hey, Kirito, you sure have it rough again today because of your leader.”
Kirito smiled wryly and had no choice but to say something back.
“You’re as lively as usual, Klein.”
That was the name of this samurai-like Player. Despite his personality, he was quite a capable Player. He was one of the clearers and the leader of a guild named Fuurinkazan.
Unlike most clearer guilds that encouraged other Players to join them to grow stronger, all of Fuurinkazan’s members were Klein’s friends, and not just a friend he was acquainted within the game; they were his real-life friends.
Klein once acquainted a beta tester before SAO became a death game and learned various things about the game, including how to use Sword Skill from that beta tester.
Once Kayaba Akihiko annouced that SAO has become a death game, that beta tester invited Klein to leave Town of Beginnings together to obtain resources like Exp, Cor, and drop items ahead of other Players. However, Klein refused because he felt a sense of responsibility to help his friends, and they were still in town.
Later on, Klein and his friends formed Fuurikazan, through hard work, they eventually managed to climb the ranks and joined the clearers. In other words, Klein looked after his friends and showed them the pointers until they were strong enough to join the clearers.
That was only one of his strengths.
In addition to being a guild leader, Klein himself was also a strong Player. He didn’t wear a samurai-like armor for no reason; he was also the user of Katana Skill.
The rare weapon that the 1st Floor’s Boss used once his last hp bar became red, and the weapon that the monster in Outer Field used on the 10th Floor.
After the clearers cleared the 10th Floor, Katana Skill was no longer exclusive to monsters, it turns out to be a Hidden Skill that Players could learn once they met the requirement.
Rozen himself learned a hidden skill called Martial Arts after completing a quest from a hidden NPC on the 2nd Floor. Martial Arts was a skill that allowed the Player to use a barehanded combat skill, which was very popular among high-level Players.
Just like Martial Arts, Katana was also a Hidden Skills with special requirements. In this case, Katana could be learned after continuously trained the One-Handed Curved Sword Skill.
Klein was a famous Katana user. He might be among the top five among the clearers.
By the way, the beta tester that Klein acquainted with in Town of Beginnings was none other than Kirito.
Kirito once said to Rozen in Horunka.
“I’ve already abandoned a friend that played together with me. There’s no turning back now.”
The friend that he referred to back then was Klein.
In other words, Kirito abandoned Klein because he decided to look after his friends, and because of this, Kirito has been avoiding Klein out of guilt ever since Klein and his friends joined the clearers.
Rozen knew that Klein didn’t mind about that at all, but Kirito was still unable to get over it.
(I guess I should leave them be.)
That was what Rozen thought.
Klein and Agil’s party were the friendly faces among the clearers toward Rozen.
But that was not the case for the rest.
“Being the leader of the strongest guild sure is fun, everyone has to wait for him while he was dilly-dallying.
Sarcastic words were heard from the crowd.
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