Seeing Asuna, who was standing majestically while staring at him with radiant eyes, Rozen once again sighed in his heart.
(Now that I look at her again, it’s hard to believe she was that rapier user behind the hooded cape.)
Despite feeling emotional on the inside, Rozen remained cool outside. Just as Asuna said, he was as laid back as ever.
“Surely you didn’t send me an instant message telling me to come here just reminsisce about the past, right?”
Rozen said casually.
In SAO, there were two types of messages.
The first one was normal messages, which could be sent to any Player who was registered as the sender’s friend. However, Players couldn’t receive messages while they were in the Labyrinth or other places with restrictions like Labyrinth.
The second was instant messages, which could be sent to any Player as long as the sender knew the correct spelling for the receiver’s character name. However, instant messages couldn’t be received if the receiver wasn’t on the same Floor as the sender, or if the sender was in places with restrictions.
Rozen had quite a lot of Players on his friends. In addition to Kirito and other Red Wings’ members, he also had Argo, Klein, Agil, and other Players he was friendly with registered in his friend list.
However, Rozen obviously didn’t register Asuna, who was destined to astound all Players in SAO as a friend.
Therefore, Asuna had to send an instant message, asking Rozen to come here.
It was not surprising that Asuna knew the correct spelling of Rozen’s character name. They once fought side by side, after all. In fact, it was odd if she didn’t know.
Of course, Asuna didn’t call Rozen to that place just to ask for his acknowledgement, let alone reminiscing about the past.
Asuna called Rozen with only one thing in mind.
“This is the order from leader.”
Asuna ignored Rozen’s laid back and irritating attitude and went straight to the point.
“Guild leader wants to see you.”
Rozen frowned slightly upon hearing Asuna’s words.
Of course, the leader that Asuna referred to here was Knights of the Blood’s leader.
“He wants to see me?”
Rozen could not help but laugh.
It’d be a lie if Rozen said he wasn’t interested in Knights of the Blood’s leader. Setting aside other things that Players had achieved, he managed to recruit Asuna, who seemed hard to approach, along with other Players that managed to surprise the Clearers. So, of course, he was curious about who this person was.
In addition, Rozen still remembered how highly Argo valued him by saying that Knights of the Blood’s leader and vice-leader were strong enough to be the top 3 Players.
Rozen believed half of it after seeing Asuna. Even the Sword Skill she showed during the 1st Floor was enough to surprise Rozen, and if Knights of the Blood’s leader was as strong as Asuna, or even possibly stronger, how was Rozen not curious about him?
Rozen wouldn’t mind to see him in person.
“He’s the one who wants to meet me, right? Then he should come and meet me himself, isn’t that how courtesy?”
Rozen said with a playful tone with a smile.
“Does this mysterious guild leader of yours plan to sit back and wait in his throne while his vice-leader drags me to see him in person?”
Hearing those words, Asuna’s brow slightly rose.
Rozen might sound like a jerk, but he had a point.
After all, he was the commander of the Clearers and the leader of the strongest guild in SAO.
If Knights of the Blood’s leader had no intention to join the Raid, Rozen didn’t mind. After all, it was voluntary, and the Clearers never forced anyone to participate in the Raid.
However, if he asked Rozen to meet him in person, that was another matter. This wasn’t Rozen putting on airs, but the invisible confrontation has already begun.
There was no need to even think behind the logic behind all this. It was Knights of the Blood’s leader who demanded to meet with Rozen, yet instead of coming himself, he asked his vice-leader to bring Rozen to him. A leader of a newly formed guild asked the leader of the strongest guild to meet him. Zahad would’ve mocked Rozen if he ever heard about this. It was as if Knights of the Blood felt superior over Red Wings.
It was unlikely that the Knights of the Blood’s leader was not aware of this, yet he still asked Asuna to relay the message asking Rozen to meet him, so there were two things that came to Rozen’s mind about the intention of the Knights of the Blood’s leader.
The first was to gain the upper hand in case something happened.
The second was to test Rozen’s ability.
If it wasn’t any of those, then Knights of the Blood’s leader was just a vulgar guy who pretended like a big shot without knowing his place.
Therefore, no matter what kind of meeting will take place next, and whatever kind of person he’ll meet later, Rozen didn’t want to go out of his way just to play into the hands of Knights of the Blood’s leader.
Rozen then added one more sentence to Asuna.
“If he wants to see me, I don’t mind. But if he didn’t want to, I guess we will have to meet during Floor Boss Raid.
Rozen had no intention to meet the Knights of the Blood’s leader personally.
Hearing Rozen’s words and seeing his demeanor, Asuna was silent at first, and then she sighed.
“I’ll ask the leader.”
Asuna then sent the message to Knights of the Blood’s leader and got a reply not long after.
She then turned toward Rozen once again.
“The leader agrees.” Asuna said concisely: “Name the place.”
“Let’s meet in Red Wings’ base.” Rozen said without hesitation: “I’ll be waiting there.”
Rozen then left the alley with those as parting words.
Asuna just stared at Rozen’s back, who casually left just like that, and after Rozen was out of her sight, she murmured.
“He’s as irritating as ever…”
Asuna also left afterward.
At this time, the Clearers should be swarming the labyrinth area and competing for limited resources. No one knew that the two strongest beings in SAO were about to meet.
The meeting will determine the direction of SAO’s future.
The inevitable direction.
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