24th floor, Panareze.
Rozen pushed open the door, and as the bell rang, he walked into the bar.
“Those guys are so lazy up until yesterday, yet no one is here now, how cold.”
Upon entering Red Wings’ base, he found that no one else was there.
Saichou and Hanachou instantly flew from Rozen’s shoulders and made themselves comfortable upon entering the bar.
“You guys are no different.”
Rozen sighed and then sat at one of the tables in the bar instead of at the counter.
“They should be here anytime now.”
This wasn’t the real world, after all. Moving between Floors and towns was almost instant in this world unless Players were in the Labyrinth.
And speak of the devil.
The bell rang as the bar’s door was pushed open.
There were two people coming in.
One was Asuna.
Although still looking as majestic and stunning as before, this time, Asuna walked slightly behind another person, as if letting that person took the spotlight.
Anyone would be drawn or interested in that person once they saw him.
However, unlike Asuna, it wasn’t his appearance that bewitched people, but rather his charisma. He had this presence about him that seemed to declare that he was the one who stood above all.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
Upon hearing the charismatic voice, Rozen observed him in the least obvious way possible.
The one who was standing beside Asuna was a man. He should be around 25 years old, based on his appearance. He had this resolute look on his face and seemed to exude unknown intellectual nature. He was quite tall, at least taller than Rozen, and muscular.
The man was wearing red armor. He had steel-gray hair and brass-colored eyes gazing at Rozen’s eyes intimidatingly as if there was something menacing inside him that he was trying to hide.
However, Rozen didn’t care about the intimidating look the man gave. The thing that caught his eye was, in fact, the man’s weapon.
The was carrying neither a rapier nor dagger, which excelled in attack speed, not axe or hammer which boasted its high attack power, or even a spear that was popular among Players, but a shield, a cross shield.
Of course, seeing Players with was nothing strange for Rozen. In fact, more and more Players had a shield to boost their defense now that SAO has become a death game, but he never saw a Player who just equipped a shield without another weapon like the man in front of him.
However, upon closer inspection, Rozen noticed something.
(Is there a weapon behind the shield?)
Although Rozen couldn’t see the weapon directly from the front, he saw the hilt of a sword poking of the shield, meaning there’s either a long sword or a short sword sheathed to that shield, one thing for sure it was a one-handed weapon.
(He used the shield not only for defense, but also as a scabbard?)
Rozen’s brain quickly processed all this informations before he finally spoke.
“Not really, sit down.”
Rozen made it look like he didn’t really care about the man by keeping his sentence as brief as possible and showed as little interest as possible. If the man were highly conscious of himself, he would be quite displeased by now, but Knights of the Blood’s leader just nodded and sat across Rozen as he instructed.
For some reason, Rozen sensed that the man exuded this certain aura that made Rozen wary of him. It was neither noble nor elegant, more like precise and rational, as if each and every move he made was carefully calculated.
After the man sat across Rozen, Asuna, who stood beside him, took the initiative.
“Let me introduce you.”
Asuna said to Rozen.
“This is Knights of the Blood’s leader, Heathcliff.”
After that, Asuna was about to introduce Rozen to her leader, but she was immediately interrupted by him.
“There’s no need for that.”
The man named Heathcliff said charismatic tone while his eyes were still fixed on Rozen, and for the first time since he came here, he finally smiled.
“The Clearer’s commander who led them this far without any casualty, the leader of the strongest guild, hailed as Magician. Everyone is familiar with these rumors. Naturally, I’m no exception either, i’ve heard about Chairman Rozen quite a bit.
The words did sound like praise, but when it came out of Heathcliff’s mouth, for some reason, it sounded like inspection instead of a praise.
In addition, Heathcliff observed Saichou and Hanachou that were playing around on the counter, of course, in the least obvious way possible. It was obvious that Heathcliff was quite interested in those two Tamed Monsters that Rozen raised.
Heathcliff even went as far as saying.
“I see, so those are the Rainbow Butterflies that are rumored to be able to inflict various negative status effects even to Floor Bosses, reducing them to a merely living target. I’m sure they must’ve saved a lot of Players’ lives. To think they could be this strong, maybe even the game developers didn’t anticipate this kind of development.
Heathcliff valued them highly.
Asuna was surprised.
Rozen, who was also surprised by Heathcliff’s opinion about the Rainbow Butterflies despite this was his first time seeing them, looked at him intently.
“You can’t be serious right, Chairman Heathcliff? Rozen said nonchalantly: “How can the game the developers not anticipate this situation? Isn’t this something they designed?”
“Head of the head of the Hitzcliffe is heavy?” Rozen said with a smile: “How can game developers predict this situation? Is this something designed by the other party?”
Since the game developers designed everything in this game, of course, everything inside should be within their expectations and prediction. The game developers should’ve set various parameters to a certain maximum number, where it shouldn’t be able to exceed that number. For example, if they set the Rainbow Butterfly’s damage range between 1-1000, meaning at most, it could reach up to 1000, no matter how hard the user raised it.
Therefore, since Rainbow Butterflies could inflict negative status effects even to Floor Boss, that must be how the game developers designed it to be. They must’ve designed the Rainbow Butterly to have that possibility.
“That’s only half true, Chairman Rozen.”
Heathcliff’s words made Rozen raise his brow.
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