Due to the awkward atmosphere, Rozen and Asuna said no more words and just sipped their tea in embarrassment, and Asuna decided to leave after she finished her tea.
Asuna herself didn’t seem to take Rozen’s offer seriously, and neither of them brought it up again until Asuna left. To be frank, that saved Rozen the trouble.
“If Asuna actually leaves Knights of the Blood and joins Red Wings, things may go out of hand.”
After all, Knights of the Blood couldn’t afford to let go of such a talented vice-leader. If Asuna happened to leave Knights of the Blood, they wouldn’t simply lose a capable member but also their popularity since Asuna was like an idol in SAO.
Not to mention if Asuna joined Red Wings after leaving Knights of the Blood, the spark between Red Wings and Knights of the Blood would intensify.
It’d be as if Red Wings tried to pick a fight with Knights of the Blood, although that might be interesting too.
“If you’re not happy in Knights of the Blood, there’s no need to force yourself; you can leave anytime.”
Rozen said it before Asuna left.
“This is a game, after all. If you’re not happy, then there’s no point.”
Only Asuna herself knew how much those words meant for her.
In the past, Asuna would’ve brushed it off by saying…
“Although this is a game, this is not the place to have fun.”
Death in this game will fry your brain in the real world. Even so, could you still call this a game?
However, Asuna really has changed. In response to Rozen’s words, she chuckled and said…
“I’ll try my best.”
Leaving those words that were unthinkable for the old her to say as parting words, Asuna made her way to the Teleport Gate.
Rozen was the only one left in the guild base. Rozen has been living in the guild base instead of the inn since he relocated the guild base to Floria.
The guild base was big enough that it had enough room for each guild member, but no one else lived there like Rozen. They’d come and leave if they felt like it.
Saichou and Hanachou now lived in the garden now instead of staying in Rozen’s room like they used to.
Rozen was lying on the bed in one of the most spacious rooms in the mansion while staring at the ceiling, lost in thoughts.
He wondered about his body in the real world, but he knew to some extent that his body might’ve been moved to the hospital to sustain it.
After two years, he managed to climb all the way to the 74th Floor, leaving the last remaining quarter.
“Based on the progress so far, I am afraid that it will at least take another year to clear this game.”
“I have gained so much during these past two years.”
Rozen originally had two objectives coming into this world; to learn Eye of the Mind and register more familiar in his Throne of Heroes.
He has achieved his first objective, and all he had to do was kept honing it. Practice makes perfect, after all.
As for the other one, he has been killing monsters left and right. Floor Bosses was also among the monsters he killed.
Considering the monster varieties and how many Floors left, Rozen estimated that he was more than halfway to achieve his second objective.
Even though he did play this game to hone himself at first, he found himself enjoyed this game more and more every day.
Rozen recalled the mastermind behind this death game and murmured.
“Although what you did was unforgivable, this game is really interesting.”
Rozen had to admit this fact.
“Where are you watching this game from? Somewhere unreachable, pretending like a god? from the corner of the world pretending as a bystander? Or…”
As Rozen ventured further in his thoughts, he sighed.
“No point in knocking myself out in this.”
Rozen decided to focus on the matter at hand first, clearing the current Floor.
“I’ll go as far as I can in the labyrinth tomorrow. The sooner I find the Boss Room, the better.”
The 75th Floor would be the real challenge, so he wanted to clear the current Floor as soon as possible and focused on devising the strategy for the 75th Floor.
“I hope everything goes well tomorrow.”
With that thought in mind, Rozen closed his eyes and went to sleep.
Early the next day.
Rozen, along with Saichou and Hanachou was already at the 74th Floor’s Main Settlement, Kamdet’s Teleport Gate.
Getting up early in the morning has always been a challenge for Rozen. Rozen then walked away from the Teleport Gate, looking as listless as ever, as if he was going for a morning stroll instead of fighting with his life on the line.
“Guess I’ll pull an all-nighter again, as usual.”
Rozen said while yawning.
Blue light with human shape popped up one by one on the Teleport Gate behind Rozen.
Rozen suddenly turned his head and looked behind him.
Other Players in the vicinity also checked out the Teleport Gate in surprise
They all eventually saw one by one human silhouette slowly forming on the Teleport Gate. There was a total of twelve Players, and as if their number alone wasn’t enough to announce their huge presence, these Players were wearing metal armors and greenish attire, lining up orderly in two rows like an army.
The first row was shield users with a crest in the shape of Aincrad engraved on it. Meanwhile, the second row was axe and spear users.
All of them wore a helmet, and thus no one could get a read on their expression.
However, these army-like Players immediately drew everyone’s attention, including Rozen’s, because he knew a certain guild that was mocked and called an army that ended up joining the largest mutual aid organization to make up for their number.
“Aincrad Liberation Force…?”
The largest guild in Aincrad was formed after the remaining Aincrad Liberation Squad led by Kibaou and a mutual aid organization on the First Floor merged.
“Why are they here?”