“Are we doing wagers, iron Butterfli3?” Kirito asked slyly with a wink as he swung his arms around and rolled his shoulders to warm them up for the fight.
“I’m always up for making things more interesting.” Butterfli3 replied with a small smirk. “What’s your wager?”
“Ok, if I win, I get to be best man at the wedding…” Kirito said.
Butterfli3 laughed. “Ok, well if I win- you and Asuna move with us to level 44 and build next door so we can continue to be neighbours.”
“Well, well, this will be a most interesting duel then,” Kirito said, unsheathing his sword and swinging it back, “I accept your wager.”
“Come,” Butterfli3 called teasingly, holding his hand up before rotating it at the wrist and beckoning Kirito with his index finger.
“Not even going to draw your sword?” Kirito smirked, “you’re either bluffing or you’re confident you can read my movements and counter accordingly.”
“The latter, for sure,” Butterfli3 replied with an equally mischievous smirk.
“Wait! They haven’t even invited each other to duel yet!” you gasped to Asuna, “what if someone dies?!”
“No one will die,” Asuna chuckled, “they’re evenly matched and know their weapons well. This will be an interesting duel.” She sat down on the grass to enjoy the show.
You were still dubious but decided to trust her and shrugged before sitting down beside her on the grass as well.
“So who’s gonna win?” you asked her with a sly grin.
“You already know who I’m going for,” she laughed.
“True,” you replied, “I’m glad we’re on the same page then, and you’re going for Butterfli3…”
“That’s… not who—”
“I know, I know,” you chuckled, “I’m just kidding, I’m excited that you said they’re evenly matched! That’s big praise considering just how strong Kirito is.”
“Well…the proof will be in this fight,” she said, nodding towards the two men who were in the middle of a stand-off before starting.
“Ready?” Kirito called.
“Are you stalling, Kirito?” Butterfli3 jeered playfully.
Without warning Kirito shot forward and disappeared and surprisingly Butterfli3 did the same- still without drawing his weapon.
There was a brief moment that included flashes of lightening as the dueling swordsmen crossed paths- then they re-appeared on the other side of each other once they had passed.
“Drawing your sword, completing a 3 hit combo, then resheathing before re-appearing?” Kirito remarked as he turned back towards Butterfli3, “Can’t say that I’m not impressed with that display!”
“Thank you,” Butterfli3 said with a smile.
“I still got you though,” Kirito added, pointing to Butterfli3’s left leg.
Butterfli3 looked down. “OH! So you did. Impressive.”
“Thank you,” Kirito smiled.
“A-are these two dueling or having a friendly game of golf?” you deadpanned
Asuna laughed. “Kirito is enjoying himself. It’s nice to see.”
“Same with Butterfli3, so it seems,” you mused.
“They’ll get more serious as the duel continues,” Asuna said, “Butterfli3 has improved immensely though, I must say.”
You swelled with pride at her praise of your man and looked back to watch the next round between the two.
Butterfli3 unsheathed his sword and shot forward, releasing the chain whip and cracking it around Kirito and the black swordsman tried to break the chains with his sword but the re- enforcements held up strongly and at the last minute he had to dodge and jump the whip as it snaked around him.
Butterfli3 saw that he had the upper hand and yanked the chain whip up, catching Kirito’s leg and tripping him but the agile SAO hero turned the potential fall into a backflip, thrusting his sword out to try and swipe Butterfli3 in the process but Butterfli3 quickly dodged the tip of the sword as it flew past.
“Close,” Kirito called as he landed in a hero pose after successfully flipping backwards.
“I think I just nicked you though,” Butterfli3 said and pointed to Kirito’s right leg.
There was a very small tear in Kirito’s pants and the black swordsman chuckled as he looked down.
“So you did!” he replied, “ok, final round. We’ve both marked each other, next one to mark the other will be declared the winner.”
“Perfect,” Butterfli3 replied lowly.
Kirito smirked and called forth his second sword.
“Oh? Dual wield! Well then…” Butterfli3 said, calling forth his bracelet that you had made, “now we’re even,”
“I wouldn’t call that even but I’m up for the challenge,” Kirito smirked.
Without warning, Kirito shot forward, forcing Butterfli3 to retreat slightly to dodge the onslaught of his dual wielding attacks.
“AQUA VORTEX.” Butterfli3 called loudly and immediately the skill activated, flinging one of Kirito’s swords from his hand as the speed of the water propelled it away.
“Damn it,” Kirito muttered, resorting to his single wield technique.
Butterfli3 threw the chain whip sword out towards Kirito and the handsome man had no choice but to dodge and duck as the whip spiraled around him.
“He moves faster than light. I can’t hit him.” Butterfli3 muttered internally, trying desperately to land a hit but it was almost as if he were fighting a glitching monster and the attacks were going right through him.
Kirito was staying well within strike range and bid his time, knowing that the vortex had a attack limit and the minute it turned off he was going to launch his finishing attack.
All of a sudden the aqua vortex shut off and Kirito jumped forward.
“Shield!” Butterfli3 yelled and punched towards Kirito- lining his shield and sword up to point at Kirito’s chest and head.
He waited, nothing happened.
It was then that he realized Kirito had his sword slightly off to the side of the shield, a mere inch from his own neck but the black swordsman couldn’t move closer because if he did so he would be impaled in the stomach by Butterfli3’s sword.
Both men were puffing madly as they held rich other at sword point.
“Tie?” Butterfli3 asked through ragged breaths as he lowered his shield to see Kirito’s face.
“Tie,” Kirito confirmed, his chest rising and falling rapidly.
Both duelers dropped their swords and shook hands.
“That was a good fight,” Kirito said as he tried to calm his breathing.
Butterfli3 nodded. “Gave me a good workout that’s for sure…so what do we do regarding the wager?” he asked with a breathless laugh.
“Call it annulled,” Kirito replied, “although I’d still love to attend the wedding.”
“That’s a given,” Butterfli3 replied, “and you’re always welcome to stay with us on level 44 anytime you’re nearby.”
“Deal,” Kirito replied with a smile.
The two men approached you and Asuna, helping you both up off the grass.
“BUTTERFLI3! Your leg!” you gasped when you saw a thin trickle of blood dried on the skin, visible through the rip in his pants.
“And your pants too, Kirito!” Asuna chided in an annoyed motherly tone, “what to do with you boys!”
You all laughed and chatted lightly before finally saying goodbye and heading indoors to your respective houses.
“So did you guys tie?” you asked Butterfli3.
“Yes, but I felt like I won because he couldn’t break the sword you expertly re-enforced,” Butterfli3 said with a cheeky smile, “thank you again for making it much better. It’s perfect now.”