58 Chapter 58: Let Me Sleep, Please.
The dangerous situation that came to Kirito and Lisbeth disappear like a lie.
As always, Rein's mere existence only is a number one cheat code. Even balance breaker is an appropriate title for him.
At the very least, Asuna who just spectated that instant, but crucial short seconds with her own retina think so.
More than that,
A huge breath of relief comes out from her mouth subconsciously. Her legs, which are burned out due to long sprint immediately begun to tremble for all the tension build up got washed.
Because Lisbeth, who supposed to be dead meat by right now is being embraced by Asuna herself. Even though there's a lack of realism from the ever-changing situation, the warm temperature radiate by Lisbeth's body is undoubtedly real.
"Lisbeth, are you okay?"
"E-eh? A-Asuna? Wh-why are you here!? No, more than that didn't I--"
....die. The moment that ominous word pops out her head, Lisbeth's mouth stop for saying the continuation.
It was a split hair time, but it felt like an eternity for her. When she was airborne, everything felt slowed down. Not only Kirito, but she also half-resigned her fate when she recognized her own predicament.
So. She, who is able to talk with her friend freely like this begun to wonder HOW did she get saved.
Asuna only pointed to the guy with her thin finger to the front, where he is still blocking the dragon's attack quite leisurely without feeling much tension.
"It's him. The one who saved you is my guildmaster."
"...Eh? EEHH!? T-the Silver Star, Rein!?"
"Yes. The one and only."
Right now, her mouth is open and closing like a gold carp from the big shock she received. Not to forget, that man's popularity is the same as a national idol. Even Lisbeth knows and admires his extraordinary feat.
And when she is still unable to close her mouth...
The fight's curtain is closed at the same time.
Retracting his own weapon, he gives his hand to support the fallen Kirito and faces the members of this exploration.
"Come on, let's hurry up finish your business and go home. I don't want to catch a cold."
....This is being repeated, but freaking disease or whatnot won't ever, e~~~~ver gets to players.
What a thick nerve he has, able to joke even after finishing a big fight.
(Gosh, that was so close.)
Right now, he's enjoying the tea poured like some elegant noble from the host who is still melting the material gotten from the mountain. Of course, Lisbeth is used to blacksmithing, but that doesn't mean she won't be suffering at all from the extreme heat. If anyone looks at this scene without understanding the context, then Rein is the prime example of the bad noble exploiting a poor girl to do his bidding.
But sadly, he can't even grab the teacup properly, much less carrying to his mouth in a smooth fashion. It's an obvious result. Rather, just him able to move normally albeit with trembling hands is already the realm of miracle.
He has used the power of limitless on a reckless fashion. Not only that, he even did it on a row without giving any sort of interval.
Compared to other players who are just using nerve gear with helmet shape, Rein is experiencing sensation much sharper and accurate fashion with high-end capsule he personally made.
Which means the pain he's feeling results to several times severe. This is the cost for doing it discreetly with the combination of dangerous power push.
"...Haha. I'm gonna die at this rate."
Even though he said that in a bitter laugh mixed with a bit of humor, that will turn to reality if he is repeating this again and again. Not on the distant future, but on weeks only.
Why does God, who made the humans set a limit on their body?
It's because they couldn't hold its enormous potential just with their own measly body.
Rein may be trained by Yuuji and has an extraordinary body, but that's not even nearly enough. At best, he's just 'slightly' outside on the realm of humanity. So he wasn't supposed to use the power limitless like some ordering pizza on delivery.
But well, he threw away that kind of thought into the gutter a long time ago.
(At least I don't need to mourn anymore.)
Because he chose this decision unhesitatingly. To be precise, he put the condition of his body with Kirito's life on the scale.
Firstly, bulldozing the wave of monsters? That is acceptable. His body could still take that amount of burden. The problem is when he reached the top of the summit. Looking at the scene where Lisbeth and Kirito are on death door, he was forced to chose.
Chose between Kirito and Lisbeth's life. Asuna is already tired to the extreme so only Rein could save one of them if he didn't break his limit. That's why Rein took extreme measure by doing that idiotic action.
The result? An extraordinary amount of pain assaulting his body for hours, possibly for days if he doesn't rest properly.
While he is still suffering agonizingly, Asuna comes out from the blacksmithing section where Kirito and Lisbeth resides. Of course, the pretext for going inside that room is, "I want to see your work, Lisbeth", with an 'evil' intention of erasing a possibility the couple forming between Kirito and Lisbeth.
Right immediately exiting the room, she headed toward where Rein is.
There are some questions needed to be answered from him after all.
But that can put on hold right now.
"Guildmaster, how's your condition?"
"....Terrible, I gue--Uhck!?"
While trying to answer it by waving his hand nonchalantly, a terrible pain comes to him which lead to stop own action abruptly.
"..*sigh*. Guildmaster, let's head to your house immediately. You need to rest."
Actually, Asuna wants to say lots and lots of things to this idiot guildmaster for putting himself on risk. But looking at this pitiful condition, she doesn't have the heart to even scold him lightly anymore.
It was a tiring day in many ways.
-SAO 22nd floor, Rein's house.-
Apparently, the difference between reality and fiction is really huge. No, should it be said, it's omitted?
In the story, Lisbeth only needs several minutes minimum or one-hour maximum to build a weapon for Kirito. However, the person herself commented that she needs 3 days top. To analyze the material, discuss the main features for the sword with Kirito, and screening her own skills for the best smelting operation.
Actually, she can drop all this hassle and use auto production method but, she never uses it even once. It won't be discussed in depth, but manual between automatic function has a huge impact depending on the skill of the blacksmith.
In any case, both pairs need time to do their own thing.
As for this side?
"How do you feel right now?"
"Much better. Fuhhh... never thought a bed feels like heaven."
"Fufu, you are always exaggerating in strange things."
"Hey, I'm a patient, alright. Humor me a bit, won't you?"
"You already have a beautiful girl like me nursing you, so no complaints please."
"....Dear God. All the girls in my guild are 'spectacular' in many ways."
"Why thank you."
"....Is there a word called 'humility' in your dictionary?"
"Hul. Not even a fraction of hesitation."
(Author note: The 'hul' here is an expression of shock. You'll see it often if you read KN novel.)
A banter? Much more like a girlfriend caring for her boyfriend with deep love. If any bachelors see this scene, they would definitely throw stones to him without mercy.
However, the fun(?) conflict gradually stop when Asuna looking at the lying Rein on his bed with a peaceful serenity. His pale face, which has no blemish and shaped on a perfect balance is an ideal one, even for women including her.
Unfortunately, she couldn't comment on his body as she never sees it personally. That doesn't mean her imagination won't run wild though.
(Wait, what am I thinking!?)
Shaking her head fervently, she snaps out of dirty(?) thoughts and regains her wits. There is this thing called TPO and this is definitely not the time for thinking so.
Well... but it CAN be the place and occasion for it though. After all, it IS Rein's house and they are alone. A perfect situation, right?
Renewing her mind, she coughs slightly and made a serious expression faced toward him.
"...Guildma--- No, Rein."
This is one of the 'code' Rein noticed, but Asuna has a habit to call Rein with his name or guildmaster in different occasion.
The latter is for business matter and the prior is mostly in private.
And she herself judges that the question she'll ask lead to a private one. Quite rare for a strict and upright girl like her.
(But that just shows how serious she is, huh?)
His deduction is right on the money.
"Did something happen to Kirito-kun?"
How sharp. He honestly thought it like that the moment she asks this question to him.
(It can't be helped though.)
There are quite a few hints given already. His changing attitude on these days, the sudden request of a new sword, and how her guildmaster change gear in that exploration.
"...*groan*... straight to the core, aren't you? The question really fits your personality."
"Please don't dodge it. I'm asking this because I'm worried about him."
(Worried, she said.)
Chuckling a bit from the word spoken, a faint smile formed on his face for his friend being 'loved'.
Of course, the word 'loved' in his context is very, very different from the real meaning.
Some people might feel annoyed just why does this dolt haven't noticed a high school girl's feeling directed to him.
But well, it can't be blamed entirely on him as he has past that makes it so and Asuna's protective action toward Lisbeth is quite extreme.
(Author's note: I'll explain his past in later chapters.)
Misunderstanding is usually formed in this way because of both side can't express their thoughts crystal clear.
Really, what a drama it is.
Anyway, back to the main topic.
"What do you want to know, specifically?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
A question mark is fully described on Rein's face. He understands Asuna is curious but, at least she should specify which part to know.
(It's not she would want to----.....Don't tell me.)
A spooky feeling creeps up to his spine. His face which already pales from the beginning is more like a vampire now.
...Aaaaand, his deduction is right on the spot, again.
With a bright smile rivaling an innocent, cute child, Asuna push this guy to a unique form of torture.
"From the beginning until the end. We have all~~~ the time we need."
"....Can I have my sleep peacefully, please?"
Huh. Never thought a single word can be so cold. Even the snowstorm is less bad than this.
What a tough love from his mother figure.