❯ .hack//LIMINALITY – Chapter 1
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters from .hack, they all belong to the creators of the game, manga, anime and etc. etc. I’m only borrowing them for awhile. This is a yuri fanfiction, so if that sort of thing bothers you I’d suggest reading something else..
The Root Town of Delta Server bustled with life, players running up and down walkways and sailing the canals as they bought items, traded and connected with parties of adventurers. Gardenia strode down the street confidently, the red eyed blonde dressed in white light armor as she carried her latest deadly lance. She was a well known player for her beauty and style, though that could be a bit of a problem….
“It’s Ms Gardenia!” a female player squealed from behind her.
Another girl sighed, “She looks so cool!”
“Let’s see if we can get her player address,” a new player suggested eagerly clearly unaware such a request might be impolite.
‘Oh hell,’ Gardenia cursed, hurrying off before the girls could mobilize. What she really wanted was just to adventure in peace, but the fangirls made it all very difficult. Turning down a alley she heard the girl’s chatter as she ducked into a dark corner, waiting until they passed. With a sigh of relief she hurried off to the main walkway, starting towards the chaos gate.
“Excuse me?” a female voice asked, “Is that you, Gardenia?”
With a sinking feeling Gardenia turned, only to blink as she recognized the girl as a twin blade she had fought beside before in one of Kite’s parties. “Natsumi,” she nodded calmly to the green haired girl.
“I thought it was you,” Natsumi smiled, looking cutely shy in her usual blue one piece outfit. She frowned, “Are you in a hurry?”
“A little,” Gardenia said as she gestured for Natsumi to follow her, “talk with me while I go to the chaos gate.”
“Right,” Natsumi trotted beside her, “I heard about a higher level Twin Blade weapon, but I haven’t been able to form a party to go after it.” She smiled sheepishly, “Most of my friends are lower level than I am….”
“Have you sent a message to Kite?” Gardenia wondered as a idea began to form, “I’m sure he’d agree to help.”
“He’s not online,” Natsumi answered and all but admitted she’d tried that first.
Gardenia chuckled to herself softly as they reached the slowly spinning gold ring of the chaos gate. ‘If I go with her, I at least won’t be around the fangirls,’ she silently mused before saying, “Very well, I’ll go with you.”
Natsumi clapped her hands together, “Thank you!”
“So who will be our third member?” Gardenia asked as she quickly checked her inventory, satisfied to see she had enough healing potions, fortune wires and other essential items for dungeon questing.
“Do we need one?” Natsumi asked, frowning a little. A shy smile, “I’d rather not split the treasure three ways.”
Gardenia fought back a smile at that as she asked, “You have a healing skill?”
Natsumi laughed, “Of course, I learned that lesson the hard way.”
“Then let’s try it,” Gardenia said as she formally gave Natsumi her member address.
With that Natsumi formed the party, entered the area, and in a moment they found themselves in a new area. Around them swept fields of grass, occasionally broken up by standing stones and the occasional flower that made Gardenia smile slightly in admiration under a clear, cloudless blue sky.
“All right,” Natsumi raised one of her blades, “let’s go.”
“Let’s,” Gardenia answered, following Natsumi’s lead.
Natsumi was eager but quite capable, Gardenia soon noted as they worked across the field clearing out monsters. Despite her seeming lack of confidence she ran their battles wisely, testing with strength first then deciding if skills would be needed to defeat a enemy. Together they made a surprisingly good team, her slashing away from afar then Natsumi boldly leaping in to finish the enemy off.
“All right,” Natsumi cheered as they defeated the last monster on the surface and the all monsters cleared notice appeared.
“Not bad,” Gardenia nodded, “now let’s head for the dungeon.” As Natsumi raced off she called, “Take your time! I need to restore my SP first.”
“Oh, right,” Natsumi blushed as they walked to the dungeon entrance, “mine was getting kinda low, too.”
They soon reached the twin flames that marked the tunnel leading down into the dungeons, and with a wary stance they descended into the dimly lit underworld. In the roughly carved out first room Natsumi wisely activated a fairy’s orb, the item showing them roughly where their enemies might be.
“Well populated dungeon,” Gardenia noted as she saw all the rooms and red dots, starting in the next room and covering right to the stairs farther down.
Natsumi gulped softly, “Too well populated?”
“We can handle it,” Gardenia said firmly, “just as long as we’re careful.” As they advanced she said, “Keep an eye on my health meter and I’ll watch yours… if they drop below a quarter, use repth or a health potion.”
“Got it,” Natsumi promised as they headed into the first large room, charged the portal and watched it unfold to reveal a monster.
“Good,” Gardenia purred as the massive stone figure appeared, “a big one. I wouldn’t want our first opponent to be too weak.”
With that menace defeated they moved from room, slaying various earth based creatures to start with, though they saw a few water types too. With treasure split they descended through level upon level, eventually descending five times beneath the ground.
‘She’s good,’ Gardenia admitted as they paused to take stock, ‘really good!’ More unusually Gardenia had found herself enjoying the World more than she had been before,. Except maybe the times she had worked with Kite. ‘Is this what it’s like to have a real partner?’ she wondered.
“How are you holding up?” Natsumi asked worriedly.
“I’ve still got a few health drinks left and my SP is good,” Gardenia answered her crisply, “how about you?”
“About the same,” Natsumi agreed. “I’ve got a few decent spell scrolls saved, too, just in case,” she added brightly.
“Heh,” Gardenia felt a odd sense of satisfaction, knowing she had also kept powerful weapons in reserve. “You know,” she said as they set out once more, “I think you really have the potential to be a great player.”
“Thank you,” Natsumi blushed.
Fighting through the final set of rooms was far harder than anything that they had faced before. Both of them were exhausted, running low on supplies and wondering if the final prize might really be worth it, but then they would look at the other and find strength and hope in the other’s steely determination.
“KY-AAAA!” Gardenia roared as she struck a final blow, sending the beast dissolving into random data. She leaned on the lance, panting as Natsumi staggered over to her side.
“Are you all right?” Natsumi asked even as she used up her last health drink to restore some of the other girl’s vitality.
“You didn’t need to do that,” Gardenia rose, the two standing by the final gate, “there’s only one room left, it must be the treasure room.”
“Just in case,” Natsumi smiled slightly as she mused, “I’d hate to be surprised.”
“Heh,” a ghost of a smile crossed Gardenia’s face as they advanced into the last chamber.
The room was small with a paved floor, unlike the rest of the dungeon and a mysterious statue floated behind a gleaming treasure chest. They walked up to it slowly, savoring their triumph and stretching out the anticipation of what the prize might be.
“Go on,” Gardenia waved her to the treasure box.
Natsumi opened it, then turned to Gardenia as she smiled and said, “Here.”
“Huh?” Gardenia took it as she heard the computer chime, ‘Natsumi has given you Odin’s Spear.’ She gaped at the item, stunned, “This isn’t….”
Natsumi smiled, “I sort of fibbed. The item I heard of was a item for your class… and of all the ones I know, I thought you deserved it.”
Gardenia blinked at her, “But what about your quest to become stronger…?”
“I leveled up and got plenty of items,” Natsumi waved that off, “besides…” The other girl blushed faintly, “I thought it was time someone did something for you.”
“I…” Gardenia, for the first time in a long time was at a loss. “Thank you,” she finally managed.
“You’re welcome,” Natsumi smiled as she used a sprite oceana to return them to the field, then they gated out.
As they appeared in root town Gardenia told Natsumi, “If you need help again, all me.” Natsumi said her farewells then disbanded the party, the green haired girl racing away to sell and trade off items. ‘You know,’ a faintly blushing Gardenia thought as she watched Natsumi go, ‘I think I may understand how a girl can get crushed on another girl….’
Notes: I always kind of liked Gardenia, and found her all girl fanclub kinda funny. I figure if you’re drawing girls like that, there must be something about you that sympathizes… or something. *lol* Takes place somewhere in disk one or two of .hack games, I suppose.