Krissu is of fairly normal length for being 16 years old, and wouldn't be called thin nor fat. She hasn't got much female curvature either, though. Her hair is very long, reaching down almost all over the length of her back with just the slightest hint of curls, and it has a brightly red color to it. Her face is pretty thin and usually a friendly and carefree one, unless she is alone and begins pondering her deep thoughts about this world; then she suddenly looks intimidatingly mature. Her brightly green eyes are as wide and alert as they come, as good as always. She often makes different grimaces or expressions, so it's fairly easy to read what she's feeling at a given time.
When she is in safe areas like towns, she usually wears japanese inspired clothing like kimonos. In the field, though, her preferred attire is a black leather vest over a blue shirt. The vest was a drop from a dungeon monster and has a higher defense level than it seems. On her feet, dark leather boots are worn. The boots are crafted by an in-game friend of Krissu's. She wears slim black pants with no special qualities and always carries around a waist satchel for crystals and other things that won't need to be taken out via the inventory menu. Her weapon of choice at the moment is a broad sword that is of a bright metal that seems to gleam in a coral shade. But it's just a two handed Broadsword with a flashy design, even though it cost Krissu a lot to buy.
Real life Christina Ikara used to struggle to live up to her family's expectations but didn't really think much about what other people thought of her, even if they found out that she worked hard. In SAO, things have changed somewhat. Now, nobody expects her to do anything anymore, because they are all in the same situation. Krissu realized that she missed having people relying on her and wanting her to work, so in lieu of that, she now set in her mind to be better than others at something. To show her worth. But she quickly realized that a majority of players focused on fighting and become really strong during the first month. She would have to work twice as hard as in the real life to stand out in that crowd. So instead, she chose to be different.
The Alchemy skill wasn't as popular as Forging or Speed or some other weapon or battle oriented skill. So even if it sounded a bit complicated and even boring, Krissu took Alchemy up with the intent of becoming unsuspectingly good at it eventually. She wanted to surprise people. And it turned out that she did have a knack for it. When her mind floods with troubled thoughts about SAO and life, performing Alchemy calms her down. It has become a way for her to escape from herself and immense herself in dealing with details, letting her escape the worries of the virtual world around her for a while. Another great thing with Alchemy is that it gives her a reason to venture away from the city now and then to gather ingredients. Many alchemists buy their ingredients and sell their products expensively; Krissu gathers her own ingredients most of the time and annoys her rivals with lower prices and exotic wares. But there's a downside to this style as well: since he's doing fieldwork now and then, customers never really know when she's available for making purchases and when she's away.
The Hiding skill is something she picked up a bit later, this time to stray from the popular choice of becoming a "tamer" with the Taming skill that had risen recently. She was a bit afraid that people would label her as sneaky if she picked Hiding for a major skill, since it could be associated with bandits and thievery. But it was really nifty when she was racing fields to gather common ingredients and wanted to avoid annoying low level monsters. She'd just leap from shadow to shadow and go by unnoticed.
These skills wouldn't help her become a strong player who could do battle at the front lines to try and save everyone from SAO, Krissu realized this. But as a month passed by, she started to get used to life here and thoughts of the old, real world felt more and more surreal. It was fine. It was a good thing that she got used to this life, because who knows if they would ever really escape? But at the same time, her whole being hurts when she realizes that she's starting to let go of her past self. Whenever she thinks too much about this, he easily becomes frustrated and that's when she feels the need to escape the confines of the safe city and venture out into the nature - to feel alive. Krissu is torn between what guts and reason tell her.
Why would a girl like her choose to wield a large greatsword for weapon class, by the way? Well, her brothers used to practice kendo diligently but she never got to participate. Now was her chance to do something she couldn't do in real life. To make a choice for herself. Plus, it might help clearing her of being labeled as sneaky. I mean, what thief goes around wielding a huge weapon?
Christina Ikara was a hard studying girl with top grades. She also practiced a traditional form of Japanese dancing almost every day with her grandmother as tutor. She had never really loved dancing; her family forced her to practice it since it was a family tradition that they did not intend to lose in this modern age. The Ikara family had a long history of being advisers and servants to the old leaders in feudal Japan and they still lived their everyday life in a very traditional way, even though Christina's parents and older brothers embraced modernities more willingly. The reason that she is fair haired is that her mother is British and her genes seem to have fallen upon her almost entirely, apart from the shape of her face and her body build. Her older brothers look more Japanese and are very ambitious and popular. Christina always had to work hard to follow in their footsteps in the female way, while she kept up the charade of it not being a problem at all.
Christina's time was divided into three parts. One was for studying. The other was for training. And the last part was for gaming. She would not strike you as a nerd when you first met her, but her favorite thing next to receiving top grades or getting a break in the middle of a tough dancing exercise was to roam a vast and beautiful fantasy world, playing as the adventurer she knew she could never be for real. She used to play as both female and male characters - it didn't matter much what her avatar looked like, actually. She liked to play in first person just to make it feel like she was really there. In online games, she often teamed up with others and tried to show off her skills and strengths... and whenever someone turned out to be better or stronger, Christina got upset. She did not like to be odd and choose difficult classes, though; just like with school and dancing, she struggled within the lines of normality and what she was expected to be and do, and tried to come out on top no matter what. That totally changed when she found herself stuck in Aincrad, though...
The Nerve Gear was the ultimate invention, to Christina. Once she got her hands on the hardware, she started to have trouble keeping her focus up in school and during training. Sure, the games available weren't exciting at all, other than that they actually let it feel like you were in a completely different place, but she kept hoping that something some day would come that would radically change everything. And then Sword Art Online came. Christina didn't manage to become a Beta Tester, but she did manage to get her hands on an online copy of the game when the real thing finally released.
- Panicked when it was revealed that everyone could die for real and were unable to log out. Hid for a while, until she found likeminded people and bonded together out of necessity.
- 1st week after revelation: made some friends in Starter City and partied up to go out and train on the fields. Still shaken and not really in her usual mood of trying to be the very best. She was more afraid of getting herself or someone else killed and was protecting her party members with almost annoying diligence.
- 2nd week: realized that this wasn't something that would be over soon. They would likely be stuck in Aincrad for a long time. Couldn't stand being stuck in Starter City any longer and took with her the people who dared to follow to the second floor. They were not the ones to beat the boss and advance the front lines, though; they merely teleported and started leveling there instead.
- Start of 3rd week: Krissu was starting to get back into her old self, no longer protecting her party members at all costs but rather trying to be up front and in the spotlight even more than she had when this was just a game. Eventually continued to the third floor on her own since none of her friends thought there was a point to putting themselves in danger when there were people who actually wanted to do that. Krissu soloed in Floor 3 for a while and could only think about wanting to get back to the real world and end SAO.
- End of 3rd week: after frantically having roamed Floor 3 for a while and partying up with random people, Krissu watched another player die in front of herand finally collapsed, mentally and physically. She was found and brought to Blues Village. There, she was forced to rest for a while, under the care of an unusually old player who was an alchemist. Krissu did a lot of thinking and decided that it was pointless to try and be the best player in the usual sense here. It wasn't a game anymore. It was a life. She had to find her own way through it all. When she felt ready, she returned to Celedona on Floor 2.
- 4th week: adopted Alchemy for a major skill and quickly grew good at it. She and some of her acquaintances from Starter City and Celedona formed a base camp in Celedona, without yet forming a real guild. They all decided to focus on different profession skills rather than battling. Eventually, Krissu picked Hiding as another major skill.
It was unreal.
The earth was solid underneath my feet and straws of high grass brushed against my legs as I ran. A wind rustled my blonde curls, which looked exactly the same here as they did in real life, and a sunlight from a source I couldn't define shone into my eyes, forcing me to squint. But it was alright. The field was vast and open and I could run and run for hours without stopping. This world was huge, and I was free to go wherever I wanted to. That alone was a thing unreal!
Rushing towards me in opposite direction was a dark blue boar with eyes gleaming red at her. We were only a few meters apart now and closing in fast. The boar looked angry, but I suspected that it held no emotion at all. It was just programmed to angrily attack any player that went within its range. Just as we were supposed to defeat it and grow in levels. Everything was governed by rules here. Even my motions.
I raised my large sword over my head as I ran, feeling the strange sensation rush through my arms and make the blade glow faintly red. I'll probably never get used to the feeling experienced as a Swort Art activates. It sure had taken me not a few swings to learn how to pose to activate them correctly. This was an easy one, [Swing Down]. Probably the simplest thing you could do with a Greatsword.
The boar leaped, letting out an angry squeal. I let out a battleshout; not because it actually could power up my attack at this low level, but because it made me feel stronger. Mentally, at least. In the exact right time, I twisted my body to the side and swung the greatsword down at my foe, letting the game system direct me. The boar soared past me but had a large cleavage in the middle of its body now. Instead of blood, a red, glowing and strangely striped substance poured out for a moment as the creature's image froze in midair. Then the boar's body sprung into a thousand glittering pieces of data, or whatever it really was. It was defeated and I was still standing.
A screen popped up in the air in front of me, showing how much experience I got from the fight. Not enough to get up to level 3, but still good. Soon, I would be too strong for these small creatures and would need to advance to the next Floor of Aincrad to keep getting stronger before I got bored. I couldn't stay here for too long if I wanted to be in the top! I knew other players had already went into the dungeon and tried to find the boss room. I wouldn't try yet. Several players had died doing that and had to face the awkwardness of respawning in the Starter Plaza. I wouldn't do that! When I went into the dungeon I wouldn't come out again until I had visited Floor 2.
"Oi!" the player who had been watching me fight called out. I turned around with a content gleam in my eyes and was greeted with a thumbs up. "At this rate, it won't be long until we have to go into the dungeon or find some hidden ruins or something here, in order to grow stronger!" he said, mirroring my recent thoughts.
"I know!" I said. "I just want to hit Level 3 before we go."
"That's right!" the other player laughed heartily. I took at moment to watch him more closely. He was a tall, strong guy, aged 20 in the real world and with skin black as the night. We had partied up at random in the Starting Plaza today, because both of us just wanted to go out into the wilderness and grind for experience for a while. After this day, I doubted that I would see him again. With ten thousand players, and probably more to come as soon as more copies of SAO were distributed, I could change partners every day for a long time without having to face the same person twice. It was a relief and a bit sad at the same time.
He was the first person I added to my friends list. I'm not sure why I did it. In the real world, I wasn't too eager to get and keep close friends. My life was busy enough as it was, with my family and all. But as it would turn out, having friends in this world would be crucial for survival. At least for me.