In a world with only cold weapons, the only thing that touches on a concept similar to magic would be the crystals that can be used for a multitude of purposes.
SAO’s crystal can be used in a variety of ways. Their functions differed on the color of the crystals.
A blue crystal is a teleport crystal that can teleport the user to a teleport gate Plaza of their choice. Pink crystals can be used to restore Hp, green crystal can be used to recover from status effects, and so on and so forth…
Each crystal is useful in their own way, with a single thought, one could achieve magic-like effects. Think about how useful an instant teleport item to a safe zone like the teleport crystal can be in dangerous situations. How useful is an item that can fully heal a player with only 1Hp left? These crystals are leagues better than their next best alternatives.
It is because they are so useful that the crystals are also more expensive than other items. The price was still okay during the early days where the player base is still developing. Now, crystals are so expensive average players can’t afford them.
When the Silver Flag guild master petitioned for Wu Yan and Kirito to imprison the Titan, he used all his wealth to buy the corridor crystal needed to send the Titan members into jail. This is due to the crystal’s ability to set up a gateway that can transport multiple players.
Players with healing crystals usually opt to use potions which are cheaper during rest time, saving the healing crystals for when they really need it.
To protect Lis, Kirito easily took out a teleport crystal and he gave it to Lis.
Lis had her own teleport crystal, but, this crystal given to her felt warmer and heavier to her than the one in her possession.
Lis had no idea that friends and comrades mattered more than these cold crystals. To ensure their safety, he’s not going to be stingy with giving these crystals out.
Also, while crystals can be expensive, Kirito is a top player who braved the frontline. 1 or 2 crystals are chump change to him.
Granted, not all crystals in SAO had such magical effects. The crystals littered around them are only materials. In the end, these crystals can be used for forging and nothing else. This is why they are cheaper than useful item crystals.
The crystals dimmed down when Kirito approached. A suppressive air started spreading with the dimming light. It felt like a boss is about to appear. Even Lis’ heart started racing due to this tense situation.
A dragon’s thunderous roar greeted them with a boom. The deafening roar spread throughout the dark night. The draconic echoes stopped Kirito while Lis yelled in shock. She immediately took cover behind a crystal pillar near her.
The crystalline peak shook and as the ground trembled, Lis almost fell to the ground after losing her balance. She grabbed the crystal pillar and she maintained her balance to prevent a disgraceful fall.
Meanwhile, Kirito firmly stood his ground as he unsheathed the Elucidator. He got into a stance like Asuna who stood far away.
Her chestnut-brown eyes glimmered and asked with Wu Yan with a grave tone.
“Should we assist them?”
Wu Yan rolled his eyes at her. He crossed his arms.
“Help with what? Help them fight an elite monster outside the labyrinth? Kirito can easily settle that elite monster in minutes. If you barged in, you’re going to have a harder time coming up with a valid excuse than fighting that monster.”
She lowered her weapon after hesitating for a brief moment. She didn’t sheath her rapier though, she’s ready to help the moment anything unexpected happens.
Wu Yan shook his head but he said nothing. Asuna is overreacting to this situation. For instance, Lisbeth isn’t a novice although she’s far weaker than Kirito. To add to that, she had Kirito by her side.
Wu Yan recalled how Lisbeth and Kirito’s material procurement journey went down in the original work. Lisbeth fell in love with Kirito and she confessed to him near the end of the episode. This means Lis’ route is about to come.
Wu Yan didn’t want to ruin the moment for Kirito. In cases like this, he’s content with watching from the side. Put it another way, he gets to watch a free show, what’s there to lose?
The crystal peak shattered and a western-type dragon with sharp crystalline spikes appeared.
With its thin and massive wings, the dragon shattered the crystals around it. The dragon revealed its true appearance in front of the two intruders. With strong legs that supported its massive frame, the dragon stood up on its hind legs. Brandishing its claws, the dragon roared with a pair of menacing red eyes.
With a flap of its wings, strong winds blew towards Kirito, making his coat dance wildly in the wind. Taking to the air, the dragon’s mouth started shining as a dense energy attack started building up.
Lis gasped and she yelled out loud.
“Watch out! It’s a dragon breath!”
A special attack skill known as the “breath”.
A pillar of scorching hot flames spewed forth from the crystal dragon as it swept towards Kirito. The air rose in temperature when the flames streaked by. This chilling attack would draw shivers if there were other players around.
Kirito unleashed a sword skill with a surge of light coming from Elucidator.
Kirito split the breath attack with a single vertical slash.
Lis held onto her Warhammer with a shocked look.
It looked like a David vs Goliath fight but the smaller opponent held far greater strength than the bigger fighter. The difference is like that of heaven and earth.
His possession of Elucidator hinted that Kirito isn’t your average player. However, Lis couldn’t be sure because she hasn’t seen Kirito in action. She assumed he’s just a normal raid group player, but, the power he is exhibiting clearly proved that he is stronger than even raid group members.
So he’s this strong…
Lisbeth watched as Kirito stood unyieldingly against a threatening opponent like this crystal dragon. Elucidator continued to flash with various colors as he went to town on that crystal dragon. The domineering dragon suffered multiple injuries against a smaller opponent like Kirito. Its HP bar steadily decreased, the dragon even got one of its limbs cut off by him.
Lis got out of her hiding spot with a victorious grin on her face.
“What are you doing? Finish it off!”
Kirito was taken aback by her movement.
“You idiot! Don’t come out right now!”
But it was too late, the crystal dragon noticed Lis and it sent Lis flying with an attack.
Kirito grabbed Lis and they fell into a bottomless pit near the battlefield.