Asuna and Yui exchanged a look. They came and they stood by Wu Yan's sides.
Asuna hesitated for a moment.
"We cleared the game, right?"
Kayaba Akihiko closed his eyes, he let the wind flutter his white cape.
"Indeed, you guys cleared the game..."
He waved his hand and an interface appeared in front of him.
"The 6,000 or so players who are still alive were logged out safely about 5 minutes ago."
Asuna released a sigh of relief. She kept her eyes on Kayaba.
"Then, why are we still here? Aren't we supposed to return to the real world?..."
Kayaba glanced at her and he assured her.
"Don't worry, you guys cleared the game so I won't go back on my words. I brought you guys here because I had a few questions for Wu Yan-kun..."
Asuna and Yui grabbed Wu Yan's hands. They vigilantly looked at Kayaba. Wu Yan is surprised Kayaba chose to phrase his rather forceful dialogue like this. But, he didn't think Kayaba would pull any stunt...
He touched their hands, a signal for them to calm down. Wu Yan stepped up as he conversed with Kayaba.
"I am quite curious, we barely talked more than a few times, what on earth are you still puzzled about?..."
"That may have been the case before SAO started. Although our encounters are... countable with a single hand..."
Kayaba continued with an ambiguous tone.
"But, I have always been watching you."
Wu Yan's not surprised. His performance definitely warranted the Game Master's attention. It would be weird if Kayaba turned a blind eye to him. He waited for Kayaba to finish his sentence.
"I have a question for you..."
Kayaba looked straight into Wu Yan's mien.
"The moment I turned SAO into a death game. I already resolved myself to damnation and hatred by the players I have harmed. This enormous sin is mine and mine alone to bear..."
"The day I used my administrative privileges to lock every player in this world as Kayaba Akihiko. I was sure each and every player would hate this game to their cores. I was steady in that belief..."
"Until I met you. You really threw the spanner in my works here..."
"Funny, I never heard you cursing this game nor express your resentment of this world, nor have I ever heard you grumbling about being stuck here."
"I trapped you here, placed a metaphorical guillotine above your head. Why? How are you so unfazed by the thought of dying any moment?"
Kayaba asked with an urgent tone.
"Please, answer me..."
Wu Yan looked up at the sky. He sounded unsure even when he knows the answer.
"Because, the threat of constant death is as real in this game as it is in my life, I guess that's why..."
Kayaba isn't exactly pleased with Wu Yan's vague answer. He's smart but he couldn't read minds.
When he wanted to say something, Wu Yan continued, stopping him right there.
"Anyway, a game's a game..."
Wu Yan grinned and he stretched his back with a satisfied look.
"I had a ton of fun playing this game and that's enough for me!"
Kayaba's eyes brightened up when he heard this. The guy had his answer.
He looked at Wu Yan. Then, he looked at Asuna and Yui who are still basking in the afterglow of Wu Yan's words. He mused out loud.
"Maybe, you're the one who is right..."
Kayaba turned his back on Wu Yan & co.
"Right, I forgot to congratulate you. Congratulations, Yan-kun, you cleared the game..."
Kayaba walked towards the horizon as he slowly disappeared into thin air. It was like he never showed up.
The System's mechanical voice notified Wu Yan of his successful quest clear.
Mandatory mission completed, releasing power-limiters for mandatory quest. The user may now exit the SAO transcript world and return to Silvaria at will.
Maybe it's because he missed the System, the mechanical and emotionless voice sounded cute to Wu Yan.
Asuna grabbed Yui's hand and she came over to Wu Yan's side. She continued looking in the direction where Kayaba disappeared.
"Did the captain return to the real world?..."
"Hmm, who knows..."
Wu Yan shrugged.
"Not that it matters to me!"
She grabbed Wu Yan's hand. She looked at his face with shining eyes.
"With this, we can return to the real world, right?..."
Wu Yan rubbed Asuna's head while sighing with a soothing exhalation.
"Alright, I fulfilled one of the promises I made to you..."
Asuna nodded and she leaned her head against his chest. Wu Yan reached around her waist and he pulled Yui into this embrace too.
"Also, Yui, let's go back to the real world!"
Yui was stunned, Asuna's not doing any better too.
Wu Yan skipped the explanation.
"Yui, you're going to sleep for a short duration but you have my word that we will see each other again when you wake up, stay strong okay?..."
She used her innocent eyes to stare into Wu Yan's windows to the soul. She had no clue what Wu Yan will do, as long as they can stay together, she placed her complete trust in her father.
"That's my girl!"
Wu Yan pinched her nose. He dived into his consciousness.
"System, gather Yui's code and materialize her!"
Yui's body started shining as Asuna gasped.
Yui slowly succumbed to her fatigue. When she fell asleep, her body got elongated and then immediately shrunk to an orb of light.
The light orb slowly landed on Wu Yan's palm. It shattered like a fragile marble, leaving a blue crystal on his palm.
Asuna had a hard time wrapping her head around the situation. Wu Yan bitterly laughed.
"Relax, our daughter will be able to reunite with us in the real world soon enough..."
Wu Yan hugged Asuna softly. He whispered in her ears.
"Now, my future wife-sama, could you please tell me your real name?..."
"Wh-who's your wife..."
Asuna lowered her head in a bashful manner.
"Asuna, Yuuki Asuna..."
Wu Yan chortled.
"Yeah, Asuna sounds way better..."
Asuna glared at him.
"It's the same pronunciation..."
"But I like Asuna better!"
Wu Yan rubbed Asuna's back.
"Sit tight, I will be right there..."
Asuna gave him a bright smile. Her cheeks were flushed and she had tears of joy rolling down the sides of her face...
"Yeah, I will be waiting for you..."