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Kashiwazaka Hiyori (柏坂 ひより, Kashiwazaka Hiyori?), known as Lux (ルクス, Rukusu?) in «Sword Art Online» (SAO) and «ALfheim Online» (ALO), and temporarily known as Kuro (クロ, Kuro?) in ALfheim Online, is one of the main characters in the Girls Ops spinoff. She was one of the 10,000 players trapped in «Sword Art Online», where she was coerced into joining Laughing Coffin and supplying the guild by entering towns as a green player after being rescued from a dungeon trap by them. After the guild was destroyed during a crusade conducted by the Clearers, Lux decided to remain inconspicuous for the rest of her time in Aincrad. Before the game was cleared, she befriended a girl named Rossa, who later sacrificed her life to save Lux.
After Sword Art Online was cleared and New Aincrad was released in ALfheim Online, Hiyori decided to play the game with a newly-created avatar, named Kuro due to her admiration for Kirito as the person who cleared the death game. The randomised avatar had a remarkable resemblance to Kirito's Sword Art Online avatar, she decided to get similar clothes and even attempted to imitate his dual wielding style in the game out of great admiration for him. Although she mostly used her second sword for parrying, she was able to reproduce One-Handed Sword Sword Skills with both swords to imitate Kirito's style.
When the Angel's Ring quest from Sword Art Online was implemented in ALfheim Online, Kuro immediately initiated the quest to obtain the Ring of Angel's Whisper due to a promise she had made to her friend Rossa in Sword Art Online. During the quest, Kuro encountered Leafa, Lisbeth, and Silica and became friends with them throughout the course of the quest. In the aftermath of the quest, Hiyori began attending the SAO Survivor School and started meeting her new friends in real life. She also decided to import her Sword Art Online avatar, Lux.
ALfheim Online Avatar
Although Kuro was randomly generated by the system, it greatly resembles the appearance of Kirito's Spriggan avatar: slightly long black hair and a delicate, feminine face with long elf ears. After noticing the similarity, Kuro chose to wear similar clothes to Kirito's: a black leather coat with a black shirt underneath and matching black gloves, pants and boots. She also uses two swords, similarly to how Kirito used Elucidator and Dark Repulser. Although the two swords that Kuro uses have similar features and colours to Kirito's swords, their design is much more plain.
Hiyori later changed her avatar in ALO to a version imported from Sword Art Online, Lux, whose appearance is nearly identical to her real life appearance, except for her long elf ears. Lux is a Sylph who has long, bright hair and wears a coat with an emphasis on the chest area, and boots. Her avatar also had a Laughing Coffin tattoo on the front of her upper left thigh, but the tattoo faded soon after her avatar was imported.
During her time in SAO, Hiyori was a person who was reluctant to trust others, until she met a girl named Rossa, who befriended her. However, after Rossa sacrificed herself to shield Hiyori from a lethal attack, Hiyori began to avoid people again, feeling that she did not want to lose anyone else precious to her. Though when she forgets about her decision to stay away from players, she is shown to enjoy the company of other people.
Hiyori is a protective and caring person, as shown by how she shielded Leafa, Lisbeth and Silica from a monster's attack and the first thing she asked them was whether any of them were hurt. It is also made apparent by the fact that she wishes to become stronger just so that she could protect everyone with her own strength.
Shortly before the 50th Floor of Aincrad was reached, Lux had formed a temporary party with a few other players in an attempt to clear a notoriously dangerous dungeon on the 32nd Floor that was rumoured to feature a particularly rare drop. However, due to the numerous traps, her party was soon scattered. Separated from her party, Lux wandered into a teleporter trap that sent her into an Anti-Crystal Area, where she was surrounded and disarmed by pig-like monsters. Paralyzed by the fear of death, Lux was unable to continue fighting; however, before the monsters could kill her, she was saved by PoH and several other members of Laughing Coffin.
Lux was about to be killed by one of the members, when PoH suddenly interfered, presenting her an ultimatum to join Laughing Coffin as a town infiltration member, or be left in the dungeon to die alone. Terrified, Lux reluctantly chose to join the guild, being branded with a guild tattoo by the other members moments later.
As a town infiltration specialist, Lux's duties consisted of buying supplies in town, finding efficient hunting grounds, and reporting on the activities of rival guilds, such as the Knights of the Blood, among other tasks that could only be performed by a green player. While performing her duties, she often met with Gwen, the leader of an orange guild associated with Laughing Coffin, and the two became close.
In August 2024, Lux and Gwen had formed a party to acquire a rare item drop. However, upon returning to the Laughing Coffin hideout after finally obtaining the item, they witnessed a single Laughing Coffin member fleeing the hideout and warning them to escape, just before Godfree and two other members of the Knights of the Blood apprehended him. Moments later, both Lux and Gwen were also discovered; however, due to Lux's green cursor, she was mistaken for a hostage. As Lux hesitated to admit being a Laughing Coffin member, Gwen alone was pursued, causing their friendship to crumble.
In the aftermath of the incident, Lux decided to remain inconspicuous for the rest of her time in Aincrad. The only person she interacted with thereon was Rossa, who sacrificed herself to save her at some point before Aincrad was cleared.
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Kuro first appeared fighting a monster in an abandoned tower for the Ring of the Angel quest in New Aincrad. As the boss's Hit Points (HP) bar closed to depletion, she was found by Leafa, Lisbeth and Silica, who had also come to defeat the monster for the quest. As the boss attempted to attack the girls with an Area of Effect (AoE) attack, Kuro blocked the attack and finished off the boss by using the monster's post-attack delay to deal the final blow.
While on their way back to the Angel's rose garden, Silica accidentally fell onto Kuro after an earthquake, causing Silica to get embarrassed. Realising that she had not yet introduced herself, Kuro told the trio her name and revealed that she was actually a female. After reaching the rose garden and finding it in ruins, Kuro realised that she had gotten too close to the trio. Thus, due to her aversion to forming a party, she declared her intention to continue with the quest alone and left the girls.
Following a trail left by the giant who ravaged the garden, Kuro arrived to a room where slime monsters spawned continuously for a period of time. Kuro engaged the slime monsters in battle, but began to be overwhelmed by their numbers, while their attacks eroded her clothes. However, midway through the battle, she received assistance from the three girls. Although initially against accepting their aid, she reluctantly allowed them to handle the monsters alongside her, eventually succeeding in defeating all the slimes. When the timer on the monsters' spawning container reached zero shortly afterwards, though, the four were teleported to a boss chamber where the giant who had abducted the Angel attacked them in their weakened state.
Kuro managed to deflect the boss's second strike but was unable to continue fighting due to having been reminded of Rossa's sacrifice by Silica protecting her with her own avatar in their earlier battle. However, after being comforted by Silica's words that Kirito himself had help from others in clearing SAO and that she did not need to face her problems alone, she regained the will to rejoin the fight, eventually succeeding in vanquishing the giant with help from the Angel and the other girls. Once the four received the Angel's Whisper Rings from the Angel for saving her, Kuro suggested they exchange rings between each other, having fully accepted their offer of friendship towards her, to which they agreed.
Soon after Hiyori transferred to the SAO Survivor School some time later, she and the other girls heard from Asuna that Ashley, the Master Tailor from Sword Art Online, was now playing ALfheim Online, thus they decided to visit her to have their clothes fixed. Before joining the others in ALO, Hiyori decided to import her old SAO avatar, Lux, instead of continuing to use her Kuro avatar. Having spawned with her new Sylph avatar in Swilvane, Lux joined the other girls and departed on their journey to Ashley's store.
There, the girls learnt that Ashley would charge them a million Yrd for her services. Since the price was too exorbitant for the girls, they were convinced by Ashley to register for a swimsuit contest, which offered exactly one million Yrd as the grand prize for first place. As the contest required drawing the attention of the players at a beach to earn points, the girls attempted various methods to get attention, such as selling yakisoba noodles or playing volleyball; however, despite their attempts, their place on the leaderboard continued falling.
As the girls pondered on how on to gather enough points to win the contest, Lux noticed a girl crying nearby. Wondering if the little girl logged in on her own, Lux and the others approached the girl and began speaking to her. This caused a quest notification to appear, revealing that the girl was a Non-Player Character (NPC) named Emely, whose quest involved saving her sister.
Accompanied by the NPC girl, Lux and the others discovered a quest-exclusive cave. In the cave, they found the NPC girl's sister in the grasp of a perverted jellyfish monster. The girls eventually managed to defeat the monster, with Lux dealing the final blow and thus winning the swimsuit contest. The girls then returned to Ashley's shop, using the prize money to pay for their clothes to be fixed, while Lux was given a new outfit free of charge.
Following the New Year celebrations, Lux and the others were invited to have tea with Alicia Rue, Sakuya, and Sinon. During their meeting, they discussed various recent events, such as the quest for Excalibur that Lux missed or Hiyori's first meeting with her idolised Kazuto, during which Hiyori panicked and collapsed onto Kazuto, causing Hiyori to flee in embarrassment. When Sakuya suddenly received a message, the girls learnt about certain Player Killers who had been causing trouble to the Lords.
After leaving the Lords that night, Lux received a letter that referenced her past as a member of Laughing Coffin. When Lux questioned the messenger about the source of the letter, she was directed to a person in a cloak. Due to her attempt to pursue the person, Lux was lured to an ambush. Lux soon received aid from her friends and, during the battle, Lux confirmed that the person who sent her the letter was Gwen, her old friend from SAO, moments before assistance from the Sylphs forced Gwen's party to retreat.
The next day, Hiyori encountered Gwen in the real world and was requested to help the latter's band of player killers. Feeling guilt about her attempts to forget the dark deeds she had committed in Sword Art Online, Hiyori logged into ALfheim Online to inform her former friend about abandoning the game. That night, Lux sent a message to Silica, Leafa, and Lisbeth via the Angel's Whisper Rings to notify them of her decision.
Over the next few days, Hiyori studiously avoided conversation with the other girls. However, when she received a message from Gwen declaring she was about to disclose the former's history to the other girls, she logged back into ALO. Finding that Gwen was informing Leafa, Lisbeth, and Silica of her former membership in Laughing Coffin, Lux entered the scene and ordered her old friend to desist, before reluctantly confirming Gwen's claims. In the aftermath of the encounter, the girls gathered in the real world, where Hiyori explained how she was forced to join Laughing Coffin, as well as her recent reunion with Gwen.
After recounting her story, Hiyori begged her friends to forget about her, promising to never forget the experiences she shared with them. However, she became overwhelmed with joy when the girls ignored her request and reaffirmed their friendship and love for her. Hiyori tearfully apologized to them and thanked them for their support of her, vowing to face her past without running away, with her friends by her side.
- Hiyori's newly created ALO avatar's name was derived from the first kanji in Kirito's nickname, The Black Swordsman (黒の剣士, Kuro no Kenshi?), where Kuro means "black" in Japanese.
- Hiyori, as her ALO avatar Lux, was introduced to the non-canon game Lost Song, where she is voiced by Akasaki Chinatsu, as a playable character.
- Two swords, named Hrunting and Weizen respectively, that are similar to Kuro's black and white swords make an appearance in Lost Song. Additionally, a sword, named Conscience, that is similar to the sword Lisbeth gave to Lux also makes an appearance in Lost Song.