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I Will Not Bow is a Sword Art Online Fan Fic written by TheSib.

The fic follows the story of SAO closely, with the addition of OCs such as main protagonist Ren, who becomes acquainted with Kirito and co. and part of a guild called Wyvern's Inferno.

The author has written other fics set in the same universe: Blazing Revolution, Blazing Generations, The Adventures of Dagger, and Blazing Revolution: The Lost Stories. He has also written two other fics: I Will Not Bow Again, a rewrite of the original, and Hollow Inferno, focusing on the video game Hollow Fragment.

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Currently under construction: any contributions are appreciated. Beware unmarked spoilers.

The I Will Not Bow series contains examples of the following tropes:


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    In General 
  • And This Is for...:
    • In I Will Not Bow, Ren shouts "This is for Diavel, you bastard!" as he and the others finish off Illfang, the first floor boss.
    • In Blazing Revolution chapter 63, Asuna gets in quite a few of these on Sugou when The Dog Bites Back.
    Asuna: This is for trapping me in ALO for two months! [stomps on Sugou's face] This is for nearly getting all of us killed! [kicks him] And this is for hurting Yui and calling her a maggot! [stabs him through the eye]
  • Con Man: Dagger. Her first scene in chapter 4 of Again is ripping off a client, selling him a common item drop sword for 5,000. She's even called the "Rip-Off Merchant" in-universe.
  • Dehumanizing Insult:
    • On multiple occasions in Blazing Revolution and Blazing Generations, whenever Sugou and/or Yamato are mentioned, Kirito's crew tends to describe them as "parasites."
    • In Blazing Generations chapter 54, with Yui and Luna outed as AIs, Madoka demeans them by calling them "robots" and "freaks."
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Noboru provokes a fight with a golden slime against Alice and the others' warnings, and when the slime calls for help, uses a teleport crystal to escape, leaving the others to fend for themselves; Alice and Mai are the only survivors, and only because Ren, Riku, and Helios heard their screams and saved them. He proves just as cowardly in real life, forcing Alice to grovel before him to prevent him from posting a video to ruin Dan's reputation, and gleefully beating her up and calling her worthless to her face... only to completely Freak Out! and beg for mercy when Dan shows up and beats him senseless.
    • Yamato. It's most pronounced in chapter 8; he openly calls Kirito's group maggots and takes great delight in gloating about how much stronger he is than them and how he Loves the Sound of Screaming... but the minute Kirito, possessing Kayaba's ID and admin privileges, depowers him, he screams like a little girl and immediately tries to make a break for it.
    • Rotto uses Luna as a Human Shield against Rin during a tournament and slowly beats her to a pulp while she can't fight back. When he's beaten up by Lilly in the next chapter, he begs for the mercy he didn't show Rin; Lilly gives him none.
    • In the Caged Canaries arc of The Lost Stories, Sugou's men molest Alice, then tinker with her mind and force her to attack Ren, watching and laughing as she attacks and tries to kill him with sadistic glee. When Alice breaks free of the brainwashing and Ren turns his attention on them, they immediately lose all their bravado and freak out, the last one standing even begging Ren for mercy.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • In Blazing Revolution chapter 49, Yamato mocks Ren to his face for being unable to bring himself to shoot him, declaring him weak. Ren retorts that it's not that he's weak, it's that he refuses to stoop to his level.
    • Noboru abandons Alice and the others to save his own skin early in I Will Not Bow, and when they meet back up and Alice tells him off, he honestly doesn't seem to understand why Alice would be disgusted with him and want nothing more to do with him. It's even more pronounced in Blazing Revolution, where he can't understand why Alice would choose Ren over him, or be willing to endure so much pain for him. Alice outright spells it out for him in chapter 90:
      Alice: Someone like you wouldn't understand. You wouldn't understand what it's like to truly be in love. To be willing to give up everything for someone.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Noboru starts out as a Dirty Coward who abandons Alice and Mai to save his own skin, but he's not exactly evil at first. Come Blazing Revolution, he, out of jealousy that Alice chose Ren over him, throws all moral concerns out the window, making a doctored video involving a fight with Laughing Coffin in an attempt to frame Kirito and Ren for murder, and outright assaulting Alice in real life while forcing her to grovel before him to prevent him from posting another video to completely ruin their reputation.
  • Mama Bear:
    • Asuna completely loses her cool in Blazing Revolution chapter 60 when Chi whips Yui across the face, making it clear that she's going to tear her apart. In the very next chapter, she does just that.
      Asuna: You know, they say a mother grizzly bear has the strength of a hundred men when her cubs are in danger. I'm a bit different. I have strength that would make even a mother grizzly bear run in fear. And you're about to feel EVERY! LAST! OUNCE!
    • In Blazing Generations chapter 66, Alicia doesn't take kindly to Akane's Stage Mom badmouthing Lilly, calling her a nobody and a "loser girl with no reputation." She's only stopped from giving the woman a piece of her mind by Akane herself, who slaps her own mother and chews her out over her attitude.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • In Blazing Revolution, Alice gives an epic one to Noboru about why she chose Ren over him.
      Noboru: All the times I've tried to make you fall in love with me, and you just treat me like trash! You stay with that stupid tactician of yours! What does he have that I don't?! Tell me!
      Alice: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Ren puts other people before himself. He'll risk his life to save others while you ran away and abandoned your friends just to save your own ass. I treat you like trash because you are trash, Noboru.
    • In Blazing Generations, Madoka constantly insults and dehumanizes Yui and Luna for being AIs. Lilly physically restrains Rin from attacking Madoka, which Madoka takes to mean that Lilly gets the picture of what she's saying, to which Lilly responds with one of these that manages to get under her skin quite well:
      Lilly: Oh, I get the picture alright. I get how pathetic you are.
      Madoka: What was that? You wanna say that again?
      Lilly: Well, it's just that when someone talks down to people, the truth is they're even sadder than the people they insult. So with all the horrible things you're saying about Yui and Luna, you must be even worse than that. Frankly, all I'm seeing is what a sad excuse for a human being you are. The truth is, it doesn't matter whether Yui's an AI or not. She's still stronger than you, smarter than you, and a better person than you'll ever be. So if you really need to talk down to her to feel better about yourself, then all I can feel towards you is pity.
  • Sinister Scythe: Alice's Weapon of Choice, in both SAO and ALO.
  • Villains Want Mercy:
    • Late in Blazing Revolution, Sugou and his associate Yamato kidnap Dan and lure Kirito, Asuna, and Alicia into a trap for revenge. Among other things, they subject Dan to Electric Torture that leaves him on the brink of death, and when their showdown comes, Sugou gleefully attempts to murder Kirito, boasting that he'll take good care of Asuna after killing him; once the tables turn, Sugou freaks out and begs for mercy, promising to leave and never bother him or his friends again. Kirito, disgusted that Sugou doesn't even have the guts to die with dignity after all the pain he's caused, tells Sugou that he's "fresh out of mercy" for him and cuts him down without hesitation.
    • In the Caged Canaries arc of Blazing Revolution: The Lost Stories, Sugou's men molest Alice on his orders, stopping just short of actually raping her, and use what Sugou himself describes as "extreme methods" to speed up the mind control research, tinkering with her mind and forcing her to attack Ren when he comes to save her next chapter, all while watching and laughing. Ren manages to snap her out of it, and immediately turns his attention on them, cutting them apart, leading to the last one standing to beg him for mercy. Ren rightfully responds that he doesn't deserve any and chops him up.
    • In Blazing Generations chapter 19, during a tournament, Rotto uses Luna as a Human Shield against Rin and slowly beats her to a pulp. In the next chapter, Lilly faces off against him in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, and when he begins losing, panics and begs her for mercy. All he does is end up disgusting Lilly, who uses a fire spell on him repeatedly before chopping off his arms and blowing him up.

    I Will Not Bow/I Will Not Bow Again 
  • First-Person Perspective: The original fic is told from Ren's point of view. Again goes for a third-person view.
  • Title Drop: Ren does this in his narration after killing the first floor boss:
    Ren (narration): I will not give up. I will not let this game beat me. I will not bow to this system called SAO.

    Blazing Revolution 
  • Ascended Extra: In the original light novels, Sugou essentially disappears from the story after his defeat in the Fairy Dance arc. Here, he makes multiple comebacks, first by helping Gabriel Miller in his plot for world domination, and then by kidnapping Ren to use him as bait for a revenge scheme against Kirito.
  • Ax-Crazy: Yamato, who serves as Sugou's Dragon on multiple occasions. He thrives on Cold-Blooded Torture, freely admits to Alice that he Loves the Sound of Screaming, and actively assists Sugou in all of his twisted actions.
  • Beach Episode: All of chapter 64 consists of the gang partying on the beach.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In chapter 62, after losing to Kirito PoH decides to end his own life rather than have Kirito take him back to the real world to pay for his crimes.
  • Cardboard Prison: Despite being arrested on multiple occasions, Sugou and Yamato manage to break out of prison multiple times. In chapter 116, Sugou even lampshades it when Ren is surprised to see that he's escaped once more:
    Sugou: I broke out of prison once. Did you really think I couldn't do it again?
  • Death by Adaptation: Due in part to being an Ascended Extra. Sugou manages to break out of prison multiple times to keep coming after Kirito. In chapter 117, Kirito decides that he's done showing him any mercy and cuts Sugou down.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In chapter 63, Asuna finally manages to get some well-deserved payback at Sugou, stomping on him repeatedly, getting in a few And This Is for... kicks, and stabbing him through the right eye just as Kirito did in ALO.
  • Electric Torture: Ren is subjected to this at the hands of Sugou and Yamato in chapter 116.
  • Faking the Dead: In chapter 38, Glowgen Defense Systems, needing Sugou for their plans, fake his death by food poisoning to sneak him out of prison.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Sugou is this to the people of Glowgen Defense Systems. In chapter 62, several of them laugh when Asuna kicks him in the groin, and in the very next chapter, Gabriel gets sick of listening to him talk, Neck Lifts him, and tosses him across the room.
  • Graceful Loser: When he's mortally wounded by Kirito in chapter 63, Gabriel Miller is pretty chill about it and legitimately congratulates him.
    Gabriel: Looks like someone finally managed to beat me. Not bad, kids.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Kirito and Ren get this for several chapters after Noboru posts an edited video on the Internet that makes them appear to be murderers.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: As if whipping Yui across the face wasn't bad enough, Chi proceeds to mock Kirito and Asuna's parental love for her, calling Yui nothing but a program and an "it."
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In chapter 60, Chi, annoyed by Yui's talking, whips her across the face and mocks Kirito and Asuna's paternal love for her, stating that Yui is just a program and there's no need to cry about "it" getting hurt. She pays for it next chapter when she's killed by a very pissed off Asuna.
    • In chapter 90, Noboru gleefully beats up Alice after forcing her to grovel before her, and then rips off the locket Dan gave her and stomps on it, declaring it and her love for Dan is worthless.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Yamato, by his own admission. On multiple occasions, he attacks or tries to attack Alice, wanting to torture her purely to hear her scream in agony.
    Yamato: Oh, the fun I'm going to have with you. I'm going to take my time and see everything that body of yours have to offer. And after that's over, maybe I'll do a little tinkering with your mind. It's so much more fun hearing the screams of an actual person. NPCs don't even feel the pain. I wonder what your screams will sound like.
  • Motive Decay: By the time of chapters 116-117, Sugou has gone from making grandiose plans of world domination to just wanting petty revenge on Kirito.
  • Pacifism Backfire: In chapter 49, Dan opts to let Yamato live even though he held Alicia's family hostage and nearly killed Alicia herself, not wanting to stoop to his level. Yamato is later broken out by Sugou, capturing Dan to use as bait for Kirito, Asuna, and Alicia, subjecting him to Electric Torture, and later chaining up Alicia to torture her as well. As soon as Dan breaks free, he attacks Yamato and beats him up, acknowledging that letting him live before was a mistake that he won't make again.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Chapter 62 reveals the Laughing Coffin survivors to be this; PoH outright says that there's nothing left for them in the real world, and they've felt empty ever since the death game in SAO ended.
    Kirito: I stopped living in the past a long time ago. That's something you and the rest of Laughing Coffin haven't been able to do.
    PoH: That's because there's nothing left for us in the real world! What can we do?! Live our peaceful lives and bag groceries for a living?! No, the only time we were able to feel alive was in SAO!
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Double Subverted. In chapter 117, it's revealed that Sugou and Yamato did train themselves and learn how to actually fight in order to enact revenge on Kirito and co. While they put up a good fight, ultimately, it's still not enough.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: In chapter 60, Kirito says something to this effect to PoH during their fight.
    Kirito: It's a shame you wasted your talents as a PKer, PoH. You could have done great things with the assault team.
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    Blazing Revolution: The Lost Stories 
  • Damsel in Distress: Alice ends up being trapped with Asuna in ALO during the Caged Canaries arc.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Alice finds herself molested by Sugou's men during the Caged Canaries arc. While they don't outright rape her, the end result leaves Alice traumatized.
  • What If?: Certain arcs in this fic, like the Caged Canaries arc, are non-canon AUs that explore such things.

    Blazing Generations 
  • Adaptation Species Change: Strea is the human daughter of Kirito and Asuna, rather than an AI as in the games.
  • Alpha Bitch: Madoka, the bully at the Hiryo sisters' school. She tells Akane that she's happy that she chooses to hang with "losers" like Yui and her friends rather than show off who she is, since it means she has less competition, and constantly goes out of her way to harass Yui and co. and put them down. Lilly is one of her favorite targets; in chapter 38, she outright shoves Lilly into a locker when she back-talks her and tells her that "losers like [her] exist to help the people whose lives actually matter in this world." Lilly even lampshades it in a "The Reason You Suck" Speech in chapter 54, which gets under Madoka's skin quite well.
    Lilly: It's just that when someone talks down to people, the truth is they're even sadder than the people they insult. So with all the horrible things you're saying about Yui and Luna, you must be even worse than that. Frankly, all I'm seeing is what a sad excuse for a human being you are. The truth is, it doesn't matter whether Yui's an AI or not. She's still stronger than you, smarter than you, and a better person than you'll ever be. So if you really need to talk down to her to feel better about yourself, then all I can feel towards you is pity.
  • Artificial Human: Yui is transferred into an artificial body created by RECT, allowing her to live a normal life in the real world. Luna later gains a new body through that same process.
  • Avenging the Villain: Mitsuki, the first Arc Villain, shows up wanting revenge on Dan for killing her brother Shinji (known as Shino in SAO). While Shinji was a player killer and in league with Laughing Coffin, Mitsuki is in complete denial over it and is firmly convinced Dan killed her brother in cold blood. When Ren defeats her and restrains her rather than killing her, Mitsuki looks back on everything and is forced to acknowledge the truth about Shinji, suffering a Heel Realization. After talking it over with Alicia once the crisis is resolved, Ren decides not to press charges since no one was actually hurt, Mitsuki learned her lesson, and because he doesn't want to start a Cycle of Revenge.
  • Assumed Win: Madoka enters a singing competition at school, and ends up cheating in the singing competition, bribing and blackmailing most of the school's better singers into not participating, as well as "accidentally" spilling water on Lilly in an attempt to force her to drop out. When Akane swaps dresses with her and drops out of the competition so Lilly can compete, Madoka gloatingly declares that they've basically just handed first place to her... and is subsequently mortified to discover that Lilly won first place, while she gets second.
  • Brainy Brunette: Lilly has light brown hair, and is noted to be the brainier of the Hiryo sisters.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Madoka manages to end up the only participant in the school's singing competition by either bribing or outright blackmailing most of the other participants into not joining. With Lilly, she outright tries to cheat by dumping water on her; in response, Akane swaps dresses with her and drops out of the competition, resulting in Madoka losing to Lilly and getting second place.
  • Broken Ace: Erika/Kagero, daughter of Suguha/Leafa, has some shades of this. Like her mother, she's an expert in kendo, but also has quite a bit of angst over the fact that people constantly compare her to Suguha, expecting nothing less out of her accomplishments because kendo is In the Blood with her. Erika is annoyed that they see her as just the daughter of Suguha and seeks to prove her own merits and individuality, to the extent that Yui comparing her strength and ability to her mother in chapter 18 triggers a minor Berserk Button.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: In chapter 66, Akane hits her Rage Breaking Point over her Stage Mom's attitude, gives her an Armor-Piercing Slap, and furiously chews her out before firing her.
    Akane: I am so sick and tired of this! Ever since I became an idol and started to gain popularity, you've stopped caring about me! All you ever think about is how to promote me! Is that really all I am to you?! Some idol that exists just to make you look good?!
    Akane's mother: Akane, I...
    Akane: I love singing, but that's not the only thing about me! I like reading! I like hanging out with my friends! Heck, I've even come to love VR gaming! There's more to me than just Akimi!
    Akane's mother: Akane dear, I'm just trying to help you further your career. I'm your manager, after all.
    Akane: Not anymore.
    Akane's mother: What?
    Akane: I'm firing you as my manager. This whole idol business has turned you into a different person! I don't want you to be my manager if it means you stop being my mother! I want my mom back!
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In chapter 66, Madoka cheats in the singing competition, bribing and blackmailing most of the school's better singers into not participating, as well as "accidentally" spilling water on Lilly in an attempt to force her to drop out. While Lilly is about to give up, Akane swaps dresses with her and drops out of the competition; Lilly wins first place, while Madoka gets second.
  • Combat Pragmatist: During the Tournament Arc starting in chapter 19, Rotto of Team Disaster doesn't care what he has to do to win, even if the crowd ends up booing him for it. He takes advantage of Luna being in Rin's pocket to grab her and use her as insurance to keep Rin from fighting back, chops off her arms to ensure so, and then knocks her down and kicks her repeatedly until her HP turns red. Predictably, when he can't use such tactics against Lilly in the very next chapter, he loses pathetically and goes out begging for mercy.
    Rotto: Fighting fair is for idiots who use brawn over brains. The smart know how to strike their opponent where they're most vulnerable.
  • Fair Cop: As revealed in chapter 10, Shino is now a police officer.
  • Floral Theme Naming: Lilly, the second of Dan and Alicia's daughters, was given her name because they consider her a "delicate little flower."
  • Heel Realization:
    • In chapter 8, Mitsuki goes after Dan and his family to avenge the death of her brother Shinji, refusing to believe he was truly a cold-blooded killer or part of Laughing Coffin. When Dan defeats her and opts to spare her life, despite the fact that she had held his family, including his pregnant wife, hostage, Mitsuki finally snaps out of her denial over her brother's true nature and is horrified by what she nearly did.
    • In chapter 60, Rose, a police officer in Shino's squad, is revealed to be Rosalia. As explained in the next chapter, Rosalia didn't actually believe Kayaba's claims of the death game, and it was that thought that kept her sane throughout her time in SAO. When she was finally freed, she was immediately hit with one of these, to the extent she tried to turn herself into the police. The cops let her go, because she had suffered enough and Kayaba was the one held responsible, and the chief inspired her to become a police officer herself to make up for her past.
  • Hellhole Prison: In chapter 55, Naruki claims he was sent to one; he describes his time there as an "absolute hell," and when he tries to attack Alicia as payback, remarks that he was treated by garbage and beaten up on a daily basis.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: In chapter 19, during a tournament, Rotto does this perfectly, grabbing ahold of Luna and using her as insurance to prevent Rin from fighting back against her. Then, he cuts off Rin's arms to prevent her from doing anything to grab her back before knocking her down and literally kicking her repeatedly as she's on the ground, slowly shaving off her HP until it hits red before going to stab her and finish the fight. In the very next chapter, Lilly pays him back with interest.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In chapter 19, Rotto cheats during a tournament, grabbing ahold of Luna, using her as a Human Shield against Rin, then severing her arms and slowly kicks her to near-death before stabbing her. Everyone in the crowd boos him for it, and when Lilly kicks his ass in the very next chapter, by repeatedly burning him with fire spells before severing his arms as well and using one to blow him up, even Rotto's own team cheers for his defeat.
  • Legendary in the Sequel:
    • As a whole, Kirito and his friends have become as such for ALO. In chapter 22, the tournament announcers note Yui's Dual Wielding style is similar to Kirito's, and mention that many speculate that Yui is his apprentice.
    • Suguha is a well-known athlete in kendo. This causes quite a bit of angst for her daughter Erika/Kagero, since she's also a kendoka and many people compare her to her mother.
  • Never My Fault: In chapter 55, Naruki attacks Alicia in the woman's restroom of the old SAO Survivor's School, ranting about how she and Dan ruined his life by having him sent to prison, since he was constantly beaten up in prison, shunned by his parents, and couldn't get a professional job due to his criminal record. Alicia retorts that all of it is his own damn fault, since he tried to frame Dan and Kazuto for manslaughter and beat up Alicia herself.
  • Next-Gen Fic: The fic centers on the children of Wyvern's Inferno, as well as Kirito and co.
  • Prefer Jail to the Protagonist: In chapter 55, Alicia, in full Mama Bear mode, invokes this while grinding Naruki's foot into the ground, warning him that if he comes anywhere near her family, especially her children, she'll make him beg to go back to prison just to keep her away from him.
  • Prison Rape: Implied in chapter 55, when Naruki is making a Shame If Something Happened threat to Dan, Alicia, and her family, remarking they should beware of him and he has a lot of experience in prison. Hyde proceeds to snarkily ask him how many times he dropped the soap, which strikes a nerve with Naruki.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In chapter 55, Naruki falls into this. He's outraged at Alicia for having him arrested and ruining his life, trying to kill her with a knife, despite the fact that, as Alicia points out, everything he went through was his own fault. He does so in the middle of a public bathroom at the SAO Survivor's School, during a class reunion, with other people around; needless to say, he's found out, beaten to a pulp, and arrested once again.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In chapter 22, during a tournament, the announcers mention how similar Yui's fighting style is to Kirito's, and remark that many speculate that Yui is an apprentice of his. They're not too far off; Yui isn't Kirito's apprentice, but his daughter.
    Kirito: [chuckles] If only they knew the full story.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: In chapters 63-66, Madoka enters a singing competition in school, bribing and blackmailing most of the other students into not participating, and when Lilly enters at Akane's suggestion, she outright cheats by dumping water on her in an attempt to force her to drop out. Akane swaps dresses with Lilly and drops out of the competition, with Madoka utterly confident she'll win first place easily... only to be utterly shocked and mortified when she gets second place and Lilly gets first.
  • Shame If Something Happened: In chapter 55, Naruki shows up at the SAO Survivors' School reunion, and not so subtly threatens her daughters, remarking she should be careful, since there are a lot of dangerous people out there "with a lot of experience in prison." Alicia, in full Mama Bear mode, grinds his foot into the ground and warns him that if he comes anywhere near her family, she'll make him beg to go back to prison just to keep her away.
  • Stage Mom: Akane's mother is more manager than mom, and basically runs her career as an Idol Singer. When she appears in chapter 65, it's revealed she leaked information on where Akane's attending school to the paparazzi, and is determined to turn the singing competition at school into a publicity stunt for Akane and force her to resume her career at the end of the school year whether Akane likes it or not. In chapter 66, when she furiously chews Akane out for dropping out of the competition in favor of Lilly, calling her a "loser girl with no reputation," Akane has finally had enough; she gives her mother an Armor-Piercing Slap, furiously calls her out over her attitude and actions, and fires her as her manager, declaring that the idol business has turned her into a different person and she wants her mom back. After Akane sings the song her late father used to sing with her, and then explains that she wants to be the idol she herself envisions, Akane's mother realizes how far she had fallen and breaks down in Tears of Remorse.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • In chapter 22, Shade views Yui as such, refusing to attack her from behind and stating he wants a fair fight against someone like her.
    • In chapter 54, Wrath views Yui much the same, since she defeated Lucifer. He makes it clear that regardless of whether or not Yui's an AI, he respects her strength and skill.
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