A player has been killed inside a safe zone and not by the known means. Asuna and Krito take it upon themselves to find out how and why this is happening.
In a meeting, Kirito objects to Asuna's strategy of using the NPCs (Non-playable Characters) as distraction for the boss. As the meeting ends, Egil remarks to Kirito about how the two always bicker. Kirito recalls the time that he and her fought together. Later, Asuna finds Kirito taking a nap under the tree, and she scolds him for being lazy. Kirito states that today is a fine day and that he would not waste it on going to a dungeon. Moments later, Kirito wakes up to see Asuna asleep beside him. When the sun sets, Asuna wakes up and sees Kirito. She gets embarrassed and tells Kirito that she will buy him one meal. During meal time, Asuna thanks Kirito for watching her because people can kill others by using the person's fingers to press the duel button. Outside, Kirito and Asuna hear a scream, and they rush out to see a man hanging from the ledge with a sword impaling him. Kirito rushes to assist the man while Asuna cuts off the noose that was wrapped around the man's neck. However, it's too late for the man. Kirito asks anyone if they have see anyone having a duel winner notification. Though, no one has seen anyone with it. He and Asuna asks anyone who has seen the perpetrator. Yoruka steps up and tells them about her guild member Kains who was possibly attacked from behind. After walking Yoruka to her lodge, Asuna tells Kirito to address her properly. He asks her if she knows a person who knows appraisals, and when Asuna does not know anyone, he leads Asuna to Egil who is surprised that Asuna is with him.
After Kirito explains the murder incident to Egil, he asks Egil to look at the murder weapon. Egil finds out that it was a player made weapon, and it's called Guilty Thorn that was made by Grimrock. Kirito looks at the sword and tries to test it by stabbing his hand. Before Kirito can do it, Asuna stops him; she hands the sword to Egil. Next day, Asuna asks Yoruka about Grimrock, and Yoruka gets startled. She apologizes because she did not want to explain earlier due to bad memory. She explains how her guild found a rare ring that boosts agility by 20 points. Her guild voted in favor of selling the ring, and when Griselda left to sell it to a broker, the guild finds out she had been murdered. Kirito thinks the people who voted against selling the ring would be the suspicious ones. Yoruka states that Grimrock is Griselda's husband. She says that Grimrock would be the most probable suspect who is after the three who opposed selling it, herself, Kains, and Schmidt. Schmidt is a member of the Holy Dragon Alliance and a lance member. She asks Kirito and Asuna to let her talkd to Schmidt.
Outside, Asuna asks Kirito how the murder is carried out, and Kirito has three possibilities: a fair duel, an exploit that combines known methods, and some unknown skill/item that bypasses safe areas. Though, Kirito finds the third one impossible given SAO's rules. At the Inn, Schmidt asks Yoruka about the murder weapon, and Yoruka confirms it was Grimlock's weapon. Schmidt freaks out a bit, and Yoruka gives a series of possible answers: the weapon was used by someone else or it could be Griselda's revenge. Yoruka starts to break down and yells out that it was the three of us who killed Griselda. As she sits on the window ledge, she wonders if Grimlock is right to exact vengeance on them for Griselda's sake. Suddenly, a knife hits Yoruka's back, and Yoruka falls down on the ground with her body shattering into data bits.
|Klein ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Asuna ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Kirito ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Egil ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Kains ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Yoruka ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Griselda ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Schmidt ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Grimrock ( x ) ( x ) ( x )||
|Tomohiko Ito||Director||Director of Occult Academy|
|Reki Kawahara||Original Concept||Light novel writer|
|LiSA||LiSA is a Japanese singer who sings the "oath sign" in Fate Zero and "crossing field" in Sword Art Online.|
|Haruka Tomatsu||"Yume Sekai (ユメセカイ; Dream World)" Ending Theme Song|