Sword Art Online Light Novel Volume 09
Kirito is thrown into the Underworld through FullDiving at first, and he and his friends Eugeo and Alice goes on an adventure that goes awry. At the Underworld, seven years later, Kirito reappears, and this time, Kirito, Eugeo and Alice’s sister Selka goes on a quest to bring Alice back to her hometown.
Chapters of Sword Art Online Volume 9
Prologue I (7th Month of Human World Calendar 372)
Woodcutter Eugeo is in the middle of chopping down a giant tree, more specifically, the «Gigas Cedar». This is Eugeo’s and his friend Kirito’s «Sacred Task», as this tree is quite resistant, even with several generations and more than three hundred years of diligent daily chopping using the equally tough «Dragon Bone Axe». At the moment, only one mel had been cut through, with three more mels to chop down. Eugeo and Kirito lives in Rulid Village, which is a part of the «Norlangarth North Empire». In order to expand the fields and pastures, the «Gigas Cedar» must be cut down to enter the forest behinds it. However, at the rate, it would take about nine hundred years more to chop the tree down. Work time now over, Kirito and Eugeo begin grappling each other before halting at hearing a scolding voice of the friend Alice. Alice is the village chief’s daughter studying the Rulid Village sacred arts. At noon, she brings lunch to Kirito and Eugeo. What seems like a harmless question on how to make their food’s «Life» last longer, becomes a quest to search for something that will keep their bento cool – finding ice in the forbidden «Mountain Range at the Edge».
Eugeo and Kirito impatiently wait for Alice so they can finally go to the mountain range to find ice. While walking, Eugeo ponders on their future, and their past, before being chosen to his «Sacred Task» as a woodcutter. Kirito, believing that they can still choose their desired «Sacred Task» as a guard, wants to cut down the «Gigas Cedar» in two years. Eugeo refutes the idea, since the dream was impossible. Before lunch, they disbelievingly reached the mountain pass. Going into the dark cave in the pass, the air grew considerably colder, enabling them to see their breaths, even though it is summer. However, walking further into the cave was a surprise: white dragon bones, belonging to the white dragon who lived in the cave, killed by a sword. The question the trio are asking, who?
Alice, Eugeo, and Kirito comes to the conclusion that the Integrity Kight did it. Kirito moves the remains, only to find a sword, the «Sword of Blue Rose». It is absurdly heavy, forcing Kirito to leave the new found treasure , before going back to the original purpose for why they are there: ice. After achieving their goal, they readily heads back for the village, only to find themselves lost. They take the wrong path, ending up in the Dark Territory, a devil tribe. Alice, Eugeo, and Kirito arrive just when the White Integrity Knight fight the mysterious black knight. After a few minutes of intense clashing, the black knight is killed and Alice, unintentionally, falls forward and grazes her hand on the Devil’s territory. Eugeo and Kirito, in a dazed state, carries Alice home to Rulid Village.
The next day started off as normal, but at lunch, the Integrity Knight appears at Rulid Village to come to take Alice away for interrogation, then execution because of a broken rule in the Taboo Index. Kirito, in an attempt to free Alice, goes after the Knight with his axe, but was forced down by the other villagers. Eugeo stays frozen in his fear. The Integrity Knight ignores the commotion and leaves on his dragon with Alice bound to the saddle.
Prologue II (June 2026)
Asada Shino waits for Kirito at «Dicey Café» while watching the rain. Kirito arrives late from taking the train. Ordering a drink from Agil, Shino and Kirito talk about the latest event, the fourth BoB, and the previous event situation with the «Death Gun»murders. Soon, they switch to a new topic, which is Kirito’s part-time job, to FullDive for three days in a dreamlike state. While Sinon comments that he looks unhealthy, Kirito just shrugs it off, going back to the main topic on hand from Gun Gale Online and the winner of the Battle Royale Tournament being able to predict the pattern of veteran players, as well as a sentence that left Shino in fear: “Your soul will be so sweet.” Shino invites Kirito to participate the next tournament, to which he ponders upon it. Checking his cell phone, Shino and Kirito follow a red dot that moves toward where they are located. Asuna arrives.
Asuna Starts up a conversation on how Kirito have coordinates to where she is located, while on her cell phone, she has Kirito’s temperature and heart rate. The heart measurements come from a sensor implanted under Kirito’s skin, recommended by his part-time job. While Shino makes a joke on this, Kirito quickly covers up, but not before the two girls see his temperature goes up even higher. Shino questions about his job, to which Kirito replies it is a a new machine called Brain Machine Interface (BMI) by the company «RATH». Asuna mentions that it relates to Alice in Wonderland. Kirito then goes into a full-depth explanation on how the BMI works, which is a theory using Quantum brain dynamics. Just when the theory becomes god-like, Kirito takes another turn and mentions that these memories from a computer, or even a human soul , are called «Fluctuating Light» or shortened to «Fluctlight». However, he cannot recall the memories in the BMI, as it is security protected.
When Shino teases on how Kirito is or is not in FullDive technology, Kirito starts doubting, However, he backfires the joke before becoming serious again and returning to the topic. Kirito talks about the Dive he does is similar to a dream. But, as this project will take a long time, and the final test coming around the corner, Kirito decides to quit. Now nearly six, Shino, Asuna, and Kirito wrap up their conversation. As they depart, Shino stops abruptly, a bad feeling washes over her. When questioned, she shrugs it off, since the feeling was no longer there.
Asuna and Kirito take the train to the former’s home in Kawagoe while holding hands. Asuna recalls a scene in Sword Art Online where Kirito nearly dies at «Grandum» in Aincrad’s 55th floor. She then turns to another memory in which they held hands while they watched the floating castle collapse. She was shaken out of her daze when Kirito stops and turn to her to talk to Asuna about his plans of going to America to study. He invites Asuna to come with him, to which she accepts, wanting to stay at his side forever. Asuna asks more questions on the research of Kirito’s part time job. Kirito replies that the machine is most likely used to try to understand the human consciousness. They soon reach at the small park near Asuna’s house and a jogger comes up to them to ask directions to the station. However, the plan backfires as Kirito recognize the stranger as a member of the red-player killing guild, «Laughing Coffin», Johnny Black, as well as a murderer of GGO. Still seething hatred against Kirito, he brings out a syringe from his jacket, the object being the infamous «Death Gun». Kirito orders Asuna to get help while he tries to hold off Johnny Black. Instead, Kirito gets stabbed in the shoulder by the syringe, while he manages to dig his umbrella in his enemy thigh. Asuna rushes back and calls an ambulance, which promptly arrives. An unconscious Kirito’s heart slows down, and no matter how much massaging of the heart, his heart stops, deeming him dead.
Chapter 1 (Underworld, 3rd Month of Human World Calendar 378)
Kirito wakes up in an unknown forest, and he quickly determines his “FullDive” has gone wrong. He notices that a piece of his memory went missing. He couldn’t remember the events after stopping in the small park near Asuna’s house. Then, he notices that his clothes were not normal, not even existing in the real world. No matter how hard he tries to log out, no windows appear. He finally realizes that the virtual world he is in is most likely the Underworld. Kirito tries calling the operator, Higa, to stop the Dive, but unfortunately, no response is heard. Soon, he finds himself extremely thirsty, to which he crawls toward a crystal clear stream. Refreshed, he soon hears a chopping sound, and he walks toward it, but not before seeing an illusionary scene: two boys and a girl standing in a full mid-summer sunlight.
As fast as it appeared, the scene disappears. But, Kirito had a nostalgic feeling of childhood memories, even though he has never had any recollections in the Underworld. He turns to the forest where the sound of chopping is heard. It is repeated fifty times with a low-sounding count, followed by a three-minute break. Kirito reaches the clearing, where he sees a large tree, no less than four meters. The clearing had a boy with an axe in his hand. Kirito, still in a daze and confusion, asks the boy questions, first how to log out, but receiving a reply of another question, Kirito determines that there was no way to escape, so he asks the next best question: a place to stay. The boy answers that the village was not far off, but if Kirito wants to be accompanied, he would have to wait. Kirito decides to wait, making the boy delighted. The boy invites Kirito to a meager meal, and realizing he hasn’t yet provided his name, he says that his name is Eugeo. Eugeo gives «Pan» to Kirito, and checks the life on the item. Kirito, in relief, confirms in his brain that this is a virtual world. With a bite of the bread that was extremely hard, Kirito comments that someone should bring a boxed lunch. Eugeo replies that the person who did bring bentos was taken away by the Integrity Knight, six years ago, but he still believes that she is still alive. Now done with lunch, Eugeo shows Kirito his «Sacred Task», being a «Giant tree cutter». Kirito tries cutting the tree, and after a few attempts, he manages to land a cut. By the time they finished, dusk had arrived, and they headed back to the village.
Selka, a girl learning the sacred arts from Sister Azariya, explains the rules of the village to Kirito, and he goes to sleep with many unanswered questions. The next day, Selka persistently nudges Kirito up, and after church worship, he meets up with Eugeo to continue the «Sacred Task». At noon, they talk about the sacred arts and epidemics that recently took twenty residents, most likely because of the goblin tribes. Kirito then begins cutting, but a strong feel through his mind makes him ask Eugeo if there were anything harder than the Axe. Eugeo replies that the Devine Instruments are the only things harder. Eugeo then brings out the Sword of Blue rose. The swordsman wields the heave sword with intent to cut the tree with it. However, because Kirito’s control of the sword is lower than the amount needed to wield it, the tree’s life only went down by one point. Wasting enough time trying to use the sword, they go back to using the sword to finish for the day.
Back at the church, Kirito takes a bath. Once finished, he goes to his room, where Selka awaits. Kirito asks Selka about her sister Alice, and she responds the best she can, while being upset that her sacred arts are not as good as her sister’s. Kirito tells her that no matter what, she is amazing. Soon, the bell chimes nine, and Selka leaves for the night, leaving Kirito in his room alone, ponder Alice’s appearance. A bright golden light flashes before his eyes before he falls asleep.
When Kirito awakes, Sister Arizaya tells him that Selka is missing. Knowing that he bears responsibility, Kirito leaves with Eugeo to go search for Selka. They arrive at the «Mountain Range at the Edge» just in time to hear the young girl scream from inside the cave. Kirito and Eugeo run inside, only to meet a mob of goblins face to face. Kirito decides to be reckless and charges all of them head on. Within the first attack, Kirito and Eugeo take down four goblins. In another instant, Kirito takes on the leader of the goblins, «Lizard Killer Ugachi». Although Kirito’s first two blocks failed, he uses his «Sword Skill», «Sharp Nail», effectively breaching the goblin’s defense. However, he also takes an extremely painful cut, and unused to the pain, he did not move when the goblin attacks him, only to be saved by Eugeo, who’s stomach was not sliced open by Ugachi’s sword. In a flash, Kirito remembers his purpose and determinely kills Ugachi. Kirito frees Selka and takes her to a dying Eugeo. She uses a highly dangerous sacred art to transfer Kirito’s life into Eugeo. Nearing the end of the road, Kirito hears a voice. Alice awaits the two boys at the top of Central Cathedral.
After two days of resting, Kirito and Eugeo being chopping the «Gigas Cedar», the axe feeling amazingly light. They finish much earlier today, and Kirito decides to bring out the beautiful sword out again. This time, Kirito has much more control, and he uses Horizontal against the tree. Eugeo then expresses learning sword skills. Kirito teaches Eugeo the basic sword skill that he used, to which the latter would practice extensively on the tree. Within five days, the «Gigas Cedar» was cut down. Gasupht, the village leader, announced a celebration for the fall of the tree. At the climax, he allows Eugeo to choose his next «Sacred Task». Eugeo chooses to be a swordsman. However, the current Rulid Village guard, Jink, thought it unfair for Eugeo to leave the village before him. He challenges Eugeo to a duel, which Eugeo accepts. Eugeo wins and the celebration commence until the bell chimes ten.
Garitta awaits Kirito and Eugeo along the path toward the fallen tree. Before the two boys leave to Centoria, the elder gives them a gift: a branch from the Gigas Cedar that could be made into a sword. Upon thanking Garitta, Eugeo and Kirito walk towards the road to Alice, on a path they wouldn’t be coming back for a long time.
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