|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
chromatic colors (クロマティック・カラーズ, Kuromatikku Karāzu?) is a short story written by Kawahara Reki that was released as part of abec Art Works, an art book by the Sword Art Online series' light novel illustrator, abec. It takes place in ALfheim Online during the Mother's Rosario side arc and tells the story of Asuna, Kirito, Sinon and Yuuki's encounter with a former Sword Art Online player, named Ceba.
On February 8, 2026, while cooking jam at her home in ALfheim Online, Asuna accidentally added pineapple grenades into the mix, causing the jam to explode and cover the kitchen in colourful gel. Discovering that it would take over half an hour for the gel's durability to decrease to zero and not wanting to clean up the mess, Asuna proposed for the trio to go adventuring. Just as Kirito was about to check the quest page, Yuuki revealed that she heard from Talken about a hidden boss as strong as the bosses on the 20th Floor of New Aincrad being discovered on the 5th Floor. She also revealed that the boss was supposed to drop a rare item known as a «Guild Flag» that could be used to buff guild members.
On the 5th Floor, the trio rendezvoused with Sinon, the only friend they managed to reach, and travelled to the dungeon where the new area was discovered. After clearing three floors of the dungeon and defeating monsters that were unusually strong, the group reached the hidden boss room's door. Once Yuuki opened the door with a special key, the group heard the sounds of a battle in progress within the room and decided to rush in to observe it. There, they witnessed a lone leprechaun and her pet dog fighting against a fifteen metre-tall stone golem. Kirito attempted to approach the leprechaun to ask whether she needed help, but before he could do so, the leprechaun's last Hit Points dropped to zero, and she turned into a Remain Light, while the boss returned to its original position.
At that point, Kirito shouted to the fallen leprechaun, asking her not to return to the safe zone if she wanted to be revived, then rushed to the centre of the room when it was safe, retrieved the Remain Light, and returned back to the safe zone, ignoring the boss. Having been revived by Asuna, the leprechaun introduced herself as Ceba, and her dog as Yodare, while Yuuki introduced the members of her group. Then, Kirito asked Ceba why she decided to challenge the boss alone. Ceba explained that she desired to get the Guild Flag, the rare item that the boss was rumoured to drop.
Before continuing her explanation, Ceba invited the group to change location, and Kirito materialised a picnic set. As Yuuki remarked that she wanted something sweet, Ceba materialised a forty centimetre-wide bavarois with an incredible decoration, explaining that it was her practice work. After the dessert was finished, Ceba revealed that the bavarois was the biggest canvas available in ALfheim Online, but she desired an even bigger canvas, which is why she attempted to acquire the Guild Flag.
Ceba revealed that she had wanted to be an artist since she was a child. She had graduated from high school and decided to go to art school, but unwillingly became trapped in Sword Art Online for two years. Although Ceba returned to the real world alive, she was too scared that she had lost her drawing skills during the two years, thus she was unable to draw anything, and decided to hide in ALfheim Online. However, there she unconsciously drew a street scene on parchment, and theorised that by drawing in the virtual world, she would be able to reacquire her ability in the real world as well. But as virtual reality games did not support drawing, while Ceba felt the need to draw specifically in New Aincrad, thus she sought for a viable large canvas.
Having heard Ceba's story, Yuuki proclaimed that they would help her defeat the boss. However, after the battle, the group discovered that they did not receive the rumoured rare item. But then, Asuna had an idea and asked Kirito what the largest building with smooth walls in New Aincrad was. While Kirito pondered on the answer, Yui the Navigation Pixie answered that it was the outer wall of Aincrad itself.
An hour later, after the group made some colourful, high-durability jam to use as paint, Ceba began painting on the wall. After thirty minutes, Ceba's portrait of the group was completed and she gave a genuine smile.