|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
Sisters' Prayer is a bonus side story, written by Kawahara Reki, that was included in the limited edition version of volume nine of the DVD and Blu-Ray Disc sets for the second season of the anime. The story is about Konno Yuuki, her sister Konno Aiko (Ran) and the first member of the Sleeping Knights, Merida.
Yuuki recalled her first connection to Medicuboid prototype in February 2023, three months after the start of the Sword Art Online (SAO) incident. Though she was slightly afraid of connecting to the FullDive machine, reassurances from Aiko and Doctor Kurahashi allowed her to proceed and dive into the virtual world.
On May 11, 2024, while browsing the news on a terminal in Serene Garden, Ran noticed an article about the government's ongoing efforts to save the victims of the Sword Art Online incident. The National Police Agency was going to attempt to physically break into every player's NerveGear and simultaneously destroy the batteries, thus freeing the players. The Konno twins discussed about the incident and Kayaba Akihiko, until Ran suggested going to pick herbs.
While picking herbs in an effort to save up enough curren to buy a house, Yuuki was able to capture a Royal Triton Stag Beetle with her bare hands. While Yuuki was considering what to do with it, a girl approached them, claiming to have been hunting the beetle for the past hour. Realizing that the girl could keep the bug alive because she had a cage and receiving encouragement from her sister, Yuuki decided to gift the beetle to the girl. In exchange, she was allowed to name the bug and chose the name "Roy".
The girl introduced herself as Merida. Following her example, the sisters introduced themselves as well. Shortly after the introductions, Merida collapsed, causing the sisters to realize that she suffered from an ailment as well. After recovering, Merida offered to continue their conversation over tea in the village.
Merida took the sisters to a crepe shop, where, during their meal, the sisters learned that Merida had played another game, Sword Art Online. Merida had been part of a guild during the beta test, but was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor before the game's full release, thus preventing her from taking part in it. As Sword Art Online became a death game while the various therapies that Merida undertook did not help dispose of her tumor, Merida began contemplating that if she was going to die either way, she should have joined SAO and fought alongside her friends. Although Yuuki understood Merida's desire to give some meaning to her life, she protested that she would not be able to meet her parents if she did so. Yuuki's words seemingly convinced Merida, who resolved to raise Roy to become a champion in the Bug Battle tournament.
As a change of topic, Merida asked the twins if they played any other games. Since the girls expressed reservation that virtual reality games were expensive, Merida mentioned that some free games, like Asuka Empire, had already been released, and managed to persuade the sisters to try it.
The next afternoon, the sisters logged in to Asuka Empire and met Merida, who was playing as a Ninja. Merida guided the twins through the initiation quest, allowing Ran to become a Spell User and Yuuki become a Swordswoman.
Five days later, the sisters defeated the last boss for the class advancement quest and earned the right to change to advanced classes. While celebrating the class advancement at a shop, Merida praised Yuuki for her skills during the battle. In response, Yuuki accidentally admitted that she was not using an AmuSphere, forcing Ran to lie and claim that they were both using modified NerveGear systems.
As the sisters' birthday approached, with Merida planning to visit them, Yuuki did her utmost to make her private living space appealing to her guest. However, when Merida arrived at the hospital, she put on Aiko's NerveGear while Aiko was using the restroom, leaving a note stating that she was planning to log in to Sword Art Online. Aiko immediately notified Yuuki about Merida's action, but suggested going Serene Garden instead of calling for help. As Yuuki's sister predicted, they found Merida in Serene Garden trying to release Roy, as she was not able give him back to Yuuki. Confronted, Merida expressed her disbelief in the government saving the Sword Art Online victims through force, as well as her desire to make her life have purpose. After Ran's attempts to dissuade Merida from diving into SAO failed, Yuuki challenged Merida to a duel in Asuka Empire with the hope of conveying her feelings through their fight.
As the duel was about to begin, Yuuki realized that she was less likely to defeat Merida than her sister was, but knew that she had to fight herself to convey her feelings. On her first attack, Yuuki hesitated, thus giving Merida the chance to dodge the attack. Seeing Yuuki's hesitation, Merida told Yuuki about how she had learnt from her fight with a certain swordsman that duels were a way of conveying feelings. Realizing that she had to suppress her hesitation to have her feelings reach Merida, Yuuki fought earnestly and won the duel.
After the duel, Merida was impressed by Yuuki's potential. Using the opportunity, Ran shared her desire to create a guild, firstly inviting those whose circumstances were similar to theirs. This proposal resonated with Yuuki, who resolved to find Merida a purpose to live for, and Merida. Before they left the game, Merida apologized for causing the sisters trouble on their birthday.
Back in the real world, Merida wished Yuuki and Aiko a happy birthday, and, as a present, broke her Sword Art Online memory card in two, eliminating any possibility of her going to that world.
Six months later, Sword Art Online was cleared before the government's plan could be executed.
- In volume 7, it was stated that Yuuki was born in 2011. However, in this side story, it is implied that Yuuki was born in 2010 instead, as she was celebrating her fourteenth birthday in 2024.
- In the lullaby "Hush, Little Baby", the word "loves" was misspelled as "lover" and the letters n and t in "don't" overlapped with each other.