|Spoiler Alert: This article/section contains details about future plotlines described in the light novels, not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you want to be spoiled. |
Story Pencil Board refers to an unnamed short story written by Kawahara Reki and included as a free gift with Dengeki Bunko Magazine volume 30.
In Sword Art Online, Asuna had two hobbies that had no direct benefit to clearing the death game: the first was «cooking» and the second was «baths». Although Asuna had a bathroom with a small bath in her home in Selmburg, she also had an exhaustive list of sleeping quarters that included large bath-houses on every floor - for times when she felt the desire for a bigger bath. However, the latest bath that she found out about from Argo was not only outside the Area, but it was also an open-air bath, meaning that both monsters and Orange Players could attack them at any time. Although weapons could be placed right beside the bathtub, equipping armour for protection would require manipulating various windows.
On October 1, 2024, Asuna grumbled to her friend, the blacksmith Lisbeth, that she felt that she could not enter the bath and relax while having to be on guard against hostile attacks, as Lisbeth was polishing Asuna's rapier, before Lisbeth came up with a solution with a smug smile on her face.
Later, Asuna and Lisbeth were enjoying the open-air bath and Asuna claimed that it was the second best bath she had ever entered in Aincrad, with the best being the first bath she had tried on the 1st Floor. The bath was supposed to be key part of a quest, which involved an assault from a mysterious ninja squad at the location of the bath if the player proceeded with the quest. There was the possibility that monsters unrelated to the quest or hostile players would attack them, however, the girls were completely relaxed as, beyond the wooden door to the bath, Kirito was guarding them while waiting for his turn to take a bath.