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On the 19th Day of the 3rd Month of the Human Empire Calendar, Kirito awoke in a forest, disoriented due to being unable to recall what had happened to him after leaving the Dicey Cafe with Asuna. Because of his unusual clothing and the prominent sense of realism of the world he found himself in, the boy deduced that he had been brought to Underworld, the world that he had visited before during his part-time job but with suppressed memories. Confused by the fact that he maintained his real world memories during the current FullDive, Kirito attempted to get the attention of his employers, Kikuoka Seijirou and Higa Takeru, to no avail.
While quenching his thirst at a stream moments later, Kirito heard a sound in the area and decided to investigate it. At the source of the sound, Kirito found a boy sitting next to a gigantic tree. Unsure whether the boy was a player or a Non-Player Character (NPC), Kirito introduced himself, carefully choosing the phrasing of his questions to obtain more information from the boy without alarming him, in case he was not aware of the outside world. As the boy did not understand his gaming terms, Kirito realised that it would be pointless to request information pertaining to the real world from the boy, thus he instead asked for a place to stay.
The boy suggested going to the nearby village of Rulid, where the church could provide lodging for a visitor. He also offered to lead Kirito to the village himself, in order to help him explain his situation to the village's guards so they would be more willing to let him pass, after finishing his work at the tree. When Kirito accepted his offer, the boy recalled that he had yet to introduce himself, thus he shared that his name was Eugeo, before offering Kirito some bread. During a conversation about the bread, Eugeo mentioned that a girl named Alice used to bring him lunch at noon, before she was arrested.
After sharing the story of what had happened to the girl with Kirito, Eugeo returned to his work. During the following break, the boy explained that his Sacred Task was to cut the gigantic Gigas Cedar tree, as it prevented the village from expanding due to exhausting the resources in the area; however, he was not expected to actually finish the job in his lifetime, as the tree was too durable. Wishing to repay the boy for his kindness, Kirito offered to help him with his job, though surprised when he learnt that the job was more difficult than he had expected. Several hours later, with the quota for the day fulfilled, the two boys stored Eugeo's axe at a nearby shed, before heading to the village.
At the entrance to Rulid Village, the two boys were approached by Jink, the captain of the village's guards. As the guard began teasing Eugeo about his Sacred Task when the newcomer claimed he could not recall what his own was, Kirito suddenly asserted a belief that he used to be a swordsman. Sceptical about the claim, Jink offered the boy his sword to prove he could use it. To everyone's surprise, however, Kirito managed to unintentionally activate a Sword Skill during his demonstration, leaving Jink speechless as Eugeo stated he would lead Kirito into the village. After meeting various villagers along the way, the two boys eventually arrived to the church, where Eugeo summoned Sister Azariya to request for a place that Kirito could lodge.
Sometime later, Azariya's assistant, Selka Zuberg, provided Kirito with a pillow and a blanket, and informed him of the rules at the church. After the girl left his room, Kirito contemplated on the world he found himself in, concluding that none of the villagers were Non-Player Characters. As Rath did not have enough Soul Translators to support all these inhabitants, while Eugeo claimed that many years had passed in this world, Kirito deduced that the people he met had to be Artificial Fluctlights, copies of newborn Fluctlights who were raised in the virtual world. Pondering on what Rath's goal was and how much time had been accelerated in this world, the boy speculated that he might find a method to contact the outside world in a bigger city and fell asleep as he deliberated the need of a partner for his journey.
- Adapted from Volume 9, Chapter 1, Parts 1-3
- During the scene where Kirito had a vision of his childhood in Underworld, Kirito did not see himself running alongside Alice and Eugeo in the anime.
- The scene with Jink testing Kirito as a swordsman is anime-original.
- The Dark Army was not mentioned by Eugeo when he stored the Dragon Bone Axe in the shed.