Akahana no Tonakai
July 21, 2012
PlotEditKeita» extends an invitation to Kirito after learning that he was a solo player. Hiding his true level, Kirito joins as a temporary member until the guild can be independent without him. Kirito is also asked to help with the stat development of another player named Sachi. To maintain his own level, Kirito sneaks out at night to go grind in the higher floor Labyrinths. After coming back from his self-leveling, he receives a message from Keita, saying that Sachi has gone missing. He quickly finds her with his «Tracking» skill. After learning that she was incredibly afraid of dying, Kirito tries his best to reassure her; constantly telling her that he will not let her die. Afterwards Kirito would commonly comfort Sachi whenever she was afraid; helping her sleep by being by her side. When the group finally collects enough Col, Keita teleports to a lower floor to purchase a new base for the guild. With the leader’s absence, the other members decide that they should surprise Keita by obtaining new items from the higher level labyrinths. Ignoring Kirito's warnings, the other members were lured in by the presence of treasure in a concealed room and triggered the alarm by opening the treasure chest; sending a siren that kept drawing in a continuous horde of monsters to the room. Kirito tries to defend himself and reach Sachi while witnessing the other members fall one by one due to monster attacks. Despite Kirito's effort to protect her, Sachi is killed as well. After surviving the trap, Kirito informs Keita about the demise of the other members, and tells him that he knew about the possible trap since he was at a higher level for being a «Beater»; Keita curses him and leaps off the town railing into the endless sky. Later, on December 24, 2023, Kirito meets with the information broker «Argo the Rat», questioning her about the location of the Christmas event boss. Obsessed about the possible revival item, Kirito hopes to hear Sachi's last words. It didn't matter to him whether she hated him or not, he would take all her anger. As it was nearly time for Christmas Eve, Kirito changes into better equipment and heads off to the 35th floor forest. Along the way, Kirito was followed by Klein and his guild: «Fuurinkazan». Klein initially wants to fight alongside with Kirito against the Christmas boss, however the plan changes when another guild: «Divine Dragon Alliance» intercepts them. Klein and his guild members hold off the opposing guild as Kirito makes his way to the boss.
Kirito challenges the monster: «Nicholas The Renegade» without even listening to the boss’s opening dialogue. He wins but is devastated after gaining the reward; he half-heartedly returns to meet up with Klein who was waiting for him. After handing Klein the revival item: «Divine Stone of Returning Soul», Kirito walks off into the distance. It turns out that the revival item can only save a player during their ten-second «End Phase» and not a player who had perished a long time ago.Kirito heads back to his home and sulks in front of his desk. He is soon alerted by an incoming message in his inventory. To his surprise, he learns that Sachi had set a timed message to appear at Christmas Day. After engaging the voice message, Kirito listens to the sound of Sachi’s voice; telling him that her death was not his fault. She muses on how her death is inevitable, and asks Kirito to fulfill her wishes when it does occur. She ends the message by humming "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer," and thanking Kirito for all the time he had spent with her.
- Rubber Plate
- Metal Plate
- Silver Chest Guard
- Cardboard Armor
- Breastplate of Steel
- Guard Suit
- Silver Plate
- Metal Boots
- Black Boots
- Timer-Activated Message Record Crystal - Received from Sachi
- Divine Stone of Returning Soul - Received from Kirito
- Aincrad Floor 11 Taft
- Aincrad Floor 20: Sunshine Forest
- Aincrad Floor 27: Labyrinth
- Aincrad Floor 28: Wolf Plains
- Aincrad Floor 35 Mishe: Forest of Disorientation
- Aincrad Floor 49 Mujen
- Adapted from Volume 2, Red-nosed Reindeer.
- The anime does not show that Klein met Kirito while he was training and that they talked about the Christmas event.
- In the anime, Klein and his group are shown fighting off some wolf-like creatures on the 28th Floor before the death of the Black Cats of the Full Moon, whereas in the novel they were training against an ant-like monster on the 46th Floor just 5 days away from the Christmas event.
- Argo does not make an appearance in the light novel, but was mentioned by Klein during their conversation.
- The initial story of how Kirito meets up with the Black Cats is not portrayed in the anime.
- In the novel, Sachi was using a cloak that granted invisibility when Kirito finds her.
- There is no mention of the shared inventory window between Kirito and Sachi in the anime.
- Kirito and Sachi do not actually sleep in one bed, only in the same room in the novel.
- In the Light Novel, it was stated that Klein negotiated with the Divine Dragon Alliance to have a 1-on-1 duel between him and a member of the Alliance to decide their next course of action. Because of this, only Klein was tired after the match, but in the anime it looks as if everyone in the Fuurinkazan guild fought against the DDA guild.
- Sachi doesn't exactly sing "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" in the anime, instead she hums it.
- Although in the anime it isn't mentioned, but Nicholas actually dropped a whole bag of loot. The Divine Stone of Returning Soul was only 1 of the dropped rewards.
- "Willpower is what seperates us from the clearers; the determination to protect one's friends.... no, everyone. Right now, they are still protecting us." - Keita
- "In this world, the dead won't return." - Kirito
- "Kirito... Kirito! Your have to survive. Survive until the end please..." - Klein
- "Even if i die, you keep living okay? Live to see the end of this world, and to see why it was born. Live to see why a weak girl like me ended up here... And the reason you and I met." - Sachi