On February 23, 2024, within a field dungeon called the Forest of Wandering, a mid level player and Beast Tamer Silica decided to leave her current party after an argument with one of its members, Rosalia, and return to Mishe on her own. However, due to field dungeon's design, she became lost and encountered the local monsters multiple times. After hours of navigating the forest, she encountered several Drunken Apes, however, she had forgotten to grab some healing crystals and potions from her party before leaving and ran out of the ones she had left. While Silica was distracted looking for any leftover healing items, the Drunken Apes used the opening to attack Silica. Just before she was about to be hit with a final blow, her Tamed Monster, the Feathered Little Dragon Pina, intercepted the hit and was subsequently killed in the process. The shocked Silica was then nearly killed by the apes, but was saved by Kirito who had come across her by chance. After being saved, Silica cried over the loss of her pet and dear friend.
Silica regained some hope when Kirito explains to her that it is possible to revive her partner with a special flower at the 47th Floor. However, she is soon discouraged when she realizes that the difficulty would be too high for her current level as well as there being a three day time limit to revive Pina. Feeling obligated for not being able to save her Tamed Monster, Kirito provides her with some sturdier equipment to increase her protection, and partners with Silica to retrieve the flower. Kirito would have gotten it himself, however the presence of the deceased pet's owner was required for the item to appear. Silica asked him why he helped her and, after she promised not to laugh at his response, Kirito says that she reminds him of his sister, which causes Silica to burst into laughter.
Silica returned with Kirito to Mishe, the main town of the 35th Floor, to discuss their plans for retrieving the flower. While in town, Kirito dealt with some troublesome encounters with some of Silica’s fans and Silica's ex-party member, Rosalia. At the inn, Kirito explained to Silica about the concept of «Player Killing» and Color Cursors: players who have attacked and/or killed someone are indicated by the cursor above their heads being orange, while a green colour indicated that the player was not hostile to others. After having dinner, the two went to their own rooms. Silica, in her undergarments, was considering of visiting Kirito's room, just as the latter comes knocking at her own door. After Silica barely remembered to get dressed before letting her new party member in, Kirito took out a «Mirage Sphere» to show the known data on the 47th Floor to Silica. As he was continuing with his explanations, he suddenly detected someone eavesdropping on them and ran out to see who was there, but the player quickly fled. Silica then asked Kirito how was someone able to listen in on them, and Kirito told her that players with a high Listening skill did not have to knock on the door to hear what was going on in the room.
After spending the night at the second floor of the «Weathercock Pavilion», Kirito and Silica began their journey to the southern section of the 47th Floor from the main town on the floor, Floria. Before going to the location of the Pneuma Flower, Kirito gave Silica a teleport crystal just in case something went wrong. After defeating multiple plant monsters along the way and conversing about Kirito's sister, Kirito and Silica were able to make it to «The Hill of Memories» and retrieve the Pneuma Flower. Kirito asked Silica to revive Pina in Mishe as there were strong monsters around the area.
However, when returning with the item, Kirito sensed a group of players waiting to ambush them, and told Silica to get her teleport crystal out. Rosalia, who Kirito revealed to be the leader of «Titan's Hand» guild, appeared, and demanded them to give up the flower. Silica wondered how could Rosalia be a member of an orange guild if she had a green cursor, and Kirito told her that this was a simple trick, where players like her find targets for the orange members of the guild. Kirito then told Rosalia that he was looking for her, under the request of a leader of the fallen guild, the «Silver Flags», who wanted her and her guild to be sent to jail. The other members then came out of hiding, with their weapons at the ready.
One of the members, after hearing Silica call Kirito by his name, recognized him as the Black Swordsman. The member told Rosalia that Kirito used a one-handed sword with no shield build, was a «Beater», and a member of the «Clearers», but Rosalia rejected such a claim, as she believed that if he were a Clearer, he would not be wandering on the lower floors. She then ordered her members to attack him.
As the orange players attacked Kirito, he did nothing, thus Silica began to worry that he would die, and was almost ready to attack them. However, as she looked at his HP bar, she suddenly saw it rising again. The orange players continued attacking Kirito for awhile, but eventually got exhausted from attacking, annoying Rosalia. Kirito then told the orange players that they did around 400 damage to him in 10 seconds, while, being a much more higher level then them, his battle healing skill would heal 600 points within 10 seconds, and, as such, they could be fighting him all day and he would not die.
Kirito then took out a rare «Corridor Crystal», bought by the fallen guild's leader, and planned to send them all to the prison on the 1st Floor governed by «The Army». All the orange guild members seemingly gave in to Kirito’s supremacy except for Rosalia, who told him that if he attacked her, he would go orange. Kirito, with his speed, rushed up to Rosalia and threatened to kill her, stating that because of his status as a soloer, he wouldn't mind being orange for a few days. Rosalia then dropped her spear, and all of the members were sent to the Black Iron Palace's jail.
Afterwards, Kirito brought Silica back to the «Weathercock Pavilion». There, Kirito apologized, stating that he was sorry that he ended up using her as bait to lure the orange guild out. He also told her that he was afraid that if he had told her the truth beforehand, she would have been scared, but she denied it, stating that he is a good person. Silica wanted to join him, but their levels were too far apart, and Kirito needed to get back to the front lines. As Kirito asked her to use the flower on Pina's heart, she did so, and was ready to tell Pina her one-day adventure with her "big brother".
- Pina's heart
- Ebon Dagger - Given by Kirito
- Silverthread Armor - Given by Kirito
- Moon Blazer - Given by Kirito
- Fairy Boots - Given by Kirito
- Florit Belt - Given by Kirito
- Teleport Crystal - Given by Kirito
- Pneuma Flower
- Popping Corn
- Fullmelon Skin
- Samep Tail
- Tough String
- Worn-out Meal
- Gem Bottle
- Rominel Water
- Pretty Fragment
- Antidote Crystal
- Blue Soda
- Tricoll Juice
- Lemming Bell
- Cacacocori Fruit
- Mirage Sphere
- Corridor Crystal - Given by Unnamed Silver Flags Guild leader
- Aincrad Floor 1
- Aincrad Floor 35
- Aincrad Floor 47
- Adapted from Volume 2, The Black Swordsman.
- In the light novel, three Drunk Apes appear, however Silica was dealing with two of them before a third one appeared. In the anime, the three apes simply surround her, with no surprise attacks.
- Though the light novel depicts Kirito in his Blackwyrm Coat, the anime showed him in a different, unnamed coat.
- The scene involving Silica in the Inn room is altered in the anime. In the novel, Silica visits Kirito's room and falls asleep on his bed, resulting in Kirito sleeping on the floor. This happens again to him at the beginning of the Fairy Dance story arc, when Suguha falls asleep in his bed, reinforcing Kirito's impression that Silica reminds him of her.
- Due to this alteration, Silica and Kirito sleep in separate rooms in the anime, as opposed to sleeping in the same room in the novel.
- In the light novel, 10 Titan's Hand members come out, but only 9 attack Kirito, as one member did not attack since he was the guild's eavesdropper and thus needed a green cursor. In the anime, only 7 players pop out and attack him, including the eavesdropper.
- In the light novel, after the orange players stopped attacking Kirito, they made confused faces until Rosalia ordered them to continue their attack, which they did. In the anime, the orange players were exhausted after attacking Kirito and did not continue attacking him even though Rosalia told them to.
- In the light novel, Kirito told the orange players before that if they did not go through the portal, he would paralyze all of them with a knife coated with level 5 poison. The conversation nor the dagger is not mentioned in the anime.
- The scene where Kirito opens a portal and jails the Titan's Hand guild members is omitted in the anime.
- In the anime, Rosalia did not carry a teleport crystal.
- In the light novel, while Kirito throws Rosalia into the portal, she attempted to plead to him for mercy and even attempted to persuade him to join forces with her.
- While Kirito and Silica were waiting for dinner at the inn in Mishe, they discussed about Player Killing and Silica saw Kirito's and several other players' green cursors. However, according to Sword Art Online Material Edition 06, Color Cursors do not show up inside buildings at all.
- A Titan's Hand guild member is depicted to be dual wielding a pair of hand-axes, and even using a Sword Skill involving the pair of weapons. However, Kirito is the only one able to make use of the Dual Blades Sword Skills, so this error may be on part of the animation team.
- "Don't leave me, alone, Pina"- Silica
- (While being attacked by a Garish Gerbera) "Kirito, save me! Don't look, but save me!" - Silica
- '"I don't think that your sister hates you. You can't work that hard for someone who you don't like" - Silica
- (To Rosalia) "Just so we're clear, I'm a solo player. One or two days of playing while orange mean nothing to me. - Kirito
- "In this world, strength is just an illusion. There are more important things" - Kirito
- (Before the revival of Pina) "Pina...I'll talk to you lots and lots, okay? About my amazing adventure today...and about the one day in my life that I had a big brother." - Silica