|The Lugru Corridor|
November, 10 2012
Kirito and Leafa enter the caves toward Lugru. On the way they talk about each races' spells, and Leafa unexpectedly receives a somewhat cryptic message from Recon, which states "I was right. Be careful. S." They are interrupted from their speculations about the message by Yui, who informs them that twelve hostile players are approaching, prompting Leafa to hide them with concealment magic. Kirito notices a red bat and tells Leafa, who immediately recognizes it as a tracer and strikes the bat with magic, effectively destroying it. She then tells him to run because they were being followed by Salamanders.
They arrive at the lake surrounding Lugru and just before they enter the city, a large stone wall emerges before them, blocking their advance, forcing them to stay and fight. Kirito tells Leafa to stay back and support him, which she agrees to and he begins the assault, but is stopped by the Salamander shield formation. Due to the combination of healing mages, attacking mages and blocking soldiers Kirito is having a hard time breaking through the formation, so Leafa suggests surrendering and starting again from Sylvain, to which Kirito refuses saying that while he's alive he won't let any party member die.
On the last attempt to fight the charges, Kirito is stopped once again, and is forced to jump back. Yui tells Leafa what to do and she protects Kirito with a defensive spell, allowing him to use his magic. Kirito transforms into a creature resembling The Gleam Eyes and takes down the entire Salamander squad, leaving only one alive on Leafa's request.
Kirito negotiates with the Salamander and obtains information about their pursuers while Leafa and Yui are surprised by their humorous attitude in their negotiation. The Salamander reveals that him and the others were ordered to attack them by the same group of Salamanders as before. They enter the city and Leafa, at Kirito's suggestion, logs out of the game to ask Recon what his message meant. Suguha calls Shinichi and demands to know what's happening, and he informs her about Sigurd's plan with the Salamanders and how he sold out their leader, Lady Sakuya. Shinichi had caught Sigurd acting suspiciously and decided to tail him, eventually stumbling upon his meeting with the Salamanders. However, he was found out before he can escape and was shot with a poisoned arrow. Shinichi reveals that a group of Salamanders are planning to attack the Sylph leader and the Cait Siths during the establishment of the alliance treaty between the two races. Leafa connects once again and explains the situation to Kirito, and gives him the option to continue on without her as allying himself with the Salamanders may be his best chance to reach the Word Tree. Kirito rejects the idea and decides to accompany her. Taking advantage of his speed he grabs Leafa's hand and they exit the caves in no time.
- The Lugru Corridor, Neutral Territory
- Adapted from Sword Art Online Light Novel Volume 03 Chapter 4
- In the anime, it wasn't mentioned that the Illusion spell Kirito performed turned the player into a monster, the shape of which randomly depending on the player's combat skills and that, usually, the end result would be a weak monster with no change in stats.