General of the Blazing Flame (猛炎の将, Mōen no Shō?) is the twentieth episode of the Sword Art Online anime adaptation, as well as the sixth episode in the Fairy Dance Arc. It aired on November 17, 2012.
After Kirito and Leafa swiftly exit the cave and start flying, they noticed the World Tree in the distance. Kirito then asked where the meeting would take place. Leafa pointed to the location and informed him that they only have twenty minutes to get there. Both increased their speed as they tried to reach the Leaders in time.
Yui detected sixty-eight players on their way, presumably the Salamander's attack force, and another fourteen ahead of them, the Sylphs and the Cait Sith diplomats. The group saw all the other players in front of them, but Yui said that there were only fifty seconds left before they made contact. Admitting defeat, Leafa told Kirito to go to the World Tree while she tried to save Sakuya, the Sylph leader, but Kirito rejected the plan, saying that running is not his style.
The Salamanders arrived and just as they were about to attack, Kirito landed with a boom between the two factions and asked everyone to put away their swords. Leafa startled Sakuya and informed the party that their fates relied on Kirito. Kirito then asked to talk to Salamanders' commander. The commander then appeared, annoyed by the fact that Kirito had interrupted their attack, but allowed Kirito to speak for his bravery. Kirito then claims to be an ambassador to the Spriggan-Undine alliance and also claimed that he had come to negotiate trade terms with the Sylph-Cait Sith alliance, and also said disrupting the meeting would cause all four races to wage war on the Salamanders. The commander rejected the claim, as Kirito had no guards and "horrible gear," and then said that he would only believe him if he could hold him off for 30 seconds, and then drew his weapon. Sakuya then recognized the weapon as Demonic Sword Gram and realized that the commander was General Eugene, the strongest player in ALO.
Eugene used the sun's rays to blind Kirito and began the first assault. Kirito attempted to block the Demonic Sword Gram, but failed as Eugene's weapon mysteriously phases through his blade, causing Kirito to be hit and blown to a cliff, much to Leafa's surprise. Alicia Rue, the leader of the Cait Siths, told her about the Demonic Sword Gram's unique skill, «Ethereal Shift», which allowed the sword to phase through swords and shields when the opponent attempts to block the attack. Kirito retaliated, but was hit by Ethereal Shift again. As they continued to fight, Kirito pointed out that 30 seconds had already passed but Eugene had already decided to change the rule to a deathmatch and continued to attack Kirito. Eugene began to take the upper hand in the battle by using his sword's unique ability and repeatedly damaging Kirito while parrying all his attacks, so Kirito tried to get some distance between him and Eugene and used Smokescreen to buy him some time to by covering the field in smoke.
Taking advantage of the diversion, Kirito borrowed Leafa's katana and seemingly vanished. Eugene cleared the smokescreen and Kirito was nowhere to be found, prompting everyone, except Leafa, to believe that Kirito had fled. Just then, Kirito surprised everyone as he soared down from the sky to clash against Eugene, surprising the general by drawing Leafa's katana right after he blocks Eugene's attack with his great sword, causing «Ethereal Shift» to lose its effect.
Taking advantage of his experience of dual-wielding from Sword Art Online, Kirito attacked fiercely and the General is not able to defend against the onslaught and counter-attack due to the limitation of «Ethereal Shift», combined with Kirito's god-like speed. Thus, Kirito won almost instantly with the continuation of his attacks. Everyone was amazed by the outcome of the battle, with the diplomats cheering and the Salamanders appreciating Kirito's skills.
After the match, Sakuya revived Eugene and, after being revived, Eugene admitted that Kirito is the best fighter he had ever seen. Kirito thanked the General and asked if Eugene believed what he had said about the Spriggan-Undine alliance. As Eugene contemplates Kirito's claim, Kagemune appeared and, to Leafa's surprise, he lied for Kirito's cause, informing Eugene that Kirito was the one who destroyed his party and was also accompanied by an Undine. Eugene then believed the allegations, and, as he and the Salamander leader knew it would not be worth fighting against the four races, he agreed to leave with his troops. He then expressed the wish to battle Kirito once again, which the latter agreed to, and Eugene left on good terms.
After the Salamanders departed, Leafa told Sakuya about Sigurd's treason, and Sakuya presumed that he had betrayed them because the Sylphs were falling in their military power to the Salamanders, and because of the future 5.0 patch, which was rumored to include a reincarnation system, which would allow a player to be reborn as another race, if the lord of the race agreed. She presumed that leader of the Salamanders had agreed to turn Sigurd into a Salamander if he brought Sakuya's head. Sakuya then asked Alicia to open a Moonlight Mirror to talk with Sigurd. Sigurd was surprised to see the mirror and Sakuya, who told him that his plan to kill her had failed thanks to Leafa and Kirito's efforts, much to Sigurd's scowling. Sigurd boasted that Sakuya's rule would fall without him leading the Sylph military, but Sakuya decided to "grant his request" and manipulated her Race Lord management window. A moment later, Sigurd received a notification that he was banished from Sylph territory, with Sakuya stating that he could find something else to occupy him as a renegade in neutral areas. Sigurd cursed Sakuya before she completed filing the banishment and he was forcibly teleported out of his room.
After Kirito admitted he lied about being an ambassador and there was never any Spriggan-Undine alliance, saying that he just made it up on the spot in the crisis situation, while Kirito himself was not allied with anyone, the two leaders flirted with him and asked him to join their respective forces. Leafa then tried to stop them by saying that he was her partner, but while she was a loss for words, Kirito rejected the offers of both leaders, and told them about his need to reach Alne fast. After hearing that the purpose of the Sylph-Cait Sith alliance was support each other in reaching the top of the World Tree, Kirito donated a bag of Mithril Yrd coins to them to help them prepare for the assault towards the World Tree. The leaders thanked Kirito and left, telling him he was welcome to visit their place once he returned from the World Tree.
As they see the Leaders leaving, Leafa approached Kirito and leaned on his arm, but backed away when Yui popped out of Kirito's pocket and accused "papa" of cheating, as his heart was beating faster when the leaders were clinging to him, but he excused himself by saying that he could not avoid it because he was a man. With this, Leafa asked what Yui thought about her and was surprised to hear that she was just okay. Kirito messed up by telling her that she was not like a girl, in a sense that it was easier to get along with her. He then changed the topic by taking off and proceeding to Alne before the sun set.
Meanwhile, in the bird cage, Asuna got up and entered the code she had memorized earlier to open the gate and left her prison, stating she would do her best for Kirito.
- Dual Blades (experience of dual wielding from SAO; not an actual skill in ALO)
- Adapted from Volume 3 Chapter 4
- In the novel, Eugene used a fire spell to clear out Kirito's smoke spell. In the anime, he clears it with the blow of his sword.
- In the anime, it is not mentioned that dual wielding has been attempted by other players, but that no one is known to have managed to efficiently use the style in battle, as it is difficult for a person to manipulate 2 swords with both hands and have them working in sync.
- Eugene does not see Kirito using the other sword in the anime until the latter uses Leafa's katana to block his sword and shows a sign of shock. In the novel, he spots the katana and smiles thinking that Kirito is being desperate to kill him.
- Jötunheimr is not mentioned at all in the anime.
- Kagemune simply talks to Eugene in the anime, while in the novel he bows before talking to him. His talk with Eugene also seems to be slightly shorter, as he does not mention what happened to Gtacs's party in the anime, nor does he mention "S" (Sigurd).
- In the novel, Kagemune winks at Leafa, most likely due to Kirito sparing him earlier on, and thus his lie to Eugene was his way to pay a debt to her. In the anime, he is not seen after Eugene and his group leaves, therefore it is not shown at all.
- In the light novel, after beating Eugene, Kirito smiles at the cheer that everyone was giving him while bowing at the audience. However, in the anime, he just swings his sword and stares down.
- The ring of words that can be briefly seen at the end of Kirito's spell chant says "Þú fylla heill austr", even though that is the incantation for a basic healing spell.
- "Running away isn't my style" - Kirito