A year after Sword Art Online (SAO) was cleared, online in a bar on another VRMMO game, Gun Gale Online the players were watching the live stream of «This Week's Winners», which was featuring the winner and runner up of the last Gun Gale Online tournament, called Bullet of Bullets: XeXeeD and Yamikaze. XeXeeD was giving an interview about his victory in the tournament, remarking of how the age of AGI based builds was over as opposed to the STR build, which allowed wielding stronger and heavier guns. Most of the people in the cafe showed disdain for the top player, as he had spread false rumours about AGI builds were the best option, thus most players invested in that stat.
However, once there was a break in his speech, a cloaked player stood up and took out a pistol, the cloaked player then proceeded to walk towards the television screen and give a speech about "judgement". Although, he was mocked at first, after the pistol was used to shoot the TV screen, at XeXeeD's face and, moments later, XeXeeD let out a face of pain, clutched his chest, and disappeared due to a disconnection error, everyone became shocked. The cloaked figure then declared himself as Death Gun and that he wielded true power through the Death pistol.
A month later, while waiting for Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) to come to their date at the East Garden of the Imperial Palace, Yuuki Asuna wondered what the difference between the virtual world and reality was and Kazuto, who had only just arrived, answered that the difference was the amount of information. Coincidentally, they ended up wearing clothes that were the same in colour as the ones that they wore in SAO, in Kazuto's case due to Kirigaya Suguha washing all his other clothes. While walking through the imperial garden, they talked about the special nature of the Imperial Garden and how it was unique in Tokyo because it was completely cut off from the outside world.
After a while, they sat down on a bench and Asuna brought up the survey they had taken about what they were planning to do after graduation. She then asked what Kazuto was planning to do and the latter announced that he wanted to become a designer of a new FullDive technology instead of a simple player. Asuna responded by whispering that she wanted to always be with Kazuto, but covered it up by saying she wanted to find a way to make Yui a real person. When Kazuto brought up the difference in the amount of information between the virtual world and reality, Asuna asked him what he meant by it. Kazuto explained that people sense much more from their surroundings in real life than in the virtual world.
Kazuto then had a flashback to around four hours ago, when Kazuto met with Kikuoka Seijirou at Salon de café. It was revealed that he was the first person to visit Kazuto, and he was pat of the Virtual Division of the government. After ordering light snacks and drinks, Seijirou informed him that a person, Shigemura Tamotsu (XeXeeD), had died while wearing the AmuSphere because of heart failure a month earlier.
Although he had not eaten in two days, a player reported him being shot at on the TV screen by a player who was watching his interview moments before his disconnection. In addition, another player happened to record the unknown player's speech through an audio blog that was published on a video site. Although Kazuto dismissed the incident as a coincidence, Seijirou quickly notified him of a second death with similar factors, such as the involvement of a player calling himself Death Gun, a speech, a pro player, and heart failure.
As Seijirou seemed to have investigated all of the possibilities that he thought about, Kazuto attempted to leave, concluding that it was impossible for someone to die from an in-game cause. However, Seijirou stopped him and asked him to investigate the matter by confronting Death Gun in Gun Gale Online. After remarking that Seijirou wanted him to get shot by the player, Kazuto was about to storm out, but after hearing that Death Gun had strict criteria for his targets, Kazuto returned to the table. After Kazuto explained what pros were, Seijirou offered to pay him for the investigation.
After the flashback, back at the Imperial Palace, Kazuto and Asuna talked a bit more about SAO then, right before they went on their way back home, Kazuto wanted to say something but held back and instead suggested that they should have a picnic there together with Rika (Lisbeth) and Suguha (Leafa) by spring.Meanwhile, in Gun Gale Online, Sinon was given word to open fire on a mob-hunting Squadron. Momentarily reflecting on a certain time, she shot a player with her PGM Ultima Ratio Hecate II.
- SBC Gurokken pub
- East Gardens of Tokyo Imperial Palace
- Salon de café
- Adapted from Volume 5, Prologue and Chapter 1-3
- Kazuto's comment about Yui having a little sister after seeing the twin girls was omitted.
- Seijirou and Kazuto's conversation was greatly shortened. In the anime, they immediately began talking about the Death Gun incident, while in the novel they first talked about various other topics.
- Various off topic remarks during Seijirou and Kazuto's meeting were omitted, including the joke about Usujio Tarako's and Hokkai Ikkura names.
- Seijirou and Kazuto's discussion on the limit of AmuSphere functions was omitted.
- Seijirou's talk about the Inuit Kiviak and how it resulted in the women of the nearby table leaving in disgust was omitted.
- In the novel, Seijirou gave Kazuto a copy of the recording of Death Gun's voice to listen to.
- Seijirou and Kazuto's meeting was changed into a flashback.
- The conversation among Dyne's squad while they were waiting for their targets to show up was omitted.
- The title of this episode is similar to the title of the first episode in the previous season, World of Swords (剣の世界, Ken no Sekai?).
- The episode was shown in several different premiere events worldwide before its public release. The event in Japan was held on June 29, 2014, while events in other countries were held on July 4, 2014.
- The background music played in the cafe is "Air on the G String".
- The cafe shown in the episode is likely based on the Shiseido Parlour Salon De Café, as it exists in Tokyo in reality, and the shop name, location, interior design, dishes available, pricing, menu design, and other things are similar.
- "Presenter prprprprprprprprprpr[† 1]" - Comment in danmaku[† 2]
- "It's true that, until now, the strongest strategy had been to raise your AGI, and fire a powerful physical weapon as fast as possible. But the balance of a MMO changes all the time. In particular, games with levels don't let you re-spec your stats. You need to constantly predict the future when you spend your points, because the best style for your level zone won't always stay the same." - XeXeeD
- "XeXeeD... False victor...You will now be judged by true power! (Death Gun shoots XeXeeD's image and XeXeeD disconnects after several seconds) This is true power! True strength. Fools...Remember this name, and fear! The name of this gun and I share! Death Gun!" - Death Gun
- "The amount of information. That's all." - Kazuto
- "But that would mean that the world the commander tried to create was intended to taper off to a point and someday disappear. And a certain person made it explode midway. Without waiting to see the end" - Asuna
- "This pressure, this unease, this terror...That's like tossing a wad of paper in a wastebasket. Yes...yes...Compared to that time..." - Sinon
- "Next." - Sinon