- Not to be confused with anime Episode 5.
|Spoiler Alert: This wikia contains details about future plotlines described in the light novels. Do not proceed unless you want to be spoiled. |
|Sword Art Online Volume 08|
|Volume Title||Early and Late|
|Release Date||August 10,2011|
|Number of Pages||416|
|Cover Character/s||Kirito, Heathcliff|
Early and Late (アーリー・アンド・レイト, Ārī Ando Reito?) is the 8th book in the Sword Art Online Light Novel series, published on August 10, 2011.
Sword Art Online Light Novel Volume 08 is a collection of three side stories:
- A Murder Case in the Area (Aincrad 57th floor, April 2024)
- Caliber (Alfheim, December 2025)
- First Day (Aincrad, 1st Floor, November 2022)
A Murder Case in the Area (Aincrad 57th floor, April 2024)Edit
Upon returning to the city Kirito and Asuna witness a murder within the city, an anti-crime prevention area. A man thrown out of a window while impaled by a spear, dies right before their eyes. Both are bewildered as they try to find a normal cause for the murder, but none appears so they find themselves starting to investigate a murder case. First they interview a witness, a girl, Yolko, who was supposed to meet up with the victim, Caynz. They also retrieve the murder weapon, Guilty Thorn, which they take to Agil to find out more about it. After Asuna and Kirito call it a day, Schmitt from the Divine Dragon Alliance shows up with a group of people from his guild and robs Kirito of Guilty Thorn. The next day, Asuna and Kirito pay Schmitt a visit; he was willing to assist them as long as he was able to talk to Yolko again. Yolko is suddenly murdered during the conversation and Kirito attempts to capture a hooded man on the roof. Schmitt gives Kirito a list of names of the members who were part of the «Golden Apple» guild. Kirito realizes that the real perpetrator was actually the spouse of the dead guild leader of the Golden Apples. He had been after a ring that granted amazing bonus stats that could sell for a lot of gold. Schmitt feels guilty for being an accomplice in the death of the guild leader and decides to visit her grave only to find Yolko and Caynz still alive. Kirito explains that Caynz and Kains were similar names when spoken and that Yolko had lied to both him and Asuna. Three members from the killing guild «Laughing Coffin» show up at the deceased guild leader's grave and attempt to kill Schmitt, Yolko, and Cayne. Kirito steps in to save the day. Asuna catches Grimlock, the spouse of Griselda, hiding in the bushes. He admits that he was the mastermind behind the death of his wife; he did not want her personality to change from what it was originally in the real world.
Caliber (ALfheim, December 2025)Edit
The quest to retrieve «Excaliber» from the base of Jötunheimr was revealed to the public. It was not the way Kirito and Suguha saw, but another mission which is to slaughter all beast type evil-gods. This quest was a lie, as killing all of the beast type evil-gods would allow the humanoid type evil-gods to invade Alfheim. Kirito and his party of seven enter the floating castle of the frost giants. They are given a quest by «The Queen of the Lake», Urðr. She tells them of a once beautiful Jötunheimr where the roots of the Yggdrasil touched the floor and the endless void in the center of the land was filled with water of the purest quality. The Frost Giants had used the sword «Excaliber» to cut off the roots of the great tree and turned Jötunheimr into a frozen wasteland. The party enters the upside-down pyramid to clear its four floors and obtain Excaliber. Along the way, at the end of the third floor, they run into Freyja, a captured beauty, and rescue her. During the battle with the final boss, Giant King Þrym, Freyja transforms into the God Thor after retrieving his Mjölnir, the lightning hammer. After defeating Þrym, the group heads into a narrow staircase and finds «Excaliber». After much effort, Kirito pulls the blade out while the fortress begins to collapse. While falling, Tonkii saves the group but to Kirito's dismay, «Excaliber» was lost. Suddenly, Sinon sends a retrieval arrow towards the blade and has Kirito swear that he would think of her every time he uses to sword before giving it to him. They are then met by Urðr and her sisters to receive the reward for completing the request. The group is loaded with treasure and then decide to log out and have a party at Agil's cafe.
First Day (Aincrad 1st floor, November 2022)Edit
As the SAO death game begins, Kirito rushes to the village named Horunka to get a headstart on the quest which will reward him the «Anneal Blade» which is strong enough to last him for the first 3 floors. During his quest, Kirito finds another beta tester like him. Coper, who proposes that they try to complete the quest to obtain a new sword together. After Kirito gets the item needed to complete the quest, Coper purposely activates a trap which releases a horde of monsters. Kirito realizes that Coper was trying to kill him. After a tough fight, he manages to escape but Coper dies; this heavily affects Kirito as he realizes he can die in this game. Kirito returns and completes the quest, in the scene after he remembers his sister Suguha.
- This book says that Kirito "formed a party with [Asuna] for the first time" during the murder in the Area incident, however, they had actually formed party before in the Progressive series already.
- There is a non-canon ending of the Caliber side-story called Caliber SS.