To the World Tree (世界樹へ, Sekaiju e?) is the eighteenth episode of the Sword Art Online anime adaptation, as well as the fourth episode in the Fairy Dance Arc. It aired on November 3, 2012.


After logging out, Suguha remembered why she had joined ALfheim Online in the first place, wanting to see the virtual world that her adopted brother liked so much. The next day, she encountered Nagata Shinichi (Recon) at her school, who invited her to go hunting on ALfheim Online. She refused, telling him that she was going to show Kirito the way to the city of Alne under the World Tree and left.

Black Sword.2

Kirito and his new sword the Black Iron Great Sword.

After doing some potion shopping, she came to the Lily of the Valley Pavilion where Kirito was staying at about the time that they agreed to meet on. As soon as she entered the tavern, she noticed that Kirito was already logging in. After both agreeing that Kirito should gear himself better, they decided to visit the market before departing. At the market, Kirito bought a sword as tall as himself, much to Leafa's amusement. They later walked into the Tower of Wind in the center of the Swilvane Territory to gain altitude since they were going to embark on a long journey. Before they were able to take the elevator, they encountered Sigurd, the leader of Leafa's party. Sigurd expressed his desire of wanting Leafa to stay on the team since she was a valuable player, and also because it would tarnish his reputation if Leafa left without a good reason. Kirito interrupted and said people were not items that he could just "equip" whenever he wanted, angering Sigurd. After accusing Kirito and Leafa as renegades to their own races, Sigurd drew his weapon and was about to attack Kirito, but was stopped by one of his comrades since it would have been bad for their image to attack a defenseless Spriggan, who could not attack them within the Sylph territory, with many witnesses watching. Sigurd then sheathed his weapon and told Leafa to run and hide and that she would regret leaving him. After Sigurd and his party walked away, Leafa apologized and continued pushing Kirito to the elevator when he asked her if she was fine with leaving her fellow Sylphs like that.

Kirito Leafa Recon Tower

Kirito, Leafa and Recon on top of the tower.

On the balcony of the tower, Kirito and Leafa enjoyed the view of the skies. Kirito then asked Leafa what a renegade is, and she told him that it was a term for players who had abandoned their territory, leading them to be disliked by many others. As Leafa wondered why players restrained others to their race's territory, Yui popped out and also pondered on the negative emotions of humans. She then kissed Kirito's cheek, describing it to be "simple and unmistakable", to which Leafa was somewhat astonished while Kirito called Yui to be weirder than most Navigation Pixies before stuffing her back into his pocket. Recon then arrived and told them that he wanted to leave with them, but he needed to stay to investigate something and asked Kirito to take care of Leafa. Kirito and Leafa then departed, with Kirito and Yui teasing Leafa about him being slightly jealous of knowing Recon in real life. As Leafa blushed and accelerated forward, she somewhat doubted about leaving her own territory and becoming a renegade.

Asuna and Oberon2

Asuna and Oberon on the top of the World Tree.

Meanwhile, Asuna was being caressed by Oberon against her will, but he eventually got bored of her resistance. He then tried to coax her into giving in, stating that it was simply a virtual world, but she responded that it was different to her. After Asuna mentioned about Kirito saving her, Oberon revealed his encounter with Kazuto and Kazuto's reaction when he had been told of Asuna's marriage to him. He also told her that because of the SAO incident, he thought that he would not have the guts to come to a virtual world to aid her this time. However, instead of having the intended effect of dampening her spirit, Asuna was quietly invigorated by the knowledge that Kirito was still alive. As Nobuyuki left the cage, Asuna watched the mirror which reflected the unobscured image of the door as it was not affected by the distance effect, and successfully memorized the code that was typed in.

Kirito and Leafa rotate out

Kirito and Leafa rotating out.

At that time, Leafa and Kirito defeated some monsters while flying as a team but eventually had to land to let their wings rest. Upon landing, Leafa explained that the mountain up ahead had to be crossed through its tunnels, as its height was above the altitude limit. They proceeded to «rotate» - logged out one at a time so they could eat and have their bathroom break while the other guarded the their body, as their bodies were unprotected in neutral zones. Leafa disconnected first and attempted to check on Kazuto, but after remembering his despair she instead prepared a sandwich for him and then took a bath, quietly musing that she may be in love with Kirito. Afterwards, Kirito took his turn to log out, and found a prepared sandwich on the table. Meanwhile, while Kirito was away, Leafa talked with Yui about Kirito being her "papa", and Yui asked her what liking someone meant. Just as she answered, Leafa blushed, and Kirito also returned at that moment, greatly surprising Leafa. As they were about to depart, Kirito felt as if someone was watching them. However, Yui did not detect player presence, though Leafa guessed that it could have been a «Tracer» and explained that it took the form of an animal or insect and was used to track other players, and that higher level tracers could last longer and were capable of spying on their targets from a longer range. However, right after Kirito and Leafa fly off, a tracer in the form of a bat followed the duo as they took off, and, on the ground, a hidden group of Salamanders started moving.

New CharactersEdit

Named MonstersEdit




Adaptation NotesEdit

Adapted from Sword Art Online Light Novel Volume 3 Chapter 3,4
  • Leafa's explanation about homing magic is skipped.
  • Sigurd threatens Kirito with his sword in the anime, and his partners and many witnesses watch what he will do to him. In the novel, he does not draw his sword, nor are the other players with him.
  • The anime does not mention how Leafa ended up in Sigurd's party.
  • In the light novel, the straw that Kirito was smoking was described as having a minty taste. In the anime, the straw appeared to be spicy. This could be because mint (薄荷, Hakka?) and ignition (発火, Hakka?) are pronounced the same in Japanese.


  • At the end of Leafa's incantation for the Vacuum Blades spell, the Words of Power form a line that says "ޏú fylla heill austr" - the incantation for a basic healing spell, even though there were 5 words in the incantation and the two spells did not share a single word in the incantation.
  • Leafa's name was written as "Leefa" on her menu window, even though the author has confirmed on his twitter that the official spelling is "Leafa".


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