Sword Art Online Episode 9 — The Blue-Eyed Demon
Published September 1, 2012
Kirito teams with Asuna as they clear the dungeon and discover the boss' room on the 74th floor. They flee from the room to another part of the dungeon, where they encounter Klein and his guild. The Aincrad Liberation Force appear, visibly exhausted from exploring the floor. As the soldiers rest, their leader Corbatz demands Kirito give them the map he made of the floor. Despite Asuna and Klein's protests, Kirito complies with his request. Corbatz and the soldiers march on into the dugeon, and the others follow them to check that they do not engage the boss; however, they arrive to see the soldiers badly hurt and Corbatz dead. Not wanting to see more people die, they start to charge at the boss to protect the survivors. Kirito is forced to use his unique Dual Blades skill to slay the boss with Starbust Stream combo of 74 hits. Shortly after the battle, Kirito's unique skill becomes the talk of Aincrad, which attracts the attention of Heathcliff, the Commander of the Knights of the Blood Oath. He then challenges Kirito to a duel. If Kirito wins, Asuna is allowed to leave the guild and join his side, but if he loses, Kirito must join the Knights of the Blood Oath. Kirito agrees to the terms and accepts Heathcliff's challenge.