Tokyo, August 6th, 2026
Black motorcycle riding at high speed across the streets of the most populated city of Japan. Thousands of people walking through the streets and hundreds of vehicles circulating. He rapidly turn right, then left, eluding cars as he could and trying at the same time not to drive attention from any policeman. Turns right two more times and he arrived to his stop.
The entrance to the bar read “Dicey Café”.
He enters to find a lot of people around, waiting for him.
A girl is the first to run to his arms and hug him.
“Hi Asuna.” He looks up to notice his friends. “Hi everyone else!”
“You are late!” Rika/Lis says.
“Sorry, Kikuoka didn’t give me other moment to speak about him.”
“What was so important to speak to him right now?” His cousin, Suguha/Leafa asked.
“Nothing important…I’ll tell you guys later!”
“Alright…” Suguha responds.
“Come here right now, our hero!”
All the group rise voice together in a single common chant.
“Kirito! WELCOME BACK FROM UNDERWORLD!”
They all start clapping and drink a toast, celebrating the return of Kazuto to the real world after some long days he passed on Underworld. They start eating, drinking and chatting with each other, enjoying the celebration.
Kazuto sits on a chair, while the tavern owner and current bartender, Andrew/Agil gives him a drink. Tsuboi Ryoutarou/Klein, one of his best friends.
“Give me one of those also, would you Andrew?”
He slides the glass of drink along the table. Ryoutarou catches it and drink a bit of it.
“Klein, it’s a long time since we last saw each other.”
“I can say the same Kazuto!” A girl sits next to him, giving her back to the bar.
“Shino! I didn’t expect you here.”
“Asuna and Sugu called me. We’ve been worrying about you since you were taking to the hospital. We’re glad you are finally back.”
“Trust me. I’m gladder than you.”
“I can imagine.” said Klein
“I can’t wait to return to New ALO. I’ve missed the game a lot.”
Both Klein and Shino looked to each other for a moment. Kazuto just ask himself what were they thinking.
“Has Asuna told you what has been happening on Aincrad?” Klein asked.
“No. What? Something bad?”
“You could say that. Have you ever herded of Hao?”
“He is the leader of a guild named The Supreme Legion. Since the defeat of the boss of floor 25th. His guild is currently the strongest in Aincrad, having defeated some Races Army. Due to this, the government of Aincrad is now on his hands. He proclaimed himself the “Supreme King” because of this.”
“Now he is bowing to advance on the event known as Great Aincrad War.” Shino added.
“The GAW.” Kazuto said. “The race until floor 99. Just one guild will pass to floor 100 and defeat the final boss, clearing the castle.”
“And the one that wins, gains Game Master rank.” Asuna adds, joining the conversation as everybody in the bar was now part of the conversation.
“Why didn’t you tell me this?”
“I didn’t want to bother you when you had just woken up from a dream.”
Kirito gets out of the hair up to his feet and walks for a moment. He seemed to be thinking of another thing. Doubting about what they should or shouldn’t do. He speaks after some seconds of not saying anything.
“Why you tell me this?”
“Hao won’t stop to anything or anyone to get what he wants. Unless…”
“Unless we fight against him.” Kirito said finishing his sentence.
Kirito looks down, nervous. He clenches his fists and bites the inner part of his lip in anger.
“Why you want to participate on this?”
“Are you serious?” Rika says. “Because New ALO is why we all became friends. How we met each other. Many adventures and tales were born in in.”
“We have fought together, suffered together and survived together! Why are you asking why? You already know the answer.” Klein tells him.
Asuna approaches to him.
“You were wishing to go back there for a long time. Why you now regret?”
“It has to do with the reunion I just had with Kikouka.”
“What did he tell you?”
“The thing is…”
Two Hours before.
Kazuto parks his motorbike at the entrance of a hotel. He removes the helmet from his head and looks up the lots of floors of the building.
Taking the black helmet with him he goes up though the elevator to floor 9, the top floor. Out of it, the waiter in the entrance of the coffee shop respectfully bows to him, what he replies with a nod with his head. He gives him his helmet, and the man tells him he would take care of it until he has to leave.
He looks round the place. Elegant and high class. Well-dressed beautiful women ate and talked on the chairs eating sophisticated food with maids and waiters tending all their needs. He looks at all the customers, but rapidly, the one that called him there waves his hands and calls him.
“HEY KIRITO! HERE!” waving his hand to him, as all customers looked both of them.
The man on the chair calling him with a big smile was Kikuoka Seijirou, member of Second Separated Advanced Network Division, Technology Bureau, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, better known as Virtual Division. He was also a Lieutenant Colonel working at the JSDF who voluntarily transferred over to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication for the sake of his plans on Project Alicization, and the reason he was trapped on Underworld.
The way he called him pisses him of, but he directly ignores it and places hands on his jacket’s pockets, trying to ignore dozens curious sights.
A waiter helps him to sit down.
“I told you I don’t like you to call me that way on the real world, Kikuoka.”
“Well I’m sorry Kazuto. Feel free to order what you want.”
“Thanks but I’m not hungry. A glass of water will be enough.”
“Take mine then. I haven’t tried it.”
He grabs glass and takes a small drink from it, wetting his thirsty throat.
“Thank you for coming here by the way!”
“Yeah. Kikuoka every time we speak something bad happens afterwards. I mean no offense, but I’m short of time. I’m having a meeting with other SAO survivors. Be quick. And if it’s a job, I’m not doing it.”
“Straight to the point as always, Kazuto.” He takes out folder full of papers giving it to Kazuto “Take a look at it.”
He opens it. Lots of sheets, with information of at least ten people. Name, age, ID, etc… But in the end Player name, Guild member,…. And in the end: Game: New ALfheim Online.
All the pages had the same information.
“Players of New ALO, that were killed somehow while on their beds and on their heads…”
“…An AmuShpere. Right?”
“Yes.” The bureaucrat said lighting nodding.
“How this happened?”
“I ordered an autopsy. The doctors arrived to the conclusion that the death was caused by his heart attack. They checked their blood to see if Succinylcholine was present on their blood, as it happened on GGO. It was not. They seem to have been electrocuted to death.”
Kazuto was still suspicious about this.
“They autopsy revealed exactly the same on all this ten cases? What of their brains?”
“Yes. What was not the same, was the machine why were connected to.”
“What do you mean?”
“If you check the last four players, they all sheared three characteristics: One, they were connected also to a VRSMA.”
He shows to him a photo of a small machine, which could be attached to the AmuSphere by a cable and then from other to electricity.
“Virtual Reality Sensation Mega Amplifier. It’s a device created with the objective of making the experience on Virtual World more realistic. By increasing the microwaves produced by the AmuSphere, every sensation is incremented several times, matching the NerveGear sensational system. But also, blocking every transmission from the brain to the body and from the body to the brain; while using it, the player is completely insensate to the physical world. The same as the NerveGear did. The problem with this machine is…That it’s illegal, and it can only be bought on the black market.”
“If someone makes a small modification on the VRSMA this could make the capable of sending a strong electric wave across the web to a specific IP address, the IP address of the player they kill on game. This strong electric wave is capable of killing in real life. Thus killing on the game, is equal to kill in real life.”
“Impossible…” The truth was after SAO, he believed nothing impossible but to hear again player killing other player sounded a bit lunatic and crazy. He recovers himself rapidly afterwards still. “It’s possible to search for the IP of the player that sent the electric wave?”
“Unluckily, it’s not. The IP is redacted to any other IP. If you search it, it will always appear one different.”
“What is the second characteristic then?”
“This three, are members of a guild known as The League of Darkness Knights.”
“And what of the third?”
“The most shocking of them all. Three of them were killed by this electrical discharge. But the forth one, was the only one, that had his brained fried by a microwave. I don’t know why. It seems the VRSMA backlashed, but why?”
Kazuto widened his eyes and bends a bit backwards thinking about this for a moment as he finished the glass of water.
It again happened. Assassination on game was equal to death on the game. It happened on SAO. It happened on GGO with the “Death Gun”. It was happening for a third time. Once again the Virtual World called him. It would never stop doing it, as if someone didn’t want him to forget. It seemed like a bad joke from destiny that this happened so much, especially to him. But he had lost his belief on destiny a long time ago.
A question appeared on his mind.
“Kikuoka, why are you telling me this?”
“For all what you have done for me. It was a way of returning the favor. Making a public declaration of this would be dangerous. Only chaos would appear after declaring this to the news. Another Virtual World that it’s a living hell. New ALO isn’t anymore a safe place to go. I recommend you to tell your friends and never return, at least until we have solved this problem.”
They both get up after this.
“You have to leave now?”
“…Yes. They might already be waiting for me.”
The 14 stood silent after hearing Kazuto’s story. Shocked to even image that that was possible again. Those standing up sat down to remains thinking about that. Dying and killing on the game could be once again the same as it was on the real world.
Kazuto remains standing up, looking to his friends.
“This is way I doubt. I don’t want to lose anyone of you. I don’t want any of you dead. If we fight, there is a chance for us to die.”
“So that is why you doubted so much about this.” Sinon added.
He nods his head.
“And what now?” Klein says. “And what now? We will just leave and let the game be horrible? Let players slaughter each other? Let Hao win? Maybe they are the one killing players! We will just stand here doing nothing!?!?”
“Brother he is right. We can’t leave them like this.”
“Then what is your plan? Fight against them? They are thousands against us?” Keiko/Silica adds.
“Is that or leaving all the players to Hao’s will...Besides we have an advantage: him.”
He points at Kazuto.
“Yes. Imagine what player will think if the strongest player of SAO. The one that defeated Kayaba Akihiko in his own game. That’s the one that people will follow.”
“Klein is right.” Kazuto said. “We can’t leave them to their luck. Yet, we have to face a very difficult decision; no one will be forced on this. This is either fighting against Hao or remain here. I know this may be a hard mission. Probably the most difficult we have ever faced. But I promise all of you something we will defeat Hao, and give the players what is rightfully theirs.”
“I will fight!” Klein says.
“So do I.” Shino says.
“I stand with my cousin this time clearing Aincrad. I go.” Suguha adds.
“Let’s prove Hao, what we players can do!” Rika shouts out loud.
“I will fight!” Keiko says.
“We shall give everything we’ve got.” Agil adds.
“We’re also fighting.” The former members of Fuurinkazan, Klein’s SAO guild also agree.
Kirito looks at all of them and grins. Afterwards he looks at Asuna.
“I’m doing this so that Yui, you and I can have peace on this game.”
“That’s what we deserve. What everybody deserves. I will fight!”
“Then our team is complete.”
“But we 13 alone can’t fight against an army of thousands.” She adds.
“I was getting to that.” He looks towards his cousin. “Do you know someone that you trust to add to our team?”
“Yes. I know. His name is Lamorak.”
“I know him. From my first days in ALO.” Agil adds.
“He’s the commander of the Sylph and Cait Sith army inside Aincrad established in floor 50. Maybe if I could talk to him, he accedes to this.”
“It’s decided then. Today we’re joining GAW, to defeat Hao is his own game.”
Kirito materializes in the city of Tritos, floor 50 of the floating castle named Aincrad. He looks around to find his team mates next to him. Yui materializes on his shoulder.
“Hi Yui!” both of them say
“Leafa where’s this guy?” Sinon says, while moving her long cat tail.
“He must be in the middle of the camp. I know most of the people…”
They look around to noice a teenage Sylph with yellow-green bob-styled hair and green eyes, with a small body, and long pointed ears waving his hand at them. He was wearing a hooded long-sleeved green cardigan, under of which he wears a long dark green shirt covered by a dark blue vest. He wears a pair of brown pants with armor around his shins and a pair of dark gray shoes. He also wears a belt with his dagger strapped to its back.
He arrives to the upcoming group.
“I didn’t expect to find you here.” He says after breathing again, resting placing his hands on his knees.
“Neither was I. What are you doing here?”
“Helping Lamorak. He’s assembling our men.”
“You’re with him?”Kirito says. “Good one. Can you take us to him?”
“Sure! Just this way.”
All the team follows the kid across the city, with Recon guiding them to the camp.
Leafa is the first to ask.
“Why’re the troops here?”
“You really ask that? The Great Aincrad War. We’re reading up for it, after all it will start after the boss of this floor is defeated. We should face it soon. But this guild, The Supreme Legion, is complicating our route. It won’t be easy to fight them.”
“That’s the exact reason we’re here.” Klein tells.
“We’re here to fight them.” Kirito says,
“Well glad you join.”
They arrive to the camp, noticing less than 30 men on it.
“Why so few players?” Asuna asked.
“As I told you, the Legions have been giving us rough time. Our army was divided, until we settled here. Since then we’ve been trying to call here and gather the Sylphs and Cait Siths back, but none responded, neither appeared here.”
“What’s the plan then?” Sinon says.
“Basically accept any help, and defeat the boss so we’re ahead as the war starts.”
They arrived to the tent in the middle.
“Well you should speak to Lamorak here. And Klein, he doesn’t like Salamanders. So you should remain outside.”
“Alright. Leafa, Asuna and Agil, with me. Wait up here.”
They got into the tent. Inside of it, both leaders of the two races, Lady Sakuya of the Sylphs and Alicia Rue, from the Cait Sith were speaking to a player sylph with long blonde hair and green eyes, sat on a chair with his legs crossed over the table. They stop after the five players enter the tent.
“Leafa! Kirito!” Sakuya says.
“Hi it’s been a long time. Both of you.”
“Sorry to interrupt.” The player says. “But I think you should do a presentation right here, right Leafa or Agil, old friends?”
“I was getting to that. Lamorak, this is my brother, Kirito and our friends.”
“No one less than the clearer of SAO, the player himself among us.” He says in a sarcastic manner.
“It’s good to meet you Lamorak. Looks like, war is good, commander.” Kirito says.
“There’s no need for sarcasm, boy. Now I wander…what you seek here?”
“The truth is…”
“Wait I want to guess” He says bending forwards towards the table. “The damn fucking war has forced all of you to come here, and join the great GAW to defeat Hao, but you have no other person of confidence, except me!” He place again his feet on the table in the same position. “How was that?”
“Bulls’eye.” He responds.
“Then how many player you bring to join us?”
“We are 14.”
Lamorak falls of his chair.
“Fourteen!?” He gets up. “My leaders, these are leaving. Please accompany them to the exit.”
“IF WE DON’T DO NOTHING ALL OF AINCRAD IS HAO’S PROPERTY. AND THAT INCLUDES THE PEOPLE.”
He jumps above the table and places himself next to Kirito.
“Hao is the most powerful player of this game. He alone took the 25th floor boss alone. You think that there is a way of defeating him?”
“The same was said about clearing Aincrad or defeating Kayaba Akihiko.”
“True…But you seem to not understand, boy. “ he sits again in the edge of his desk. ”This isn’t just as SAO. There you could be killed by monsters. Right now, players are your biggest concern.”
“We still have to do it for the people. We have to protect them.”
Lamorak looks to his two leaders, and afterwards start brakes out laughing after what he said. A thing that Yui didn’t like.
After finishing laughing, he looks up and looks to Kirito’s serious face.
“…You’re different than what I expected. Let’s make a fair deal. We are having a reunion with some of the most important players of all the nine races. If we can arrive to an arrangement, at least one temporarily, we can fight next boss battle soon. If you manage to do that, I will stand with you until I’m killed.”
“Understood. I will.”
The principal leaders of the races heating each other in a massive slaughter result of not arriving to an arrangement. Insulting, hitting and cursing each other and loosing precious time they needed.
Kirito looks around the place with his men at his back.
“Enough!” Lamorak says advancing to the stage. “I have here with me the player that cleared SAO, freeing all the players inside. Kirito !”
Kirito advances, what makes most of the players stop speaking, hearing and looknig to the player in front of them.
“It’s enough animal discussion. This is a democratic reunion. Not a fight in the streets.” He looks to the map. “If Hao wants to attack, he will do it soon!”
A pooka player advances to the front.
“The races should negotiate a truce.”
The comment received some approbations and disapprovals.
“Negotiate with a tyranny? Give me one good example when that was fructifying for a nation…My friends, we can just imagine the future, analyzing what we when thought in the past. And some of you were next to me across those long two years. For those, that remember the wrath and heat of battle, you know how peace is achieved! DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES. HAO, THE SOO CALLED SUPREME KING, IS A WOLF GETTING NEARER AND NEARER. Here and now, we have to choose. Will you decide fighting for Aincrad? Or not? Sylphs, Caith Siths, Pookas, Imps, Undines, Gnomes, Leprechauns, Spriggans. Not even Salamanders could fight alone. We must fight together creating a guild, or fall divided and attached to our personal selfish desires.”
“Kirito needs more than just our ships. Our players should join battle as well!” Sakuya adds, supporting Kirito.
“And what of the Salamanders?” Rue asks.
“Gather every player that can join us. I will ask the support of the Salamanders.”
“There is one thing missing.” The imp says again. “What of the name for our guild.”
Kirito thinks for a moment.
“We’re knights for freedom and justice in Aincrad. We’re here to finish what we started four years ago. We are KoB. Knights of Blood. ”