Ep 10 – “Crimson Killing Intent” / “Kurenai no Satsui” (紅の殺意)
The duel, which is a battle of two players between Kirito and Heathcliff is held at an arena where a large crowd is gathered. Asuna warns Kirito to be careful about fighting Heathcliff, as he has also a unique skill called Holy Sword, which grants him maximum strength and defense. Just as Kirito is about to deal the winning strike, Heathcliff mysteriously manages to parry it and defeats Kirito. Now a member of the Knights of the Blood Oath, Kirito is questioned by Asuna about the reason for his strong aversion to joining guilds. After he confides in her about what happened to the Moonlit Black Cats, Asuna comforts Kirito and says she will protect him. Later, Kirito is asked by a fellow member, Godfree, to follow him and a seemingly remorseful Kuradeel to the 55th floor dungeons for a skill assessment. As they stop for a break, Kirito notices too late that the water he and Godfree drank causes a paralyzing effect. Kuradeel reveals that he is a member of Laughing Coffin and he intends to kill both Godfree and Kirito, and kills Godfree. However, the latter is rescued by Asuna, who was tracking them on her map. Kuradeel surrenders to Asuna, but then attacks her by surprise. Kirito defends Asuna and kills Kuradeel, injuring his arm in the process. Asuna apologizes to Kirito, saying that she should now stay away from him, but Kirito kisses her instead, and telling her that she means the world to him to which Asuna replies by saying the same thing. Later in Asuna’s home, Kirito proposes marriage to Asuna.