Ep 22 – “Grand Quest” / “Gurando Kuesuto” (グランド・クエスト)

Upon hearing from Yui that Asuna is at the top of the World Tree, Kirito rushes up but finds it blocked by a barrier. Desperate, Yui calls out to Asuna, who hears her cry and throws down the administrator’s key card, which Kirito catches. Resolving to get to Asuna’s location, Kirito bids farewell to Leafa and embarks on the Grand Quest by himself. Despite his best efforts, Kirito is overwhelmed and runs out of health. Shortly afterwards, Leafa enters the dome and grabs Kirito’s flame, which contains his soul, before successfully escaping to revive him. Leafa attempts to talk Kirito out of re-entering the dome alone, but he remains determined. Upon discovering one another’s identities, they log out. In the real world, Kazuto approaches Suguha, who reveals in great anguish that she knew they were not true siblings and that she has fallen in love with both him and his avatar.