Ep 9 – “The Blue-Eyed Demon” / “Seigan no Akuma” (青眼の悪魔)
Kirito teams with Asuna as they clear the dungeon and discover the boss’ room on the 74th floor. The room contains a formidable beast – a humanoid chimera with ram’s horns wielding a gigantic sword, and has a living snake for a tail – the Gleam Eyes. They flee from the room to another part of the dungeon, where they encounter Klein and his guild Fuurinkazan. Soon after, the Aincrad Liberation Force appear, visibly exhausted from exploring the floor. As the soldiers rest, their leader Kobatz demands for Kirito to give them the map he made of the floor. Despite Asuna and Klein’s protests, Kirito complies with his request. Kobatz and the soldiers march on into the dungeon, and the others follow them to make sure that they do not engage the boss; however, they arrive to see the soldiers badly hurt and Kobatz 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 his Starbust Stream combo of 16 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.