Added: September 8, 2012
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 Divine Blade, which grants him maximum strength and defense. Just as Kirito is about to deal the winning strike, Heathcliff mysteriously manages to dodge 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 Midnight 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 Godfrey drank causes a paralyzing effect. Kuradeel reveals that he is a member of the Laughing Coffin and he intends to kill both Godfree and Kirito, and kills Godfree. However, the latter is saved by the arrival of Asuna, who has tracked them on her map. Kuradeel surrenders to Asuna, but then attacked her by surprise. Kirito defends Asuna and kills Kuradeel. Later in Asuna's home, Kirito proposes marriage to Asuna.