After recalling how she got into VR gaming, Suguha meets up with Recon's real life persona, Shin'ichi Nagata, informing him that she will be quitting their party to join Kirito. Logging in once more as Lyfa, she accompanies Kirito in shopping for new equipment, having a run in with her old party, led by Sigurd who doesn't take kindly to Lyfa's departure. Before Kirito and Lyfa set off, Recon approaches them, saying he will continue to observe Sigurd's party due to some suspicions he has about them. Meanwhile, as Asuna learns from Sugou that Kirito is still alive, she takes keen observation of the keycode for her cage's lock. As Kirito and Lyfa reach a safe landing point, where they will have to continue on foot through some caves to reach the World Tree, they take turns logging out to refresh themselves, with Lyfa getting a brief chat with Yui. After Kirito returns, they both set off again, unaware that they are being followed by a mysterious group.