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Moon Cradle (ムーン・クレイドル, Mūn Kureidoru?) Part 2 is the 20th book in the Sword Art Online light novel series, published on September 8, 2017. It is the last volume of a side story that takes place before the end of the Alicization Arc.


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Who is the «true culprit» plotting the conflict between the Human Empire and the Dark Territory? The «heroes» of Underworld, Kirito and Asuna, are going to expose the enemy's true identity!

Yazen, a citizen of the Human Empire, is murdered by Oroi, a mountain goblin. Thus, an incident occurred which a resident of Underworld, who is restrained by the «Taboo Index» and the «Law of Strength», surely could not have brought about.

Kirito, who investigates the true nature of the incident and has even gained the support of Iskahn, the supreme commander of the Dark Territory army, cannot stop the «Black Rope Man», thought to be the culprit, from escaping at the last moment.

While the investigation is running into difficulties, Asuna tries using a «Retrocognition» spell in the mansion where the murder took place, causing an unexpected image to emerge... And the venomous fangs of the «true culprit» are threatening the Integrity Knight apprentices Ronye and Tiese...!

This is the conclusion of the Moon Cradle arc!