Description[edit | edit source]
The Hill of the Cross is a small hill located off the main path from «Ralberg» on the 19th Floor of Aincrad. Its name is taken from the stone-made tombstone on the ground, which is in the shape of a cross. The ground is a soil that is mixed with sand.
Notable Locations[edit | edit source]
- Cross-shaped, stone tombstone
- Griselda’s Grave
Chronology[edit | edit source]
Schmitt headed to this wood after transferring to «Ralberg», the settlement closest to the dungeon. Once there, he made his way to the tombstone and knelt down in order to "confess his sins to Griselda."
Once he confessed, Yolko, in Griselda's robe, revealed herself to ask whether Schmitt's confession was true. She went on imitating a ghost and pulled out the third and final "Guilty" weapon, which was of the «Estoc»[† 1] category. Schmitt was about to confess the incident regarding a ring when Caynz appeared, while wearing a robe and imitating the ghost of Grimlock, and asked who had done it. In terror, Schmitt confessed the whole situation, saying that he participated in setting a Corridor Crystal inside Griselda's room, per the directions written on a memo.
After Schmitt's confession, Yolko stated, in her normal voice, that she recorded all that Scmitt had confessed. Afterward, Schmitt realized that Caynz was also alive and barely feigned loss of consciousness. He went on to say that the two really respected Griselda for doing this. However, Schmitt confessed he still did not know who wrote the memo to plant the Crystal, but he said he used the money to pass the requirements to join the «Divine Dragon Alliance».
Before the three could deduce who sent the memo, Schmitt was taken down by a paralysis-poison tipped throwing dagger by Johnny Black. Yolko and Caynz were immediately apprehended by XaXa who held an Estoc of his own to the duo's throats. He confiscated the "Guilty" estoc and said he was to add it to his collection. PoH shortly arrived and noted Schmitt's high rank within the DDA guild.
When Johnny Black suggested that they should play the "Kill each other and let the survivor live" game, PoH asked Johnny whether he was going to kill the survivor anyway, since he had done so the last time they decided on it. Johnny whined, saying that they could not play the game if PoH told them. Putting the conversation aside, PoH raised his «Mate Chopper» weapon and prepared to kill Schmitt.
However, Kirito arrived to the scene via horse and informed the Laughing Coffin members that he was only going to stall for time, as the Clearers were on their way. PoH ordered a retreat and the three left the scene, while Kirito messaged Klein that the Laughing Coffin members escaped. After a brief commendation to Caynz about fooling him with the fake death, Kirito explained about the shared storage mechanic while players were married, and that the culprit of the "stolen ring" as well as the one who called Laughing Coffin to Griselda's grave was no other than Grimlock himself.
Asuna brought Grimlock out from the trees with her rapier at his back, where Grimlock addressed his former guild members. However, he denied possessing the ring despite the shared storage, and claimed that the ring materialized as an object upon Griselda's death because she had equipped it. Yolko refuted this claim because Griselda could not have equipped the ring; Griselda's two hands were already equipped with a marriage ring and the ring that bore the guild's seal. Yolko then unearthed the Eternal Storage Trinket from the grave to prove that Griselda had carried the two rings.
When Yolko asked Grimlock why he killed Griselda to take the ring to sell for money, Grimlock angrily confessed that he had killed Griselda because the Death Game was slowly changing his wife into a more independent person. While Grimlock was afraid to step out and fight, Griselda had already started the «Golden Apple» and enlisted members before training. Grimlock finished with the statement that if the Game was cleared, the wife he loved would have disappeared. In truth, Grimlock was afraid that, upon return to the real world, Griselda was going to divorce him.
Asuna reprimanded Grimlock for regarding Griselda with possessiveness, which finally made him realize that his actions were not dictated by the love as he thought. Schmitt then took Grimlock away and told Kirito and Asuna that he would determine Grimlock's punishment. Yolko and Caynz buried the Eternal Storage Trinket and thanked Kirito and Asuna for their help in uncovering Grimlock's crime. Caynz, Grimlock, Schmitt, and Yolko then left the hill toward Ralberg.
Asuna asked Kirito about what had transpired, and what he would have thought if he found a different side to his future married partner. Kirito answered that he would think that he would love her more, given that he found a new side to love. Asuna called Kirito's answer "weird" and then dropped the discussion with suggesting on where to eat. Kirito mentioned the Algade House, which Asuna quickly rejected, but then she suddenly grabbed Kirito's shoulder.
The translucent figure of Griselda stood before Kirito and Asuna, smiling at the two of them. Griselda extended a hand at the two of them, as if handing them something. Kirito and Asuna reached out and experienced a kind of warmth. Kirito vowed to clear the Death Game for Griselda's behalf, to which Griselda smiled and vanished. Kirito and Asuna then left the hill, with Kirito saying that he wanted to clear the next front-line Floor (the 59th Floor) by the end of that week.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The novel describes the weapon as being a needle with spikes protruding in a spiral pattern.
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