- This article is about the manga adaptation of the original Progressive series. You may be looking for the original light novel.
|Spoiler Alert: This article or section contains details about plotlines not covered in the anime. Do not proceed unless you wish to be spoiled. |
Sword Art Online - Progressive Volume 2 (ソードアート・オンライン プログレッシブ002, Sōdoāto Onrain Puroguresshibu 002?) is the second volume of the Progressive manga adaptation. This volume covers the second half of the Aria of a Starless Night story as well as a part of the Rondo of a Fragile Blade story.
Nearly one month after the beginning of the death game, Sword Art Online, the clearers have finally discovered the 1st Floor's boss room. As Argo published all information about the first Floor Boss, Illfang the Kobold Lord, the clearers set out to the boss room, intending to defeat the boss without any scouting raids. However, the clearers soon find out that the Illfang in the death game is not exactly the same as it was in the beta...
After Diavel's demise, Asuna contemplated on how his death was similar in appearance to the death of infinitely respawning monsters and was not the way a human dies. Meanwhile the rest of the players were panicking due to Diavel's death and the Ruin Kobold Sentinel spawn rate having increased from the time of the beta. Even though Kirito was trying to get the raid party organised again, things were looking grim, thus Kirito asked Asuna to retreat, while trying to block Illfang's attacks. However, Asuna refused to retreat, saying that she and Kirito were partners.
After telling party B to take party C to the safe zone, Kirito and Asuna began taking on the boss together, with Kirito blocking the boss's attacks and Asuna striking it with her «Linear». However, after numerous successive attacks, Kirito incorrectly guessed the boss's next attack and was struck down. As the boss was then about to hit Asuna, Agil stepped in and blocked Illfang's attack. He then told Asuna to help Kirito, while calling party B members with green HP to come help him tank the boss.
After Asuna reached Kirito, who was trying to get back on his feet, Asuna quickly forced a potion down his mouth. After drinking a few sips, he pushed away the potion to tell Agil and his party how to handle the boss. Meanwhile, some of the other players in the raid were questioning whether they should retreat, while others pointed out that the players on the front line were still fighting. However, Kibaou then interrupted, claiming that Kirito only wanted the Last Attack bonus and that they should retreat. As distrust began spreading among the raid members, Asuna took off her cape and called for everyone's attention. She then told everyone that Diavel's last orders were to "defeat the boss" and that Kirito would be filling in as the new raid leader. Soon afterwards, Agil shouted that he had heard the same thing and stated that Kirito had knowledge of the boss's skills, thus everyone who believed in Diavel should follow Kirito's orders. While all players began organising themselves, Asuna asked Kirito to give his orders.
While the battle with Illfang continued, at the Monument of Life in the Town of Beginnings, Argo recalled the events of the night before the boss battle. That night, she had gone to a church where she had planned to meet with her client. Argo reported to her client that roughly three hundred beta testers had died since the beginning of the death game a month ago, while estimating that around seven to eight hundred closed beta testers joined the official launch of Sword Art Online. Thus, the death rate of the beta testers was around 40%, the ratio being about double the death rate of the beginners. Argo revealed that the cause for this was associated with the many slight changes in the game during the official launch of the game, and thus, the knowledge and experience that beta testers had from the beta test became their downfall.
The mysterious client then claimed that there was no way that beginners would be able to know such things and that if the information about the boss and his minions turned out to be inaccurate, and if at least one person died because of this, the distrust towards beta testers would go out of control. Argo then stated that in such a case, she would take the blame, but the client stated that he could not risk causing her trouble, as she was the one who could openly connect the bridge between the beginners and beta testers.
Argo then asked for her payment and, after doing so, asked whether anyone else had asked the same thing as him. Argo replied that just one other person did. The client, revealed to be Diavel, then stated that in case of an emergency, there was someone who could stand in his place. Argo commented that the person was not the kind of person to volunteer himself to be a leader, however, Diavel stated that he was not thinking of the role of a leader, but the role of a scapegoat. Back in the present, Diavel's name on the Monument of Life is crossed out, marking his death during the boss battle.
As the boss battle continued, Kirito recalled his first meeting with Asuna and thought that if Asuna survived the battle, she would become a powerful fencer who would be guiding those broken by fear and despair. At that moment, a player accidentally stepped back too close to the boss, triggering the activation of its omni-directional Sword Skill, «Tsumujiguruma», using which the boss pushed away and dealt heavy damage to all the players surrounding it. While Kibaou began panicking, Kirito rushed forward, asking Asuna to join him, and the two of them successfully finished off the boss.
With the defeat of the boss, the raid group began cheering. However, the joyful atmosphere was soon interrupted by Lind, who started complaining about Kirito and Asuna taking charge of the party, even though Diavel was chosen for this task, and then accused them of letting Diavel die. This caused an uproar among the players, who wondered why Kirito was able to block all of the boss's attacks, but did not share this information with the others and this led to Diavel's death. At that moment, some player accused Kirito of wanting to get the Last Attack bonus and thus keeping vital information about the boss to himself. The player then accused Kirito of being a beta tester, causing further anger among the players.
Asuna tried to counter the accusations by saying that everyone benefited from the beta test info provided by beta testers and that it was Kirito's prior experience which helped compensate for the crumbling of the raid's formation after the boss battle did not go as planned. However, the player continued to bash the beta testers, saying that Kirito and Argo were cooperating to have all the good locations for themselves. When the players then began suspecting Asuna of also being part of the beta tester plot, Kirito interrupted the argument with his laughter. Kirito then claimed that Asuna was a total beginner and that he had no use for a newbie like her. He then told everyone not to lump him with other beta testers and info brokers, as most of them barely even knew how to level up. He also revealed that he had got higher than anyone else during the beta test, thus he knew things that nobody else did. As the anger of the crowd shifted on him and many players began saying "beta tester" and "cheater" repeatedly, the two words muddled together to form the word «Beater». Kirito then took out his Coat of Midnight, the Last Attack bonus item that he got from the boss, and told everyone to call him a beater and to not think that other beta testers were on his level. Afterwards, Kirito told everyone that he was going to activate the Teleport Gate on the 2nd Floor and warned everyone not to follow him, saying that during the beta test, some people got killed on their way to town by the monsters of the new floor. After Kirito took his leave, Agil asked Asuna whether she had realised that Kirito did not mean what he had said. After Asuna confirmed this, Agil asked her to tell something to Kirito for him and then Kibaou also asked her to pass a message.
On the 2nd Floor, Kirito was enjoying the scenery of the new floor when he heard Asuna coming from the door staircase and Asuna then passed on the messages from both Agil and Kibaou. After a moment of silence, just when Kirito was about to apologise, Asuna apologised as well, saying that he had to take all the blame on himself after what she had said. Kirito quickly denied Asuna's fault, saying that he brought the trouble on himself and that if it was not for Asuna, they would have been wiped out. Kirito then mentioned that her ability to bring everyone together was an ability that he could not match and he told her that if she received an invitation from people she believed in, she should accept it. Asuna then tried subtly asking Kirito for his name, but he misinterpreted this as being about the cream bread. As Kirito still could not realise what Asuna had in mind, she bluntly asked him for his name, saying that he knew hers and shared her suspicion that he bought information on her name from Argo. Realising that Asuna had never been in a party before, Kirito told Asuna where to find the names of her party members. Finally noticing the party member list, Asuna silently pronounced Kirito's name syllable-by-syllable and then voiced the name. She then pointed out that Kirito was still touching her, causing him to immediately retract his arm and try to change the subject. After a short laughter, Asuna said her goodbye and turned back to the doors to the staircase, where she saw Agil listening in on them and asked him how much he wanted to keep quiet about what he had heard.
The Front Line Fencer
On the 2nd Floor, Asuna was battling with Windwasps to collect enough Needles of Windwasps that were needed to further enhance her rapier. After some time of battling, Asuna sat down to have a break and eat a bun with cream. As she was eating, she noticed that a player, which she mistook for Kirito, was having problems with a wasp and decided to help him kill the monster. The player thanked Asuna for the help, commenting that he was not able to see a thing and praised Asuna's Sword Skill. He then claimed that the sword he used did not suit him and that becoming a swordsman seemed impossible for him. Asuna tried cheering the player up by praising how he treated his sword and saying that he should try training his Throwing Sword skill, but the player said that the skill had limited use. As Asuna was helping the player up and he fell down again, she noticed that he was wearing an eye patch and scolded him that he would not be able to judge distances properly with it and that he would die if he did not take battles seriously. The player then, not recognising Asuna, said that he was jealous of Asuna's ability to enjoy wielding a sword and being able to help everyone and then took his leave, leaving one of his throwing weapons behind.
That evening at her current accommodation, Asuna leveled up her sewing skill by sewing a pair of gloves, took a bath while reading Argo's guide for the 2nd Floor, performed maintenance on her rapier and went to bed. In the morning, she met up with Argo at the March Rabbit restaurant and, while drinking, commented that Kirito had not been seen at the front lines recently and asked Argo if she knew where he was. Argo teased Asuna by saying that it was a secret and that Kirito specifically told her not to say anything to Asuna. While they were chatting, they heard a blacksmith hammering outside and commented that player blacksmiths have started appearing and that they were making rather good equipment.
At the den of the 2nd Floor's Field Boss, Bullbous Bow, the clearers were preparing to begin their attack on the Field Boss. Although Kibaou invited Asuna to join his party and Lind said that Asuna could only participate in the battle if she was in a party, Asuna said that she would just be handling the Windwasps that would spawn during the battle and, at the same time, acquire needed materials. Just then, Asuna heard something from the bushes and dragged Kirito out of them and told him that as punishment for peeping, he would have to help her collect materials. Although Lind reacted negatively to Kirito's presence, seeing as Kirito was only going to handle Windwasps, Lind let him be.
While Kirito and Asuna were conversing, Kibaou and Lind began arguing about which party should get the honour of attacking the bull on the front line. When Kirito expressed his dissatisfaction with how Lind and Kibaou were arguing about petty things, Asuna brought up the fact that he had advised her to join, but Kirito remarked that he had meant joining a guild run by a person like Agil. Kirito then noticed that Agil did not come to the boss fight, but a group of people he had never seen on the front lines, despite them having decent equipment. Kirito asked if the group had a name and found out that they were calling themselves «Legend Braves» and each of their members had chosen their name based on the names of ancient heroes. No longer containing his laughter, Kirito commented on how they were the kind of people who were focused on their appearance while Asuna found their leader, Orlando, having his sword enhanced by Nezha.
Hearing that Nezha had made successful enhancements five times in a row, the players rushed to have their swords enhanced as well. At that moment, Kibaou announced that they were going to begin the boss battle. Kirito, who was thinking about having his sword enhanced as well, had his thoughts interrupted by Asuna and, just as he was about to leave, noticed that Nezha was not joining them for the battle, claiming that he would be useless, and told the blacksmith that he would be leaving the enhancement of his sword to the blacksmith when he got back.
During the battle, Lind's and Kibaou's parties handling the boss were having trouble cooperating with each other, while the parties handling the Windwasps, especially Asuna and Kirito, were doing a far better job with their task. Noticing that he could not keep up with Asuna's pace due to her ability to target the weak points of the wasps with ease, Kirito decided that he needed to increase the rate of his own attacks, so he decided to use his Martial Arts Sword Skills to finish off monsters faster. Seeing his new skills, Asuna brought up the topic of a restaurant selling a delicious, but extremely expensive dessert, the Tremble Shortcake, and declared that the person who killed less wasps would have to treat the other to it. While Asuna was busy killing one wasp after another at a fast pace, Kirito noticed that one wasp flew off towards the bull and stung him, causing him to go on a frenzy. Noticing that the main party was now having problems with the boss, Kirito told Asuna to pause the competition to go help the main force.
With Lind's and Kibaou's parties brought down by the now frenzied Bullbous Bow, Orlando stepped in to block the boss's attack. Kirito and Asuna then took over the offensive and planed for Asuna to attack the bull's legs to topple it while Kirito aimed for its weak spot. Although Asuna did not manage to completely collapse the bull, it was enough for Kirito to hit it by using a Sword Skill mid-jump and defeat it.
After bragging about his feat, Kirito decided to check his Last Attack bonus reward, but while he was doing so, a wasp hit his sword and sent it flying towards a ravine. Asuna tried to save the falling sword, but was not able to do so. Seeing that the sword fell into the water, Kirito claimed that he would get it back later. While Kibaou and Lind continued arguing about whose fault it was that Kirito stole the Last Attack, Kirito suggested going to the safe zone in Taran to explain how was he going to get his sword back. At the restaurant, Kirito showed Asuna how to use the «Completely All Items Objectize» function to materialise all items in the inventory, as well as any items that were equipped but dropped less than an hour ago.
Kirito then commented about how Asuna was worried and how she had grown attached to her Wind Fleuret, but he then told her that she would eventually have to replace it, as it would become useless on the higher floors. He then told Asuna about how he once had to give up a bike, but refused to part with it, so the bike shop owner convinced him that if he transferred a screw from his old bike to his new one, the soul of the old bike would live on in his new one. Kirito then explained that a sword could be melted into its base materials and used in the creation of a new weapon, thus the soul of the weapon could live on just like in his story about his bike. The cake was then brought and the two argued on how to share it, until Asuna convinced him to be satisfied with just a quarter of it.
After leaving the restaurant, Kirito noticed that the cake had given them a luck bonus, but only for fifteen minutes. While Kirito was having fantasies about the luck bonus helping him get a date, Asuna decided to use it to try and upgrade her sword. The two then ran to the closest blacksmith who turned out to be Nezha. Asuna rushed him to upgrade her sword and Nezha reluctantly accepted. As Nezha continued hitting the sword, Asuna even held Kirito's fingers in hopes that she would get his luck bonus as well. However, with the last hit, the sword was seemingly broken.
- In the novel, Asuna declared that she would help Kirito with the boss before he even had the chance to tell her to withdraw.
- In the novel, Asuna took off her cape before she and Kirito began assaulting the boss, while in the manga, she does this after Kirito gets hit by the boss and the raid members contemplate retreating.
- In the novel, Agil did not tell Asuna to help Kirito, as Kirito was already looking for a potion in his pockets and was close enough to Agil for Agil to say something to him.
- In the novel, Kirito got his potion on his own, while in the manga, Asuna forced a potion into his mouth.
- The scene where Asuna claimed that Diavel put Kirito in charge of the raid after his death was not part of the novel.
- The entire chapter was not part of the original story.
- Differences from the original novel:
- In the original story, Kirito used «Sonic Leap» to attack the boss in the air and thus interrupt «Tsumujiguruma».
- In the original story, Kirito announced his Beater status before Asuna could begin to defend beta testers. Additionally, in the original story, Agil was the one who mentioned the information guide.
- The scene where both Kirito and Asuna tried to apologise to each other was not part of the original story.
- The scene about Kirito not understanding Asuna's subtle question was not part of the original story. In the original story, Asuna immediately brought up the fact that he had called out her name during the battle, though Kirito at first thought that she was either complaining about the lack of honorifics, or the pronunciation of the name.
- In the original story, Kirito did not stop Asuna's head from moving it to help her notice the party member list, he only told her not to move her head.
- Tankoubon release and Magazine serialization release differences:
- In a page where Asuna was depicted without clothes in its magazine serialization release, the Tankoubon version depicts her as having some clothes on.
- The entire chapter was not part of the original story
- The Windwasp hunting, Field Boss clearing, and initial encounter of Nezha events were combined into one event.
- In the novel, Kirito and Asuna watched the Field Boss battle from a distance and did not come into contact with Kibaou and Lind and they were not offered to participate in the battle.
- In the novel, Asuna had Kirito help her obtain materials for the enhancement of her rapier after Kirito recommended getting more materials to maximise the odds of a successful enhancement, instead of a punishment for peeping. The contest for killing 50 Windwasps was also made before the battle in the novel.
- In the manga, the Windwasps were said to spawn while the Bullbous Bow was attacked, but in the novel, the boss did not spawn any underlings.
- Asuna and Kirito's narrating role in the clearing of 2nd Floor Field Boss had been replaced by Nezha.
- In the novel, Legend Braves members were not actively promoting Nezha as a blacksmith to other clearers.
- The Last Attack bonus of 2nd Floor's field boss Bullbous Bow is obtained by Kirito, instead of Lind who got the bonus in the novel.
- The scenes where Kirito lost his sword and later gained it back by demonstrating the use of the «Completely All Item Objectize» function were not part of the original story.
- The part about other members of Legend Braves pressurizing Nezha to gain more Cor is not part of the original novel.
- The discussion about the transfer of the sword's soul and Kirito's primary school experience in the novel happened after Asuna's Wind Fleuret was assumed to be broken, instead of before it.
- The manga did not state the final result of the wasp hunting competition and Asuna shared 1/4 of the Tremle Shortcake with Kirito at the end, instead of 1/3 in the novel.
- Kirito's various ideas for the use of the buff were omitted, aside from the idea of using it to help him get a date. However, Kirito did not put as much thought into it as in the manga.
- In the novel, Asuna did not rush to upgrade her sword and Kirito was the one who came up with such a use for the buff.
- Diavel's name was incorrectly written as something like "Diabell" on the manga's Monument of Life, even though the author has confirmed on his twitter that the intended spelling is "Diavel".
- This had been fixed on the online edition of the chapter.
- An alternative cover version of this volume can be purchased from Comic Toranoana.