Having arrived at the Ocean Turtle and discarded her disguise, Yuuki Asuna shrilly demanded the information about Kirigaya Kazuto (Kirito) from Kikuoka Seijirou. Thus, the man explained that Kazuto had sustained serious brain damage in the attack by Kanamoto Atsushi (Johnny Black), which could only be treated by using Rath's Soul Translator (STL) to directly stimulate the boy's Fluctlight, in order to induce the generation of a new neural network in his brain. Once Asuna was satisfied with the explanation, Koujiro Rinko requested to learn the details of Seijirou's secret project and how Kazuto was relevant to it, as they were already considerably involved. Interested in receiving Rinko's assistance on his project, Seijirou revealed that its true purpose was to create Bottom-Up Artificial Intelligence (Bottom-Up AI), a type of AI that would be able to respond appropriately to any unexpected situation without prior training, unlike the usual Top-Down AI.
Such an adaptive artificial intelligence was created by using the Soul Translator to scan and replicate the Fluctlight of a human; however, Rath soon realised that a significant chasm existed between a replicated Fluctlight and a true artificial intelligence. To illustrate this point, Seijirou ordered Higa Takeru to load a copy of his own Fluctlight, demonstrating how it became unstable and collapsed upon learning that it was not the original Takeru. In order to overcome this obstacle, Seijirou and Takeru had scanned the Fluctlights of newborn infants, creating a Soul Archetype of a human Fluctlight without any memories by eliminating any differences between the scanned infant Fluctlights.
The archetype was then replicated, creating sixteen different AI individuals, whom Rath then placed into a virtual world created with The Seed to raise them. Once four of Rath's employees raised the initial Artificial Fluctlights to the age of eighteen, the Artificial Fluctlights began to have children of their own. Using the Fluctlight Acceleration function of the Soul Translator, Rath accelerated the time in the virtual world, allowing the Fluctlights to create a middle age-like society with a population of approximately 80,000 citizens in the span of three weeks in the real world.
At this point, Rath noticed a fundamental issue that hindered their plans: the Artificial Fluctlights' absolute obedience to their self-established law, known as the Taboo Index, which prevented them from committing murder. Hearing this, Asuna realized that Rath's true objective was to create artificial intelligence capable of murder, a goal that Kazuto would never have supported due to his belief in the rights of artificial intelligence. Just as Seijirou argued that the life of one solider was more important to him than the life of thousands of AIs, Rinko reminded him of the need to clarify Kazuto's role in the project. Thus, Seijirou revealed that Kazuto, as a person with years of experience of living in a virtual world, was recruited for their project in an effort to test whether a real human, brought to the world as a child with no memories of their real life, would also be unable to violate the law.
At the end of the conversation, Asuna logged into ALfheim Online (ALO) to update Leafa, Lisbeth, Silica, and Sinon on what she had learnt on the Ocean Turtle. Asuna informed her friends that Kazuto had befriended two artificial Fluctlights, a boy and a girl, during his time in Underworld. The girl, named Alice, had broken a clause of the Taboo Index due to prioritising the life of another Fluctlight. Although such an action was precisely what Rath was seeking, by the time Takeru and Seijirou noticed the event, Alice had already been apprehended by the Axiom Church and had her Fluctlight adjusted to prevent such conduct.
After recounting Alice's story, Asuna bid farewell to her friends, as it was almost time for her to visit Kazuto. Minutes later in the Ocean Turtle's upper shaft, Asuna was gazing at her boyfriend, lying in a bed connected to a Soul Translator, together with Rinko when the two were approached by Aki Natsuki, the nurse who had been providing care for Kazuto after the Sword Art Online incident, as well as during the Death Gun incident. The nurse revealed she had been working for the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) and was assigned by Kikuoka Seijirou to oversee Kazuto's medical condition.
When the nurse confirmed that Kazuto's treatment was proceeding well, Rinko requested a private conversation with Asuna. In their quarters, Rinko shared with Asuna how she first met Kayaba Akihiko at the Shigemura Lab and started a relationship with the man. The woman also confessed that she had taken care of Akihiko's body during entire SAO Incident and apologized to Asuna for not doing anything to prevent it, despite having such an opportunity. Watching Rinko crying in front of her, Asuna comforted the woman by sharing that neither her, nor Kazuto had ever blamed her for this, since despite the death game being a horrible experience for many, it also allowed her to experience the happiest days in her life. Later that night, after having a strange dream of being visited by Akihiko, Rinko suddenly awoke and looked outside her room in confusion.
- Adapted from Volume 10, Chapter 2, Parts 2-3
- In the light novel, Yui was the one who explained the concept of «Top-Down AI» and «Bottom-Up AI» during Asuna's, Leafa's and Sinon's meeting in ALfheim Online.
- Because of this, Asuna already understood the basic concept when Seijirou brought it up.
- Details on how the Rath staff who raised the original eight Artificial Fluctlights exited the Underworld were omitted.
- Details regarding mankind's present disposition towards war and the current political climate, to explain why AI's designed for military purposes have become increasingly necessary, were omitted.
- Details on how the memory blocking procedure works were omitted.
- Details regarding Kirito's second childhood in the Underworld were omitted.
- Details regarding possible side-effects from Kirito spending years in the Underworld were omitted.
- The scene where Asuna explains the situation to Leafa, Sinon, Lisbeth and Silica in Alfheim Online was anime original content.
- In the light novel, when Rinko confronted Akihiko following the outbreak of the SAO Incident, she was carrying a gun rather than of the knife.
- The scene of Akihiko's and Rinko's first meeting and growing relationship was anime original content.
- The scene where Rinko sees Akihiko in a dream was anime original content.
- On March 16, 2019, the English-dubbed premiere broadcast of this episode on both coasts of the United States of America was interrupted due to an error after six minutes of airing, skipping to the next show in the lineup. Due to this error, a re-air of the episode was scheduled for March 23, 2019.
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