Bullet of a Phantom (幻の銃弾, Maboroshi no Jūdan?) is the twelfth episode of the Sword Art Online II anime adaptation, as well as the twelfth episode in the Phantom Bullet Arc. It aired on September 20, 2014.
After checking the map, Kirito (Kirigaya Kazuto) found out that twenty four of the thirty players had already been killed, while only Yamikaze and himself were shown on the map. However, even accounting for Sinon, Sterben and Pale Rider, there was still one player missing. Kirito returned to Sinon and speculated that the player might be hiding. However, they considered Yamikaze to be a problem since he would have most likely detected Kirito. Sinon then deduced that Death Gun could not be targeting Yamikaze as the accomplice was already at her home, so she suggested to use Yamikaze as a decoy to lure Death Gun out. However, Kirito was still bothered by the mismatching number of total players and shared his worries with Sinon. She claimed that Death Gun could not have killed him, as his partner was waiting at her house, but Kirito proposed a hypothesis that Death Gun had more real life accomplices and, with the help of another accomplice, he killed the missing thirtieth player, meaning that Yamikaze might also be a target of Death Gun.
It was decided that Kirito should be the bait, while Sinon sniped Yamikaze and Sterben from a distance. As Yamikaze was closing in on Kirito, Sterben attempted to kill Kirito, but he sensed Sterben's killing intent and the direction the bullet would come from, barely managing to dodge the shot. The bullet pierced a tower which collapsed near Yamikaze and he immediately hid behind an obstacle for cover, but was then shot by Sinon and killed. After handling Yamikaze, Sinon turned her attention to Sterben, but, as she had already used up her no-Bullet Line shot, Sterben was able to see her targeting him. The two of them fired at each other at the same time and, while Sterben managed to destroy Sinon's scope, Sinon managed to destroy Sterben's sniper. However, as Kirito was about to strike Sterben, the masked player drew out an estoc and countered Kirito's attack.
Meanwhile in the real world, Yuuki Asuna had arrived at the hospital that Kazuto was in. Over the phone, Yui told her that Kazuto would be alright. When Asuna barged into his room, she discovered that Kazuto was sweating profusely, and Nurse Aki told her that his heart rate had increased. Yui then operated the monitor to display the Bullet of Bullets tournament, showing that Kirito was fighting which was why his heart rate had increased. Asuna then turned to the other player and, saw that he was using an estoc, which one of the Laughing Coffin leaders excelled at using. She then looked below the avatar and saw that the name «Sterben» was displayed. Asuna thought that Sterben was a misspell of Steven, but nurse Aki explained that Sterben was actually a German word which was used in Japanese hospitals in the meaning of "death".
Back in Gun Gale Online, the two swordsmen commented on their swords. Kirito then revealed what he deduced about Death Gun and stated that if he knew Sterben's real life name, his personal information would be discovered and he would thus be arrested. However, Sterben revealed that Kirito did not remember his name, as after the fight with Laughing Coffin in Sword Art Online, he was captured, but Kirito refused to be told his name. Sterben then began assaulting Kirito with overwhelming speed, landing every attack on him.
- «Calico M900A»
Sword Skills Imitations
- «ISL Ragnarok»
- «Toritsu Central Hospital»
- Adapted from Volume 6, Chapter 14
- The Satellite Scan map did not show any dots in the desert, even though there should have been a lot of grey dots due to Sterben killing off any player who entered the desert.