The runaway best-selling fantasy light novel franchise that topped the charts in 2012! One month after Akihiko Kayaba’s game of death began, the death toll continues to rise, two thousand players having already lost their lives to the ultra-difficult VRMMO world of Sword Art Online. On the day of the strategy meeting to plan out the first-floor boss battle, Kirito, a solo player who vows to fight alone to get stronger, runs into a rare, high-level female player. She gracefully dispatches powerful monsters with a single rapier that flashes like a shooting star in the night. This volume contains three stories, including “Aria of a Starless Night,” which details how Kirito came to be called the Black Swordsman, and “Rondo of a Fragile Blade,” the tragic tale of a young blacksmith that takes place before the second-floor boss fight.