As Sinon tries to figure out how to aid Kirito with her rifle's scope destroyed, Asuna and Aki worry about Kirito's well being, his heart rate increasing to the point where it could dehydrate him. Yui suggests Asuna let Kirito feel the warmth of her hand.
Back in GGO, Kirito struggles to hold out against Sterben's assault. Suddenly, Kirito realizes something: Sterben's eyes glowed red from his mask. It reminded him of the name of one of the Laughing Coffin members he had fought with: "Red-Eyed XaXa". Upon hearing the name, Sterben's assault wavers. Sinon takes advantage of the situation to aim at Sterben, forcing him to try to evade the prediction line from her rifle. As Kirito attempts to attack Sterben, he starts to activate his optical cloak. Kirito reaches out to stop him, but upon feeling the warmth from Asuna's hand, reaches for his sidearm instead, shooting at Sterben and making his cloak malfunction. Kirito lands the final blow on Sterben with his photon sword. Sterben taunts Kirito with the fact that he has not found his accomplices, but Kirito vows to seek them out.
As the last two players remaining in the tournament, Kirito and Sinon exchange contact information, with Kirito promising to send police to Sinon's apartment to apprehend the "Death Gun" conspirator at her home, as well as coming by personally to check up on her.. That only leaves the matter of the tournament: Kirito was low on HP following his fight with Sterben. Sinon promises to resolve their rivalry at the next "Bullet of Bullets" tournament, and activates a plasma grenade, hugging Kirito tightly and catching the grenade between their bodies. Its detonation destroys them both, ending the tournament in a two-way victory between them.
Shino awakens in her apartment. There is no intruder, but she finds Kyoji waiting outside for her, come to congratulate her for winning the tournament. As they talk, however, Kyoji's behavior took a turn for the bizarre: he tries to hug Shino while confessing his love for her. When Shino spurns his advances, he brandishes a syringe filled with succinylcholine: he was one of the conspirators behind "Death Gun" and the one who killed XeXeed. He intended to kill Shino so they could be reborn in another world. As Shino gives in to despair, she remembers that Kirito was on his way to her apartment. Afraid of what Kyoji might do to Kirito, she fights back fiercely and runs for the door. As Kyoji catches her and prepares to kill her, a young man bursts into the apartment and attacks Kyoji. Shino immediately recognizes the young man as Kirito!
This episode contains examples of:
- Attempted Rape: Kyoji had this planned for Sinon.
- Big Damn Heroes: Kirito shows up just in time to stop Kyoji from raping and killing Sinon.
- Declaration of Protection: Kyoji made one for Sinon in the middle of his Love Confession.
- Love Confession: Kyoji makes one for Sinon... which leads to him showing his Yandere side.