[SAO v17] Chapter 20 – Each of their Battles

Translation of Chapter 20 of Sword Art Online Volume 17 complete. 

Click this link to read it on its page.

This post will be updated as more of the volume is released.

Thank you to all who helped. All feedback is welcome.

Translation Credits:

Translation – defan752, luacs1998

Editing – CJ, David Ruegg, Aozora Kei, defan752, ZeHaffen, Adam, Shiina, DarthMewtwo

Scans – ruranobe.ru

Illustration Editing – Mttblue2

Consultation – SAO Wiki

Author: defan752

I translate stuff for you all to read.

220 thoughts on “[SAO v17] Chapter 20 – Each of their Battles”

  1. Defan you and taptap are the best!! I really appreciate your translations and hard work!! Can’t wait for ch 21!!

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        1. Thanks for the good news. It’s really good to hear.

          So Kirito still didn’t come back, I’m guessing? [I mean from his vegetable state.]

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  2. Hey defan, how’s the next chapter translation coming? Eagerly waiting for it. And thanks for all your hard work.

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  3. I have a question about Progressive. In the Afterword chapters of both Volumes 1 and 2, Kawahara-sensei that he plans to follow Kirito and the gang all the way to 100th floor – but as we well know, SAO gets cleared prematurely before they ever get to the 75th floor since Kirito finds out that Heathcliff is Kayaba Akihiko after the 74th floor boss fight and defeats him in a duel to clear the game right there and then. So either Kawahara-sensei does another huge contradiction aside from the one about whether or not Asuna and Kirito ever teamed up before the main series (since Progressive tells us that they teamed up for the first floor boss fight, and also for “Rondo of the Fragile Blade” plus 2nd floor boss fight and 3rd floor boss fight, as well as (so far) the entire campaign quest on the 3rd floor that lasts until the end of the 9th or 10 floor), with the contradiction this time possibly being that Kirito actually didn’t figure out that Heathcliff is Kayaba Akihiko until it was properly revealed like it was normally supposed to be on the 95th floor, after which the next time he met Heathcliff would the boss chamber of the 100th floor (can’t remember the name well, but it was something like “Crimson Blood Palace” or something like that, IIRC), or Kawahara-sensei takes Progressive into a sequel series that goes into the New Aincrad in ALO and follows Kirito and the gang, which now also has Silica and Lisbeth in the clearing group, plus Leafa, Sakuya (the Sylph leader), Eugene (the Salamander leader) and other strong players. It’ll be different since Aincrad will have magic again all of a sudden, as well as properly functioning projectile weapons aside from the limited-ammunition throwing knives – not to mention the players being fairies instead of humans (how would the forest elves and dark elves in the campaign quest have reacted to that? They kept calling the players humans in SAO since that’s what they were, but now they’re fairies and not humans).

    I think he should show us Kirito and the others conquering New Aincrad in ALO, anyway, and if it can’t be in the main series, he should put it in a side story. And if he’s planning on showing the castle up to the 100th floor being conquered anyway, then rather than do a huge contradiction by showing the original Aincrad in SAO being conquered in Progressive, he should instead show the Aincrad recreated through “The Seed” in ALO being conquered in it.

    What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

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    1. Yeah, wondered about that too. At first, I thought it was just a typo, but on further reflection, it seems to be too big an error, and one too easy to fix, to let slide. So either nobody noticed it until it was too late, or it was actually meant to say 100…

      In that case, perhaps Kawahara-sensei has decided to treat the Progressive series as if it happened in a parallel universe or something along those lines… If that’s so, I’d be a little disappointed. It seems sort of lame to just say, “Contradiction? No, it’s just another thing that could have happened, or it happened in another dimension.”

      Once we get there, nothing seems real, only one of infinite possibilities. Sort of like those stories that end, “And then he woke up and realized the whole thing was just a dream.”

      But whatever, I guess we will see what takes place.

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      1. Kawahara wanted to avoid the contradictions at first, and in fact, he even considered introducing a different heroine in place of Asuna to avoid the contradiction regarding that, but ended up deciding that since, in SAO, no one wanted to see Kirito any girl other than Asuna, he shouldn’t let any other girl travel with him (if it’s in the main series and on Aincrad, I guess).

        I really hope it’s not a parallel universe kind of thing where Kirito and the others conquered Aincrad all up to and including the 100th floor. If anything, since the Alicization Arc seems to be the final arc in the main series such that we probably won’t see them playing ALO again after Kirito comes back from Underworld, Kawahara should put the rest of the ALO stuff in a side-story, including the conquering of the rest of New Aincrad. And so that the Progressive series doesn’t have to look like a complete alternate universe, the conquering of New Aincrad should be included in it if it won’t be shown in the main series.

        Progressive was meant to be a “fill-in-the blanks”sort of thing, for filling in all of the stuff that happened on Aincrad that was skipped in the main series (including the “Early and Late” Volume and the chapters included in Volume 2 of the main series). That’s also another reason why it’s not good for it to be an alternate universe. Kawahara also mentioned in the Afterword for Volume 2 of Progressive that he started writing it mainly because the anime guys wanted to write events that would fill in the gaps. That’s the main reason Progressive is there.

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        1. The anime guys wanted him to write events that would fill in the blanks – is what I wanted to say there.

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          1. Right. There was quite a lot of time that wasn’t covered in the main SAO storyline. I like the feeling of the progressive series, and would like to see a continuation of the series as blank-filler.

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            1. Yeah, exactly. And that’s why it should only be for filling in the blanks and not for telling us what could’ve happened that didn’t. That’s why I’m against it turning into a complete alternate story kind of thing.

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              1. I totally agree. I wish I had Kawahara Reki’s email, and could speak Japanese :P
                I guess that there isn’t some place where his English speaking fans can tell him what they think…
                But, whatever. I haven’t bought his books, so I can only say that I’ve been captured by his story, and would like to continue enjoying it.

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              2. Btw if you want to find few indications of what kawahara is going to do with progressive, you may read ME sugary days from tap website.

                Spoiler

                Imo he is not going to do altenative reality kimd of thing and he is going to do the whole elf campaign in the series. I wonder he will continue further.

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                1. When does Sugary Days take place?

                  And yeah, thanks for the info. So something in the Afterword (if there is one) of Sugary Days makes you think he won’t do an alternate story kind of thing with Progressive where he tells us what could’ve happened but didn’t? If so, that’s good. I hope you’re right.

                  It’s good that we’ll get to see the campaign quest for the elves’ storyline. I was hoping for that. If he won’t continue from there at all, then hopefully he’ll do another side-story compilation or something that features the conquering of New Aincrad in ALO. Especially from the 75th floor to the 100th floor, plus anything of the 72nd, 73rd and 74th floors we didn’t get to see in the main series. It’d be great if we also got to see the other floors of the original Aincrad up to the 73rd floor being conquered, though (exclusive, since we saw the 73rd and 74th floors being conquered in the main series – or was it just the 74th floor? I don’t remember that well).

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                  1. The story takes place immediately after marriage and takes Kirito and Asuna to the very first floors of Sao’s Aincrad…

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                    1. So it’s just after Kirito and Asuna got married in SAO? Thanks for letting me know.

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    2. Not sure if he’s going to fix that. According to Kirito in volume 1 of the main series, he and Asuna only met a few times before. And here in Progressive they are adventuring from the start. It is already a huge contradiction. Well I myself really like the idea of continuing it to the 100th floor though.

      And we are not even sure if Kawahara-sensei is able to finish the whole Progressive thing. He even mentions it in one of the afterwords that it’s likely to be impossible. At most maybe around 2-3 floors per volume, and it still might take roughly 50 volumes to complete the whole Aincrad. He’s now in his 40s, soon he won’t be able to write as much as he does right now.

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      1. I know there’s a contradiction with Kirito and Asuna.

        I just don’t want Progressive to turn into a story about what could’ve happened but didn’t. I want it to be about things that did happen. Kawahara said in the Afterword that he wanted to avoid contradictions with Asuna, but that he also didn’t want to put another heroine in there aside from Asuna. Didn’t I already mention that? O.o

        You should read the whole conversation between me and good.enough if you haven’t yet.

        Kawahara said he’ll follow Kirito and the gang to the 100th floor, so I’m just hoping that he’ll finish that on New Aincrad in ALO rather than the original Aincrad. Especially since the main series seems like it won’t show New Aincrad in ALO being conquered.

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        1. The main thing that I don’t like about post-RECT Progress ALO is that Kirito and Friends don’t really have much to fight for.
          It is just another game.
          Yeah, it’s a futuristic VR game, but still, it has little influence on things in the real world.
          There is none of that trapped-inside-a-game SAO feel that in my opinion makes the stories so fascinating.

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          1. Games aren’t meant to have any effect in the real world. The point is that the virtual worlds are another reality for the main characters in this series rather than something that just isn’t reality at all. And since virtual reality games are played in the NerveGear or Amusphere, they’re in the mind, and as a result, the person’s mind is able to retain the memories of the skills acquired in the games and the person is able to reproduce those same actions in the real world if he/she has access to the necessary things (like shinai for swordsmanship). Kirito can use One-Handed Sword Skill swordsmanship techniques with a shinai in the real world, too, as we saw when he sparred with Suguha in the Fairy Dance Arc. And in ALO, when they added in sword skills and Original Sword Skill updates, he was able to reproduce the 16 consecutive hit skill Starburst Stream on his own, without the system assist (when he was recreating the Starburst Stream skill as an OSS in ALO). And he’s also able to do it in Underworld, though that should be expected since it’s connected to his own memory using the Mnemonic Visual.

            And I’ve just remembered: the only contradictions in Progressive are those that involve Kirito and Asuna, like how many times they’d met before the main story, whether they’d eaten together in a restaurant before or not, whether they’d partied together before or not, things like that. Everything happening with Kirito is stuff that did happen, it’s just that Kawahara would’ve originally said that it was another girl aside from Asuna since it’d be contradicting the main series otherwise (which it is). That’s why he said in the Afterword that he was worried that he’d be creating a contradiction if he wrote that Asuna was with Kirito in the events that happened in Progressive. He chose to include Asuna despite the contradiction only because he wants Asuna to be spending the most time with Kirito compared to all of the other girls, aside from Alice it seems.

            I guess Alice gets a free pass because, from the Web Novels, it can be inferred that the end-game pairing will be KiritoxAsunaxAlice. Asuna probably had to compromise and let Kirito keep both of them because even though all of the other girls who loved him had already given up, Alice was the only one who refused to do as she’s her (Asuna’s) greatest rival, plus there’s also the time they (Kirito and Alice) spent together in Underworld when they were kids. Kirito’s memories of his time in Underworld as a kid when he was spending time with Eugeo and Alice there are gone, and Eugeo and Alice also forgot, but it did happen and Asuna knows about it because she heard of it from Kikuoka and Higa. And Kirito’s memories of the real world was sealed during the time he was diving into Underworld to test the STL and Kikuoka and Higa had his age reverted to young boy’s who was born and raised in Underworld, plus he was always together with Eugeo and Alice such that they did pretty much everything together. I bet it’s likely that when his memories of the real world were sealed in those days and he also therefore didn’t remember Asuna, he ended up falling for Alice. If this is true, and Asuna notices it, she probably will also use that as a reason to make the compromise I mentioned above to let him keep both of them, albeit reluctantly.

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            1. Erm… okay. That was a lot of bytes… but as far as using VR sword techniques IRL… It’s plausible, but without a lot of training to get your real body up to the stats of your virtual body- as Kazuto discovered in his sparing match with Suguha- your body won’t be able to keep up.

              Anyway, it seems that styles developed in games like SAO and ALO would be inefficient to adapt for use on Earth. The level of strength and agility that the practitioners of those styles have in the VR space must be far beyond the norm for what you could attain in real life.

              It would be better to take what you learn in the dojo and practice it in combat in the virtual space to develop muscle memory. I think that it was mentioned in the Fairy Dance arc that Suguha benefited from her knowledge of Kendo in ALO, and from her practice of it there in real life.

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              1. Well, yeah, of course the same speed and stats can’t be replicated in the real world. I was only talking about Kirito being able to replicate the movements themselves, without the speed and other stats that he has in the virtual world. When he sparred with Suguha, even though he didn’t have the help from the system assist or the same stats that he has in the virtual world, he was still able to copy the movements themselves exactly. If he had two shinai in the real world, I’m sure he’d be able to replicate Starburst Stream, albeit without the same speed as in the virtual world.

                If he were still practicing kendo, he could use that in the virtual world and benefit from it there while also being able to use his experience of using it in the virtual world for advancing in real life like Suguha does, but the thing is that he’s already quit kendo. I hope he hadn’t, though. I guess he could research some double-edged sword styles in the real world to practice with and carry those into the virtual world, though he could also just practice with his Aincrad swordsmanship in the real world, too, since that’s his primary sword style now. He could benefiting from it in both the real and virtual worlds by continuing to use it in both like Suguha does with kendo.

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                1. There’s a mistake I noticed in the last sentence and I’ll fix it here.

                  Should be: “He could benefit from it in both the real and virtual worlds by continuing to use it in both like Suguha does with kendo”.

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            2. The idea of finishing the game in New Aincrad is fine, but it lacks the tension from the real SAO. It will become more like an adventure story rather than one where Kirito and gangs seriously struggle for their life. I guess I like the later more.

              The end game pairing is Kirito x Asuna; it is already established from the start. Even Kawahara wants a happy end where Kirito marries Asuna… Or at least it should have gone straight into that. Now that he kind of introduced a rivalry between Alice and Asuna at the end of vol 18, and atm he’s not sure about the direction for the future of SAO; he needs to resolve lots of things first before he can reach that happy ending. Well Kirito can indeed take both of them lol.

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              1. That’s how the web novel ended from what I’ve heard: Kirito x Asuna in the real world and Kirito x Asuna x Alice in Underworld. And then we have the side-story “There Is But One Ultimate Way” where all of the girls who love him are with him in Underworld, sleeping on a large bed. Yui and Kirito wake up, and the former explains that even though it’s not allowed in the real world or ALO, she’ll allow him to have a harem in Underworld.

                Alice is Asuna’s greatest rival. I hear that in the web novel, after she gets a body in the real world, she even goes to meet Kirito’s parents where she asks them to let her marry him. All of the other girls aside from Asuna and Alice already gave up, and they’d have no hope whatsoever if it weren’t for that side-story I mentioned. But that side-story, too, is from the web novel version. The light novel is mostly turning out like the web version, though, so the ending should be the same. There are only minor differences here and there so far, but the actual story is the same.

                By the way, I noticed something. If you read the MEs, you notice that Asuna has the metal studs that she got in Progressive Volume 3, and we also have Kirito remembering the things that he did with her on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors of Aincrad like the elf campaign quest and such. There might not be as much of a contradiction as we’d thought. The main problem seems to be that in the Sugary Days MEs and the four prequels, it says that the floor that the front-line is on at the time is the 75th. When Kirito and Asuna take a leave from the front-lines to have their honeymoon and stuff, the front-line was at the 74th floor IIRC.

                Anyway, I still want to see New Aincrad on ALO being conquered, as well as more stuff in ALO. RECT must’ve put in a different storyline to help clear the game now after the Sugou fiasco. The original Aincrad didn’t have magic and we found out why from the elf campaign quest when we got the in-game backstory on Aincrad. But ALO has magic, so the continuation of the Aincrad storyline says that magic came back to Aincrad somehow and arrows all of a sudden fly straight now. So with the fairies and magic, it’s fun to be seeing more of Aincrad. Maybe it’s just me.

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                1. Though the relationships with Kirito may be completely developed, I would not be surprised to see that there may be a significant message or finding on the 100th level by Kayaba that though currently unrevealed, may be a significant wrap up or even extension to the overall VR world theme. If that is the case, it would be worth continuing the Progressive story to the final conclusion.

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                  1. Kawahara should reach the 100th floor in ALO’s New Aincrad, not the original Aincrad. Progressive shouldn’t turn into a story that shows us what could’ve happened but didn’t, it should only show us what actually happened.

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                    1. I agree. The story would likely be completed in New Aincrad, but I think the medium for the final word about SAO may come at the 100th level and since the current novel series is Progressive, it may come in the last Progressive LN whenever that gets written. That last novel may diverge from the current pre-clearance SAO stories.

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                    2. The latest Volumes in the main series are still coming out, so it’s not just Progressive. And Progressive’s original Aincrad chapters will have to end before the clearing of the floor that Volume 1 ended on. It shouldn’t show us that again, after all. It’ll have to go into New Aincrad to continue from where Volume 1 in the main series left off. That is, if Kawahara really will go all the way up to the 100th floor but not in the original Aincrad as a showing of what could’ve happened but didn’t.

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                2. Yeah Alicization ends in the same way as the WN. But some of what you have heard are wrong. There’s no Kirito x Asuna x Alice in Underworld. Alice never asks Kirito’s parents to let her marry him, that scene is different. But the rivalry is still indeed introduced between Alice and Asuna. And it’s not like Kirito’s harem totally gave up on him… at least there’s no mention lol.

                  About the side story “There Is But One Ultimate Way”, you don’t need to take it seriously. It’s non-canon. At that time the author wondered how to resolve the feelings of other girls toward Kirito, and that was the best he could write. Now he will have to do it in a different way.

                  Even now, Kawahara’s still trying to tie back Progressive with the main story. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why he wrote MEs, to connect the bits here and there. Contradictions are still contradictions, it’s not unusual to have similar events occur in both timelines, but if he’s willing to embrace them and proceed, it’s fine I guess. But then again, he still unsure whether to complete the whole 100 floors or not. We only can wait.

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                  1. Hey! Do you have the link where I can read the whole Progressive series? I only found the Manga type storyline but it’s not finished and I’m not sure it’s actually the author’s edition. Help! Thanks!

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                    1. Mamue’s SAO archive has all three Volumes of Progressive that have been translated by Yen Press so far, plus all of the Volumes of the SAO main series from Volume 1 to Volume 17 Chapter 20. The Progressive ones probably weren’t copied exactly, though, since there are mistakes that I doubt Yen Press would be careless enough to make. I hope they get fixed soon.

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                  2. Okay, thanks for the info. But in the real world Japan, as well as IRL for us, polygamy isn’t allowed. If there’s going to be a harem situation, it’ll have to be in Underworld.

                    But from what you said, if there’s no Kirito x Asuna x Alice in Underworld, does that mean Alice will also completely lose? All of the other girls, too, even though they haven’t really given up? Well, either way, for this series, I think Kirito/Kazuto x Asuna as an OTP is the best way to go. It could just be me, though.

                    I hope you’re right about Kawahara being unsure of whether or not he’ll continue to the 100th floor of Aincrad in Progressive. If he will, then, again, I really hope it’s in New Aincrad. Contradictions should be avoided as much as possible, and since he mainly wants to just have Kirito and Asuna together as much possible, avoiding this particular contradiction about whether they reached the 100th floor in the original Aincrad or not shouldn’t be that hard. Hopefully.

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                    1. By the way, the above message is for Hikaru. Thought I’d say it just in case so that there’s not too much confusion for others.

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                    2. Well I mean in the web novel as well as volume 18 there is no Kirito x Asuna x Alice in Underworld. It was an open end after all. There might be in the future but who knows. Whether Alice completely gives up on Kirito or not, whether the other girls’ feelings are properly sorted out, only Kawahara knows, and he needs to convey them in the next arc.

                      Again it’s not just you. About everyone know that the OTP is Kirỉto x Asuna, even if they are not fans of the ship.

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                    3. It was an open ending? Not confirmed to be Kirito x Asuna as endgame? If so, that sucks. I hope Kawahara will fix that in the light novel version and make Kirito x Asuna the endgame pairing, if not True Harem or Kirito x Asuna x Alice. For this series, though, I think it’s best if it’s Kirito x Asuna only. True Harem in Underworld, if that. Kind of like Rosario + Vampire’s ending where Kurumu used her power as a Succubus to have all of the girls aside from Moka be intimate in Tsukune’s dreams while Tsukune and Moka were together in reality.

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                    4. Hmm yeah? But SAO is not even over though. The end of Alicization was open, but not the whole series. A new arc is coming out in 2017.

                      And I already said this before right. Kirito x Asuna is already established as the end game pair, and that’s not going to change. Kawahara himself is the huge fan of the couple and he considers the perfect ending is where they got married to each other. Well at least that’s what he said years ago. Now he is not even sure about the future direction for SAO, Alice herself now has a really big presence in the story, and there are lots of stuff unexplained and unresolved. I’m sure his intention to make that perfect end hasn’t changed, he will continue to work toward that ending, but how will he do it is another thing. Still, you can rest assured that in the end it is Kirito x Asuna.

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                    5. Alice does love Kirito, though, right? There’s someone on Animesuki Forums who’s saying she doesn’t.

                      I’m happy that Kawahara at least wants to work toward an ending where Kirito and Asuna get married (in the real world, right? Hopefully), so I just hope he manages to do that.

                      And correct me I’m wrong, but isn’t there a possibility that when Kirito was a kid being raised in Underworld, with his memories from the real world being blocked by the Rath staff, he may have fallen in love with Alice? I hope he didn’t, but it’s at least possible.

                      I did read a post on Animesuki Forums about there being another arc planned for the SAO LN series after Alicization. I’m happy to hear that and I hope Kirito and Asuna do get married in the real world at the end of it if it’s the final arc. If there’s more after it, though, that’s probably a good thing as well. As many arcs as it takes him to resolve everything nicely, answer all of the questions, and have Kirito and Asuna get married in the real world. That and I also want to see them beat ALO in the LN, too, New Aincrad and all.

                      I wonder if Alice will come to ALO? She should be able to, and it’d be good if she does.

                      Also, hopefully, Kirito won’t stop her if she herself wants to fight for Japan as an AI installed into unmanned weapons. I can understand why one wouldn’t want that for her, but it’s a different story if the person herself is okay with it. And besides, she’s an AI. Even if the weapon she’s installed into is destroyed, she herself will still be alive in whatever media was used to install her into the weapon as long as it’s kept safe. She isn’t going to die in wars in the real world.

                      And apparently, if I heard right, there actually is an anti-KiriAsu fan who downplays any and all evidence of the pairing being canon in the LN series and talks about there being evidence for Kirito x Alice even where there isn’t any. The guy who told me about it is the same one who believes that Alice doesn’t love Kirito romantically at all and only admires and respects him as a fighter. Someone on the SAO Wiki discussion thread told him that and now he seems to be blindly believing it. I’m thinking of bringing him the quote from SAO Volume 17 Chapter 20 where we saw Alice’s reaction to Asuna saying that she and Kirito have dated (that’s where it was, right?).

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                    6. It’s kind of obvious to me that Alice loves Kirito. Perhaps people have different perspectives on things. But there’s really no point in competing with Asuna over Kirito (more like being defensive) even when Alice came to the real world if she does not at least view him somewhat romantically.

                      About the possibility you mention, no such thing happened. And even if he did, his memories of the childhood times inside Underworld were already deleted.

                      It was mentioned that after coming to the real world, she already dived in ALO to meet up with the real world’s residents. Although her account was new, everyone was charmed by her knightly aura and her skills with a sword.

                      And you are probably misunderstanding several things about Alice. She never fights for Japan. She fights for Underworld. There’s no reason for her to fight for Japan. Alice herself has no intention to become a weapon. Another thing, if Alice is forced to used for warfare, she won’t be even human anymore. Her fluclight will be dissected to create unmanned weapons. She will effectively cease to exist. Kirito never want that. Alice is his hope, the symbolization of his new found dream. Kirito won’t ever let that happen to her.

                      About that anti-fan, well just leave him be. There are people like that everywhere, and it’s not easy to change their mind. Getting into pointless arguments like that is the last thing you want. Btw the quote is from volume 16 chapter 19.

                      As for me, I’d want Alice’s feelings to be repaid somehow. She also has done a lot for Kirito. Knew nothing about housework or cooking, Alice still took care of his lifeless body without complaining for half a year. Kirito’s fluctlight might had already broken down completely before Asuna and friends dived in Underword if it wasn’t for Alice’s dedication to help him holding onto the last of his life. Knowing Kirito, he will surely trying to find a way to repay her, but how and when are up to Kawahara.

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                    7. On the point of Alice fighting in wars for Japan, I was only talking about the future. A possibility. I wasn’t saying she’s definitely going to do it or that she has to. I was only saying that she should be allowed to do it if she wants to. But yeah, if you’re right about her effectively ceasing to exist if she goes through with it, then yeah, Kirito would be right to not allow it.

                      I wasn’t going to argue with that anti-KiriAsu fan I mentioned anyway. I just wanted to point out that there’s such an anti-fan who disregards any evidence pointing to KiriAsu being canon. As sad as it is. -_-‘

                      I know it’s obvious that Alice loves him. People would be blind to not see it. You also make a point about her competing with Asuna.

                      Good to hear about her logging in to ALO. I wonder what race she chose? Would probably be interesting to see.

                      I think the ending would have to be Kirito x Asuna x Alice for Alice’s feelings and what she did for Kirito after his fluctlight was damaged to be repaid. There are quite a lot of fans who’d be against it, though, who want to see the ending be only Kirito x Asuna or Kirito x Alice (though the latter one is absolutely impossible in canon anyway).

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                    8. The future of SAO might not be that bright. One of the reasons why Kawahara is uncertain about the future of SAO, I guess is due to Accel World. If everything goes according to the hints from Accel World, Alice alone might meet a bad end. Well that’s just a speculation though.

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                    9. I haven’t read Accel World. Could you clarify if it really has anything to do with Alice?

                      Well, if she does get a bad end, it’d be bad. I’d prefer an ending where all or most of the main characters are happy. But I guess it’s up to Kawahara at the end of the day. I guess I should be content as long as we get Kirito/Kazuto x Asuna-pro ending?

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                    10. Sure, but keep in mind that at this stage these are just speculations deduced from what Accel World gave us.

                      First take a look at this illustration from vol 19 AW.

                      You might want to guess the identities of the people inside.

                      I will try to keep it short and leave out unnecessary stuff.

                      So at volume 19 of AW, Graphite Edge (basically the Kirito of Accel World) reveals the past of Accel World to Crow (Haruyuki). He described a past battle which happened in a world similar to the current Accelerated World (Implying to be Underworld). At one point things got to the state of an all out battle where players from both sides were logging in that world to fight. Leader A (that white Kirito) and Leader B (black Kirito) led 2 factions that opposed each other. They fought over The Fluctuating Light, a Being of great importance (the girl in the picture). It seems that A wanted to destroy that Being, while B wanted to save her from destruction. They both reached the GM console in that world, but for some reasons A could not obtain TFL and decided to seal her away. A used the GM console to create a Dungeon around TFL, and spawned God-class enemies to guard it (Eight Gods and Four Gods, look them up if you want more details). B caught up, in the end he defeated A but could not undo the changes A made. B’s player army got wiped out by a single one of the Four Gods and he concluded that they can’t get in. B also has GM status, but he can’t just create Gods, since spawned Beings like that can only attack players. Accel World is basically B’s plan to create virtual reality entities that can eventually break through and reach TFL.

                      There are some theories regarding what GE revealed. This is the most possible one. A is Star King Kirito, B is our normal Kirito. And TFL is obviously Alice, you can even see the similar hair style in the illustration if you zoom in. There are also some dead giveaways in both SAO and AW that hint at Alice being TFL.

                      So if the future of SAO turns out like that, even if Kirito got married to Asuna or whatnot, when the events of Accel World occur 20 years later, Alice is still locked away, and Kirito (or someone related to him, maybe GE himself) is still trying to find a way to free her, since currently in Accel World no one has ever reached TFL. Yeah that’s not a happy end in my eyes.

                      Graphite Edge is speculated to be Kirito’s son, Kirito himself, or another copy of his fluctlight. The third one is the most possible.

                      Like

      1. What would he spoil? Most people who read Progressive should already have read the main series. They’re all LN-readers, anyway. So either he made a mistake or he really will show Aincrad cleared up to the 100th floor in Progressive.

        And speaking of contradictions, I noticed them again while rereading SAO Volume 1. The first one was about “The Army”. In Progressive, it says that the group that made the Black Iron Palace on the Starting City their base was one that later became a guild called the Aincrad Liberation Squad (abbreviated as ALS, of course), officially becoming a guild after completing the quest on the 3rd floor that people can form guilds after its completion. In Volume 1, it says that “The Army” wasn’t a guild at all and that it had no actual name (with “The Army” just being a nickname other players had for it). The things “The Army” did, like helping people on the 1st floor of Aincrad level up and clear the game, were all things Kibaou planned to do with the ALS according to Progressive.

        The rest are all about Kirito and Asuna. According to Volume 1 of the main series, before meeting again in Agil’s shop in Algade on the 50th floor, they’d only met in boss-fight conferences, and they also never ate in NPC restaurants before the time they ate the Ragout-Rabbit’s Meat stew at Asuna’s home in Salemburg on the 61st floor. And yet in both “Safe-Area PK Incident” chapter in Volume 8 as well as in Progressive, not only had they already met outside of boss-fight conferences and had their first meeting in the Labyrinth tower on the 1st floor, but they in fact did eat together in NPC restaurants plenty of times. They also partied together for boss-fights up to 10th floor or so and completed the Elf War Quest starting 3rd floor together. I guess one way to mitigate this is in Sugary Days: it’s said in Sugary Days that after the Elf-War Quest was completed, Asuna was scouted out by and jointed the KoB while Kirito went back to being a solo-player, so I guess the contradiction can be mitigated by saying that after they parted ways after completing the Elf-War quest, they only met during boss-fight conferences. There’s no real way to fix the contradiction about the NPC restaurant thing, though.

        There’s also a discrepancy. Asuna, even according to Volume 1 of the main series, has already seen Kirito fight enough times to tell that there’s something off with his fighting style with how he keeps his left hand empty even though he doesn’t have the type of fighting style where a shield would hinder him in any way (interestingly enough, this is answered later by the revelation that he has the Unique Skill Dual Blades, which would mean that he normally keeps his left empty because it’s for his second sword – though this still doesn’t answer why he kept his left hand empty even before acquiring that Unique Skill). It was after they’d fought in the 74th floor Labyrinth for a while already. But in Asuna’s home, when they were talking after having eaten the stew Asuna made with the Rag-Out Rabbit’s Meat, when Asuna asked him why he doesn’t join a guild and Kirito replies that he’s fine without joining one, and he starts bragging about party members being in his way before Asuna gets offended and uses Linear with her knife which prompts Kirito to say that she’s an exception, she tells him to party with her so that she can see if the rumors about his strength are true and remarks that he’s already seen how good she herself is anyway. After fighting together in boss fights to the point Asuna already knew his fighting style while enough to be able to spot the thing that’s off with it which I mentioned earlier, if we include Progressive, they’ve already fought side-by-side enough times to already know how good the other is in a fight. Is this a contradiction, or can it be chalked up to Asuna just paying him back for him bragging? I hope it’s the latter.

        In Progressive, Asuna gets metal studs on her boots and gloves and metal plates added to her skirt plates, yet the KoB uniform she wears has no gloves to put metal studs on and her boots in that uniform also have no studs. I think this can be explained off by saying that she stopped wearing those clothes after joining the KoB aside from the one time in Sugary Days where she wore the studded gloves and boots again, but what does everyone else think?

        We can see, at least, that Kawahara loves the Kirito/Kazuto x Asuna pairing so much that he’s willing to have the Progressive series contradict the main series for it, to the point that he even used Sugary Days to try to explain some of the contradictions and to tie the Progressive series into the main series. With this, hopefully he’ll get to write the Kirito/Kazuto x Asuna ending he originally wanted to for the light novel without problems.

        Like

  4. Hi, I would like to ask how fast do you translate and how do you translate? I have the book (Vol 17) and I’m trying to translate it but alas I know no Japanese so I’m stuck to using Google Translate which is terrible. Any tips you may have? Thanks for your hard work.

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    1. A disclaimer: I know very little Japanese. I translate mainly from Chinese and editors who do know Japanese help me edit my translation for accuracy. My translation speed depends on my free time.

      A first step would be actually learning the language, because SAO, like most light novels, is actually not at all an easy read for beginners. I’d buy some textbooks like Genki and start from there.

      Like

    1. For SAO, I get them from fan translators, but I also have editors who can read Japanese check the Japanese text and edit my Chinese translation to make it as accurate as possible. For almost all other series I translate, I buy the official Chinese translations to keep it as accurate as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Interesting, but I want to know where you get the SAO fan translations. Do you get them from a site? (If yes, can you give me a link please)

        Like

  5. is it possible to update translation progress on the side of this page to show how many % it done? Thanks for ur work

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    1. Actually, I’m sure anyone who’s ever known him sharing their memories of him with him would work. They probably don’t even really need to hug him. Even Agil and Klein sharing their memories of him should help, since they also know him pretty well.

      Like

  6. Hey Defan great job translating this, but I cant wait for the rest of it to be completed. Are you anywhere near done with the last chapter?

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    1. Seeing as it took about a month for chapter 20 to be finished, I’d say that it should be at least another month from now before they finish 21. But hey, you could take that time to read the whole series again! =P

      Like

  7. @Defan: Thanks for the translation!

    I also like reading the chapter/update first and then commenting. I hope everyone’s already read the chapter by now so I can comment what happened in it.

    Anyway, it’s been a good arc. I just hope Vector’s really been defeated and that the next time Gabriel logs in, it’ll be with a different account rather than the Vector one. Better yet, hopefully won’t log back in at all.

    In the previous Volume’s Afterword it said that Kirito would come back in this Volume. So is it safe to assume it’ll happen in the next chapter? I hope so. I’m looking forward to him coming back, though I wonder what he’s going to do now that Vector’s already been defeated.

    By the way, is Tap really not going to be translating SAO now, or will he be doing the next Volume or so?

    Like

    1. the only thing I have in mind, Gabriel using SA right? I really wonder, how can he really died like that, it seems there’s too little battle act of him (Vector), or is it just my imagination or am I missing something?
      it’s not I’m prefer to antagonism, but let’s see… even Asuna has hard battle right?

      Like

      1. Yeah, and Asuna understood how to use Incarnation to regenerate lost limbs. And no matter how injured she got, again, she’d just use Incarnation to fix herself.

        And we already read about what powers the Vector account gives you. The power to control another Fluctlight, right? Which he did use. A lot (though it was only to Alice, some Dragons, and Bercouli). But it’s not a power that seems like it could save Vector from being defeated. But I’m still confused because Vector did get defeated too soon and Kirito hasn’t recovered from his “broken” state yet either. If it’s final boss, normally you’d think that the main character, in this case Kirito, would defeat him. But now Kirito doesn’t have anything major to do when he does recover and come back, unless something comes that makes it so that the Underworld needs him again.

        But all that said, I wonder how Leafa’s going to get back to the heroes’ side? And hopefully, anyone from the good guys’ side who sees her with that Orc Chief won’t think that the monster is trying to hurt and will at least listen to Leafa first.

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        1. Well, from the illustration with Subtilizer and Sinon, it seems that Gabriel should come back somehow. What’s SA by the way?
          But I have a feeling that PoH won’t just sit there on that statue doing nothing. I’d bet that he will play some important part or other. Maybe he’ll be the trigger that awakens Kirito. And like you say, Leafa-san must have some adventures ahead as well. Yeah, I’m pretty excited for that next chapter!

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          1. SA = Super Account. For example, Super Account 01, “Goddess of Creation, Stacia”. Vector is Super Account 04. “God of Darkness, Emperor Vector”. Or something along those lines.

            And it was about the Super Accounts that Asuna, Sinon and Leafa are using that if they die in Underworld while using those accounts once, they won’t be able to use them again. Gabriel might be in the situation in regards to the Vector account, in which case he’ll have to log in using a normal account if he does log in again.

            As for Kirito: It was stated in the narragtion when Sinon hugged him and passed some of her memories of him into him, that she’d unknowingly touched on the only way to bring Kirito back. She hadn’t noticed it at the time, but Kirito regained some of his strength and bodily warmth because of her doing what she did.

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            1. Ah, Okay. So with all the super accounts already being in use, there is no way that Vector can log back in with another. On the wiki, there is a mention of a goddess Lunaria, of the moon. Am I right in assuming that this was part of the mythology of the Axiom church, and not one of the super accounts?
              Also, are the super accounts not backed up anywhere, but stored in the light cluster and erased when their life reaches zero? And would it be the same for the transferred players from ALO?

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              1. Stacia, Solus and Terrerie are all gods who are part of the Axiom Church’s religion. If Lunaria is also there, she’d also definitely be one of the Super Accounts. Super Account 05, to be exact. The gods are all Super Accounts that were originally accounts with admin previliges that the executives from RATH used when they wanted to do something big in it, like adding to or taking away from the landscape or whatever.

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                1. There has been no mention of Lunaria anywhere before this so likely not the case. Also, the players were warned that the accounts would be deleted if the HP hit 0. As far as I am aware, there has only been discussion as to the 4 super accounts that are know to be the 4 gods.

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                  1. Okay. And the reference for Lunaria is Volume 13, Chapter 11, Part 2, and reads:
                    “Eugeo strongly shook his head and stopped his trail of thoughts. Dreams were up to the caprice of the moon goddess, Lunaria. This nightmare surely held no significance.”

                    So apparently the Axiom church had more gods in their mythology than just the original four.

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                    1. Pretty sure the whole mythology thing is regardless anyway in this sense, the reason ‘Vassago’ was used was because Vector was the only SA acc not password protected, that itself says that any others (however many) are inaccessable to them currently.

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                    2. Vassago is PoH’s real name, though, no? That was Vassago himself, and he was logging in with another Underworld Super Account apparently. Vector was Gabriel, and is now going to log back in as the Subtilizer. And the PoH account is password-protected which is why Vassago had to give Critter the password for it.

                      Like

                2. Super Accounts are actually just really strong player accounts, they do not have GM privileges. They only possess certain abilities that is necessary to their myth in Underworld.

                  Like

                    1. Well, what privileges would an administrator have that the highest minister didn’t? It seems to me that basically all administrative actions could be done using the system commands. I guess there were a few things that couldn’t be done from inside, but given the super accounts’ special abilities, and the fact that the original four Rath members would have had a complete understanding of how the system commands work, I think that their ability to change the underworld could be said to be at, or at least extremely close to, admin level.

                      Like

                    2. Yeah, and considering the fact that Rath’s operatives are the ones who made Underworld, them having anything less than admin privileges wouldn’t make sense. So that’s also why I think that those four Super Accounts are admin accounts – would also mean they’re aptly named as “Super Accounts” because such a moniker would be fitting for admin accounts.

                      Like

                    3. Actually anyone who has access to the system command list can have admin privileges. Quinella herself was just a normal artificial fluctlight but managed to be equal to Cardinal. She raised her System Control Authority level to maximum, granted herself exclusive authorities like terrain manipulation, item generation and even the manipulation of the durability of dynamic units, including humans.

                      Super Account itself does not have admin privileges, but anyone who have control over the system command. Of course Rath’s staff might have known, but Asuna and friends can’t possibly know the special command to open the command list. Otherwise they would have an easy fight over the battle. Super Account’s built-in ability has its limit. Higa even stated so.

                      “Um, Sinon-san, although the Super Accounts are really strong, they’re not miracle workers. Since they’re prepared for times when you only have to perform large scale changes in the Underworld, we tried our best to configure them to fit a range acceptable to the inhabitants within.”

                      “So… are you saying that they’re not GMs, just very strong PCs?”

                      “Yes. Exactly. That’s why the «Solus» account you’re going to use can’t get around the Underworld’s resource boundaries either. Any attacks with your bow must expend Spacial Resources, no matter what. Since it has an auto-recharging feature, it shouldn’t be exhausted during the day, but you can’t do rapid fire.”

                      Like

                    4. Ah, yeah, that’s true. I forgot. So yeah, the Super Accounts themselves don’t have admin privileges and the Rath staff themselves have to rely on their own knowledge of the command list and the command for opening it which they didn’t tell Asuna and the others. Got it.

                      Like

        2. Actually, Asuna doesn’t understand how Incarnation works, at least not yet. She just uses it unconsciously. Kirito, Eugeo, Gabriel, Alice and Bercouli understand and have controls over their Incarnation.

          Gabriel will eventually come back with Subtilizer account soon. Defeating Vector SA is actually quite a big deal you know, Bercouli had his spotlight, and he did it pretty darn good.

          Like

          1. Yeah, you’re probably about Asuna in that she doesn’t understand how Incarnation works. I hope she’ll learn soon, though. She does at least seem to know that it’s the “power of imagination” which relies on the Mnemonic Visual that Underworld works with. If someone builds on that and explains to her how Incarnation works, she should be able to get it.

            I agree with you about Bercouli, though. He did great by defeating Vector. Now I wonder if the one to defeat Gabriel after he logs in with the Subtilizer account will be Kirito. It should. But Gabriel’s Incarnation is bad news. It became especially bad news coupled with Vector’s ability, but even by itself it’s still probably bad news. And Kirito might have to fight against that. But he’s the main character, so he should manage something.

            Like

      1. Reki said in the Volume 16 Afterword that Kirito would be back in Volume 17. Are you saying he did try it, but wasn’t able to fit the whole chapter into Volume 17 and had to instead have Kirito come back in Volume 18?

        Like

  8. Thank you so much for the translation, can´t wait for the final chapter of the volume! and to top it up the final volume of alicezation come out in a few days!.

    Like

  9. A lot of thanks to defan n team ^^. I want to ask something that a little off the topic. Where i can read a full english translate of ‘Accel World’ ?? The last volume i read was volume 8. I’m desperately want to know the next stories but didn’t know how to get it..thx b4 to anyone that can help ;)

    Like

    1. As far as I am aware there is no English translation for the volumes from 9 – 20. I know I have been looking as well and unfortunately have not been able to find them.

      Like

          1. Yeah. I’m happy there’s Progressive Volume 1, but where’s the main series aside from some of Alicization?

            Like

              1. Thanks. I’m going to be reading Progressive in that archive.

                Speaking of Progressive, is it really just 3 Volumes? Or is there more already out but the person who translated the 3 Volumes hasn’t gotten to the 4th one yet? I hope it’s the former.

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                  1. @Mamue: Whoever translated SAO Progressive needs to look at this.

                    “On the southern edge was the «Starting City», surrounded by a rampart that drew a semi-circle around it with a diameter of 1 kilometer. In the grasslands surrounding the city, mainly boar- and -type animals were prevalent with worm-, beetle-, and wasptype insect monsters also inhabiting the area. ”

                    “mainly boar- and -types”? What’s the other animal type after boar-types?

                    The “wasptype” here is written correctly as “wasp-type” in the original, so you don’t have to worry about that one.

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                    1. Hey,

                      thank you for this information. I added it to my notes and will change it when I get back to Progressive in my editing process chain.

                      Like

                    2. You’re welcome. I found some other mistakes as well, like some missing words and or double-quotes and such, but we’ll need someone to look at the raw for the missing words (I guess?). If you have the time, could you give Progressive a go-over for editing on your own as well?

                      Like

                    3. Are you talking about P1C2? I tried to catch OCR mistakes, but it seems I wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be. Could you list those and send me a mail? This would make it a lot easier for me

                      Like

                    4. I don’t remember all of them, but all of the ones I’ve found so far are in Volume 1. In both P1C1 and P1C2. I’m not sure if there are any in the Intermission chapter, though.

                      Like

                    5. @Mamue: Some places where there should be “clear” in Progressive Volume 1 actually has “dear” instead.

                      Like here:
                      “Let me just make this dear. I only know the boss from the beta test as well. So it’s totally possible that something…or everything about this boss has been changed.”

                      Like

                    6. @Mamue: I think you should read the novel, and make note of all of the mistakes you find. They’re littered here and there in the entire book.

                      Here’s another one:
                      “I didn’t have any time or arguments with which to convince her. Instead, I merely signed in resignation and nodded.” The “signed’ should “sighed”.

                      Like

                    7. There are also places in both Volume 1 and Volume 2 that’s missing the apostrophe and contractions, like here:
                      “That’s right,” I said and finally realized what Asuna was getting at. “Oh, and you’re wondering that if we come across players working on the forest elf side while were doing the quest…”. The “were” in ” . . . forest elf side while were doing the quest. . . . ” should be “we’re”.

                      Like

  10. Possible spoiler alert

    Am I the only one that noticed that in the map near the end it showed Poh, the leader of laughing coffin on there. I’m guessing that’s the vassango guy.

    Like

    1. it was believed to be him back at the 70% translation mark with weaponary, SAO fact as well as other things. Just confirms it with the map at the end.

      Like

      1. Yeah, and now it’s already confirmed that that’s PoH. You’ll know if you get far enough in the chapter.

        Like

  11. Thank you so much! When I just saw that you managed to finish this segment, I squealed like a little girl. And I somewhat still am. Amazing work, it was a huge pleasure to read!

    Like

    1. Lol, me too! :P

      Anyway, I was a little surprised that Bercouli was able to defeat Vector… I wonder if he is really defeated…

      Like

      1. O man no spoiler here ! or at least put spoiler alert – many fans like me will come here to comment and thank Defan

        P.S. – defan would you be so kind to remove the spoiler or somehow edit this comment .. I dont want any other fan fell the way i just did ;)

        THX a lot by the way

        Like

        1. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen! I just thought that Vector fell too easily. It made me suspicious.

          Like

            1. Eh… so folks actually read the comments before reading the story? Meh, I’d read the story first. After all, the section heading reads: “thoughts on “[SAO v17] Chapter 20 – Each of their Battles”” If I wanted to avoid spoilers, I’d avoid reading folks’ thoughts on the story…
              But, you know, whatever. I’ll concede to the wishes of you, my fellow sao fans. You don’t want my thoughts on the story? I’ll refrain from giving my thoughts on the story. End of story- er, thoughts…

              Like

              1. I do find it weird to; would think you would read the story first before thanking the person translating it. Besides the fact that people put in mistakes found as well.

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                1. some people like me like to read it once the volume is completed and not part by part but would also like to thank the translator for their hard work…

                  Like

                  1. Then you can’t complain when there are people who’ve already read the chapter being commented on and are actually saying something about it. You should come in here expecting spoilers. Just saying.

                    Like

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