Kirito and Leafa reach the place of the meeting just as the Salamanders prepare to attack the Sylphs and Cait Siths. Seeing that they have no chance against them, Leafa thanks Kirito for all he has done for her and asks him to continue to the tree by himself, but he rushes forward and stands before the Salamander General Eugene instead, bluffing that he is a messenger for the Spriggans and Undines and to attack them would lead to the four factions waging war against the Salamanders. Eugene does not believe him and challenges him to a duel claiming that he may trust his word should he manage to hold himself for thirty seconds. Kirito is severely punished by Eugene’s sword which can bypass his defenses, until he conjures a huge smokescreen, making use of it to steal Leafa’s sword and turn the tides of the battle fighting Eugene with two swords. After Eugene is defeated, he is revived by Sakuya and leaves in peace with his army. Having his treason exposed, Sigurd is contacted by Sakuya who strips him of his title and has him banished from the Sylph territory. After learning that the now allied Sylphs and Cait Siths plan an incursion to the World Tree in a couple of days, Kirito donates a large sum of money to aid in their war effort and departs ahead with Leafa. Meanwhile, Asuna makes use of the code she had previously learned to open the cage and escape.