The episode begins exactly where the previous episode ends, where Kirito is about to launch into a duel with real swords against the top-ranked swordsman in the graduating class. Kirito’s mentor gives him some information and advice regarding is opponent, and when he sees the stance his opponent is about to use, he figures out what he can use in his “Aincrad Style” to counter his opponent’s attack.
It’s actually an exciting sword fight, even if it doesn’t last terribly long. But it lasts long enough for Kirito to catch his opponent off guard and get a slash on his opponent’s outfit. But before the battle can go any further, it’s interrupted by one of the instructors, saying that the duel is over. So, it ends up being a draw… but Kirito’s performance impresses most of the students. The only people not impressed are the two noblemen students who were looking down on Kirito during the previous episode.
These snooty noblemen show up later, and Kirito discovers that they have destroyed the special flowers that he had been growing for his mentor as a graduation gift. Kirito is obviously upset about this, but he is surprised to hear a mysterious voice telling him how to utilize a simple version of the Sacred Arts to transfer life energy from the nearby plants to his flowers that were destroyed. After Kirito sees success with this, the voice stops speaking to him. I have a suspicion as to who the female voice belongs to, but I’m not going to say anything here. I’m sure the identity of this person will be revealed in time.
We get to see the final sword battle between Kirito’s mentor and Kirito’s opponent in the earlier duel. Thanks to what she saw in Kirito’s fight with him, she finally manages to get the upper hand against the top-ranking swordsman in her class. But, let’s be honest for a moment, Kirito has always had a way of inspiring those around him through his actions… so this development really isn’t too surprising.
Right near the end of the episode, we see both Kirito and Eugeo promoted to Elite Disciples at the academy, and they each have their own page in training. There’s an amusing scene right at the end of the episode that features, Kirito, Eugeo, and the two pages.
From the episode title for the next episode, it appears that we will be seeing a focus on Kirito and Eugeo as they continue being Elite Disciples at the academy. If this is correct, it could be interesting to see how they act as Elite Swordsmen, and how they treat their respective pages.