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Phantom Bullet (ファントム・バレット, Fantomu Baretto?) Part 2 is the 6th book in the Sword Art Online Light Novel series, published on December 10, 2010.
Kirito entered the finals of the Bullet of Bullets tournament to find the truth about the mysterious Death Gun. Assisted by the sniper Sinon, he fought for his life and others to stop a mysterious but lethal force.
Kazuto was woken up by his sister Suguha, who immediately interrogated him about a new competitor on the Bullet of Bullets competition named Kirito. With clever maneuvering, she caught Kazuto in his lies and told him that she knew that he converted his ALfheim Online account into Gun Gale Online. She then confessed her worries about Kirito going away, but Kazuto reassured her he will come back. Kazuto was unable to tell Suguha about his real reason for converting to GGO - he had some unfinished work to be done, especially since he met someone from the PK guild named Laughing Coffin from Sword Art Online. Kazuto headed over to the hospital where he first woke up after clearing SAO. Nurse Aki was waiting for his arrival. Kazuto confessed to her that he feels guilt for killing people in SAO, but Nurse Aki assured him that, sometimes, a minority has to be sacrificed to save the majority.
Asada Shino was hanging out with Shinkawa Kyouji as she reminisced about the preliminaries the day before. Kirito, an absolute amateur to GGO, had surprisingly made it to the finals, and to top that, had actually beat her. Shino was irritated by everything that is Kirito: his mannerisms, the fact that he disguised himself as a girl, his overwhelming ability in game, and his telling her that he would prefer to not hit a girl. Kyouji grabbed Shino and told her that he "wants" her, though Shino responded by saying that she does not have that sort of feelings for him but that if he was willing to wait for her, she might one day accept. Spiegel met up with Sinon in-game and after he leaves, Kirito called Sinon from behind.
Kirito recollected his memories of the previous day; «Laughing Coffin», «Death Gun», Sinon, Bullet of Bullets, 30 finalists, and finally, fear. He saw Sinon and asked her to guide him through today's tournament. The map is ten kilometers in diameter, and every 15 minutes, a satellite probe is sent into the air to map the location of each contestant. The goal of course is to be the last one standing. Kirito hinted to Sinon about his previous life in SAO and about the «Laughing Coffin» guild. They head off to the arena, Kirito promising Sinon that he will stay alive until she kills him.
Sinon eliminated 2 people in the first 30 minutes. She saw «Pale Rider» chasing «Dyne» and decided to stay and watch. Kirito snuck up on her while she was distracted, and instead of killing her, he sat down next to her. Pale Rider was a prime suspect. Dyne was defeated and a bullet suddenly passed by Pale Rider. He is immediately paralyzed. Kirito and Sinon are shocked; they hadn't noticed a hidden enemy. «Death Gun» stepped into the clearing and killed Pale Rider, both in-game and in reality. He then disappeared after dodging Sinon's bullet. Sinon and Kirito then teamed up to chase after the murderer.
Spectating the game are Kirito's friends from ALO: Asuna, Klein, Lisbeth, Yui, Silica, and Leafa. They witnessed the death of Pale Rider as it was being streamed LIVE. Klein and Asuna immediately noticed that the voice sounded strangely familiar as if it was a player from the Laughing Coffin guild. Asuna immediately left ALO to contact Kikuoka Seijirou.
Sinon noticed a longing feeling for Kirito. «Gunner X» and «Sterben» were the last two suspects. Sinon and Kirito targeted Gunner X first. Kirito went to attack Gunner X and left Sinon behind for the sniping, suddenly she was stunned by a bullet from her blind spot. Death Gun was using «Metamaterial Optical Camouflage» to hide from the satellite probe. Kirito quickly killed Gunner, who was really called Musketeer X, and headed back towards Sinon, noticing that she was in trouble. Sinon noticed that the Death Gun item was a Type 54 "Black Star", the gun that she had used years past to kill a dangerous man. Kirito jumped in to save Sinon and then they hurriedly found a buggy and drove off. Death Gun chased after them while riding a horse. Sinon was too scared to press the trigger and couldn't shoot. In a last moment effort, Kirito forced her to make the shot. She misses but hit an oil tanker behind Death Gun which caused a large explosion. Sinon confessed that she had murdered lives in the real world before and to calm her down, Kirito explained his situation while he was in SAO. A short while later, Kirito figured out the secret behind Death Gun. It was not only one person; there had to be somebody in the real world that timed the kills perfectly with the kills in-game. He postulated that by using the invisibility cloak, Death Gun could have waited at the BoB registration place and stole character information, such as their street address, and later giving the address to his accomplices to kill in the real world.
Chrysheight logged into ALO and told the group of everything that had transpired and the reason as to why Kirito was in the death game. Asuna immediately rushed over to the hospital that Kirito linked from. She would wait by his side until he woke up.
Kirito and Sinon hide in a cave, avoiding the satellite scan. It seemed that nobody was around them. By counting the screen, Kirito noticed that only 28 out of the 30 participants were visible, whether dead or alive. That would either mean that somebody was hiding or another person was killed by Death Gun - 1 hour and 45 minutes into the game. They come up with a plan to take out both «Yamikaze» and Death Gun, then they will have their 1v1 fight.
Kirito drove the buggy into the center of the desert. He then used it as a shield. Coming in from opposite directions were Death Gun and Yamikaze. Sinon was waiting to snipe Yamikaze from a high area. She had gained the courage to shoot her Hecate II again and was waiting for the perfect moment to take out Yamikaze. She only had one chance, because after that first shot, there would be a shot line that would make the next shot easy to dodge.
Kirito remembered faintly about the night where Laughing Coffin was destroyed and captured. The person that was Death Gun was most likely the player that had held the «Estoc», but he just could not remember the name of the player though. Kirito nearly dodged a bullet.
Sinon sniped Yamikaze and he immediately died. She then pointed her Hecate II toward Death Gun. He quickly reacted and shot a bullet straight back at her. Her scope was destroyed, but she was able to destroy Death Gun's L115A3 «Silent Assassin». Death Gun pulled out a weapon that seemed to be like a sword. Sinon was shocked as she had never heard of another blade in GGO other than the one Kirito was wielding. Kirito was damaged in the left shoulder.
Asuna entered the hospital worriedly. She immediately rushed to Kazuto's room with Yui, who was connected by a voice speaker, and was worried after seeing Kazuto's heart rate rise from being stabbed by Death Gun.
Death Gun was definitely part of the Laughing Coffin guild. Kirito revealed to Death Gun that he had solved the mystery behind the in-game and real world killings. He also revealed that after he remembered Death Gun's SAO name, he will be able to track him down. Sadly, Death Gun informed Kirito that he will never know his name because Kirito did not spend the time to even hear it while Death Gun was being dragged off the prison in SAO.
Kirito was stabbed into the side and left with only a sliver of HP. He immediately did a backflip and retreats. Sinon, no longer able to support from a long distance due to her missing scope, charged into the battlefield hoping that Kirito could hold off long enough until she got there.
Worried, Asuna screamed out Kirito's name as she noticed SAO Sword Skills being used. Kirito was gravely injured, his face was pale, and his skin was cold. Yui tells her to grab his hand. Even in-game, Kirito would be able to feel her radiating warmth.
In his last moments, Kirito remembered the name of the Estoc user, «Red-Eyed XaXa». At the same moment, Kirito felt warmth envelop his hand. He remembered that he still had his gun by his side. By using the gun, Kirito was able to perform «Double Circular», a Dual Blades Sword Skill he had mastered in SAO. Death Gun's avatar was sliced in half, his final words saying that it was not over.
Kirito told Sinon to immediately call the cops when she exited the virtual reality. He also contacted Kikuoka and told him to send police immediately over to Shino's house. They knew that somebody in the real world was or had been in Sinon's room, waiting to kill her. Then, to finish off the game since they didn't wanted to fight more, the two decided to commit a double suicide by using a grenade. This allowed both of them to be crowned as the victors of BoB.
Shino hadn't notice anything strange happen after getting back to reality. It didn't seem that anyone had been in her room. The doorbell suddenly rang, and outside was Kyouji. She let him inside noticing how quick he was, it had been only a matter of minutes since she exited GGO. Kyouji recounted what he saw in the tournament when Kirito and Sinon were very close together while in the cave. He demanded a reason for it, since he "loved" Shino. Kyouji pushes her onto the bed, screaming that he loves her. The fear of being raped flashed through her brain, but that was not what Kyouji wanted. He wanted to kill her by injecting her with «Succinylcholine», a poison that could stop her heart if given in generous amounts. Attempting to stall for time, Shino talked to Kyouji, asking him the reason behind Death Gun. He revealed that the person that had been in SAO was his brother and that there were actually three people in this plot. Shino fought her way out of his grasp and reached for the model gun that was in her drawer. She was not able to shoot it, so she ran for the door instead. Right when she reaches it, Kyouji grabs her leg. Suddenly, Kazuto burst through the door and attacked Kyouji. Kyouji stabbed Kazuto with the syringe. Luckily, Kazuto had accidentally forgot to remove one of the metal plates that he had been attached to while at the hospital (it had been used to monitor his homeostatic levels), blocking the syringe. Police car sirens could finally be heard from a distance.
A few days later, Endo and her gang team up on Shino again. This time, they ask for 20,000 yen from her; Endo also brought a real gun in hopes to scare Shino. Knowing that she had to stand up for herself, Shino finally faced her fear of holding a gun. She took the gun from Endo's hand and showed her the ability of «Sinon». Endo, scared, was speechless while Shino walked off. Kazuto was waiting for her in front of her school. They went to meet with Kikouka. Shinkawa Shouichi wrote a note to Kazuto stating that "it" was not over. After clearing things up, Kazuto and Shino go to Dicey Cafe where Asuna, Lisbeth, and Agil were waiting. Although Shino had a secret passion for Kazuto, she realized that Kazuto and Asuna were a couple and decided to step down a little. Soon, the veteran SAO players confessed to her the true reason for bringing her here. A former female worker from the post office where Shino saved many people faced her with her four year-old daughter. The worker apologized to Shino for not attempting to find and thank her, but the woman, along with her daughter, thank her whole-heartedly for the heroic deed she had done that day.
- In the web novel, rather than ending the Bullet of Bullets in a tie, Sinon instead managed to beat Kirito in a duel, using a hidden Photon Sword to block Kirito's strike as he came at her, repelling both of their blades apart, as Sinon shoots Kirito with her Hecate II at point-blank.