One month since the start of the fun-turned-deadly game, 2,000 players have already died, and the first floor has yet to be cleared. Kirito attends a meeting organized by fellow beta-tester Diabel, who announces to the attendants that his party, a group of characters adventuring together in a role-playing game, has found Illfang the Kobold Lord, the boss of the first floor. Parties are formed, and Kirito teams up with a young girl named Asuna. The next day, Diabel's raid group arrives at the boss' room and battles Illfang and his minions. When Illfang's health becomes low, Diabel goes for the finishing attack. Kirito attempts to warn him, but Illfang attacks down first and mortally wounds Diabel. As he dies, Diabel begs Kirito to defeat the boss and save the players. Though they destroy the boss, Kirito is accused of being a "beater"—a combination of a "beta-tester" and "cheater"—for Diabel's death.