In order to obtain a much stronger sword, Kirito teams up with a blacksmith named Lisbeth.
On June 24th 2024, Kirito arrives at a local blacksmith shop run by a girl named “Lisbeth”, or just “Liz” for short. While testing out Lisbeth’s strongest custom-made sword, Kirito accidentally breaks it in half without much trouble. With her pride destroyed, Lisbeth convinces Kirito to come with her to the Western Mountains on the 55th floor to get a very rare material from a dragon, so she can use the mineral of it to make him a stronger sword. Once they arrive at the crystal area of the Western Mountain, Kirito tries to advise Lisbeth to hide while he takes out the dragon. Unfortunately, she ignores his advice and the wounded Dragon is able to plunge both of them into a nearby hole with its massive strength. Kirito manages to save Lisbeth from being killed, and they both decide to set up camp for the night. While thinking to herself, Lisbeth suddenly starts to realize she has feelings for Kirito and makes an excuse for him to hold her hand throughout the dark night inside the hole. The next morning, Kirito uncovers the material that they need and deduces that they are surprisingly inside the Dragon’s actual nest.
Kirito quickly grabs Lisbeth and jumps on the dragon who had just flown in, thereby getting the pair out of the hole. The two sky dive down to the ground and return back to the blacksmith shop, where they forge a new sword called the “Dark Repulsor”. Before Lisbeth can properly confess her feelings to Kirito, Asuna arrives at the shop and learns of what happened at the Western Mountains. While watching Asuna and Kirito have a friendly conversation, Lisbeth falls into dismay as she sees that Asuna likes Kirito. After that heartbreak, Lisbeth promises Kirito that she will be his personal blacksmith and aid him on his quest to free the remaining players of Sword Art Online from their prison.
“The Temperature of the Heart” is a great episode and should not be misunderstood by its episode description. It’s true, the plot primary revolves around Kirito teaming up with a prideful blacksmith named Lisbeth, who develops feelings for him. What made this idea good, though, is that we get to really learn more in depth about why Lisbeth feels this way rather than this being arbitrary. Twice in this episode there are moments of her looking at a picture of a younger version of herself with a group of blacksmiths, symbolizing how much she desires to have somebody in her life to ease all the loneliness. It’s rare to find a show that takes romantic emotions like this so seriously and not force it onto a cheap weekly comedy act with no decent resolution. Other than that, the environments and fighting scenes were incredibly well animated to the very end. One big moment that comes to mind is when Kirito and Lisbeth dive down to the ground, and you can see how colorful the designs for the sky and backgrounds are. If there is anything that this episode proves, it’s that romantic stories executed with genuine creative purpose can be very enjoyable and heartwarming even if the romance doesn’t ultimately work out.