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- "The path to the Key of the Twilight, has finally opened!"
- — Ovan —
Starting is the eighth episode of .hack//Roots.
Haseo, Tabby, and Sakisaka materialize at the Arche Koeln Waterfall, after mysteriously being teleported away from the Battlefield of Coite-Bodher. Sakisaka speculates that the teleportation was due to some sort of undiscovered event in the Lost Grounds, but Tabby disagrees. She says that the teleportation probably has something to do with the Virus Cores they've been searching for, and that they should continue looking. Haseo agrees, and the three travel to the Hulle Granz Cathedral.
The three begin a thorough search of the Cathedreal. While looking at one of the walls, Tabby suddenly vanishes. Concerned, Sakisaka goes to look for her and vanishes as well. Haseo begins to go after him, but is interrupted by Ender who enters the Cathedral and begins demanding information. When Haseo refuses to answer her questions she prepares to PK him, but a Flash Mail message she receives causes her to exit the cathedral, leaving a confused Haseo behind.
Meanwhile Gord is busy hunting for information in his own way. Aware that a member of Kestrel has a Virus Core he assaults two Kestrel members in a field, hoping that they'll give him the information he needs. His efforts are unsuccessful, the two members know nothing. Annoyed he allows them to flee. His friend Nasubi arrives shortly afterwards and tells him that he was able to find the person holding the Virus Core, a player named Bordeaux. Gord recognizes her as a notorious PKer.
Haseo returns from the Cathedral and rushes to the Twilight Brigade's @Home. He meets Shino who reassures him that Tabby and Sakisaka are fine, and should return shortly. In TaN's @Home Tawaraya and Ender hold a meeting of their own. Ender tells Tawaraya that the strange scars located in the Lost Grounds can be used as a transfer platform, while Tawaraya reveals that his plan to give his Virus Core to the Brigade failed.
In Mac Anu Gord makes his final preparations before meeting with Bordeaux. Phyllo asks him why he's so obsessed with the Virus Cores, and Ovan. Gord responds that it's the only way he can make Ovan recognize his strength. Elsewhere, in the Brigade's @Home Tabby returns. She talks about how she fell through the rendered part of the Cathedral and was forced to reset in order to get out. Shino tells her to continue searching the Lost Grounds, than asks Haseo to try and see if his theory about the Virus Cores being a path to the Key of the Twilight is true. Comparing his Virus Core to Shino's, they notice that each one is a different color. Shino speculates that each core has a different color, and that they're should be one in each Lost Ground, making six in total.
In a remote field Gord finally meets with Bordeaux, and her minions Negimaru and Grein. She refuses to give the Virus Core to him, and decides to attack him instead. However Gord defeats her without much trouble and takes the Virus Core from her body.
At the Battlefield of Coite-Bodhar, Haseo drags Shino to the pillars he noticed on his last visit. Taking his Virus Core he places it near the pillar that shares its color, causing the gem in the pillar to glow. Realizing that this could be the key to the Key of the Twilight, Shino mails Ovan and prepares to go see him. Haseo asks her what kind of relationship she has with Ovan, and she evasively answers that he's somebody she knows in the real world. She tells Haseo that it's not something he needs to worry about, and leaves for the Arche Koeln Waterfall, where Ovan is waiting. Ovan says that Haseo's discovery could be the breakthrough the Brigade was looking for. He goes on to say that if the Key is actually found, he'll probably be unable to access The World for awhile, and gives Shino instructions on what to do in his absence.
Naobi meets with Ender, who tells him that Tawaraya failed to give his virus core to the Brigade. Naobi tells her not to worry, and that Ovan has probably already created a plan to get it back. He orders her to continue following Haseo. Ender travels to the Battlefield of Coite-Bodher, where Haseo is still wandering. He comes across another sign, and is teleported once again. He finds himself floating in a strange place, filled with bits of broken data. However unlike Tabby, Haseo is able to move freely in this world. Noticing a virus core floating in the distance, he flies over to it and grabs it.
In Mac Anu, Gord watches Haseo running towards the Brigade's @Home. He surmises that he succeeded in finding the last core, and realizes the Brigade will be moving soon. At TaN's @Home Ender reports to Naobi that all the preparations have been made. Naobi says that now he'll finally be able to capture Ovan, after that everything else will fall into place.
Ovan calls the Brigade together, with all the Virus Cores found it's finally time to head to the Battlefield of Coite-Bodhar and search for the Key of the Twilight. If they wait any longer TaN won't allow them to move. Haseo and the rest of the Brigade swear to follow him.