- "Twilight is drawing ever more near, and that boy holds the Key."
- — Balmung —
The Phoenix Feather (不死鳥の羽) is the third episode of .hack//Legend of the Twilight.
Late at night, in the town of Mac Anu Hotaru is approached by a girl carrying a Baby Grunty. The girl tells her that she'll be going away for a few days, and asks Hotaru to take care of her Grunty while she's gone. Unsure at first, Hotaru soon warms up to the small creature and agrees to watch over it.
The next day Mireille shows Shugo, Rena, and Ouka her hideout. The hideout, a very expensive and rare item is a building located in Mac Anu which Mireille uses to store all of her things. Inside of the hideout Mireille inspects Shugo's Twilight Bracelet. After comparing it to other more common bracelet items she speculates that Shugo's Bracelet could be an ultra rare, max level item. Ouka agrees with her, saying that the vast difference between the Bracelet's item level, and Shugo's character level were probably responsible for the rogue Drain Arc that occurred during the Cherry Blossom Event. In short, the Bracelet is too powerful of an item for Shugo to control at his current level. Wanting to help her brother, Rena suggests that they all go out and help Shugo level up.
The four travel to a field together, looking at the field info Shugo notices that its level is way above his. However Ouka, Mireille, and Rena are able to handle the monsters without much trouble. Since Shugo is also in their party, he is able to gain experience from their kills and quickly gains several levels. However while exploring a dungeon Shugo accidentally opens a trapped chest containing a level down trap. As the trap sets him back to level 1, he gets upset and leaves the area, returning back to town.
Elsewhere Balmung meets with his assistant Reki. Reki gives him his report on the recent monster attacks in The World. He informs Balmung that no record of the events were found in CC Corp's records, and that nobody he asked within the company had any information on it, including the other System Administrators. Disturbed, Balmung orders him to send a message about it to CC Corp's top brass.
Moping around in Mac Anu, Shugo wonders why Aura decided to give a newbie like him such a powerful item. Stopping at the edge of one of the canals he runs into Hotaru, and notices that her Baby Grunty has fallen ill. Concerned for the Grunty Hotaru asks him for help, saying that she has been unable to contact her only friend in the game. Shugo agrees to help, and together they visit a nearby Grunty Clinic, where they discover that Baby Grunty has caught the deadly Grunty Flu. Unless the disease is cured soon, Baby Grunty will die. The only cure is an item known as a Phoenix Feather located in the dungeon of Δ Blazing Purgatory Valley, unfortunately the area is fairly high level, much too high for either Shugo or Hotaru to complete. Though they both try to contact their friends none of their messages are received, so the pair decide to attempt the dungeon together.
Reaching the field, Shugo uses a Fairy's Orb to find the location of every monster on the field. He gives Hotaru a Speed Charm scroll, and tells her that if they run into any monsters that she should use it to escape. Dodging monsters the two sneak across the field, eventually reaching the dungeon. Inside things become much more difficult, and Shugo and Hotaru are forced to creep along the walls of the dungeon to avoid activating monster-summoning magic portals. They succeed in successfully making deep into the dungeon, but on the bottom level Hotaru accidentally activates a portal. Running from the monster Shugo and Hotaru activate two more portals, and soon find themselves cornered by monsters. Hotaru pleads with the monsters to let them pass, but only succeeds in drawing their attacks. Out of desperation Shugo uses Data Drain, and successfully defeats one of the monsters.
Suddenly the remaining two monsters are killed in a single attack. Hotaru's friend Sanjuro, an extremely powerful Heavy Blade steps out of the shadows. He says that he received Hotaru's e-mail, and came as quickly as he could. He is initially confused by Shugo, who he mistakes for the legendary player Kite, but quickly recognizes him as the winner of the character contest. With Sanjuro's help they easily reach the dungeon's Gott Statue and retrieve the Phoenix Feather.Returning to town Hotaru uses the Phoenix Feather to cure Baby Grunty. Suddenly the Grunty's original owner returns, she is surprised to see that her Grunty is still alive. Surprised Hotaru asks if she just abandoned her Grunty after it became sick. The Owner says that's exactly what she did, her responsibilities in real life are too important for her to worry about caring for a stupid grunty in an online game. Angry, Shugo tells her that all of them went out of their way to help her "stupid grunty". Suddenly Ouka, Mireille, and Rena enter the Grunty Stable. Identifying themselves as friends of that "stupid grunty" they drag the owner off to teach her a lesson. Hotaru decides that she'll become the Grunty's new owner, and adopts it. Looking around, Shugo notices that Sanjuro has vanished.
Across the canal Sanjuro meets with Balmung. Balmung asks him to train Shugo into a powerful warrior. When Sanjuro asks why, Balmung tells him that Shugo's power could be the key to solving the recent problems in The World. Sanjuro agrees to help Shugo, and walks off into the night.
- Shugo loses his tooth in this episode, by crashing into a stone statue when he trips over Hotaru.