WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 23 of Sword Art Online: Alicization - War of Underworld, Part 2, "New World" now streaming on Crunchyroll.
War of the Underworld came to an end with its 23rd episode, and while the Alicization Arc has been put to rest, there are still some lingering questions following the season finale.
Following what happened at the end of the previous episode, Kirito answers a call from Rinko who informs him that Alice has gone missing. As Kirito heads out to meet Rinko at Rath HQ, he’s met by a postman who leaves a massive box with the Rath insignia in front of his door. As he opens it, he notices something moving inside before realizing that Alice is inside the box.
Kirito invites Alice inside while she charges up. Alice expresses her frustration over Kirito having stayed behind in Underworld without having told her. Kirito comforts Alice, and decides to show her his family dojo. The two spar, but end up breaking their swords with Alice coming out the winner. At dinner, Kirito’s family celebrates his release from the hospital while entertaining Alice as their guest. Kirito’s father expresses his concern over the recent events surrounding his son and talks about the strain it has had on the family. Kirito apologizes to them before informing his father that he plans to forgo his plans to study abroad and instead work towards finding a career at Rath in order to maintain and preserve the Underworld server.
Later that night, Alice sneaks into Kirito’s room to tell him that she’s received a cryptic email. With Yui’s help, they decode the message and find that it’s an IP address that serves as a way to connect to Underworld. The two of them go to Rath HQ with Asuna in order to test out this newfound information.
When the three connect, they are shocked to find that they are in outer space, overlooking the Human Empire planet of Cardina. As they process what they’re seeing, they notice two spaceships piloted by Ronie and Tiese's descendants. The two are engaged in a battle with a giant space monster, and just as they look like they’re done for, Kirito, Asuna and Alice each land massive blows on the creature. After witnessing their heroics, the two pilots recognize Alice, as well as Kirito and Asuna as the Star King and Queen. Tiese’s descendant has a brief vision of Eugeo and the two return to Cardina alongside the three legendary heroes.
With the Alicization Arc over, Sword Art Online looks like it’s getting ready to move on to the Unital Ring Arc, though it might be some time until that happens. With lingering questions over Kayaba’s status carrying over, fans will have to wait a little longer until they get the answers they’re looking for.