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Gabimaru the Hollow, a former ninja assassin of Iwagakure who is known and feared as a heartless husk of a man, spends his days on death row wondering when an executioner skilled enough to so much as harm him will arrive, as he thinks nothing of seeing an end to his meaningless existence... Or so he thought. After a skilled female executioner belonging to the Yamada clan by the name of Yamada Asaemon Sagiri confronts him, she makes the young ninja open his eyes to the fact that he wants live in order to reunite with his wife and offers him a proposition: if he ever wishes to see his beloved wife again, he is, under the auspices of the shogunate, to embark on a perilous voyage to a mysterious mystic island said to house the Elixir of Life. Should he be the one among many rival death-row fiends and scoundrels to find the elixir and return with it for the shogun, he will earn a full exoneration, and, more importantly, a chance at an ordinary married life with the light of his life--the woman who made the world seem not so ugly. Gabimaru gladly accepts the task but soon finds out that he has recieved more than what he bargained for. Is what awaiting him and the other contenders Hell? Paradise? Or Hell's Paradise?
Shion explains that a tanden can only be destroyed with the right Tao attribute user and a Tao Restoration will increase the Tao users attacks. Mei then confirms the Tao attributes of Jikka, Kiyomaru, and Isuzu. Yuzuriha questions to Sagiri if Jikka will be reliable, to which she also becomes unsure of due to the bad rumors about him. While they are distracted, the Iwagakure shinobi throw their kunai at Gabimaru at an attempt to kill him. However, Jikka notices their attack and deflects them back with his bamboo sword. Nurugai becomes confused since she thought that the shinobi were on his side but is told by Jikka that he knew that the shinobi were only pretending to be allies to complete their main objective of killing Gabimaru. Jikka confesses that he did not know whether to side with Iwagakure or Gabimaru but sees that he can trust him due to thinking that they are similar, only to have Gabimaru disagree, along with disdain from Sagiri and Isuzu, after listing a few individuals he would like to return to. Yuzuriha becomes convinced of Jikka's abilities but still finds herself unable to get a good read on him.
Following the arrival of the second landing party, Hōrai turns into a warzone with the Iwagakure shinobi from the second team battling against the Dōshi and the Yamada Asaemon confronting the criminals of the vanguard. On one side, Gantetsusai fights against Shugen but finds himself having difficulty countering against his unique ability to copy the skills of the other Yamada Asaemons. Fuchi tries to convince Shugen that Gantetsusai is not his enemy but fails after Shugen cuts him down. While at the floodgates, Rien engages in a fight with Shija who manages to steal the Elixir of Life from him. Gabimaru tries to not waste his time any longer fighting against the Iwagakure shinobi and makes a quick dash to the Rentan Temple to reunite with Sagiri, who is in a bind with Yamada Asaemon Isuzu. Meanwhile, after being left alive by Shion, Zhu Jin makes their way to the Main Temple and merges with the Banko, resulting in Hōrai being taken over and presents a problem for both the first and second teams. After Shugen runs to the floodgates to prevent Rien from leaving the island, Fuchi regains consciousness from his injury and tries to heal Gantetsusai's wounds but sees that a sacrifice must be made.