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The Palace Invasion Arc (城侵入編 Shiro Shin'nyū-hen?) is the third arc of Jigokuraku.

The arc focuses on the alliance of the surviving criminals and executioners invading the Hōrai Palace to retrieve the Elixir of Life and escape the island. However, Lord Tensen anticipates their arrival and prepares to offer them as sacrifices to their master while Rien, the leader of Lord Tensen, prepares to depart to Japan with the perfected Elixir of Life and initiate his plan of creating more of the elixir by causing a global pandemic. Conflict soon intensifies when the second landing party makes their arrival to the palace with the purpose of eliminating the criminals, as well as any Yamada Asaemon willing to protect them, and the monsters.

Summary

Infiltrating the Hōrai Palace

Fuchi presents the information Mei relayed to him regarding the palace's layout and the under-sea monsters surrounding the island. According to Mei, the place has a floodgate containing large number of ships that they can use to avoid the under-sea monsters and the Tan is located within Rien's laboratory but is warned that the palace's layout is constantly changing. Knowing that they will soon enter enemy territory, Shion pulls Gabimaru and Yuzuriha over to have them instruct the group in the ways of espionage and how to use Tao. Yuzuriha starts off by giving her lesson on how to hide their presence by using Tao, while Gabimaru instructs them in how to use Tao in battle. Once the lessons were over, the group separates into two teams: the Elixir Retrieval Team and the Escape Route Securing Team. After the teams were formed, Gantetsusai recommends that Mei not wait for the Elixir Team and have her escape alone. Gabimaru feels that Mei wanted to do something before leaving the island and asks her if that was true. Mei answers that she wishes to see Rien and Xu Fu to ask them why they underwent a major change in behavior in the past and then leave the island to live a normal life. Having said that, Gabimaru promises her that he will make it happen.

Elixir Retrieval Team

The Elixir Team infiltrates the palace.

In the Hōrai Palace, Chōbē joins Lord Tensen in a ritual and gets into conflict with Ju Fa. Rien breaks up their squabble and has Chōbē follow him to his laboratory to show him the Banko, a large Waitanhua flower meant to harvest more Tan, and explains that with Chōbē's Tao he will be able to help the Banko create the perfect Tan he seeks. Chōbē begins to terrifyingly ask himself why Lord Tensen needed to create more Tan and worries that Tōma might get involved with their plans. Rien then brings out his dissection tools and asks Chōbē which part of his body he should extract first. Meanwhile, Gabimaru, Yuzuriha, Sagiri, and Mei manage to sneak their way into the palace and signals the others that it was okay to enter.

  • Lord Tensen ambushes the survivors.
  • Lord Tensen ambushes the survivors.
  • Lord Tensen ambushes the survivors.

While during their planning stages, the group learns from Mei that the palace houses six temples based on the Five Training Methods of Immortality for each member of Lord Tensen, with the Tan elixir located at Rien's laboratory known as the Rentan Temple. She explains that Rien will be in the room where Xu Fu is located since the Waitanhua flower drops at night, making it easy for them to avoid a sudden encounter. As planned, the Elixir Team uses their Tao to get a feel of the layout inside the castle and eliminates the Dōshi guards by suppressing their presence. Once they manage to enter the room, Gabimaru senses the Tao of the layout and sees that there is no one inside, however, he starts to see Tao being gathered in one spot and is revealed to be Ran who was concealing his Tao. Ran reveals that Lord Tensen have been expecting the survivors arrival to the palace after Chōbē's earlier warning and have ambushed them in their respective temples to complete the Rite of Just Consumption, a ritual where they capture the Tao of the humans to sacrifice them to Xu Fu. Ran then tries to convince Mei to join back with Lord Tensen after revealing that Rien has finally completed the Elixir of Life, much to Gabimaru's shock. Mei tells Ran that she is different from the other Tensens and that she has come with the purpose of saying goodbye to them before leaving the island. With their plan of not encountering Lord Tensen failed, the survivors move towards their second strategy of engaging in battle with them.

Battle in the Dō'in Temple

Gabimaru and Yuzuriha vs Ran

Gabimaru and Yuzuriha fights Ran.

Due to the Tao attribute matchup, Gabimaru sees that his Fire Tao will not be able to deal any damage to Ran's Water Tao, however, since Yuzuriha possesses Earth Tao, he orders her to stay and help him fight Ran while Sagiri and Mei search for the elixir, much to the kunoichi's disapproval. After looking at the room, Mei warns Gabimaru that they are not in the Rentan Temple. Ran reveals to them that, before they made their arrival, he reconstructed the palace by controlling the inorganic Tao and says that they are in the Dō'in Temple, which is his domain. Ran then creates spike from the ground to trap Mei's foot. Gabimaru fights Ran, despite his attacks not having any effect, to create an opening for Yuzuriha to throw her Tao-imbued kunai. However, Ran sees through their strategy and has the kunai bounce off his body, revealing that his body is covered in a layer of Tao Armor. After another ineffective assault towards Ran, Gabimaru tells Yuzuriha that it was time to start their next strategy. Ran takes note of what Gabimaru said but senses that nothing has changed in his Tao as he runs at him, however, Gabimaru manages to land an effective blow to Ran.

Ran Kishikai

Ran transforms into his Kishikai state.

Gabimaru sees that his first step in using Lord Tensen's Tao against themselves went all according to his plan earlier, as Ran starts to bleed from his mouth, and says that he is ready to move on to the next step. The fight continues with Gabimaru gaining the upper hand by continuing to redirect Ran's Tao, causing damage to the Tensen's body, however Gabimaru's endurance starts to weaken and decides to hold off using the next step to his strategy. Ran becomes impressed with Gabimaru's achievement in Tao, saying that he possesses sheer talent, but is reprimanded by the ninja who argues that everything that has been happening so far was the result of the humans attempts to defeat Lord Tensen and says that it was an insult to him to see his efforts as "talent". Sagiri manages to help Mei escape from her bindings and yells out to Gabimaru that they will be advancing to the Rentan Temple. Ran attempts to stop them but is thwarted by Gabimaru and Yuzuriha who cuts his body in half. Seeing as how he can no longer take them lightly, Ran transforms into his Kishikai state.

While sitting in the ritual circle, Rien reviews the strengths and weaknesses of the humans and believes that the Tensens will gain victory over them. He then presents the completed Elixir of Life to Xu Fu and tells him that they are ready to move forward with their plan. Meanwhile, while continuing their journey on foot, the Iwa shinobi find and present to the Asaemon evidence of Yamada Asaemon Tensa's and Yamada Asaemon Genji's deaths. Isuzu then becomes heartbroken after finding out that her brother has died, while Shugen becomes furious and decides to use the Horse Flute, that was previously used by the Dōshi, to summon the Mōnshin from their nest. Once the monsters were out, Shugen commands them to quickly carry him and the Asaemon to Hōrai.

Gabimaru recalls his conversation with Yuzuriha in using his Tao to increase the power to her Tao-imbued weapons without having to resort to using redirection, however, he notes that there is a problem to this strategy. He then sees Ran about to throw a punch at him and readies himself to redirect the Tao. However, Gabimaru and Yuzuriha are blown away by a large air strike and are overwhelm by Ran's massive strength, resulting in them taking heavy damage. Sagiri and Mei stops their pursuit after hearing the rumbling coming from the Dō'in Temple. Sagiri assures Mei that Gabimaru will be okay since he has another plan. Despite this assurance, Mei still worries after recalling what Gabimaru's plan meant.

Gabimaru Plant Tao

Gabimaru revives himself by injecting his body with Plant Tao.

Due to them being outmatched and receiving too much damage from Ran, Yuzuriha grabs Gabimaru and attempts to retreat. However, Ran catches up to them and attacks. Gabimaru manages to block the attack on time but has his left shoulder split after Ran forces his hand down and is thrown towards a pillar. After he falls to ground, Gabimaru holds in his hand one of Mu Dan's Kishikai plant stingers that he took before his arrival to the palace and pricks himself with it. Having done this, Gabimaru succeeds in his second plan of gaining regenerative abilities from Plant Tao, similar to Chōbē's, and stands back up with his body fully healed. Although his body is more stronger, Gabimaru notes to himself that he has to take caution of Ran's Tao since it can weaken his regeneration but sees that the Tensen's Tao is being used up the more he fights. Yuzuriha says that she is surprise by Gabimaru for sacrificing his humanity all to see his wife who she thinks may or may not exist but is told by him that it is sometimes best for a person to rely on their emotions rather than logic. After hearing his conviction, Yuzuriha stands back up to fight alongside Gabimaru again.

Yuzuriha kills Ran

Yuzuriha kills Ran.

Despite being outmatched, Gabimaru tells Yuzuriha that she needs to be the one to make the final blow to Ran because of her Earth Tao. He then sets himself on fire and burns a piece of wood. Gabimaru first throws fire projectiles at Ran, to explode in front him as a distraction, and comes in below to use Ninpō: Fire Bridge but is extinguish by a swift kick from Ran. Yuzuriha trips Ran with her mucus string and gives an opening for Gabimaru to make another attack with his ninjutsu but to no effect. The two shinobi then spend the duration of the battle unleashing a barrage of ninjutsu towards Ran but are deflected, however, Ran's Kishikai body starts to fall apart. Gabimaru reveals that their plan was to have Ran use up all of his power by first robbing him of his sense of timing, using Gabimaru's Ninpō: Demon Firefly to overstimulate him earlier, and buy enough time for the transformation to end (using the piece of wood Gabimaru set on fire earlier as a timer). As they come in to attack, Yuzuriha starts to suffer from her injuries but endures until she can make the finishing attack. Ran, in his weakened state, says that he is confident that Yuzuriha will not make the last attack since the little Tao she has left in her body will cost her her life. Despite this, Yuzuriha says that she is willing to make this sacrifice and channels are remaining Tao to her kunai. After recovering a bit of his power, Ran tries to defend himself by creating spikes from the ground. Gabimaru helps Yuzuriha avoid them by lifting her in the air. She then jumps down to come in and strike Ran's tanden, bringing the battle to its conclusion. As he starts to crumble away, Ran expresses how disappointed he is with the outcome of his fight and that he has failed Rien.

After the battle ends, Gabimaru is reminded by Yuzuriha that the Arborification will eventually take over his body and will die but tells her that he had no choice. Gabimaru suggests that meet up with Sagiri and Mei, however, Yuzuriha tells Gabimaru to go on ahead without since she needed to rest for a while. Before agreeing to leave, Gabimaru sincerely says thank you to Yuzuriha for saving his life when they encountered each other on the island and runs off. After being left alone, Yuzuriha unbuttons her dress and removes the layer of mucus she had on, revealing multiple scars all over her body. Before she passes out, Yuzuriha thinks back to her deceased little sister, Saya, and apologizes to her that her life is about to come to an end.

As he makes his way to the Rentan Temple, Gabimaru recalls the plan to meet up with everyone to the floodgates and have at least five survivors to operate one of the ships. Gabimaru then starts to feel the vines spreading through his body and falls unconscious.

Battle in the Bōchū Jutsu Temple

Chobe betrays Lord Tensen

Chōbē betrays Ju Fa and Tao Fa with Tōma's help.

Earlier, in the Bōchū Jutsu Temple, Gantetsusai, Fuchi, and Tōma are confronted by Ju Fa and Tao Fa. Chōbē then comes out from the shadows to convince Tōma to join his side with Lord Tensen. Tōma is shocked to see Chōbē with the Tensens and wonders if he has a reason for his decision to join them. Gantetsusai and Fuchi allow Tōma to join by his brother's side. As Tōma walks up the stairs, he and Chōbē smile and attack Ju Fa and Tao Fa. Chōbē says to Tōma that he was slow but Tōma objects to this comment, saying that he knew that Chōbē was lying about having them ally with Lord Tensen due to his braid being undone. Chōbē corrects him, telling him that he was referring to his movements, although he adds that they have rather improved. Chōbē tells Gantetsusai and Fuchi that he is grateful that they looked after Tōma while he was gone and have them fight Tao Fa as thanks. Tao Fa regenerates from her injuries and expresses her disappointment that Chōbē betrayed them. Gantetsusai brings out his sword and says that he is willing to "take away the pain", only for Tao Fa to reply that he was not her type.

Aza Brothers vs Ju Fa

Chōbē and Tōma fights Ju Fa for the second time.

Ju Fa recovers and becomes furious with Chōbē for his betrayal and for attacking Tao Fa. The Aza brothers then engage in battle with Ju Fa. Ju Fa sees that the brothers have improved greatly since their first confrontation, causing him to struggle and becomes disgusted with their teamwork. Having become frustrated enough, Ju Fa decides to forget about capturing them for the ritual and makes the attempt to kill Chōbē and Tōma.

While down at the first floor, Tao Fa makes her first attack towards Gantetsusai and sends him flying towards a pillar. She then looks towards Fuchi, who she finds cute, and asks if he wanted to engage in Bōchū Jutsu with her. Fuchi chops off her hand and declines her advances, whilst adding that he only had interest in examining her organs, much to Tao Fa's delight. After leaving a first impression on him, Gantetsusai gets back up badly injured wanting to fight Tao Fa again.

Gantetsusai and Fuchi vs Tao Fa

Gantetsusai and Fuchi fights Tao Fa.

With the help of her Tao abilities, Tao Fa easily fights back against Gantetsusai and Fuchi. Fuchi tells Gantetsusai that they need to formulate a strategy to counter against Tao Fa's Tao ability, only to have Gantetsusai become frustrated with the concept of Tao and goes in to attack Tao Fa once again. Tao Fa tells Gantetsusai that it is a pointless struggle to try and fight her if he can not use Tao and says that it would be better for them to allow themselves to be captured and turn into Tan. Gantetsusai objects to this and makes a comment on how she is having fun turning humans into Tan. Having heard this, Tao Fa loses her smile and expresses her sorrow on how Lord Tensen have failed, for the past 1,000 years, in trying to gain immortal bodies through humans, saying that what they are doing is not "fun". Gantetsusai and Fuchi fall to the ground, having taken direct hits to Tao Fa's Tao projectiles, but stand back up with excited after thinking about their own ambitions. Tao Fa sees them running towards her and launches a Tao projectile at Gantetsusai. However, Gantetsusai dodges after feeling a "sensation", much to Tao Fa's surprise, and manages to split open Tao Fa's head with his sword.

Gantetsusai believes that he has gained the ability to sense Tao, however, Tao Fa denies this claim by sending him back with another Tao attack. Fuchi tries his hand at attacking Tao Fa and asks Gantetsusai to observe in hoping that he reawakens the Tao sensation. Tao Fa grabs Fuchi by the throat to send out a barrage of her invisible Tao projectiles, resulting in him taking major damage. Tao Fa says that she found it sweet that Fuchi was willing to get injured in order to help out his friend. Fuchi tells Tao Fa that Gantetsusai was not his friend and recalls the conversation he had with him and Nurugai, explaining to them that although he does not seem Gantetsusai as his "friend" he hopes that everyone escapes the island alive. Tao Fa readies a set of Tao projectiles to attack Fuchi. Although he is unable to sense the Tao projectiles, Gantetsusai could tell that Fuchi was in danger. After remembering Shion's words about him not being able to sense Tao due to relying too much on his eyes, Gantetsusai completely blinds himself by ripping out his left eye while having his right eye covered in blood. Gantetsusai finally becomes able to sense Tao again and grabs Fuchi out of the way of Tao Fa's attack.

Ju Fa and Tao Fa transforms

Ju Fa and Tao Fa transform into their Kishikai.

As he dodges Tao Fa's Tao attacks, Gantetsusai remembers his former master's wise words to him about letting go some of his strength in order to see things more clearly. Fuchi sees that although Gantetsusai is now able to perceive Tao he will not be able to harm Tao Fa without his help to hinder her Tao. He then comes up with the idea of grabbing Tao Fa from behind to weaken her while Gantetsusai makes the cut to her tanden. Having remembered his master's past words to him, Gantetsusai uses the Tao sensation to not harm Fuchi as he makes the cut to Tao Fa's tanden. After her tanden is destroyed, Tao Fa calls out to Ju Fa. Ju Fa senses that Tao Fa is in danger. Knowing that Ju Fa can not be defeated without a Water Tao user, Chōbē prepares to enter his transformation but is quickly stopped by Tōma. At the first floor, Tao Fa transforms to reach out to Ju Fa to merge their bodies together. While having memories of their past, Ju Fa and Tao Fa transform into their Kishikai.

Gantetsusai, Fuchi, Chobe, and Toma work together

Chōbē and Tōma team up with Gantetsusai and Fuchi to fight the monster.

The monster releases a loud shriek to cause pain to their enemies eardrums and flies up in the air to release multiple spores to affect them with uncontrollable laughter. Chōbē enters his transformation and jumps up in the air to attack. Chōbē cuts the side where Tao Fa is, causing it to feel pain due to his Metal Tao hindering Tao Fa's Wood Tao. However, Chōbē is attacked by vines released by the monster and is thrashed around the outside area. Chōbē is sent back inside the temple where he is insulted by Gantetsusai while his brother worries for him. Fuchi calms them down and explains that the monster can only be taken done if they work together. Gantetsusai and Chōbē refuse to work with each other at first but is convinced by Fuchi that their main enemy at the moment is the monster and agree to cooperate.

Chōbē shields the others from the monster's vine attacks. With Gantetsusai and Fuchi not being able to manifest Tao and Tōma's Tao not being to cause any harm to it, Chōbē sees that he is the only one that will be able to take down the monster. Tōma protects Chōbē from a sudden vine attack and grabs Fuchi's hand to strengthen his Metal Tao. Fuchi comes in to strike Tao Fa, while Gantetsusai attempts to attack as well but misses after the monster creates some distance up in the air. They then see the monster change its body to its defensive form. Seeing as how they need to destroy the monster's two tandens, Chōbē tells Gantetsusai that he will work with him to kill Ju Fa while Tōma and Fuchi aim towards killing Tao Fa with the strategy they used before.

Ju Fa and Tao Fa defeated

Chōbē, Tōma, Gantetsusai, and Fuchi defeat Ju Fa and Tao Fa.

The monster takes on the combined efforts of the four humans. Despite receiving multiple injuries to his body by the monster's vines, Gantetsusai continues to press on to give Fuchi and Tōma an opening to attack. Tōma then comes in to protect Fuchi from the monster's spores. Chōbē sees that they are barley holding up against the monster but knows that they only have one last chance at victory. Gantetsusai manages to get under the monster by jumping into the pool and slices it in two with an air slash, giving Fuchi and Chōbē the opportunity to destroy Ju Fa and Tao Fa's tandens.

Ju Fa and Tao Fa emerge from the pool with their bodies damaged. Fuchi holds Tao Fa and tells them that they no longer have to fight anymore as they slowly die. Since he does not have the right Tao attribute to kill Ju Fa, Chōbē stabs his stomach and takes out two bottles of Water Tao he took from Rien's laboratory earlier that he planned to use against his rematch with Gabimaru. He then pours it on Ju Fa to have them slowly die. Gantetsusai comes in to cut Ju Fa down, stating that he wanted to be the one to defeat the Tensens but also remembers Tao Fa's griefful words. He then places down one of Tao Fa's peaches and thanks her for "the fun". While in the afterlife, a young Tao Fa comforts a young Ju Fa, telling him that she was happy that he was her partner.

Battle in the Taisoku Temple

Rentan Temple encounter

Sagiri and Mei encounters Gui Fa in the Rentan Temple.

A bit earlier in the Rentan Temple, before the defeat of Ran, Ju Fa, and Tao, Sagiri and Mei encounters Gui Fa sitting in the Rite of Just Consumption circle and warns them that if they should take another step forward from their spot then they will use force. Gui Fa reveals that they knew Sagiri and Mei were coming with the help of the ritual circle. Sagiri grabs her sword after thinking that she could stop Lord Tensen from tracking the others movements if she were to disrupt the ritual. However, Sagiri is pulled down by Gui Fa's weighted Tao technique after noticing how she reached for her blade. Sagiri says that she has not come here to fight but rather to apologize on behave of the other humans for trespassing on Lord Tensen's territory and suggest that they end the conflict with one another by having the humans leave the island. Gui Fa accepts Sagiri's plea, however, Gui Fa warns her, by creating a Tao illusion, that it would be pointless for them to return to Japan since Rien plans to initiate his plan of releasing multiple Paradise Butterflies around the world to have them turn the human race into Waitanhua flowers. Once this has been accomplish, the humans will fuse together with the Banko in order for Rien to harvest more of the perfected Tan. After being released from the illusion, Sagiri becomes horrified with the eventual pandemic. Sagiri asks Gui Fa why Lord Tensen is willing to go to such lengths, to which Gui Fa explains that they feel nothing for humans and only view them as great material to create the elixir, while pointing out that all each side can do now is kill one another. Having said that, Gui Fa sees that Shion's talisman is slowly starting to fade away.

Shion vs Zhu Jin

Shion fights Zhu Jin.

In the Taisoku Temple, Shion manages to cut Zhu Jin's body 215 times to slow down his regeneration, as per discussed in the group's planning stages, but reaches his limits. Zhu Jin creates some distance from Shion to recover but returns in a weakened state after losing too much Tao. Zhu Jin manipulates his remains and throws them towards Shion and Nurugai to buy time to recover, however, Shion cuts them to pieces after seeing through his scheme. Shion throws the broken tip of his sword at Zhu Jin's tanden and is then crushed by his manipulated remains. Zhu Jin laughs thinking that he has killed Shion but sees him cut his way threw and fears for his life once the Asaemon starts to express his grief and rage towards the Tensen after killing his student. As a desperate attempt, Zhu Jin manipulates Shion's broken sword to fly towards Shion. Shion manages to dodge the blade but gives Zhu Jin a split second opportunity to fall into the water behind him. Shion becomes shocked to see Zhu Jin fully recovered in their Yin form. Zhu Jin then partially transforms her body into her Kishikai and fights Shion and Nurugai once again. Shion tells Nurugai to stay back while he handles trying to kill Zhu Jin. He comes in to strike Zhu Jin's tanden, disembody her, and places his sword to the Tensen's plant ovule. Shion is then assaulted by the vines protecting the ovule but continues to hold his blade down with little regards to his life.

Nurugai begs Shion to not go through with his plan since it will cost him his life but is told by him to leave so that he can correct his wrong doing of leaving Tensa to die. Nurugai becomes hesitant to leave him behind but is given no other option and makes her way out. As she makes her way out, Nurugai sympathies with Shion, having not forgiven herself for causing the deaths of her people and wanting to die, but remembers Tensa's words to her that made her realize that she wants to live on. She then has a vision of Tensa picking up her sword and giving her the courage to go back to safe Shion.

Shion starts to feel his life slowly being eaten away as his body becomes wrapped in vines but realizes that his stab to the plant ovule has been proven effective. However, Nurugai grabs Shion away from his blade to remove the vines and embrace him to help recover his lost Tao. Shion tells Nurugai that he has to kill the Tensen in order to avenge Tensa but is told by Nurugai that they must leave since Tensa would not want them to risk their lives, explaining that she saw him smiling knowing that they escaped alive. Nurugai hugs Shion and asks that, instead of seeking, he would tell her more about Tensa after they escape the island. Having been touched by her words, Shion agrees to flee with Nurugai while leaving Zhu Jin to regenerate slowly.

All-Out War

Monshin breach the walls

The Mōnshin breach the walls.

In the Rite of Just Consumption circle, Gui Fa sees that all the Tensens have been defeated, while Sagiri takes note of the talismans remaining intact, giving a possible indication that her allies have survived. With the ritual over, Gui Fa prepares to leave to report back to Rien with no intentions of fighting Sagiri or Mei. Before leaving, Sagiri asks Gui Fa if they wanted to avenge their comrades. Gui Fa explains that as a Tensen they harbor no bonds with the others and says that Mei was no exception but asks her why she chose to return to Hōrai. Mei answers that she finally came to understand life after remembering being cared for by Hōko. Upon hearing this, Gui Fa says that they are envious of Mei. The palace then unexpectedly starts to shake, to which Gui Fa says that it was a bad sign. Outside, the tremors are revealed to have been done by the Mōnshin horde commanded by Shugen to breach the walls.

After the conclusions of each battle with the Tensens, the surviving criminals and executioners are suddenly confronted by Iwagakure shinobi from the second landing party who were ordered by Yamada Asaemon Shugen to eliminate the criminals while sparing the Yamada Asaemon. As matters start to get worse, an army of Dōshi targets both teams as ordered by Rien at the floodgates. The Hōrai palace then turns into a war zone with each side fighting against one another. Meanwhile, down at the floodgates, Rien is confronted by Shija, who orders the ninja to destroy the ships except for one.

In the Rentan Temple, Sagiri protects Mei from the Iwa shinobi and the Dōshi. Two Dōshi then charge in to attack the two females but are hung by a liquid string created by Yuzuriha, much to Sagiri and Mei's happiness in knowing that she is alive. After hearing about the events going on outside from Yuzuriha, Sagiri wonders if it's possible to persuade the Iwagakure ninja to join their side, only to be told by Yuzuriha that it would not be possible since they are out to hunt the convicts. Isuzu then appears and becomes glad to see that Sagiri is okay but changes her mood after Sagiri explains to her why the Yamada Asaemon needed to ally with the criminals. Isuzu tries to persuade Sagiri that Yuzuriha is their enemy by reading out loud her past crimes from a book she pulls out and asks that she join her side. Meanwhile, Kiyomaru confronts Shion and Nurugai while Jikka confronts Chōbē and Tōma (who separated from Gantetsusai and Fuchi for the time being in order to find an escape route) and both take the time to read their crimes.

Shugen cuts Fuchi

Shugen slashes Fuchi.

Gantetsusai and Fuchi are confronted by Shugen who demands that Fuchi tell him why his criminal's hands were not tied. Fuchi explains to Shugen that the Yamada Asaemon needed help from the criminals to escape the island. Shugen understands where Fuchi was coming from but tells him that he no longer has to be by Gantetsusai's side since he is here and ask that he execute him. Fuchi refuses by explaining that they need to mainly focus on finding a way to escape the island while worrying about other matters later. Upon noticing Fuchi's tsuba missing from his sword and being used as Gantetsusai's eyepatch, Shugen becomes furious with him for mistreating his Yamada Asaemon soul. Gantetsusai clashes swords with Shugen but is unable to hold his own against Shugen's ability to imitate the skills of the other Yamada Asaemon. Fuchi intervenes by blocking Shugen's next attack and tells him that he is prepared to defy him since he no longer wants to see anybody else die. Having heard these words, Shugen is reminded how Fuchi always had a caring side for others and ceases his assault, saying that he has not changed since the day they met. However, knowing that he fights to keep balance in the world, Shugen slashes through Fuchi's body and prepares himself to kill Gantetsusai.

Shija steals elixir

Shija steals the Elixir of Life.

In the underground floodgate, Shija exploits Rien's vulnerability by ordering the ninja to target the ships containing the Paradise Butterflies and Xu Fu, leaving him open to allow them to grab the Elixir of Life from him. Rien becomes distraught as he tries to remotely kill the ninja passing the elixir to each other but sees that he has been deceived as he has been targeting Shija's cut off mask while the elixir is taken outside by another ninja, much to their satisfaction. The ninja then signals the second team that they have acquired the Elixir of Life.

Isuzu hears the signals and sees that the mission has been completed but refuses to allow Yuzuriha or the other criminals to remain alive since they will potentially cause more trouble in the future. Sagiri tries to convince her that Yuzuriha is not a villain but sees that she refuses to listen to reason.

Chapters

Template:Palace Invasion Arc

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