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Chapter 17 is titled "Kotsuga & Ryu".

Short Summary

As Hachimaru and company head into space, Daruma takes the time to further explain Hachimaru's samurai powers and how they connect him to the other keys to the boxes of Fudo-Myo-o. Meanwhile, Ata begins his journey to personally hunt Hachimaru. The group stops at a spaceport for supplies, only for their break to be cut short when two warriors, one of which is a samurai, attempts to steal Daruma's turtle holder.

Long Summary

As Daruma's key holder travels, Hachimaru looks in the mirror, unable to recognize himself in his disheveled state. Ann has to confirm his condition, and tries to reassure him by telling him that it's what's on the inside that's important. Daruma explains that the blowback from using Kongo-Yasha Style: Atmos Fangs made him skinny, and that he will return to normal later. Ann offers to make whatever food he wants to, so Hachimaru requests a large variety of dishes. When asked if she can make it all, Ann proudly confirms it. However, when she goes to write it all down, she begins looking up recipes to find the foods she doesn't know how to make.

Daruma tells Hachimaru that Ann get fed up with him one day, which confuses him. Despite wanting to scold him, he eases up since hachimaru helped him save the planet. Hachimaru also mentions that he can no longer retract his key into his head. To get around it, he ties a scarf around his head to keep the key in. He then asks Daruma how they can find the other six keys to open Fudo-Myo-o's boxes. Daruma explains that Hachimaru's strong gravity will cause the other keys to be found,the same way Daruma found him. Confused, Hachimaru equates the concept to a Princess's sensing powers, but Daruma explains it to be more precise than that. He explains that a Kongo-Yasha license grants samurai the ability to put visual information into a digital format, the same way he conveyed information back at Furuta's grave. Daruma explains that Hachimaru's gravity will cause the other six keys to be unwittingly drawn to him, and that the Kongo-Yasha license will let him sense their locations and visualize them as a map: then it becomes a matter of travelling to them. However, his "Spare Key" brethren likely have the same power.

Hachimaru is awed by the ability of the license, and is unsure that he should be given on. Continuing his explanation, DAruma tells him that both Locker Balls and the Licenses handed out by the four Samurai schools are essentially devices that run a computer program left behind by Fudo-Myo-o. The program itself control the binding and splitting of all matter. Samurai Keys and Samurai Souls reflect this fact, as they represent a rope that connects objects and the rod that splits them, respectively. The program can manipulate the molecules that make up matter, and the H-Particles that generate gravity, and Samurai use this program to undergo transformations. Though the details go over his head, Hachimaru relates his words to his ability to reshape Hayataro. Daruma goes further, explaining that his ability to expose his key, connect it to others, and his healing abilities are also the result of the program's power.

Daruma explains that Hachimaru's power of connection to others is unusually strong, even for a Samurai. This is evidenced by Daruma being drawn to him and having a strong bond with Hayataro before he even became a Samurai. Finding Ann so quickly, and Ata's ability to track him down also evidence his strong gravity. As such, his gravity will form a constellation-shaped map showing allies who have the same Key type as him. Excited at the thought of having a license, Hachimaru asks to be given it immediately, but Daruma refuses. Since the upload process is extremely time consuming, they must gather money and supplies first. While they travel to their next destination, they are unaware that Ikkaku is tracking them for Ata. Ata is displeased that his duplicate failed, and Niri admonishes him to be more careful now that know Daruma is in play. The conversation is cut short by a projection of Kala, who orders him to follow them personally. Ata then mobilizes his dragon Holder to fly after Hachimaru.

Upon reaching a local spaceport, Daruma then parks his Turtle holder there. After they disembark, two people approach the Holder, one of them declaring their aim to steal it. The other thief is confused when his companion calls the turtle a "he," and is more confused when he calls it a Holder. Annoyed, the first thief tells his partner - calling him Ryu - to follow. He gets more annoyed that Ryu does not remember his own name. Approaching the turtle, the first thief calls for Ryu to do his part, but he doesn't know what that is. Since Ryu only responds to precise orders, he give them: cut into the Holder, go inside, steal it, and get away. Ryu complains about his ally's repetitive instructions, which he blames Ryu for. Meanwhile, Daruma orders a drink for himself at a bar, and the barkeep claims Daruma's Holder is the biggest seen at the port in years. Ann and Hayataro are getting ingredients to cook for Hachimaru, when a hooded figure calls out for her. She is immediately confused, only to find that it's Hachimaru - looking normal again - in new clothes. He asks her opinion, she gets too flustered to speak, making him believe she doesn't like the outfit. She gathers herself and tells him yet again that it's what's on the inside that counts. While he checks to see if he has recovered enough to keep his key retracted closed, Ann turns away so he doesn't see her blush. Meanwhile, Daruma gets an alerted about two intruders on his Holder, and rushes off without paying for his drink. Arriving at his Holder, he notices a hole in the hull that the intruders created to get inside, and his AI warns him to be ready for traps.

While returning to the Holder, Ann asks how Hachimaru recovered, and he reveals he went off to eat a meal that reinvigorated him. She then asks about the change in appearance, and he tells her Daruma suggested it to fool Ata. As they board the Holder, he mentions a gift that he will give her later. Inside, Daruma is confronting the two thieves, and Ryu forgets his name again when asked. The other thief tries to lie about their intentions, but Ryu gives them away. With no other option, he tries to sic Ryu on Darume, but he has to stop and give precise instructions again. This stops them long enough for Hachimaru and company to find them. RYu forgets his name again when Hachimaru asks, and the other thief becomes distracted by Ann, who he thinks is cute. Ryu asks his partner - who he addresses as Kotsuga - who he should attack, releasing a Handle Bone and a Samurai Soul. Kotsuga instructs him to leave Ann be and kill everyone else.

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