Chapter 22 is titled "Ann and Her Brother".

Short Summary

As Hachimaru's empowered Samurai Soul manages to overwhelm his more seasoned opponent's Soul blade, Ann pushes her limit to deliver prayers that surpass her opponent's. As she prays, she is forced to confront memories and feelings of a time she fought to forget. With her efforts to forget her painful story coming undone, Ann must decide if she will let the bond she once had weigh her down or spur her forward.

Long Summary

Hachimaru and the Unknown Samurai who challenged him lock swords while their respective Princess deliver prayers to strengthen their partners. Hachimaru's opponent recognizes his shining white Samurai Soul as the identifier of a key to Pandora's Box. Daruma silently congratulates his student and his Princess for unlocking the Shining White Blade, as it made their trip worthwhile. Hachimaru's opponent is even more shocked when the White Blade begins to cut through his Samurai Soul, and he recognizes that it's happening in response to Ann's exceptionally powerful prayers. He sees that the strength of their bond is on a level that normally takes years of of trust building to achieve, making it abnormal for a duo as young as them. He initially suspects their bond is thanks to a blood relation, but he then senses that the cause is a deep emotion fueling Ann.

As Ann's nose begins to bleed from the strain of her prayer's incredible power, she thinks back to what Kotsuga said about people having things they wish to forget. As she watches Hachimaru fight, she is taken back to a memory she wanted to forget: a time when she was confronted by bullies, only to be defended by a Nanashi who called himself her brother. Nanashi tried to scare the bullies off, but his stutter betrays his fear, so they gang up on him as Ann runs away. She flees home after that incident, and is worried when her brother arrives badly beaten. Though she is sad that he was injured, he soothes her by promising to protect her forever. As her memories flow, Ann recalls her failed attempts to forget her brother. She remembers that they were not blood relatives, but he looked after her because of a promise he made to her mother, and even gave her the name she became known by. Her thoughts shift to a night when Nanashi talked about his dreams, at which point he changed the spelling of his name from the kanji for "nameless" to those for the phrase "seven desires" as a reflection of his seven goals for his life. Though he winds up listing off eight dreams instead of seven, he keeps the last one because it was the most important to him: protect Ann until the day he dies.

The next day, Nanashi takes Ann to Akagi Castle's Dojo, where he explains how a Locker Ball - like the one sitting beneath a statue of Fudo Myo-o - can make one a Samurai. However, he gets too close the display and is ordered away by Hagamichi and Un. Nanashi recognizes the duo from their rising fame, and tells them of his dream to become a Samurai. Un explains that only a Bushi chosen by the Head Princess can attempt to use the Locker Ball, and such Bushi have a high probability of activating the Locker Ball. She then warns that even though the odds are highest for one acknowledged by the Head Princess, becoming a Samurai is a gamble, so one must not rush the process of becoming worthy. Later on, Nanashi begins wearing a topknot, the default hairstyle for a Samurai. While showing off his new look, he and Ann are accosted by the bullies who attacked him previously, now back with friends. Nanashi tries to fight them off, but is overpowered by their numbers.

Seeing Nanashi losing, Ann instinctively rushes in to take a blow for her brother, which scares the bullies off. As they run away, Nanashi apologizes as Ann passes out. He then takes Ann to the Dojo again, specifically to where the Locker Ball is being stored. As she flutters in and out of consciousness, Ann thinks to herself that Nanashi has no need to apologize: all she cares about is him being near her. However, an unfamiliar noise jolts her awake, and she opens her eyes to see Nanashi committing seppuku with the blade from the Locker Ball. He apologizes for his shortcoming earlier, promising to become a perfect Samurai for her, but the Ball does not activate and he dies before her eyes.

In the present, Ann thinks about how she came close to completely forgetting her brother, but her experiences with Hachimaru have been near perfect reflections of her time with Nanashi, dragging the memory of their bond to the surface. Forced to reconnect with those memories, she acknowledges the truth she had been running from: she did not want to forget Nanashi. She also admits that being around Hachimaru made her realize that she wanted to hold on to the connection she had with him. These feelings bolster the power of her prayers, which gives Hachimaru enough power to break his opponent's Samurai Soul in two.

Fights and Events

Hachimaru and Ann vs. Unknown Samu-Hime Couple

Characters in Order of Appearance

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