Chapter 25 is titled "Encounter".

Short Summary

Hachimaru and Ryu recover from their duel, and the former realizes that he's the winner of the battle royale. The organizer of the contest arrives to face Hachimaru, but Daruma quickly identifies him not as a key to Pandora's Box, but as an infamous criminal known for stealing Samurai Keys. An unknown party unsuccessfully attacks the criminal, so the criminal sics his hidden agent on Ann to take her hostage.

Long Summary

With their duel over, Ryu, returns Hachimaru's severed arm to him and helps him stand. Ann is greatly pleased by the outcome, while Kotsuga is equally shocked at it. Hachimaru then notices that the monitor counting the contenders in the fight lists one Samurai remaining. He is disappointed when he realizes that Daruma dropped out before he could fight him. His master reminds him that he can spar with him anytime he wants: his main reason for competing was to help him gain more battle experience. Two of the opposing Samurai then congratulate him on his victory and remind him that he still has to face the organizer of the contest. As he prepares for that fight, he wonders what kind of person the fellow key to Pandora's Box is. Kotsuga tries to console Ryu over his defeat, but he sees that his partner has forgotten that he anything to be upset about. Ryu calls Kotsuga a good person, a description he doesn't believe he fits. Ryu argues that his experiences confirm his belief, so Kotsuga reminds him that he has amnesia. While the group awaits the arrival of the organizer, they are unaware that a sniper in the distance is hiding in the shadow of Holder's wing, watching the group. As the organizer enters the atmosphere, he contacts his agent on the ground, instructing them to wait for his signal so he can gather the Samurai Keys with minimal fighting.

A Samurai Hachimaru defeated earlier notices his decent and alerts everyone. As Ushiwakamaru lands, Hachimaru sees his opponent and is intimidated by his size. The organizer calls him forward, and Hachimaru gets the sense that he could be even stronger than Ata. Hachimaru brings up Pandora's Box, and his opponent confirms that he is a Key. He then releases his Handle Bone - which is unusually long - and attaches his Samurai Soul to the end, forming a spearlike weapon. He explains that the rules for battle are the same as they were before: victory goes to the one who damages the other's key first, and Hachimaru gets the ¥1,000,000,000 if he succeeds. Remembering his calling, Hachimaru makes a request before they start fighting. Instead of the prize money, he asks that the organizer join him on his quest if he wins. Though intrigued, he refuses the request since there is no reward in it for him. Kotsuga tries to convince Hachimaru to take the money, which gives him a new idea: to use the prize money to pay him to join his group.

While they speak, Daruma looks upon the organizer's Samurai Soul, and perceives that it is tainted. Skeptical that such an impure Soul can turn white, he deems him untrustworthy and uses the AI in his Key to analyze him. The AI quickly pulls up the organizer's name and information: he is actually Benkei a.k.a Ben the Key-Hunter, a rogue Gozanze-Style Samurai wanted for numerous crimes across the galaxy. A fraud by nature, the AI calculates that the odds of Bankei being a Key to Pandora's Box to be infinitesimal. Hearing the analysis, the other contenders get confused at the turn of events. Benkei is impressed that Daruma's AI was able to read him so fast, and Hachimaru is shocked that he was deceived. Daruma demands the truth, so Benkei explains that he never had the ¥1,000,000,000: the offer was merely bait to lure victims for him to hunt. He then signals his agent to make their move, and the hidden sniper fires a round off at that exact moment.

Though it seems he was aiming for Hachimaru, the sniper's bullet flies past him towards Benkei, who is quicky shielded by Ushiwakamaru. Hachimaru tries to find the shooter, and Benkei is unfazed since he had eyes on the sniper all along. With his cover blown, the sniper alerts his superior, Captain Sen, about Benkei and requests he return to his location. He also explains that Daruma was the one who made the identification. Captain Sen, who is revealed to be the nameless Samurai Hachimaru showed his Shining White Soul to, is confounded that Daruma was able to make the i.d. first. Sen demands that his agent send him video recordings of the events for him to analyse while he makes his way to Benkei. Meanwhile, Benkei tells his agent to continue with their plan, and Kotsuga - Benkei's true agent - draws his blade and rushes Ann from behind, having been ordered to take her hostage to eliminate any resistance. Daruma catches Kotsuga's movements and realizes that he is revealing his true intentions.

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