Chapter 26 is titled "Like A Samurai".
Hachimaru manages to stop Kotsuga before he can take Ann hostage, and he openly reveals his allegiance to Benkei. While Daruma and Benkei exchange blows, Kotsuga mobilizes support to keep everyone else occupied. While Hachimaru defends himself, Kotsuga mocks him for trusting his master the way he once trusted those who wrote him off. Refusing to accept his foe's worldview, he manages to plow through Kotsuga's defenses and stop him in his tracks.
Kotsuga draws his sword and prepares to rush Ann, while Daruma draws and attempts to intercept him. Before either of them can finish unsheathing their blades, Ann spots a clenched fist flying past her and turns just in time to see Hachimaru punch Kotsuga to the ground. Daruma is impressed that Hachimaru outpaced him, while Benkei gets annoyed that he must now fight, something he wanted to avoid. Ann, unaware of Kotsuga's actions, expresses confusion. Ryu then asks why he broke his rule against hurting women, and he clarifies that he only wanted to take her hostage. Benkei then calls his agent to his side to enact his backup plan, having Ushiwakamaru create a computer for Kotsuga to operate.
Hachimaru demands answers, and Kotsuga reminds them that he warned them that everyone has secrets, and they have now learned one of his. The other Samurai in the vicinity realize Kotsuga was luring them all to Benkei. Ryu is still confused, so Kotsuga reveals that he only took him in so he could sell him to Benkei, and Hachimaru and Daruma were bonuses he came upon by accident. This truth upsets Ann, but he continues on, revealing that Daruma suspected treachery, which is why he kept him close during the battle royale. Ryu still believes Kotsuga to be good, so his partner winks at him to remind him of his earlier words: a good plan should be a well-kept secret.
Kotsuga then completes what he was doing on his computer, and dozens of humanoid holders begin rising from the ground. Daruma's AI pulls up Kenka's history: the planet is littered with scrapped Holders because it served as a dumping ground for them in the past. As he prepares for battle, he realizes Benkei chose Kenka as a battlefield to take advantage of the abandoned Holders. Benkei orders Kotsuga to use the Holders as a diversion and to avoid damaging any Samurai Keys. As Kotsuga sics the Holders on everyone, Hachimaru accuses him of cowardry, but he isn't bothered by it because he is a human, not a Samurai. He mocks Hachimaru for talking big, and tells him that acting like a Samurai doesn't mean he is capable of making a change in the galaxy.
Kotsuga's taunts then bring up his own memories of when he was living with a clan who adopted his as a child. One night, he overhears a conversation between two adults, one of whom states that Kotsuga has no future as a Samurai. Because he has only a two percent chance of surviving seppuku and triggering a Locker Ball, there is no way he can inherit leadership of the clan. The other adult is saddened by the news, especially when they're told that Kotsuga will only ever be an embarrassment, and that they must search for a better child to adopt. Refocusing on the present, Kotsuga claims that Hachimaru will only become a disappointment to his master and that he should give up while he can.
As Benkei and Ushiwakamaru bear down on them, Daruma instrusts Hachimaru to take care of the ground fighting, then uses Kongo-Yasha Style: Dog Paddle to blast Ben and his Holder into the air, following on his horse Holder. Benkei's AI explains how Dog Paddle works while he recovers, and he gets excited after realizing that Daruma has a Kongo-Yasha license. Creating armor from his Holder, he vows to take his opponent's Key as they cross blades.
On the ground, Kotsuga sends a massive Holder to attack. The sniper working for Sen sees the danger and tries to intervene, but he gets distracted by junk Holders climbing to his position. Kotsuga explains that the Holders were create by Benkei specifically for beating Samurai. As he fights on, Hachimaru asks why he trust Benkei considering he thinks so little of Samurai. He responds that the only things he considers trustworthy is money: he is connect to Benkei only because he pays him. He then counters that Daruma could be an even bigger deceiver than him. Having traveled with him, he sees Hachimaru a child pretending to be a Samurai even though he doesn't have what it takes to be the real thing. As the giant Holder unleashes a missile barrage, he asks if Hachimaru can stay his course on the day Daruma stops believing in him.
Hachimaru thinks back to when he met Ata. He suspects that Daruma trusted Ata and tried to teach, only to be met with disappointment when he strayed. He then thinks back to his conversation with Daruma right after Ata was repelled, recalling the faith he saw in his eyes. After seeing that his master truly believed in him and determined that he looked at him differently than Ata, he promised to always act like a Samurai. In the present, everyone's Key Holders are shielding the partners from the missiles. Through the barrage, Hachimaru leaps from Hayataro's back and fells the Holder with one slash, landing in front of Kotsuga. As he cuts the Holder guarding his foe down, he declares that no matter what Daruma or anyone else thinks of him, he will decide for himself whether or not he is a disappointment.