Chapter 28 is titled "Daruma the Initiate."
Using the gift from his master, Daruma transforms into his original human form. Now dramatically stronger, he summons the full power of his Turtle Ship Holder to defeat Benkei. He then hacks Benkei's Key to expose the truth about his connection to both Yoshitsune and Kotsuga.
Hachimaru is thrown off by the light enveloping his master. Peering through the light, he doesn't recognize the man standing in his master's place. Deciding not to keep any more secrets, Daruma declares to Benkei that he is finished defying his nature by keeping the cat in the bag. Recognizing his opponent as a legendary Kongo-Yasha master, Benkei retreats to a safe distance. As the light fades, Hachimaru recognizes Daruma from his video game, then gets warned by his master not to stay close to him, and he notices his master's attitude has changed slightly. He then notices that their Turtle Holder has appeared behind him.
Daruma thanks Hachimaru for getting his Handle Bone back to him and asks how the fight below went. He informs him that the ground is clear and Benkei is the last man standing. Gazing at the new scar on his hand, he remembers his master's warning about the side effects of his transformation, and how he needs a trustworthy student before he can use it. He praises Hachimaru for his work, who is still focused on Daruma's true form. He tells him that with his appearance, his strength has also changed, meaning he should be able to finish his battle quickly. Hachimaru is skeptical, since he can't actually see what he's fighting. Daruma realizes that he didn't tell Hachimaru that he can see when in battle. His Key's AI is able to activate his eyesight when he has to fight, though his eyes process visual information in low quality for the sake of speed. Looking through his low-resolution eyes, he sees Oniwakamaru as "cute."
This infuriates Benkei enough that he attacks, but Daruma stops the swie with one hand, shocking Hachimaru. Recalling Benkei's wish to see what he can really do, he decides to oblige him, using Kongo-Yasha Style: Blade Bark to blow him away. Hachimaru is shocked at the insane difference in power compared to the first time he used that move. Daruma tells him that since his Princess is dead, he is using less than half of his strength. Since he can't take his true form often, he tells his student to learn as much he can during the brief window he has to see this fight. Hachimaru has no idea what he can learn from such an intense display, so Daruma clarifies. He is destined to surpass him, so he will one day be able to do even greater things than what he is witnessing.
Daruma turns his Turtle Holder into a robot warrior as large as his opponent's, and uses it to perform Kongo-Yasha Style: Shooting Fangs, hacking Oniwakamaru's arms off. Hachimaru is amazed at his master's abilities. Benkei's AI recognizes the Yokozuna Class Holder's battle form, but Benkei catches it first: his ship is actually the Holder Yoken. Determined to counterattack, Benkei forms a blade on one of his Holder's legs and kicks at Yoken. One of its shields deflects the blow, but Benkei is able to fly away using the opening. However, Daruma's Holder is able to catch up instantly. Hachimaru continues watching from afar, amazed to see a true space battle. Daruma decides to end the battle, and uses Kongo-Yasha Style: Wood Wrecker to annihilate Oniwakamaru, exciting Hachimaru. A severely damaged Benkei notices that his body isn't regenerating, which he recognizes is a result of the Soroken. Detaching from Yoken, Daruma grab Benkei and confirms that he has mastered the style: like the scar over his eye, Benkei's body will never be usable again.
Back on the ground, Ann worries for her Samurai, and no one notices Kotsuga's expression change. He hears him commlink reactivate, believing it means that Benkei won. He hears Daruma demand to know where Benkei got Yoshitsune's Samurai Soul, which he can see hidden inside his damaged body. Benkei refuses to talk, so Daruma hacks his Key, easily breaking his security encryptions, and looks into his memories. After seeing the death of Yoshitsune and his wife, he finds the truth: Benkei tricked Yoshitsune into doing something that made his heroism falter so that he was forsaken by Fudo Myo-o. After that, he used Yoshitsune's son - Kotsuga - as a tool in his exploits. With the cat out of the bag, Benkei admits that he is the one who stole everything from Kotsuga, unaware that his confession is being heard on the ground.
Fights and Events
- Daruma vs Benkei (Concluded From Previous Chapter)
- Kotsuga is revealed to be Yoshitsune's son.
- Benkei is revealed to have killed Kotsuga's parents.
Characters in Order of Appearance
- In Japanese Menkyo (
免 許? license; permit; licence; certificate) is a Japanese term meaning "license". It refers to the permission of education system for practitioners of various Japanese arts and ways in order to maintain traditions within the ryū. The menkyo system dates back to the 8th century. Menkyo is the same kanji used to describe Samurai Key License from the Schools left by Fudo Myo-o and Kaiden ( 皆 伝?) is initiation into an art or discipline. When the two are put together we got Menkyokaiden ( 免 許 皆 伝?): possessing full mastery of an art (e.g. Judo); initiation into the secrets (e.g. of an art); full mastership. Since the Menkyo is used to License, a better translation of Menkyokaiden will be "Full Master License". Thus Daruma is a Kongo-Yasha School's Full Master License (someone that learnt all techniques and knowlodge from a School, giving him the Second Head title).