Even though he possesses the ability to bend fire to his will, Recca Hanabishi continues to covet the Flame of the Eight Dragons. With their combined voltage at his disposal, Recca will be an indestructible fiery dynamo. But power like that doesn't come neatly wrapped in a gift box. The hotheaded teenager must first prove that he is mature enough to handle such awesome responsibility. In the meantime, Recca and his crew are forcibly recruited to participate in the annual Urabutosatsujin festival. In this battle royale, it's kill or be killed as Team Hokage face a sundry of ruthless, war-scared contestants. First up is Team Ku, the most feared assassins in all of Japan. If Recca's crew can't squash their opponent, they must forfeit the life of poor Yanagi Sakoshita!

Above from volume's back cover
First released in English: March 2004
Characters featured on cover: Recca and Kagero/Kagehoushi

Chapter 40: You Called Me 'Mother'

Three men sent my Kurei attack with their Madogu. One of them attacks Yanagi but Kagero jumps in the way and is hit instead. Furious, Recca unleashes his flame, but this time one of the dragons appears, Nadare, she changes Recca's fire into fireballs. Recca beats them then goes to Kagero, worried about her, he slips and calls her mother instead of Kagehoshi.

Chapter 41: Challenge of the Eight Dragons

Wanting to know why Nadare showed herself, Recca releases all eight dragons again by removing his Tekko. Reshin challenges Recca, if he can withstand their attacks a dragon can chose to help him by lending their power. Kurei gets Koran Mori to start an Urabutosatsujin, an illegal martial arts tournament.

Chapter 42: Strength Carved In

Fuko and Domon decide to train by fighting each other with the new Madogu they won by defeating the three brothers they fought back at Kagero's house. Recca meets up with them and Tokiya with two dragons willing to aid him, Nadare and Saiha. They get a message from Kurei that they have to enter the tournament. Recca accepts. Part of the cliff comes down on them and Recca releases dragon flame type 1, Saiha. His flame turns into a blade and he slices the falling rocks.

Chapter 43: Urabutosatsujin

The gang goes to the Death Dome to register for the tournament. In order to enter the tournament, something valuable has to be put up as a wager. Yanagi puts herself up as the wager. Fuko and Domon volunteer to fight along side Recca, and even Tokiya in hopes to fight his sister's killer. They enter under the team name 'Hokage.'

Chapter 44: The Battle Tournament Opens

As the tournament is about to begin, Recca befriends a man names Kukai. Team Hokage is put in Block-A. Their 1st opponents... Team Ku, lead by Kukai.

Chapter 45: Ku PART 1: Hyomon-Ken

It's Tokiya vs. Daikoku. Daikoku is Ku's best stick fighter. But Tokiya never loses his cool; he defeats Daikoku with only a cut leg.

Chapter 46: Ku PART 2: Lethal Weapon

Domon vs. Minamio. Minamio's body is like rubber, making it hard for Domon to hurt him. When Domon is about to lose he brings out his secret weapon, Kuchibashio: Beak King, and knocks out Minamio. But because Minamio knocked Domon out for a second their fight ended in a draw.

Chapter 47: Ku PART 3: Hard + Soft

Fuko vs. Fujimaru. Fujimaru is faster than Fuko thought. But his perverted actions cause Fuko to snap. She takes out the Madogu: Devil's Claw, and puts it in the open center of Fujin, creating her secret weapon, the Wind Claw. Fujimaru begs Fuko to spare him and she turns her back to him. He attacks her from behind, slicing her clothes off.

Chapter 48: Ku PART 4: Hurricane Fuko

By his actions, Fujimaru awakens Fuko's dark side. Fujimaru brags about how the other Ku assassins wouldn't kill one of their victim's little girl, but he did. After hearing Fujimaru's heartlessness, Fuko lets loose her fury and sends the claws of the wind claw flying. Fujimaru dodges them all. Fuko tricks him and she has the claws come back using her wind power. They all stab him in the back. She uses Fujin to blow him away.

Chapter 49: Ku PART 5: A Blizzard of Paper

Recca vs. Saicho. Before the fight Saicho walks over to Fuko and wraps her wounds with paper and apologizes for Fujimaru. Saicho shows Recca his power, he can bring paper to life with his Madogu: Shikigami. Recca shows his power by releasing dragon flame type 2, Nadare. He shoots fireballs at the crowd calling them names. Saicho wraps Recca in paper but Recca summons Saiha and cuts through it.