After an exhaustive and hard fought battle, Recca Hanabishi and Team Hokage have earned the right to advance to the second round of a deadly win-or-die combat tournament. But before they can enjoy the spoils of warfare, they must jump into the fray one more time. In the next round, they square off against a group of assassins answering to Recca's older half-brother, Kurei. For 400 years, Kurei's been jealous of his brother's privileged status in the ancient and secret Hokage Ninja Clan. With genetically altered bodies containing the DNA of wild animals, Kurei is hoping his assembly of assassins will do what he's never been able to do: kill Recca!

Above from volume's back cover
First released in English: May 2004
Characters featured on cover: Recca and Saiha

Chapter 50: Ku PART 6: Paper Dancing With Flame

The reason for Ku entering the tournament was to change how they are viewed, before they were seen only as murderers. They want to be remembered as skilled fighters.

Chapter 51: Ku PART 7: Flak Attack

Because of Saicho's heart condition, he couldn't fight longer than 15 minutes, so Hokage won. But Recca won't accept winning against someone like that, so he challenges Kukai.

Chapter 52: Ku PART 8: Kukai the Merciful

Recca vs. Kukai. Kukai fights with his bear hands so, like an idiot; Recca decides their fight should be hand-to-hand, which is to Kukai's advantage. Kukai is called Kukai the merciful because he lets his opponents hit him three times before he kills them. The third hit turns him into Kukai the devil.

Chapter 53: Ku PART 9: Homura

Kukai became the devil not to kill Recca, but to teach him a lesson, that compassion in future fights would mean his own death. Kukai offers Recca a chance to cut off his arm. But Recca won't win that way. Homura likes Recca's way of thinking and decides to lend Recca his power.

Chapter 54: Ku PART 10: Ku's Precious Defeat

Recca beats Kukai and advances to the next round. Tokiya and Fuko see their next opponents, Kurei's assassins, the Uruha.

Chapter 55: The One Who Shall Come

One of Kurei's main assassins, Raiha, gives Fuko a tour of Koran Mori's castle. He warns her not to go to the second floor but she does anyway and ends up getting trapped. Without Fuko, the team has only three fighters going up against one of Kurei's Uruha teams, and their experiment, Shiju, the lion man. Shiju eats his opponents. Even Tokiya admits that it's risky to fight without Fuko.

Chapter 56: The Mad Illusionist's Feast Part 1: The Traitor's Brand

When things look bad Kaoru Koganei shows up to join team Hokage. Kaioru vs. Shiju. Still not trusting Kaoru, Recca sends him in as Shiju's opponent. Kaoru transforms Kogon Ankin into it's forth mode, the Crescent Moon.

Chapter 57: The Mad Illusionist's Feast Part 2: Chimera - The Hybrid Beast

Everyone assumes Shiju was defeated but not Kaoru, who was once part of Uruha. Genjuro has Shiju transform into his 2nd form, Chimera. Recca begs Kaoru to quit but he won't because he wants to protect Yanagi too, plus he wants to find out why Kurei spared him. Kaoru doesn't kill Shiju because he knows murder is wrong now.

Chapter 58: The Mad Illusionist's Feast Part 3: The Horrible Tree

Genjuro has the battle format changed. The winner must fight the next one in line; meaning Kaoru has to fight again. This time, his opponent is his old partner, Mokuren. Mokuren begs Kaoru to leave the ring because he doesn't want to kill him, or so Kaoru thinks. The second he turns his back, Mokuren attacks.

Chapter 59: The Mad Illusionist's Feast Part 4: The Man-Tree

Mokuren was transformed by Genjuro into Jinmenju, the man-tree. Kaoru loses but Mokuren won't release him. He absorbs Kaoru. Angry about what happened to Kaoru, Recca steps up, but Tokiya stops him. Tokiya wants to fight instead.