The assassin's brutal tournament is finally drawing to a close. Recca's teammate Kaoru unleashes the legendary sixth mode of his blade, the Kogon Ankin, against the slippery Joker. And Recca faces down his psychotic stepbrother Kurei. Their fight isn't just about who gets to take home Yanagi-- it's a battle that will decide who the rightful leader of the Hokage clan really is!

Above from volume's back cover
First released in English: November 2005
Characters featured on cover: Recca

Chapter 138: Mode Six Activated

Joker's force field pushes Kaoru closer to the edge, causing his friends to panic. Kaoru remembers what the old man said about the sixth mode, calling it mu (nothing). Kaoru fires the arrow from fifth mode and the field's gravity causes the arrow to fall at Joker's feet. When he looks back up though, kaoru is gone. Joker thinks that he pushed Kaoru over the edge and panics. Kaoru had jumped up and out of danger to the surprising relief of Joker, though he covers it up with taunting. Kaoru smiles and says he solved the puzzle. The sixth mode activates and Kogan Ankin comes apart. Part of the chain wraps tightly around Joker and the pieces come together, taking Joker down. Joker laughs and admits defeat. The crowd chants Kaoru's name and Joker hits him on the head. He says that was to show that he could still fight and he just didn't want to end the fun yet. Kaoru smiles and asks Joker if he was really trying to kill Saicho, Joker says that his hand slipped. Joker loses his balance walking away but Meno steadies him. She says that she knows he isn't really a bad guy, he just acts like it. She says that he didn't have to save her when he did. The final match has come, Recca vs Kurei.

Chapter 139: Tears

With Kaoru's win the score is tied, but Recca is nowhere to be seen. The crowd starts yelling for Recca to come and asks Hokage where he is. Kaoru slams on end of Kogon Ankin into the ground to get the crowd to quiet down. Kaoru calls Kurei down because he wants to talk. Domon shouts to Kaoru not to, but knows he won't listen. Kurei jumps down and Kaoru asks him if he did well and that he's come a long way since he was a little kid. Kaoru starts crying and asks Kurei if his heartless attitude is just an act. He says that the Kurei he knows is kind and he still believes it. Kaoru removes the cloth from his wrist and asks Kurei if he remembers. Under the cloth is a large scar on Kaoru's wrist. Kaoru says that when he ran away from the orphanage, he took a knife and started to cut his wrist, wishing to be free from his lonely life. But Kurei hits Kaoru and takes the knife away. Kurei bandages Kaoru's wrist and tells him to follow. Kaoru remembers that he wasn't afraid of Kurei back then. Kaoru yells at Kurei, demanding that Kurei answer him, to tell him that he's just pretending to be evil. Kurei hits him hard, calling him a fool and a stupid child. Domon, Fuuko, Tokiya, and Saicho jump down into the arena to defend Kaoru. Fuuko demands that Kurei leaves Kaoru alone or they'll kill him. Kurei isn't shaken by their threat and says that he'll kill them in Recca's place.

Chapter 140: Melee

Saicho attacks first, wrapping his paper around Kurei's arm. The referee yells that non-tournament fights are not allowed. Kurei says that Recca isn't there and since Recca's teammates are attacking him he should be able to defend himself. With that Kurei attacks Saicho. Kaoru rushes to his side and Saicho tells him to run. The referee orders them to stop fighting but Mori appears on the screen and asks Team Hokage if Recca will come, Fuuko says that he will. Mori says that until he does, they will fight Kurei in Recca's place and if they die before Recca arrives then Uruha Kurenai wins. Domon attacks but Kurei slams him to the ground, Kurei calls them fools for blindly following a leader that runs away. Tokiya attacks but it turns out to be an illusion. Kurei mocks him for falling for the same trick, saying that he must be afraid that Recca won't show and it's affecting his judgment. Fuuko tells him to shut up and attacks, only to be knocked back too. The crowd refuses to give up hope that Recca will show, even though it isn't looking good for the rest of the team. Kaoru says that Recca will come because he'd never run away and that he believes in him. Kurei tells him that Recca is the wrong person to trust, and aims a blast of flame in Kaoru's direction. Kaoru turns out to be an illusion created by Rui's flame. Recca mocks Kurei, saying that he's shocked that a guy as skilled as him would fall for an illusion. Saying he must have been afraid because he knew he was coming.

Chapter 141: Recca Arrives

Recca's arrival brings Yanagi, Domon, and the crowd to tears. The crowd quickly turns however and yells at him for making them all worry. Recca seems unfazed by it, Tokiya says that Recca looks different; Fuuko doesn't see anything strange about Recca. Tokiya insists that he is, saying that Recca is 'calm, yet quietly intimidating.' A can thrown by someone in the crowd hits Recca on the head, causing him to explode with rage and attack them. Fuuko calls Recca, getting his attention back to them. Recca looks at the scoreboard and thanks his team for holding up without him. Fuuko notices that he got all the Karyu back. Domon tells Recca to finish things once and for all, wishing for the tournament to end. Kaoru tells Recca to beat Kurei or else. Kagero asks the spirits of Oka and Reina if they're watching the fight that will decide the rightful leader of the Hokage clan. Yanagi wipes her tears away and Kagero hugs her, saying she's grown strong.

Chapter 142: The Rematch Begins

Raiha watches the two fighters and knows that Kurei must be smiling behind the mask. Kurei tells Recca to say goodbye to his friends while he can and that soon Mori will have Yanagi. Recca tells him to shut up and asks what the prize is if Team Hokage wins. Kurei says that they'll never see Kurei or his people ever again. The current ref sees Tatsuko looking upset, so they tell her to get in there and referee the match, but to try not to be biased towards Recca. Tatsuko happily accepts and announces the start of the match.

Chapter 143: The Fight Begins

Mori's guests are still confident that Team Hokage will lose; Koran Mori continues to watch the fight with an evil grin. Recca attacks first but Kurei stops it, or really Kurenai does with her arm appearing out of his chest. Recca's shock is enough for him to become distracted and Kurei delivers a strong blow. Raiha is concerned that Kurei would bring Kurenai out so soon, thinking that Kurei must be underestimating Recca. Neon says that Recca may have gotten stronger, but he's still no match for Kurei. She points out that Kurei is only allowing half of Kurenai to appear, proving that Kurei has also prepared for this fight. Recca isn't fazed by Kurei, calling him the 'final boss' in a video game. Recca summons Nadare, only instead of releasing hundreds of fireballs, Recca holds on and allows one fireball to grow large before releasing it. Kurei moves to dodge but the large fireball breaks apart as it nears him, catching Kurei off guard. However, the attack didn't do much. Kukai reasons that Recca and Kurei must be demons.

Chapter 144: Release

Kurei multiplies himself like Genjuro and lands a hit from behind on Recca. Kurei orders Kurenai to attack, but Recca summons Madoka, shielding him from Kurenai's attack. He immediately summons Setsuna, whose evil eye sets Kurei on fire. Recca says that when Setsuna was human he had no eyes, so all his senses have been highly developed. Tokiya realizes what Recca means; Setsuna ignored Kurei's doubles and sensed the heat of Kurei's body. Tokiya is clearly impressed. Recca says the fight is too easy and that Kurei is boring him. Recca demands that he show him who he really is. Kurei repeatedly says that he hates Recca and he'll kill him. Recca says that Kurei is finally showing his true nature.

Chapter 145: Two Mothers

A wing of flame grows out of Kurei's shoulder and slashes at Recca, cutting his leg. Kurei's strength is turning out to be too much for Recca and he falls to his knees, coughing up blood. Kurei steps on Recca's head, saying that his birth mother taught him that the weak are to be crushed. Kurei remembers when he was a prisoner as a child, and the place he was held was burning down. He had called for help and his mother Reina came to his aid, shielding him with her own body from the collapsing roof. Kurei says they need to get out of there before they're caught, but Reina says that she'll only slow him down with her injuries. Kurei says that he can't go without her and she slaps him. She says that he should never cry as tears are a sign of weakness. She tells him to get stronger and to kill the weak that get in his way. She says that if he loves her then he needs to accept her death and move on. She gives him a knife and hugs him, then sends him off. While running away he sees Kagero sending Recca through the time portal and he draws the blade. Back in the present Kurei tells Recca that Kagero's spell, Jiku Ryuri, sent them both to the present time like they were drawn to each other. Kurei says that their fight isn't just about who wins the tournament, but who deserves to be called the rightful heir to the Hokage clan. Kurei lashes out at Recca, saying it's an insult to his mother's memory for him to use the name Hokage for his team. Kagero orders Recca to get up, saying that he has the strength to fight for others and not for himself and that he is too strong to die here. Recca jumps back up.

Chapter 146: Sentiment

Kurei is annoyed, saying that fighting for others isn't strength, the ability to kill others in order to take control is. He says that a true leader needs no friends, only strength and power. Recca attacks with double dragons Saiha and Nadare. Kukai comments that the combined power of the two dragons creates hundreds of fireballs in the shape of blades. He knows that he is no longer a match for Recca. Recca uses Rui to create a double of himself and summons Homura. When Kurei blocks, Recca's true form appears behind Kurei and uses Homura to punch him in the back. As the crowd cheers, Neon asks Raiha what they are, Raiha tells her that they are Kurei's followers that are willing to give their lives for him. Neon says she knows that, but feels that he doesn't need them anymore because he refused their help. She asks him if Kurei would see her sacrifice for him as foolish sentimentality and if he's turned his back on them. Raiha says he doesn't think so, Joker agrees. He says that Kurei is very dishonest and hides his feelings. Neon says that he doesn't know anything because he's new. Joker tells her to look at Kurenai, saying that Kurei's flame can take any form, yet he chooses Kurenai's. He goes on to say that he feels the same way for them.

Chapter 147: True Feelings

Suddenly a new flame appears out of Kurei, this time it's Jisho. Neon starts to cry as she calls out to Jisho. Kagero realizes that Kurei's flame really can absorb the souls of the dead. Joker says that that is all the proof they need that Kurei truly cares for them, saying that Kurei wanted to keep Jisho close to him like he did Kurenai. Joker tells them that no matter what he says, he's still human. Neon remembers back when she, Raiha, and Jisho didn't care about each other, but Jisho says that they are the only ones in that truly care about Kurei. So he has them make a pact, signed in their own blood, that they will always protect Kurei no matter what. Neon realizes that Kurei did grieve for Jisho, and that Jisho must have been so happy that Kurei was so moved by their pact that he would make Jisho a part of him. Raiha says that he envies Jisho.