Little is known about the Capital and the divine ruler responsible for the rise of the Merchants, the energy trade, and the Bandits torment of the peasants. With sword in hand, Kambei is about to find out more.
Kanna is bombarded by rainfall as the Bandits make their final assault on the village. They attack from every direction, and in the battle's furious climax, it becomes clear that not all of the samurai will survive.
The first battle has finally arrived. Are the villagers ready? Or has all of their hard work been in vain? They will find out only when their defenses are tested at last.
Threats from the Bandits have shaken the farmers' resolve, and as preparations for war begin, the samurai must confront a new danger: betrayal from the farmers who have hired them.
Knowing that the Nobuseri will be searching for them soon, Kambei decides the group must go to Kanna. To avoid detection, they divide into small groups and take three separate paths to the village.
The samurai find themselves in a cavern city under the watchful gaze of the mysterious Shikimoribito. Are they man or machine? Ally or enemy? A new friend tries to explain, but she is hiding something, too.
The group has gotten the Magistrate's attention and he orders them executed, farmers and samurai alike. As they battle a string of assassins, Kambei encounters a silent, skilled samurai he is determined to recruit.
Kambei is in a prison cell, awaiting his fate as the purported assassin of the Imperial Envoy. But the turmoil at the Capital is far from over; a political whirlwind has engulfed the empire with Ukyo at its center.
While Katsushiro and Kirara battle with their feelings for each other, Kyuzo embarks on a solo mission into the heart of the enemy camp.
The samurai must come to terms with the aftermath of battle. They can't look to Kambei for leadership; he departs on a solitary trek to the Guardian's cave, having an even more perilous mission in mind.
Kirara feels she's pushed Katsushiro into making his first kill before he was ready. Meanwhile, the village debates what to do with the traitor, and only Kikuchiyo's surprising revelation can reunite the group.
A young priestess sets out on a quest to hire Samurai to protect her village from the Nobuseri, a vicious breed of warrior more machine than man. One by one, these men of skill and honor gather to stand between the helpless and the hated.
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