Volume 10 is the tenth volume of Shigurui that includes chapters 48-53.
Iraku prepares to engage into a duel with Gonzaemon.
"Free of Avidya"Edit
Now living peacefully in the mountains under Tsukioka’s care, Iku helps Iraku to come to terms with his blindness. This includes helping Iraku recognise faces by touch using Buddhist statues and throwing objects at him to strike down. Iku even cleans Iraku after defecating. As time passes, Iraku manages to slice in half a sticky bean, but continues to suffer severe trauma from the events of the night he was tortured and blinded. Eventually, Iraku successfully cuts part of Tsukioka’s sleeve during a duel. Later, at a Buddhist template, a monk discovers Iku and Iraku having sex on top of a Buddhist statue, its hand and one finger cut off as well as its head. Iraku bites Iku’s nipple, and with her blood, writes “Free of Avidya” on her skin. Avidya was the Buddhist term for ignorance and foolishness. Additionally, the reading Mu Umei, or an absence of light, can be interpreted that Iraku had transcended his blindness.
At the duel, Iraku informs Gonzaemon that a duelling ground was no place for theatrics. Iraku states Gonzaemon was in Kogan’s thrall, unable to even struggle while dancing for his amusement, and though the spectators said that a bull demon had appeared, that a demon had slain three spearmen in one strike with a wooden sword, that a demon tore apart a Samurai with its bare hands, those were all merely illusions. Iraku states no such illusions could catch his eyes, and accuses Gonzaemon of struggling, and no matter what anyone else thought, he was struggling unlike a true Samurai. Gonzaemon counters this would not be the day Kogan-ryuu would end, and that he will tear Iraku’s corpses to mix in with the others. Iraku commences his stance while Mie wakes, her lips once again apart and nipples erect. Iraku proclaims to the arena that he will kill Gonzaemon with a single strike. Though the art of Mumyou Sakanagare was based on the same principles as that of Kogan-ryuu’s Nagare Boshi, it was a technique which relied not on a man’s fingers, but on unveiling the ground itself to provide a hold for a blade, and using its leverage to strike with the entire body. It was secret art that Iraku had discovered when his sword was embedded within a tree the night bandits attempted to attack him and Iku.
"The Promised Cherry Tree Bully"Edit
In observing Iraku’s stance, Gonzaemon strategizes he could use his two large wooden swords to scatter the dirt and entrails laying waste on the ground on Iraku and thereby confuse Mumyou Sakanagare. This was a similar tactic Kogan had previously used against Iraku when he kicked the corpse of his ally the night they fought. Iraku successfully evades each obstacle and strikes down Gonzaemon. In his final thoughts, Gonzaemon thought of Fuku, while Mie, Mosuke, and Ootsubo begin to charge at Iraku. The latter two are easily killed, though Mie is only wounded. Kengyou celebrates the deaths, while Haramitshi walks away with Yukichiyo in disgust. Gonzaemon, utters his last words, "...Ku". He envisions Iku, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Fuku, and thought of Fuku standing by the same tree stump, while an unidentified man with a little girl in tow calls out to her. A pregnant Fuku stands up, holding her stomach, and smiles. At this moment Gonzaemon dies.
As the bodies of the dead are transported, a man considers raping the corpse of Mie, who he had presumed dead. Until Fujiki, still alive, stops him. At the same time, below Kakogawa Castle, at the Haramiishi estate, Haramiishi warns his son Yukichiyo not to be lax in swordsmanship. Defensively, Yukichiyo states he had travelled to a dojo in Edo and through incredibly intense training was able to receive a licence after only three years. Haramiishi asks Yukichiyo if he had ever taken his blade to a human being. Meanwhile, at the Shizuhata Kengyou estate, a party takes place pantomiming the day’s events, paying no respect to rank or station. In a separate chamber, Iku tends to Iraku's wounds. They embrace, content they no longer have anything left to fear. In destroying the Kogan-ryuu, Iraku would open up a bright new future, able to open a dojo in Sunpu and rise through the ranks of the Toudouza. Iku witnesses a demonic Fujiki standing above Iraku without his arm. Sensing an immediate danger, Iku hurriedly takes Iraku's arm and leads him to the opposite room where a man who should have been stationed to protect Iraku. Iku and Iraku discover he and another woman had been sliced in half while having sex. They soon discover Gonzaemon, resurrected as a demon.
"Wail of the Wraith"Edit
Fujiki keeps himself alive by using his sleeve as a bandage to stop the bleeding and is taken to a surgeon by those still loyal to the Kogan-ryuu. The sound of the festivities, coupled with the sound thunder and rain deaden any sound of Iraku and Gonzaemon engaging in battle. Iraku, now outside, is handed a sword by Iku, but could not find a suitable place to dig his sword, given the rain had reduced the ground into a watery mud. Iraku continues to fight but is aware Gonzaemon has the upper hand.
In Sunpu, in the village of Hasedera, Tsukioka, the man who saved Iraku & Iku, had changed his name to Hoshikawa, Ikunosuke. Hoshikawa uses a peculiar technique called Mineuchi Fusatsu, which literally involves a lying flat blade, thereby causing no killing. This was the same technique he first employed on Iraku as a test and caused the latter to faint. It was an art in which his blade, capable of striking down any foe, spun halfway in the palm of his hand, and presented the dull back to his opponent. As a warrior, he was obligated to strike down his enemies, but he did not wish to do so. It was easy to see the inner conflict of his mind, for he did not present the reverse side of his blade from the commencement of his strike. In Iraku’s blade however, there was no such hesitation, and in an utter state of calm his mind would begin searching for a way to survive. During the fight with Gonzaemon, Iraku creates a stance which is effectively a kneeling Nagare Boshi. Iraku pierces his foot with his sword, and uses the new leverage to defeat Gonzaemon for a second time. After a gruelling operation, Mie tends to Fujiki. Though the sight of a naked man was not unfamiliar, she had no carnal desire towards him, and in fact it was a body which should be feared. Even though he was her husband to be, Fujiki is no exception. Mie looked at Fujuki’s arm, and is enveloped with grief. Mie howls how she much she “hates this”.