Summary by Sumeragi
Kaoru survives the destruction of the dome. As he crawls out from under the rubble, he comes face to face with a man in black whose wearing a mask that covers the lower part of his face (anyone else get a S&M feeling?). As he charges at Kaoru, he demands to know the location of Domon. Kaoru blocks the attack and jumps back. The man in black takes a load of candy out of his shirt and drops it to the ground. Kaoru, remembering Domon telling about his adventures in the underground world, realizes that this is Gaoh, brother to Sekioh. Gaoh demands again for Domon as a stone hand raises from the ground, almost crushing Kaoru. Gaoh's new plan for attack, as he explains it, is to deprive himself of the candy he loves until Domon is defeated. When a human is desperate, he can do anything sort of idea. He sets another stone hand against Kaoru who in turn destroys it easily. A tad deranged with hunger, Gaoh calls up a stone giant with the use of his madougu. Kaoru at first panics, his worries building when he discovers the giant won't be easily cut. Using stone bullets from the hand of the giant, Gaoh blocks Kaoru's attempts at escape. Kaoru then remembers his lessons from Kurei about fighting a large person. In general, the larger person is rooted to the ground by gravity, thus all the smaller person has to do is to destroy its support -- its legs. With several attacks, Kaoru manages to destroy a leg of the giant, causing it to collapse. Gaoh climbs from the rubble to see his pile of candy.
Mikagami and Kagerou feel the crash of the stone giant, wondering what could have caused it.
<Hell or Heaven>
Aoi looks out the window, suspecting Gaoh is in trouble.
Gaoh rips off his mask and goes for the candy. Kaoru declares him the loser since if he doesn't have the conviction to stop eating candy, he doesn't have the will to win. Gaoh agrees, but says he didn't lose to Kaoru, but to himself. After finding out there was no disk in the dome, Kaoru runs off into the forest.
With the mummy guy out of commission, Fuuko and Kirito look for the disk. They find it, but when Fuuko runs to grab it, she's trapped in a cage by Kirito. Fuuko is furious at the fact that she was tricked. Kirito admits that everything was a lie ("God forgive me"). She grabs the disk and makes a run for it. Pissed, Fuuko destroys the cage and runs after the girl. She nearly catches her on the bridge, but Kirito makes it to her end in time to destroy that side of the bridge. As Fuuko falls into the river, she barely misses hitting the smiling Kirito.
Kagerou makes her way into the lab, the fifth building. She discovers her Eikai ball does not work, suspecting the interference being caused by the Tendoujigoku. A youngish man taunts Kagerou over the monitors placed throughout the building, asking her about her real age. He leads her into a room where a mother fox is being electrocuted within a glass, cylindrical cage while her cub is chained to the wall, trying to reach its mother. Using her hair madougu, Kagerou frees the mother, which immediately goes to its cub. While it appears a sweet reunion, the mother fox suddenly turns into a monster, attacking its cub. Kagerou quickly puts the monster out of its misery, earning more taunts by the man. Kagerou tries to console the cub, but gets bitten in return. The man then releases a poisonous gas into the sealed room, planning to covering Kagerou's unconscious body in concrete and dropping her into the lake.
Smelling Fuuko's essence, Domon runs into the pyramid to find her. He discovers the mummy guy lying on the ground in pain, begging for water. Domon lifts him up by his wrapping and demands for Fuuko. The poor mummy guy reminds Domon that he's been unconscious since the last time he saw Fuuko. Domon dumps him on the ground and runs out of the pyramid, continuing his search.
Five minutes later, the man turns off the gas into the room to discover Kagerou is no longer there. He looks for her with use of the lab's security system, but when he can't find her, he realizes she must have gotten into the security room itself. He demands for her to come out, and she appears from his shadows. The cub she was holding in her arm scratches her to get free and runs under a desk. The man mocks Kagerou, saying that despite her immortality, she still bleeds and feels pain. Before he can say his name, Kagerou attacks, knocking the man unconscious. She walks over to the desk to get the disk when she notices the cub. She bends down, and it licks the blood from where it hurt her. Surprised, Kagerou begins to cry.
<Hell or Heaven>
Hiruko gets orders from the cacooned Mori Kouran and passes them along to Aoi. Yanagi's memories of Recca are to be completely erased.
Recca hears the fading voice of his Hime as he travels further into the dome. He thinks about everything she's gone through, and about Sakura Hime's last wish to be happy with her loved one in the next life. Anger fills Recca as he wonders why she couldn't be allowed a normal life. He then enters a large room filled with a pond holding huge lilly pads. Mokuren appears, explaining that he engineered the lilly pads to hold people. There are also large venus "man" traps within the pond. Mokuren announces for the final battle between him and Recca.
<Hell or Heaven>
While regretting her actions, Aoi does wipe every memory of Recca from Yanagi. Yanagi cries out, but is ultimately left with the feeling of losing something important and can't remember what.
Running from and attacking the "man" traps, Recca doesn't notice Mikoto until she throttles him to the ground. Catch by surprise, Recca is grabbed by one of the plants. Mokuren reveals his new left arm, which is a vine of "Iron Maidens" or snapping plants that have spikes inside to pierce a trapped person (imagine the torture device of the same name). Mokuren grabs the trapped Recca within the iron maiden. As he swings Recca around, Mokuren begins his usual whine about being looked down upon by the others and how he deserves more. Just before Mokuren is about to smash Recca into a wall, Kuukai appears and grabs the vine. Recca is able to use Saiha to destroy his cage, and then tells Mokuren that he doesn't look down upon him: he just really hates the guy. Recca jumps down from the plant and makes a clumsy landing near Kuukai, earning a hardy laugh from the big guy. The two team up against Mokuren and Mikoto, with Recca attacking the plant man and Kuukai against the...*ahem*...lady. Mikoto gets into her final puppet madougu to attack Kuukai. As Recca and Mokuren fight in the background, Mikoto manages to get in three strikes, activating Kuukai's Oni madougu. She continues to attack the man, but the punches appear to have no effect. He grabs her robot in mid-attack, and destroys the thing. Mikoto, injured, hobbles over to Mokuren to ask for forgiveness for losing, and to beg for a retreat since they can never win. In response, Mokuren stabs her in the stomach, telling her to never dictate his life for him. Recca goes in for an attack, but the punch does nothing. During the entire fight, Mokuren had been growing roots, making himself into a "plant dragon". Kuukai (still Oni) attacks, but ends up with a busted hand. What's left is a battle between flame dragon versus plant dragon.
Volume 27 Summary