The curtain opens on the first of three matches between Gotou and Shimada to decide who will become the challenger for the Lion King title. Rei is deeply impressed by the battle between two players who have faith in themselves. At the end of the match, Gotou treats a waiting Kyouko coldly in front of the shogi hall. Looking on, Rei recalls the events leading up to his departure from the Kouda home. Meanwhile, at Crescent, Akari and Hinata are worried about Rei.