Despite being beheaded by Tanjiro, Akaza internally reflects on the battle spirit of people. He had never encountered someone who could remove theirs, commenting that fighting Tanjiro felt like fighting a plant. Despite his senses and compass not working properly, on the battlefield, anything unexpected can happen. He notices Tanjiro managing to surpass his own speed in a short time but his eyes showing no intent to kill. Akaza believes Tanjiro has achieved the Selfless State he so badly wants to attain, something he believes he should have done so now.
The Upper Rank tries to put his head back on his neck, now with the resolve to continue fighting. However, Giyu flings his broken sword at his head, knocking it away from Akaza's grasp. The Upper Rank repeats his drive to continue getting stronger as his head disintegrates. Tanjiro becomes relieved but immediately stiffens up due to his body hitting his limit. However, upon seeing Akaza's body not disintegrating, Giyu and Tanjiro worriedly looks on. Akaza's body activates Technique Development, Destructive Death: Compass Needle again and immediately attempts to hit Tanjiro's neck. Though he barely misses, the Demon changes stance and hits Tanjiro square in the side, knocking him away. Tanjiro realizes Akaza is trying to make his head a weak spot no longer, similar to Muzan earlier. He tries to get up but faints due to his body finally reaching his limit. Giyu sees Akaza going for his unconscious comrade and uses Water Breathing, Fourth Form: Striking Tide to stop him, though the cuts instantly heal. Giyu then declares that if Akaza wanted to kill Tanjiro, he would go through him first, Giyu takes his stance to fight again. Akaza sees his indomitable spirit, one that doesn't bend in the face of any obstacle.
Suddenly he sees the same man from earlier, who comments that "...we carry swords in our hearts. We only use our fists". Calling the man an eye sore, Akaza moves forward to engage Giyu but is internally held back by the vision of a young woman, wishing "Hakuji, that's enough".