Sentenced to death, ninja Gabimaru the Hollow finds himself apathetic. After leading a blood-soaked life, Gabimaru believes he deserves to die. However, every attempt to execute him inexplicably fails. Finally, Sagiri Yamada Asaemon, a fledgling member of a famed executioner clan, is asked to take Gabimaru's life; yet Sagiri makes no move to kill him as requested. Insisting that Gabimaru will not die because of his love for his wife, Sagiri instead offers him the chance to obtain a full pardon for his crimes. If he can travel to the island of Shinsekyo and obtain the Elixir of Life—which supposedly grants immortality—and bring it back for the shogun, then his freedom will be assured. But of the many who have traveled to Shinsekyo in search of the mythical Elixir, not a single person has returned sound of mind, if at all. Though unaware of the numerous dangers ahead, Gabimaru decides to accept the offer—alongside ten other death row convicts—in hope that he and his wife may finally live in peace.