Chapter 953 is titled "Once Upon a Fox".
Kawamatsu reveals that after Hiyori left him, he went to Ringo, where he encountered Onimaru, a komakitsune who was the companion of Ringo's late daimyo Shimotsuki Ushimaru. Until he was caught and arrested, he had worked with Onimaru to collect the weapons left on the graves in the cemetery in order to use them in the final battle against Kaido. In the present, Kawamatsu, Hiyori, and Zoro find an underground chamber where all these weapons have been stored, and Kawamatsu contacts Kin'emon to reveal that they can easily arm their allies come the final battle. Unbeknownst to them, Gyukimaru lurks right outside the chamber as he transforms into Onimaru.
Hiyori then tells Zoro to return Shusui, and in exchange she will give him the Meito Enma, a blade wielded by her father and was able to wound Kaido.
- More of Kawamatsu's past is shown.
- Kawamatsu explains more about the Ringo region.
- Gyukimaru is revealed to be Onimaru.
- The name Gyukimaru was the alias Kawamatsu donned as the protector of the swords from grave robbers at Oihagi bridge.
- The name was later used by Onimaru to identify himself, when Kawamatsu failed to return to Oihagi bridge.
- Kawamatsu talks with Kin'emon for the first time in twenty years.
- Kawamatsu has a collection of weapons hidden.
- Hiyori offers her father's sword, Enma, to Zoro as a replacement for Shusui.
- According to Hiyori, the sword was the only weapon able to injure Kaido.