Kill the Bandits (山賊を斬る, Sanzoku o Kiru) is chapter seventeen of the Akame ga Kill! manga.
Akame is informed by Leone and Lubbock that Tatsumi was captured by Esdeath. Mine asks the two of them if she figured out he is a part of Night Raid, and Lubbock answers that he didn't sense any animosity or bloodlust from her, so it's possible she doesn't know, and Leone says the only way for them to know for sure is to go to the Palace themselves. As Akame debates their course of action, Mine speaks up and tells her to not say something dumb like "let's go off and rescue him" because of how well guarded the Palace is, so breaking in would be almost impossible. She also adds that maybe his identity hasn't been figured out yet. After thinking, Akame says they should focus on moving the base further into the mountains on the off-chance they are discovered. Lubbock asks about Tatsumi, and Akame says that she knows they don't have enough manpower to rescue him, but since he is a treasured comrade, they will do whatever they can to help him.
Back at the Palace, Esdeath introduces a restrained Tatsumi to the Jaegers as a new member. Bols asks if she really just dragged someone from the populace off the streets, and Esdeath answers that he won't live in poverty anymore if he is with them. She also adds that she doesn't just consider him a new member, but also the person she has fallen in love with. Wave asks why he has a collar around him and she says it's to help him stand out as her lover. Run comments that it makes him seem more like a pet than a lover, so perhaps she should remove the collar to emphasize that. Esdeath realizes he's right and does so. She then asks if anyone is married or has lovers, and Bols raises his hand, surprising the group. Bols admits shyly that he's been married for six years and he feels he doesn't deserve someone as wonderful as his wife. Tatsumi interrupts them and says that while he's happy Esdeath took a liking to him, he doesn't want to work for the Empire. Esdeath says that it'll take some time to train him to become obedient, which irritates Tatsumi that she isn't listening to him. Seryu speaks up and says that he's confused so he should take some time to process everything. She approaches him and pats him on the head, saying that they are all allies to justice, and that they two of them met previously. Tatsumi, however, recognizes Seryu as the one who killed Sheele, and as much as he doesn't want her to touch him, he knows it will expose him, so he resolves to bear his anger at her like Bulat told him and escape with the information he has on them.
Suddenly, a soldier comes in and informs Esdeath that he finished his report regarding the area around Gyogan Lake. This excites Esdeath and she tells her subordinates that their first assignment has started. She tells them that there is a fortress inhabitated by bandits near Gyogan Lake. Seryu adds that they assumed these 'shameful evil-doers' had some refuge on the outskirts of the Capital, and this confirms it. Esdeath says they will delay the search for Night Raid's hideout for now, and focus on the enemies they can see. Bols asks what they will do if the bandits surrender, and Esdeath replies by saying that is a sign of weakness, and the weak must be culled from the world. Seryu expresses delight that she's a part of a group that will allow her to exterminate evil people before they do anything evil, and Esdeath tells her to do so at her hearts content, which further thrills Seryu and leaves Wave and Tatsumi feeling disturbed.
Esdeath tells the group that everyone that this job requires exterminating several people, so she needs to know if they are all prepared to do so. Bols says that he is a soldier, and soldiers follow orders, even if it means killing. Kurome agrees with Bols, saying that this is practice for following orders. Wave says that he was able to join the Navy thanks to a certain man he respected, and if he were to ask him how to repay him, he would say "just do your best and fight for the sake of your country, that's all you need to do", and he confirms his resolve. Run says that in order for his desires to come to fruition, he must rise higher and higher, even if it means doing unsavory deeds, so he is on board. Esdeath asks about Dr. Stylish, and he responds by saying his guiding principle is pursuing style. When Esdeath says she doesn't understand, he says that when he first saw her, he saw her as a powerful and cold-hearted entity, whose style he wishes to understand in more detail, though this leaves Esdeath even more puzzled. Nevertheless, she sees the resolve in all of their eyes and mobilizes them. She also tells Tatsumi to join them, since he'll be a substitute for the Jaegers, it'll be a good idea to see the strength of his comrades, which surprises him.
As the Jaegers arrive at the fortress, Run says that since they've memorized the layout and the enemy's positions, what strategy should they use. Seryu says that justice demands they fight fair and square, so it should be up front. On a cliffside though, Esdeath is watching her subordinates make their move with Tatsumi by her side. She says it's the perfect place to observe them and Tatsumi wonders if it is alright for him to be taking it easy. He then realizes that he could use this opportunity to escape, but the minute Esdeath takes his hand he realizes he can't.
The bandits see the Jaeger approach and confront them, telling the group they made a mistake to come fight them while also wondering what to do with Kurome and Seryu, as they seem quite cute. Seryu steps forward with her Teigu Koro, and has Koro bite on her right arm. She says that in exchange for losing her arms, Dr. Stylish gave her a new power: a set of weapons she calls 'Judgement of the Ten Kings', and the one she just pulled out is the fifth one: Enma's Spear of Justice. She uses it to tear through the bandits while Koro devours the others. The bandits order the gates be closed but Seryu pulls out her seventh weapon: Taizan's Cannon of Justice, and uses it to destroy the gate. Run comments on Seryu's ferocity and Wave considers they just let her do all the work.
Dr. Stylish reveals to the two of them he made the weapons using his Teigu, the Glorious Hands of God: Perfector. He says it increases the speed and precision of his fingers by hundreds of times, which will allow him fix any injury and maybe 'upgrade' his comrades if they require it, though Run asks he doesn't alter his body. Wave expresses gratitude for having someone to patch them up, but adds that Perfector is a support-type Teigu, so they'll be forced to protect him. Dr. Stylish express interest in Wave's kindness before pulling out his army, who he says he surgically altered with Perfector, that he considers his pawns. Bols says that Perfector is a very useful Teigu if Dr. Stylish could produce such weapons, and he says that his dream has always been to create weapons that could rival them in strength. Run interrupts the group and reveals that Kurome went in through the gate while they were talking, which irritates Dr. Stylish and surprises Wave.
Kurome easily cuts down all the bandits in her way, stating she didn't even need to use her Teigu's special ability, so she decides to play around with their body parts. One soldier tries to shoot her but Wave stops him. He tells Kurome she doesn't need to thank him for saving her but she says she knew he was there as well, which irritates Wave. Several bandits see Bols charging forward and fire arrows from the walls. Bols pulls out his Teigu, Puragatory's Inviation: Rubicante, a flamethrower Teigu, and incinerates the arrows. He says to himself this is all part of the job and douses the bandits in flames, which the burning bandits realize not even water can extinguish the flames. The remaining bandits decide to flee but all get feathers shot straight through their foreheads by Run, as he reveals his Teigu, Thousand-Mile Flight: Mastema, a winged Teigu. Run tells the fleeing bandits he won't let any one of them escape.
As Tatsumi watches the Jagers in amazement, Esdeath tells him she'll train him herself so he can be a strong as them. Tatsumi tells Esdeath she is being very kind to him, and she asks if what he's heard about her is different from what he has now experienced. She admits it's the first time she has experienced feelings of love and it feels rather nice for her. This surprises Tatsumi as he starts considering convincing Esdeath could become an ally, and even though her actions in the past are unforgivable, if he could convince her to join him and defeat the Empire as atonement, things might be easy for the Revolutionary Army. Tatsumi asks where he will be living from now on, and she says her room, which scares Tatsumi. He nevertheless resolves to convince her to defect tonight, and it's time for him to take the stage.