Shulato #11

"Renge, Tragic Warrior of Love"

synopsis by Arcadia

Hyuga and Renge are still reeling from what the crystal sphere showed them. Before they can move, the sphere lights up again and the vision repeats itself.

Renge can't believe what she's seen. The Indrah she knew would not be capable of such an evil thing. Convinced that it must be an illusion, she accuses Hyuga of trying to trick her. Hyuga insists that he doesn't know what happened either, but Renge isn't convinced. She thinks he must have made illusions like this to make Ryouma and Reiga defect. However, she will not be so easily fooled.

As they argue, the sphere lights up again, and Hyuga realizes what happened. There is a legend that says that the holy light will show the truth to anyone who asks. Hyuga hadn't managed to give the sphere enough Sohma to open Heiseimon, but maybe it was enough for the light to activate.

Renge still refuses to believe what she saw, and attacks Hyuga again. Hyuga pins her against the wall. At that moment, they are surrounded by light from the sphere.

Meanwhile, Reiga and Kuuya fight at Suzakuden. Kuuya evades Reiga's attack, and Reiga congradulates him, smiling. Kuuya, serious to a fault, is annoyed, thinking that Reiga isn't taking this seriously. However, it's obvious that neither is joking- Kuuya plucks one of Reiga's feathers out of his arm, and Reiga's armor cracks where Kuuya's chakram hit it.

Hyuga and Renge are engulfed by the light from the sphere. This time, they see Indrah talking to the stone Vishnu. Laughing, he says how amusing it is that the Hachibushu fight each other, not knowing who the real traitor was (it's the same thing Reiga saw when he was spying with his feathers). Renge falls to her knees, not wanting to believe.

Flashback to when they were training. Renge, Hyuga, Ryouma, Kuuya, Reiga and Dan and standing in a circle around Indrah, waiting to attack. This is the moment they've trained for. This is when Indrah will decide whether or not they're strong enough to become Hachibushu. They've tried to attack several times, but with no success. Finally, they decide to all attack at once. They all shoot blast of Sohma at the same time. Indrah doesn't seem affected at all. Suddenly, a butterfly flies into the melee. The six trainees don't see it, but Indrah does, and shields it with his cloak. The butterfly distracts him for a second, long enough for the six Sohma blasts to hit their mark. Everyone rejoices. Indrah's arm is bleeding, but he ignores it. He congradulates them, saying that they're finally strong enough to be Hachibushu. As he leaves, Hyuga and Renge see the butterfly fly out from beneath his cloak.

Later, they ask him about it. Why would he risk himself to protect a single butterfly? Indrah says that all life, even that of a little butterfly, is precious and no life must be lost in battle. The butterfly's life was just as important as his own. He loves all of Tenkuukai, and can't see any piece of it harmed. As Indrah speaks, Hyuga sees the look on Renge's face and realizes she's fallen in love with him.

At Genbuden, Lakshu is still waiting for Shulato to wake up. Her Sohma wasn't enough to activate the light there, and she doesn't know what else to do.

Hyuga and Renge wake up. Hyuga goes to see if Renge is all right, but she warns him to stay away. Hyuga says that since Renge knows the truth now, there's no reason to fight anymore. She saw for herself what a demon Indrah had become. But Renge still isn't convinced. She says that Indrah could definately become a demon for the sake of Tenkuukai. She reminds Hyuga of a flood that happened two years ago.

Flashback to the flood. Dark water washes over Tenkuukai, engulfing everything in its path. While the Hachibushu evacuate the residents, Indrah, all alone, stops the water using a gigantic outburst of Sohma. Hyuga remembers the look on his face, and how frightening it was. Renge remembers how, after the flood, he was only concerned for the lives of the people. Yes, he could become a demon, if Tenkuukai were at stake.

But then Renge remembers the rest of what happened. She remembers the evil look on his face, and the sinister laugh as he watched the water wash everything away. Something happened to Indrah that day. It was as if the real Indrah had vanished and another person had taken his place. The kind, gentle man they'd known was gone, and all that was left was a monster who wore his face.

Renge starts crying. Hyuga realizes that Renge had fallen in love with Indrah. That was why she couldn't accept Marichi's love. Renge admits that he's right. Even though she knew her love would never be returned, she was happy just being with Indrah.

However, the fight isn't over. No matter what Indrah was become, Renge still loves him and will fight for him. Calling on Indrah to give her strength, Renge fires a Nahra Musouka. Hyuga barely manages to block it. He casts a TenOh Suishouketsu, sealing Renge in a solid block of crystal. As she dies, she smiles, thinking of her love.

Hyuga curses Indrah, saying that he doesn't deserve her love. In a rage, he fires a blast of Sohma at the crystal sphere, sending a pillar of light into the sky. Reiga and Kuuya see the pillar. Reiga smiles as he realizes Hyuga won. Kuuya is only worried about Renge.

Lakshu sees the light, too. In her excitement, she lets go of Shulato, and he hits his head on the floor. The knock wakes him up. Lakshu is overjoyed.

They go to activate the sphere in Genbuden, but Gai stops them. He's glad to have found Shulato, but is disappointed that Shulato is in no condition to fight. But Gai won't let that stop him from killing him.

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