Shulato #15

"The Terrible Juuga Sanninshu"

synopsis by Arcadia

At Tenkuuden, Akaranarta and Trylo are enjoying their newly gained freedom, after being imprisoned for 10,000 years. They're both confident that Kundalini can handle Shulato's group, and that they don't need to lift a finger. Trylo is a little disappointed. She'd hoped to have a chance to fight, too. Indrah, however, isn't as sure about Kundalini's abilities as they are, and keeps watch.

Tired from walking, Shulato takes a rest on a grassy hill. Without Vishnu's power making it possible to fly up Tenkuuju, they have to climb the whole tree on foot, and Shulato is decidedly pissed about it.

Lakshu recognizes the area as Hourai mountain, her birthplace. Happy to be home, she races up the hill, but her happiness fades when she reaches the top. When she left, the mountain was covered in forests and full of life, but now it's all dead. Shulato tries to cheer her up and promises that he'll save Vishnu and return the forests to life himself (He sure got over his dislike of walking fast!).

Suddenly, the ground starts shaking. The ground splits open around them and giant walls of lava spew forth. A pillar of earth rises from the ground in the middle of the lava, carrying Kundalini with it. He introduces himself in the typical evil-villain manner, but none of the group has heard of him or know who he is.

Kundalini sends the lava wall crashing down around them. Everyone manages to jump to safety and transform (Note: They're using a new song during the transformation sequence. Same animation, though). Kundalini isn't impressed. As far as he's concerned, Tenkuukai will still be destroyed, no matter what they do. He starts chanting a spell. The heroes are surprised at how much black Sohma he has.

Kundalini casts a Gundari Shakunetsuha. A giant magma serpent rises from the ground and attacks. Shulato fires a Shura Mahaken at Kundalini, but he merely brushes it off. The serpent knocks Shulato to the ground. When he gets up, he notices his Shakti was damaged by the blow. Hyuga, Reiga and Ryouma all try to attack the serpent, but none of their techniques have any effect on it. They decide to use the Beast-king Mandala as a last resort.

Reiga and Hyuga cast their parts of the Mandala, but Kundalini blocks them both. With another Gundari Shakunetsuha, he destroys their Mandala formation and knock them all to the ground.

As he starts another spell, a thrown dagger hits his halberd and distracts him. As Sohma glows around the dagger, a thick fog suddenly appears. Sallas and Mayuri run through the fog, barely visible. Sallas throws several shikigami, which turn into monsters and attack Kundalini. He destroys them easily, but they multiply as fast as he destroys them. With Kundalini distracted, Sallas and Mayuri get Shulato and the others to safety.

Kundalini finally casts a Shaknetsuha, destroying all the shikigami monsters and creating a very large crater, but his real prey has already fled. Punching the ground, he commands his serpents to find them.

Shulato and the others stop in the middle of a forest to bandage their wounds. Sallas and Mayuri finally introduce themselves. They're members of Vishnu's group of spies. However, even they have never heard of Kundalini or the Juuga Sanninshu, and have no idea where they came from. They've never seen anyone as strong as him.

They all seem to agree that Kundalini is too strong for them to beat. Shulato refuses to accept defeat, but still can't think of a way to win. Lakshu then remembers a legend she heard while growing up. In the center of Hourai is a spring called the Spring of Sohma. According to the legend, if a 16-year-old girl sends her Sohma into the spring, the spring will send it to the one she loves and make him stronger. As luck would have it, Lakshu just turned 16. Both Lakshu and Shulato are all for it.

However, that's not the whole story. None of the girls who have gone to the spring have survived. The spring drained all the Sohma out of them, killing them. Lakshu still wants to go. The way she sees it, if she doesn't go, everyone dies. If she does, only she dies.

Shulato is dead-set against it. Although he doesn't want to admit why, Lakshu still understands, and is happy he feels that way.

Sallas and Mayuri leave. Soon after, one of Kundalini's snakes jumps from the ground and coils around Shulato's leg. Several others follow. Although all the snakes are there, Kundalini himself is still exactly where they left him. He's confidant that the snakes can handle them.

Shulato destroys the snake on his snake and tries to transform, but his Veda isn't working. Neither is anyone else's. They must have gotten damaged in the last fight, and haven't repaired themselves yet. They'll have to fight the snakes unarmed.

Hyuga and Ryouma destroy some of them with Sohma bolts, but the rest merge into a single giant snake. Everyone runs, but Shulato's wounded leg gives out and the serpent catches him. The others try to free him, but are knocked away. Lakshu tries to help, but the heat from the serpent is too much for her.

Lakshu realizes what she has to do, and runs off for the Spring of Sohma. Mii tries to hold her back and Shulato tries to talk her out of it, but to no avail. In desperation, Shulato creates a Sohma blast powerful enough to destroy the giant serpent, but is too weakened by the effort and his wounds to follow. He can only watch as Lakshu disappears into the forest.

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