Shulato #26

"A New Enemy, the Asura Army!"

synopsis by Arcadia

With Vishnu back, peace has apparently returned to Tenkuukai, and Shulato and Lakshu couldn't be happier. Hyuga, Ryouma and Reiga, however, know it's only the calm before the storm. The Asura fortress, the Idoukyuu, is still heading for Tenkuukai, and no one knows where or when it will appear.

As the five of them leave the palace, they get a shock. The entire Deva army fills the courtyard. But this time, they aren't there to fight. Now that they know how Indrah lied, they've realized they were fighting for the wrong side the whole time, and have come to beg forgiveness. Hyuga forgives them without hesitation. What's done is done, and they still need to work together to protect Tenkuukai.

The Hachibushu gather in Vishnu's chamber. Vishnu tries to determine where theIdoukyuu is, but she can't sense it at all. Vishnu says that before Indrah's betrayal, she'd sent people to try to find the Idoukyuu, but with no success. Shulato realizes she means Sallas and Mayuri, and tells her how Sallas asked for her forgiveness for not completing the mission.

Suddenly, the palace is shaken by an earthquake. As Vishnu looks into her crystal ball, she sees that not only the palace, but all of Tenkuuju is affected. The Idoukyuu has appeared directly underneath Tenkuuju, and is rising up from the ground, literally uprooting the giant tree in the process. As the lower levels of Tenkuuju begin to disintegrate, Vishnu starts teleporting the people there to the palace. The Hachibushu run to help get others to safety.

People pour into the palace. Hyuga and Lakshu stand by the door and make sure they get in. Suddenly, one of the bridges leading to the palace collapses and the people on it fall into the lake. Lakshu covers her eyes, unable to watch. A bolt of Sohma from behind them streaks across the lake. It came from Renge. She's trying to make a new bridge out of Sohma. Hyuga adds his Sohma to the mix, but it's not enough to reach. Some soldierscome to help, and together the finally get their new bridge to stick.

Ryouma is at another door, using his Sohma to keep the stairs from crumbling long enough for everyone to get in. Reiga, Kuuya and Shulato are outside the palace, making sure the people don't fall victims to the approaching tidal waves and falling rocks, and carrying as many as possible back to the palace on their Valudas. Dan loads people onto the Mahava. As Tenkuuju finally falls, Vishnu separates Tenkuuden from the tree and levitates it.

Now where the Tenkuuju tree once stood, the huge Idoukyuu sits, radiating black Sohma.

Inside the Idoukyuu sits Shiva, the Destuction Goddess. One of her soldiers, Bikara, tells her that Vishnu escaped, but has nowhere to run. Their army is ready and waiting. Shiva tells him to send them out. Bikara chants, and the crystals on the walls of the chamber shatter, revealing the waiting demon army.

At Bikara's orders, the demons swarm out of the Idoukyuu and overrun what remains of Tenkuukai, killing everything they see. Vishnu shows the Hachibushu whats happening with her crystal ball, and they run to help.

They do manage destroy some of the demons and get some of their victims into the palace, but there are only 7 of them and the demon army numbers in the thousands. They just keep coming. Dan figures that with this many soldiers fighting outside, there can't be too many left inside the Idoukyuu itself. He decides to go there. Hyuga tries to convince him to stay and help the villagers, but Dan is insistant. Renge and Kuuya decide to go with him.

Shulato, Reiga and the rest of the Deva army appear. Hyuga and Ryouma decide to leave the Asura army to them and go with the other to the Idoukyuu.

The Asura demons easily slaughter the fleeing villagers. Some of the try to hold them off so the others can get to Tenkuuden, but they are quickly killed. Shulato and Reiga blast the demons away, but not in time to save the rest of the people.

A surviving demon attacks Shulato. Angered by the apparent pleasure the demon is taking in all the destruction, Shulato blows it away with a Sohma blast.

The five who were trying to get to the Idoukyuu find themselves surrounded and unable to move. Shiva watches with pleasure. If this is all the Hachibushu can do, there's no need to use the Juuniratei.

Back in Tenkuuden, Vishnu continues to teleport people into the palace, and Lakshu tends to the wounded.

Shulato and Reiga also find themselves surrounded. They prepare themselves for one last strike, but at the last second, a bright light appears in the sky. A huge, shining ball of light, like a second sun, suddenly appears. Even the demons are surprised by its presence. What could it be?

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