Shulato #30

"The Loneliness of the Chosen One"

synopsis by Arcadia

Arcadia's note: Man, I don't know which was more painful to watch- the god-awful animation, or the twins' contortions.

Chanting echoes throughout Tenkuuden as Vishnu and her priests try to keep the barrier protecting it from Shiva up. One of the priests, exhausted from the constant effort, loses his concentration and falters. Vishnu begs him to get some rest. He refuses, saying that he will help protect Tenkuukai as long as he still has strength.

Shiva takes advantage of the distraction to contact Vishnu. She tells Vishnu to surrender, that Tenkuukai is already theirs. Vishnu refuses. She is still confident that the Hachibushu can defeat Shiva's army.

Outside Tenkuuden, Dan, Kuuya and Renge are still fighting Akaranarta. They haven't been having much luck. Nothing they've tried has had any effect whatsoever. Dan, getting frustrated by their lack of success, decides to try to attack again. Kuuya stops him, saying that he'd have no chance. It took the combined power of Shulato, Hyuga, Ryouma and Reiga to defeat Akaranarta before. A single person attacking wouldn't have a chance. However, if they can combine their powers like Shulato and the others did, maybe that would work.

Kuuya and Renge step out in front of Akaranarta. Akaranarta is, as usual, unimpressed by their display of bravado. The two Hachibushu fire spells at once. Akaranarta blocks them easily, thinking he still has the upper hand. However, he was so distracted by Kuuya and Renge, he didn't notice Dan. Dan casts and Hiba Ryuusakou, and the ground starts to swallow Akaranarta up. With his legs stuck in the ground, he cast move to attack. Dan, Kuuya and Renge combine their spells and fire them all at once, resulting in a large explosion.

When the dust clears, Akaranarta is still standing. The three Hachibushu are shocked. Even their combined power wasn't enough to kill him! However, it wasn't completely in vain. When Akaranarta tries to attack again, he notices that the blast damaged his Shakti. Not wanting to fight at anything less than full power, he retreats.

Meanwhile, on Shumisen, Shulato, Hyuga, Ryouma and Lakshu are making their way up a steep cliff face. Lakshu loses her grip and slides down the cliff, but manages to catch herself. Shulato calls after her. She yells that she's okay, and to keep going. They have to get to the top before Gai, and they can't waste time waiting for her.

Up ahead, Hyuga and Ryouma discuss how they're going to fight. If they try to use Sohma attacks, Shumisen will drain the energy from their Shaktis and they won't be able to use them again until it regenerates. They decide that only one of them will use their Shakti at a time. That way, the other one will be able to take over after Shumisen drains the energy from the first one. If at least one of them is always able to fight, Shulato won't have to fight at all.

Shulato hears their conversation and gets mad. He wants to fight, too. He doesn't want his friends getting hurt trying to protect him. He tries to argue the point, but Hyuga and Ryouma won't budge. Shulato's mission as Brahma's successor is too important for him to risk his life in battle. Finally, Shulato gives up and rushes ahead of them. The faster they get finished, the sooner they quit treating him like a china doll.

Lakshu loses her grip again. Shulato starts to go after her, but Ryouma says he'll go instead. Shulato climbs onto the next ledge and watches as Ryouma helps Lakshu up. Suddenly, a rockslide sends large boulders hurtling right for him. Hyuga jumps up and pushes Shulato out of the way. Both of them get hit by rocks, but the bigger ones miss. Hyuga apologizes, saying he didn't have time to use his Sohma. Shulato doesn't understand. Hyuga probably just saved his life. Why should *he* be apologizing?

Hyuga goes to help Ryouma and Lakshu onto the ledge. While his back is turned, Shulato quietly slips away. His friends are putting themselves in danger for him, and he can't take it. If he goes alone, maybe they'll be okay.

Ryouma notices that Shulato is missing. However, before they can go after him, Antera and Santera appear. Hyuga tells Lakshu to go ahead and find Shulato, and let them take care of the two Juuniratei. But he warns her not the tell Shulato about them. If he knew, he'd want to come back and fight. Lakshu agrees, and Mii (poor Mii!) carries her off.

Hyuga and Ryouma try to attack, but the to Juuniratei jump out of the way easily . (Man, I wish I could describe Santera's pose... Ouch...) Antera and Santera land on opposite sides of the ledge and throw their boomerangs at Hyuga and Ryouma. They meet in the center, forming a circle. The circle starts to glow a dull red. A huge whirleind comes out of it and sweeps Hyuga and Ryouma off their feet. When the wind clears, the ledge is empty.

When Hyuga and Ryouma come to, they find themselves in a strange world. The sky is red, and the ground is black. Streams of red lava flow from a glowing red disk (almost like a sun) in the sky. Hyuga touches one of the streams and burns his finger.

Antera and Santera are nowhere to be seen, but their voices echo throughout. All things are two and yet one, one and yet two. Just like them. Neither Hyuga nor Ryouma know what they mean by that. The red disk in the sky starts to be eclipsed by a black, like the moon eclipsing the sun. Another giant whirlwind comes and carries them both away.

Shulato comes across a small pond, and takes a drink from it. There is a flock of small, shimmery butterflies hovering over the pond. Shulato remarks about how happy they look, having all their friends around.

Suddenly, he hears Lakshu's voice calling him. At first he thinks he's hearing things, but then he sees Lakshu and Mii flying towards him. Shulato is glad to see her, but wonders why she came alone, without Hyuga and Ryouma. Lakshu grabs his arm and tries to pull him away from the edge, saying the Hyuga and Ryouma will catch up later. Shulato looks down the cliff and sees an explosion of black Sohma. He grabs Lakshu and demands to know what happened to Hyuga and Ryouma. At first, she refuses to say, but she eventually gives in and admits that they're fighting Antera and Santera. Shulato wants to go back to help. Lakshu tries to stop him and they argue. Lakshu slaps Shulato, and that stops him cold. Finally losing her temper, Lakshu calls Shulato an idiot and says he's being selfish. He's not even considering how Hyuga and Ryouma, not to mention Reiga and the others left in Tenkuuden feel. They can't make Shulato's job any easier, but they want to do what they can. That's why Shulato has to hurry and get the Brahms Shakti, so their efforts won't have been in vain. Shulato reluctantly agrees, and they set off.

The whirlwind fades away and Hyuga and Ryouma fall to the ground. Antera and Santera suddenly appear and fly at them. Ryouma holds them off while Hyuga calls his Shakti. They can't win while they're stuck in a world created by the twins. However, if there was a way in, there's a way out. Hyuga looks up at the sky and notices that the black disk that had eclipsed the red one is gone. When the red disk was eclipsed, they attacked with magic, but when it shone again, they attacked using ordinary weapons. That disk is the key! Hyuga fires a TenOh Goumakou at it, shattering the disk and opening the way out of the twins' world. Hyuga and Ryouma quickly jump through. Unfortunately, Antera and Santera make it out, too.

Hyuga's Shakti disappears, but Ryouma can still use his. He calls his Shakti and prepares to face off against the twins.

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