Shulato #33

"Good or Evil!? The Creation God Brahma's Choice"

synopsis by Arcadia
Gai exults in his victory. He has the Brahma Shakti, the ultimate power. He has won! The Hachibushu can't do anything to stop him because their Shaktis still don't have enough energy. Lakshu watches from one of the remaining islands. She prays to whatever spirits will listen for the fighting to stop. She doesn't want her friends to get hurt any more. As she prays, the jewel in her circlet starts to glow, and Sohma collects around her. Almost unthinkingly, she sends the Sohma to the four Hachibushu, healing them (just like Vishnu does). Gai watches, dumbfounded.

The Hachibushu find that their vedas have been restored, too. If they use the energy from all for of them, Shulato's veda should have enough power to call his Shakti.

Above them, Lakshu floats in a glow of shining white Sohma (or is it gold... I can't tell!). She speaks to them, but her voice is different somehow. It sounds more serene, more powerful (more polite!). Almost like Vishnu's. She asks Shulato and Gai to stop fighting and work together.

Gai says that since here only job was to awaken the Brahma Shakti, she has nothing more to say. He prepares to throw his sword at her. Before he can, a gold light surrounds him, disintigrating the sword. Through the light, Gai sees a vision of himself and Shulato as children. He sees them playing on a beach, with his sister Mina watching them. The seem very happy, laughing and playing together.

For a moment, it seems like Gai remembers, but the moment doesn't last. Gai turns away. Showing him this will change nothing. The person he was is gone. All the memories in the world won't change that.

Lakshu reminds him that he never liked fighting. He always tried to find a way to win without fighting. Gai thinks about this for a moment, but decides that it no longer matters. He has the Brahma Shakti, the ultimate power. That's all he needs to win. But Lakshu says the Shakti doesn't matter. True power comes from inside, not from a piece of armor. Fighting strength has limits, inner strength does not. Gai still doesn't understand this, so he hasn't found the ultimate power after all.

Gai has heard enough. He'll show her what real power is! He fires a Sohma ball at Lakshu. Shulato suddenly jumps on the scene and fires a Shura Mahaken, destroying the ball, then turning on Gai. Gai tries to fight back, but the Shakti vanishes and reappears around Shulato.
[Arcadia's note: When Gai has the Brahma Shakti, it looked blue. When Shulato had it, it looked gold. I don't know if this was because of weird lighting, or if it was a Sohma thing, but it should be pointed out anyway.]

Lakshu explains that one who doesn't understand inner strength cannot use the Brahma Shakti. Gai doesn't, but Shulato does. Brahma has chosen Shulato as the true successor.

The temple begins to crumble around them. Shumisen is disappearing, and they have to get out. Lakshu, now back to her old self, screeches for Shulato to save her. Shulato teleports them all out of Shumisen.

Kuuya, Dan and Renge cast the combination spell they used against Akaranarta before. It turns one of Tenkuuden's rooms into a smoking crater, but Akaranarta is anharmed. Akaranarta fires off a volley of Sohma bolts, ripping through Tenkuuden and causing large parts of it to crumble.

Meanwhile, Vishu's power is beginning to weaken, and her barrier starts to falter.

Akaranarta is startled to see a large ball of gold light coming straight for him. Shulato emerges, wearing the Brahma Shakti. Akaranarta is shocked that Shulato is Brahma's successor and refuses to believe it. He tries to cast a Juuga Rekkoudan at Shulato. Most of the Sohma bolts miss. The ones that do hit their target simply bounce off. Refusing to give up, Akaranarta charges at Shulato, firing Sohma bolts in every direction. Shulato summons the power of the Brahma Shakti and disintigrates Akaranarta with a single shot. (Maybe he'll actually stay dead this time? Nah.)

The seven Hachibushu decide to invade the Idoukyuu and finish off the Asura army while they have the chance. Lakshu stays behind with Vishnu. Vishnu asks Lakshu to help her keep the Sohma barrier up. Lakshu is surprised that she'd ask her and not sure she can do it, but Vishnu assures her that she can. After all, it's her destiny. Lakshu begins to understand what Vishnu means, and she is more shocked than ever.

The Hachibushu run through the Idoukyuu, with Shulato calling for Shiva to show herself. But the one they meet is not Shiva, but Meitei Bikara, the leader of the Juuniratei.

Bikara starts chanting and seems to disappear. The walls around them suddenly change color, and large pulsating blobs grow from it. The sound of a strange heartbeat echoes throughout the hall. Bikara has merged with the Idoukyuu. They're now literally inside Bikara's body.

The blobs shoot a green slime at them, which hardens and keeps them from moving. Reiga manages to dodge and cast a Karula Hanefubuki, scorching the blobs and melting the slime. However, the blobs quickly regenerate. Their only chance is to find where the real Bikara is and destroy him. Ryouma, Kuuya, Dan and Reiga decide to stay and deal with Bikara, while Hyuga, Renge and Shulato continue on.

In Tenkuuden, Lakshu helps Vishnu keep their Sohma barrier up. As she chants, the jewel in her circlet starts to glow again. Lakshu gets worried about Shulato and asks Vishnu is he'll be okay, if having the Brahma Shakti means he'll be able to get out alive. Vishnu is hopeful but unsure. There's still another test before Shulato will fully be able to use the Shakti.

As Shulato, Renge and Hyuga run through the Idoukyuu, tentacle-like creature emerage from the walls and attack them. Renge tries her Nahra Musouka against them, but it has no effect. Sohma attack won't work on them. Hyuga casts a TenOh Goumakou, creating a wall of ice between them and the creatures. For the moment, it manages to hold them back. Hyuga tells Renge and Shulato to go on ahead while he deals with the creatures. Shulato hesitates, but they eventually run on ahead. As they do, Hyuga's ice wall breaks and the creature get through.

Shulato senses that something has happened and wants to go back, but Renge stops him. If he goes back now, everyone's efforts will have been for nothing. Shulato must've finally gotten a clue, because that's all it takes to convince him to keep going.

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