Shulato #34

"The Final Battle! The Fist of Hatred"

synopsis by Arcadia
Meanwhile, Ryouma, Kuuya, Dan and Reiga continue to search for where the real Bikara is hiding. Ryouma casts a RyuOh Kaengeki, temporarily clearing a path. Reiga uses the chance to use one of his feathers. He sends it flying down the corridor, telling it to find Bikara and lead them to him.

Shulato and Renge fly through the Idoukyuu on their valudas, fighting their way through Bikara's worm-creatures. Some of the creatures start spewing slime at them, knocking them off to the floor. Despite Renge's warnings, Shulato hops back on his valuda and flies toward the new creatures. He fires off a few shots, and the creatures retreat. Thinking he's gotten them, he heads back to Renge. But suddenly the worm-creatures reappear and grab him. Renge cuts through them with her whip and runs to see if Shulato is alright. The worm-creatures shoot spike at them. Renge jumps on top of Shulato to shield him from the spikes and a few of them hit her. Dragging herself to her feet, Renge casts a Nahra Musouka at the creatures. She then collapses into Shulato's arms. She begs Shulato to keep going. Shulato promises to come back for her after he defeats Shiva, then runs farther into the Idoukyuu.

Even though their barrier is almost gone, Vishnu, Lakshu and the eight priests continue chanting to try to hold it up. Shiva appears outside Tenkuuden and sends a blast of black Sohma which easily breaks through. Vishnu and the priests try to block the blast themselves in a last-ditch effort to stop it. The resulting explosion is seen all over Tenkuukai.

Their efforts were successful is protecting Tenkuuden, but the cost is great. The shock of the blast killed all eight of the priests, and Vishnu looks very weak. Lakshu runs to her. Vishnu tells her that Shiva's black Sohma has gotten very powerful over the last 10,000 years. She was only barely able to stop it.

Ryouma and the others break through a wall and find Bikara. Bikara is surprised that they managed to find him. Reiga brags that his feathers can find out anything. Bikara responds by creating more slime-spewing worm-creatures to vaporize the feather. Kuuya casts a Dappa Suikorin. Bikara tries to deflect it with bursts of slime, but the water from Kuuya's spell simply absorbs the slime and carries it away. Dan casts a Hiba Gekishinha, shattering the ground and walls between them, and with it Bikara's connection to the rest of the Idoukyuu. With his connection broken, he can't create more creatures or traps. Ryouma and Reiga use this chance to attack with their spells. Bikara tries to cast a spell of his own to block it, but he is disintigrated. With Bikara dead, the Idoukyuu reverts back to normal (or as close to it as it ever came).

Shulato watches the transformation, but senses something powerful up ahead. It's a large amount of black Sohma- it must be Shiva! He calls his Shakti (the regular one, not the Brahma one) and breaks through the walls between him and the black Sohma he sensed.

On the other side of the wall, Gai is waiting for him. Gai starts laughing maniacally. Shulato isn't amused and demands what he can find so enjoyable about destroying things and killing people. Gai says that destruction itself is fun, and it needs no reason. Destruction is the only truth to be found. Shulato ignores what he says and tells him to get out of the way, because he's going to kill Shiva. Gai doesn't think Shulato can do it. In 10,000 years of peace, the Deva gods have gotten weak. Brahma is gone, and Vishnu soon will be. Without them, the Deva gods have no chance.

Vishnu is dying. She tells Lakshu that she must now protect Tenkuukai in her place. Lakshu begs Vishnu not to say that. She doesn't think she can do it. There's no way she can replace someone as great as Vishnu! But Vishnu has confidence in her. She says to take things one moment at a time. In time, she'll know all she needs to. With that, Vishnu's body distinigrates. The explosion of gold light engulfs all of Tenkuuden before finally fading away.

Gai says that since not even Vishnu could stand up to Shiva's black Sohma, the rest of Tenkuukai doesn't have a chance. Shulato loses his temper and is about to attack Gai, when Shiva appeared. She says that this is exactly what she likes to see- people's eyes fill with hatred and anger. Seeing his target, Shulato tries to call the Brahma Shakti. Shiva isn't impressed. True, the Brahma Shakti was prowerful, but that was when Brahma himself had it. Shulato is certainly not Brahma. He still doesn't have complete control of the Shakti. Without it, he doesn't have a chance.

Shiva offers to tell Shulato something he's always wanted to know- why Gai was reincarnated as his enemy. That was Shiva's doing. 10,000 years ago, she awakened the black Sohma inside YashaOh. At the instant she was sealed in the Idoukyuu, she sent one last blast of black Sohma to YashaOh, knowing it would reawaken in 10,000 years.

Shulato curses Shiva for turning Gai against him. Gai, however, disagrees. He had always been embarassed about their friendship. Shiva did not create anything that wasn't already there. Shiva says that dark Sohma is in everyone- including Shulato. She did not make Gai's Sohma black. She just reawakened the black Sohma he already had (and probably did the same with Indrah, too). Consumed with anger, Shulato rushes to attack Gai, yelling that he has no black Sohma.

As they fight, Shiva laughs. Friends killing each other is exactly what she wanted. Hatred and anger give her black Sohma power. She uses the new power to send another wave of black Sohma across Tenkuukai. Lakshu senses the wave and knows what she must do. She climbs onto Vishnu's dais and uses her Sohma to create a new barrier, keeping the black wave out of Tenkuuden.

Shulato and Gai continue to fight. Gai seems to have the upper hand and comments that maybe Brahma chose the wrong successor. Shulato yells that the black Sohma was the reason Brahma rejected Gai. This shocks Gai and he drops his guard. Shulato takes advantage of it and through him against a wall, attacking mercilessly. By now, he is so consumed with rage that he can think of nothing but pummeling his former friend.

With one last blow, he blasts Gai through the wall and onto the floor. As he does so, his suddenly realizes that his Sohma has changed. Inside of being white, it's now black, just like Gai's! Shiva was right! Black Sohma is everyone, including him. And he had been playing right into Shiva's hands by fighting his friend. If he kills Gai, he'd be doing exactly what Shiva wanted.

Gai gets up and charges. With his Sohma still glowing black, Shulato realizes that black Sohma can't be defeated by fighting. He doesn't even move as Gai impales him with his sword.

Gai is surprised, but pleased. He thinks he's won. But Shulato's next move surprises him more. Ignoring the sword still sticking through him, Shulato embraces Gai and tells him he's lost.

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