Shulato #4

"An Explosion!? Awake, Sohma!"

Synopsis by Arcadia

On the Mahava, the remaining Hachibushu learn of Ryouma's defection. Kuuya wonders why he'd do it. Renge doesn't care, saying that everyone who goes against Indrah is her enemy. Gai is amused, but she says that goes for him, too. Dan insists that he's not a spy, and only wants to save Vishnu. Kuuya says he's not a traitor, either. Gai interrupts, saying that fighting would only help their enemy, and leaves.

Dan gets mad, saying that since Gai had only just been reincarnated, he was in no position to be in command. Renge tells him to stop, saying that since Indrah put him in charge, insulting Gai is the same as insulting Indrah.

Later that night, Renge calls her servants, Takshaka and Ranban. The rest of the Hachibushu are sleeping, but Renge says she can't sleep as long as Indrah's orders remain unfulfilled. The three of them set off after Shulato and the others.

Shulato has caught a cold. He blames in on the difference in climates between Tokyo and Tenkuukai. Lakshu says he should have let her keep him warm. Ryouma says he should have trained more. Shulato gets mad and says he's trained in martial arts all his life. Ryouma says that was in the human world, and he hasn't had any training in Tenkuukai.

Hyuga comes back, wondering what's keeping them, and says they don't have time to chat about training. Shulato asks how long it'll take to reach Tenkuuden, thinking it's just over the next mountain. Hyuga says there are 10 or 20 mountains between them and Tenkuuden. Just thinking about the distance make Shulato hungry. Hyuga suggests they take a break, and Lakshu volunteers to go look for food. Ryouma says Lakshu's a good kid and Shulato should take care of her. Shulato insists there's nothing between them (cue spit-take!).

Suddenly, Lakshu screams. The other three run to find her. They find Lakshu stuck in a giant spider web. The giant spider isn't far away. Shulato tries to rescue Lakshu, but it batted away by the spider. Hyuga goes to help, but Ryouma stops him. Ryouma says this is a good opportunity for Shulato to train. Shulato's Sohma hasn't completely awakened. In that condition, any of the Hachibushu could defeat him easily.

The spider spits out bursts of slime, which Shulato dodges, but he still can't dodge all eight legs at once. Ryouma yells for him to awaken his Sohma, but Shulato doesn't know what he's talking about. Hyuga yells that it's the life force of Tenkuukai, the source of their power. Shulato asks how he's supposed to do that. Ryouma says to visualize and feel the Sohma flowing through him, but Shulato is too busy with the spider for that. The spider cornered him near a cliff. Shulato is determined to fight and suddenly his body starts to glow gold. "That's it!" Ryouma yells, but Shulato trips and loses it. Ryouma and Hyuga both let out bursts on Sohma, obliterating the spider.

Lakshu is free. Shulato says he could have defeated it easily if he had his Shakti, but Hyuga says that a Hachibushu should be able to defeat something like that even without a Shakti.

They see birds flying away and realize that their Sohma bursts would have alerted the enemy to their location. A fog rolls in. Hyuga says it's smoke, not fog.

Suddenly, throwing stars shoot at them. Hyuga notices just in time and everyone gets out of the way. They hear Renge saying she's finally found the traitors. They try to get her to listen to their story, but she refuses. Ranban creates more smoke, and they disappear. Shulato tries to use his Shakti, but Renge won't let him. She casts a Nahra Musouka at him, which sends him over the cliff.

Mayuri catches him before he hits the ground. Sallas catches his Veda.

Hyuga (carrying Lakshu) tries to tell Renge that's he's trying to save Vishnu, but Renge doesn't believe him. Ryouma says he'll fight until the end, but Hyuga says that their opponents are their comrades, and they shouldn't fight them.

Takshaka says he'll take Ryouma's head. Ryouma tells him to go ahead and try. Hyuga again tries to tell Renge that Indrah turned Vishnu to stone, but she still won't hear it. She says he really must have gone rogue if he'll blame Indrah for his own crimes.

Shulato wakes up, surprised that he's still alive. He remembers what Ryouma said about visualizing his Sohma, and says it's harder than it sounds.

Flashback. Shulato finds Gai lying on the floor of the dojo and thinks he's asleep. Their teacher says he's doing visualization training. If he visualizes the fight beforehand, the real one will be easier, because he will have already done the moves once. Shulato decides to try it and lies down. However, he falls asleep soon after.

Shulato realizes what he has to do to awaken his Sohma. He holds his Veda and starts concentrating. Meanwhile, several more giant spiders start ganging up on him. He starts to retreat, but he hears Sallas's voice telling him not to. She tells him to close his eyes and concentrate on his Sohma, otherwise it won't awaken.

Shulato concentrates, blocking out everything else. Soon, the gold light returns and he hears Sallas chanting. He chants to words himself. When he opens his eyes, the spiders are gone, with only a burned-out crater left. Sallas tells him to go back to his friends.

Shulato rides his Valuda to the top of the cliff. Sallas and Mayuri watch. When he's gone, Mayuri says they have other duties and don't have time to watch. Sallas agrees, but says she likes that boy.

Lakshu is hiding behind a tree. Ranban comes up behind her and grabs her. Lakshu's scream distracts Hyuga and Renge's whip nails him in the face. Ryouma is fighting Takshaka, but he's concentrating on it so hard that he doesn't see Ranban coming from above. Ranban's spear hits him in the shoulder. Takshaka moves in to finish the job, but Shulato's Valuda pushes him out of the way.

Shulato transforms. He tells Hyuga to take care of Ryouma. Takshaka attacks, and gets hit by a blast of Sohma from Shulato. Renge, Takshaka and Ranban attack together. Shulato starts chanting and casts a Shura Mahaken. Takshaka and Ranban are disintegrated, but Renge gets away.

Everyone is surprised by the power of the technique, especially Shulato. Hyuga says it'll get more powerful if he practices. The Mahava moves away and the sun shines down on them.

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