OniRed and OniYellow collapsed to the ground, their Titan forms shattered by the Kurayami's mysterious smog. The black smoke filled the city, as far as the magical Ningen barrier would allow.
"What the hell…" Eiji gasped as he tugged on the collar of his tunic. "I can barely breathe."
"It feels like I'm suffocating in this mask." Hideo said. As his gloved fingers pried at his red mask.
Towering over them, the large Kurayami stood silent as the magical smoke poured from its body. "More…MORE!" It mumbled over and over as the city grew dark.
"We've got to retreat for now." OniRed panted as he forced himself off of the ground. "Use the trick Sanjo taught you"
"R-Right..." Oni Yellow stammered. "Ningen Chant: Chirikumo!" With what little strength he had left, Eiji smashed his fist into the ground, sending a large cloud of dust and debris into the air. By the time the dirt settled, the OniRangers had vanished.
Gin placed Sanjo gently on the couch and began to pace the room frantically. "Okay, don't panic..." He whispered to himself. "Sanjo's down, the guys are who-knows-where and you have no idea what's going on. But don't panic."
"Who's got time to panic?" Hideo voice called out. In a puff of dust and debris, Eiji and Hideo reappeared. They looked tired – barely able to hold each other up. With their free hands, they held their respective Fukumen, unable to maintain their morphed state.
"Guys" Gin shouted with relief as he flung his arms around his comrades. "What the hell is going on up there?"
"Something big." Hideo replied. "We're going to need-"
"Sanjo!" Eiji cried out, rushing towards the unconscious shaman. "What happened?"
"I-I don't know" Gin said. "One minute we were talking, the next minute she cried out in pain and collapsed."
"It's probably because the Kurayami reappeared, supersized." Hideo deduced. "We all fell under its effect this time."
"But I'm okay now." Eiji said. "Why hasn't it worn off for Sanjo?"
For a moment, the room was silent as everyone tried to come up with some answers.
"The Ningen Chants..." Hideo deduced again. "Eiji, we can only use a few techniques, and only when powered by the Fukumen's Strength and Skill. "
"But Sanjo can use magic even without her mask." Gin said, continuing Hideo's train of thought. "Her mask enhances the power she already has."
"So whatever this smog is..." Eiji said, finally starting to clue in.
"It's effecting our Ningen senses." Hideo concluded. "And Sanjo is feeling the full effect."
"T-That's horrible." Gin sat down as he tried to take the new information in. "So...what do we do?"
Again the room was silent. Hideo circled the basement, watching the defeated looks on the other two's faces.
"I guess there is no point opening the new exhibit then..." Gin sighed. "Professor Sou will not be happy about that..."
"You know a lot of professors." Eiji groaned. "What does this guy do?"
"He worked with my dad too." Gin said. "Infact, he was one of the last people to see him before he..." he trailed off for a moment but continued. "Anyway, he sent over a few crates of some really cool artifacts he says come from his OWN ancestors."
"The Sou Tribe..." Sanjo groaned as she finally stirred.
"Sanjo!" The boys all cried out as they rushed to her side, helping her sit up.
"Are you alright?" Eiji asked, grabbing Sanjo's arm. "You're white as a ghost."
"I will be fine...for now." Sanjo said. She placed her other hand over Eiji's and tried to give him a reassuring look. "My senses are starting to adapt now that I know what we are dealing with."
"You do?" Hideo asked.
Sanjo nodded. "I was not certain at first but, now that the monster's magic is stronger, I defiantly recognize it. This magic was used many years ago during the first battles between my tribe and the Kurayami."
"That's not very reassuring..." Eiji said, standing up.
"Indeed it is not." Sanjo agreed. "Back then, before the barrier, Kurayami were capable of performing this spell with ease. It cost my people many lives. "
"But the barrier is supposed to keep the Kurayami's magic under control." Hideo pondered. "If they could do this the whole time, why wait until now?"
"In one thousand years, I have yet to understand the minds of a demon." Sanjo replied. "But I know who did."
Kibala stood up, fixated on the energy she could feel above her. "This spell…So that was his plan."
Ohjah punched the wall in frustration. "How dare he use our power like that? Why did I ever agree to follow him? He won't even tell us his name."
"Do not be selfish, Ohjah. As the barrier above weakens, I can feel my body growing stronger – even in this drained state. I feel our 'leader' already knew this." Kibala opened her palm, letting a stream of dark blue magic flow around the two.
"And that it should be just enough to get us out of here."
The two began to chuckle wickedly as the magic enveloped them and they faded away.
The young warriors ran down the halls of the museum, heading towards the main exhibit.
"And you're sure one of these boxes has the answer?" Gin panted as he tried to keep up.
"If even one piece is enchanted, then I can access all we need." Sanjo replied. She still looked very ill, but kept pace with the rest of the group. "The Sou Tribe were meticulous record keepers."
As the group entered the main room. Most of the artifacts had yet to be set up. As the group slowed down, their attention was drawn above them. Through the glass ceiling, the monster could be seen towering over the city. It remained motionless, letting the smog flow from its body.
"Well we better hurry. The tree won't last long if we never see sunlight again." Gin joked, trying to keep the mood up.
"Let us pray that this works." Sanjo stated as she rose Mystic Staff infront of her. "So that we may all see a sunrise tomorrow."
The shaman closed her eyes and tried her hardest to focus her magic through the curse of the smog.
"I'm using a simple detection spell." She explained. "The enchanted items should reveal themselves."
Several boxes around the group began to glow. From each box, objects began to rise. Some were broken tablets, some were tattered books, yet some were as simple as an old toy.
"Of the great warriors that fought in the final battle, only one of us was from the Sou Tribe." Sanjo continued. "He created magical weapons that we could use with our Fukumen. It was his knowledge that helped forge weapons such as our YuraYura Kanabou and this staff. But that is not all they made."
The artifacts began to swirl around the group. Strange symbols began to float around them as well, flying around the room in random directions.
"Can you read any of this?" Hideo yelled through the excitement.
Sanjo was silent. Her eyes darted around the room, catching every symbol as it flew past her. "I have access to the Sou Tribe's lexicon...but it is fractured, incomplete."
"What about the section called "Stop the giant fog monster?" Eiji asked. "Is that still there?"
"I cannot…yes!" Sanjo gasped. The objects surrounding them crashed to the floor and the symbols faded away. She turned to face the group. "They are still here, which means I may have a plan."
Kibala and Ohjah appeared on top of a tall building close to the giant Kurayami. The two almost collapsed as they faded into view.
"This is your plan?" Ohjah hissed. "We are so low on power that even we are under the effects of this fog."
"Patience." Kibala retorted, staring up at the monster. "You will adapt. The closer we are to our own power, the quicker it will return to us. Just sit down and enjoy the show." The masked Kurayami chuckled to herself as she watched the three OniRangers run through the streets towards the giant monster.
The OniRangers skidded to a halt as they reached their destination. They looked as if they could barely hold themselves up under the pressure of the spell.
Kagedoron began to appear from every corner, forming a small army around the three heroes.
"Sanio, we'll hold these guys off." OniRed commanded. "Take position and prepare."
"Right." Sanjo nodded. With a wave of her Mystic Staff, the shaman struck a section of Kagedoron with her magic, clearing a path for herself to jump through.
"Y'know…" OniYellow said as he rested his Strong Hammer on his shoulders. "We don't stand much of a chance winning this."
"Since when are you such a downer, Eiji?" OniRed mocked as his grazed his hand against the blade of his Skilled Sword. "Haven't you learned anything about us yet?"
"Yeah yeah, I know." The barbarian sighed as he turned back-to-back with his partner.
The two charged towards the mob, raising their weapons high.
OniBlue made her way to the rooftops. She needed to get as close to the Kurayami as possible if her plan had any chances of succeeding.
She could feel the air getting thicker. Using her staff as support, she gradually made her way to the edge of the roof. She was almost chest level with the monster by now. "This will have to do…" She said aloud to herself.
The sound of footsteps caused the shaman to turn around. Surrounding her was another group of Kagedoron. They began to close in on her, leaving Sanjo with less and less roof to stand on. The warrior rose her staff, ready to fight to the death if needed.
A blast of dark blue magic dissolved the Kagedoron into shadowy wisps. OniBlue watched as Kibala and Ohjah approached.
"Did you just…save my life?" Sanjo asked, totally confused.
"Don't think too much of it, Ningen." Ohjah hissed.
"For now, let's just say the enemy of my enemy…can be a useful tool." Kibala teased.
"But isn't destroying the barrier exactly what you want?" OniBlue asked. "Why would you want me to stop it?"
"If we can't enjoy the victory ourselves, what's the point?" Ohjah laughed. "We aren't going to be the pawns in Earth's destruction – we will be the leaders."
OniBlue stood silent for the moment. "Now is not the time to question your actions." She finally said. "I will take of you two when the time does come."
The shaman turned around and looked up at the giant Kurayami. Throughout all of this, the creature still stood motionless, letting its magic to all the work.
Sanjo spun her Mystic Staff around her body, moving the weapon in intricate patterns. As it spun, the circlet's rings began to glow.
"Sou Chant First." She called out. "Kusarikeimusho." As a final move, Sanjo smashed the base of her staff into the ground.
The ground began to shake violently throughout the city. As OniRed and OniYellow finished off the last of the Kagedoron around them, they watched as the pavement at their feet began to crack open.
"Sanjo, what the hell are you doing?" Hideo yelled out, his voice drowned out by the loud rumble that filled the streets.
From the four corners of the forest that surrounded Hikarienma large, white chains shot from the ground. Guided by spell, they flew high into the sky, converging on the city.
"What did you do?" Kibala cried out, watching as the chains came down, wrapping themselves around the monster from head to toe.
"An old trap we had hoped to use against your master, before we sealed him away." Sanjo explained. "Those chains bind both body and spirit, sealing off the dark magic."
"But you're sealing in our power as well!" Ohjah hissed as he withdrew his sword.
"Sou Chant Second" Sanjo continued, jamming her staff into the ground again. "Joukakeimusho"
The chains that bound the monster began to glow white hot. From within, the monster could be heard screaming. Ohjah and Kibala also began to scream in pain, collapsing to the ground.
A pulse of white energy shot out from the monster, filling the city in a dazzling light. The light faded, falling from the sky light glowing snowflakes. The black fog began to dissipate, clearing the skies once more.
"She did it!" Eiji exclaimed. "I'm already feeling lighter." The yellow warrior began to dance around the street, hopping around the cracked pavement.
"Great, then you won't mind finishing off him?" OniRed pointed at the large Kurayami. The chains that bound it began to dissolve, disappearing in the same magical light.