Land of the Rising Sun: Chapter Seven
The Hana Rangers watched as Ninjared’s body plummeted towards the rocky creek below while sparks tore across his body. The Hana smiled beneath their helmets as they saw his limp form crash into the creek.
The Hana returned to their ninja uniforms and dashed down to ground level to inspect their handiwork. Hana Blue walked over towards the fallen Red Ranger’s body and turned him face up. She and the others took a step back in shock. It was a dummy. Ninjared had escaped, using one of the oldest tricks in ninja history.
“He can’t have gotten far,” Hana Blue said.
Hana Orange noticed a trail of blood leading away from the shore. “Look,” she said to alert her teammates.
“Follow it,” Hana Blue said as she and the others dashed forward, following the trail.
Jason hurried through the forest while in his ninja outfit. He limped on his injured leg and clutched his arm but kept moving forward despite the pain. He needed a plan fast.
Jason stopped in his tracks when he noticed small drips of blood from behind him. He was unintentionally leaving a trail for the Hana to follow. The blood loss also explained his intense dizziness.
Jason covered up his wound and climbed up the nearest tree. He made it to the top of the branches before leaping to another tree, and then another, backtracking along his own path of blood as the Hana Ninja passed by underneath him.
The Hana crouched to the ground where the trail of blood stopped.
“He tricked us,” Hana Green said. “Clever little brat.”
“Let’s go,” Hana Orange said as she led her teammates away. Jason followed them back to their base.
The Hana and barbarian Youkai, named the Shuten Douji Brothers, gathered in an old two-story warehouse covered with run-down metal siding. Jason stood outside and peeked through a window, watching as the Hana Ninja regrouped with the two Youkai monsters.
Jason could not see his friends but spotted Nekomaru parked inside near the back of the warehouse.
The teen snuck around the back of the warehouse, staying out of sight. A pin drop would have made more noise. He snuck underneath a hole in the rear of the wall and moved towards Nekomaru.
Jason entered the back door of the van and moved towards a side panel along the van’s interior. He pulled a small black bag from the van before leaving.
Jason stood at the rear of the van and looked up. He spotted a duct system that looked large enough to support him. Jason quickly hopped on the top of the van and pushed off to swing into the vent system.
Jason crawled through the vent shaft as quickly as possible. He wormed his way to a small grate that looked down to the main room. The Youkai monsters and Hana were beneath him.
He also spotted the other four rangers in their ninja outfits. Each was tied and bound with their arms behind their backs.
Juniya and the Youkai scientist Yugami entered the room. Juniya wrinkled his brow as he looked at the kidnapped rangers. The Youkai prince was disappointed. “There’s only four. Where’s the fifth?”
“I-” Hana Blue started to say.
“Get back out and find him,” Juniya said.
The Hana Ninja bowed their heads at their master and darted out of the warehouse.
The doctor paced around the two barbarian Youkai. “I could do some interesting things with these two. I need to plan first, of course.”
Juniya nodded. “Come…” The Youkai left the warehouse.
Jason pulled out a small screw and slowly drilled a hole in the vent. He pulled a thin, razor-edged wire from the black bag and lowered it down the hole, dangling it down towards the captured rangers below.
Trini grabbed the wire behind her back and started cutting against the rope.
Juniya, Yugami, the Shuten Douji Brothers, and the Hana Ninja were outside the warehouse along with Dorodoro when they heard laughter split through the air. They snapped to attention as their eyes darted back and forth in search of trouble.
“You missed one!” Jason shouted from the warehouse.
The Youkai turned to see Jason and the other four rangers standing on a fire escape that ran along the side of the warehouse.
The teens readied their morphers. “Shogun Transform…Ninja, Power!” they shouted as energy swirled around them and they morphed into their Ranger forms. They snapped into fighting stances.
Together, they shouted. “Shogun Task Force, Ninja Rangers!”
A cloud of sparks gently flowed across the Hana as they transformed into their Ranger armor.
Hana Blue pointed up at the Rangers. “You are still no match for us!”
“You wanna fight, you got it!” Ninjared shouted as he and the other Rangers leapt downward towards their enemy.
Ninjablack drop kicked a soldier in the chest, knocking the grunt back against two of the other soldiers. A second grunt lunged towards the Black Ranger with a jagged blade. Ninjablack knocked the soldier’s wrist away and slammed a spin kick across the grunt’s head.
“Shinobi Knuckle!” Ninjablack shouted. He activated his black and gold knuckles and launched a flurry of punches that exploded against the grunts.
“Shinobi Crossbow!” he shouted as he armed a miniature crossbow mounted on his fist. The Black Ranger aimed his cross bow forward and fired darts of energy that exploded against a group of Dorodoro with bursts of spark.
Hana Green and Hana Orange moved towards the Black Ranger with their sabers in hand. Ninjablack unsheathed his sword and stepped back into a defensive stance. The two Hana charged at him and swung their swords, but Ninjablack slapped their blades away as he dashed past them.
The Black Ranger spun around and swung his blade through a horizontal arc that slashed across Hana Green’s back with a burst of spark. Ninjablack twisted his wrists and swung his blade towards Hana Orange. Hana Orange blocked the blow as the Black Ranger’s saber clashed against her own.
Hana Orange knocked the Black Ranger’s saber away and swung her weapon towards Black Ranger’s stomach. Ninjablack brought his blade downward to parry the blow, then swung upward in a powerful slash that sparked across Hana Orange’s armor and knocked her backward.
Nearby, Ninjablue rolled into a crouched position as a group of Dorodoro charged towards him. The Blue Ranger leaned back and snapped a volley of throwing blades that exploded against the soldiers, ripping through them as sparks exploded across their bodies.
Ninjablue sprang to his feet and unsheathed his sword as the Dorodoro came closer. He dashed past a grunt while slicing through its gut. Blue Ranger spun forward with an upward slash across a soldier’s chest and a horizontal swing that cut across another grunt’s throat.
Slightly farther from the warehouse, Ninjawhite unsheathed her sword as a group of Dorodoro surrounded her.
A soldier lunged towards the White Ranger with his blade. Ninjawhite sidestepped and slammed the handle of her weapon against the back of the grunt’s neck. The soldier crashed to the ground as Ninjawhite spun forward with a diagonal strike that slashed across a soldier’s chest.
The White Ranger looked to her right as a soldier charged towards her and swung his blade down towards her head. Ninjawhite slapped the sword away and ran her own blade through the soldier’s chest.
Hana Pink and Hana Violet charged towards the White Ranger with their blades held outward.
White Ranger parried Hana Violet’s sword and slammed a right inner crescent kick/left roundhouse kick combo that smashed across the villain’s head. Hana Violet swung her sword towards Ninjawhite, but the White Ranger vanished in the blink of an eye.
The two Hana stood side-by-side, expecting another attack.
Ninjawhite suddenly appeared hovering in the air from the villains’ side. White Ranger extended her hands as a cloud of diamonds formed in front of her. “Ninpo Shard Attack!” she shouted. The shards shot forward like an energized diamond storm that exploded across the two Hana Rangers’ armor.
Meanwhile, Hana Blue and Dorodoro charged towards Ninjayellow. Ninjayellow snapped a volley of throwing blades that exploded against the grunts, stripping Hana Blue of her soldier escorts. The Yellow Ranger unsheathed his sword and swung the blade towards the Hana. They clashed blades high and low.
Ninjayellow slapped Hana Blue’s sword wide and swung downward, his blade sparking across her chest upon impact.
Nearby, the two barbarian Youkai stood on opposite sides of Ninjared. The villains charged forward to attack. The blue-skinned barbarian chopped down towards the back of the Ranger’s head while the orange-skinned Youkai swung horizontally. Ninjared ducked and sidestepped to avoid both blows.
Red Ranger slashed his blade upward across the blue-skinned barbarian’s back and slammed a sidekick against the orange-skinned villain’s face.
The blue-skinned Youkai swung its blade towards the Red Ranger’s chest. Ninjared lifted his saber to parry the blow, but the villain’s double-edged sword was too powerful and slashed across Red Ranger’s chest with a burst of spark.
The blue-skinned Youkai swung his blade towards Red Ranger’s back. Ninjared turned and blocked the blow, which nearly sent him crashing to his knees. The orange-skinned Youkai charged in behind the Red Ranger. Ninjared turned, keeping his blade pressed against the other Youkai’s sword, but positioning the weapon to block the orange-skinned villain’s blade.
Ninjared clenched his jaw beneath his helmet. His wrist and arm had nearly snapped off from their swings.
Ninjared slid his saber away while ducking to the side. The two Youkai fell forward while swinging their blades against each other, sparking and knocking them backward.
Ninjared rolled back to his feet and formed a hand sign. “Ninpo Fire Attack!” Comets of fire circled around the Ranger before shooting forward. The fiery comets exploded against the Youkai monsters and sent them flying backward as explosions tore across their bodies with bursts of spark and flame.
The villains quickly regrouped and slammed their swords against the ground. An energy wave tore forward through the earth and exploded beneath the Red Ranger’s feet. The blast knocked Ninjared backward and sent him slamming against a tree before he crashed onto the ground.
Ninjared used his sword to steady himself as he rose to his feet. “It’s about time I cut you two muscle brains down to size…”
The Red Ranger’s sword started to glow with pale blue light as he slowly swung the blade in a circular pattern. “Hidden-style Full Moon Cut!” he shouted. He swung the blade sideways with a streak of energy that exploded against the monsters and knocked them backward.
The Rangers regrouped around Ninjared as the monsters slowly stumbled back to their feet. They extended their hands towards the sky as a dark cloud appeared in the air. Bolts of lightning shot down and struck the monsters, charging their cells with energy and expanding them to giant size.
The Rangers pulled out their coins. “Battlezords, power up!” they shouted and tossed the coins into the air with streaks of golden energy. The coins flashed as the five slender Battlezords appeared. The Rangers merged with the Battlezords and willed the zords to snap into fighting stances.
The Youkai scientist Yugami teleported enhancements onto the giant barbarians. Thick-plated chest armor formed over their bodies, and blade blasters ran along their arms.
The monsters extended their blade blasters and fired pulses of energy that exploded against the slender zords. Battle Ape leapt through the explosions and charged forward to attack. The red zord slammed a roundkick against the orange-skinned Youkai.
The blue-skinned barbarian swung its arm blade downward, slashing across the zord’s back with a massive burst of spark. The blue barbarian wrapped his arms around the zord’s arms and held Battle Ape in place.
The orange barbarian stood in front of the zord. The monster’s arm blade started to spin like a drill as he smiled with delight. The villain thrust his drill forward.
Battle Ape leapt away at the last second, and the drill slammed against the orange barbarian, knocking the monster backward.
Ninjared and the other Rangers leapt from their Battlezords. They needed heavier firepower.
“Shogunzords awaken!” The massive Shogunzords rose from the earth as the Rangers levitated backward and merged with their zords. The Shogunzords stood in attack formation and charged forward.
“Shogunzord Fusion!” the Rangers shouted. Their zords crackled with energy and started to reconfigure. The zords merged, armor fusing together and forming a giant shogun warrior.
“ShogunMegazord Saber!” the Rangers shouted, summoning the Megazord’s golden blade. “Ignite!”
The sword ignited with fiery energy and slashed downward, ripping through the two barbarians and tearing the Youkai apart. The monsters’ energy overloaded and exploded, their bodies turning to fiery ash that faded into nothingness.
“I’m glad that’s over,” Jonathan said as he and the others walked back towards Nekomaru.
“Could have been worse,” Zack said.
“I think it is,” Richie said.
“Why?” Jonathan asked.
“We’re still lost,” Richie said.
“Damn,” Zack kicked a stone. The stone knocked against the sign at the fork of the road and turned it around, back to its original position before the Hana manipulated it.
“Well let’s just follow the sign,” Zack said.
“Because that did so well last time,” Jonathan said sarcastically.
Trini moved closer to Jason. “You’re quiet.”
Jason nodded. “Those Hana Ninjas are still out there.”
“We’ll be fine, Jason,” she said. “I know it...”
To be continued…Chapter 08