Land of the Rising Sun: Chapter Ten

A Spider’s Web

 

A car rode through a dark tunnel outside of Tokyo. A family was inside the vehicle. They were on their way to a vacation at one of the country’s other prefectures.

 

A dark figure suddenly dropped in front of the car. The humanoid creature had a face and arms resembling a spider. Its eyes shined with yellow light.

 

The creature smashed in the windshield of the car. The Youkai thwipped a web strand and dragged the family from the car while wrapping them with strands of webbing.

 

A young boy watched from the shadows, his eyes wide open with fear.

 

***

 

Nekomaru was driving towards the other end of the tunnel. The rangers were on their way back to Tokyo after battling a Youkai in the wilderness.

 

A young boy suddenly ran from the tunnel. Nekomaru swerved to avoid hitting the child and came to a stop. The van doors opened as the teens stepped outside.

 

“Are you alright?” Trini asked as she and the teens walked over to the boy.

 

He nodded and frantically tried to explain in Japanese what he saw inside the tunnel.

 

Jonathan listened and nodded. He looked to the other rangers when the boy was finished. “He says he saw a monster down there trash someone’s car,” Jonathan said as he pointed down the tunnel.

 

Youkai…” Jason said.

 

The rangers stepped closer to the tunnel. They saw a pair of yellow lights deep within. But it was only a tow truck. The tow truck drove from the tunnel and passed the rangers while heading down the road. The truck had a damaged car on its flat bed.

 

The boy started jabbering in Japanese while tugging on Jonathan’s sleeve.

 

“That’s the car,” Jonathan translated for the teens.

 

“Let’s go take a look,” Jason said as they went inside the tunnel.

 

The boy led the rangers further down the dark tunnel. They stopped in the center of the tunnel as the boy explained what happened. “He says there were people webbed up here,” Jonathan said.

 

“Where did they go then?” Richie asked.

 

Trini narrowed her eyes as she looked towards the end of the tunnel. “That truck…”

 

Jason nodded. “Let’s go find that truck.”

 

***

 

Jason, Zack, and Jonathan were wearing their ninja garb while moving across the rooftops of an industrial area at night. The industrial area was near the tunnel, on the outskirts of the city.

 

The three teens flipped through the air and landed on the rooftop of a towing company without making a sound. They opened a skylight on the roof and hopped downward, landing in the garage below. The teens split up and started searching the garage.

 

Jonathan found the torn car and peered inside. A man dressed in overalls stepped out from the shadows behind him. Jonathan turned around and snapped into a fighting stance, but he was too late.

 

The man extended his hand and thwipped a web line that wrapped around Jonathan, binding his arms to his side as he crashed to the ground.

 

“Gross!” Jonathan shouted.

 

“Jonathan!” Jason shouted from the other end of the garage.

 

“Guys!” Jonathan yelled back.

 

Jason and Zack dashed forward to help their friend. The man’s body rippled as he transformed into the spider-like Youkai named Tsuchigumo.

 

The monster extended his hand and fired a strand of webbing towards the two teens. The rangers rolled aside and unsheathed their swords. Jason and Zack sprang forward and leapt through the air to attack in unison.

 

With a single swing of its arm, the Youkai parried the rangers’ blows and swiped them from the air.

 

The monster moved forward and lifted Jonathan over his shoulder. The creature leapt through the air with spider-like agility while carrying Jonathan over its shoulder. The Youkai crashed through a window and escaped.

 

“Jonathan!” Zack shouted.

 

***

 

Richie and Jonathan were standing watch at the boy’s home while the others investigated the truck. They did not want to leave the child alone.

 

Richie sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. He hated waiting.

 

Jason and Zack ran up to the house in their normal clothes. “They’ve got Jonathan,” Jason told them.

 

Then they heard a scream come from inside the house. It was the boy. The four rangers ran inside just as the spider Youkai leapt through a window with the boy slung over his shoulder.

 

“Damn,” Richie said.

 

The rangers leapt through the window and landed outside. They saw the Youkai toss the boy onto the flat bed of the tow truck before driving off. The rangers ran onto Nekomaru and followed.

 

***

 

The teens arrived at a warehouse the next morning. They had followed the Youkai from a distance and led the monster to believe they could not keep up their pursuit. The rangers crouched behind a pile of crates and watched the warehouse, looking for a way in.

 

A car slowly pulled up in front of the warehouse entrance. Juniya stepped out with his guitar slung over his shoulder and walked inside.

 

Zack narrowed his eyes, thinking of the Youkai child that the prince had killed. “Juniya…” He nearly pounced forward, but Jason held him back. “Let me go.”

 

“No,” Jason said. “We need to do this quietly. Come on, Zack...stay cool…”

 

Zack sighed and nodded reluctantly.

 

“Alright,” Trini said. “Let’s go in after them. Quietly.”

 

Wa-” Jason was going to tell them to wait, but they were already off. Jason stayed back. Someone needed to stay outside the warehouse as a watch/rear guard.

 

***

 

Zack, Richie, and Trini were in their ninja garb while sneaking in the back of the warehouse. They moved through the shadows, passing by boxes and crates.

 

But a trap door suddenly opened beneath them, and they fell down into a dark rocky cavern.

 

Juniya stepped towards the trapdoor and leaned over while looking down at the rangers. “You fell right into my trap…wait…where’s Ninjared?…Hmph…No matter. Welcome to my web, Rangers!”

 

The trap door swung closed.

 

The rangers heard whispering noises from further down the cavern. Webbing lined the walls. Trini unsheathed her sword. The others did the same as they moved down the tunnel of rock.

 

Webbing became thicker the further forward they moved. The rangers eventually made it to a small cave-like area.

 

The spider Youkai dropped down from above and knocked the teens away while making a hissing sound.

 

The rangers armed their morphers. “Shogun transform!” Energy swirled around them as they morphed into their Ranger forms.

 

Ninjawhite swung her blade downward towards the monster. The Youkai used its claws to parry the blow and slash across Ninjawhite’s chest, sparking on impact.

 

Ninjablack and Ninjablue spun forward from the monster’s side while swinging their swords high and low. The spider somersaulted backward through the air while kicking the blades away. The Youkai landed and pounced forward, using each clawed hand to grab the Black Ranger and Blue Ranger by the throats.

 

Ninjawhite charged at the monster from behind.

 

The Youkai tossed the Black Ranger and Blue Ranger backward, slamming them against the White Ranger.

 

***

 

Juniya circled around the warehouse outside, searching for Ninjared. The Youkai prince could tell he was being watched. His enemy was near.

 

The villain snapped around and fired a pulse of crimson energy that exploded against a warehouse roof, knocking Jason off the warehouse with a shockwave.

 

Jason, in his ninja garb, twisted through the air and landed in a crouched fighting stance below. “Not bad,” Jason said.

 

“Thank you…Jason…” Juniya ran towards Jason while his body rippled and transformed into his skeleton monster form.

 

Jason dashed forward while arming his morpher. “Shogun transform!” Energy swirled around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Ninjared unsheathed his sword and hopped forward while swinging the blade towards Juniya’s head. Juniya slapped the blade aside and slashed across Ninjared’s armor with an x-shaped pattern, blade sparking on impact.

 

***

 

Ninjablue rolled across the ground and rolled into a crouched fighting stance. He looked up just as the spider slashed a claw upward across his chest, sparking against the Blue Ranger’s armor and knocking him backward.

 

Jonathan struggled from within his web cocoon as he watched his friends battle. “Guys!”

 

Ninjablack unsheathed his short dagger and ran forward to attack the Youkai monster. “Hang on Jonathan!” the Black Ranger shouted.

 

Ninjablack leapt downward towards the monster while swinging both blades. The spider Youkai caught the weapons and kicked the Black Ranger upside the head.

 

The spider Youkai spun a web net that wrapped around Ninjablack and Ninjablue.

 

Ninjawhite moved in towards the monster’s side. The creature snapped around while swinging its claws across the White Ranger’s armor, sparking on impact.

 

“Trini, no!” Jonathan yelled.

 

***

 

Juniya was forcing the Red Ranger back with a steady pace of steps. Ninjared kept swinging his blade at the Youkai prince, but Juniya kept parrying each blow with ease as he pressed the Red Ranger backward.

 

Juniya struck back with a powerful horizontal swing that slashed across the Red Ranger’s armor. The blow sparked on impact and forced the Red Ranger backward.

 

Juniya grabbed Ninjared by the throat. The Youkai prince lifted Ninjared by the neck and tossed him through the air. Ninjared slammed through a piles of crates and tumbled across the ground.

 

Ninjared rolled back into a fighting stance, but Juniya extended his palm and fired a stream of violet-crimson energy that exploded against the Red Ranger’s armor and sent him flying backward.

 

***

 

The spider Youkai slashed across Ninjawhite’s armor again. The Ranger crashed against the ground. The spider Youkai stalked forward.

 

“No!” Jonathan shouted as he was forced to watch the monster stalk towards Trini. Anger welled inside of him. He had to help her. He could not let her be hurt. Ever. “Ninpo!”

 

Yellow lightning flashed around the cocoon as Jonathan tore free from the web and armed his morpher. “Shogun transform!” Energy swirled around him as he morphed into his Ranger form.

 

Ninjayellow flipped off the ground and landed between the Youkai and Ninjawhite. Ninjayellow unsheathed his sword and swung downward diagonally, his blade sparking on impact. He twisted his wrists and brought the sword back upward, slashing against the monster and knocking it backward.

 

Ninjayellow’s blade energized. “Hidden-style Triangle cut!” With streaks of yellow energy, his sword swung in a triangle pattern while slashing across the monster, causing massive bursts of spark to knock the Youkai backward.

 

The monster slowly rose to its feet. A burst of lightning crashed through the cave ceiling and struck the Youkai. The monster used the blast to grow giant and crash through the warehouse above.

 

***

 

The warehouse exploded with a massive blast that sent Ninjared flying off his feet. The Ranger crashed against the ground and quickly rose into a crouched position. Juniya was gone when the Ranger looked up.

 

The Rangers regrouped on the surface and looked up to the giant monster. The Rangers readied their scrolls.

 

Shogunzords awaken!” They shouted. The five mighty zords rose from the earth as energy surged around them. The Rangers hovered backward and merged into their zords with pulses of light.

 

Shogunzord fusion!” Red Ape shouted.

 

The five zords stampeded forward. Each zord flashed with energy and started to reconfigure. The zords merged together, armor meshing and energy crackling with booming thunder. A flash of golden light erupted from the zords as they formed the ShogunMegazord.

 

The spider Youkai leapt towards the ShogunMegazord. The Megazord smashed the back of its fist across the monster, swatting it from the air like a bug.

 

ShogunMegazord Saber, ignite!” the Rangers shouted as the Megazord armed its slender golden blade.

 

The blade pulsed with fiery energy. ShogunMegazord swung the weapon down with a streak of flame. The glowing saber tore through the spider Youkai. The monster fell backward, its energy overloading and exploding. The creature’s fiery ashes turned to dust before fading in the wind.

 

***

 

The rangers gathered outside Nekomaru after freeing the rest of the spider’s captives from beneath the rubble of the warehouse.

 

Trini walked over towards Jonathan.

 

“Hey,” he said, his face turning slightly red.

 

“Thanks,” Trini said. “For helping us down there. That was…brave.”

 

Jonathan’s pulse quickened. Trini smiled at his embarrassment and walked away. Jonathan sighed and leaned against the van. He banged the back of his head against the door.

 

To be continued…Chapter 11