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Chapter 18

Kisuke knocked on the door and then stepped back to wait. He took his hat off, wanting to be polite. The door opened to reveal Shinji, minus his trademark grin. "Good evening Shinji."

"Urahara," Shinji returned, closing the door after him. He led Kisuke into a room with a traditional Tokonoma, surprising to see considering the home owner was foreign.

He found the saying in calligraphy amusing but he also recognised it from his research as the Hogwarts school motto. He was given the seat of honour with his back to the display and he sat, Ichigo and Chad entering the room as he did. They all sat, and soon enough Harry appeared, carrying some of the food while the rest floated along behind him. Kisuke had to admit, it was the best meal he had had in a long time. it was an interesting mix of traditional and western foods. "An excellent meal," he offered with a smile.

"Thank you," Harry nodded at him. "I am sure you've realised we invited you over for a reason."

"Of course," he assumed they needed help with Ginjō and his group.

"Ginjō and his friends have been dealt with, they're either dead or have had their memories altered and powers sealed away," Shinji offered and Kisuke really wanted his fan at that instant to hide his shock. The smirk on Shinji's face said he was enjoying getting to shock him.

Kisuke was shocked and confused. How? Okay, maybe Potter could deal with their memories, if Shinji was carrying Kiokuchikan he may have helped, although they weren't all that reliable against those with Spiritual powers of their own. But to kill several of them without anyone feeling it? How? And now even Ichigo and Chad were smirking slightly! It was nice to see Ichigo show something other than a scowl, but not at his expense. "How can Soul Society not know?" he asked.

"Because I did it," Harry answered. "We've agreed to trust you with truths of the world that Soul Society appears totally ignorant of. You can't tell anyone, not yet, so do you want to know?"

Kisuke arched an eyebrow. "How could I not want to know?"


Shinji watched Kisuke walk away from the house, hoping they had done the right thing in bringing Kisuke in. The man had risked so much for the Visored, but he kept a lot of secrets and had his own plans. There was a reason Aizen had wanted him out of the way after all.

Harry stepped up beside him. "He can't tell anyone, and I will know if he tries," he assured the Captain who nodded. "Thanks, for being so supportive."

"Of course I was… what? What's with the look?"

"When was the last time you left your gigai?"

"Not for a while, why?" Shinji eyed him, confused.

"I think you should," was all he said, and Shinji frowned but left the false body, Harry catching it to ensure it wasn't damaged, though the thing was incredible sturdy. Shinji glanced down and the stared in shock, his Captain's haori and Shihakushō were gone, revealing an outfit very similar to Ichigo's. "Well, that's going to be hard to hide."

"Uh… how? When?" Shinji couldn't believe it and yet, in a way, this house felt more like home than Soul Society had in a very long time. if he was recalled, how would he explain this?


Yamamoto frowned as he looked over the latest report from the living world, all sign of Ginjō had vanished once again…no, his soul had been detected in one of the outer districts. How could he have died without anyone noticing? Should he recall Hirako to question? Contact Urahara? Then there were the strange readings they had been receiving from Hueco Mundo and rumours of vanishing souls in the outer most districts. The Twelfth Division had no answer, except that the worlds were becoming unbalanced with the disappearances.

Perhaps he should authorise the attempt to restore Kurosaki's power, they may need it. His own Bankai was too dangerous to allies, to the world, in a fight, and Aizen had proven that the idea of trapping his opponent would not necessarily work. They were more prepared for trouble now; the Captains had been shamed by their performances against Aizen into increasing their training and that of their Divisions. They should not need the Ryoka children against whatever was causing this. He would authorise full research in how to restore Kurosaki's powers, it was better to know how and never need it.


Uryū was confused. He'd been attacked, nearly killed, near the Kurosaki clinic. Something had definitely been going on and he had felt the need to watch over the girls since Ichigo no longer could. He hated Shinigami, but Ichigo had never truly been a Shinigami and he could see that now. He knew what it was like to lose your power, but they hadn't been close, and he had obeyed the elder Kurosaki in not speaking of Spiritual matters with the other teen. He now wondered if that had been an error. He'd spotted the distinctive orange hair once or twice around town but that was all.

When it seemed the clinic was being targeted he hadn't even considered not acting before perusing the man. Another attack or scouting mission should have occurred by now and yet nothing had happened. Had the Shinigami actually managed to do their jobs? It was unlikely, but perhaps Urahara had intervened. He didn't trust the exiled-Shinigami, but he trusted him more than the others of his kind. The man appeared genuinely fond of Ichigo in some way, he could see him handling an attacker against the family. He may need to approach the shopkeeper for answers.


Chad sat down, breathing heavily, even as Shinji tossed him a bottle of water. He'd fought a Captain before, had fought Arrancar, but Shinji was in some ways one of the hardest opponents he'd faced. He was as fast as Kyōraku had been, faster when he used his mask, but his fighting style was very different. He wasn't as blood thirsty or crazy as the Arrancar, thankfully. He was somewhere in-between them.

He needed the push in his training, he had slacked off since the end of the war. The attack on Ishida had pushed him back into training properly. He'd been doing some with Ichigo before, but that had been the kind they had done since meeting, not training his powers. He knew what he was now, a Fullbringer, and he needed to learn everything that entailed. According to Harry, something was coming, and he would fight it at Ichigo's side.


Kisuke frowned at the message from Soul Society, that was not at all good. What could be causing it? Was it whatever Harry had spoken of? A disturbance big enough to be impacting other death gods. He was still rather shocked by what he had been told at that dinner. To learn of a being above the Soul King, one whom was not happy with said King…he had never dreamed of such an idea. Though it explained a lot about the wizard and his interest in them. He would need to run his own checks and then he would take it all to Harry. Hopefully it would not mean another war so soon. There hadn't been a war in his lifetime until the Winter War, he had no desire to see another.


Harry stood at the top of Mount Everest, alone since it was winter and too dangerous for those wishing to scale the mountain. The news Urahara had passed on was not good. It looked like he hand was about to be forced. He would not allow another war and he would not use anyone to try and stop it without interfering directly. He had hoped that if given a chance, the Soul King would do his job, but it appeared he had no intention of doing so, despite having to know Death walked the world. Did he really think he would be allowed to keep going as he had been?

He was going to have to replace him entirely at this rate but at least he had some good candidates for the job. Poor surprised Shinji, though the rest of them had seen it coming. Chad would likely follow them in showing loyalty and he wondered if perhaps in time even Urahara would move beyond Soul Society. It didn't really matter if they did or didn't, it would change nothing, except reactions to them in Soul Society.

He finally vanished from the mountain top and returned home to find everyone asleep. He stripped and went to his own bed, calming his mind. He would need his rest before they made their move against whatever force was disrupting the afterlife. He had a bad feeling about what was coming, they would have to move their base to Soul Society to keep a closer watch on what was happening. Were the disappearing Souls being totally destroyed? Kidnapped? Used for something? He closed his eyes and forced himself to stop thinking so he could sleep.