AN: Back with another update! I've just had some more spare time to work on the story so I tried to do as much as I can. Unfortunately I'm going to be busy again this month and the subsequent following months, but I will REALLY do my best to find time to work on the story.

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Just another reminder, see the Character Information Page if you would like a more in depth detail on most of the characters powers and abilities.

And as always, thanks for reading and supporting!

Reading the story:

-Scene change: "888"

-Rated M Scene: "XXX"

-Hello, how are you? (Someone in their own thoughts)
-Hello how are you? (A different person speaking in someone's mind)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Bleach.


Chapter 56

Deep below the 1st Division at varying different sections aligned the underground prisons in which criminals of varying degrees were kept. One in particular was filled with complete and utter darkness. It was a space that stretched on for near infinity. This place was known as Muken. The furthest and deepest level of the underground prisons. And within the quiet darkness of Muken sat Aizen, unmoving. His entire body was covered in black cloth-like seals preventing him from seeing, hearing, speaking, moving, and more. An hour hadn't even passed yet since his sentence by Central 46 so he hadn't been sitting here very long. Though it was somewhat lonely and boring in the dark, he knew that he wasn't actually alone.

As if on cue, the seal that covered one of his eyes, one of his ears, and his mouth had come undone. Melting away as if spontaneously evaporating into the air. Nothing changed in his field of vision even with the seal removed. He was still greeted by the sight of darkness, however a smile slowly formed on his lips apparently amused at the situation.

"Well now, you've gone out of your way to remove my seals. How should I thank you? Azashiro Soya. Or shall I refer to you as...Azashiro Kenpachi. Former Captain of the 11th Division and holder of the title as the 8th Kenpachi."

As Aizen's voice echoed in the dark, a slight fluctuation appeared before him revealing a figure that seemed to have melted into view. That figure was precisely Azashiro Soya. He had a delicate and docile look to him contrary to what one would imagine when the name Kenpachi is mentioned. His hair was long and black, tied in a ponytail by a luxurious golden band. Two long strands of his silken black bangs hung on the left and right side of his face, a face which had a look of seriousness to it. He wore the standard black shihakusho and a variation of a long sleeved Captain's haori that had a golden mantle with decorative black markings around his neck and haori edges.

Without beating around the bush, Azashiro began, "To ensure that I don't get an answer of no value I will say this before we begin. I don't care about the sins you've committed nor do I care about the Hogyoku's power. Such things are a waste in my presence."

"I see. Then exactly what is it that you would find of value in approaching me?"

As Azashiro stood before Aizen in the still darkness, a woman who was seemingly present yet invisible to all but Azashiro himself appeared behind him, cackling and smirking and speaking. This woman was actually the manifestation of Azashiro's Zanpakuto. She was quite tall with a large bust size with long black hair tied in a fan shape atop her head by a golden braid. Two black straps covered her eyes and she donned a large lavender robe with black colored linings around the shoulders.

Kekeke! Look at him. Sitting in his chair acting all calm and collected. Shall we take the Hogyoku away from him? Huh, Huh?

Be quiet.

Azashiro mentally thought back to her. He already knew that while he was indeed powerful, Aizen was powerful in his own right. He wasn't interested in the Hogyoku, but even if he was, the amount of reiatsu that Aizen had would prevent him from even getting near the Hogyoku much less be able to steal it. Ignoring his own Zanpakuto's random rambling, he continued his conversation with Aizen.

"I came here to speak with you as I would like to know some things. Tell me about the world outside."

Aizen just gave him a look of indifference. "What purpose will that serve to you? You whom can see all that has happened within the Seireitei even while here in Muken. The only one whom even my Kyoka Suigetsu would likely have no effect on."

"I don't mean the Seireitei. I wish to know the happenings beyond that. Furthermore, I was surprised by your defeat at the hands of the Gotei 13. And that Arrancar...what exactly is he?"

"I see. Indeed there are a few curious things that may peak your interest, for even I am left in the dark about them. The hierarchy within Hueco Mundo is likely experiencing a current change. The World of the Living remains much the same, and regarding your question of that Arrancar...the secret behind his strength is likely due to him possessing a piece of Shukenja Amo's soul."

Azashiro slightly narrowed his eyes, unsure of whom Aizen was referring to. He heard Aizen call Shukenja Amo the Beast King before when he was watching the battle, but that's all he knew. Even he didn't know there was such a thing as a Beast King before.

Even though Azashiro's expression did not change, Aizen could tell that the man was confused.

"Heh. There's no need to think too hard. Not many know that the Beast King exists. Even with your power, you'd be unable to pass through the sekiseki walls that form the shelter around the deepest level of the Shihoin Clan's hidden archive protecting this information."

Azashiro internally frowned, but decided not to dwell too much on it and continued, "I'm surprised by your defeat. Had you used the power of your Kyoka Suigetsu earlier you likely wouldn't have suffered a loss at the hands of that Arrancar and Shinigami. I'm confused."

Aizen slightly smiled as he recalled the events from not too long ago. "Ah, if I look back on it now, my heart had seemed to be in turmoil. I had momentarily lost sight of my goal which led to my defeat, though defeat in itself was quite a meaningful experience. You should experience it once."

Azashiro remained unamused. "I see no merit in experiencing defeat and I've no interest in meaningless chatter."

"On the contrary. What you call meaningless chatter is simply one way to kill time in a prison of near endless darkness between two prisoners whose sentences will not be ending anytime soon."

There was a silence that loomed in the shadows between them as Azashiro mulled over his thoughts. Finally, and without warning, he simply started melting away, disappearing into the deep darkness of Muken once more. His voice, echoing in the air.

"I thank you...for answering my questions, Aizen Sosuke. We shall talk again when I see the need."

Aizen just smiled and closed his eye, slightly amused at the whole ordeal, wondering to himself how the future would turn out.

888

At this moment a black hell butterfly was silently flapping its wings as it made its way towards the 3rd Division barracks. It had already been 11 days since the end of the war against Aizen, and Kishin and Rukia still hadn't left his room. He had only regained consciousness 4 days ago and of those 4 days, 3 of them he and Rukia spent together tangled in the sheets. In fact, they were still in bed at this very moment cuddling in each other's warmth.

The sun had just risen above the horizon signaling the start of dawn while the temperature outside had a slight chill to it, reflective of the autumn season. Though Kishin was in the middle of comfortably sleeping with Rukia's warmth held against his chest, his nose twitched from the feel of the hell butterfly landing on top of it. He scrunched up his face and turned his head, trying to get rid of the ticklish sensation, but it was no use. No matter which way he turned or how he tried to swat the butterfly away it always returned to the exact same spot on his nose.

Finally he stirred awake and rubbed his tired eyes. The first thing he saw was the giant black wings of the butterfly from how close it was to his face. Letting out a sigh, he accepted the message encoded in reishi which finally concluded the butterfly's business. After watching it fly away, he glanced down at Rukia's peacefully sleeping face. Her hair was messy and disheveled, her skin still soft and beautiful, and her body remained naked and exposed beneath the covers. She had a bite mark on her left shoulder and inner right thigh from where he bit her making him strangely happy.

Not wanting to disturb her sleep, he attempted to get out of bed as quietly as he could. He learnt from Rukia that after he fell unconscious from his fight with Aizen and Grimmjow, that he had been brought to the 4th Division to receive emergency medical treatment. Once his vitals had stabilized they moved him to a regular ward to free up space for others who suffered serious injuries. Since he was only in a regular bed, Rukia had offered to nurse him in the comfort of his own room back in the 3rd Division which was how he ended up here.

Successfully getting out of bed, he gave a light stretch to wake his hardened muscles. The butterfly from earlier informed him of a Captains meeting that he was supposed to attend and so he knew that it was time to return to reality. He could only imagine what sorts of troublesome issues were going to require his attention now. After taking a shower and freshening up, he stood in front of his closet and got dressed. The bandages that were wrapped around his body had already been removed since he finally recovered from his injuries, though he was left with some everlasting scars. A large claw mark across his chest, a few stab and slash wounds on his lower abdomen, back, and arms...he sighed and fished around in his wardrobe, his style slightly changing from how it was before.

His blood red hair had been cut shorter due to his battle against Grimmjow, so a few of his bangs fell over the top of his forehead whilst the rest of his hair was slicked back and towards the left in a sort of messy-spiky top. His black cross earring was still pierced on his left ear as he dressed himself in the standard black Shinigami shihakusho, however, instead of wearing a sleeveless top like he used to, he now wore the standard long sleeved top. And his new Captain's haori that he wore over his shihakusho was now sleeveless. There was a red sash tied around his waist where he strapped the black colored scabbard of his Zanpakuto on the left. Finally he finished and gave one last glance at a peacefully sleeping Rukia.

With a slight smirk, he walked towards the door and opened it.

"Don't sleep too long senpai, or...is it that you can't walk right now?"

Rukia, who was pretending to sleep, immediately turned red from his comment and peeked her head through the blanket only to catch him giving her a playful wink. With that, he finally walked out and closed the door behind him.

The morning breeze felt good on his face as he casually strolled through the Division grounds. Immediately the members of the 3rd Division stopped what they were doing and ran up to him. They all started crowding and tearing up.

"C-Captain! You're awake!"

"Captain, we thought we were going to lose you!"

"Captain! Welcome back!"

Kishin just stood in place with an awkward expression on his face. He didn't know how to respond so he awkwardly scratched the back of his head.

"What's with you all? I don't remember training a bunch of crybabies."

Sniff. Sniff.

The Division members wiped their tears and immediately saluted him.

"Yes Captain! Sorry Captain!"

"Haaaah…" He let out a long drawn out sigh and shook his head. That's when he heard Kira interrupt.

"Captain Chigetsu! Welcome back! I'm glad that you're okay. Uhhh...I don't mean to bother you so soon but there's a lot of stuff that requires your attention."

"Ah, I figured as much. Seems you've been holding down the fort pretty well, Izuru."

Kira rubbed the back of his head embarrassed at the compliment. "Ahaha...I just did what was needed."

"You should give yourself more credit, Lieutenant." Ran'Tao quickly chimed in as she walked on over.

Kishin nodded, acknowledging her presence. "I see you're all doing quite well. As for Togakushi and Ichinose?"

Ran'Tao fixed her glasses and replied, "3rd Seat Togakushi and 5th Seat Ichinose are at the training grounds."

"I see." Kishin then started walking off again as he waved behind him. "There's a Captains meeting so I'll return later. You can fill me in on what I missed when I come back."

Izuru and Ran'Tao kept their eyes on Kishin's back before glancing at one another.

"Seems nothing has changed." Izuru commented.

Ran'Tao nodded in agreement. "That's a good thing isn't it?"

"Yeah."

The look on Izuru's face was a complicated mix of both relief and sadness as the image of Gin and Kishin floated back and forth in his head. During this time he learnt from Rangiku that Gin survived his injuries, but he didn't know what became of his previous Captain or what he was doing and it did make him feel a little sad that Gin didn't contact him.

As for Kishin, he had finally arrived in front of the 1st Division barracks. To his surprise no one had yet entered the Captain's meeting hall.

Toshiro immediately spotted him and walked on over glancing up and down as if inspecting Kishin for any lingering injuries. The one major thing he mostly took notice of was the change in Kishin's hair style, though he hated to admit it he found that Kishin looked good no matter what style of hair or clothing he wore.

"Hmmm...well you seem to be fine."

Kishin raised a curious eyebrow and smirked as he made a playful motion to undress. "Are you sure you didn't want to thoroughly check for yourself?"

Toshiro's face burned instant red from embarrassment. Crossing his arms he turned away and grumbled, "Tch. Yeah, you're definitely fine if you're still joking like that."

Kishin just laughed. "Hahaha! Still easy to tease."

"Eh? You two look like you're having fun." Kinji's voice came from behind them as he gave a light yawn, however Toshiro and Kishin couldn't help but stare in shock.

Kinji's long hair was usually white, however at this moment it was completely black. In fact, it made him look better since it accentuated his purple eyes even more. Kinji stopped just in front of them and yawned once more, giving them a confused look.

"What? Why are you both looking at me lik-Oh!" He cut himself off and grabbed a lock of his black colored hair. "This is why you guys are staring. Yeah, black is actually my natural hair color. I dyed my hair white before to stand out from my Clan but you know, I got tired of it."

Kishin and Toshiro just blinked in silence, not exactly sure of what to say. Their reunion was cut short anyways as Yamamoto arrived on scene. With the Head Captain present, everyone trickled into the room and took up their usual positions. On Yamamoto's right stood Soi Fon, Unohana, Byakuya, Kyoraku, Toshiro, and Mayuri. On Yamamoto's left stood Kishin, Komamura, Kinji, Kenpachi, and Jushiro. Nearly every Captain's position was filled, except for the 5th which was now vacant once more.

Kishin made a mental note that both Yamamoto's and Soi Fon's left arms were missing, meaning that they either elected not to have it restored, or due to some other circumstances that it was unable to be restored. The hall was silent as everyone waited for Yamamoto to speak first.

"Ahem. My fellow Captains, it has been 11 days since the end of the war. The first thing we shall address is the missing 5th Division Captain's seat. Captain Chigetsu, while you were unconscious the rest of the Captains present here have deliberated on how to resolve this issue."

Bang-Bang.

The tapping of Yamamoto's cane loudly echoed throughout the hall and outside of the room. The doors then opened revealing Shinji from behind. He was dressed in a standard shihakusho with a long sleeved Captain's haori with a white cloth, almost like a scarf and necktie in one, tied around his neck. His hair length reached down to around the level of his lips and his bangs were cut in a slanted angle.

Kishin was slightly surprised at Shinji's presence and raised a curious eyebrow.

Hirako? What happened to the rest of the Visoreds?

Shinji awkwardly scratched the side of his cheek and started making his way to his spot beside Kishin.

"Uhhh, ahem, ahem. Well, for those of ya who don't know me, my name's Hirako Shinji. Oh, if yer curious, you spell it with-"

"Enough." Yamamoto tapped his cane with impatience. "Fall in line."

Shinji awkwardly laughed and waved his hand. "Ahahaha...my bad my bad. Old habit."

Everyone gave Shinji a strange look, but he remained completely lax and calm. Again Kishin gave Shinji a curious glance after Shinji took his spot next to him, but the response he received was just a playful smile.

Seeing that everyone was now present, Yamamoto continued the meeting.

"Amagai Shusuke's death is unfortunate. Due to our circumstances we have yet to hold a proper funeral. As Amagai Shusuke was the Captain of the 5th Division the funeral is typically left in their hands to prepare, however I have decided to personally take responsibility. Are there any objections?"

As no one voiced any opposition, Yamamoto nodded and continued.

"Very well, then moving on. Central 46 has been reassembled and they have passed judgement over the fate of Aizen Sosuke. He has been restrained by seals and sentenced to the deepest level of the underground prison, Muken, for 20,000 years."

Kishin slightly frowned after hearing what the punishment was.

Captain Unohana said that Muken was a prison for criminals that the Soul Society couldn't handle. I suppose Aizen fits the description. 20,000 years...he really is nearly immortal.

But, what made Kishin frown more than that was learning of the fact that Central 46 had been reconvened. He wondered if the newly assembled Central 46 would behave in a manner that was better than the last one, though he really had his doubts. He listened to Yamamoto give a few more updates before everyone was allowed to leave. Amongst one of the other news reports was Hinamori's status. She had apparently finally come around and was now mentally sound again having her position as Lieutenant of the 5th division reinstated.

There was a visible smile on Toshiro's face because of this so Kishin walked over and nudged him. "I see you're in high spirits."

Toshiro slightly blushed from embarrassment at how obvious it was showing on his face and stuttered, "I-I am not!"

"Okay...maybe a little bit." He conceded.

Kishin let out a laugh and patted his friend on the back. "Hey, there's no shame in being happy about Hinamori's status. It's a good thing. And Shinji's not so bad so you don't have to worry."

"W-Who said that I was worried! I'm not!"

"Okay okay, don't get so worked up. Maybe we should grab a few drinks later. What'dya say?"

Toshiro raised a questioning eyebrow. "Since when did you start drinking?"

"Hmmm...well, after everything that's happened I figured you and I should take a break."

"Riiiight...and your 10 days of rest doesn't count as taking a break?"

"Of course it doesn't. That was me recovering from my injuries, but taking a break is different."

Toshiro just sighed and shook his head in amusement. "Of course you'd say that."

Kishin just smirked and took a look around at the buildings as they walked through the streets of Sereitei. Many of the buildings still had a melted look to them from the time when Yamamoto had released his Bankai. Thinking of buildings, it triggered a certain memory in Kishin's mind.

"Hey, Toshiro, did you ever hear anything about a giant tower on the outskirts of Rukongai?"

"Yeah." Toshiro nodded. "You mean that black tower 50 meters high right? It's gone."

"Eh?! What do you mean by gone?"

"I mean, it's gone. We all heard about it from Urahara. That tower was your doing right? Well, it disappeared a few hours after you lost consciousness and the Espada that was sealed inside escaped."

"Ehhhh...so that's how it is."

"Yeah. Not much we can do about it now, or then for that matter. Everyone was in such bad shape that no one had the time or energy to spare to search for just one Espada. Besides, that Espada, Grimmjow I think was his name, he didn't seem to be a huge threat anyways."

Kishin awkwardly scratched the side of his cheek and let out a light laugh. "Haha...right…"

The memory of his fight against Grimmjow and Aizen slowly came back to him making him confused as to what Urahara and Ichigo actually told everyone for them to treat Grimmjow as not a threat, but he soon slightly frowned as he also recalled the gap in their strengths during that battle. Sure his Bankai had worked, but he couldn't even stay conscious afterwards. In fact, he couldn't even activate the second and final steps of his Bankai's true ability. All this time he had trained hard to grow stronger and stronger and he reached a point where he felt that he had grown sufficiently strong. In fact, he felt pretty confident in taking on any of the Captains of the Gotei 13 in a fight, but now he knew that he wasn't training as hard as he thought.

To reach the level that Aizen and Grimmjow had reached, he needed to go back to the beginning and focus on strengthening his foundations. His body and soul were still too weak to handle his own power. Releasing his shackles and using the first technique of his Bankai really took a toll on him. While others didn't know, he knew that he'd be unable to use his Bankai for an entire year. Glancing down at his hands, he clenched them to a fist and squeezed.

Yeah. I need to work on my foundations. What's the point of having power if I can't freely use it…

His thoughts came back to reality as he found himself with Toshiro standing just outside the 10th Division grounds. Glancing down he noticed the sigh that fell from Toshiro's lips and questioned, "Something wrong? What, is Rangiku running from her duties again?"

Toshiro scratched his cheek and shook his head. "Ah, no. It's not that...well, actually yes that too but that's not why I'm sighing."

Kishin gave a questioning glance. "Then?"

"Errr...you see, the thing is, I've been traveling to and from here to Karakura Town. Ahem. I recently reconnected with Captain Shiba and demanded that he finally tell me the story of why he left. Anyways, the thing is, there's...a complicated situation with his daughter."

"What kind of situation?"

"Ahem. Kurosaki Karin. She...seems to have unintentionally awakened her latent Shinigami powers."

"Ehhhh?" Kishin replied, unenthusiastically surprised.

Toshiro gave him a weird look. "Your reaction is...not what I expected."

Kishin just shrugged. "Well it's not like I didn't foresee this possibility. I mean, I did sense that she had the potential. Her brother is a Substitute Shinigami. Her father was a Shinigami from a Great Noble Clan. And I taught her a Kido spell on a whim, which she was capable of performing by the way."

Toshiro slapped his forehead at the complicatedness of the situation. "Yeah, but you're forgetting. She. Is. Still. A. Human!"

"Aaaand?"

Toshiro sighed again. "Well, since I've been traveling back and forth I've been using Urahara's shop as a base of operations and so I've been seeing her a lot lately. She's there to train almost every day and since we sort of know each other and Urahara loves to push problems onto other people, I've been mentoring her through a few things here and there."

Kishin blinked several times before letting out an amused laugh. "Pffft! Hahahaha!"

Toshiro's cheeks flushed red again. "O-Oi! It's not funny! This is a serious issue here! I'm supposed to meet her in half-an-hour for our next session, but is this really right?"

Kishin shrugged. "Why doesn't her dad train her? Isshin is, after all, a Shinigami himself."

As if a lightbulb clicked, Toshiro's eyes brightened up. "Y-You're right! Damn him! Every time we meet he's in his Gigai so I sometimes forget that he still has his powers."

"Well, it seems like you've got a lot to talk to him about."

"Tch." Toshiro checked the time and rubbed the back of his head. "I better get going. It's almost time."

Kishin just smiled and waved as he watched his friend dash off. He then made his own way back to his barracks where he was once again greeted by Izuru and Ran'Tao.

"You two...seem like you have something to say to me seeing as you found me after I just got back."

Izuru gave an apologetic look before turning serious. "I'm sorry Captain. We wouldn't bother you unless it was important. We just thought that you should know."

"Know what?"

Izuru looked at Ran'Tao before continuing, "During the war, the 3rd Division aided in the defense of the Soul Society, but some assassins tried to take advantage during the chaotic situation to make an attempt on Ran'Tao's life."

Kishin took a moment to let that information sink in as he also took a glance over Ran'Tao.

Hmmm...things have been quiet on this matter for a while. Guess the perpetrator is starting to move again.

"Did you two notice anything about these assassins that'll reveal who they are?"

Both Izuru and Ran'Tao shook their heads. "Sorry Captain, but they were dressed in ordinary assassin robes similar to those of the Onmitsukido, but we've talked with Yushiro already and he's confirmed that the assassins weren't from the 2nd Division."

"I see. And what happened to the assassins?"

"After they failed they immediately fled. We weren't able to catch any of them due to the situation at the time. I'm sorry."

"It's fine. Then here's what we'll do. Tell Ichinose that I'm giving him a new task. He'll be placed on a 24 hour guard duty, specifically for Ran'Tao effective immediately. Report anything if there's new intel that comes up. And send someone to Yushiro and ask him to look into the assassination attempts. If there are others in the same line of work then maybe Yushiro will be more successful in finding something."

Izuru nodded in agreement. "You got it Captain."

Ran'Tao sighed and awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck. "Sorry for causing more trouble."

Kishin just waved his hand. "Eh. It's nothing unexpected. In fact, I'm a little surprised that your pursuer waited so long to make a move. I'm sorta curious as to why they'd want you dead now given the fact that you went missing for a few hundred years with nothing really happening. Anyways, just keep doing what you guys are doing. Oh, and great job at defending the Soul Society! I heard you all really coordinated well."

With that he left the two behind and returned to his room where he found Rukia dressed back up. She wore the standard shihakusho with a white sash around her waist with her Zanpakuto strapped on her left. On her right arm was a fingerless white tekko similar to the garment that Byakuya wore and her Lieutenant emblem was strapped on her left shoulder. She turned around when she heard the door open and warmly smiled.

"You're back!"

Kishin smiled back and leaned against the door. "Senpai, that's not the phrase right?"

Rukia blushed and shyly blinked. "W-What are you talking about? What other phrase am I supposed to say?"

"Mmmm...you know. That one."

Rukia's blush just deepened as she knew what phrase Kishin was talking about. "B-Baka! Th-That's for people who are living together…"

"But we are living together. You haven't left my room for 3 whole days."

Now Rukia's entire body turned deep red. "That-That's your fault!"

Kishin crossed his arms and continued admiring Rukia's adorableness from her embarrassment. "Well, I can't really say that you're wrong, but then again you accepted me with open arms. So it can't be all my fault right?"

Rukia pulled her bangs over her eyes as she wanted to die from embarrassment right now as she recalled what they did for those 3 days in this room.

Kishin just let out a playful laugh. "Please?" He tried. "Just once?"

Rukia gave a cute little huff and caved. "W-Welcome home…"

Kishin felt the butterflies in his stomach just from that one phrase alone. He didn't even notice that his cheeks flushed red as he promptly responded, "I'm back."

Now it was Rukia's turn to feel butterflies in her stomach as their little play made it almost seem like they were truly living together as a family. Kishin quickly made his way over to her and laced his fingers with hers.

"Shall we go on a date today?"

Rukia blinked in confusion and glanced up at his eyes. "Date? But, I'm supposed to check up on Karakura Town today."

"Great! Then let's go to Karakura Town."

"Eh?! Is that okay?"

Kishin gave her his usual playful grin with a little wink. "Restrictions are still lifted right now so travel to and from Karakura Town isn't being limited."

"I-I see."

The more Rukia thought about it the more she started to like the idea so she ultimately decided to go along with it. They walked through the Sereitei heading towards the Senkaimon Gate hand in hand passing by several dozens of people, however one of those people just so happened to be Byakuya.

"Rukia."

Hearing her name caused her to pause which then caused Kishin to pause as the both of them turned towards the familiar sounding voice.

"Onii-sama?" Rukia replied.

Kishin simply waved and smiled, seemingly relaxed and content. It slightly irked Byakuya that Kishin wasn't more nervous or afraid around him. He swore that if it was anyone else who was trying to date Rukia then they'd be cowering in fear before his presence, but Kishin was completely different. Byakuya hated to admit it but he didn't completely disapprove of Kishin's character. What perplexed the stoic Captain the most was that the more time he spent around Kishin the more Kishin's likeability grew on him. It was a bit strange. Just as he was in the middle of mulling over his thoughts he took note of Kishin and Rukia intimately holding hands. A thick vein popped on the side of his forehead as he immediately started going into overprotective brother mode.

"Where are the two of you going?"

Kishin gave an innocent look and pointed in the direction of the Senkaimon. "We're going out."

Byakuya narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "Going out where?"

Rukia blushed and fidgeted by Kishin's side as she gave a light cough. "Ahem. Uhhh, we're going to Karakura Town."

"On a date!" Kishin quickly chimed in.

Rukia gave him an incredulous look whilst Byakuya gave him an angry one, but Kishin was simply having fun since it was so easy to tease the two Kuchiki siblings. Seeing that Byakuya remained standing in silence, Kishin just turned and continued walking off with Rukia beside him.

1 Hour Later

Kishin half smiled as he stood off to the side watching Rukia cuddle with bunnies in a little petting playpen. They were both in the World of the Living by now and had already inhabited their Gigai so they could go on their date, but the reason for his half smile was due to the fact that Byakuya was standing right next to him in a Gigai of his own.

Seriously?! Why'd you come too!

He mentally cursed in his head.

"So...Captain Kuchiki. This must be quite boring for you."

Byakuya had his eyes closed as he stood completely still like a bodyguard. "Since when did you know me so well that you know what bores me and what doesn't?"

"Th-Then...you like petting zoos and bunnies?"

"Hmpf."

The short reply was all Kishin needed to deduce the answer for himself.

Course he doesn't. So WHY. ARE. YOU. HERE?!

"Ahem. Rukia seems to be enjoying herself."

Byakuya opened his eyes and nodded. "Indeed."

Kishin just sighed and felt his mental powers draining. It was supposed to be just him and Rukia for a while, but now he was regretting teasing Byakuya earlier. Had he known that Byakuya would tag along, he'd have never opened his mouth.

I swear he's doing this just to spite me.

It was then that he noticed a photographer going around asking if people wanted their photos taken. That photographer soon approached Rukia who had several white fluffy little bunnies cuddling her.

"Excuse me miss. You seem like you're really enjoying your time here and those bunnies really seem to like you. Would you like your picture taken?"

Rukia blushed and was just about to respond when Kishin appeared and sat down behind her, hugging her close to his chest. "We'd love to."

"Kishin?" Rukia cutely inquired as she glanced up at him.

He just glanced back and pecked her lips.

Click.

The sound of the camera snapping a photo brought their attention back to the photographer who gave them a warm happy smile. "Aww, you both look so cute! Here, what do you think?"

They turned the camera around so Kishin and Rukia could take a peek at the photo. The photo was both of them sitting on the ground with Kishin's legs on either side of Rukia whilst he held her close to his chest. She was looking up at him with an innocent glance while he leaned down to kiss her lips, all while a bunny was held in her hands as several other bunnies hopped around and on top of them.

Kishin smiled at the photo and just realized that he and Rukia didn't actually have any photos taken together to keep as memories.

"Could we have this photo?"

The photographer instantly agreed. "Yes! In fact, please wait one moment. I'll print it for you right away!"

They both blinked somewhat dumbfounded at how quickly the photographer was to run off. The bunny in Rukia's hand then stood up on its hind legs and glanced around for a bit before taking a couple sniffs in the air and jumping off, almost as if it had sensed danger. That was also when Kishin and Rukia felt danger. The danger of Byakuya's piercing gaze drilling holes right through their backs.

Rukia awkwardly scratched the side of her cheek and stood up with Kishin. "Aha...maybe we should go."

Kishin just sighed and patted her head. "Are you sure? You really looked like you were having fun."

"Mhm." She gave a beaming smile and nodded. "I had lots of fun! Thanks for bringing me here."

She then glanced over to Byakuya before turning back to Kishin. "I think I should start getting to work though. I have to survey the town today."

Kishin gave her a slightly sad look, but conceded anyway. "Alright. I did have some stuff I wanted to do today too."

They waited just a bit more to get their photo before saying their goodbyes. Just as they were about to go their separate ways a strange reiatsu filled the air.

"Eh?! What is this?" Rukia questioned aloud.

Both Byakuya and Kishin had confused expressions as well. Without delay they all popped a Gikon candy into their mouths and separated their soul from their Gigia, running towards the direction of the strange reiatsu. It didn't take long for them to arrive in the middle of a cross sectional street where they found tons of white cloaked figures that looked like ghosts with red pointy heads. There were no eyes or mouths or anything resembling a human on them. The reiatsu was definitely coming from them, however it wasn't hostile or anything of the like. The white figures also didn't seem to take notice of them. They simply just kept floating around moving in circles around the area.

Kishin raised a curious eyebrow and glanced over to Byakuya.

"Well Captain Kuchiki. Ever seen something like this before?"

Byakuya frowned, not from Kishin's question, but because he recognized these creatures.

"Blanks."

"Huh?" Kishin questioned.

Byakuya simply continued, "These beings are known as Blanks. Souls that were supposed to enter the Soul Society but became lost within the Dangai. Their memories become separated from their soul in the process and they become Blanks, but exactly what are they doing here in the World of the Living?"

Kishin slightly tilted his head and walked towards one of the Blanks, poking it in the head. It didn't have any effect as the Blank just continued floating off as if nothing happened.

Rukia rubbed the bottom of her chin deep in thought. "How exactly are we supposed to handle this? I've never seen a Blank before and they seem relatively harmless. Onii-sama, will they go away on their own?"

Byakuya narrowed his eyes and observed the situation a bit longer before replying, "I'm not sure. The Blanks are connected to a place known as the Valley of Screams. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon, however it's the first time that I've heard of the Blanks appearing in this kind of state within the World of the Living."

Rukia blinked and crossed her arms. "Then it's best to contact the Soul Society and see how they want us to handle this matter."

Just as she took out her denreishinki, the Blanks in the area started moving towards her, Byakuya, and Kishin.

"What the-" Rukia questioned aloud, but was soon getting drowned out from the mass of Blanks grabbing onto her.

"Rukia!" Kishin and Byakuya shouted at the same time, however their worries were unfounded as Rukia quickly slashed the Blanks surrounding her in half with her Zanpakuto.

"Don't worry about me, but what's going on? They were peaceful until just a moment ago."

Kishin and Byakuya were just as confused as they destroyed the Blanks that attempted to smother them. Soon enough, Kishin became annoyed at the situation and was about to flex his reiatsu in the area to crush all the Blanks at once when they heard Ichigo shouting, "O-Oi! Wait!"

As if on cue, all three of them turned to the right to see Ichigo already in his Shinigami uniform running in an attempt to catch up to a strange Shinigami woman. That stranger wore the standard shihakusho with a long red sash tied in a bow around her waist. Her purple hair was tied in a ponytail by a red colored ribbon and she had large amber eyes that almost seemed reflective of autumn. Her Zanpakuto had a red colored hilt with a standard square tsuba which she quickly unsheathed and released.

"Call forth the twilight, Mirokumaru!"

They all watched as this newcomer jumped into the air and twirled her released Zanpakuto around which now took on the form of a khakkhara staff. A large tornado fell from the circle of her staff and swept up the Blanks on the ground, rapidly destroying them in the process. Leaves like that from autumn trees swirled around wherever she swung her staff. Kishin remained unfazed as the strong gust of wind caused his haori to flutter around, but it was also at this moment when he noticed a strange presence nearby. It wasn't just him. Byakuya had noticed as well as they both turned their heads at the same time in the same direction glancing at the same tall building in the distance, but they both saw nothing.

"I'm not going crazy now am I? Captain Kuchiki."

Byakuya furrowed his brow, focusing on the empty roof of that building. "There was indeed something there."

Both of their focus was brought back to the situation in front of them as the loud whistling of the wind had stopped. All of the Blanks had been destroyed and the foreign Shinigami woman responsible gracefully landed back on the ground. Ichigo and Rukia came walking over not a moment later as she demanded Ichigo give an explanation.

"Errr…" Ichigo started, rubbing the back of his head. "This is Senna." He said, pointing at the girl in question.

Senna just blinked several times with an innocent look before amiably waving her hand in greeting. "Hello! Like Ichigo said. My name is Senna. Are you all friends of his?"

Kishin and Rukia glanced at each other with a confused look before turning back to Senna.

"You're...a Shinigami." Rukia stated the obvious, attempting to get the conversation going.

"Yes!" Senna replied enthusiastically.

"Huh...I don't recall Captain Ukitake telling me of any other Shinigami being assigned to Karakura Town...Ahem. Which Division are you from Senna?"

Senna poked the side of her head as she attempted to think about an answer, but in the end she confidently replied, "Don't remember." She then ran over to one of the shops nearby and glanced at herself in the mirror.

"Vain much?" Kishin jokingly commented to which Rukia poked the side of his stomach. "Be nice."

He just smirked and shrugged in response, but before they could question any further they witnessed something which they found somewhat impossible. The girl named Senna somehow instantly transformed from her Shinigami state to her Gigai state as if she simply willed it into existence. The only one who didn't find it strange was Ichigo as he glanced at them with a weird look.

"What? Why are you guys staring at her like that?"

Rukia turned to him and gave him a dumbfounded expression. "Ichigo...didn't you just see what she did?"

"Yeah. She just went back into her Gigai."

"Yeah! But where did her Gigai come from?!"

"Huh? What do you mean where did it come from? It ca-"

Finally it clicked in Ichigo's head that something was off. He usually was a go with the flow kind of guy and didn't really think about the small details too much, but now that Rukia was bringing it to his attention he realized what was wrong. Senna didn't leave her body lying around anywhere nor did she seem to use a Gikon as a replacement. It was like she could interchangeably transform from a Shinigami to a Human just by thinking about it.

"Exactly how did you meet her?" Kishin chimed in.

Ichigo was about to answer, but Senna started running off so he started running after her. "Uh, w-wait! You can't just go running off like that!"

Ichigo glanced behind him whilst running after Senna and shouted, "I'll explain another time! Uh, it was good to see you guys again! Later!"

They all watched as Ichigo and Senna disappeared in the distance. Finally Byakuya turned and opened up a Senkaimon Gate.

"Onii-sama?"

"Rukia," Byakuya started, "You still have your job to do here in Karakura Town. Clearly something strange is happening. You should continue your survey of the area and keep an eye on that woman."

Rukia nodded in agreement as that was her plan anyways. "Then, are you going to report to the Soul Society?"

"Yes. Perhaps the Research and Development Institute knows something about why the Blanks are appearing in the World of the Living." He then turned to Kishin in silence. Kishin just smiled and waved goodbye knowing what Byakuya wanted to ask.

"I'll stick around for a little while longer, Captain Kuchiki. After all, I'm a bit curious about that presence we felt earlier. Maybe it'll show up again."

Byakuya just sighed and stepped into the Senkaimon. "Suit yourself." The gates soon closed leaving only Rukia and Kishin behind.

"I think he's warming up to me."

Rukia ignored his comment and instead curiously asked, "What presence?"

Kishin just shrugged. "There was something nearby when the Blanks were here. Whatever it was, it's gone now."

"Ehhh...I didn't notice anything. Then, I'll go checkup on Ichigo and that girl named Senna."

"Alright. I'll stick around town for a bit. Call me if you need anything."

"Mn."

He watched Rukia dash away before making his way to Urahara's shop. He figured there was no better place to get more info. The familiar dirt lot with two kids dusting and sweeping around the building brought back some old memories as Kishin waved hello.

"Yo, Jinta, Ururu. It's been a while."

The two kids awkwardly waved back, still feeling a sense of danger around him. That was when he heard a very familiar sounding voice.

"Ehhhh? So they're like that around ya too huh?"

"You?" Kishin inquired, slightly surprised as he took in Gin's appearance. He was wearing dark blue pants held by a gray colored belt, a soft white knitted sweatshirt, black shoes, and a long grey peacoat that was draped around his shoulders.

Gin just gave a light smile at Kishin's shocked expression and waved. "Yo. Surprised aren't ya?"

Kishin took a moment to take in the fact that Gin was alive and that he was actually here at the Urahara shop.

"You aren't dead." Kishin stated the obvious.

Gin just laughed and acted as if he was hurt. "Ya didn't have to make it sound like that now did you?"

Gin waved for Kishin to come in, which he did. They both sat around a small wooden table as Gin started, "I know what ya wanna ask. What happened, right?"

Kishin scratched the side of his cheek and awkwardly glanced around the shop. "Actually, I was gonna ask where Urahara was, but yeah, sure. I'd be interested in hearing you out."

Again Gin let out a light chuckle. "Ya haven't changed at all I see."

Just then the door from the back of the shop opened revealing Urahara who came walking in with tea. "Oh! Chigetsu-san. I thought we had a guest. Turns out it was you."

Urahara took up a seat around the same table and set out the tea in front of everyone. "So, are you surprised? You're surprised right? Are you wondering what happened? I bet you are right?"

Kishin ignored Urahara's childish comments and sipped on his cup of tea. His reaction made Urahara slightly disappointed, but Urahara decided to give an explanation anyway.

"You seem curious so I'll tell you anyway Chigetsu-san. You see, Captain Unohana was the only one left in the World of the Living that didn't partake in the battle, so, after Aizen left for the Soul Society she started gathering the injured and provided emergency treatment with her Zanpakuto's power."

Gin then chimed in and raised his hand. "Ah, since I always had a close relationship with Captain Unohana she-"

Urahara immediately cut Gin off and proceeded to tell the truth. "Ichimaru here was healed because Lieutenant Matsumoto begged for his life to be spared. Anyways, we got to know his story a bit and knew that Central 46 would imprison him or execute him hence-"

Now it was Gin's turn to cut Urahara off as he added, "Hence why I'm here instead of the Soul Society."

As they finished their story, Kishin kept sipping his tea with a disinterested look and nodded. "I see. Good for you. Now-"

"Ehhhh? That's the kind of reaction yer gonna give?" Gin interrupted, sounding slightly disappointed.

Kishin just waved him off. "It's good to see you again. Now I'm over it."

"Ah...that's cold."

Kishin just scoffed at Gin's fake acting. "If you're gonna stick around here then I reckon that we'll see a lot more of each other in the future, but I came here today to talk to Urahara-san."

Urahara paused mid sip of his tea and questioned, "Eh? Me?"

Kishin nodded. "Yeah. Just earlier I ran into some Blanks. Is that normal?"

The expression in Urahara's eyes told Kishin that Urahara already knew about it. With a sigh, Urahara set down his cup and started fanning himself.

"Well, I do happen to know a bit about the situation. Ever since the Kototsu was destroyed by Aizen in the Dangai, it's become a bit unstable. The Valley of Screams is created when many Blanks join together in the Dangai creating a pocket dimension of sorts. Without the Kototsu present, the regulation of the pocket dimension within the Dangai is rapidly spreading."

"Then would the issue be resolved if the Kototsu is restored?"

"Possibly, however, the restoration of the Kototsu is a mystery. Aizen is the first one who has ever been able to destroy it."

"Then...is the appearance of the Blanks in the World of the Living a bad thing?"

"Yes, Chigetsu-san. The Valley of Screams is expanding in the Dangai and is creating a bridge between the World of the Living and Soul Society. If this goes on the two realms will collide. It's possible that one or both realms will be completely destroyed all together."

"Ehhh? That bad huh...but Byakuya told me that the Valley of Screams is a naturally occurring phenomenon. This hasn't happened in the past before?"

Urahara shook his head. "Even without the Kototsu, the possibility of the Valley of Screams being created exactly between the two points of Soul Society and the World of the Living to act as the bridge between them is suspicious. I have a feeling that it's being done deliberately."

Kishin thought back to the presence he felt earlier during the Blanks incident and frowned.

"Why are the Blanks appearing in the World of the Living anyways? Have any appeared in the Soul Society?"

"No. The Blanks are souls who were supposed to enter the Soul Society but got lost in the Dangai. Their memories get separated from their soul and therefore, because they don't technically reach the afterlife, their soul and memories are still considered as part of the Living World."

Kishin sighed as he felt a major headache, but he was able to understand the situation.

"So you're saying that these memories and Blank Souls will eventually re-enter the cycle of reincarnation on their own to keep the balance hence the reason why the Valley of Screams is considered a natural phenomenon correct?"

Clap. Clap. Clap.

"Bingo!" Urahara exclaimed. "You understand quickly Chigetsu-san. The strange thing about the Blanks that you saw earlier is that they typically converge together as one single entity first known as the Shinenju within the Valley of Screams. That Shinenju is a collection of all the lost souls and memories and returns to the World of the Living after some time to re-enter the cycle of reincarnation to keep the balance."

"Then the Blanks I saw earlier in town is a highly abnormal event?"

"Yes. The Blanks shouldn't be appearing in the World of the Living at all. Only the Shinenju is supposed to return."

"Ehhh...and what exactly does the Shinenju look like?"

Urahara merely shrugged. "I can't say. It could be anything. The Shinenju can return as any sort of animate or inanimate object when the time comes. Like I said, this phenomenon usually corrects itself during normal times."

"I see...then since this all seems abnormal, who would try to instigate the destruction of both worlds? Having just dealt with Aizen was enough. We never catch a break do we?" Kishin rhetorically commented.

Gin took out some dried persimmons and placed them on the table. "Ya look like you could use somethin sweet."

Just then the door on the floor that led to Urahara's underground training room opened revealing Toshiro and Karin who were crawling out from it.

"Eh? Kishin?" Toshiro commented somewhat surprised at his presence.

Karin's voice could then be heard as she shouted from down beneath him, "Hey! Why'd you stop? You're blocking the way."

Toshiro was slightly irked, but he quickly got out and stood to the side making room for Karin to exit as well. She was currently in a Shinigami outfit with a white sash tied around her waist. Her black hair had grown longer with her front bangs parted on either side of her face with the back tied up in a ponytail. Sweat was currently covering her face, apparently from a rigorous training session with Toshiro.

Kishin glanced between the two several times before asking, "I thought you were gonna-" But he stopped himself as realization hit him. "Isshin doesn't know, does he?"

Toshiro groaned as he felt like he had a headache and nodded. "He thinks that she's training up her spiritual powers, but he doesn't know that she decided to cut her chain of fate and become a Shinigami."

Karin immediately defended herself as she spoke up, "It was my decision! My brother and dad won't always be around to protect us. Just like last time. I know that he's probably gonna be mad, but I promise to tell him! Just...when I'm ready."

Kishin turned to Urahara who had a guilty look on his face. "I know Toshiro would have never consented to cutting her chain of fate so it must've been you, huh?"

Urahara nervously laughed and hid his face behind his fan. "Yaaah-hahaha...well, she kept on insisting that I train her and she somehow managed to awaken her very own Zanpakuto already."

Karin stepped out and quickly chimed in, "Don't blame the old man. I forced his hand. If he wasn't going to teach me how to become a Shinigami like my brother then I was going to go fight Hollows by myself and train that way instead."

"O-O-Old?!" Urahara exclaimed slightly hurt.

Toshiro's expression showed contempt for Urahara as he commented, "Don't feel so shocked. You are the oldest one of us here."

Urahara felt like a knife was stabbed in his heart from that comment.

Toshiro then followed-up with a scolding remark, "Still, what you did was dangerous, Urahara. Cutting her chain of fate separates her soul from her body and starts the encroachment process. What would you have done if she turned into a Hollow?!"

Urahara sighed and glanced at Karin who had a difficult look on her face. Everyone also noticed and knew that the situation seemed more complicated than they let on.

"Shall you tell them or should I?" Urahara asked.

Karin bit the bottom of her lip and sighed. "I didn't go through the complete encroachment process."

Her answer made everyone more confused as they then turned to Urahara who took a sip of his tea. "Come now. You all are very intelligent. I'm sure you all have already guessed by now. You're right when you say encroachment is dangerous, that's why we didn't go that route. You see...Karin is now technically dead."

! ! !

Everyone immediately understood what had happened after hearing Urahara's words.

Kishin was now greatly intrigued and leaned his arm on the table relaxedly. "Ah, so that's what happened."

Gin also gave a look of intrigue. "Ehhhh, so after cutting her chain of fate you performed the Konso ritual on her and sent her to the Soul Society."

Kishin then continued, "And after that you tracked her soul by using her reiatsu signature to find her in Rukongai."

Toshiro clenched his hands into fists as he also knew where this was leading and finished, "Then you brought her back like nothing had happened and trained her as a Shinigami. And since she still has a body here she doesn't need a Gigai! Is that it?!"

Urahara saw the anger in Toshiro's eyes and bowed his head, giving an apologetic look. "Yes...it's as you all have said. I knew the risks and seeing that she was adamant about this, I went about it in the safest way possible. She is Isshin's daughter and Ichigo's younger sister after all. I couldn't risk her turning into a Hollow so I performed the Konso ritual on her instead. For her to become a Shinigami the same way that Ichigo became one was too dangerous. In fact, that way only worked for Ichigo-san because I knew that his soul had already been exposed to the process of Hollowfication."

Again Toshiro only became more irritated and angrier. "But Now. She's. Dead! She's going to NEED a Gigai from now on and her body will have to be buried! The only reason Ichigo can remain in his real body is because his Soul is still attached to it. He was never officially sent to the Soul Society which would have completely severed his ties to his material body! But Karin has! How could you do that to her?! Wait, is the body she using already a Gigai that you prepared for her then?!"

Karin felt a stinging pain in her heart and quickly interjected, "Why are you getting angry?! It's MY life! I chose this! Urahara already explained everything to me and what the consequences would be."

Toshiro turned towards her and angrily yelled, "Are you stupid! You had a WHOLE LIFE ahead of you! How could you just throw that away?!"

"A WHOLE LIFE?! What would you know about MY life?! I was useless! At least I'll be able to protect Yuzu by becoming a Shinigami!"

An indescribable feeling started building up in Toshiro's chest as he glanced at the tears that started forming in Karin's eyes. He recalled the conversation they once had that night long ago in the 10th Division barracks when he saved her from the Bounts, and felt his words getting tied in his mouth.

"You-You're-Well-"

"I'm what?! Huh? Go ahead, say it!"

Toshiro bit his lip and decided to keep his mouth shut, but Karin wasn't having it. "I said, say it!"

"You're NOT USELESS!"

Huff. Huff. Huff.

Toshiro heavily breathed in air as he felt his anger slowly calming down. What he just said left Karin completely stunned since that wasn't what she was expecting him to say. Everyone else in the room was also completely silent and stunned as no one had expected this kind of development. For a good long minute no one made a sound or moved.

Finally, Karin asked near inaudibly, "You don't have to feel responsible...Toshiro."

Toshiro let out a defeated sigh and covered his face with his hand. "Well it's too late. I feel responsible."

"Why…"

"Because...Because…" Toshiro tried to come up with an answer but he couldn't really place his finger on it. In the end he simply replied, "You're my Captain's daughter. And I've been responsible for teaching you how to fight. And I should have been able to predict that this was going to happen the last time we met. I should have paid more attention and talked to you. Maybe then you wouldn't have decided to be so quick to throw your life as a Human away and become a Shinigami."

Karin wiped away her tears and quickly recomposed herself. "Do you regret it then? Are you gonna stop training me?"

Another moment of silence fell in the air as Gin, Kishin, and Urahara felt a bit awkward that they were here. Thankfully, Toshiro acted like none of them were there.

"Whether I regret it or not doesn't matter anymore. It's happened. I've already trained you this far, it'd be stupid if I just stopped. You'd probably go try and do some reckless training on your own if I didn't teach you anymore anyways. Plus, you're already a Shinigami. There isn't any turning back."

Karin beamed and instantly smiled, a facial expression that she didn't often show. "Then you'll keep teaching me?!"

Toshiro grumbled and sighed, but nodded his head. "On one condition. We both go to your dad and you tell him about your situation."

Karin felt an immediate desire to run and hide from having to tell the truth so soon, but she saw the look in Toshiro's eyes and knew that he was serious. His facial expression was silently saying that if she didn't even have the courage to face and tell Isshin the truth, then she didn't have the right to talk about becoming a Shinigami. In the end she took in a deep breath and steeled her nerves, agreeing to Toshiro's condition and headed out the door with him following right behind her.

For a good long while, no one said a word as Gin, Urahara, and Kishin sat around the table in silence, staring out the door.

Bam!

Their peace then came to an abrupt end at the sound of Yoruichi barging in.

"Oi, Kisuke! I've got news-eh? Oh, Kishin, so you're here too! ...Hm? What? Why are you guys looking at me like that?"


MISC.

Well...we've got a glimpse of Aizen in Muken. Furthermore, Azashiro Soya's name was mentioned early on in the story, but now he's actually made his first true appearance! What will happen with Aizen and Azashiro in the future?

Also, Byakuya still being an overprotective brother, but he's starting to warm up to Kishin.

And Gin's alive! Currently living at the Urahara shop for now.

But now more strange and new developments are happening.
-The Beast King is getting mentioned more and more.
-Karin is dead and an actual Shinigami now?! Though unregistered. How will her fate play out? How will this change the Kurosaki Family?
-Senna and the Valley of Screams has made an appearance! From the Bleach Movie: Memories of Nobody. How exactly will this all tie in to the overall story?
-There are still assassination attempts on Ran'Tao's life? Who is behind it?

Anyways, with the ordeal against Aizen finished, only more mysteries will continue to be unraveled and explored!


Senna
Zanpakuto: Mirokumaru (Maitreya Circle)
Sealed Appearance: Standard katana, red hilt, square tsuba.
Shikai Release Command: Call forth the twilight.
Shikai Appearance: A golden colored khakkhara staff.
Shikai Abilities: Generates a powerful wind/tornado from the circle at the top of the staff.