Things still were not going well for Soul Society. There were plenty of fights involving ryoka all over the place. Sokyoku hill and the forest have been turned into battle grounds. If you weren't ready for a fight, your life will end swiftly. Soul Society's peace had been disrupted once again. There was only one way to return to their normal ways and that was to defeat all of those who didn't belong in their world. Before they could return to their wonderful lives, all the ryoka must be eliminated.
Of course all of Soul Society didn't think this way. There were few shinigami that knew what was going on. Ichigo, Rukia, Renji, Ukitake, Yoruichi, Unohana, plus more. They knew the situation and are still trying to help the konoha ninja. Sadly, many still wanted to eliminate the intruders. Among them, when it came to protecting their peace, one man felt as if destroying the ryoka was completely necessary. That man also had the power to influence all of the other shinigami. He was in charge. If he wanted the ryoka gone, then they were as good as dead.
There was a knock on the door that stood on the other side of the room. The man grumbled as he looked at the door from his chair. Another man was standing beside him. The old man in the chair sighed before yelling across the room, "Enter."
The door slid open and a shinigami was kneeling there. He bowed, never lifting his head to show the upmost respect. "Excuse me, sir. There is someone here who would like to speak with you."
"Who?" the man asked with his strong voice.
"Uhh it's..." Before he could finish, someone quickly walked into the room. The shinigami jumped up and stared at the woman as she barged into the room. 'Such disrespect.' he thought as he walked away.
"And why are you here?" the man asked from his chair.
"Its been a while since I've been in your room." the woman said with a smirk. "This brings back memories."
"What business do you have here? I'm too busy to casually chat with the likes of you!" the man yelled.
'He sure has gotten grumpier over the years.' she thought. She sighed as she began to bow down. "May I have a word with you, head captain Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai."
The old man decided to smile a little. "Its been a long time since you've show respect, Shihoin Yoruichi."
"I do it from time to time." she said as she raised her head. "However, instead of thinking about old times, we need to worry about what's going on right now."
"I assume you know something about the ryoka situation. Tell me what you know." he ordered.
"It's a lot of info to take in." she warned. "And that's considering the fact that you are going to believe me anyway."
Yamamoto was impressed by her caution. Of course even though she was a former captain, her disappearance and her involvement with Urahara Kisuke proved that she couldn't be completely trusted. "Tell me what you know." he repeated.
That's when she began telling the story. She still didn't know about everything that was going on at Sokyoku but she knew enough. Hopefully, enough to change the head captain's mind about the ryoka. There was so much new information to take in. Could he really believe all of these far fetched ideas: ninja, Konoha, Orochimaru, Naruto. So much of it was just too hard to believe.
"And that's about all I know." she finished. She could tell that the head captain and his lieutenant were listening intently. Did they believe her? That she didn't know yet.
"Do you expect me to believe all of that?" the old man asked. Guess she wasn't quite convincing enough.
"Yes I do." she stated seriously. "Not only have I came here to inform you, but I've also come to ask a favor."
"And what is that?"
"Stop sending shinigami into battle." she said. The head captain gave her a cold glare but Yoruichi was determined. "The more shinigami you send into Sokyoku and into the forest, the worse this situation is going to get. If they don't know the situation then they will just get in the way."
"You are saying you want me to back down and order my soldiers to retreat? I will not stand by helplessly as ryoka take over our world!"
"I told you already, there are already people there that are fighting for us. The Konoha ninja: Kakashi, Naruto, Kiba, Ne..."
"All of those ryoka cannot be trusted!" the old man interjected.
She took a second to think before she spoke again. "Then what about the shinigami that are fighting with them?" Yoruichi asked. "Ichigo, Rukia and Renji. They have proven that they can be trusted. They, along with myself, also believe that we can trust the Konoha ninja."
"Seireitei is not a weak place that can't protect itself. We have the thirteen protective squads to protect our rights and our lives. We don't need any outside help from those who have nothing to do with us!" the man barked.
"But we do have something to do with this." said a voice. It came from the door. Yoruichi and Yamamoto turned to the door as it slid open. "We came here to help you guys out and stop someone who is our responsibility."
A young boy walked into the room. Yoruichi smiled as she recognized him. Though he didn't clearly show it, the head captain was furious. A ryoka barging into his office talking to him as if he were a mere human. The disrespect disgusted him.
"You dare enter my room without showing ANY respect what so ever!" he roared.
"Please forgive him." said a kind voice. Behind him a woman also entered the room.
"So you brang him here." the old man said.
"That's right." she said as she approached the head captain. She noticed Yoruichi and smiled a little. "Yoruichi-sama." she said, showing respect.
"Captain Unohana." Yoruichi replied, returning her favor.
Unohana stood in front of Yamamoto and gave a small bow. "Please allow this boy to speak. He will fill you in."
"And just who is he?" he asked.
The young boy stepped forward. He decided to bow, making up for his earlier outburst. "Hello, head captain sir. My name is Nara Shikamaru. I am a ninja from Konoha, the village hidden in the leaves. I would like to explain to you as much as possible."
'Looks like he can take care of things now.' Yoruichi thought. She noticed Unohana already heading towards the door.
"Leaving so soon?" she asked.
"There are many patients for me to check." she said. "Byakuya alone will take me hours to fully heal."
"Alright then," Yoruichi replied. "I have to go take care of some business. At least these two guys can talk now." Unohana nodded slightly and they both walked towards the door.
It took a few days and a lot of hard work but after all that, Shikamaru was healed. The black fire that burned his soul had finally been put out. Even though he just recovered, he still had to help his friends in any way possible. Now he was standing in front of the man the controlled the thirteen protective squads, Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai. Now it was time to tell his story.
He was able to explain much more than Yoruichi did. He gave plenty of reasons for the head captain to trust him. Also, he gave plenty of reasons why him and the other ninja needed to take down Orochimaru. After he finished his explanations, he waited for the old man to respond. Five minutes passed with nothing but silence, until he finally spoke.
"This story still sounds far fetched and I'm not sure if I can fully trust you."
'Makes sense.' Shikamaru thought to himself. "I respect that decision." he said.
"But, seeing as how you have support from some shinigami, including a captain, I shall make you a deal." The man looked into the boys eyes as he laid out his decision. "I will not allow any other shinigami to enter the Sokyoku forest or Sokyoku hill. You and the other Ryoka will deal with the threat there. However, any Ryoka that is not at Sokyoku and is roaming about will be captured. Deal with things at Sokyoku and don't come back here until everything is over with. Until then, all Ryoka spotted in here will be eliminated."
'Man this guy is troublesome with all his strict rules.' Shikamaru thought. 'He's worse than the hokage.'
"Okay, I accept those terms." the boy responded. He sighed, "I guess that means I should head to this Sokyoku place now." He turned and walked towards the door. Yamamoto watched him as he approached the exit.
"We have problems, head captain sir." Before Shikamaru could hold his hand out, the door flung open and another boy flew past him. He looked confused as he turned to watch the boy run up to Yamamoto.
"Shi-Shikamaru!" came a confused voice.
Shikamaru turned back towards the door to see his fellow ninja standing there. "Well hey there, Neji."
"It seems that you're fully healed." the Hyuga said. "What are you doing here?" Before Shikamaru started to answer, he turned around as the boy that ran in approached the old man.
"Head captain Yamamoto," he said, "there is a problem concerning the ryoka. Also, I have interrogated one of them and found out some very useful information."
"Captain Hitsugaya," Yamamoto started, "I have been informed about the ryoka. I know who they are and why they are here."
Hitsugaya looked up in shock. "Oh I see."
"But, what is the problem concerning the ryoka?" he asked.
"During an interrogation, a ryoka boy escaped and now he could be anywhere in Seireitei." Shikamaru turned to Neji when he heard the news.
"Sasuke." Neji said plainly. They both looked back at the two captains as they continued to chat.
"I want you to find this ryoka and eliminate him." the old man said. The seriousness in his voice was almost scary. He looked at Shikamaru, knowing the boy wouldn't object because of their previous conversation.
"Yes sir." Hitsugaya said as he turned and walked towards the door. He stopped and stood next to Shikamaru and Neji. "Looks like I'm going to have to kill this Sasuke guy."
"I can help you find him." Neji said. He exchanged a few glances at Shikamaru before turning back to Hitsugaya. "We should move out now."
Hitsugaya nodded and proceeded to leave the room. Neji took a look at Shikamaru, smirked, and then follow the captain. Shikamaru took a few breaths and left the room aswell. Finally, the head captain and his lieutenant were finally alone. After being quiet this whole time, his lieutenant spoke.
"Things sure are hectic. Althought knowing that some of the ryoka are allies, that helps things. Do you think they will actually stop this Orochimaru guy? Him and his allies did cause a lot of injuries, including to captains."
The old man sighed before he spoke. "Whether or not those ninja can stop him is not the point. If he tries anything else that threatens us, he will be destroyed. Although, we should cheer for them so we won't lose any of our subordinates." His lieutenant continued to listen as he gave his opinion. "Abarai, Kuchiki, Kurosaki, they better know what they're doing."
Meanwhile, Shikamaru was standing on the porch of the house, looking up at the sky. He was analyzing everything that he found out. He thought back to the final smirk Neji gave him. 'Even though he is an enemy, we can't just let them kill Sasuke.' he thought. 'Neji, I hope you know what you're doing.' He sighed as he started to walk towards the giant hill the captain spoke of. 'Looks like that's where I'm headed.'
S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
He raised his dark sword into the air. Black energy surrounded it as his anger fueled the destructive power. "Getsuga Tensho!" He slammed his sword to the ground and a crescent moon blast shot forward. It tore up the ground as it flew towards the portal.
The blast crashed into the portal. Ichigo smirked as the dark energy covered the gateway. Soon it couldn't take much more. The reiatsu exploded, sending black energy in all directions. Orochimaru and Kabuto were nearly caught in the blast but moved away just in time.
Ichigo breathed heavily as he looked at the dust clearing. A wide-eyed Naruto only looked at him in amazement. "That was amazing!"
"What was that for?" Kakashi asked. "And just who was that guy?"
"Nice try, but that won't work." Ichigo was surprised when he heard those words, spoken by the man he loathed so much. The dust dispersed to reveal the portal still there. The man inside it hadn't moved an inch. "That was very rude of you, Kurosaki Ichigo."
Ichigo clenched his teeth. "Aizen!" he said darkly.
"I see you two know each other." Orochimaru said. He walked over towards the portal and looked inside at Aizen. "You two can catch up later. I think it's time for us to finish our deal."
"Deal?" Kakashi said in confusion.
"Very well." Aizen said. "About that deal you suggested."
"Yes," Orochimaru said with a smile. "It's time for us to begin our plan. Open another portal for me."
"Wait, this guy is working with Orochimaru?" Naruto yelled.
"He's going with him back to Hueco Mundo!" Ichigo gripped his sword and was ready to charge. "We can't let those two escape together."
"Right." Kakashi stood ready to fight. With his right hand he pulled out a kunai, with his left he lifted his headband revealing his sharingan eye.
"About that deal," Aizen began. He looked at Orochimaru's eager face and smiled. "I decline."
Orochimaru's expression quickly changed to anger. "What!"
"From what I have already seen, I can't work with someone like you."
Ichigo, Naruto, and Kakashi were shocked to hear it. Yes shocked, but also relieved. Orochimaru couldn't help but show his anger. "You bastard! You'd betray me like this!"
"How can I betray someone whom I haven't worked with in the first place?" Aizen said. "Your plan," he smirked at the thought, "was doomed to fail."
"And how's that?" Kabuto couldn't help but butt in. "Are you just afraid of Orochimaru-sama?"
"Afraid?" Aizen laughed softly. He looked at Kabuto and then over to Orochimaru. "You are weak." he said plainly. "Your plan was for both of us to experiment on hollow and you ninja followers. Between the two of us, we could create the strongest, destructive being in the universe. Even so, did you really think I would let you into Hueco Mundo just like that?"
Everyone listened carefully as Aizen spoke. "That curse seal jutsu you spoke of. It sounded interesting indeed. However, if you can control someone who uses that power, then how strong could that person actually be?" he said with a laugh.
Orochimaru only stared at him with hatred. "What are you trying to say?" Kabuto yelled.
"Look at you two. If these puny ryoka and those captains did that much damage to you, then you are too weak to work with me."
"You call me weak?" Orochimaru asked. This time, a smile crept across his face. "Perhaps you would like to fight me and test that theory."
"No," Aizen said, "but I would like to make a counter proposal. If you can find a way into Hueco Mundo, infiltrate my palace, and confront me on my throne, I will consider working with you."
"No that won't work...because by then we wouldn't be working together." Orochimaru said quickly. "By then I would kill you for wasting my time." Orochimaru stared Aizen in the face. His anger was building.
"There is a silver lining in this deal." Aizen said suddenly. "Since I want you to attempt to confront me, I will aid your escape from Soul Society."
"Like I need your help!" Orochimaru yelled. Before he said anything else, he thought back on his subordinates words.
"Orochimaru-sama, I think we should retreat. First off, Sasuke should've been here by now. Something must have happened to him. Secondly, more captains are definitely on their way here. We can't keep this up for too long. We should search for Sasuke and retreat."
What Kabuto had said made plenty of sense. They had been in many fights and Sasuke was nowhere to be found. Plus now they are being offered a chance to escape. It was very...tempting.
"Alright," Orochimaru began, "I accept your offer. After you aid my escape, I will go to Hueco Mundo and assassinate you there."
Kabuto smirked, realizing what his master had done. Aizen smiled aswell. 'This should make Szayel Aporro happy.' he thought. "Fine, it's a deal then."
"Sorry," the evil men's conversation was disrupted by the copy ninja, "but we don't plan on letting you escape, Orochimaru."
"Shall we go now?" Kabuto asked, completely ignoring Kakashi's statement.
"Yes, we'll leave the rest to you, Aizen." With one final glare, Orochimaru turned and began to sprint away. Kabuto appeared right beside him as they continued to leave Sokyoku hill.
"You're not getting away!" Naruto yelled. He dashed towards the fleeing ninja as fast as he could. Aizen watched him speeding across Sokyoku.
'I wonder who this kid is?' he thought. He even noticed Naruto's changing appearance. The boys eyes turning red, his nails and teeth getting sharper, the marks on his face getting wider, the red chakra that began covering his body. 'This boy also seems interesting.' he thought.
The portal Aizen was looking through quickly closed. Almost instantly, another portal began to open near Naruto. Ichigo and Kakashi noticed and ran after the young ninja.
"Naruto, look out!" Ichigo yelled. Naruto didn't even notice. He was still following those two sound ninja.
"Easy prey." A blade shot out of the portal and was aimed at Naruto. The sword seemed to extend, growing longer and longer until it was about to penetrate the boy's back.
In a flash, Ichigo grabbed Naruto and pulled him to the side. The sword kept going and crashed into the ground. Kakashi stood beside the two boys.
"We have another person to deal with." Kakashi said.
"But what about Orochimaru!" Naruto cried.
The long sword finally began to withdraw. It retreated into the portal until it was reduced back to its normal size. "Well, looks like I missed ya."
The three heroes looked into the portal, awaiting the voice's owner to appear. Sure enough, a man walked out and the portal closed behind him. Ichigo clenched his teeth at the man he recognized. Purple-ish silver hair, slitted eyes, evil foxy grin.
"Long time no see, ryoka boy. How ya been lately?" he asked.
"You...you left with Aizen. You betrayed Soul Society and tried to kill Rukia." Ichigo said in a fierce tone.
"My my, yes that is all true. Ya know, Tosen could've came but I decided to come instead. I just wanted to see Seireitei again. Somehow, I'm getting the feeling that I'm not welcome."
"You're not!" Ichigo yelled as black energy surrounded his sword once again. Naruto and Kakashi stood back as he raised his sword into the air. "Getsuga..."
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." the ex-captain cut in.
He quickly shunpoed away. Ichigo stopped his move when he saw what was comming. A large wave of ice came rushing towards them. They all jumped to the side to avoid the icy attack. When the three of them regrouped, they saw someone running towards them from a distance.
"Rukia!" he yelled back. Rukia ran and stopped next to him.
"Thanks for that wave of ice that nearly killed us!" Naruto yelled.
Rukia smiled and muttered an apology.
"Well, if it ain't Rukia." the ex-captain said. They all looked to the side to see him standing a few feet away.
"Captain Ichimaru." Rukia said lowly as she looked at him. "Or should I say former captain?"
"That's cold." he said with a smirk, even though you would barely notice it.
"We have to take care of this guy." Kakashi said.
"But what about Orochimaru?" Naruto asked.
"We can't let him get away." Ichigo said determined.
"Okay, I have an idea." Kakashi said. They all moved a little closer and Kakashi told his plan.
"Are you guys gonna chat all day or are ya gonna actually fight?" Ichimaru said. Finally, all four of them turned their attention towards the enemy.
"Lets do this." Ichigo said.
"Right!" Kakashi reached into his pouch and pulled out a small ball. He threw it towards the ground and smoke covered the area around them. Ichimaru looked at the smoke carefully. Suddenly, five shuriken emerged from the smoke and headed towards him.
"Ya gotta do better than that." Using his sword, he deflected each one. He looked at the smoke again to see all four of them charging towards him. Two shinigami and two ninja. Ichimaru smiled with excitement. He took a step back and pulled back his sword while staring evilly at his enemies. "Shoot them dead, Shinso."
to be continued...