All that Minori could see around her was a covering of pink petals. She had tried her hardest to fight against the Acolito but her hardest wasn't enough to win against it.
The sakura petals surrounded Minori and protected her from the last blow the Acolito had delivered. She was being protected by those petals and somehow felt a deep connection to them. Once the petals had returned her to the ground, Minori opened her eyes and saw her savior. There in front of her stood Byakuya in all his regal glory.
Minori had to admit he looked best on the fighting grounds. His shiny hair flowed behind him while his broad shoulders leading to the very hands that held the shaft for his Zanpaktou. The sakura petals realigned themselves into the shaft of the sword while Byakuya looked over at Minori.
Minori stood up and held her zanpaktou in her right hand before yelling over to Byakuya.
"We need to separate the individual hollows from the body of the Acolito. It uses the spirit power of all the hollows and combines them, making it impossible to find a weakness for it. But I figured out that the center of the Acolito is his weakness. The Acolito has the most hollows guarding that specific spot. I'm going to use Kinomoto to break apart the hollows but I will need your help to slash through the opening with Senbonzakura," Minori requested.
Byakuya looked at the woman in astonishment. The woman wanted him to follow her directions but she had done so without degrading him or making a demand of him. He found this interesting but he would have to think about this later as the Acolito had charged toward them again.
Minori released her zanpaktou, "Blow Kinomoto!"
Byakuya watched as Minori drifted the Acolito apart. He saw the way the wind drifted the hollows away from the center of the power source. But before he could send Senbonzakura's blades to the Acolitos' center, the hollows came back together.
Minori looked as Byakuya struggled to slash through the hollows that quickly regrouped around the power source. It took her a moment then she realized that she could call on Kinomoto to create earth barriers between the individual hollows and the Acolitos' power source.
Once again Minori commanded her zanpaktou to blow apart the wind. She only had a few seconds but that was all she needed to erect a powerful earth barrier between the hollows and the power source. As the hollows became separated, Byakuya watched his fellow captain straining to keep herself stable.
He took his cue and sent Senbonzakura to slash through the Acolito's center. His blades bypassed the individual hollows and slaughtered the power source of the Acolitos.
Just as Minori had said the Acolito broke apart into the thousands of individual hollows that it consisted of. No longer was there one enemy using the power of thousands of hollows, but now they could fight each hollow individually without worrying about it rejuvenating.
Yoruichi jumped into the fight as well when she saw that Byakuya and Minori couldn't handle the fight.
Kon gasped as he saw the thousands of Hollows attacking the three taichos. He knew that even with their powerful reitsus they couldn't defeat the hollows. Having the most powerful reitsus didn't mean that they had more stamina and resilience than other Shiningamis.
He had to get someone to help them.
Kon ran back to Orihime's apartment. He didn't know where to find anyone else. If Byakuya and Minori failed to defeat the hollows then all of Karakura town would become dust.
Kon pushed the door open and grabbed Chad out of the room. He yelled and shocked Ichigo and Orihime away from each other.
Within a minute all three of them were back at the scene where the hollows were battling against the thousands of hollows. But before they could do anything, all the hollows had been cleared out. Both Byakuya and Minori stood in the middle of the battle ground victorious as one by one the hollows are disappeared as spirit particles.
Orihime ran over to Minori and asked her what happened. Minori smiled as she told Orihime and the boys what happened.
"The Acolitos turned out to be thousands of hollows surrounding a power source. Byakuya and I worked together to separate the hollows and allow a direct attack on the power source. But if Byakuya wasn't here to help me, the Acolitos would have taken me hostage or killed me," Minori said. She then turned to Byakuya and bowed deeply as a sign of gratitude.
Orihime suggested that since everyone was safe and that it was night time that everyone head back to their homes to go to bed. Ichigo and Orihime left together while Kon followed them quickly afterwards. Byakuya and Minori walked home while Renji and Rukia had decided to patrol around Karakura for a little while longer.
Once they were alone, Byakuya asked Minori why she didn't use the powers that she was given by the prince of Seireitei. Minori answered by saying, "Each captain has a cap on the amount of power and reitsu they can release in the human world. For me I have a cap on the amount of reitsu that can be released at all times. If I stood beside you and released my reitsu at full force then you would no longer be alive let alone capable of being turned into spirit dust."
Byakuya pondered on that for a while until they reached home. He too had a cap on his powers but that didn't mean that he wasn't capable of drawing out the powers that were useful in a battle. Sure, Minori was strong and had a lot of reitsu but at the early stage of battle she needs to be prepared.
When the two of them reached home they noticed that the suite was rather quiet. Minori had expected her sister and Uryuu to be back home by now. She hadn't seen them on the way home nor had she seen them at the scene where the Acolitos were destroyed.
"Byakuya, by any chance have you seen my sister and Uryuu? They should have been home already," Minori asked.
"I hadn't seen them since this morning when we left for patrols. I'm sure they are safe. The Quincy is quite capable of taking care of your sister and himself," Byakuya replied.
Still uneasy, Minori decided to listen to Byakuya and allow her sister some more time to get home. She went to the joined bath and decided to soak away all the stress the fighting had put on her body.
She knew that it wasn't the actual fight that had her exhausted. The tiring part was trying to keep her body stable while using Kinomoto's power. She had practiced for many years on how to hide and lower the amount of reitsu she released but that didn't mean she was perfect at concealing her reitsu while in battle.
Thankfully Minori still had the locket that would help her.
Byakuya closed his eyes for a moment. He listened to the silence outside of his bedroom window. In the distance he could hear the water of Minori's bath. There was something calming about being here in Karakura with Minori.
Byakuya recalled the events of the past few hours. Things had changed quickly in the past couple of days. For once, Byakuya welcomed that change.
Uryuu woke with a slight headache. He was confused for a while as to why he was in the middle of a park bench by himself.
He recalled that he and Lana were on patrol on this side of town. He also remembered how Lana was so close to kissing him again. He could feel his cheeks tint again but suddenly he remembered that Lana had been kidnapped by Shino and Haruhi.
Uryuu got up and ran as fast as he could to the Hinamashi suite. He had to let everyone know that the bad guys were after Minori not Orihime, and that they had kidnapped Lana.
Author's Note: Has it really been like two years? wow
I apologize. Please review!! I promise to write one more chapter before I go on vacation in June