Back. I'll take things slower from here. I'm rushing on things. Haha.



Rukia gasped.

"Ichigo..." Then she looked up, face full of determination. "Nii-sama, please allow me to talk with Renji." She asked.

Byakuya looked at her firmly, seeing her intention. "Rukia, it's too dangerous. You are not to leave this manor as long as this mess isn't solved."

"Nii-sama," she inisisted, "What is there to harm me? If they came for Ichigo they already have him! They won't do anything else or hang around here! They should know that Ichigo's reiatsu can be traced and quick."

He slightly furrowed a brow. She had a point. But I'm not risking you again. "And what if they didn't come for him only?" He retorted.

She frowned. He had a point too.

But, Ichigo...

"Nii-sama, please I just need to talk to Renji..." She begged once more.

"If you are to talk to my fukutaichou then it is he who will be coming here, Rukia." With that he turned then sat, having no plans of leaving her whatsoever.

Then a hell butterfly came fluttering in their manor...

"All those present at the meeting yesterday regarding the research group to be sent to Karakura town tomorrow are to go to the Soutaichou's office immediately."

Byakuya sighed. "Rukia."

She nodded as she stood up, readying herself to leave...

Byakuya proceeded to to the door, she followed but was to busy thinking to even care where they were going.

What do they want with Ichigo?

What will they do to Ichigo?

Why is it always Ichigo?

Questions unanswered. Too many of them, when in the end, a single question hit her.

Why does she worry too much about Ichigo?

As the door to the Soutaichou's office opened, she found that every one except Byakuya and herself had already arrived. She took her seat and sighed.

Yamamoto eyed them all as he started speaking. "As you all know, Kurosaki Ichigo has been kidnapped earlier. Due to the incident, the research group to be sent to the research project we supposedly will launch tomorrow will be terminated." The man then turned around, facing the window, the taichous have eventually gotten used to this gesture as they would always see it. The men in the room were tensed, as Kurosaki Ichigo was indeed a strong man and a great asses to Seretei. That man could kick ass and well, he was just kidnampped.

These people are no Joke.

Yamamoto started again, "And since he is already at the hands of the enemy. I'd assume there's no point in keeping secrets."

That called the taichous' attentions.

He turned towards Urahara. Ukitake Isshin and Kyouraku simply sighed.

"Hai." The bloned, hatted man responded, seemingly reluctant.

"Kurosaki Ichigo." He paused. "Son of Kurosaki Isshin and Kurosaki Masaki. He was 15 years of age when he first aquired his shinigami powers through Kuchiki Rukia. He killed Aizen Souske, with the aid of his previously human friends. He is said to be vaizard." The others unaware of this fact gasped. "Even though he is, he was able to control his hollow and use it to his advantage, making him an ever bigger asset to Soul Society."

Rukia scowled. Pssh. Asset huh? Is that all he is to them?

"We all know that the Hougyouku was said to be 'destroyed', and that the war has ended already. But, I'd say there's a new war approaching. Who is leading the opposing force is unidentified at the moment. No signs of attacking Soul Society or the human world have been shown but if this new force succeeds, the results are destructive."

"And what is this new force that's awakening?" Soi Fon asked, seemingly disgusted at the thought of another war.

"Let me explain first." He urged. No one seemed to object. "We all know that after the war, Hueco Mundo has been severely damaged, making hollows incapable of reaching the Vasto Lorde stage. And well know that only recently, Kurosaki Ichigo has been attacked by a Hollow which we assume is a Vasto Lorde. The appearance of two other Vasto Lorde were also stated." He pulled his hat down. "These events have alarmed us since the appearance of the higher level hollow only meant one thing... there's a new power source."

"A new power source?" Hitsugaya asked "What would that be?"

Urahara scowled. "Excuse me for the wrong usage of words..."

This earned him curious looks.

"I meant to say, a quite familiar source."

Rukia looked at him, the feeling of having Aizen's hand in her, feeling in her soul for the Hougyouku.

"You see... Hougyouku wasn't destroyed." This earned him skeptical looks. "The Hougyouku..." He pondered. "The Hougyouku, as we know, melts the bound between shinigami and hollow. That initself renders it indestructible."

"And what why would that be?" Mayuri seemed very interested.

"Kurosaki Ichigo wasn't able to destroy the Hougyouku because it can't be. As I said, it was indestructible. The Hougyouku was constantly eating and producing energy. Melting shinigami and Hollow reiatsu together produced energy which the Hougyouku then would absorb to continue working. The glass orb where it was stored was shattered, but, that was merely a container. The Hougyouku was never destroyed when the glass was shattered. As long as there's shinigami and hollow reiatsu, it will continue to exist, it's energy, power, not a frail glass ball. And I tell you, the remaining arrancar give it plenty shinigami and hollow reiatsu to feed on."

Ah yes. Rukia remembered. Baragan and Ulquiorra Schiffer were the ones left. Two of the highest espada.

"Their motive?" Soi Fon asked.

"To make an army of Vasto Lordes out of the human population. At least, that's what we assume."

They gasped. That was enormous.

"How on earth is that possible?!" A surprised Renji asked.

"Vasto Lorde. The rank can be achieved if one hollow consume the rest and eventually evolves to Gillian, Adjuchas and then to Vasto Lorde of course. Tell me, what do hollows feed on generally?"

"Pluses." Byakuya's stern voice resounded.

"Of course, Kuchiki-taichou is correct. It can clearly be seen that it takes a tremendous amount of hollows for one to reach the Vasto Lorde rank. And that is because it needs human essence."

"What?" Mayuri questioned in a manner where in he was almost amused.

"Pluses have energy. It's different from reiatsu but, it can be turned into reiatsu." He took his hat off this time. The gesture caught eyes. "Pluses, they are human souls that aren't shinigami. Hollows love to feed on shinigami, because they have amplified reiatsu, compared to pluses, it makes the hollow feel better, feel more satisfied yet it doesn't provide what is need for them to achieve Vasto Lorde. They need to absorb plus souls."

"How is that any different from eating them?"

"Let's use an example. You have meat, pork let's say. Eating the pork is different from cutting you fingers, chopping them then mixing it with the pork, is it not? and it creates a totally new taste. It has a tinge of human flesh." Others made a face that were as if they wish he had used a different example. "The hollows eat human souls. As they eat, however, the human essence doesn't mix with them, it becomes stored energy. The hollows simply don't know that all the human hunting they do is in vain, but, it does provide other hollows the chance to go up the ranks. When the hollow eats the plus,the soul itself and the energy of the plus is separated. The hollow absorbs the soul. So now inside the hollow is the soul of the plus and it's energy. When another hollow eats another hollow, the hollow digests the hollow, the soul which was "stored" in the eaten hollow is then fused with the other hollow. Because the hollows are "empty"[thus their name (okay so maybe I made that up)] it cannot derive any "hollow essence'' so it absorbs the whole hollow. With the human essence."

The other taichous nodded in comprehensio while some just gawked in confusion.

"That is why Vasto Lordes are humanoid. Because they have gathered enough human essence to achieve the rank."

"But... why do they need that essence?"

"Because the energy of humans fuse with hollow reiatsu. And as I said about fusion of reiatsu, it creates vast amounts of energy which the Hollow uses as reiatsu once turned to Vasto Lorde, much like the humans' so called 'Nuclear Fusion'." Of course, none of them knew of that. "And they couldn't use shinigami reiatsu since the two would clash and cancel out each other."

"What does Kurosaki Ichigo have to do with this?"

"The Hougyouku currently combines shinigami and hollows. It seems now that they've given up on that idea and proceeded to combining humans and hollows. They want to get Kurosaki Ichigo, expose him to the area where the Hougyouku's energy is and create a reaction that changes the Hougyouku's purpose from shinigami-hollow to plus-hollow or spawning Vasto Lorde by forcing Hollow reiatsu into pluses, who have human essence as we know."


"They needed it to react to something that was half human half hollow and Kurosaki Ichigo isn't a vizard."