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Something to Call It
A name… What is a name?
A name is what people call something.
To give an identity to something.
So then…what if someone has no name?
Do they simply…not exist?
Or do all things have a name…?
Is it just a question of knowing it?
For the man known by many as Kenpachi Zaraki, that question had haunted his mind for centuries. If there was one thing he desired… One thing he wanted most… More then anything. More then the power, more then bloodlust…more then the greatest battle he would ever fight…He wanted one thing.
Of course, he had given himself a name, and many knew him, and feared him, by that name. But…he knew in his heart, that it was simply a pale shadow of his true name.
A true name…
Is there such a thing as a true name?
Is there a thing that you are called, and that nothing else can call you?
Or is there no such thing?
Is it simply a moniker?
A simple word that people think describes something the best?
Then is a name nothing more then a fleeting title?
Everyone has a different opinion of something, so then…would they all have a different name for something?
Is there no such thing…as a true name?
Zaraki had spent long nights, staring at the moon…wondering, pondering this problem.
Did he truly have a name?
Sense the time he had begun to try to find his Zanpaktou's name, after his battle with Ichigo, he had realized something…
They were the same.
Two nameless beings.
He did not know his Zanpaktou's name, and he did not know his own name.
He was just like a Zanpaktou he realized.
A being, with incredible power, but that power is sealed away, only accessible to those who know its name.
He wondered, was this punishment?
Did he not know his name, or the name of his zanpaktou, because someone willed it?
Was this a curse by god?
Did god fear his power?
Or did his Zanpaktou merely have no name at all?
Just like him?
To know thy name…is to know thyself
Without knowing your name…you cannot know yourself
You are your name.
It is you.
You are it.
You are one in the same.
And power is known by a name
The power is its name
The name is the power
Without knowing the name…
…there is no power.
If there was any time when Zaraki needed more power…it was now.
Aizen was dead, but the true battle was just beginning.
The battle against the rogue Shinigami had been great.
Many Shinigami, Captains, Lieutenants and even Vizard had fallen against Aizen's army of Arrancer, some dead, some merely lying in a pool of their own blood, unable to do anything.
Komamura, his life already faded, had struck down his dearest friend, the one whom had slain him.
Izuru, having finally achieved his Bankai, had battled his former Captain, who had just struck down the only one to ever love him. Even then, the battle was futile. But Izuru had done his job. As his body was pierced by a thousand blades of Shinso, Rangiku cast the final ability of her Bankai…consigning all three of them to oblivion.
Toushirou Hitsugaya…and Momo Hinamori… Probably the two people who had admired Aizen the most, had flown at the man, screaming for his blood. Hinamori, covered in pinkish flame, twin butterfly wings trailing behind her. Her childhood friend, and lover, covered in a similar pattern of ice, trailed by his draconic wings as they assailed the renegade shinigami, their eyes burning with rage. But even when they had turned the fallen powers of the Vizard against him, Aizen refused to fall.
Activating his own Bankai, and even donning his own hollow mask, Aizen brutally cut down his attackers, reducing a Dragon God of Ice, and a Butterfly Goddess of Fire, to a pair of bloody husks, barely clinging to life.
In a final, desperate bid to save the one he loved, Toushirou had summoned the last of his strength to construct a crystalline cocoon of ice around them as he had lost consciousness. The technique would hold them in a kind of cryostasis while his massive reiatsu healed them, provided nothing broke the cocoon.
However, just as Aizen was about to smash the prison of ice and kill them both, a massive reiatsu had settled over Karakura town, signaling the arrival of perhaps the one person who could challenge Aizen as a hole in reality seemed to open up, sending in eight beings.
The two former Espada, Nel Tu and Grimmjaw Jaquerjaques.
The Quincy, Uryuu Ishida.
The two humans, Orihime Inoue and Sado Yasotora.
The two Shinigami, Renji Abarai and Rukia Kuchiki.
And finally, and mightiest of them all, the substitute Shinigami, Ichigo Kurosaki.
The two former Espada and the two Shinigami had dashed into the Arrancar army, hacking through them with no concern for their own survival. The human girl, Orihime, had projected a massive barrier around those still alive as she began to undo the injuries done to them. While the three remaining attacked Aizen.
The Quincy, having assumed his ultimate form, even greater then the one he had used to defeat Kurotsuchi. The human, Chad, assumed his own ultimate form, turning into an almost pseudo-hollow. And Ichigo Kurosaki activated his Bankai and donned his hollow mask, releasing more reiatsu then he had ever before. However, even then, Aizen would not fall.
But even as Uryuu and Chad were struck down at his hand, and Ichigo had slumped, his bloodied form barely able to stand, the true power of his blade, and himself, had awakened.
Zangetsu, the black moon cutter, bestowed upon Ichigo all of his strength. The strength of the King. For what Aizen sought to destroy, had lay right in front of him this whole time. The power of Zangetsu, the greatest of all zanpaktou, the original Shinigami, the Spirit King, God had been unleashed through Ichigo.
The young Shinigami attacked Aizen once more, breaking through every defense the traitor erected. For however powerful Aizen was, he could not stand against the power wielded by Ichigo. The power of the King, of God, could not be stopped. And as the black nodachi pierced his chest, a tremendous blast of black energy ended Aizen's ambition forever, and consigned the man to the void.
Then…all hell had broken loose.
Without their leader to direct them, the hollows and Arrancar went mad, fighting and killing indiscriminately, making them more of a threat then when they were under Aizen's command. But the worst was yet to come.
Los Tres Diablos
The three oldest, and greatest of the Vasto Lorde.
Aizen had been their puppet. They had lurked in the shadows of Hueco Mundo, waiting with their army of natural Arrancar and Menos's for their time to strike. And with Ichigo, the only being that could stand against them, exhausted from the usage of his full power and not even able to stand, let alone fight, that time was now.
The dimensional rifts opened up, and an army of demons marched through. Thousands of Gillians, hundreds of Ascutches, and dozens of Arrancar and Vasto Lorde, all rushed through.
The reiatsu from the three great hollows was immense, most of the Shinigami there were killed by the pressure of it alone. These Vasto Lorde were greater then anything seen by Soul Society before. Greater then any shinigami, save the Spirit King himself. And with that, they attacked.
Grimmjaw and Nel Tu were the first to fall, ripped to pieces by crazed hollows.
Renji was next, obliterated by eighteen cero blasts as he attempted to save Rukia.
Rukia was about to be obliterated by one of the Diablo Espada's lieutenants, a lesser Vasto Lorde turned to an Arrancar as well, were it not for one thing.
The captain of squad six had been gravely wounded by Ichimaru. Though only clinging to life, he Shunpo'd to Rukia. Knowing full well he would not survive, Rukia's brother activated the final power of his bankai. The blue cero glanced off of his white wings as Byakuya flew at the damned Arrancar, and with his last breath, struck him down.
But even this sacrifice did little, for none seemed to be able to stand against the unstoppable force of hollows. Then, they arrived. The one force feared by some in Soul Society more then even the hollows.
Kenpachi had worn his insane grin as he dove out of the Senkaimon gate, followed by his loyal soldiers. During the time after Aizen's betrayal, Kenpachi had been training his squad harder then ever before. Now, all members of Squad 11 could activate Shikai. All seated officers could use Bankai. And all those above sixth seat, were Vizard. If any force could possibly challenge the one that now threatened the world, it was this one.
The battle was intense. Two armies, each mad with bloodlust, none fearing death, charged at the other. The Shinigami of Squad eleven were the only ones who could match this fell attack.
Kenpachi Zaraki, flanked by his lieutenants, each with Bankai activated and mask donned, had dashed into the fray, slicing through any that stood in their path. It was an absolute bloodbath, but soon, the blood of hollows seemed to be greater.
Survival, nay, Victory finally seemed possible.
But then, just as it seemed as if the forces of Seireitei might just have a chance to prevail, a horrible doom visited itself upon the battlefield.
The doom of Madness.
Orihime Inoue. The human friend of Ichigo Kurosaki. She had been trying desperately to save as many lives as she could, but such an innocent young mind like hers should not be exposed to such grim horrors that now played around her. Her mind is like that of a child's, and such kindness and innocence is consumed like fragile paper in the fires of war. The terrible bloodshed and chaos was not a thing she should witness.
But she did.
And as her fragile, innocent mind tried desperately to ignore the grim reality, the final blow was struck. The young man known as Chad, even as his body lay dieing in the rubble, was crushed by an insane Arrancar. Her friends, who had no spiritual power whatsoever, were burned away by a cero blast even as they fled to the Senkaimon Gate. To witness the horrible deaths of her dearest friends was too much for the young girl, and so her mind shattered, and all descended into madness.
For you see, her power was that of rejection. To undo what had been done. To reject reality. Normally, this would be an incredible asset to whomever it was aligned with. But, when its wielder has fallen into madness, it is a harbinger of doom. Orihime's power exploded outward. Her power rejecting everything. Undoing the very fabric of reality. Hollow, Shinigami, Human, it did not matter whom or what it touched. All was undone into a shapeless void by the expanding dome of energy.
But even as all of existence seemed doomed, a single hope remained. Using the last of his fading life force, Uryuu Ishida aimed his final shot. As the dome approached him, Uryuu let the arrow fly. The blade of light pierced the dome, and then the heart of the one he had loved most. And thus the proud Quincy order was ended.
Even then though, the battle was not over, merely interrupted.
Now Kenpachi stood hunched over, breathing heavily, his lungs fighting for oxygen. His uniform ripped and bloody. His sword, torn from his grasp, stood stabbed into the ground to his right.
When Orihime had perished, the dome of energy had exploded outward, transforming their battleground. Now, they all stood on floating masses of wreckage or debris in a great space made by the explosion of power.
Kenpachi was surrounded. And he was alone. Everyone else was either dead or dieing, or simply undone by Orihime's mad rampage. Ikkaku and Yumichika on their own platforms. Yachiru, though still alive, was in no condition to fight. By some strange stroke of luck, the hollows had completely ignored the icy crystal that held Toushirou Hitsugaya and Momo Hinamori, probably because they posed no threat. Now the Captain of Squad Eleven was surrounded by the greatest beings of Hueco Mundo, his massive reiatsu drained, his wounds massive.
If there was any time he needed more power, it was now.
Just as the hollows seemed about to attack, Kenpachi heard something. A voice he thought he would never here. A voice within his soul. A voice deeper than the sea itself.
'PATHETIC MORTAL! IS THIS THE BEST YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH?'
Time seemed to freeze, and just as Kenpachi blinked, he was no longer standing amongst bloodthirsty hollows. He was still standing on mass of rubble, but the space around him had changed drastically. He was now floating in a swirling vortex of blood-red energy. Every direction he looked, there was a vortex leading directly in front of him. He was glad he wasn't thinking about this to much, because trying to focus on his surroundings would probably destroy what little sanity he had.
No, what he was focusing on was what was staring at him from the center of the whirlpool like vortex in front of him.
A great eye. Lidless, and sheathed in red flame. A black, slit pupil gazed out at the weary Captain. The great voice spoke again.
"DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM…WHELP?"
Kenpachi spoke in a low voice.
"I know who you are. You are the sword that I wield"
"YOU KNOW WHAT I AM. BUT DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? CAN YOU SPEAK THE NAME OF ?"
Kenpachi gazed downwards. He didn't know. He couldn't hear the name of his Zanpaktou. Perhaps he truly was cursed.
"WELL THEN, YOU CANNOT HEAR MY NAME MORTAL? WELL IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS. HOW CAN ONE WHO DOES NOT KNOW HIMSELF, KNOW HIS POWER?"
Kenpachi sighed. So that was it. That was why he could not know the name of his sword. He did not know his own name.
Why? Why could he not know his own name? Was this his fate? To be crushed by those he could vanquish in an instant, all because he did not know HIS OWN NAME?!
As the great swordsman wracked his mind for answers, the voice spoke again.
"SO…THIS IS THE FATE OF THE ONE WHO ONCE MADE THE HEAVENS SHIVER IN FEAR? THIS IS THE FATE OF THE ONE WHO CHALLENGED HIS OWN DESTINY? THIS IS THE FATE OF THE ONE WHO STRUCK DOWN GODS? THIS IS THE FATE OF THE ONE WHO ESCAPED HELL ITSELF? IS THIS THE FATE OF YOU? A GOD OF WAR?!"
Kenpachi's eyes widened as images, no, memories flashed before his eyes.
A bald man with plate armor led a great army into battle.
The same man, now beget of armor, his skin a pale white, with two blades chained to his arms, rips through an army with ease
The man now stands before his master, the one who had scorned him, hated him, broken him. And now, the master kneels before the man, a great sword thrust into his throat
The same man, now stands looming above his father, a god, cloaked in white. The man raises a sword of thunder above his head, and brings it down upon the one who sired him.
Kenpachi's eyes narrowed, a smirk forming on his face as dark power gathered around him. The knowledge of who he once was. It was truly a glorious life he had lived. Even in death, he had continued his duty as a scion of battle. And his name, what a great name it was. A name that embodied conflict, battle, war. Truly, a name befitting of one such as him. In the greatest voice he could muster, he shouted out to the eye of flame.
"My name… My name is…KRATOS!"
The dark aura of power blasted out, rising to the heavens in a great cloud. The cloud then flattened and gathered in on itself, growing darker and more intense. Yet in redoubling itself, it grew stronger, and its heart grew darker verging on the shade of pure ebony.
And then, from that darkened cloud… a god emerged.
It was a titanic figure, larger then any hollow, dwarfing even the Los Tres Diablos. Its skin looked like it was cast in bronze, and it wore black armor made of molten obsidian. Its great beard and wild hair were made of living flames, and huge horns longer then even the Soukyoku halberd jutted from above its dark brow. A pair of dark, bat-like wings, each as black as night and big enough to cover all of Seireitei, jutted from its shoulders. Its eyes were the color of the Infinite Abyss. A long, reptilian tail tipped with a massive fireball emerged from its back. In its left hand was a broken sword bigger then the Soukyoku hill. In its right, was a spear that could stretch across Seireitei twice over, engraved with runes that dripped burning blood.
"NOW YOU KNOW. NOW… CAN YOU HERE IT? CAN YOU HERE MY NAME?"
As the god of demons spoke its name, the man known by many as Kenpachi Zaraki could only smirk at it. Such a glorious name it was. Such a perfect name to describe the being before him. A name of blood, fire, hate, destruction, and utter annihilation. A name befitting of such a great entity.
And so they went forth as one. The God of War. And the God of Annihilation.
The hollows were about to attack, when suddenly, an explosion of power erupted from their target, forcing them back. As Kenpachi Zaraki reared himself up to his full height, the hollows sensed the power behind him. But his reiatsu was different from before.
It was evil, incomprehensibly so. Whereas before, his reiatsu felt abominable, this power felt… pure evil. It was an evil beyond words, an evil that seemed to consume all caught in its path. It is an evil far above the petty atrocities and cruelties of the human design, a malevolence that desired only destruction. It was a nefarious aura who craved only the obliteration of all things, to condemn all existence into the void.
It was the deterioration of life itself.
As Kenpachi stood, he spoke in a low voice.
"Infernos of Hell…Scourge the Lands"
As if on que, crimson flames gathered around him in a red aura as he walked to his sword.
"Cold Winds of the North…Freeze the Seas"
The temperature dropped incredibly so. Not like when Captain Hitsugaya used his power. This was like an icy blizzard…that would kill all in its path. Kenpachi continued as he reached for his sword.
"Thunderous Lightning…strike down the Heavens"
Lightning thundered across the sky above them as a storm began to gather. A storm that felt, evil. Like Heaven itself was being torn asunder. As his hand gripped the blade, the man spoke again.
"Moonless Night…Darken the skies"
The sky darkened to an inky black, like the blackest of any night. As he began to pull on the blade, the dark words came again.
"Infinite Abyss…consume my foes"
A swirling vortex of power formed underneath them, its eye as black as the sky above them, as if beckoning them into its dark embrace. As the blade was pulled from its prison, words tumbled past his lips once more.
"Wretched Oblivion…unleash the demon hordes!"
Now, as the lightning crashed, and the fires raged, the hollows could make out silhouettes on the edges of their vision. They did not know if they were real or not, but they could see what they were. Demons. Millions of them. An army more terrible then they could hope to imagine.
As Kenpachi raised his sword above his head, and that evil power grew even stronger be the second, he spoke one last time, in a voice deeper then the sea itself.
"Now…Reign in the Apocalypse…SARGERAS!!"
Power, greater then any felt in that world before, exploded outward. The lesser hollows were vaporized by its presence alone, other burned away by its fiery shockwave.
As the light dissipated, the once great hollows, now frozen, in either fear or the nigh-infinite reiatsu pressing down on them beheld their foe, their executioner.
A new, final hell had arrived. But this one would be brought to bear against the enemies of Seireitei. And it would destroy every last one of them.
In the end, all you need to know something… is something to call it.
AN: Yeah I know, you were probably expecting an update to Naruto no Kyuubi or Roku Naruto. Sorry, but I've had some writers block with those, plus I couldn't write anything else until I got this idea out of my head. Not to mention finals, and the TWO ten-page research papers I had to do, plus the awesomeness of Ninja Gaiden II. So I've been pretty busy as of late. I'll have them up soon, hopefully by the end of the week, or at most the end of next week.
Also, I find my respect for Sasuke dropping, immensely. I mean seriously, he took everything that Itachi did for him, and then ignores everything Itachi was trying to teach him. I can tell that by the end of the series, Sasuke is going to be dead. We all know it. Which is probably why Itachi gave Naruto some form of the Sharingan (probably to resist the Mangekyou's ability to control Kyuubi is my bet). One things for sure, things are getting interesting (again).
Read and Review (and we all know that Kratos is the only being badass enough who could have been Kenpachi when he was alive)