So I just wanna do a quick recap/brief explaining:
Chapter 13: Toushiro visits Granny and finally finds Karin under her care
Chapter 14: Karin "turns" into Karasu and memory is replaced (both not mentioned but hinted)
Chapter 15: Momo wakes up
Chapter 16: If you noticed "shock" and "rush of electricity," that was the start of the mind control
Chapter 17: Karin-turned-Karasu, and Granny and Nami starts seeing the change; a ryoka enters Soul Society the same night Chapter 14 takes place
And that's that.
A month has passed since Karasu first understood the meeting with her zanpakutou, and since then, she would train long and hard in order to learn their name. There would be times when she'd have one-on-one sessions with an upperclassman, and other times where Karasu would fight three against one with her friends.
Although people finds her practicing her fighting skills, both sword and hand combat, Karasu always made time to do her schoolwork. Because of her training and studying, Karasu is top of the class and is already working on her last year's workload.
There had been quite a few students that had been able to go as far as she did, causing her schoolmates to misunderstand her reason of trying to get out so early. There had been rumors of how Karasu is out for revenge, or that she's going after one of the captains, but of course, they're wrong.
All Karasu wanted was a way out, a way to understand why she couldn't remember a life that she once had but was replaced by the name of Karasu. In her time in meditation, her zanpakutou didn't reveal much to her by saying that she needs to find out on her own. It infuriated her, but Karasu learned to follow their judgment, understanding that you can't get all your questions answered by asking.
Currently it was noon, and Karasu was in the training room once again. With the dummies set across the room, she moved with stealth and attacked with skill. In the short time that she was there in the Academy, Karasu had learned a lot, and because of her accomplishments, she was the only freshman student to accompany the senior graduates to the Squad exams that was taking place in less than an hour.
For the exams that she will be taking, there are two parts: one of knowledge and another of skill. She had the knowledge exam the next day, so she was doing last minute training for the skills exam.
For the skills exam, they would be fighting against one of the fukutaichos of the Gotei Thirteen. They will be the ones to assess which squad they think is best based off their skills. Apart from that, her knowledge exam does the same, so the overall assessment will place her where ever the administrators seem fit for her.
As Karasu continued to brush up on her skills, she was soon interrupted by one of the graduating seniors, briefly telling her that it was time to go.
Karasu sheathed her sword and nodded. "Alright, thanks," she told them before following them out to the Academy grounds.
Once she got there, Karasu scanned the area to see what's supposed to be 259 students waiting to be tested on their skills. She took a deep breath and began walking towards her designated spot when she heard her name being called.
Karasu turned around to see Kyomi, Jun, and Keseki running towards her, each carrying a smile of their own as they reached her, to which she greeted them with one of her own. "Hey, you guys," she called to them. "What are ya'll doing here?"
"We came to see you, duh," Jun exclaimed. "And to wish you luck."
Kyomi rolled her eyes, hitting him on the back of his head. "Puh-lease, this is Karasu we're talking about here," she stated matter-of-factly. "She doesn't need luck."
Jun sighed, shaking his head at his friends' antics but smiled. "It's not every day that one of us gets to take the finals after a short amount of time here at the Academy," he told Karasu.
Keseki nodded his vigorously. "Yeah, it's a really rare thing. Being a shinigami must be in your blood," he added thoughtfully.
Kyomi huffed. "Tch, how would she know that when Karasu doesn't even have memories from the Real World," she asked bluntly.
"Then explain how she could pass all her classes easily," Keseki retaliated.
As they continued to argue, Karasu thought back to the last thing Kyomi had said that she didn't have any memories from the Real World.
In the classes that she took, one of her professors had told her that there are some shinigami that remembers their life when they were human. For those that don't, they could have had some memories they wanted to push away or a wish to start a new life they might have made before they died. Another possible reason is an invisible force that a person's zanpakutou might have made for reasons of his or her own.
Karasu had thought long and hard about it, and the only possible reason that seemed logically was a new life. It would make up for why her zanpakutou calls her by a different name, along with Nami.
She shook her head as she started to question her well-being.
Jun noticed his troubled friend. He placed a hand on her shoulder and said knowingly, "You shouldn't think too much of it. The time will present itself when you will regain your memories." He paused before adding with a chuckle, "It took me a couple of years for my memories to come. Maybe yours will come along a lot sooner."
Karasu smiled, appreciating the comfort. "Thanks a lot, Jun."
He shrugged in response. "That's what I'm here for."
Soon there was a loud, booming voice echoing across the grounds, immediately catching everybody's attention.
"We will now begin the exams. When I call your name, a number shall follow. Whatever number I give you is the Division fukutaicho you will be sparring with."
"Ah," Kyomi started, "looks like we should be going now."
Keseki nodded. "Yeah, don't wanna end up getting detention again."
"We'll see you later, Karasu," Jun told her as they began to leave the Academy grounds. "Good luck!"
As Karasu waved them off, she heard Kyomi sigh in annoyance and stated, "Didn't you hear me telling Keseki earlier that she doesn't need luck?"
Karasu chuckled before turning her attention back to the administrator as he continued on calling out names. She nodded her head towards a couple of students she knew as their names were being called, watching them as they headed into the surrounding forest in different directions.
The number of students at the grounds began to dwindle down. Every half hour or so, students will come out of the forest while more heads inside. It was only a matter of time before her name will be called, so Karasu took a deep breath, staying calm and steady as she waited for her turn.
When another set of students began to file out of the forest where the sparring was taking place, the administrator began to call for the next set of students.
"Will the following please go to their designated area: Minami Daichi, one. Kenshin Kaede, two. Sano Amaya, three. Shuichi Rika, four. Yuriko Tenshi, five. Karasu, six..."
Karasu inwardly cringed at the lack of a surname as she made her way towards the area sixth Division's fukutaicho would be waiting. Some of the students had teased her for the lack of a name, and she didn't bother making one up either because it wouldn't feel right.
She shook her head, sighing with a want for her supposed memory to return as she pushed tree branches out of the way and walked over tree roots.
"Maybe mines will come a lot sooner," Karasu mumbled to herself, repeating the words Jun told her earlier.
Renji stood against a tree with his arms crossed as he waited for the next weakling to cross swords with him. The ones that he sparred with had some or no potential. It seems to him that they spent most of their time studying than practicing on their skills.
"At least they were still able to keep up… some," he thought.
Soon Renji heard footsteps as the next student approached the clearing. He pushed himself off the tree, standing up straight with his arms crossed. He thought about looking intimidating to scare the kid, but decided not to since they'd probably be the same like all the others.
When they finally reached the clearing, Renji looked over to them and was shocked at who he saw standing there.
"K-karin," he stuttered from shock. "Is that you?"
He watched her as she turned from calm and collected to annoyed.
"Seems like you also think I'm her," was her automatic response as she moved closer to the center of the clearing.
Renji stared at her with wonder, mulling over what she said. He then sighed, having mistaken her as Ichigo's sister.
"I'm sorry," Renji apologized. "I thought you were someone I knew."
He saw her nod her head with a look of surprise etched onto her face.
Renji pushed the questioning thoughts that were running through his mind away and focused on the girl.
"I'm Abarai Renji, 6th Division's fukutaicho. What's your name," Renji asked her as he unsheathed his zanpakutou.
"Karasu," she replied, following suit as she pulled her sword out.
He raised an eyebrow while moving into a defensive position. "No last name," he questioned her, feeling quite nosy.
Renji heard her sigh before she responded curtly, "Don't have one."
He gave her a questioning look but didn't pry into it.
"Well, then, Karasu," he began, "let's see if you're any better than the students before you," and Renji charged at her.
Matsumoto and Kira were walking down the halls of 5th Company, searching for Hinamori and Toushiro.
After receiving word from Nemu about the cause of their friends' uncharacteristic personalities, they knew that they had to keep an eye on them. Who knows what they would do with someone controlling them?
They had spent the entire afternoon searching for the two, asking fellow shinigami as they walked by, leading their search to 5th Division.
"What will we do once we find them," Kira asked uncertainly, breaking the silence.
Matsumoto sighed in response, feeling unsure herself. "Well," she began, "we could try talking to them and see if we could get a reaction." Kira nodded.
"Alright then," was his reply as they turned a corner, reaching the office Hinamori works in.
The slid the door open, expecting to see Hinamori, but they saw that she wasn't alone. Kira blushed madly as Matsumoto giggled uncontrollably at the sight before them.
"And to think Taicho told me that he doesn't have any feelings for Momo," she said aloud to Kira, causing Hinamori and Toushiro to pull back from an almost kiss.
At this, Kira looked at Matsumoto with a questioning look about Toushiro telling her anything in his personal life.
She understood this and told him simply, "He let it slip," and giggled.
"Matsumoto, Kira," came the sound of Toushiro's angered voice. "What are you two doing here?"
Reminded of where they are, Matsumoto glanced over at Hinamori to find her blushing from embarrassment then at Toushiro to find him, well, angry.
"Well, Taicho," Matsumoto started, pushing Kira into the room in front of her as she spoke whatever came to mind, "we just wanted to talk. We should bond more!"
She grabbed Kira's hand and pushed him to sit down on a chair across from Toushiro and Hinamori. Matsumoto then took a seat next to the nervous blonde.
"So, Momo-chan," she called to her before Toushiro could say anything else, "how are you feeling?"
Kira glanced at Matsumoto, seeing that she was getting down to the point and not being discreet.
Nemu had told them to ask the two questions relating to the matter of their personality or feelings, anything about their well-being, suggesting that they might be able to see them struggling with their words and hesitant with their actions.
He then looked over at Hinamori to see her fumbling with her words until she smiled and said, "I've been feeling well a lot lately." At this, Kira looked back at Matsumoto to see her nodding her head with a cheerful grin.
"That's good to hear because with all this humid air we've been getting lately could get to your head sometimes," she responded, waving her hand around aimlessly.
She watched Hinamori, who looked like she was trying to say what's on her mind, but ended up saying, "Well I've been staying indoors a lot so I should be fine."
"What about you, Hitsugaya-taicho?" This time it was Kira who spoke up, looking at him with a brave face.
Kira watched him as Toushiro gave him a hard look before turning away to look out the window. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. Then without warning, Toushiro looked back at Kira with a glare saying, "I don't need to tell you anything."
Kira was startled at the response, however Matsumoto was thrown aback immensely. It was to be expected that something like this would be said, but the ferocity that was put into the words.
Matsumoto shook her head, sighing. She just wants her taicho to be back to normal.
Renji was panting heavily as he stood still with Karasu pointing the tip of her zanpakutou at his neck. Slowly, Karasu pulled back from her stance, sheathing her zanpakutou as Renji took a step back from her.
He smirked at her, elated that finally someone kept up with him to the very end and beat him.
"You did pretty well, Karasu," Renji praised, but then he thought, "But I still get the feeling that this girl is Ichigo's sister especially after this."
Karasu grinned, bowing as she said, "Thank you, Abarai-fukutaicho."
Renji then expected her to take her leave but was surprised when she stayed where she was. He saw that Karasu was debating on whatever was on her mind when she finally asked him, "Do you know me?"
He became startled at the random question but then relaxed. Of course he will answer honestly, so he told her, "No, I don't."
Renji noticed that her shoulders slackened at the response, to which she nodded her head. Karasu began to take her leave when Renji said, "Hey, I didn't finish!"
She turned back at him, giving him a questioning look as he continued.
"I don't know you," Renji repeated, "but I do know your brother, and recently your father and sister."
At this, Karasu looked up at him with a look of hope before asking without a second thought, "What are their names?"
Renji chuckled, but answered her nevertheless. "Your brother is Kurosaki Ichigo, you father is Kurosaki Isshin, and your sister is Kurosaki Yuzu."
At the sudden mention of their last name, Karasu suddenly remembered what Nami told Hinamori.
Nami sighed with aggravation and said, "Her name's Kurosaki Karin. She has this crazy notion that her real name is Karasu and knows nothing about 'Karin'."
With widen eyes at the sudden realization, Karasu stared up at Renji and asked, "So I'm Kurosaki… Karin?"
Renji raised an eyebrow at her. "Well you better be because your family has been worried about you," he told her half jokingly, half serious.
He watched Karasu as she stood there in wonder. It was then Renji realized that she didn't have any memories of her human life, but he didn't have time to mull over this because he knew that he had to tell Ichigo since a certain white-haired captain that was supposed to didn't.
Well, he'll tell Ichigo after going through the rest of the students.
He knew that she would have a lot of questions, so Renji told her, "How about after this week is over, we could meet up. Is that alright with you, Karin? Oh, um, Karasu?"
Karasu thought it over once before she nodded her head eagerly. "That'd be cool."
She then began making her way out of the clearing and back to the grounds when she paused. She looked back over her shoulder at Renji and told him, "And it's Karin," before turning back around, continuing her way towards the Academy grounds.
So was it better? No more confusion? Aha, and sorry for all that. My favorite past time confusing people.
Reviews are much appreciated!