"Who are you?" the older boy snarled as he towered above Ichigo "And what are you doing here?"

"I'm Ichigo Kurosaki" he said sticking his chin out defiantly to show he was not intimidated "and I'll be staying here from now on"

"Really?" asked the other boy menacingly "And who told you that?"

Ichigo rummaged around in the chest he had been provided before answering, finding to his surprise that it had a few spare uniforms inside it that were not unlike the one he was wearing "I think it was some tall guy" he said disinterested as he pulled open the drawers in his desk "Why? Are you unhappy about the arrangements?" He asked, the corners of his lips turning upwards when he heard a sigh from the other boy who was probably unhappy about Ichigo's unwillingness to show fear.

For a while Ichigo continued searching the draws until eventually he found what he was looking for, a piece of paper with a timetable upon it. After seeing this, the other boy couldn't hold in his curiosity any longer.

"How the hell did you know you'd have one those?" He asked, with genuinely no clue as to how the kid could have possibly known.

"You have one sticking out of one of your draws" he said, pointing to a lose piece of paper that was half jammed inside a draw "I just guessed" he said offhandedly as he looked over an accompanying map that went with the time table, glad that he'd be able to avoid getting lost a second time.

"What's your name anyway?" Ichigo asked, not even bothering to look up from the piece of paper.

The other boy looked furious as he took in Ichigo's total lack of respect "Renji Abrai" he muttered through clenched teeth.

"Nice to meet you" Ichigo said in acknowledgement, tucking the piece of paper into the folds of his uniform before sticking his hand out to Renji in greeting.

A little taken a back Renji took a moment to decide whether or not he should take the pipsqueaks hand, finally realising that the boy was probably far older than he looked- explaining his maturity- he took hold of Ichigo's hand; shaking it firmly.

"Lessons will begin in a couple of minutes Ichigo, you better hurry or you're going to be late" said Renji, departing some useful advice before exiting through the door.

Ichigo frowned as he watched Renji leave; he didn't like the idea of living with someone who'd look down upon him.

He did however realise he had other things to worry about as he checked the timetable. How annoying, he couldn't help but think as he also went through the door, beginning you follow the directions on the map, he'd never even imagined he'd have to continue school after death. How he looked forward to being bossed around for the rest of the day by conceited teachers who had obviously never been good enough to work as real soul reapers.

Kendo was the name of his first lesson, not a name he was familiar with, though he could vaguely remember it being in some way related to some kind of martial art. Well he guessed a little exercise wouldn't do him any harm…

He opened the door to what he assumed was the classroom, though he was slightly taken aback by its size. It was a very spacious room with a high ceiling and a wooden floor, the white painted walls and ceiling making it appear even larger than it was. On the floor though he saw about thirty teenagers, all sitting cross legged and silent as they starred at him unnervingly, all seeming to be fascinated by the sight of the twelve year old boy.

"Oh a new student eh?" said a tall and lithe man who he had previously gone unnoticed "Well why don't we see what you've got?" before Ichigo knew what was happening a wooden stick had been tossed at him and he was hustled, by the man he now guessed was the teacher, into the middle of the room.

"Hey Shino, come over here!" the man said, motioning to one of the more lightly built students. The teenager with dark shaggy hair then stood up, moving to the middle of the floor to face Ichigo, he already seemed to be holding a wooden sticks in his hand.

Ichigo watched as the other students chatted amongst themselves, uninterested. Whatever was happening was probably a common occurrence.

"Okay, now start!" the man suddenly announced loudly, startling Ichigo "first to make 3 hits wins" for a second Ichigo looked at the teacher with bewilderment, not understanding what was going on; that was until the other boy was suddenly smashing the stick in the direction of his face.

Quickly he clumsily put, what he now realised was a wooden sword, up in front of his face to defend himself, before stepping back hurriedly from his opponent as the boy made another slash for his head. For few moments he vainly attempted avoiding any hits as he kept ducking and moving around to avoid them but by now he was tired, the physical difference between him and his opponent made clear as he sweated under the pressure; his breath now coming out in short gasps while the other boy still came at him effortlessly.

Finally the other boy managed to jab Ichigo on his side, causing him sharp pain in his abdomen. The other teenagers were now watching him and he knew it would be a major humiliation to his pride if he didn't even manage to make one hit on his first day.

Blindly he decided to just go for it and he lunged forward with his wooden sword, guessing the direction with just instinct he felt it connect hard with the other boys body. Now seeing the boy grabbing his shoulder in pain all Ichigo really could do was take advantage of the situation. Just three hits, he remembered, that was all he needed. Luckily for Shino Ichigo was not a vindictive person and just tapped the boys other shoulder twice lightly. Smiling smugly as he did so, just a little proud of what he had managed to achieve.

"That was a good job for a beginner but next time you should try and be less easy on your opponent, in a real battle I doubt they'd be so courteous as to give you the same treatment…now everyone" said the teacher facing the rest of the students "I want you all to do one hundred swings!" everyone then turned to face the back wall and Ichigo rightly guessed that he should follow suit and followed them in their actions of swinging his wooden sword foreword repeatedly.

There were no more fights and it wasn't until an hour of apparently pointlessly tiring swinging that they were finally permitted to go to their next lessons.

Looking on his list he saw that he had spiritual theory next, whatever it was it sounded boring and when he arrived at his next lesson he found that luckily this time he wasn't late.

He found himself in a more conventional looking room, stocked full with chairs and adorned with a white board at the front, where an elderly woman stood. He quietly sat himself down on a chair and waited for the rest of the class to arrive. He wondered as he stared absentmindedly at the front of the class room if the teacher would take a register or if she would ask who he was. In the end she didn't however, seeming to show as much concern for him as the last teacher.

"Okay everyone" addressed the woman now that the class room had been filled "Today we're going to start talking about zanpakutō, does anyone know what a zanpakutō is?" every single hand in the room shot up except for Ichigo's making him feel unsurprisingly uncomfortable.

"Well it's good to see you all seem to know so much but you see a zanpakutō is something connected to your soul and is something that can only be wielded if a person believes in themselves, its something you need confidence to do" suddenly out of nowhere a long katana appeared in the teachers hand.

"This is my zanpakutō" she explained as the students stared at it in amazement, it was nothing special but the students were interested as to how it had appeared out of thin air "She is called Kuroki honoo and because she is part of my soul she can appear before me whenever I wish" she said as she put the sword by her side "Now" she said, happy that she'd finally caught her audiences attention "I'm here to teach you how to find your zanpakutō"


I'll admit that was the laziest ending to a chapter ever, but because I was strapped for time (my mother screamed at me to get off my laptop) I hurried the ending. Not much happened this time and I took forever to update, hope you guys didn't mind the wait too much. Point out all the mistakes I made because I know there will be plenty this time… I guess in the end what pushed me to update was having more alerts than reviews ^^, it was really starting to get to me. Can anyone tell me how long Ichigo has to stay at the academy? I can't be bothered to wiki it right now and I want to get this stage over with as soon as possible.

Please tell me what you thought with a review!