XXX-G01D gets credit for the inspiration to write this fic. And this is my first story, so please be nice....

"Well well, well, what's this?"

He jerked upright, tail lashing about violently.

He almost fell asleep that time! An unpleasant sight greeted his yellow eyes. Before him stood a panther like adjuchas, and another adjuchas that looked like an insect with six arms. His solitary eye was fixated on Ichigo.

Their reaitsu was powerful, and threatened to strangle the very life out of him, right here and now. The newly born adjuchas hissed at them, and held up his fingers into a point. The two seemed surprised as a cero began to from in the trio of digits.

"Back off!"

"Easy easy!" Said the second adjuchas, raising one hand placatingly.

"We ain't here ta kill ya." Growled the panther.

Confused, the lizard like hollow lowered his hand.

"Then whaddya want?"

"You're close to becoming a vasto lorde, right?" Asked the panther.

"Maybe... Grumbled the lizard.

"Maybe my ass!" Spat the the insectoid hollow. "Is it a yes or a no?!"

"What's it to ya?!" Snapped the lizard adjuchas.

"What's it to you?!" He snapped right back.

Out of the blue, they each stared laughing.

"Nnoitra Jiruga." Introduced the insectoid hollow, holding out a hand, which the lizard reluctantly shook. "And the bitch ass panther here is Grimmjow."

"You got a name, gaki?"

"Ichigo. Ichigo Kurosaki."


It was his turn to get the food.

Ichigo briefly felt sorry for the hollow that he was about to kill.

He struck with all the grace of...

Well, with the grace of a berserk lizard that was looking for food.

His jaws opened as he smashed into it at his full speed, ripping out a small portion of skin from its legs, just before he shoulder rammed it. The creature was pretty small so the impact literally blew it away. "First success today... er, tonight... today. Oh, damn it." thought the adjuchas, running towards the motionless Hollow. It was short, stocky and, much to his surprise, still alive – that is, as much alive as a spirit of a deceased human being could have been.

The hollow slung the unconscious creature over his shoulder and began walking back to the cave where he stowed his food supply.

He made less than five steps before he heard a loud "Stop."

He turned around and shuddered in fear. The intruder had appeared out of nowhere. The lizard was now facing anotherAdjuchas; this one was a bit larger than him, yet smaller than Nnoitra. It stood on four hoofed legs and displayed a far more interesting palette of colors – while he was a hollow with white chalky skin and red lines and orange hair, this one was mostly green – it had green fur and angry green eyes, glinting through the slits of its grey mask. Very close behind it tiptoed an other low-class Hollow; it was fairly thin and tall and it looked deeply frightened.


The Adjuchas was carefully observing him. After a moment of silence it spoke in a very calm voice "Put him down." His eyes widened. He could've left the Hollow here and look for another meal...or well, get killed by the stranger. Both perspectives were not particularly alluring. The Adjuchas braced himself and answered:

"I have hunted it down, so it belongs to me." The announcement was followed by a poor imitation of a nonchalant shrug. "If you want your own, why won't you devour the one behind you?" The Adjuchas shook its head

"He is my companion, not my food, if you failed to notice. Same goes for the one you're holding and, let me assure you, I'm not going to leave him to you as your... loot." It spoke the last word with distaste; its gaze fixed upon his head. "Now that's definitely the end."

"No." exclaimed yet another voice "That's not his. It's mine!" Ichigo whipped his head around, just in time to see who it was. It was Nnoitra, speeding towards them, his horned mask shaking on his head from the incredible velocity. The other Adjuchas blinked, visibly confused.

"Who are you and what the helldo you want from us?" it asked, unable to keep its eyes off the hole in four-armed Hollow's skull. Kurosaki wasn't really surprised; Nnoitra's mask scared the living hell out of him.

"My name is Nnoitra Jiruga and at first I wanted to eat that little Hollow friend of yers," said the Adjuchas; all jaws on his mask stretching in the terrifying smile. "but now I have a better idea – we'll fight."

"I have no desire to fight you." the other creature replied "I only wish you'd let go of my friend" it gestured towards the unconscious Hollow which was still being held by Ichigo."Release him and we'll peacefully continue on our way..." The response was drowned by Nnoitra's outburst of wild laughter.

"Are ya really that stupid or d'ya pretend?!" the four-armed Hollow seemed amused. "Look, let's solve it that way: we'll fight for the pitiful life of this Hollow of ya. If I win, I eat both you and yer... companions." he paused, sliding his enormously long tongue through one of the mouths and licking his mask. "If, by any chance, ya win, then ya can devour me... and do whatever ya want with this useless slab of meat." he gestured towards Ichigo. The stranger Adjuchas pondered for a moment and then slowly nodded.

"I guess I have no other choice..." Nnoitra laughed maniacally; he was visibly excited and eager to battle. It seemed that fighting, along with hunting harmless Gillians, was one of his favorite pastime activities. The pale Adjuchas raised his four long-clawed arms and lowered his horned head.

The other higher-class Adjuchas looked as it wasn't happy with the outcome of things. The creature didn't look much like a fighter – yes, its massive horns and heavy hooves were a threat not to have been ignored; yet it possessed none of the Nnoitra's violent eagerness. For it the battle must've been not much more than an unpleasant compulsion.

Nnoitra attacked first, slashing his sharp claws at the other Adjuchas' chest. The creature ducked the blow with astounding ease; Ichigo then noticed that Nnoitra's eyes widened in shock; yet his partner succeeded to block the counterattack without much effort and fiercely launched another attack at the other Adjuchas. The claws barely missed the opponent. Nnoitra emitted a sharp, frustrated shriek – none of his strokes has reached the target yet and it was a situation he wasn't able to accept.

The longer he was watching the duel, the more it reminded him of some kind of a graceful, violent waltz: a cut – parried; a smash – countered; and again; the blows and counters stretching into an endless dance. Both of them were excellent warriors; similarly experienced and skilled; their fight was truly an interesting sight to behold.

"Looks like he bit off more than he could chew." Laughed a voice, and Ichigo didn't have to look, to know that it was Grimmjow that had finally caught up to them.

"Sh." He muttered under his breath. "I'm trying to watch the fight."

By now, Ichigo was watching the two Adjuchas with awe, completely focused on their smooth moves, as enchanted. His pondering was interrupted by the Hollow on his back – it was slowly regaining consciousness, stirring nervously in his strong grip. Ichigo calmed the annoying thing with a properly placed tail blow to the head and again concentrated on the fight.

Much to his surprise, during those few seconds of his inattention, the fight had taken a turn for worse. One of the green Adjuchas' strokes had reached Nnoitra; his pale body was now adorned with a long, red gash in his chest. The wound didn't look particularly life-threatening; it only angered the four-armed creature and made him attack even more viciously than before. Astoundingly, the other Adjuchas ducked every slash of Nnoitra's long claws with ease and its counters were getting harder to parry – to the point when Nnoitra wasn't able to block them.

A strong blow to the head struck the lanky Adjuchas down; gasping in disbelief, he fell to the ground. The smaller creature was now towering upon him, preventing him from moving and eyeing the fallen form with contempt.

"Looks like I've won, Nnoitra Jiruga." it said mockingly and slowly raised one of its legs to deal a finishing blow. The other Adjuchas tried to roll away from the certain death, but it proved to be futile. "Finish it!" he blurted out in his last effort, readying himself for the end...

... which surprisingly did never come.

Grimmjow sprang like a rocket, and smashed into the green Adjuchas with all his might. He wasn't thatconcerned for Nnoitra; he just felt that his sense of honour – the matter of its existence wasn't important right now – wouldn't allow abandoning the person he had partnered with, willingly or not. Besides, if he survived this, something told him it'd be fun to see these two fight again.

The attack itself didn't affect the Adjuchas much, yet it managed to blow the creature away from Nnoitra, who rolled over to his stomach and spat very loudly:

"Who the fuck told ya to help, Grimmjow?!" the pale Adjuchas shouted furiously, trying to stand up. The panther snorted in contempt. "Shaddap. If I hadn't stepped in, then you'd be paste by now." The other creature was looking at the panter; the green slits in its mask glinting with confusion. There was a long moment of silence before the smaller Adjuchas finally stated:

"It's a real shame that when it comes to fighting, you have to depend on such a useless slab of meat, Nnoitra Jiruga." There was no mockery in its voice, just seriousness mixed with boredom.

Grimmjow however, did not take kindly to this. "The hell was that?!"

"Now order this ally of yours to let go of my companion and we shall leave." Ichigo had actually forgotten about the Hollow he was holding; he loosened his grip and the creature fell onto the ground. The other low-class Hollow jumped towards it, shouting as if it were no tomorrow – which technically was a fact.

"Dondochakka! Dondochakka! Y'OK?" The previously unconscious creature suddenly jumped up and greeted its friend with a warm, literally breathtaking hug "Pesche! You don't even know how scared I was when this ugly beast took me hostage! I was sure that it would devour me!" it exclaimed, glancing up at Ichigo with distrust. The lizard just shrugged.

The winner exchanged one more look with the loser. "This time I'll spare you," it said, putting an emphasis on word spare "but don't expect mercy the next time we meet." It turned away and began to walk away, the two Hollows obediently creeping beside it.

Nnoitra, still lying prostrate on the ground, raised his horned head and shouted to the receding Adjuchas "Wait! At least tell me yer name, so I'll know whom to look for!" The creature stopped and looked at the battered figure.

"Neliel. Neliel Tu Oderschvank." it replied after a moment of pondering; then it turned away and resumed walking, not turning back even once. Ichigo and Grimmjow were observing it until its silhouette faded in the darkness; and they didn't move for a long time after its departure. Finally Nnoitra broke the silence.

"Lets find something to eat."


(Much later: Soul Society)

"What's so funny, Aizen? It's over." Yoruichi growled, hands unconsciously tightening on the cloth. Soi Fon seemed to sense her irsritation as she shifted slightly to better balance her weight on her leg. The atmosphere cackled with unspent spiritual presence like a notched arrow ready to fire. Amused eyes met her sight steadily.

"It's time."

The two simple words triggered an alarm in the cat-women's head; Yoruichi barely registered the traitor's smirk as she lashed out with her gut feeling.

"Soi fon get away from him!"

It was a good thing Shinigami were trained to fallow orders. Soi Fon's unused ability to pick out Yoruichi's voice over the battlefield was the only thing that saved her from the Menos beam that seemed to tear out of the sky, ripping a gaping hole to nothingness. The beam shot down milliseconds after the shout, barely missing the former and current Division 2 Captains as the vaulted nimbly out of the way, eyes widening in surprise. Long, clawed fingers appeared at the edge of the crack, tearing and ripping at the wound in the sky.

The Soul Reapers standing on the execution hill gaped.

"Gillian! How many of them are there!?"

"Wait, there seems to be something else in there!"

Slightly off the side of the beam, Hisagi peered at the sky, sensing a second before the next beam shot. He tensed slightly, prepared to jump back-

And narrowly avoided being grabbed by stared at his captain with sadness in his eyes, as the beam came down, effectively walling him off. "Taichou! Why are you doing this?!"

At the same time some meters away, Rangiku faltered, loosening her hold slightly as she turned to stare at same patch of sky her fellow vice captain had; a deft twitch from the prisoner's wrist snapped her out of it. Shocked, the 2nd in command from the 10th division snatched back her hand not a moment too soon; feeling no resistance from her hostage as the oddly shaped beam of light illuminated her childhood friend.

"Too bad… it would have been nice if my capture lasted a bit longer" Rangiku felt her eyes sting slightly as Gin turn to face her with a bitter smirk. The normally cheerful female prowled in her own mind. Why are you doing this? Where are you going? Why are you leaving me behind, again!?

"Farewell, Rangiku." he sighed, expression confusingly mixed. "Sorry".

By then, Aizen's beam had started to flow upwards, taking a chunk or rock along to allow the traitor to stand. Pain flared when Byakuya tried to tilt his head for a better view on what's happening around him; the only thing that kept his body together was his spine, after all. Finally admitting defeat to his physical condition, he settled for staying as still as possible and straining his ears. From his limited point of view, three pillars seemed to be holding the sky up instead; his ears only caught the tail end of the explanation given by the Captain of Division 1.

"Aizen has gone out of our reach." A small shockwave reached the patch of rocks he has been laying in, directing Ichigo's attention to the Fox Captain.

"TOSEN!" Komamura roared, struggling out of the boulder blankets that kept him from moving.


Burning golden eyes pierced at the blind traitor as the Captain of 7th division stood upright, blood still dripping off his fur. "WHERE IS YOUR JUSTICE NOW?!"

As the commotion went on, he spotted his vice-captain a few meters away. "Renji." He hissed calmly. Every breath he took hurt; it was hard to tell where one ache began and ended. The redhead shifted slightly in response. The captain shifted as he propped his upper torso up slightly to breath easier.

"Why're there fourshinigami in three beams?" The strain proved too much for his battered body after Byakuya gasped out the question.

"Wha—" Zambimaru's user twitched and tried to roll himself over to get a better view on the action going around them.

He failed.

"shit. Shitshitshitshitshit. Fuckin' hurts." Renji groaned slightly as he relaxed back onto the dirt. "Taichou, describe the fourth guy for me, will ya? Can't see."

"I can't be quite sure, but from here all is see is two people in one o' the beams." The retort did not reach Renji's ears since Tosen started speaking again. The two downed fighters on the floor strained to hear the conversation, confusion plainly clouding their heads.

"As I told you before, Komamura," The darker skinned Captain shrugged, shifting so his free sandaled feet rested lightly above his ex-Vice Captain's neck as a warning for the younger shinigami to be silent.

"The only paths I see with those eyes are the ones not dyed in blood. Those paths are the paths to justice. So, whichever I choose, is the Path of Justice."

"A few casualties are always expected for the greater good." Agreed Aizen, looking down at the shinigami he had ruthlessly slain before his forced departure.

Amongst them was captain Mayuri, and his lieutenant.

Byakuya raised a trembling finger, and pointed it at the negacion.


The bolt of white lightning rocketed from his fingertip. Like a bullet, it streaked towards his target, like an arrow, it flew straight and true towards its mark...

Only to bounce off the barrier, and explode harmlessly into the dirt.

"Spiritual energy works differently in the Negation Beam, haven't you been paying attention?" Ichimaru smirked and observed the twitching body straining for balance.

"To sink all the way to allying with Menos. What are you trying to do, Aizen?" Ukitake demanded, unable to remain silent any longer.

"To go higher."

"Have you Fallen in the process, Aizen!?"

Byakuya heard no more, as the blackness took him.


His eyes snapped open, and he rose from his crouch.


He frowned as the rip opened less than a foot from him.

"Negacion. Looks like someone got their ass kicked, eh?" This comment came from a six armed insectoid like hollow next to him. His single eye reflected wry amusement, and he licked at his lips.

"Shaddap Nnoitra."

"Is Grimmjow back yet?"

"Nah, he's still hunting."

"Wanna go see who the idiot is this time?"

"Might as well."

The vasto lorde picked himself up, and rose. He stood tall, around the 5'11 mark. Spiked, segmented armor ran down his shoulders and arms, with a hollow holw just between his chest and sternum.

His mask resembled more of a human skull, complete with a jaw joint and rounded forehead. From the back of the mask, four spike-shaped marks stretched, two of them stopping by the forehead, and the other two stretching past the eyes and teeth, going past his chin and joining with the marks on his chest, which was a chalky white color, just like the rest of him.

Ironically, there were also small marks resembling a heart, but with the top and bottom open, extending from the inner corners of his eyes. The mask's most prominent feature was two long forward-pointing horns with black strips extending from their center towards the tips. His hair was long straight hair, and his hollow hole, located in the middle of his chest, was decorated with markings stretching from the void, across his chest and shoulders. His fingers finished in clawed tips, as did his toes. Lastly, there were small furry tufts, two starting from his collarbone and stretching around his neck, and one each on his wrists and ankles.

He looked like the devil himself, but aside from the demon mask, he looked almost human.

He walked down the sand dune, and Nnoitra kept an almost easy pace with him, preferring to move at a more leisurely gait compared to that of his partner.

Just as they neared the rip, three figures emerged.

He looked hard at the two men.

One of them was a man with brown hair and eyes, and exuded an impressive aura. The other one was clearly the weaker of the two, with silver hair, slitted eyes, and a fox-like grin.

The last wasn't particularly special, and the high class hollow didn't give him so much as a second thought.

"So, you've come back here again. Its so nice to finally meet you, shinigami." The way

The brown haired man raised an eyebrow, seeming to forget that the Gillians around him even existed. "A Vasto Lorde and an adjuchas waiting for me as soon as I arrive? I have to admit this was a an unexpectedly pleasant surprise."

He extended his hand in greeting.

"I am Sosuke Aizen. I-

The vasto lorde hissed and cut him off.

"You intend to lead the hollows in a war against the shinigami, and turn the more powerful hollows into arrancar so they can get even more power, is that about right?"

"A vast oversimplification, but it will suffice, yes. After the war with the shinigami is done, I intend to work for the betterment of the entire hollow race."

"I couldn't care less about the hollow race." Snarled the adjuchas. "Is it true that turning into an arrancar will make a hollow stronger than he already is?" The vasto lorde with the strawberry blondish hair spoke this part.

"Yes, that is correct."

Nnoitra now wore an expression of pleased interest, as did his partner. "Good. I might be thinking of joining you, after all, more power is never a bad thing. But, I'm not going to follow someone who's weaker than I."

The vast lorde's tail lashed out at the ground, creating a snapping sound. "So, why don't we fight? If you're strong, I'll follow you. If you're weak, I'll devour you and take that orb of yours."

Aizen drew his sword. "That sounds fair to me."

The vasto lorde licked his lips.

"Stay back, Gin. This battle will be a little above your capabilities." Ichimaru was more than happy to comply. He had no illusions about his own skill level. He was good, but a Vasto Lorde was said to easily be able to defeat a captain level Shinigami, and getting in the middle of a brawl with a Vasto Lorde and Sosuke Aizen did not strike him as a good way to keep on living.

He'd rather take on the adjuchas.

Aizen held his sword out. "Kudakero, Kyoka Suigetsu (Shatter, Mirror Flower Water Moon)."

"Shoot him dead, Shinsou."

Nnoitra dropped flat as the blade whizzed over his head.

"Too slow!" He cackled, then sprang at Gin, leaving Aizen to the vasto lorde.

The vasto lorde didn't wait for Aizen to attack. Holding up his hand, he began to pour power into his cero. Even as the ball of red energy began to collect on his fingertips, he felt something pierce his side, and he realized that Aizen was no longer in front of him.

'Talk about speed! I couldn't even see him move!' He thought as he looked incredulously to his right, seeing Aizen smiling at him, sword buried in his side, just below the red armor covering his chest. The brown-haired Shinigami pulled the sword out.

"Come, that can't be all a Vasto Lorde has?" His tone was polite, but it carried an overtone of superiority, like he knew that he was above the two of them.

And he didn't like it one bit.

With a lightning fast move, the hollow's tail cut out at Aizen.

Only for the man to disappear, his tail slicing through an afterimage, much like the one that he himself could use when he went fast enough. At the same instant Aizen disappeared, Ichigo felt a tearing pain down his side, as his muscle along his left flank was laid open.

Aizen reappeared a little ways away from the Vasto Lorde. "Have I sufficiently proven my strength to you?"

The wound in his side still dripping blood, Ichigo snarled, "There's a big difference between being strong and being fast, Shinigami."

"True, but what good is strength if you can't hit your opponent?" With that, Aizen disappeared again.

Hollows were basically creatures of instinct. The stronger ones, and the menos were able to think logically, but they were still far more in touch with their instincts than any Shinigami, or human. The instinct that screamed at Ichigo to duck, to dodge the blow was the only reason that he didn't end up losing his arm. It would have grown back, but still, losing an arm hurt.

Ichigo reacted instantly to the attack, barbs on his tails extending as all of them pierced through the Shinigami, only for him to vanish again an instant before they impacted.

He appeared next to the vasto lorde.


The blue-white bolt of lightning that tore through his body and exited out his back leg was about three inches wide. Gasping, Ichigo collapsed as his body was run through with high powered electricity.

However, his tail had now curled around the shinigami's leg.

"My turn." He hissed.

Even as Aizen was starting another spell, Ichigo was moving.

His tail cracked menacingly whipping Aizen sharply down into the sands, the back spine on his shoulder extending and enlarging as it burrowed into the sand, trying to get into position for a surprise attack.

By the time Aizen had recovered, Ichigo was next to him, his clawed hand coming up to disembowel the Shinigami while two of tails came around to impale him.

Aizen leaned to the side to dodge the first tail, caught the second one between two fingers, and used his Zanpakuto to block Ichigo's hand, the blade cutting deep into the palm.

Ichigo started laughing, and Aizen began to move just as the snake tore up through the sand right under Aizen's feet. The jaws snapped shut less than an inch away from Aizen's foot, and Ichigo brought his other tail around at the same time he retracted the first.

Aizen dodged the blow, but as he tried to move away Ichigo gripped hard on the sword, not letting Aizen retreat, and in the instant it took for Aizen to release his sword, Ichigo had brought his other hand around for a strike.

Aizen moved with the blow, and managed to take only a slight graze, the skin barely broken by the strike.

Before Ichigo could move for anotherstrike, Aizen pulled his Zanpakuto from Ichigo's grasp, his grip having loosened once Aizen was no longer holding onto it, and in one fluid motion, Aizen had the tip of his sword pressed against Ichigo's mask. "Have I proved my strength to you?"

Ichigo's eyes darted between Aizen and Gin, who had Nnoitra under his foot, before settling on the brown-haired shinigami. "Yes. You are strong, and so I will follow you, Aizen. I... will join you."

Saying such a thing felt like acid in his mouth. 'At least until I'm stronger than you. Then I'll drag you down and crush your skull.'

Aizen lowered the Zanpakuto. "I'm very glad to hear that." Aizen walked over to him, seeming to not have a care in the world. Kneeling down, he placed one hand over the wound in Ichigo's shoulder, the wound that went diagonally through his entire body.

Reiatsu flowed from his hand, and his wound began to heal. "Why are you healing me?" Ichigo questioned.

Not taking his eyes off his healing efforts, Aizen responded. "You are my new comrade. Comrades are supposed to take care of each other. I do not find it wise to leave a comrade injured."

By this point, the wound was mostly gone, and Ichigo, who had nearly blacked out from the immense electrical surge through his body, winced, his eyes narrowing and his body tensing.

"Please do not move, it makes it harder for the healing kido to work." The hollow looked at him untrustingly.

When Aizen was done, he stood up. "Perhaps we should be properly introduced. I am Sosuke Aizen. My lieutenant is Gin Ichimaru." He gestured to the smiling, silver haired man standing off to the side.

"Ichigo Kurosaki." The lizard-like Vasto Lorde ground out.

Aizen's eyebrow raised in interest. "Ichigo Kurosaki? You wouldn't happen to remember if you were related to Isshin Kurosaki, would you?"

"I don't remember much about my life before I was a hollow, nor do I care."

Aizen nodded in acceptance of his words. "Perhaps it would be best if we were to retire to Las Noches. You can meet the current Espada there, and it is there that I will use the Hogyoku on you ."

Ichigo blinked. "Hogyoku?"

Aizen smiled. "You will learn what it is in due time. Now, if you would walk with me?" Aizen turned and began walking towards a cliff that held a passage to the upper level of Hueco Mundo, this one ending right outside Las Noches. Ichigo followed, the place where the wound had ran through him still a little tender, but he wasn't about to let any of them know that.

After they had walked for a while, Aizen began to speak again. "The Hogyoku is an invention by a Shinigami scientist named Kisuke Urahara. It breaks down the barriers between Shinigami and hollow, allowing hollows to gain Shinigami powers, and vice versa."

"You mean there are Shinigami who can use hollow powers?" Nnoitra questioned.

"Yes. They are called Vizards. They do not have a true hollow form, at least not one that they can use."

"Bullshit!" The insectoid adjuchas hissed. "If they can't use it, then what's the use of them having hollow powers?"

"They form the mask over their face, which grants them an incredible increase to their speed, strength, durability, and any reiryoku based techniques that they utilize."

"Why do we need the Hogyoku?" Replied Ichigo. "I can understand the Shinigami needing it, but the Arrancar have been around since long before you and the Hogyoku came here, so why are you going to use it on us?"

"First, the Hogyoku instantly breaks down the barriers between the two races, without it, it's a very long process. Second, the Hogyoku results in a more complete transformation, making you far stronger than you would be if you transformed yourself into Arrancar without it." At the interest and eagerness in the two hollows' eyes, he knew that he had them.

By this time they had reached the cliffs, and they went into single file line to get through the narrow passage. Aizen took the lead, with Ichigo following, then Nnoitra, and then Ichimaru bringing up the rear. Ichigo considered attacking Aizen while his back was to him, but his explanation of the Hogyoku granting a more complete transformation, and hence, more power, dissuaded him of that idea.

'Besides, I doubt he's stupid enough to leave his back to me unless he's absolutely certain that I can't kill him from this position. The blind one and the creepy one I can handle, but The speed he showed in our fight was incredible... Even his lieutenant took out Nnoitra in basically one move. Granted, he's is more about power than endurance, but still, anyone who can take out an adjuchas in one hit is no one I want to fight unless I'm sure I can win.'

No one spoke until they emerged onto the top portion of Hueco Mundo.

Ichigo stared in shock.

Las Noches, or at least they assumed this was Las Noches, was an enormous domed structure that stretched for miles. "How the hell did I never see this?" Ichigo asked.

"Oi! Who the hell're these two?" Growled Grimmjow, appearing from nowhere again. He padded up to his partners, and fixed them with an inquisitive stare.

He'd been acting strange lately.

Ichigo filled the panther in on the details of his and Nnoitra's embarrassing defeat. Grimmjow grinned, exposing his teeth. "Figures. You two idiots really suck, ya know that?"

Ichigo had to restrain Nnoitra before he tried to kill Grimmjow.

When they entered Las Noches, they were in for another surprise.

"Why the hell is there sunlight in here?" Nnoitra grumbled to himself.

"Ah, that was my idea." Aizen said. Unlike before, Aizen didn't go in depth on his explanation. "Please, follow me. The chamber is just ahead."

The three of them ducked out of the sun and into a vaulted tunnel. "Who built this place?" Ichigo wondered. "For that matter, how did they build it?"

"No one knows, for either question." Aizen said. "Anyone who might have been around at the time is either dead or refuses to talk. Apparently it was so long ago that the only ones who would know are the older Vasto Lorde."

"Well, that sucks." Nnoitra muttered as the doors swung open....


The rest was a painful blur, a sonic sway of images that ended with an earsplitting cracking sound. He woke up and screamed in pain, his hand flying to the right side of his head.


He felt skin.

Gasping, he jumped up, and looked for a reflective surface.

He could still feel his mask. It was there, or rather, part of it was. It was still there, but now only part of it covered his upper left face. On his right ear, at the area where you would get your ear pierced, the whole edge was covered in the remains of his mask, from the top to the bottom. The top then curved up and attached itself to his face, running down his cheek a bit. But not far enough to be very noticeable. He brought his hand up and touched it with his fingers.

"What the hell...?"

"Shaddap!" Snapped a voice.

Ichigo stiffened.

That sounded like...

"That you, Grimmjow?"

A figure walked out of the shadows.

There was no mistaking the voice, or the way the man held himself. He already wore clothes, and his mask fragment was on the right side of his face, reminiscent of his time as a hollow.

In his sash, he had a zanpaktou, which sported a crooked metal S for a guard.

"A' course it is."

He tossed Ichigo some clothes, which the vasto lorde quickly donned.

"Now get yer ass dressed and pick up yer zanpaktou." Retorted the arrancar.

Ichigo, now fully clothed (His outfit is a white version of his bankai outfit) looked down to see a blade laying a foot or so away from him.


He walked over to it.

It was a long, elegant blade, that resembled an over sized butcher knife, but had a curved guard in the form of a three pointed shuriken. The blade itself was split into two colors. The edge itself silver, but the upper half was the purest of pure white. It seemed to emit a humming sound, as he got closer.

Grimmjow gave a low whistle.

"Damn, he's a fine blade."

Silently, Ichigo reached down to clasp the cloth wrapped hilt.

His fingers curled about the soft handle.

Almost immediately, the cleaver was warm to the touch. This was no he. Everything about the blade felt distinctly feminine. It was a living part of himself, warm and pulsating under his fingers, clearly longing for his touch. Despite its obviously masculine appearance, its guard was elegant shaped like a curved, three pointed shuriken

Hello, Ichigo. Came a woman's voice.

"What the?!"

Calm down. My name is Zangetsu, and I am your soul cutter.

"Soul cutter?"

I will speak to you later....

Hope u liked the first chappy!