"Your side will never achieve victory."

His hand, stabbing through my heart.

I...died, right?

No, I can't be dead!




"Kurosaki-kun! He's-

"Eh?!! What did you do?!"

"I-I don't know!"



"You were supposed to heal him!"

"I-Itsygo's healed and thatz wat counts...


"Ow! Ow ow! Nel won't say anytin else!"

"Quiet! He's coming around!"

His body screamed for air, and he suddenly found that he'd been holding his breath.

"GAH!" He gasped, and the air rushed into his lungs, filling them with life giving oxygen.

"Huh?" He opened his eyes, and found Nel and Inoue staring down at him, with expressions of shock, surprise, and just plain speechless. "Um...What's with the looks?" Before anything could be said, he asked again: "Wha? What's everyone staring at?" Odd, his voice sounded different. Must be puberty or something.


No one wanted to speak, for some weird reason.

His body felt...lighter somehow, more off balance, and he stumbled a step or two, having to slam Zangetsu into the ground for any semblance of balance, and everyone gave him plenty of room. The dunes before his eyes tilted back and forth, swaying as if he were on a ship, and seasick to boot, judging from his queasy stomach.

Staggering around, he realized he was still in Hueco Muendo, and still wearing his shihakusho.


Why was a girl staring back at him?


Inoue poked him on the shoulder, and he blinked slowly, turning around to stare at her-


What was Inoue doing here?

The last thing he remembered was Ulquiorra, stabbing him through the chest-

Oi! Kurosaki!"

His hand shot out as an arm flew of glass flew at him, and he threw whoever it was, over his shoulder.


"Heh, nice reflexes, for a woman!" The sexta espada smirked. "Looks like that other woman didn't screw ya up too badly!"


Startled, his hands flew to his chest, and in doing so, he dropped Zangetsu.


Okay, those definitely weren't a huge gaping hole!

He dropped his hands, and reached up to his hair. It was slightly longer now, maybe shoulder length. Slowly, his eyes traveled downward, and spied Zangets, showing his reflection upon its smooth, polished edge.

The reflection shown by Zangetsu did the exact same thing, as he flipped Grimmjow off, then did a double take, for the blade was jammed into the sands, and provided him with a makeshift mirror of sorts.

Experimentally, he touched a hand to his face, which was softer now, smoother by comparison, and...


The reflection copied.

This couldn't be happening, this can't be happening.


Slowly, his mouth fell open.


Inoue clapped both hands over her ears, as did Nel.