Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
Urahara sat in his underground basement quietly thinking about what exactly he had just witnessed. His plan to help Kurosaki Ichigo regain his Shinigami powers had just backfired horribly. He still found it hard to believe he had made such a grave mistake. He always silently praised himself for possessing rather above average intelligence. Yet somehow he must've miscalculated somewhere. Either that or he severely overestimated Isshin's son.
Still, he didn't think the blame was his to be taken entirely. The first 'lesson' to regain Ichigo's Shinigami powers had been a succes. He regained his reiryoku without too much trouble at all and if his attitude towards regaining the rest of his powers was anything to go by it definitely meant he wanted to continue. Even so, perhaps he should've been a bit more clear about the actual objective and above all the risks of the second 'lesson'. Regaining his reiryoku wasn't too hard, it was a simple do or don't. He would've either regained his reiryoku by dodging Ururu's punch or he would've died by failing to dodge, that was all there was to it.
The second 'lesson' on the other hand entailed a lot more factors then simply do or don't. If it were only a matter of live or die it wouldn't be such a problem no. He was confident Isshin's son would gladly give his life to save any of his friends that's one thing he didn't need to be convinced of. But to become a Hollow, the one thing he'd been fighting for the past months together with the Shinigami Kuchiki Rukia, no he should've given Isshin's son a choice he realised now. To be turned into a Hollow is without a doubt the worst fate imagineable, for a Shinigami especially. Losing your own free will and be forever subjected to eternal hunger. Only those Hollow who manage to evolve far enough would ever get rid of their insatiable hunger.
Yet Urahara knew something was off about Isshin's son after it turned completely into a Hollow. To start off with the Hollow actually talked, albeit to itself but it talked nonetheless. Hollows never kept their personality nor their sanity and above that talking Hollows were unheard of among the lower levels. No Urahara was confident that Hollows hardly ever regained the ability of speech untill they evolved to become Adjuchas. Which brought him to his second point, the reiryoku levels he felt from this particular...Hollow. It was unreal, he was sure no Hollow was supposed to be that powerful just minutes after turning. No this Hollow was more powerful even then perhaps any Adjuchas Urahara had ever encountered, as a matter of fact he was starting to suspect this Hollow was an Adjuchas himself. Yet, that didn't make sense at all. Hollows turned into Gillian when a large amount of Hollow were concentrated in one spot, at times a certain Hollow with a stronger consciousness would stay in control which would allow the Gillian to be able to evolve into an Adjuchas when the time came. Adjuchas level Hollow in turn would always hear the voices of the thousands of Hollow and souls they have consumed before, forced to keep eating or they'll revert back to their Gillian forms permanently. Thinking back to it all he couldn't help but wonder if it truly was his fault?
Urahara, Jinta and Ururu stood at the top of the Shattered Shaft silently watching the event that displayed down below the three of them.
An orange haired boy who had his arms bound behind his back was screaming at the top of his lungs down at the bottom of the shaft. A clear white substance that was leaking from his eyes, nose, ears and mouth slowly trying to form a shape around his head. Yet it was clear the boy was resisting, the question was would it be enough?
Urahara held Ururu back from interfering. He thought there was still a possibility for him to regain his Shinigami powers. Normally when a plus turns into a Hollow it explodes and reforms later. The order was entirely messed up this time, the mask already trying to form on the plus's face. A clear sign that he was resisting.
"Don't interfear untill he turns into a Hollow completely, Ururu, as you can see he is resisting and so there is hope for him yet," Urahara said.
Yet as he said this the screaming got louder and a clear sign of a mask was starting to form on his face. Slowly but surely a black hole was starting to form on his chest. 'Damn it, have we lost him? Have I just as good as killed your only son Isshin?'
Just as Urahara thought this the boy started to tear apart the Kidou spell that kept his arms bound. Was it truly too late? Are we being forced to kill him after all?
The question was answered for him before he really got a chance to decide on an answer for himself.
"This is the limit Manager," Tessai's voice rang out as he looked up to Urahara. Urahara could do nothing more but close his eyes in grief and gave a slight nod, letting Tessai know he understood.
"Bakudou #99, Number 2 - Bankin," Tessai's voice rang out once more.
After these words the ground at the bottom of the pit started shaking causing dirt to rise up and obscure both Ichigo and Tessai from view. Before they could wonder what was happening, Tessai's voice rang out from the bottom of the pit again.
"First song, Shiryuu!"
A white cloth like substance erupted from the ground instantly twirling and twisting around Ichigo before finally latching onto his head and body and binding his limbs together completely. Before Ichigo could even get the chance to react to this the voice next to him spoke up again.
"Second song, Hyakurensan!"
As the voice said this a hundred bolts appeared out of nowhere and sped toward him piercing his body from every possible angle and causing him to cry out in pain.
At the top of the pit Urahara was watching Tessai proceed with the elimination of the Hollow. The son of Kurosaki Isshin. Friend of Kuchiki Rukia who now, would never know just how much Kurosaki Ichigo was willing to give up to rescue his friends.
Before he could get any further with his thoughts Tessai's final words rang out. The words that would likely end Kurosaki Ichigo's life on this plane of existence. But at the very least he wouldn't have to be subjected to the horrible existence of a Hollow.
"Final song, Bankin Taihou!"
A huge rectangular shaped boulder with all sorts of intricate black markings adorning it's sides appeared in mid-air. It kept hovering there for just a mere couple of seconds, as if letting it's target know it's last moment had arrived, before crashing down into the Shattered Shaft violently causing a huge explosion of yellow light which rocked the entire foundation of the basement they were in.
As Urahara, Jinta and Ururu opened their eyes again they could barely see anything. Dust obstructing their view on every side. They could just make out Tessai making his way over to join them. Slowly but surely the dust started to clear to reveal, just as they thought, the figure of Tessai standing a couple of yards away from the top of the Shattered Shaft. Yet Urahara felt as if something wasn't right. There was still a faint trace of reiatsu around the basement and when he locked eyes with Tessai he nodded, letting him know he felt it too.
"Ururu, Jinta, stay back," Urahara said
"But shopkeeper-" Jinta started but was instantly cut off.
"Not now, Jinta! Stay back, he's still around and whatever this is. It is definitely no ordinary Hollow," Urahara finished.
Glad Jinta decided to leave it at that. He started scanning the area more thoroughly. After barely a couple of seconds though, Tessai walked up to him and motioned for him to follow.
"He is alive and well it appears Shopkeeper, I believe he is currently standing still behind the rock formation on our right," Tessai whispered.
He nodded and motioned for him to continue. He wasn't sure why they were being so cautious. Something about this particular Hollow just didn't feel right, the reiatsu he felt was definitely that of a Hollow but it was far too large to belong to one that only just changed into one.
His thoughts were interupted when he noticed they were almost around the corner of the rock formation. The sight that greeted him, was absolutely mind-boggling. A Hollow with a completely white skin stood facing them, as if it were waiting. A sharp spike seemed to come out of his calves, reaching downwards were it reconnected with it's heel creating something that seemed to resemble some sort of second heel. It's arms and legs seemed to be filled with intricate red markings that went from the shoulders downwards all the way to it's hands as well as from the hip all the way to it's feet. It's Hollow hole was located on it's chest and it seemed to have a very large and thick tail swing behind him, the tip of which was completely red with some intricate red stripes leading a bit further up the tail. But above all that his Hollow mask was certainly the most bizarre and frightening mask he'd ever seen before. The mask resembled a human skull most of all but even that didn't seem the right way to describe it. Where the eyes were supposed to be was a deep black void with two bright yellow spots that were most likely it's eyes. The upper right side of it's mask had several red stripes leading up to the skul-like mask giving it a very feral appearance. Ichigo's formerly short hair now reached all the way to it's waist even reaching as far as the start of it's tail. Urahara hadn't often seen Hollows that intimidated him. He would even go as far as to say that most Hollow, even some of the higher class hollows such as Adjuchas level hollows, looked rather comical. But this one was everything but comical, it was like an enbodiment of true fear. Yet despite that Urahara noticed the Hollow stood straight and tall much like a human would.
"Who am I? Where am I?" A hollow voice asked out of nowhere.
Urahara had to double-check twice to make sure he'd heard correctly. Did this Hollow just talk? It was fairly uncommon for Hollows to talk. No normal Hollow would learn how to talk unless they managed to survive purification for decades. No most Hollow that learn to talk were those who managed to involve and become Adjuchas and even then not all Adjuchas gained the ability of speech.
His thoughts however were interupted by Tessai who seemed to be silently chanting. His eyes widened as he realised what Tessai was doing, and for reasons he did not understand himself he wanted to stop Tessai from completing his chant. But he was already too late.
"Hadou #88 - Hiryuu Gekizoku Shinten Raiho!" Tessai cried out.
Urahara knew it was over for this Hollow. For Ichigo. Hadou #88 was one of the strongest Kidou spells in existence and with Tessai completing the entire chant there was no way a mere Adjuchas, if that was even what it was, could survive such an attack at near point blank range. No he didn't need the smoke to clear to be sure of this.
He sighed and pulled his hat further over his eyes. Obviously ashamed of what he had just done to Kurosaki Isshin's son.
"Let's go, Ururu, Jinta, Tessai,"
As the four of them turned to leave one single spike of reiatsu caused their attention once more. Turning their heads around they could see an obviously broken and battered looking Hollow standing there. His skin covered with burns, a small crack forming at the bottom of his Hollow mask and blood dripping from various wounds on his body. He was breathing heavily and actually seemed to be supressing the urge to attack them. As Urahara watched more closely he noticed just where the surge of reiatsu had come from and noticed it was from his finger. 'Cero!?'
But before he could even draw his sword. The Hollow tapped his finger in mid-air. A black void appeared out of nowhere. The hollow slipped through the void and closed it before any of them could do so much as lift a finger. 'A garganta?!'
"We might have just made a grave mistake today, Tessai, Ururu, Jinta," Urahara said.
They merely stood there, watching the space that was previously occupied by the Hollow that was Kurosaki Ichigo. None of them even bothered to do so much as nod at Urahara's statement. But they all knew he might just be right.
Yes, he guessed a lot of the blame did lie with him. Even though Isshin's son was willing to go through with it all. He should've been made aware of the risks he was taking. Although Urahara didn't think he would've listened at the very least he would've known and it wouldn't have been as much his fault as it was now.
At the very least he should've purified the boy. After all that's the job of a Shinigami and despite everything that my have happened in his past it was still what he was at heart. If only he purified the boy he would've been in Soul Society by now, reunited with his dear mother perhaps.
There was one thing Urahara knew for certain now though. Kurosaki Ichigo had done the impossible and had turned not in just a mere Hollow. No, he turned straight into an Adjuchas. No Hollow other then Adjuchas and above were able to create Garganta on their own of that Urahara was sure. He silently wondered if Ichigo's turning straight into an Adjuchas had anything to do with his great Spiritual Power or perhaps his dormant Shinigami powers.
He closed his eyes and sighed. Pulling his hat down he went to make his way out of the basement, someone was going to have to inform Isshin. It might as well be him.
Outside in the dark of the night. A suspicious cloaked character was running along the streets of Karakura Town. This person was in a hurry to get away from Urahara Shouten, it wouldn't do to get caught now. Not when he just obtained some very valuable information.
That same night on the outskirts of the 77th District of Rukongai. A figure appeared to be waiting for someone under a set of trees. His figure carefully hidden by nature's grace.
Said figure was named Aizen Sousuke, Gobantai Taicho of the Gotei 13. The position of Captain in the Gotei 13 was one that was not easily achieved. No even more so it was a very impressive feat to ever achieve such a position during your lifetime, or rather death, he chuckled silently. There were three ways to achieve said position.
To start off with one could take the captain proficiency test which would require the Shinigami taking the test to be able to perform Bankai. The final release of their Zanpakutou. Among all Shinigami those who are able to achieve Bankai during their life are few. At least three existing captains including the Commander-General have to witness the test.
The second method is to have personal recommendations from atleast six captains and gain approval from atleast three of the remaining seven.
The last and arguably least used method is to defeat one of the current Captains in a one-on-one fight with atleast two-hundred witnesses from said Captain's division.
Indeed, being a Captain in the Gotei 13 is quite the achievement. But that wasn't Aizen's true face. Currently he was waiting for one of his partners-in-crime to show up.
As if on cue said person came walking around a tree. Lifting his hands to bring down the hood of his cloak. His face very much resembled that of a fox with silvery hair hanging over his ears and his forehead. Yet the one thing a person would always take first notice of was the huge grin which was seemingly pasted on Ichimaru Gin's face twenty-four hours a day.
"Good evening, Aizen-taicho," Ichimaru greeted, grinning.
"Gin, what do you have for me?" Aizen asked him.
"My my, so impatient. I spent the last three days eavesdropping and trying to find out what happened to the boy that interests you so and this is the thank you I get?" Ichimaru asked in mock sadness, yet the grin never once left his face.
Aizen remained standing in front of him. His face impassive. Silently waiting untill Ichimaru continued. Said man could, at times, be rather bothersome. But he definitely had it's uses. Oh yes he wouldn't be half as far if it wasn't for Ichimaru Gin and his second ally Tousen Kaname.
"It seems that your precious boy has turned into a Hollow and fled to Hueco Mundo, Aizen-taicho," Ichimaru continued, and if possible the grin on his face just got wider then ever.
Aizen eyes widened, if only for a brief moment. A Hollow? What could have caused that to happen? Did the boy die? As far as Aizen was aware the boy survived Kuchiki Byakuya's attack. But even so, this is certainly interesting. The boy was powerful as a Shinigami, managing to drive back a Menos Grande to Hueco Mundo after a mere month as a Shinigami. And going as far as to drive it back with an unreleased Zanpakutou. But this changes everything. If that boy has become a Hollow he can be brought under my control. But even better, he can be raised to become my most powerful ally, his strength and potential was marvelous as a Shinigami but as a Hollow his potential is near limitless. Imagine what he would be like if he ever evolved into a Vasto Lorde. Yes, a change of plans is in order indeed.
"Gin," Aizen started as he looked up towards him, "It seems we have a change of plans. We will obtain the Hougyoku the day Kuchiki Rukia will be moved to the Shrine of Penitence." Aizen finished as he brought his hood back up to his face.
Gin just smiled as he did the same and dissapeared from the clearing. Both heading into the opposite direction.
Kurosaki Isshin sat at the kithen table drinking a cup of coffee before heading up to bed. Currently he was thinking about his oldest and only son. Isshin truly wasn't as stupid as some people thought he was. No if one thing could be said about Kurosaki Isshin then it would be that he was a very observant man. Especially when it came to practically anything concerning his family. Ofcourse he had noticed the changes in his son the last few months. And above all that, ofcourse he had noticed that there was a girl sleeping in his son's closet every single night. Even more so, he was well aware of the fact that said girl was in fact, a Shinigami.
Isshin prefered to stay away from everything that could possibly bring him in contact with Shinigami again. He hadn't left that life for nothing. It was the world's best kept secret that Kurosaki Isshin wasn't quite as 'alive' as people generally thought he was.
Currently however that wasn't what was troubling his thoughts. About three days ago his old friend Urahara Kisuke dropped by and told him what had happened to his son. To say Isshin was surprised was no exaggeration. A Captain and a Vice-Captain had been sent to retrieve an unseated member and bring her back to Soul Society? Now that was something that neither of them had witnessed in all of their years as Shinigami. Something was definitely going on there. But more importantly, his son was critically injured and lost his Shinigami powers in the process. Kisuke was a capable man though. He knows the risks of regaining lost Shinigami powers as well as I do. Yet Isshin had an uncomfortable feeling about all this. For some reason he was sure he wasn't going to like the outcome.
He was brought out of his thoughts however as a knock resounded on the front door of the Kurosaki household. 'Man who could that be at this time of the night?'. When Isshin opened the door he came face to face with one of the men who had been occupying his thoughts just a few moments before. Kisuke's appearance looked rather disheveled as if he hadn't eaten and showered for a while. His hat pulled far over his eyes, not allowing anyone to see his facial expression. Surely this didn't bode well.
"Kisuke! What brings you to my home at this time of the night?" Isshin started pleasantly.
Urahara however still refused to meet his gaze and continued to look at his feet. In all the years Isshin had seen his friend he never seen him like this before. He was usually as crazy as Isshin himself was. To see the man as subdued as he was now was rather scary to be honest.
"It's about your son," Kisuke stated in a rather apologetic voice, "I'm afraid your son has turned into a Hollow, Isshin, I-I'm sorry."
Those were the last words Kurosaki Isshin heard...before he fainted.
As he lay there on the cold hard stone floor he couldn't help but wonder if this was what death felt like? He was cold and his body ached all over. The last thing he could remember is getting swallowed whole by a huge beam of blue light. He couldn't even remember how he got where he was at the moment.
As he slowly opened his eyes and scanned his surroundings he noticed he was lying into a large cavern, water dripping off the cavern's ceiling and slowly streaming towards a lighted corner which he assumed was the direction of the exit.
After pondering his options for a while he decided to get up and see just where he was exactly. He slowly made his way over to the corner out of which the light seemed to originate. He rounded the corner only to walk straight into the trees of a dark and mysterious forest. He wished he knew how he got here or even knew where 'here' was to begin with. Deciding that since it was all a mystery for him anyway he might as well explore the surrounding forest a bit, he started walking forward.
"I wouldn't go there if I were you," A high pitched voice called out from behind him.
Startled, he whirled around and came face to face with another Hollow or atleast he assumed it was a Hollow, if it was it looked anything but ordinary. This one had the lowerbody of a horse and the upper body much resembling an actual human woman with green hair falling down behind her as far as reaching her waist. She seemed to have some kind of animal skull with two horns adorning the top of her head. Other than that she had a weird crimson line just from one side of her face to the other just below her eyes. Also noticeable was that she was clearly a woman, looking at her rather well-endowed chest this really wasn't questionable. But he was sure Hollow generally didn't have a gender, did they?
But as he thought of all this he realised that only one question truly mattered for him at this point. Who was this woman and what did she have to do with this entire situation. He didn't know how he got here nor did he remember what happened after getting hit by that huge streak of blue or for that matter he didn't remember what happened even before that. He was sure this woman had the answer to his questions.
"Who are you? And how did I get here?" He asked slowly but leaving no mistake of the fact that he wanted his question answered.
"My name is Nelliel Tu Oderschvank and if you want to know the answer to your question then follow me." She said before turning around and walking back towards the cavern he just came from.
Thank you very much for reading the first chapter of my story! I'd like to have you know I'm probably as new to writing as it gets as this is my first Fanfic and my overall first attempt at writing a story, so go easy on me!
Next I'd like to ask you to please review. Any comment is appreciated but above all I can appreciate any good advice you may have. I would also like to point out I do not mind being criticized at all. In fact I encourage you to tell me what to improve or even to tell me if you believe I'm doing something completely wrong. I do however frown upon outright flaming without any constructive advice or criticism so I will ask you now to refrain from doing so. Also I will try to answer most of your questions every time I post a new chapter. I will answer your questions either at the beginning or end of a chapter.
And last I would like to ask all of you readers if you have any preferential endings in mind already? I realize it's a long way off and while I have most of the general storyline pretty much planned out I can still go pretty much any way with my story. I can go as far as to ask all of you if you prefer Ichigo to become absolutely evil or if you'd want him to become absolutely good, or maybe even something in between. Let me know what you expect or even what you want. And if your idea intrigues me, I might just do something with it!
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