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Chapter Seven - Dual Wield
"Well," Masaki said, taking a deep breath as she watched her brother resume his seat, his zanpaktou in hand. "I guess it's my turn." This said the young girl turned to the strange looking woman named Kaiya. "I. . . I'm ready whenever you are."
Kaiya nodded and focused her eerie green eyes on the orange haired girl. She took a few minutes to regain her powers before she spoke to the girl. "Do just as your brother did and gaze into my eyes."
Masaki nodded and stared into the woman's strange eyes. The young girl had the fleeting thought that this was ridiculous but that vanished as she felt herself falling into nothingness. The friendly faces that had surrounded her disappeared and no matter which way she looked she found that she was completely surrounded by nothing. Just empty space as far as the eye could see.
"Creepy," Masaki muttered, her voice echoing in the vastness of the void.
Seconds later the void was replaced by a lush forest and Masaki found herself sitting on a patch of soft moss. The young girl gazed around with bright violet eyes, surprised by her new surroundings. This place was absolutely beautiful and also vaguely familiar. Gazing around she was shocked to find herself facing two young tigers, one mainly white with black stripes, the other mainly black with white stripes.
The tigers from her painting.
"Unreal," Masaki murmured as she took a step toward the two large cats. Normal people would be scared when confronted by two large cats that could crush their bones in an instant but Masaki instinctively knew that she had nothing to fear from them. They appeared to be adolescents and they gave off a tremendous aura. One glowed black with a malevolent power while the other glowed white and radiated peace. "So are you the spirit of my zanpaktou?"
"Are we?" the black tiger asked, it's voice somewhat harsh.
"We are," the white tiger said in a soft and musical voice.
Masaki stared at the two tigers, shocked that they seemed to be speaking to her with their minds. Their mouths remained closed and yet she could hear their words as plainly as if they had been spoken aloud. That was kinda creepy. "So how exactly do we go about this?"
"You must earn the right to wield the power to control fate," the black tiger said, it's silver eyes focused on her.
"Therefore you must find the one thing in this forest that links us to you," the white tiger added, a kind look in it's golden eyes.
"Alright then," Masaki said, clenching her hands into fists. If Kaien could gain his zanpaktou then there was absolutely no way that she was going to fail this trial. She would never hear the end of it if he succeeded and she didn't. "That's not gonna happen."
"Alright then. . ."
Taking her cue from the white tiger Masaki used her flash step and dashed off. The two tigers dashed off as well and it soon became apparent that the white one was going to aid her while the black one was going to attempt to hinder her efforts.
"Why is that one in a purpetually bad mood?" Masaki asked the white tiger that was running beside you.
"Kuroi symbolizes the darkness," the white tiger replied, it's voice calm. "And he just wants to make sure that you are fit to wield the power that you are destined for. It is a heavy burden and the outcome could be disastrous if you aren't ready."
"I see," Masaki said, thinking to herself that the tiger's words did make sense. "So his name's Kuroi huh?"
"So what's your name?"
"Shiroi," the white tiger replied. "And I symbolize the light."
"Black and white," Masaki said, thinking about the meaning of the names. "Dark and light."
"Correct," Shiroi said.
"Alright then Shiroi," Masaki said, picking up the pace and quickening her flash-step. "Let's get a move on and find this. . . whatever it is. If this takes too long then I'm still gonna be shown up by my brother and, for the record, that would not be cool."
"Very well then," Shiroi said in her mystical, musical voice.
Masaki had no idea how long she searched that jungle, dodging attacks from Kuroi, however she drew up quickly as something suddenly caught her eye. "Is that. . ." she gazed over at two strips of red that were just barely visible behind a grove of bushes.
Without a word Shiroi nodded.
Kuroi jumped from behind a tree but Masaki dodged him, using the quickest flash-step that she could manage, and grabbed each of the red objects, which turned out to be some sort of ribbons. Pulling on them Masaki was shocked when not one but two blades sailed toward her. With a skill that she didn't even know that she possessed the young girl caught each blade, the white one with her right hand and the black one with her left.
"I'm impressed," Kuroi said as he curved himself around Masaki's left side.
"You did it," Shiroi said as she curved herself around Masaki's right side.
Masaki smiled as she found herself in the center of the yin yang formation that she had painted not long ago. So this was where that image had came from. Had it been the voices of her zanpaktou calling out to her? "That's kinda cool," she thought to herself.
"Now it is time for you to return," Shiroi said kindly. "Call out to us if you find that you need our help."
"Yea," Kuroi snapped. "Because if you die then so do we."
"I gotcha," Masaki said.
"And for the record," Kuroi called out. "You still have to learn the name of your zanpaktou and Kuroi and Shiroi isn't it. Those are just the best way to describe us but it will not help you to unlock our powers. You have to earn that right as well."
Masaki nodded her head in understanding.
"We'll be waiting," Shiroi said.
Then young girl took a deep breath and when she exhaled she found that she was once again in the room where this ordeal had began, surrounded by the same kind faces. Gazing down at her hands she saw that she was still clutching the two swords. One was the black of a moonless night, with a guard that formed a crescent moon, while the other was purest white with a guard that formed a five pointed star.
"A dual wield zanpaktou," Head Captain Ukitake said, his voice filled with awe as he gazed at the pair of swords that Masaki held in her hands.
In the entire history of the Soul Society there had only been two other dual wield zanpaktou before Masaki gained her's. Head Captain Ukitake was himself in possession of one and his best friend, Squad Eight Captain Shunsui Kyouraku, possessed the other.
"Wow Saki-chan," Kaien said as he gazed at the twin swords that his sister held. "I'm impressed."
Masaki smiled, pleased by her brother's words. "Thanks and guess what Kai? Remember that painting of the two tigers that I did awhile back?"
"Well it turns out that they're actually the true form of my zanpaktou," Masaki said, her smile growing even wider. "Kuroi and Shiroi."
"That's amazing," Kaien said.
"Congratulations Kaien and Masaki," Head Captain Ukitake called out, smiling brightly as he gazed at the two children. "You have now gained your zanpaktou. All that is left is for the two of you to make them your partner. I wish you luck."
"Thank you," the twins said in unison, bowing to the Head Captain.
"Well," Shiro said, getting to his feet and walking over to the spot where his siblings were standing. He'd had enough of the serious atmosphere and thought that it was time to lighten the mood. "I think this calls for a little celebration. What do you guys think?"
Kaien and Masaki both nodded their heads enthusiastically. They were always up for a party especially if said party was being thrown by their older brother. Shiro was always so much fun.
"Let's go then," the Squad Ten Captain said.
Shiro led his siblings across the Seireitei to the Squad Ten barracks and when they arrived there he showed them to the rooms that would be their's while they were staying with him. They left their zanpaktou laying on their beds and then accompanied their older brother to the conference room.
Stopping just short of the door that led into the conference room Shiro gestured toward the door and, taking that as his cue, Kaien slid it open.
"Surprise!" a chorus of voices called out, startling the twins and causing them to jump back.
"It's alright," Shiro said, laughing as his siblings bumped into him. "I told you that a celebration was in order. Did you think I was joking?"
"No," Masaki said, her violet eyes wide with shock.
"But we did think that it would take a little time to plan," Kaien finished.
"It did," Shiro said as he offered the twins a roguish grin.
"Then how?" the twins said in unison.
"We were up all night planning this little party," Shiro explained as he ushered the twins into the room.
"Don't you think that's jumping the gun a little?" Kaien asked as he read the banner that was strung across the room. Congratulations Kaien and Masaki.
"Of course not," Shiro said. "We had no doubt that the two of you would succeed."
"Yea," a new voice said, joining the conversation uninvited. "After all, you are MY kids."
Shiro laughed as he watched his dad walk toward them, a cocky grin plastered all over his face. "That they are. Fortunately they got enough of Mom's genes to balance that out."
"Toushirou. . ."
Completely ignoring the warning tone of his dad's voice Shiro pushed his siblings forward. "Go on. Have some fun. Tell people all about your new zanpaktou."
"Right," the twins said.
The party lasted for hours but Shiro finally decided that it was time to call it quits. After congratulating the twins one final time all of the guests left, leaving the three Kurosaki siblings alone. "Come on guys," Shiro said, placing an arm around each of them. "You should probably get some rest. You've had a hard day."
"But what about you Nii-san?" Kaien said.
"Shouldn't we help you clean up or something?" Masaki asked.
Shiro shook his head. "No, it's okay. I'll clean up the mess. You guys go on up to bed."
The twins hesitated but a second look from Shiro was all it took. The twins gave their brother a hug and then dashed upstairs to the rooms that would be their's for the summer. Once they were gone Shiro set about cleaning up the mess, all the while thinking about how proud he was of his siblings.
They had done well and would make excellent Shinigami some day. And from the looks of things it would be some day soon. The twins were well on their way to graduating the Academy and after only a year that was truly an amazing feat. Very few had ever managed to do it quicker and the twins were proving once and for all exactly how powerful they were both destined to be.
The next morning Kaien and Masaki descended the stairs together, now wearing their new zanpaktou. Kaien was wearing his sword in the traditional way, at his side, while Masaki wore her twin blades strapped across her back in an x shape.
"Wow," Shiro said as the twins joined him in his office. "You guys look different."
"Of course we're different," Kaien said.
"We're one step closer to becoming Shinigami," Masaki added.
"That you are," Shiro said with a smile.
A/N - hope you enjoyed this chapter, please leave a review and tell us what you thought. Enquiring minds want to know.