"Ja ne Ryo-chan!"

"See you tommorrow Ms. Kunieda!"

"Yeah, sure whatever."

Ryo Kunieda was angry,no, scratch that, she was downright furious. Ignoring teachers and classmates alike as she stalked down the steps, out the gate, and headed for home, her book bag slund over one shoulder, a textbook clutched tightly against her bosom.

How?!

'How on earth could Ichigo Kurosaki get a better grade than me?! He's been absent half the semester! Not to mention that his attendance record is shoddy...

It wasn't so much that she didn't like Ichigo, she'd even tutored him once or twice during first term, and until recently, found him and his antics tolerable. But now, to see that her grades had slipped so low that even Kurosaki was at a higher academic level then she...

Preposterous!

'Calm down, calm down, fussing and fighting isn't going to get you anywhere...

No, that wasn't it, her grades weren't the trigger here, rather, the root of her problem stemmed from that day, weeks before. The day the sky itself opened up and monsters fell like rain upon Karakura town. And everyone had just gone about their business, blissfully unaware of their peril.

All those strange creatures, those masks, and why had Ichigo been fighting them?

Out of mere curiosity, she'd confronted him the next day after class, only to be rudely put off by said strawberry.

She still recalled his words, though they made her wince...

(Flashback/ Several weeks earlier)

"I already told you," His words were gruff, yet his eyes were sad. "Its none of your concern." He wasn't telling her the truth, she could tell it, the way his head tilted slightly to the left, refusing to meet her gaze as he began to edge past her.

"Tell me, where did that new student go?"

Now he rounded on her, eyes wide, mouth open in a small, silent 0.

"You remember...Rukia?"

"Yes, of course I remember Kuchiki." She'd glared at him then, unable to understand his confusion."But aside from you and I, no one seems to remember her now, either."

"..." Many emotions flickered across his face, but at last, he spoke.

"It's...complicated. You'll think I'm crazy."

"Kurosaki?" She took a small step forward. "Just tell me and-

"No!"Throwing her into the wall was the last thing she expected him to do. And he wasn't particularly gentle about it either. It didn't help the miserable look on his face, nor the weary, ragged, broken tone of his voice, or his bleeding knuckles, no, for now her mind latched onto the pain in her shoulder, and the blazing fury that came with it.

"Bastard....She hissed, glaring up at him with a smoldering gaze. "The hell was that for?!"

"Stay out of it!" He hollered, shouting her down, even as students looked on in fascination. "Just...stay the hell outta it!"

Without another word, he jumped out the window, and was lost.

(End flashback)

After tha, She hadn't seen him, Uryuu, Orihime, or even Sado, and those three never skipped class. It was summer vacation now, and Arisawa told her that the four of them had gone away for vacation, taken a trip, or something in that order.

She didn't believe any of it.

Hence her foul mood.

'Urgh! Doesn't he get it! I'm his friend! Sure, I may not ACT like it most of the time, but that's because...because...I...

A thin pink blush wormed its way up her face.

"Baka!" She shrieked, kicking at a nearby piece of paper, only to miss horribly. "Ichigo no baka!"

"Ah, I see you still have an infatuation with him after all this time, Ryo Kunieda."

"Wha?!" Startled, she nearly dropped her textbooks, spinning to face the speaker. Lo behold, there he was, standing in the street, leaning on an old rusted shopping cart. He was old, very old, tufts of gray hair poking out from the tattered green hood he wore, for his raspy voice was certainly male.

And he hadn't been there a second ago.

"Well?"

"Well what?" She hissed, trying to get over the seething fire building in the back of her throat.

"Move." Ryo grunted, stepping around him and his useless pile of junk-

Only to fall flat on her face as he stuck out a leg to trip her, giving him an ample view of the black panties she wore beneath her skirt. "Ehehehehe! I've still got it, even after all these years! "A thick, ragged laugh, choked with hacking and coughing assaulted her ears, and with a livid shriek Ryo forced herself to rise, yanking down her skirt to cover her delicates.

"Ecchi....she growled, cracking a knuckle menacingly. "You're about to go blind. Permanently!"

"Ho ho! Aren't we testy?" The man laughed, his pale face twisting into a pockmarked grin, exposing sickly yellow teeth and pale black irises. "Very well, come get me if you can!" The killer intent he xuded was horrible. There was something...odd about this one, and it wasn't just that lazy eye of his either. Now, it was...

It was his scent.

He reeked of death, and it chilled her to the core, her thoughts of school and textbooks falling away as this creature held its gaze.

"W-Who are you?" She managed at last, her rage withering away. "And how do you know me?" She needed to run, to get away from this, this thing, but her legs had frozen, refusing to break into the sprint for which she was so well known. "Kanshisha, surely you remember me, your most faithful of servants?"It seemed offended, but really, Ryo was far too furious to care about the feelings of some crazy old perv like this.

"!!" All at once, a thousand needles of pain exploded into her skull. "A-Ah!" She gasped, dropping her books again, instead clutching at her now throbbing temples. This didn't make sense, no, this wasn't logical at all. No one had attacked her, yet even as she contemplated this elaborate puzzle, it felt as if they'd taken a chainsaw to her cranium at full blast.

"Tch tch." The beggar made a clicking sound with his tongue, and instantly, the burning sensation vanished, leaving Ryo to gasp for breath. "The years have been far too kind to you my dear. Unfortunately," Spreading his arms, she saw very little skin, but what she did see was infected, diseased, and fermenting with countless bacteria. He seemed to notice the terrified expression and shrugged. "I cannot say the same for myself."

"W-What are you?" Now, now fear started to coil in her breast.

"The Shukensha, the Kanshisha, and off course, the Mitsukai." He replied, Steepling those bony fingers beneath his chin, the apparition grinned, its putrid breath churning her stomach, choking bile down. "My dear, do you know what these terms mean?" He appeared to rest his head and shoulders upon some invisible surface, for he peered down at her with that leering grin of his.

"The Sovereign, the Guardian, and the Angel." Ryo replied matter of-factly, pleased to flaunt her knowledge of the Japanese language, but never once did she let the stern stoic expression falter. "I...think they're part of some fairytale or something my parents read to me when I was young."

"Ho ho, you certainly know your stuff." The beggar wheezed, spitting a glob of mucus upon the ground, and action which drew a sickly grimace from Ryo. "Yes, these three beings of immense power, constantly at war with one another-

"I already told you," Ryo grumbled this as she scooted past the grungy old geezer, making a beeline for the nearest store. "I know how the story ends."

A pallid hand on her shoulder, freezing her where she stood.

"Truly beffiting of the Kanshisha."

"Guardian? You keep calling me that." Ryo scowled, turning back half a pace, slapping his hand away, her gaze darting this way and that. "Why?"

Chuckling, the grotesque abomination extended a hand, or rather, what should have been a hand. Instead of flesh and tissue, there was only bone. An d much to her horrified fascination, those brittle, cracked bones moved, clearly showing that he intended to shake hands with her."My name, is Amidio Cecilio. But I'm sure you don't remember that either, now do you? If you'd shake please?"

She shook her head fervently, and rewarded with a raspy chuckle, the perverded appendage withdrew into the long folds of his sleeve.

"Understandable, understandable." He nodded, but that creepy grin did not leave his face, even for a second. "I can see the confusion in your eyes my dear, it is quite clear to me that you don't remember." With the sickly pop of bone and siner, the beggar shrugged, and began to push his cart past her, almost as if nothing had happened.

But even as he did so, a tin can rolled at her feet. When she attempted to kick at it, the object morphed itself into a small rotund object, vaguely resembling a pendant, or a watch. "Nani?" Ryo blinked, and, ignoring her previous desire to boot the object across the horizon, reached down to retrieve the object. No sooner had she taken it, then, the device latched itself onto her hand, her wrist, sealing itself into place with a small pop.

"Ah!" Yelping in surprise, Ryo seized the small device, but it refused to budge, and the blue facet of a sapphire now stared up at her, denying her frantic attempts to dislodge it. Ignoring her surprised gasp, Amidio stopped, chuckled, throwing his hood up once more. "When next we meet, I will tell you more about these strange happenings. And about Kurosaki Ichigo."

As if reading her mind again, he chuckled at the ill thoughts she had of him.

"I promise to come in a more...acceptable guise next time, m'lady. Perhaps one that is more pleasing to the eye, yes?"

With a wink and a toothy grin, Amidio vanished.

Note: If you haven't read The True King thus far, then u r gonna be confused. This is intended solely as a companion fic to The True King. It is a seperate story, but will told moreso from Ryo's point of view.