Ichigo ran, he ran for his very life, gasping and panting, throwing himself forward as the thin blade whisked through the air, and with it, came a few strands of his orange hair. This was insane! Urahara was batshit crazy! Who the hell just drew a sword out of their cane and started swinging it around like that?!
"Wait a minute," He began to think, "Why am I running? He pulled that sword out of his cane! There's no way he can cut me with it!"
Slowly, the strawberry began to turn-
With a rush of steel, several more strands of orange hair flew into the air. The broken blade, damaged initially by Byakuya now fell to the ground, missing what little remained of its edge and left with little more than the guard and hilt.
"You let your guard down." Kisuke replied to the gobsmacked look upon the boy's face. "You thought, because I'm not a soul reaper, I couldn't have a zanpaktou." Twisting his thin sword to the left, Urahara frowned. "And right now, you're probably thinking there's no way I can hurt you."
A sigh escaped his lips.
"Awaken now! Benihime!"
With those words, the cane glowed red. Before his very eyes, that little thin blad contorted, twisted, distorted itself into a fearsome weapon. When at last the glow had subsided, Urahara held a flat blade with a crooked handle and no hilt.
"I assure you, this is a real zanpaktou. VERY real."
Ichigo recalled Renji saying something like that.
"You can't even ask your zanpaktou its name? Pathetic!"
Yeah, those were his exact words, and now they made the newly awakened shinigami think.
"A name? For my...zanpaktou?"
"Yes," A small smirk tugged at feature's of Kisuke's visage. "Each zanpaktou carries a unique name. This one, is..." Ichigo felt his gaze drawn to the gleaming sword held loosely in Kisuke's grip, and is if in response, a trickle of fear wormed its way into is heart. The blade seemed to sense this, and pulsed red. "Benihime, the red princess."
Faster than the eye could see, that same sword lunged for his throat.
"Now, let us show you."
(Bleach Ost music: Enemy Unseen)
By Kami's grace, he somehow dodged the first strike, but still, an overflow of red reiyroku picked him up off his feet, mercilessly throwing the strawberry into the dirt, where he scrambled to his feet, only to find a shadow looming over him.
"The...hell?!" Ichigo started in surprise, rolling away from Urahara's strike, swaying under the second only to be violently thrown into the nearby boulder, courtesy of the third move, a brutal snap kick from Hat n Clogs. The impact didn't so much as hurt him, rather than surprise him that he was being so relentlessly outmanuevered.
Spitting out a clod of earth, Ichigo shook his head and tried to rise-
But before he could even think to run, Urahara swept forward from the smoke, Benihime already on a collision course with the young reaper's skull, with barely an inch to spare. No time, there was absolutely no way he could attack, and evade at the same time.
Ichigo dropped flat to the floor.
Though he'd dodged the blazing blade, Ichigo hadn't taken into account just how forcefully Urahara had swung. In other words, the result of blocking, again through Ichigo Kurosaki through the rocky wall that lay behind him.
"I don't know what you're thinking," Kisuke began bringing Benihime up for a lunge, Ichigo had seen enough, and took that chance to run, scrambling to his feet, clutching the sword and hilt for all he was worth, which wasn't really much at this point.
But too late, Kisuke appeared before him, barring his path.
'Swing! Swing Ichigo!' A voice commanded, but it did him little good in the end.
By blocking, he was forced to his knees, and with another strike, both arms went entirely numb, and with that, he was left with only the hilt of his weapon.
"But if you try to go against me with that inferior weapon...
"I will kill you."
And though surprise now mirrored his visage , it was gone in an instant, replaced by sheer terror. 'Shit!'Thinking only to save himself, Ichigo did not attack, he did not stand his ground. No, he ran, ran as hard and fast as his legs could hope to carry him, then the footfalls of Urahara's sandals fell after him like hoofbeats.
'I've gotta get away! I don't think he's kidding! He's really gonna kill me this time!'
Benihime sliced the ground where he'd been only a heartbeat before, ripping out a huge chunk of stone as it came away. Dust and dirt flew everywhere, stinging at his eyes, choking his lungs, filling his mouth with acrid, dry taste, but still, still he ran. 'This is so pathetic!
He didn't care that his body screamed for rest. He didn't care that his lungs were burning, crying out for air. He didn't care that he was making a complete and total fool of himself. He didn't care.
'What am I doing?!'
He just had to...
'Why am I running away?!'
He had to run.
'Is this all the backbone I have?'
He had to get away from here!
Without warning, his body jerked back half a step, for Urahara had grabbed him from behind, jerking his victim around by the collar, and now roughly heaving the boy to the ground, his face betraying nothing, a mask of cold emotion, all the while. Ichigo however, wore a look of pure terror, darting to the right, just before Benihime could claim his spirit.
'Am I just a coward after all? A complete phony?'
As if to insult him, the blade swatted him from behind with its broad edge, leaving Ichigo unharmed, but still assiting the strawberry in a face plant, that which broke his nose, leaving the acrid taste of blood in his mouth and on his tongue.
'I'm so disgusted with myself!'
But still he kept running, desperate to get away.
'How pathetic! It's pathetic!'
Again the shadow loomed....
Yes, that would be you. A rich, feminine voice echoed in his ears, bringing him pause.
All the colors of the world faded to grey, faceless, nothinginess.
There, floating in the abysmal darkness before, were two slender women. The first wore a black shihakusho and hakama pants, her long jet black hair streaming behind her, framing her face as if blown by some invisible wind. Her eyes were a golden yellow, keen and slitted, much like the kind you'd expect to find from a serpent.
The other was slightly more petite than the latter, and wore a mask, typical of what you'd expect to see from a ninja, over the lower part of her face, the cloth eclipsing both her nose and lower jawline. Furthermore, her style of dress seamed to be a bit more conservative, judging by the looser red kimono and red cape she had herself drapped in, its color outdone only by the fierce red of her crimson hair, which was a great deal longer than that of her companions, falling to the ground around her trailing cloak.
Like her sister, she shared the serpentine eye trait, though her eyes were a blazing red, rather than a pallid, sickly yellow. If not for their unique outfits, and mismatching eyes, Ichigo could have sworn they looked like they were....twins?
Why are you running away, Ichigo? The second asked him again, quietly.
"I-who the hell are you?"
"Kumori." The first jerked a thumb towards herself.
"Kajii." The second answered. "Together, we are your sword."
"So....who are you again?"
"For crying out loud, Ichigo!" That was different, as the first woman, Kumori, scowled murderously, her voice taking on an almost malevolent tinge as she hoisted him up roughly by the shoulders. "Have you always been this friggin dense?!"
All at once, he was released, not landing rudely upon the floor, but rather, put down gently, her hands clasping him firmly by the shoulders. Idly, he noted that she wasn't quite as tall as he was, like he'd pictured her to be, perhaps a few inches shorter or so.
You still haven't called us yet. The second woman continued.
(Bleach ost music: On the Precipice of Defeat)
"Face forward, Ichigo!" The first insisted, looking him square in the eye, with such intensity that he actually froze there for a moment, both in his mind, and in the real world. When now she shook him, it was a gentle 'wake up' kind of shake. "You should be able to hear it now."
The only thing plugging your ears is your own fear. The second nodded.
"There's only one enemy, and there's one of you. So what is there to be afraid of?" A smug, defiant smirk had tugged at the first's lips up until this point, but now, it collapsed into a cold, sinister smile. A cold hand caressed his face, sending chilling shiver down his spine before it came away, leaving a red palm imprint upon his face.
"Oi! Why the hell did you slap me?!" He yelped,
"Did it knock some sense into you?"
"I'll just have to slap you again, then."
"Leave him be, Kumori." Kaji chastised her sister. "Allow him to focus and call us."
Kumori snorted and stalked back to her sister.
Ichigo mumbled a thank you, still painfull rubbing his sore cheek as the two women faced him. He made the mistake of looking into their eyes, then and instantly wished he hadn't, for he found himself spellbound and unable to pull away.
"Hear our voice/Hear our voice."
Voices, theirs, his, and countless others, suddenly rushed through his skull, flooding him with emotion. They began to speak as one, their words overlapping in places with eerie synchronicity.
Abandon your fear.
"Turn and face him."
"Don't give an inch"
"Now Ichigo! Advance!"
"If you retreat you will age!"
"Be afraid and you will die."
At Ichigo's side, flashing into existence, the infamous blade bathed its master in light, mingled with that of the shattered hilt. His body, motionless until this point, now whirled about, grasping each hilt such force that his palms actually bled from the strain.
The cloth wrap of his hilt burned itself black, and the from the ruined hilt, a new weapon began to emerge.
His eyes snapped open, revealing his brown irises to have turned a deep, shocking red. The word ripped past his lips, as if it had been hanging on his tongue all the while, just waiting to be remembered.
"Kumori no Kajihime! (Fire Shadow Princess, at least I THINK that's how its said)
Much to Urahara's surprise, Ichigo actually swipedat him with the hand that still held the newly named zanpaktou, bathed in black red light. Then the intense wave of spiritual pressure rushed outwards from the blade, eclipsing both zanpaktou and master within the smoke.
Urahara nimbly sidestepped the overflow of reiatsu that arced past him in a flash of azure crimson flame, spitting smoke and lightning every which way, almost as if a miniature thunderstorm had been born upon the blade's release.
As the smoke parted. Ichigo lay on the ground, gasping heavily.
For the first time during their scuffle, Urahara blinked.
In his hands, Ichigo clutched a pair of two separate swords, each contained within a bright red sheathe. Wazikashi, Urahara realized, recognizing the sealed state of the blades, with their black hiltwraps, and bronze hand guards with inward-curved edges, a stylized flame pattern on the long sides, and a simple decorative slit on the short ones.
"A dual zanpakutou." Urahara breathed silently, both awed by the fact that Ichigo had sealed his zanpakutou, but more-so by the aforementioned sight that lay before his eyes. "I never expected this." He shuddered briefly, having been afforded a brief glimpse of Ichigo's shikai mere moments before.
If Ichigo's shikailooked like that, then he didn't want to see what happened when he achieved his bankai.
A low grunt alerted Kisuke, reminding him that Ichigo was still very much concious.
Get him. Get him. The insistent cries of his zanpakutou filled Kurosaki's mind, their dual voices always overlapping one another's, and nevere once speaking out of synch. "Beat the shit outta him!"
'You don't have to tell me twice.'
Removing the twin wazikashi from the stone in which they were embedded, Ichigo raised his head, revealing an uneasy smirk tracing his features. Stepping forward, the ground buckled beneath his feet, not from his weight, but from the sheer, uncontrolled reiatsu his body emitted.
"Alright Urahara-san," There was no need for pleasantries, not know, when his very soul screamed for payback. Twisting his swords' at a diagonal angle by the cloth Ichigo began to spin them about, their hilts locking together as they twirled.
"I hope you're able to dodge this." His voice was even, barely audible under the humming the two wazkiashi produced Brown eyes sparked their defiance as sparks began to fly from their tips.
"Because right now...
Kisuke's frown turned to a scowl as the pinned cloth at Ichigo's shoulders now swelled, then abruptly shattered, spraying across the training grounds with the boy's next words. "I can't control this very well!" Evidently, he wasn't kidding, as that same surge became tangible, rushing across the abyss between them, ready obliterating anything that was unfortunate enough to be in its way.
'I'd better not let that connect.' Kisuke mused idly, looking on as the blast plowed through the ground towards his current position. 'But then again, I'd like to see just what kind of ability his sword posesses...
With a shrug, he raised his blade, ruby red light oozing out from its hilt.
Then Ichigo smirked.
"Haretsu sono yoru." (Rupture the night) Ichigo hissed, his eyes narrowing coldly as the twin Wazikash began to pulse an ominous black, feeding more and more energy into the blast as the shikai transformation occurred out of sight.
And the entire basement/underground training field was smothered in black light.
*Grins like Gin* My my, Ichigo with a NEW dual elemental zanpakutou, hmm? If that hasn't been done before, then I'll shoot myself in the head. Quite frankly, I've been toying with my new zanpakutou idea for awhile now, so I decided to give Komori no Kajihime to none other than Ichigo, because quite frankly. I think he relies WAY too much on Zangetsu and Getsuga Tenshou. Read? Review? Enjoy?
Epic Quote of the day: Why do you strive to save such a wretched race, even though they spurn your efforts? Come. Join us, for there is nothing else you can do. Together, Fire and Shadow are unstoppable, there is nothing that can harm them. Join us, and this pathetic, wretched little planet will be ours to play with as we please. Join us, or you will die.
Next time: The demon of the ashen fire, and the slothful