Only total three reviews for this story's continuation…I'm sad. Oh well, I post this second chapter, hopefully you want to review it…
#2: Comprehension – Part 1
He knew he was dead.
The last thing he remembered looking before the blackness of death swallowed him was his hand. His very hand which barely brushed the girl's hand as his body shattered into misty dust…
And the girl' sad face… she had said that she didn't fear him. She reached for him in the last second. Because of her, he finally recognized his own heart.
Ulquiorra Schiffer couldn't quite comprehend his situation at all.
Second before he was sure he died after succumbing to his grave wounds caused by the hollow Kurosaki Ichigo. Second after he found himself awoken within the dim lit room; clad in a crumpled white shirt and black trousers. Disoriented and bewildered, he scanned his vicinity and finally concluded that he was within some kind of motel room.
He spotted a black duffel bag on the floor near his bed. Frowning, he grabbed and opened the bag only to find two pieces of identical white shirts and black trousers—just like what he wore now—underwear, a document folder, black pouch, and a wallet. He took the wallet, opened it, and examined the contents. Several cards, mostly credit cards from different banks; and bunch of folded money. He halted as he found a particular card. He slid it out and examined the card studiously.
An ID card by the name of one Ulquiorra Schiffer. Sex, male. Age, 24. Occupation… assassin… huh?
Ulquiorra frowned thoughtfully as he scrutinized his own photograph on the card, noticing that in that photo he had somehow lost his supposedly broken mask, teal tear-mark, and hollow hole. Disgruntled, he felt the left side of his head only to find that indeed, his broken mask had already gone. He felt for his chest and found that his hollow hole had also gone.
Sighing, he swung his legs out of the bed and stood up. He sauntered towards another room across his bed, which he assumed correctly as bathroom. He lit the small bulb-lamp and stood in front of the mirror and basin. He frowned at the young man who glared back at him from the mirror; his reflection. Somehow it was indeed his reflection even as he mused about how… unlike himself his reflection was. His reflection showed him that he still had his unruly, shaggy black hair that reached his shoulders and pale skin—though it wasn't as pale as his arrancar skin. He still had his usual frown—deeper now that he was thinking hard or pretending to—with thick eyebrows and long eyelashes.
He noted several differences though. He didn't remember having long eyelashes before. His eyebrows weren't as narrow as before. He didn't have his black upper lip. He absolutely didn't have his hollow hole and broken mask anymore. His teal tear-marks were, indeed, completely gone.
His brilliant emerald eyes, however, were still the same as before.
He raised his hand and touched his face. It felt warm, unlike his arrancar skin which usually felt cold. He traced downward and halted as he felt his clothed chest. He pressed lightly on the spot which his hole originally resided before. His eyes widened as he felt steady thumps of his heart.
I have a heart, he mused in slight awe. Although it's the real organ indeed; not the heart the girl has said before…
Ulquiorra's hand moved towards his neck and lightly pressed the area on the right side of his neck. He felt pulse. Blood flowed within his now living veins.
He stared at his reflection and pondered. He noticed a razor blade within the shelf before him and tentatively took it. He examined the thin, small blade for a while before slicing his pinky finger slightly on the blade. He cringed as he felt a sharp pain emanating from the small wound. Normally, when he was still an arrancar, wound that small didn't faze him nor even occur on his skin whatsoever just from slight pressure of such a small, insignificant blade. He was proud of his hierro, thank you very much.
…So what makes me now?
Am I still an arrancar? Nope, absolutely not. The lack of broken mask and hollow hole confirm that fact.
Am I still dead and in Soul Society now? …Perhaps, but I'm somehow dubious about that either. …No, I don't think so. The vicinity is just … not right.
Or… am I, in some kind of odd occurrence, a human?
Most likely so.
The thought of suddenly becoming a human whom he initially despised for their weaknesses somehow made him nauseated. Grimacing, he put the razor blade down and glared at his reflection on the mirror. The look-alike glared back at him, making him sigh for doing something silly.
"…This is silly." He muttered—and felt slightly dismayed after hearing his own voice. His voice was still the same as before, deep and dispassionate, emanating impassiveness or apathy. But it was somehow …different. He didn't know what, but it was indeed different.
"…What's the difference?" he murmured slowly, trying to analyze his own voice. "…Where's the difference?"
And then he found it. His voice had lost its …inhumanness.
He wasn't quite sure about it, but it was, well, just simply like that. His voice had lost its inhumanness.
"…What the hell?" he muttered again, confused.
Yes… his voice had lost its usual monotone. It was still sounded bored, detached, and dispassionate, but the odd, inhuman monotone was gone. It was still sounded monotone, but it was a different kind of monotone. This monotone was sounded …human.
He felt aggravated. And he was shocked that he was aggravated. He had regained his emotion, somehow.
"This whole thing is confusing," Ulquiorra muttered. "And I have no clue about everything."
He decided to turn back to his room and continue his rummage on his bag…
He frowned as he registered the duffel bag as his bag. And this pathetic, poor lit room wasn't his room—it wasn't his old room, indeed. But he somehow registered it as his room—for now.
Just where were those thought coming from?
Shoving his confusion aside, Ulquiorra grabbed the bag and began his rummage. He pulled out the clothes—his clothes—the document folder and the pouch. He threw the things haphazardly on the bed. He decided to check on the pouch first. The document folder would wait for later examination.
He unfastened the zipper and poured the content of the pouch on the bed. He found several mundane things such as comb, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, and shampoo—all in smaller version and size. Travel kit, he mused.
He also found a plastic bag. He tore open the bag and poured the content. He found several cards—ID cards—with different names and occupations. He selected one and scrutinized the card. He noted an almost transparent code printed on the corner of the card: 4A.
The name was Shizu Uriya, age 24, occupation as art teacher. Ulquiorra frowned.
He selected another one and found that the card was also imprinted with a code on the corner, almost invisible for naked, untrained eyes. He noted the code was 4F. He read the prints. The name was Shinomori Umino, age 24, occupation as junior attorney.
Another one was coded as 4R, with the details such as: the name was Shizuoka Uratarou, age 24, occupation as shipping agent.
These ID cards had similarities, he mused slowly. The names were always making initials as SU, the age was always printed as 24… and they had codes that were begun with number 4 as the first digit.
SU… Schiffer, Ulquiorra
He reached for the wallet and pulled out the ID card. He scrutinized the card and found another similarity: those other ID cards had no photographs. This one had it. Not to mention, it stated his real name as Ulquiorra Schiffer. Weird…
He scanned a random ID card and found an almost unnoticeable slit on its side. He scrutinized it and eventually concluded that it was made for slipping in a photograph to complement the card.
So much for fake IDs, he mused. This was just so… original and manual to begin with. Usually, people used professional card counterfeiter to make fake IDs or passports than to make the things by themselves. It was necessary to avoid people's suspicion. The better the imitation, the more people trust you.
But I, being the perfectionist I am, make those trivia by myself. And perfect it, of course.
…Wait… wait a second…
I? Make it by myself? How? And where did that thought and all knowledge about faking ID cards come from?
Ulquiorra shook his head, bewildered once more. He decided to begin rummaging on the document folder, in case there was any information he eventually recognized.
He opened the folder and found a black envelope. He opened the envelope and pulled out a folded black paper. Unfolding the paper, he found that the message within was written in white letters. Neat, short, direct… computerized.
Of course, he snorted. No one wants to risk their asses for getting caught just because their scribbles are found near the dead bodies of the targets.
Ulquiorra blinked as his recent thought kicked in. Why did he think like that?
He shrugged and continued reading.
'4C. 0900. Karakura Shelter Dome. Room 813. Details attached.'
He didn't understand.
He pulled out the next envelope from the folder. It was bigger than the first one, brown-colored, and containing several documents within. He pulled all in once and spread them in front of him. His eyes widened as he recognized the faces listed in the documents.
Name, Ishida Uryuu; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], father, Ishida Ryuuken; age, 43; occupation, doctor, director of Karakura Shelter Hospital.
Name, Arisawa Tatsuki; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], father, Arisawa Kyoshiro; 45; occupation, public service attorney; mother, Arisawa Mariko; 41; occupation, housewife; brothers, Arisawa Takei; 20; occupation, college student in Karakura Shelter University; major, Computer Engineering; Arisawa Tatsuya; 18; occupation, college student in Karakura Shelter University; major, Business.
Name, Asano Keigo; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], sister, Asano Mizuho; 18; occupation, college student in Karakura Shelter University; major, Business.
Name, Kojima Mizuiro; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], mother, Takeda Mari (remarried, other status unknown).
Name, Inoue Orihime; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], brother, Inoue Sora; 27; occupation, public employee.
Name, Sado Yasutora; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], none.
Name, Kurosaki Ichigo; 17; occupation, high school student in Karakura Shelter High School; living relative[s], father, Kurosaki Isshin; 44; occupation, local doctor in family's clinic, Kurosaki Clinic; mother, Kurosaki Masaki; 39; occupation, housewife; sisters, paternal-twin, Kurosaki Karin (older twin); 12; occupation, middle school student in Karakura Shelter Middle School; Kurosaki Yuzu (younger twin); 12; occupation, middle school student in Karakura Shelter Middle School.
These are Kurosaki, the girl, and their friends. But, something's off… I don't recall that the girl's brother nor Kurosaki's mother are alive. Aizen's information told me—
His train of thought abruptly stopped when he rephrased the latter's name. Aizen… not Aizen-sama. Only Aizen. Why? Why I suddenly feel so much loath when I spell his name with honorific?
Ulquiorra blinked again, slightly shocked. Did he truly mean that?
Aizen is trash.
Oh yes, he really meant that.
Shoving the disturbing thought aside, Ulquiorra moved to read the folded paper slipped within the document envelope. The message inside was simple.