(A/N: We're here on the home stretch. The final chapter begins.)
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Tales of Symphonia
3rd Person pov
After the clash of their initial attacks Emil and Ratatosk ran at each other. "Demon Fang!" both shouted at the same time. The attacks collided into each other and cancelled each other out. Ratatosk took the initiative and struck at Emil who shoved him away. Ratatosk took two backsteps.
He's not half bad, Ratatosk admitted, he observed Emil as the green-eyed blonde took a defensive stance. In here this is where we are equals. The only mana we can draw on is our own. Since I can't draw on the power of the Centurions we're stuck with our own artes and skills. Still, there's one attack I have that he doesn't. Ratatosk took a familiar stance. "Ain Soph Aur!" He launched the attack at Emil.
Emil dodged out of the way, but got hit by the aftershock. He front flipped to maintain his balance and then ran back at Ratatosk, only to realize his counterpart had disappeared. He turned only to see Ratatosk was now behind him prepared to strike at his neck. Emil turned and blocked and skidded back a distance. He stood up and thrust his sword forward. "Light Spear Cannon!" Ratatosk countered with the same move and the attacks cancelled each other. Emil then ran forward and took the initiative. Ratatosk blocked.
"Well, I'm surprised you're pressing the attack, I always thought you were a coward," the red-eyed summon spirit scoffed.
"Just because I'm a coward doesn't mean I can't fight!" Emil shouted. He took a backstep and swung. "Dual Death!"
"Dual Death!" The shockwaves cancelled each other out.
"Heavenly Tempest!" Emil went barreling towards Ratatosk. Ratatosk leapt back and up into the air.
"Raining—" he didn't get a chance to execute the attack as he saw Emil hurtling up into the air.
"Swallow Fury!" Emil struck Ratatosk no less than five times. Both combatants then dropped to the ground.
"Not bad," Ratatosk acted as if he wasn't even affected by Emil's blows, "You actually managed to scratch me. I must commend you."
"I refuse to lose and I refuse to back down. The only way you understand things is through violence," Emil declared. "And so I'll show you my resolve. Show you that I'm not just some wimp you can push around."
"Then show me," Ratatosk chuckled. "I'll admit that you're good, but you've got a long way to go. Fiend Fusion!" Ratatosk activated the stat booster arte.
Emil copied the arte. "Ready when you are."
Ratatosk simply smirked and charged straight at Emil who ran towards him, matching his speed. Both turned their bodies towards each other and collided their swords against one another. They turned back the opposite way and collided into a weapons lock. Ratatosk then slid his blade down Emil's sword and pressed the hooked portion of it onto Emil's sword. He pushed down and punched Emil in the face. "Dark Radiance!" Emil, taking a moment to gather himself got flung back by the shockwave. He quickly backward somersaulted, as he hit the ground, and got back up. Ratatosk came charging in again.
"Ravaging Tiger!" Emil performed his anti-aerail spin as Ratosk came in. Ratatosk dodged to the side and attacked.
"Roaring Tiger!" Emil was ill prepared having not yet recovered from his own attack and was beaten down by Ratatosk's arte. He then used backsteps to escape Ratatosk's range. Ratatosk laughed, "You really are a coward. I thought you were going to face me, but here you are running away." Emil grit his teeth and growled. "I knew it, there's no way you could ever hope to beat me. I'm simply better than you. That's all there is to it."
"You're not better than me!" Emil shouted. "I'll prove it! I'll prove I can fight on your level!"
"Then quit cowering and come on. Attack me head on!" Ratatosk goaded.
"Very well!" Emil ran straight at Ratatosk. "Converging Fury!" Emil front flipped and slammed his blade on the ground and sent an elongated shockwave at his red-eyed counterpart. Again Ratatosk countered with the same arte, but by the time he looked up from the end of the move execution Emil was already in the air. "Ravaging Tiger!" He spun towards Ratatosk and knocked him into the air. "Roaring Tiger!" Emil spiraled forward and then unleashed a fury of needle-like shockwaves on Ratatosk, dealing more damage and both dropped to the ground.
Ratatosk took a back jump, before taking a running start. "Havoc Strike!" He attacked Emil with a leaping kick. Emil side stepped and slashed, but Ratatosk landed, backflipped, spun and blocked. He then used the hook on his blade to pull Emil to the side and slugged Emil in the face again sending the compassionate blonde reeling away. "Phoenix Rush!" Ratatosk spiraled and went slashing towards Emil and cut him up pretty good. He landed on the other side of Emil and turned around. "What's the matter? Can't keep up?" He taunted.
Emil closed one eye and wiped the blood away from his jaw before opening both. "Not even," he took a stance. "I can still fight you. I won't give up not until I win."
"Then go ahead. Make my day," Ratatosk encouraged.
Emil and Ratatosk ran at each other again. When their blades collided this time there was a massive shockwave of energy caused by their weapons lock. Before he could pull the same trick he had always been doing, Emil kicked Ratatosk and sent him back. Ratatosk backflipped and regained his footing, but Emil was charging in. "Blade Fury!" He slashed Ratatosk a good few times and then followed up the attack. "Swallow Fury!" After the final strike, Ratatosk took a moment to recuperate and pushed down on Emil's chest and shoved him down onto the ground. He then stabbed his sword down towards Emil's forehead. Emil dodge rolled out of the way and got up. "Demon Fang!"
Ratatosk dodged to the side and came rushing in. "Sword Rain: Alpha!" He struck Emil 14 times in the chest and then let out the following shockwave. Emil got sent flying back, a trail of blood followed as he slid along the ground on his stomach. He got up again. "Still you resist. I must commend your determination," Ratatosk said and flung his arm out at his side, "but you might as well give up. You've taken too many wounds. Continue to fight back and it'll only prove fruitless."
"Never," Emil said getting up, blood splattered the ground. "I refuse to give up. I am…"
"You are...?" Ratatosk didn't understand what Emil was trying to say.
"I am…" Emil began to glow in a blue-green aura and then shouted with all his lung power. "I AM NOT GOING TO END HERE!" he thrust his arms out his sides. The shockwave of which caused Ratatosk to take a defensive stance, but in the few moments he did Emil was already rushing in with a battle cry. He then landed strike upon strike on Ratatosk. "I WILL NOT!" He slashed past Ratatosk, pivoted and flipped forward, letting loose an explosion of energy. "LOSE!" Ratatosk was flung far across the battlefield along the ground. Emil stood where he was, panting, as blood dripped from his body.
"Tch," Ratatosk grumbled and pushed himself up off the ground, "Man, what a joke." He turned around to face Emil. The damage to his body was vast. He had a multi-layer burn running down the front of his chest. Skin was peeled away on the right side of his body. The eye of which was swollen, burned and bloodshot. "I never thought that a weak little boy like you would be a match for me. I concede. You win." The weapons of both halves of the Summon Spirit of Monsters vanished and their wounds healed completely.
Emil walked up to his counterpart and said, "This journey has changed both of us. I now realize that I need you. I need your strength."
"And now I realize for the first time that your kindness is not a weakness. I will accept you as part of me, as a show of respect for that tiny bit of courage you have inside."
"And I will trust you, Ratatosk. After all, you are a part of me," Emil said as he came back into consciousness into the world.
"Welcome back," Ichigo smirked at him.
"Yes, thank you," Emil said, "I believed in the me that believes in me."
"Yeah," Ichigo ruffled Emil's hair, "I'm proud of you Emil." Emil smiled blushing slightly. Marta then handed him Aqua's core.
Emil hatched it, but after the hatching Ratatosk took over. "I take back what I said about annihilating mankind," he announced. Everyone cheered, but Ratatosk quickly killed the mood. "However, I can't fully guard the door by myself."
"What do you mean?" Lloyd asked him.
"The ancient seal on the door is no longer working since another being forced it open," he looked at Richter.
"Sorry," Richter apologized, pulled out a spare pair of glasses and pushed them up, "Looks like I'll need to go ahead with my original plan to seal the door with my own mana."
"If that's what you plan to do, then allow me to offer my assistance," Ratatosk told Richter. Richter was confused. Ratatosk explained, "I will rewrite the natural law of the world while you are guarding the door. I am willing to do this to help lessen your suffering as well."
"What exactly do you mean by 'rewrite'?" Kratos asked the summon spirit.
"Well you see, mana didn't originally exist in this world. The arrival of the comet Derris-Kharlan and me, and finally the transfer of the Giant Kharlan Tree onto this world, resulted in mana creating life. So I will take mana from everything that comprises this world... and then use it as a seal for the Ginnungagap," Ratatosk stated.
"B-but if you do that the land will die!" Genis cried out in protest.
"No it won't," Ratatosk refuted, "Although it will take time, I plan to write a new law so that won't ever happen. All life that flourishes on this land will no longer require mana to live. Humans, elves, the earth, everything."
"Summon spirits too?" Sheena questioned.
"No. Summon spirits are kept alive by the presence of mana. After all, we summon spirits are not native to this world to begin with," Ratatosk stated.
"Then what happens to the summon spirits when mana goes away?" Ichigo asked.
"Mana itself will remain in the world. It'll just disappear from all living beings that comprise it. And as long as the new World Tree keeps continuing to produce more mana, it will surround the world and will eventually flow freely into the door's seal. And from there on I will control the flow of mana in this world from the Ginnungagap. It will be my duty as overseer and as the other summon spirit of the tree," Ratatosk explained.
"This may also be beneficial to Soul Society. If nothing comprises mana then it would be impossible for almost all beings to see spirits," Nel put in.
"So what changes will come about to our world?" Zelos asked.
"Once it's cut off from the protection of mana, the world will eventually decline and die," Ratatosk stated.
"What do you mean by 'decline'?" Presea asked.
"Well, the world will die once it reaches the end of its lifespan. It may be billions even trillions of years from now. Nobody really knows for sure. The world will return back to its original form to the way it was before the Giant Kharlan Tree was moved here. Back to the way it was meant to be," Ratatosk responded.
"Did…Emil also return to the way he was meant to be?" Marta asked Ratatosk.
"Yes Marta. I believe you're right. I returned to what I was meant to be. I am Emil, but I am Ratatosk as well. And this may very well be my true form," Ratatosk answered.
"It's just like how Martel, Mithos' sister, and Martel the summon spirit are one in the same person," Lloyd stated.
"Probably," Ratatosk answered.
"But you remember us don't you?" Marta asked.
"Of course," Ratatosk said and brushed the side of Marta's cheek. "How could I ever forget you? The time we spent traveling together was not time spent in vain." He dropped his hands at his sides and said. "I've learned that mankind isn't as bad as I thought." He then reached out to Marta again and removed the fake core from her forehead. "There, now you are back to the way you should be." He then stepped up right up to the entrance of the room. "Now, all of you need to go. I'm going to seal this space once and for all, so no one else ever approaches this door again. Besides, if you want to make in time to boast about making it under excessive time Ichigo you guys should leave now."
"Yeah," Ichigo walked up to the summon spirit and put hand on his shoulder. "Take care of yourself okay?" Ichigo smirked and then added. "Having you around, was like having a little brother you know?" He then left before the situation became to awkward for him.
"He is so bad at admitting his feelings," Sheena sighed as she walked up to her blonde friend. "I won't ever forget you, Emil. You better take care of yourself, all right?" She then left the room.
"See ya Emil," Zelos said to him, "And thanks a lot for helping me save my sister." He then left.
Kratos was the next to walk up. He placed something in Ratatosk's hand. "If your memory ever recovers, then you'll understand what I mean when I say this is my way of apologizing on Cruxis' behalf for betraying your trust." He then walked out the door.
"Although we only knew each other for a short while," Nel said as she walked in front of Ratatosk, "I've grown to like you Emil. You're a good friend." She held out her hand. Ratatosk was perplexed for a moment but then shook Nel's hand. "I hope we'll see each other again someday." She then left.
Regal shook the summon spirit's hand as well. "It's truly been an honor traveling with you. Take care Emil." He then exited.
"Just remember you are not alone," Presea told her friend before putting down a small bear figurine by the door entrance.
Raine walked up to the summon spirit and smiled, "I wish I could've worked with a student like you." She then left the room.
"I can't wait to tell everyone that I made friends with a summon spirit! Don't forget me Emil, okay?" Genis exclaimed. He and the monster lord bumped knuckles and the young half-elf ran off to catch up with his sister.
"We will always protect the beautiful world that you have saved for us," Colette promised and then exited.
"Emil," Lloyd said to him as he prepared to leave, "I want to believe that we'll see each other again someday. So I'm not gonna say goodbye."
"You're going to live forever, right? Even after you've sealed this place away?" Marta asked Ratatosk.
"Yes," he nodded.
"Then I'm not going to say goodbye either," she decided. "Because no matter what my heart will always be with yours, Emil." She then walked out of the room and stood just outside the entrance before turning around. "Emil," she said as the door began to close, "I'll always love you."
Ratatosk let his other persona take control for a moment. Emil turned around as the door was closing and said, "And I'll always love you too, Marta." The door then shut.
Marta then went to catch up with the group and they all eventually left the Ginnungagap.
"So now what?" Ichigo asked.
"We'll have to return to Soul Society and give a mission complete status," Hitsugaya said. "The rest of you are free to do as you please."
"Well if that's the case," Zelos said as he yawned and stretched, "I'm going home. I need my beauty rest after such an arduous adventure." He took out the Rheaird Nel had lent him and took off.
"Colette and I should be getting back to our journey to collect Exspheres," Lloyd stated. He took out a Rheaird and Colette and Lloyd took off together.
"I must be getting back to Altamira, the restoration plan will need me to oversee it," Regal stated.
"And…I must be returning home to continue help rebuilding Ozette," Presea stated. "Don't forget your body is at Altessa's place as well as your mod-soul," she told Ichigo. She then took off on a Rheaird.
"I suppose I'll return to Luin for a while. I was enjoying the peace and quiet before this whole mess started," Kratos stated. He emanated his wings and took off.
"I suppose I'll be getting back to Yuan," Nel said, "He's probably lonely without me." She took off via Sonido.
"What are you going to do?" Byakuya asked Raine.
"Genis and I will probably continue our journey and quest to make this world and easier place for half-elves to be accepted. What about you? Are you really leaving?" Raine asked the man she loved.
"I must," Byakuya stated, "I am only here as per the mission. It would be against the code of conduct for me to overstay my welcome. Beyond that with Renji and I both here the managing of the squad defaults upon our third seat. We can't leave everything to him for too long."
"I see…will I…will I ever see you again?" Raine asked.
"Who knows? It's possible," Byakuya stated. Raine and Byakuya stared at each other for a few moments before they kissed each other. Genis and Rukia covered each other's eyes, not wanting to look. Ichigo and Sheena laughed at their discomfort. After the kiss Byakuya drew out his sword and opened a Senkaimon, "Let us return to where we belong." The Soul Reapers all followed the noble captain into the Senkaimon and the door shut behind them. Raine and Genis then left after Raine wiped her eyes of threatening tears.
Sheena turned towards Ichigo, "And so what are you going to do?" she asked him.
"Well first I have to get my body and Kon back from Altessa's place," he looked at Urahara and Yoruichi, "After that it's up to them."
"Well I'd like to get back to the shop before Tessai turns Jinta into the Jinta Home Blue Plate Special," Urahara joked.
"I see…so you're going back then?" Sheena asked.
"Yeah, I mean, I'm sorry I didn't get to spend more time with you," Ichigo apologized.
Sheena kissed his cheek, "Nonsense I'm glad we could have an adventure for once."
"See you around I guess then?" Ichigo scratched the back of my head.
"I suppose," she turned around and then a thought struck her. "Hold on just a second, wait for me at Altessa's place okay?"
Ichigo turned towards Urahara and Yoruichi, "Well, you heard her." The group went and got Ichigo's body and he climbed back into it and shoved Kon in the bag, much to the mod-souls chagrin. Sheena arrived a few minutes later.
"All right, let's go," she said.
"Go? Go where?" Ichigo asked.
"Where do you think?" she asked, "I'm coming with you."
"Huh?" Ichigo was not expecting this.
"Wh-what's the big deal?" she asked, "Y-you're always coming here s-so…"
"Th-there's nothing wrong with it, it's just…my family is a little…strange," Ichigo stammered, "And well…they don't really know about us…yet."
"O-oh r-really," Sheena seemed a little disappointed.
"Aw c'mon Ichigo you know you won't be able to hide this forever," Yoruichi chuckled.
"Y-yeah, b-but what am I supposed to say? How am I supposed to explain about…this," Ichigo threw his arms out at his sides to indicate the world of Aselia.
"You just leave that to me," Urahara tipped his hat.
"Now I'm even more worried," Ichigo said. Suddenly a Senkaimon opened and four hell butterflies flew out, "Hey wait a minute we're still discussing this!" Ichigo shouted at Urahara.
"What? You're the one said there was nothing wrong with it," he smirked.
Ichigo sighed in defeat. "All right fine." He turned towards Sheena. "Well let's go then. Are you ready to see my home?"
She nodded and they all stepped through the Senkaimon.
I recognized the walls of the place we were walking in. It reminded of when we fought Origin. "Ichigo is this—"
He caught me off, "Yeah this is the Dangai Precipice World," he responded.
"I thought so," I said. "So this is how Soul Reapers travel in between worlds is it?"
"Well normally Senkaimons are only supposed to go in between living worlds and the Soul Society, but this is my own special Senkaimon I modified in order to travel in betwee two different living worlds. The walk is twice as long and there's a bend at the midpoint to send the travelers not to the Soul Society, but to the other world to their destination," Kisuke explained.
"I see. How much farther?" I wanted to know.
"Should be only another few minutes," Ichigo said.
He was right, after about a few more minutes of walking we emptied out into what seemed like…well…the middle of nowhere. "This is where you live?" I was confused.
"Nah this is just the basement to Hat and Cloggs' shop," he said, "Where's the ladder?"
"Wait this is the basement to a store?" I asked.
"It's best if you just don't think about it," Ichigo told me.
"O-okay," I said.
Kisuke led us over to a long ladder that I climbed up. It was a really tall ladder. Ichigo was right though, it was the basement to a store. "You're a candy salesman?" I asked Urahara.
"On the surface," he said putting the fan in front of his face.
"It's best if you don't ask too many questions," Ichigo told me, "In his case," he jabbed a thumb at Urahara, "Ignorance is bliss."
"I wasn't even going to," I said. I was afraid of the answer of knowing what he meant by "on the surface".
"Right, so, let's go," I said.
"W-wait," Ichigo called out.
"Why, what's wrong?" I asked.
"Um, well you can't go out in public looking like that?" he asked indicating my outfit.
"What's wrong with it? I'm covered," I said. Ichigo sighed and massaged the brim of his nose.
Yoruichi laughed, "Sheena," Yoruichi said, "You're in for quite the culture shock."
"Huh?" I was confused.
She put a hand on my shoulder, "Come with me," she led me by the hand to another room.
I have a bad feeling about this, I thought to myself.
"Well," Urahara put a hand on my shoulder, "I think those two might be a while," he told me, "Shall we talk about payment for using the Senkaimon this time?"
"Hey I saved the world again, cut me some slack will you?" I raged.
"And you wouldn't have if you hadn't used my Dual Senkaimon," he reminded me.
I sighed, "What do you want me to do?" I got the smile of his I was never fond of.
30 minutes later
I grumbled as I sat on my hands and knees scrubbing the floor around the front of the shop where so much mud had been tracked in. I finally finished and threw the scrub brush in the bucket and picked up the bucket and set it down next to the sink in the kitchen before I began to wash off the brush.
It was at that point that Urahara-san came over to me, "Oh finaly finished are you?" he asked.
"Yeah," I shot back.
"Well then next I need you to…"
"Oi! Kisuke! Ichigo! Come over here, will you?" Yoruichi-san called for us.
For once I'm actually happy to hear her call for me, I said to myself.
Urahara-san and I found Yoruichi-san in the sitting room over by one of the sliding doors. She was peering around it. "Come on, you look fine, trust me."
"I…I just feel so vulnerable," I could hear Sheena's voice, "Are you sure I can't carry at least one knife?"
"Do you want to get into legal trouble?" Yoruichi asked her. I heard Sheena just sigh.
"Ummm," I announced my presence.
"Come on out. Let him see," Yoruichi told her.
"O-okay," Yoruichi backed away from the door and Sheena slid it open. She was a little red in the face, most likely from embarrassment. She was wearing a white t-shirt and a brown skirt. She was wearing sneakers and long high socks. She looked like a regular school girl. Her shirt seemed kind of tight around her chest, but with a pair her size that was expected. Her kneecaps were uncovered and her shirt didn't have any cleavage, but that wasn't a problem, it actually made it easier to concentrate.
"You look great," I told her.
"R-really," she said, "I-I feel so vulnerable like this."
"Hey you'll be with me," I told her, "You'll be fine," I turned towards Yoruichi, "Where'd you get this stuff anyway?" I asked.
"Lieutenant Matsumoto left a few things with Kisuke and me ever since the incident with the Arrancar," Yoruichi smirked, "I found these and figured they'd fit Sheena perfectly."
Sheena got in her usual defiant stance: arms fisted at her sides, body leaning forward a bit. "B-but it just feels so…so…"
"Soft? Thin?" I asked. I then added, "Simple?"
"Ah well…it's just…"
Yoruichi-san put a hand on her shoulder, "Relax. You'll be just fine. Just remember what we talked about."
"Yes…of course," Sheena stated.
"Right, so…I guess we'll go to my house then," I said to Sheena.
She nodded, still slightly red, "Yeah sure."
We started walking the streets, side by side. Sheena still seemed uneasy. I guess this was her first time being completely unarmed. She kept holding her hand by her chin, clenched and shaking. Eventually I just put my hands on her hand and lowered it down. "Hey, calm down," I told her, "No one is going to stare."
"B-but," she was so red faced.
"Hey if anyone tries anything I'll kick their asses," I let go of her hand. "I've been fighting thugs and the like since before we met. If I can beat them up so can you."
"O-okay," Sheena said.
She seemed a lot less nervous after that. We were walking when I saw Tatsuki come jogging up the street. She stopped when she saw me. "Oh, Ichigo where have you been?" she asked. "I dropped by your house earlier and you weren't home. And who's this?" she asked, pointing to Sheena.
I smiled slightly, Well at least I can practice on Tatsuki. "Tatsuki this is Sheena, my girlfriend."
"Ah so you're Tatsuki," Sheena remembered me telling her about her. Sheena bowed slightly, "I'm Sheena, Sheena Fujiybayashi. A pleasure to meet you."
"Oh so you're Sheena," Tatsuki stuck out her hand, "Orihime told me about you. Put her there." Sheena shook Tatsuki's hand.
I was surprised Tatsuki knew about Sheena. "Ichigo, really did you think Orihime is the type to keep quiet about her adventures? I'm a little annoyed you would try to hide something from me again," Tatsuki looked at me with a sneer, hands on her hips.
"Sorry," I rubbed the back of my head. "I just…didn't know how I was going to explain it."
"Well you should probably get back home. I found Yuzu on the front porch when I stopped by your house so you know what that means," she said to me.
I growled, "Agh, was I really gone for that many days?" I asked, panicking slightly. "Sheena let's go."
"Right ok," she said she waved to Tatsuki, as we headed to my place, "Bye."
God damn it, I thought to myself, Dad's gonna kill me. I remembered when the whole incident with Aizen was over and dad gave me hell after Rukia left just because Yuzu wouldn't stop crying while I was gone and out cold. She hovered over me for days. Now every time she cries the whole house turns into a soap opera. I was not having that. I was hoping it wasn't too late to fix that. When we arrived at my house Yuzu wasn't sitting at the front steps. Most likely she had gone back inside. I opened the door and announced loudly, "I'm home!"
"You're late!" My dad yelled and made to attack me, but before I knew it he was on the ground and Sheena was in a defensive stance.
"U-um Sheena," I said.
"What?" she looked at me.
"That's…my dad," I said.
She gasped and went to help him up, "Oh my gosh Mr. Kurosaki I'm so sorry."
My dad took one look at her and turned all perverted in the face. The next thing I knew I had his arm around my shoulders, "Ichigo who's the hot amazon?"
"That would my girlfriend," I told him.
"SAY WHAT?" he shouted.
I broke free from out underneath him, "Yuzu! Karin! I'm home!" I shouted.
"Onii-chan!" Yuzu came running down the stairs, but stopped when she saw Sheena. "Ah, h-hello."
"Sheena, this is my sister Yuzu," I introduced her, "Yuzu this is Sheena, my girlfriend."
"Girl…friend?" Yuzu seemed surprised.
"Where's Karin?" I asked.
"I'm doing homework," Karin called from upstairs.
"Karin come down here! We have a guest!" my dad shouted.
"I'll meet them later, my school work is more important," Karin said.
"Ah Miss Sheena I bet your hungry, shall I get you something?" Yuzu wanted to know.
"Um, I suppose some tea and sushi," Sheena said.
"Tea? Sushi?" My dad pulled my aside again, "You've got quite the traditionalist."
"Quit it!" I flipped him off me. "Sheena come on, let me show you my room," I made to lead her up the stairs, "You've already met most of the family."
3rd Person pov
Karin sat in her room doing her math when she heard chattering from outside. She opened her door and looked outside to see the familiar sight of her sister and father pressed up against her brother's door with drinking glasses against their ears. "You guys don't learn do you?" Karin asked.
"Shh," Yuzu said, "You don't understand. Ichigo brought a girl home and he said she's his girlfriend."
"Yeah and he didn't even have any hesitation in announcing it," Isshin told his eldest daughter.
"So what? Ichi-nii's eighteen now you know. It's only natural for him to have finally become accustomed to girls," Karin told her sister and father. "What's she look like anyway?"
"She's hot!" Isshin announced.
"Dad you said that about the woman you saw walking her dog the other day just because she was wearing tight fitting boots and had a cute face," Karin reminded her father.
"They were nice boots!" Isshin argued.
"My point is it doesn't take much for you to find a woman sexually attractive," Karin said and looked at Yuzu.
Suddenly the door flew open and knocked Yuzu and Isshin on their backs. "Again? Why is it every time I bring a friend home you guys act like it's the end of the world?" Ichigo shouted.
"See you made him angry again," Karin said.
"Uh th-the tea's ready," Yuzu said.
"Oh is it?" Sheena said, coming out into the hall. Karin just stared, wide eyed when she saw Sheena.
Oh…my…god, were the first three words to cross her mind. Such vibrant hair…such a smooth complexion, she looked at Sheena's waist, so thin, she looked at her chest, so…sizeable…she's…where in the hell did Ichi-nii make a catch like that? And how?
"Huh? Ichigo is that your other sister?" Sheena pointed to Karin.
"Huh? Yeah," Ichigo extended his arm in his dark haired sister's direction, "Sheena this is my sister Karin. Karin this is Sheena, my girlfriend."
He really doesn't hesitate, Karin was still in shock.
"H-how long will Miss Sheena be staying?" Yuzu, who had gotten up from off the floor, bowed and asked.
"A couple of days. I'm just visiting," Sheena said.
"Oh you're not local?" Yuzu asked.
"Sheena's from out of town. She's a senior at my school," Ichigo lied.
"Didn't know you were the type to chase after older women," Karin smirked.
"Hey!" Ichigo barked.
"I'm teasing, Ichi-nii," Karin smiled, kindly this time. This is…the happiest I've seen him in ages. Sheena…I don't know where you came from, but…take care of my brother.
A few days later
Ichigo and Sheena were in the basement of Urahara's shop, having spent a few days together at the Kurosaki household. Sheena had become accustomed to Ichigo's siblings and his crazy father and the family seemed to accept her as one of their own. Isshin in particular, even going so far as to have asked, in the middle of dinner, when Ichigo and Sheena planned on having their wedding, which prompted a spit take from Ichigo right into his father's face. Sheena laughed hysterically.
Urahara opened the dual Senkaimon and a hell butterfly flew towards Sheena, "So I guess I'll see you around?" she asked Ichigo.
Ichigo nodded. "I'll be sure to visit more frequently."
"Please do," she smiled.
"I really think my family likes you," Ichigo said.
"Yeah," Sheena nodded. "Um…about what your dad said about a wedding…"
"That's just my dad being an idiot, don't think anything about it," Ichigo said.
"O-oh," Sheena seemed kind of disappointed.
Ichigo noticed this and made a diving save, "B-but, when I get out of college and I get a standing job, definitely," he told her. "I like this. I like…us."
"I like us too," Sheena said softly. She and Ichigo drew in close for a passionate kiss. They were smiling when they pulled away. "See ya around."
"Yeah see you," Ichigo waved to Sheena as she walked into the Senkaimon. He watched as it closed behind her. Yeah…definitely…in a few more years…I'll definitely marry you.
Two Months Later
"Is the ritual complete?" Richter asked Ratatosk.
"Yes it's complete. As of this moment none of us will be able to leave this room," Ratatosk answered.
"An eternal hell," Richter said and chuckled wryly, "I suppose it's only fitting for a man who sold his soul to demons and attempted to destroy the world. Well, it's time for me to make my sacrifice. I'm not sure how long my body will last without the Chosen's Cruxis Crystal—"
Ratatosk cut him off, "A thousand years. It will take one thousand years to draw out the mana from all living beings. After that, it will no longer be necessary to support the world with mana. Then I will use what's left to make a new seal for the door. And at that time, I will set you free from here as well."
"Then there's something I want to ask you," Richter said. "Since you're capable of dividing into both a core and a physical body...perhaps you could separate into two forms: Emil and Ratatosk, and live that way. If necessary, you could live off of my body."
"Impossible," Ratatosk stated, "I have the task of separating the mana from the world."
Tenebrae's voice echoed through the hall. "We Centurions and monsters would be happy to carry out that task, under your orders, of course. As long as you stay in contact, there's no issue with you dividing yourself in two forms."
"Lord Ratatosk, to us the lifespan of a human being is nothing more than the blink of an eye," Aqua's voice echoed.
"The fact still remains that I actually took a human life. That single act has led to all of this. And is affecting the lives of countless others. I caused all this tragedy. I can't just simply ignore it," Ratatosk responded.
"But Emil," Richter spoke up, "the other "you" regretted Aster's death, and even though the crime was not committed by his will, he tried to atone for it. Don't you think that Emil should be allowed to live out his full life as a human being?"
Verius' voice suddenly sounded through the area, "Ratatosk, your heart has spoken. It wishes you to live the life that Aster, who died at your hands, could not. I am prepared to carry out that wish for you."
"I'm sure Aster would've wanted it this way. He was such an idealist," Richter smiled.
Ratatosk closed his eyes and said, "Thank you."
A few days later
Having served out her sentence as a member of the Vanguard, Marta was now the leader of a squadron of young sylvaranti women she called the New Sylvaranti Liberation Front. They're job was to bring peace between Sylvarant and Tethe'alla without resorting to violence.
"Come on Commander," one of the girls, a blonde, said to Marta, "We're all going to go the pub for some Palma Potion. You promised you'd pay this time for a job well done remember?"
"Yes I remember," Marta said. She sighed and then spoke up, "You all go on ahead without me. I…I want some time to myself."
"Well suit yourself," another one of Marta's subordinates said. Marta sighed and went over to the bridge as her brigade left.
The Brunette girl looked out over the sea and spoke aloud to Emil, as if the Summon Spirit could hear her, "Emil, I hope you're watching. I'm going to convince the Tethe'allans to accept the people of Sylvarant without resorting to any of Daddy's harsh methods. I will bring peace to the world that you are guarding for us. I think that would also be fitting in helping to pay for my crimes. It's the least I can do." Marta looked down over the bridge. I miss you, she thought to herself. She turned around only to notice a pair of familiar yellow hiking boots on the stone pathway. Her vision trailed up to a figure in a black tanktop with fair skin. She saw the green eyes and the blonde hair with the little piece sticking up in the middle. "It can't be…" Marta gasped. But it has to be. Her eyes began to gush and she ran straight forward towards the blonde. "EMIL!" she leapt straight into his arms. She leapt at him with such force that, to remain standing, Emil pivoted his foot and the pair spun 180 degrees. He wrapped his arms around Marta.
"It's good to see you again Marta," he said softly.
"You big idiot, what took you so long?" Marta sobbed.
"It's okay Marta," Emil told her. "I'm here now. It's okay."
TALES OF BLEACH: RETURN OF THE SAMURAI
(A/N: Yup that's it. And so ends the second part of the Bleach/Symphonia saga. But do not despair my fellow readers, because as one journey ends a new one is just beginning. Coming Soon to a webpage near you will soon be TALES OF BLEACH: BLADES OF DESTINY. This will be a 3rd installment of the Bleach/Symphonia saga with an all original storyline using the two series. There will be several surprises in store for all. Any and all who want a sneak preview at some things that will be brought into the 3rd part of the trilogy please do not hesitate to ask. Until next time y'all. See ya :D)