Lex Talionis

Chapter 1

The evening was eerily quiet. Shinigami patrols were ever present on the streets of the Seireitei. They were following their duty and keeping a watchful eye for any disturbance, but unbeknownst to them they had already failed in that task.

A man had stealthily slipped by every patrol, heading east towards the residential areas of the Seireitei.

This man wore all black clothing, making his figure blend in with the shadows that were created by the moonlight; the few souls who had seen this man's face wouldn't be able to tell you what lie beneath his dark attire, for they were all dead.

In mere moments the man had leapt over a wall and snuck inside of a large sized building.

"Where is he? He's late," a man cried out in frustration.

"He won't show up," another yelled in doubt.

"This is a waste of time, I doubt he even exists," one said with irritation.

A constant argument amongst a dozen or so men in a circular seated room had been ongoing for the past several minutes as they all had eagerly waited for their guest to arrive.

As the disagreements and disputes continued to grow, a man in black clothing suddenly appeared in the center of the meeting room, immediately ceasing any further discussion.

The silence in the room was deafening, and then the man at the center of the room spoke, "Taniguchi Noble Family," he acknowledged with a solemn voice.

All of the men who were seated above quickly settled down and gathered themselves.

"It has come to my attention that a request of my services has been made by one of your members. I have arrived to hear the specifics of that request," the man finished.

An elderly man at the highest seat cleared his throat before replying, "Yes, we would like a certain individual taken care of. This individual's name is Shaolin Fon and resides in the Fon family estate within Seireitei."

The man took no time to contemplate the mission before replying, "You will pay me now in full and your request shall be granted."

One of the other elderly men, seated in the opposite side of the room said disdainfully, "How can we trust you to carry out what you've been paid for? For all we know, you will simply take our money and leave!"

This encouraged another elder to speak up, "Yes, I agree. I suggest that we kill him now so no one discovers our plan and we can hire someone we know more about!"

The man standing in the center of the room calmly replied, "I require no payment for killing someone who threatens me."

The severe implications of his remark soon registered among the elders and the tension grew thick as he let his words hand in the air.

"Enough!" the apparent leader said loudly, "We will pay him as he requests, but we expect you to keep your end of the bargain."

The man simply stood there, seemingly unresponsive, and only moved when he took their payment and disappeared into nothingness.

He quickly made his way towards the Fon family estate to carry out the assassination.

"This is likely a political move, I'll never understand these noble families who try to obtain more power," the man thought offhandedly.

He quietly snuck inside the Fon estate and subtlety moved about the grounds, avoiding the detection of their scouts before entering the living quarters.

"Shaolin…Shaolin…Shaolin…" he read off the plaques before finally coming to his intended target's bedroom door.

He checked the hallways for any patrols before letting himself into the bedroom.

He lit the room up with a soft glow from his palm, and slowly approached the bed, the occupying person facing away from him as they slept.

The man slowly pulled out a knife as the distance between him and his soon to be victim became closer with each passing moment.

He drew back his arm and half way through his strike the person lying down turned over towards him, revealing it to be a young girl.

He ceased instantaneously.

"What am I doing?" he thought with utter shock.

He couldn't bring himself to finish the strike.

An array of vivid imagery and voices assaulted the man's mind as he began to relive his torturous past.

* Flashback *

"Grandpa!" a child with black hair yelled fearfully.

"Ichigo, run away!" the man yelled frantically.

"No, don't run, enjoy the show!" another man said sadistically as he began digging his sword into his Grandpa's flesh.

"Grand…pa," Ichigo tried to scream out, watching on helplessly.

* End Flashback *

He quickly shut himself off from his memories.

"What the hell am I doing?" he thought again with more distaste at his actions.

The little girl slowly started waking up, the man too wrapped up in his own thoughts to be aware, when she suddenly opened her eyes, wide with shock.

Her eyes briefly captivated the man, but after having realized the little girl had awoken, he quickly escaped the living quarters.

"Who was that?" the girl thought fearfully.

"Has it really gotten to this point? Am I so far gone?" the man thought absurdly as he left the Fon family estate.

The man narrowed his eyes angrily before he began heading back towards the Taniguchi family compound.

The many elders were speaking amongst themselves, awaiting the good news of Shaolin Fon's death, when just as abruptly as before the man they had hired returned at the center of the meeting room.

"Is she dead?" the leader asked.

"No, she is not," the man replied.

"I told you we shouldn't have…" one of the elders shouted until he was silenced.

The elders looked over at their colleague only to see the horrific display of his head tilted backwards revealing a slit throat, blood spewing from the fresh wound as he sat there dead in his seat.

Before the elders could shout in fear, they were all silenced in a similar fashion, their lifeless bodies also bleeding out on the tables beneath them, and a pool of blood forming at the center of the room.

The man left the Taniguchi family compound just as quietly as he had entered and couldn't help contemplate over the past hour, "I've gone astray. Somewhere along the way, I have forgotten my purpose. Now is the time to make them pay. They will all suffer for what they did to me…to us" he thought vengefully.

"The Central 46 will feel my retribution," he said softly.