Disclaimer: I Don't Own Bleach

Summary: Ichigo and the others have just returned from Soul Society after saving Rukia, Aizen's intentions have been revealed and now Ichigo goes to Urahara for more training in developing his Shinigami powers. Will Ichigo be able to avoid the Final Getsuga Tensho or is he destined to lose his powers? How far can Ishida and Chad's power develop? What is the true nature of Inoue's power? What is the secret of Isshin's past? Was Masaki truly just human? What are the Visored's intentions apart from defeating Aizen? What are Ginjo's and the Fullbringers goals? What about the remaining Quincy? What is the Royal Guards true purpose in the Royal Realm? What about the mystery behind the Spirit King? What is the true source of the Reiatsu filled Karakura town?

As for the main pairing, well I plan for it to be Ichigo X Rukia but pairings aren't my focus so I don't know about it yet.

Also if anyone can give me a site where I can translate English into Japanese; e.g. Moon Fang Heaven Piercer = Getsuga Tensho.

Chapter 1 – Inner Battle.

Ichigo was sitting on Urahara's flying carpet with his legs crossed as they headed in the direction of his house after dropping off Chad, Ishida, and Inoue home. Ichigo had looked over at Urahara and Yoruichi conversing quietly, his thoughts going back to when Aizen stopped his blade with a finger, Ichigo couldn't help but clench his fists tightly and scowl heavily at the memory. Even though he was pretty banged up at that point after his fight with Byakuya, it didn't help him get over it; all he could picture was the shocked feeling at seeing the finger stop his blade followed by extreme pain in his hip. There was also that fact that his Inner Hollow had taken over during his fight with Byakuya, having absolutely no control over his own movements, not being able to stop his Hollow from causing destruction scared the hell out of him.

He could see that they were close to his house now before he looked back at Urahara, the man that hadn't told them the truth about what to expect at Soul Society and for putting the Hōgyoku inside of Rukia. He was the only person that Ichigo could go to now in order to receive more training, he was adept at Shikai, Bankai and Shunpo but he needed to get much stronger in case Aizen decided to attack any of his family or friends and he knew that the only reason he was able to defeat Byakuya was because of his Hollow. That fact really pissed him off, if it wasn't for his Hollow he would have died and in his mind he won unfairly as he wasn't in control of his actions. More disturbingly, after he had recovered from his injuries, he could no longer feel Zangetsu's presence and vowed to talk to Urahara to discover what was wrong.

The carpet pulled up to a stop just at the front of his house, as Urahara turned to him to say goodbye, Ichigo spoke up, "Hey, Urahara-san?"

Urahara just looked at him curiously as did everyone else on the carpet before letting out an "Hmm."

"Can you teach me more?"

Urahara looked surprised at the question before asking him, "Why do you ask? You successfully saved Rukia and now you can go back to your human life, go to school and hang out with your friends."

Ichigo looked at him fiercely before telling him, "A finger that is how Aizen stopped me, with just a finger. What am I supposed to do if he attacks anymore of my friends, family or even Karakura Town?"

Urahara looked at him at him sadly from behind his fan hiding his expression from Ichigo knowing that he was a big part responsible for Ichigo being involved in all of this.

"Ok Kurosaki-san, it's the least I can do for you, come by the shop tomorrow after school and we will begin."

Ichigo shook his head, "No, I have no intention of going to school, my grades are already high, and I can afford to miss a bit of school. I'll get my dad to inform the school of my leave of absence, I just need to find a reason for him to do that."

"Tell him that you are an apprentice to the great Urahara Kisuke at the Urahara Shop." Urahara said cheerfully with a big grin on his face while Ichigo just sweat dropped.

"Sure I guess that will work, see you tomorrow. There is one final thing to ask, ever since I have recovered from my injuries after my fight with Byakuya and Aizen, I haven't been able to sense Zangetsu do you know why that is?"

Urahara frowned, a theory coming to his mind, "I think I may know what the problem is and I'll have a solution tomorrow."

Ichigo nodded before jumping off the carpet which sped off into the night as he entered his house to get a good night's rest and to see his family for the first time in weeks.

"Well that was certainly unexpected wasn't it Kisuke?" Yoruichi asked as they both sat on top of the Urahara Shop not too long after dropping Ichigo off.

"He is full of surprises, I never expected him to develop as fast as he had and also the determination to keep on training when he could easily go back to his normal life and let Soul Society deal with Aizen."

"He is definitely Isshin's boy."

"Yes he is, and I think we both know what that means don't we? He won't hesitate to use that technique to defeat Aizen if it came down to it."


"At least this time I will be prepared for it and will have a much quicker way of helping Ichigo than when I helped Isshin."

The next morning, Ichigo had a nice reunion with his sisters, the usual Isshin trying to beat him up and he retaliating before telling his dad that he now had an apprenticeship at Urahara's, which to his surprise his father agreed instantly. Isshin called the school and told them Ichigo will be missing a few months but promised than when he came back he would be up to date on all the work he would miss. With that out the way, Ichigo headed to Urahara's shop and when he arrived he was greeted by Jinta and Ururu who were both at the front of the shop sweeping. They told him to head straight to the underground training room and Ichigo climbed down the huge stair case and to his surprise when he landed on the ground, he saw Yoruichi and Tessai alongside Urahara.

Seeing the surprised look on his face, Urahara informed him, "They are going to assist with your training; I am in charge of your Zanjutsu and your Reiatsu control. Tessai will teach you Kidō both Bakudō and Hadō and Yoruichi will improve your Shunpo and Hakuda skills."

Ichigo nodded in understanding before asking what they were going to begin with and Urahara asked him, "Have you used your Shinigami badge yet?"

Ichigo looked startled and answered honestly, "No I havent, I guess it will be the first time in a few moments."

"Wait a second Kurosaki-san" Urahara said, "Could I have a look at it please?"

"Sure" Ichigo said confused as to why Urahara was interested in it and chucked him the badge. Urahara began fiddling with it for a few minutes and he seemed to be mumbling something before chucking it back to Ichigo with a pout on his face.

"Looks like you no longer my beautiful awesome practical cane anymore."

"Obviously dumbass, that is the point of the badge." Ichigo retorted and pressed the badge into his chest and entered his Shingami form whilst Tessai took his body and put it in a safe place.

"So what are we doing first?" Ichigo asked his 'teacher' to which Urahara just smiled at him before throwing him a black glove.

After catching it Ichigo questioned, "What is this for?"

Urahara's expression turned serious.

"This will temporarily seal away your inner Hollow."

Ichigo's eyes widen as he looked at the glove in awe before putting it on his right hand and he could feel the dark presence that had been in the back of his mind disappear. Sighing in relief, he took Zangetsu off his back and prepared for battle. Instead of a formal katana that most Shinigami have Zangetsu looked more like an oversized elegant cleaver, he had no tsuba and no proper hilt; but cloth-wrapped tang. The sword was 1.75 meters tall and had a black blade with a silver edge.

"So what first?"

"First, we are going to seal your Shikai into a katana and to do that we are going to have to improve your control of your Reiatsu."


"Don't you remember what I told you when you were learning Bankai?" Yoruichi asked him with a grin on her face seeing Ichigo's confused look.

"I told you that your Zanpakutō is a full-time released form type because of your vast but uncontrollable Reiatsu."

"Yeah so? I'll say the same thing I asked Ishida. If my Reiatsu is high, shouldn't it remain on its maximum output?"

Now Urahara lost the grin on his face that he had since Ichigo got here becoming serious, "No, in fact it is a very bad thing. Why do you think Captains and Vice-Captains have to have limiters placed on them that conceal 80% of their Reiatsu? Do you know how much damage that your leaking Reiatsu is causing to the souls of humans and the fact that it draws many Hollows to this town, the town that you wish to protect? If you learnt how to suppress your Reiatsu, then that would mean less Hollows coming to Karakura and that means less danger for your friends and family."

Ichigo was stunned by the amount of danger he was causing just because of his Reiatsu control ignorance and he knew no matter how much he hated this type of training like that stupid sphere he would have to do it.

"Because you're Shikai is in its full release, when you go back into your body you are still radiating the same amount of Reiatsu as when you were in your Shinigami form. So that first step is for Zangetsu to stop giving you his power and to seal himself."

"How do I do that? Usually he appears to me or pulls me to him."

Urahara sighed; he was more ignorant than he thought.

"We will use a method known as Jinzen."


"This method is the only way to carry on a proper conversation with your Zanpakutō. First you have to place your sword over your lap and take a meditative pose and then force your mind to become one with Zangetsu."

Ichigo sat down in a meditative pose that he had learnt as a kid when he learnt Karate, before placing Zangetsu across his lap and tried to join minds. Seeing this, Tessai walked behind Ichigo, taking a swipe at the back of Ichigo's head, however Ichigo sensed the attack and was just able to avoid it.

"Why did you dodge?" Tessai boomed.

Ichigo just looked at him in confusion before stating the obvious, "Are you crazy! If I don't dodge then it's going to hurt!"

"The fact that you dodged my fist means you aren't putting your soul into your sword! Now concentrate, picture your inner world, and connect your soul with your Zanpakutō."

Ichigo got back into his stance and began connecting with Zangetsu while Urahara, Yoruichi, and Tessai watched on patiently.

While Ichigo was beginning his training at Urahara's, the rest of the nakama were attending school and all three of them of course noticed Ichigo missing. As they sat in class for the start of the day when their teacher Misato Ochi entered the room but after she read out Ichigo's name is what caught their attention.

"Ah yes, Kurosaki Isshin rang up earlier and said that Ichigo had just started an apprentice ship at Urahara's shop and will be back in a few months. Such a shame, Ichigo could do much better than that dump."

While watching Ichigo, Urahara suddenly sneezed all over his fan much to Yoruichi's amusement.

"Dam, whoever is talking about me just ruined my favorite fan, I will have my revenge."

Chad, Inoue and Ishida all nodded to each before Ishida stood up first and announced that he had some family business, moments later Chad said that he to go to a new job he had just started and Inoue followed saying she wasn't feeling well. Miss Ochi let them go with no problem, as they were high rated students who could afford to miss a day but of course, Keigo tried to follow and told the teacher his grandmother was sick and he had to go take care of her but Miss Ochi decline saying she didn't believe him.

The three of them soon headed towards Urahara's shop curious as to why Ichigo was there and not at school, but all of them had a sneaking suspicion.

"Do you two think that he has gone there for training?" Chad asked figuring he would be the one to ask the question.

"That is the most logical outcome." Ishida said.

"But why? We saved Kuchiki-san and Kurosaki-kun is already strong enough to take on any Hollows that attack."

"Probably because of Aizen, Kurosaki must be training in preparation for another fight with him or he is just worried that if Aizen attacks Karakura he won't be strong enough." Ishida concluded while bitterly thinking, "And I can't do anything since I can't gather Reishi."

"Why would he attack Karakura?" Inoue asked him confused why a Shinigami would want to attack this town, what would be the gain?

Ishida just shrugged but Chad was one person who didn't talk much he more communicated through body language and he could see that Ishida's power loss was really bothering him even if he wasn't coming out and saying it.

"Is there any way you can recover your powers?" Chad asked but Ishida just looked downcast.

"No, when I used The Letzt Stil, I gathered a huge increase of Reishi gathering abilities which helped me absorb a huge amount of energy. However, I could only use it for a short time as no human body is capable of handling that immense power and my body started burning up, so my body forcibly sealed itself off from all Reiatsu as self-preservation. While I can still sense people's Reiatsu and see Hollow and Shinigami and I can't use my powers as my body will no longer let me."

"So your body is so damaged that you can't use your powers. I'm sorry Ishida-kun I know how much you love about your heritage." Inoue told him sympathetically.

"If it's just because of that, couldn't Inoue heal it?" Chad questioned.

Ishida looked at him in surprise having not thought of that and looked at Inoue trying to conceal his hope but failing.

"Can you Inoue-san?"

Inoue smiled brightly at him while rubbing the back of head,

"I guess I can give it a try, I'll need you to lie down so I guess we will wait until we get to Urahara-sans unless you want to lie in the middle of the street."

"Uh no that's ok Inoue-san; I can wait until we get to Urahara's."

Ichigo awoke to a familiar place, sitting on the side of a tall building, the sky a deep blue with no clouds in, he stood up always feeling a little bit strange to be able to stand on the sides of buildings.

"So you've come, Ichigo."

Ichigo spun around to see Zangetsu in his usual perch on a flagpole.

"Old-man Zangetsu, you're back, I haven't been able to feel your presence recently."

"I have been recently battling your Inner Hollow for control and for a while he had the upper hand until that glove that Urahara gave you weakened him which allowed me to take back control."

"How did it weaken him?"

"Some kid spells, Bakudō to be more precise, have him trapped for now, but it will only hold him back for so long."

"How much time?"

"That all depends on you, Ichigo."

"What do you mean?" Ichigo asked confused as Zangetsu jumped off his flagpole and walked towards him.

"Ichigo what happens when a Shinigami loses their resolve?"

Ichigo just remained silent as Zangetsu looked at him sternly and fiercely said, "Their blade dulls, their Reiatsu weakens, their reflex's slow down and before you know it they're dead! But it's not like that for you Ichigo, if your resolve weakens, if you begin to fear your own power the more power he gets and the more I weaken!"

"Afraid... of... my... power? What do you mean, why would I fear you?"

Zangetsu shook his head, "Not my power Ichigo, your Hollow's power is your power."

"I'm not a Hollow, it's not my power."

"It is your power Ichigo, both he and I am your power, we work together as Shinigami and Zanpakutō but for you to be able to use your Hollow powers require a different path."

"A Different path?"

"Cast away your fear Ichigo, fight your Hollow and show him who is in charge, that is your only option or be devoured; only you can fight him!"

Ichigo looked solemn at Zangetsu's words.

"You have a week maybe two to get strong enough to fight your Hollow, the way you are right now, full of doubt, fear, you won't last long against him. Then what will you do Ichigo? Are you just going to let your hollow self take control and kill everyone that you care for? One final warning Ichigo, do not go Bankai until you decide to battle your Hollow, when in Bankai your Reiatsu rises and this will break the hold on your Hollow."

'To get strong enough.'" He thought before remembering that he had gone to Urahara's for training and the reason why he was here now.

"Hey old man, I need to seal you."

"Seal me? You mean into a measly katana?"

"Ah, yeah I guess so."

"Why should I? You asked me to fight together with you; it would be impractical for me to be sealed."

"You should know why I got my powers in the first place; it's not to fight, to destroy or to rule but to protect the ones I care about and having you in a full time release state is hurting people. Our Reiatsu together is far too strong for normal life, the only time we should be is during battle." Ichigo said to him expecting an angry retort back but was surprised to see Zangetsu smiling at him.

"Very well Ichigo, I was wondering when you would finally realise the damage you were doing."

"What? Why didn't you tell me then?"

"Some things you have to work out on your own Ichigo besides you never told me to seal myself."

'Bastard is mocking me.' Ichigo growled to himself as his face settled into its natural scowl at the smug look on Zangetsu's face.

"What's the command to activate Shikai?"

Zangetsu frowned at him, "You already know it Ichigo."

"I do?" Ichigo questioned to which Zangetsu nodded.

"Remember back to all the battles we have fought together and you will know."

"My, my, isn't this a surprise." Urahara said cheerfully as Ishida, Inoue and Chad descended from the stairs into the training ground and all looked curiously at the meditating Ichigo.

Chad walked over to Urahara and co, while Ishida lay on the ground and Inoue stood above him and commanded;

"Sōten Kisshun, I Reject."

A half-oval barrier surrounded Ishida as he prayed for Inoue to be successful so he could protect Karakura town alongside his nakama.

"What is she doing?" Yoruichi questioned Chad as they watched Inoue heal Ishida.

"She is going to try and restore Ishida's powers."

"Wow! That is amazing, such abilities!" Urahara cheered impressed at Inoue's abilities and it wasn't too long when Inoue was finished and a very happy Ishida was able to summon the bow he used before going to Soul Society.

"Thank you very much Inoue-san." He said before bowing deeply causing Inoue to blush in embarrassment while Chad smiled at the sight before glancing over at his best friend.

"What is Ichigo doing?"

"He is communicating with his Zanpakutō in order to seal it so he can begin controlling his own Reiatsu."

"Controlling his Reiatsu? Kurosaki?" Ishida said in astonishment, Reiatsu control was the last thing he would ever expect Ichigo to ever practise in.

"Doesn't Kurosaki-kun hate this type of training, how did you get him to do it?"

"Kisuke just pointed out some hard facts to him and he went along with it."

"What made Ichigo decide to train instead continue his normal life?"

"He is worried about Aizen." Urahara told them.

"Why? Isn't that Soul Society's problem, what would Aizen want with Karakura town?" Ishida questioned as Urahara turned serious and told them softly;

"I have my suspicions; I just seriously hope I am wrong."

"What are your suspicions?" Chad questioned.

Urahara just smiled at him before pointing at the awakening Ichigo, "I'll tell you if I am right."

Ichigo stood up, and then focused his Reiatsu into Zangetsu before there was small flash before everyone sweat dropped at the sight including Ichigo. The Katana in his hand was an almost exact replica of the one he had when Rukia lent him her powers, the same handle, shape and to his embarrassment the size. The major difference was that the top half of the blade was black and it had a silver edge, it was the katana version of his Shikai.

He could hear laughter from behind him, he turned to look and saw Yoruichi with a big smirk on her face, Tessai was able to keep a straight face, and Ishida, Inoue, and Chad were just giving him pitying looks. Urahara's reaction pissed Ichigo off though; he was rolling on the ground laughing his head off as a tick mark appeared on Ichigo's forehead.


"Sorry... sorry...it's just ... I've never... seen a... Shikai... be sealed in such... a large sword. The only ...real difference... is that... it now as... a hilt."

While Urahara continued you laughing much to Ichigo's frustration, Yoruichi decided to intervene.

"Ichigo, can you release your Shikai."

Ichigo stopped glaring at Urahara to glance at Yoruichi before he looked at his Katana and closed his eyes and allowed memories to flow through his mind.

... If you really were stronger than I was, what would have been the point of running away when you would have caught up to me anyways. However, if you are just a weakling, I can simply kick your ass and then move forward promptly...

... If I am dodging, I won't let him cut me... If I am protecting someone, I won't let her die... If I am attacking, I will cut you...

... It's meaningless to just live; it's meaningless to just fight. I want to win...

...If only to stop that rain, I will lend you any strength...

... 'Our pride', you said. Therefore, that pride you're saying to be so precious is somehow connected with killing Rukia. Is it? Then I should stomp on it as you said. 'Cause that's why I obtained this Bankai'...

... That's my line. Thank you, Rukia. Thanks to you, it seems the rain has finally stopped...

"Yeah." Ichigo told her before lifting his katana straight into the air; he began leaking out a large amount of Reiatsu and commanded, "Stop the Rain, Zangetsu!"

Ichigo swung his katana towards the ground, however as it came down the blade had changed, for it was now covered in a cloth before it unravelling to reveal Zangetsu in all his glory.

After marvelling at his work for a few moments, Ichigo resealed it before realization sunk in that Ishida, Chad, and Inoue were here instead of school.

"Hey what are you guys doing here?"

Ishida scoffed at him, "We could ask you that same question Kurosaki."

"I have to get stronger, strong enough to protect everyone from Aizen."

"Can I receive training from you as well Urahara-san?" Chad asked him which earned him a surprising glance from the man.

"Sado-kun?" Inoue said but Chad ignored her and continued, "Back at Soul Society I couldn't even touch a Captain, I need to get a lot stronger."

"Hmm, if anything Sado-san, your major weakness is speed is that correct."

At Chad's nod Urahara continued, "So it might be best if Yoruichi trains you."

Yoruichi nodded with a smirk, "Don't worry Sado, I'll make you as fast as Ichigo's Bankai when I'm done with you."

Yoruichi took Chad to another part of the training field, while Urahara asked both Ishida and Inoue if they were here for training,

"No, only one person can help me advance further." Ishida sighed.

Moments before he was about to depart, Urahara spoke up, "Ishida-san, there is something I have been meaning to give you, a little side project I have been working on for the last 50 years."

He handed him two pairs of gloves, both were white with a blue Quincy cross on each one.

Ishida inspected the gloves before questioning, "What are they for?"

"One pair is for you, and another is for the person that is going to train you, the purpose that these gloves is to alter the Reishi that you gather and when your use your abilities, it won't kill but purify them and send them to Soul Society."

Ishida looked at him with wide eyes, as his glasses fell down his nose, "Are you serious?"

"Yep!" Urahara said cheerfully, "It was a pain to do and it took a long time but I eventually created a seal that was able to alter the Reishi, now you won't have to worry about Soul Society breathing down your neck."

"Thank you Urahara-san!"

"It's no problem; I just wish that somebody was able to invent this seal before the incident."

Ishida soon departed after many thanks that made Urahara's chest puff out after each one, before Urahara turned to Inoue, "What about you Inoue-san?"

"Umm... sorry but I have to meet Tatsuki-chan later and I have homework to do, I have to keep my grades up or my Aunt will send me less money."

"Very well Inoue-san."

Inoue bid her farewells before leaving while Ichigo looked on before asking Urahara, "What was the point of Ishida and Inoue coming if they just left?"

"Who knows? But I think its best that Inoue-san keeps her abilities low profile." Urahara told him as he turned his attention to him only to be hit in the face by a glove realizing that it was the glove that he had given Ichigo not too long ago.

"Ahh Kurosaki-san what are you doing? This glove was the only thing holding your Hollow back."

"Yeah, I know, I am going to fight for control now."

"Why now? Why not get stronger and then fight him."

"No, Zangetsu says the only thing that is weakening me is my resolve, I'm going to fight him now and I am going to win, that's all there is to it."

Urahara sighed before nodding in acceptance,

"Wait a second before you fight Kurosaki-san."

Ichigo nodded as Urahara quickly exited the training ground and it was five minutes later holding a large container much to Ichigo's curiosity.

"Ok Kurosaki-san, please stab Zangetsu through this container."


"It will drain you all of your Reiatsu to the point of unconsciousness, from there you will awake in your inner world where you can fight your Hollow."

"Why do I have to do this?"

"It's more for our sake actually."

"What do you mean?"

"What do you think happens to your body when you are in your fighting your Hollow?"

Ichigo just looked confused, "Lie on the ground peacefully until I win?"

Urahara sweat dropped, "No, you begin to turn into a Hollow, if you don't beat your hollow in time, you will become one. So by draining your Reiatsu before the battle, it will be easier to fight against."

"But I need my Reiatsu to fight my Hollow."

Urahara smirked at him, "You will be fighting in your inner world like I have said, and you don't run out of Reiatsu there. How can you run out of Reiatsu when you're fighting inside of your soul? I would have thought even you would have known that."

"Shut up you bastard! I hope my Hollow hurts you for that comment."

Urahara chuckled as Ichigo stabbed Zangetsu through the container and felt his Reiatsu being sucked out at a rapid pace. It took ten minutes however for Ichigo's reserves to be depleted as Zangetsu resealed himself as Ichigo finally lost consciousness. Urahara smiled at the full container of Ichigo's Reiatsu, before moving it and placing it in a barrier so it wasn't damaged in the fight, as it would play a vital role later on.

"Tessai, would you please seal Ichigo in place, it should be difficult for him to break out of a very high level Bakudō."

"Bakudō 63 - Sajo Sabaku!"

A yellow energy rope that looks like thick chains appeared out of mid air and wrapped tightly around Ichigo's torso.

"Bakudō 99 – Kin!"

Spiritual fabric wrapped around Ichigo's entire body on top of the Bakudō 63 and pinned his body firmly on the ground with spiritual fabric stacked to the ground around Ichigo with several iron shafts in an "X" shape.

"Bakudō 75 – Gochūtekkan!"

Five incredibly tall and thick pillars, which were connected to each other by chains, were summoned in mid air above Ichigo before landing right on top of him. One on each leg, one on each shoulder blade, and one smack in the middle of his back.

"Excellent work Tessai as usual that should hold him."

Tessai nodded breathing slightly heavy but couldn't help ask, "Are you sure?"

"Yeah, if Ichigo hadn't depleted his Reiatsu beforehand then he would break out but it shouldn't be a problem now. Could you inform Yoruichi and Chad to stay clear of this area until we are done just in case?"

Tessai nodded before heading in the direction that Yoruichi was as Urahara looked back at Ichigo who's Reiatsu had spiked but it wasn't his normal Reiatsu it was much darker.

Ichigo's eyes awoken with him standing back in a place that he had been not too long ago but this time he saw a white figure crouching on the spot where Zangetsu usually perched. The figure lifted his head and Ichigo recognized him to be the one that he had fought back in Soul Society during his battle with Kenpachi.

His white look alike had a big wicked grin on his face, "Yo Ichigo, it's been a while."

"So you're my Inner Hollow, huh? I knew that there was something strange about you when we first met back at Soul Society."

"Ha, well aren't you clever, but I have to say Ichigo that you have surprised me a lot lately."

"What do you mean?"

"Well first of all, instead of going to school and trying to get back to a normal life, making your blade dull like I expected you to. Instead ya went straight to that shop keepers and asked for more training, didn't know you had it in ya Ichigo and second of all, ya actually learned how to seal Zangetsu." He said indicating to the sealed blade on his back, which Ichigo noticed.

"How long have you known how to seal Zangetsu?"

"The same amount as you Ichigo, I learn what you learn, why do you think I am so impressed, I never even thought about sealing him. The final thing that has impressed me Ichigo is that I sense no fear in you right now, just last night I could feel your fear of me and that you had a chance thanks to that dam glove to stay in control peacefully for at least another week. Yet here you are, disposing of that glove only a few minutes of putting it on, I didn't realize that you were so eager to fight me, I guess that chat with Zangetsu really helped you prepare for this fight."

"Zangetsu said that you and he were fighting for control but he didn't elaborate on it. How did you get strong enough to overthrow him?"

Hichigo tilted his head to the right as he stared at Ichigo before smirking, "Zangetsu and I have always been one and the same. Both Zangetsu and I are a part of your spiritual power, and I was a part of Zangetsu! We all share the same body, and whenever the 'dominant' person changes, the outer appearance changes. When one is dominated by 'life', one is flesh. When one is dominated by 'death', one becomes bones. It's the same reasoning. My power expanded, and so the ruling power went to me. In addition, this way, Zangetsu became a part of me instead. The more you try to use Zangetsu's power, the easier it is for me to control your soul! That is why you are here Ichigo, to fight me so that Zangetsu can regain control, I am stronger than Zangetsu however if you are able to defeat me then you gain control over my power."

"I see that also means that Zangetsu will become the dominant one won't he."

"Yeah that is right, you will have beaten me in battle proving that you are the stronger one and after that I would have to battle against yours and Zangetsu's power which would be an impossible task."

Ichigo narrowed his eyes at him, "You have been surprisingly forth coming with information."

Hichigo laughter hard at him before he taunted him by saying;

"Of course I am Ichigo, after all this is going to be the last time you are going to have a chance to ask questions before I devour you."

"You wish." Ichigo told him before drawing his katana, as did Hichigo who immediately jumped into the air, "NOW ICHIGO! LETS FIND OUT WHO IS STRONGER!"

Hichigo swung his blade downwards aiming for Ichigo's head but Ichigo stopped it in its tracks with his before pushing back, the force making Hichigo land on the side of the building with a grin on his face. Ichigo used Shunpo to appear behind Hichigo and swung his blade to the right side of Hichigo's neck but was calmly parried away before he swung his sword at Ichigo's left shoulder but Ichigo just managed to get a desperate swipe to deflect it. Ichigo leapt back to put some distance between them so he could think of a plan when all of a sudden, Hichigo was directly in front of him aiming for his head but he ducked under the swing and slashed at Hichigo's legs. Unfortunately, for him, Hichigo jumped over him and landed behind him before attacking his unguarded back but Ichigo used Shunpo to dodge and appeared a few meters away from Hichigo.

"Not bad Ichigo!"

"Shut up, I don't need compliments from you." Ichigo snapped at him, panting slightly, he found it hard to follow his movements; there were a few times there where he was just able to defend.

"Don't be so grumpy and tense Ichigo, let's have some fun."

Ichigo just scowled at him, he hated that smirk on his face, he didn't smile or smirk often it wasn't natural on his face and this bastard was flaunting it. He raised his katana in the air and let a burst of Reiatsu drawing a raised eyebrow from Hichigo before he shouted out, "Stop the Rain, Zangetsu!"

Ichigo swung his sword down creating an explosion as the force of the Reiatsu that was swung created a crater in the building.

"So getting serious Ichigo, fine then I guess there is no point in dragging this out." Hichigo said as he copied Ichigo's dance but instead of saying the same release phase as Ichigo he said, "Let the Rain Fall, Zangetsu!"

Ichigo's eyes widen at the phrase as he saw Hichigo holding a reverse color Zangetsu, so instead of having a black blade with a silver edge it was a silver blade with a black edge. In addition, the cloth on Hichigo's was black instead of white but that didn't matter to him, for there was something else that piqued Ichigo's curiosity.

"Why was your command phrase different to mine?"

"I am your Hollow powers and Zangetsu is you Shinigami powers, your Shinigami powers are at your strongest when you are confident, happy, and all of those other positive emotions. Those emotions create clear skies and sunlight in your inner world which Zangetsu loves and thus able to lend you more of his power. That is why your release is 'Stop the Rain' as Zangetsu hates the rain and would do anything to make it stop, however I am the opposite of Zangetsu. When it rains, that means that you're feeling negative emotions such as anger, sorrow, despair and others like that, the rain causes Zangetsu's power to weaken and mine to grow and that is why my release is called that."

"Who are you? How did you become part of Zangetsu, why is it that no other Shinigami has an inner Hollow but I do? Is it because of what happened in the shattered shaft?"

Hichigo lost the smirk that was on his face as his face grew serious and Ichigo wondered if he maybe hit a sore spot with his questions.

"You are not like any other Shinigami Ichigo, Zangetsu has always been with you since the moment you were born, and you had Reiatsu the day you were born. In the first nine years of your life, your Reiatsu grew as did Zangetsu's power until the day your mother died."

Ichigo flinched at the mention of his mother's death, even after hearing the projection of her thoughts before she died still couldn't remove the guilt in his heart.

"That day Ichigo was the day that I was born."

Ichigo's eyes widened at that.

"Shock's you doesn't it Ichigo? I became all that guilt, sorrow, despair, and anger that you were feeling deep inside, if it wasn't for your humanity, you would have turned into a Hollow then as Zangetsu's power had almost drowned in your sorrow. Soon however you were able to start feeling those other positive emotions thanks to your father and sisters, you're urged to protect them and your friends strengthened Zangetsu. Do you understand yet Ichigo? I am not the opposite of Zangetsu, I am your opposite, all of the dark emotions in your soul and now we are both fighting for the right of control over Zangetsu and our soul."

Ichigo just looked at him speechless; his eyes widened in shock as the revelation of his Hollow powers were born. Hichigo vanished before reappearing on Ichigo's right, whose instincts snapped him out of his stupor and he was able to block the attack from Hichigo. Both were locked onto a tight sword lock, both trying to overpower the other before Ichigo was forced to break it and jumped backwards. As Ichigo prepared for his next attack, Hichigo began spinning his Zangetsu in a circle with the cloth as he did back in Soul Society but this time Ichigo was ready for it. His eyes glowed blue for a second as he watched the incoming sword that Hichigo had thrown towards him, holding his Zangetsu in his right hand he swung it across his body and batted the incoming sword away. Hichigo, after a split second of surprise pulled his Zangetsu back towards him but Ichigo already anticipated this as the edge of Zangetsu glowed blue before he swung it up diagonally to the right.

"Getsuga Tenshō!"

The shape of blue Reiatsu that exploded out of Zangetsu was a crescent moon as it tore up the building underneath as shot towards a surprised Hichigo. However he was able to grab onto Zangetsu quick enough to use it to block the attack as it threatened to overwhelm him but just as he was about to gain the upper hand, something behind him caught his attention. To his shock, there was Ichigo, who had used Shunpo when he was busy holding back the Getsuga to get behind him; he was holding Zangetsu with two hands with them raised above his head before he swung it down.

"Getsuga Tenshō!"

This blast hit him straight in the back, knocking him completely off balance which allowed the first one to him, causing a big explosion of Reiatsu. Ichigo was panting after that attack before taking a deep breath to regain his composure; he smirked at the explosion and muttered;

"How did you like that, you cocky bastard?"

A figure suddenly shot out of the smoke and Ichigo saw that it was Hichigo, whose top half of clothes had big rips in it, he had bruising all over his upper body and blood coming down his right eye but he still had a giant smirk on his face.

"That was a nice move Ichigo; here try mine, Getsuga Tenshō!"

He swung his Zangetsu down as, white mixed with red Reiatsu burst out of the sword and like Ichigo's it shot in the shape of a crescent moon. Ichigo just was able to Shunpo out of the way as the Getsuga crashed into the building as smoke and rubble filled the air but to Ichigo's surprise, Hichigo's Zangetsu came flying out of the smoke straight at him. He wasn't able to dodge out of the way completely, as Zangetsu's sliced through the top of his left shoulder making blood spurt out and Ichigo flinch in pain. Zangetsu flew back to Hichigo, who walked out of the smoke before placing Zangetsu on his right shoulder,

"Like that surprise Ichigo?"

"I've had better."

"Tsk, what are we doing Ichigo? We both know that no one is going to win just by using Shikai, I like a good fight but we are both just wasting time fighting with Shikai, let's go all out."

Hichigo pointed Zangetsu directly out in front of him, Zangetsu in his right hand while his left was on his right bicep and Zangetsu's cloth was wrapped around his right arm. Ichigo realizing what he was doing copied the stance as they both surrounded by their Reiatsu, Ichigo's blue and Hichigo's white and red.

"BANKAI!" They both yelled before there Reiatsu exploded and as dust settled, Ichigo robe was replaced with a long-sleeved, ankle-length black coat, from his ankles to his waist he was still wearing the same piece of clothing. The inside of the coat was red while the coat ends were white and ragged. Zangetsu had become a daitō with a black blade, the cross guard has four prongs bent out to form the shape of the manji and instead of the cloth his Shikai form had, a short length of chain with a broken link at the end dangles from the base of the hilt. Hichigo was in the same get up but again the color was reversed, where there was black on Ichigo there was white on Hichigo, the only difference was that instead of having red in the inside of Hichigo's robe it was black.

"Now this is better isn't it?"

"I'd feel a lot better with this sword in your chest."

Hichigo let out a maniacal laugh, "What's wrong Ichigo? I get the feeling you don't like me."

"Shut up" Ichigo said before charging him much faster than earlier thanks to the increased speed of his Bankai as he swung his sword downward with two hands to slice Hichigo's head. However, Hichigo raised his sword to block it with only one hand on with a smirk on his face as Ichigo's face formed a scowl but a bright light caught his attention. In Hichigo's left hand a ball of white Reiatsu with a red edge was forming, Ichigo's face changed to realization followed by horror as Hichigo's smirk widened.


That small ball of Reiatsu changed into a big beam which Ichigo didn't have the time to dodge and was caught in the beam which blasted into a skyscraper. Ichigo got up painfully, blood coming down the left side of his forehead while part of his coat on his left shoulder was blasted off. Ichigo glared at Hichigo who was chuckling at the look on his face, "You can use Cero?"


Ichigo just continue to glare at him which was starting to get on his nerves;

"What? It's not my fault that you don't know any other moves except for Getsuga. Maybe instead of rushing in to fighting me you should have learnt some Kido in preparation."

"What good would it have done, didn't you say that you learn what I learn? Any Kido that I would've learned, you would have as well."

"You really are a dumbass Ichigo, anything that you learn from Zangetsu I learn, outside of that whatever you learn are yours and yours alone, I am a Hollow I can't learn Kido." Hichigo mocked him before firing another Cero, which Ichigo dodged with Shunpo successfully however Hichigo just kept firing Cero one after another but Ichigo was able to dodge all of them.

Hichigo decided that he had gotten bored of standing there and just firing Cero, so he charged towards Ichigo intending to cut him in half, but Ichigo flashed stepped behind him and swung at Hichigo's unprotected back. However, Hichigo had anticipated that Ichigo would do this and had his left hand's index finger pointing at Ichigo underneath his right arm preparing a Cero.

Ichigo swing connected with the Cero as he struggled to overpower it until he heard the sound of another Cero being prepared. His eyes widened as he saw Hichigo now standing behind him, a Cero preparing in his hand.

"Payback is a bitch Ichigo!"

He fired the Cero as Ichigo quickly unleashed a Getsuga that cut through the Cero he was blocking before using Shunpo up into the air to dodge the Cero however a voice whispered behind him;

"Too slow"

Ichigo spun around only for Hichigo's Tensa Zangetsu slashed through his right peck and shoulder and then he swung again this time at Ichigo's head. Ichigo, through the pain was able to block the attack but knew that Hichigo had all of the momentum, so he kicked him with his right foot into his left hip unknowingly that he instinctively focused a large amount of Reiatsu into his foot. Hichigo coughed up blood as Ichigo's foot sank into his hip before he was sent flying into a building while Ichigo gathered his composure in mid air and prepared for Hichigo's counter attack.

Hichigo stood up in the crater that he had made from the impact holding his left hip glaring slightly at Ichigo, he didn't know that he kicked that hard, he knew that he couldn't and that really pissed him off. He flashed stepped up a few meters off where Ichigo was who was looking at him apprehensively but he just grinned at him;

"That was a nice kick Ichigo; I have to admit that not even I can kick that hard."

Ichigo smirked at him; "Admitting your weak huh? I've yet to show you what I am truly capable of."

Hichigo's face grew serious before smirking lightly, which stunned Ichigo, usually they were taunting smirks, or maniacal but this time Ichigo saw nothing but pure confidence. It made him feel uneasy.

"Yes you have" Seeing Ichigo's confused expression he told him, "You are giving it all you have got Ichigo, I'll admit that with Zangetsu sealed and in his Shikai form that we are pretty even, but in Bankai there is a big gap between us. You don't know how to use Bankai Ichigo, watch, you will not be able to hit me again."

"We'll see you cocky bastard!"

Ichigo charged at him and swiped at his chest but was parried, then attempted to cut his head but once again, it was blocked. Neck, shoulders, legs, arms, chest, back, head, no matter where he attacked, Hichigo's Tensa Zangetsu would always block it and Hichigo would not lose that confident grin on his face. It made Ichigo's blood boil but it made no difference, no matter how fast his attacks were or how powerful he couldn't break Hichigo's defence. Eventually after several minutes of continuous attacks and parries, Ichigo finally put some distance between them; Hichigo was looking smug while Ichigo was panting heavily.

"Like I told you Ichigo, you don't know how to use Bankai!"

"Shut up!" Ichigo snapped at him before gathering Reiatsu into Tensa Zangetsu as black Reiatsu with a red edge surrounded the blade before he slashed it towards Hichigo, "Getsuga Tenshō!"

The black and red Getsuga shot towards Hichigo who actually looked gleeful before he batted the attack away with one hand much to Ichigo's shock. He shunpoed directly in front of Ichigo and aimed a cut downward for his head but Ichigo raised his to meet it but that was what Hichigo wanted before he place a hand on the edge of his blade and whispered;

"Getsuga Tenshō!"

Ichigo was blown up in an explosion of white and red Reiatsu that also destroyed the building that was a not far behind Ichigo. Hichigo smirked when he saw Ichigo rise above from the rubble moments later, a deep slash on his stomach blood dripping down from it, the front of his coat blasted off.

"I told you, didn't I? Have you forgotten? I was the first one to use Getsuga Tenshō in Bankai. All you did was watch my battle, and then try to imitate and failed miserably. To use the Kuroi Getsuga Tenshō requires a certain ingredients that you haven't got; do you know what they are?"

Ichigo glared at Hichigo, his Getsuga Tenshō was useless now, he couldn't beat him in a clash with swords, unable to overwhelm him with Reiatsu, and Hichigo could use Cero. The only thing that had worked since they went Bankai was that kick he got on him, but even he was surprised by the power behind it. He didn't have a clue on how he did it. All of a sudden a drop of rain fell onto his nose, before he looked up and the clear blue sky were now filled with dark clouds, noticing what Ichigo was looking at Hichigo spoke up;

"You know what this means now don't you Ichigo?"

Ichigo look fiercely at him before holding Tensa Zangetsu out in front of him as he prepared for Hichigo's next attack, Hichigo just sighed and began spinning Tensa Zangetsu on his finger. He was now bored with this fight, Ichigo had nothing left up in his sleeve, and it was time to take his rightful place on the throne.

"Ichigo, what's the difference between a king and his horse? I don't mean kiddy shit like "One's a person and one's an animal" or "One has two legs and one has four." If their form, ability, and power were the same, why is it that one becomes the king and controls the battle, while the other becomes the horse and carries the king? There's only one answer. Instinct! In order for identical beings to get stronger and gain the power they need to become king, they must search for more battles and power! They thirst for battle, and live to mercilessly, crush, shred, and slice their enemies! Deep, deep within our body lies the honed instinct to kill, and slaughter our enemies! However, you don't have that! You don't have those pure, base instincts! You fight with your brain. You try to defeat your enemies with logic, and it doesn't work! You're trying to cut them with a sheathed sword! That's why you're weaker than me, Ichigo!"

Using Shunpo, he appeared on Ichigo's left and went to cut off his arm but Ichigo was able to spin around in time to block it but Hichigo applied more force onto Ichigo's blade and it snapped in half. Ichigo could only look in shock at his broken sword before he felt a sharp pain pierce his chest; taking his attention away from his sword to the sword that had punctured his chest.

"I'm not gonna have it, Ichigo. I don't know about Zangetsu, but I refuse to carry a king who's weaker than I am and be cut to ribbons with him. If you're weaker than me, then I'll destroy you, and take your crown for myself."

Ichigo's sword slipped out of his hand as rain poured rapidly as the remaining tall buildings began to deteriorate as water began to rise from the bottom of the inner world. Hichigo smirked in triumph before ripping the blade out of Ichigo's chest as he fell into the abyss below seeing Ichigo fall towards the abyss brought much joy to him.


He hit the water hard as he began to sink to the bottom, or was it just because the water was rising that it made him think he was sinking, he didn't know. He couldn't breathe, he couldn't move an inch of his body, everything was going dark; he had failed.

"What is the problem Ichigo? Why have you fallen so?"

Ichigo's eyes shot open at the voice, it was familiar, but he couldn't remember to whom it belonged.

"Are you just going to give up and let him control your body? He will hurt your family, your friends and you are just going to lie there?"

"What else can I do, none of my attacks worked, he had all the answers."

"That is where you are wrong Ichigo."

"What do you mean?"

"You haven't used your power yet."

"My power?"

"Yes Ichigo your power, this whole fight you have only been using the little Zangetsu could give you. Both you and your Hollow have each been given 50% of Zangetsu's power, but unlike you, he has used his own alongside."

"You're wrong, I have been giving it everything I have got, but I can't win."

"Explain to me then, why your Reiatsu is only at vice captain level then?"

"My Reiatsu has been the same as always. If anything it's because I'm only using 50% of Zangetsu's power."

"FOOL!" The voice roared startling him, whatever patience or calmness in the voice was no gone, it had become cold and chilling.

"Before you started fighting alongside Zangetsu, your Reiatsu level was low captain, so why has your Reiatsu level this whole fight been at vice captain level? I'll tell you why, when you partnered up with Zangetsu, you became reliant on him; you could no longer do anything without him holding your hand. You were afraid to use your own power so not to anger Zangetsu, don't you remember how much stronger you became during Bankai training? All of your power then was all you! Why do you think your Hollow wanted to wait to battle you hoping that your fear would grow and give him more power because he knew that your power along with Zangetsu's surpassed his! Get up and fight Ichigo! Fight with the amount of power Zangetsu has given you and add it to your own!"

Ichigo's eyes glowed slightly blue but it still wasn't enough to pull him out of the abyss yet.

"What are you going to do Ichigo? Yuzu, Karin is going to die, your father is going to die, Rukia is going to die and your friends are going to die, ALL BECAUSE YOU REFUSE TO GET UP!"

Ichigo's eyes were now glowing with Reiatsu, one more push and the dam will break.


That did it, the dam broke, and blue Reiatsu burst from his body and rose out of the water into the sky shocking a celebrating Hichigo who could only look on in shock. All of a sudden the water stopped rising and a small speck of sunlight breached the clouds as the Reiatsu disappeared and Hichigo's eyes widen at the sight of Ichigo standing in mid air. Hichigo noticed that his eyes were glowing blue showing that Ichigo was full of nothing but resolve, his Tensa Zangetsu full restored and that his wounds had stopped bleeding which he found interesting.

"Yo, you didn't think it was over yet did you."

Hichigo smirked at him, "Still not giving up Ichigo, fine I guess I'll have to beat it into you some more."

"Come at me."

Hichigo scowled at the confidence Ichigo suddenly had before charging towards him slashing at his shoulder but found his blade blocked fiercely. Before whenever Ichigo blocked him it felt liked being blocked by a dull sword, that if he applied enough force he could cut right through it which he did eventually. Now however, it felt like trying to cut through an impenetrable wall, if anything it felt like his blade was the one that was breaking. Ichigo smirked at him sensing his astonishment before going on the offensive, the blue Reiatsu in his eyes as he started applying force on Hichigo's blade, which forced Hichigo to break away before his sword snapped.

Deciding to keep a distance he began preparing for a Cero while Ichigo just raised his right arm into the air and bending it so his elbow was the highest point and level with his head while his blade was pointing diagonally across his body facing down. Hichigo had no idea what that stance was but fired the most powerful Cero that he could and as it headed towards Ichigo who refused to move before it collided with him. As the explosion refuge cleared away, Ichigo stood remaining in the exact same stance without any new damage much to Hichigo's shock, that impenetrable wall feeling from before wasn't too far off.

"How?" Hichigo asked but Ichigo just ignored him, raised Tensa Zangetsu into the air, and gathered his Reiatsu making the edge of Tensa shine blue.

"Let's test your Getsuga then!"

Hichigo stuck his sword out to the right and gathered his Reiatsu and moments later the blade was surrounded by white and red Reiatsu. Both Ichigo and Hichigo stared each other down for a moment, as the clouds slowly started disappearing as the clear sky returned. Ichigo slashed his sword down while Hichigo swung his sword across his body and both shouted, "Getsuga Tenshō!"

Both blue and white/red Reiatsu clashed, both battled for dominance before the white/red Reiatsu enveloped the blue and blew up much to Hichigo's joy.

"See, you still not have surpassed me Ichigo, my Getsuga is still stronger!"

"Idiot" A voice whispered behind him but before he could turn around in time, a hand grabbed the arm that held Hichigo's Tensa Zangetsu before it was sliced off. Ichigo dropped the arm as it fell to the ground below, as the water had vanished and the streets had reappeared, as the buildings were growing tall again under the clear blue sky.

"AHHHHHHHH!" Hichigo screamed in pain at the loss of his arm before he pointed his left arm at Ichigo and prepared a Cero but Ichigo pierced his chest with Tensa Zangetsu right where his heart would be if he were human.

Hichigo could only look at the blade piercing him before he fell into resignation that he had lost the battle as his clothes turned black before he started disappearing.

"Shit. Looks like your instincts, and your desire to fight, aren't completely gone. Guess there's no way around it. You got me. I have to recognize you as the king, for now, but don't you ever forget! Don't forget that either one of us can become the king or the horse. If you ever give me the chance, I'll drag you down and crush your skull; and one last warning, if you really want to control my power, make sure you don't get yourself killed before I come back!"

After that final warning by Hichigo he disappeared right before Ichigo's eyes as he sighed in relief, finally taking out his Hollow was a big relief for him. He looked around and noticed that his inner world was almost as it was before the fight started but just as he was about to leave, he heard clapping from behind him. He turned around to find a person, who looked roughly about his age standing on the perch of a building, in a hooded black garment similar to Zangetsu's but this one had a hood covering his face.

"Who are you?" Ichigo questioned, praying that this wasn't someone else he had to fight.

"I guess you have never had the chance to know, since you only recently achieved Bankai then immediately had to deal with your Hollow, so I guess I can give you the benefit of the doubt."

Ichigo's eyes widened as he recognized the voice, it was the voice that had spoken to him when he was sinking into the abyss during his battle.

"You were the one that was speaking to me earlier aren't you?"

"Yes I was, I am quite pleased by your performance afterwards, but you have a long way to go if you want to protect your friends and family from the likes of Aizen."

"Thanks for the compliment and advice but you still haven't told me who you are!"

The young man's hand reached up to his hood before yanking it back revealing a young man with long black hair that almost reached his shoulders, even though Ichigo sucked at reading faces, he could recognize it.

"Zangetsu? Is that you Zangetsu?"

"No, what is the name of your Bankai?"He said before a familiar black daitō appeared in his right hand.

"I am Tensa Zangetsu"

Like it Review it. Don't like it then don't read it.

Writing a fighting scene is hard work hopefully it was good enough for everyone reading it.



















Rukia is back hell yeah, and look at her with the short hair, she looks so much better and she has made Vice Captain of the 13th Division, and best of all she has given Ichigo his Shinigami powers back.

Seeing Ichigo's reaction at losing his Fullbring was amazing, how Ishida bowed his head as he felt Ichigo's pain and then for the rain to fall was fitting. Then getting stabbed and thinking his dad was against him to was heart wrenching but them bang Rukia = Shinigami Powers

Ginjo is going to be pretty pissed; I think it's clear now that he is the Lost Substitute Shinigami and he is trying to get his powers back but Ichigo got his first MUAHAHAHA!