Disclaimer: I do not own the Bleach characters, manga, anime, movies, etc. They belong by copyright laws to Tite Kubo et al.

The Kurosaki Affair


Ichigo closed the door on the Royal Messenger, looking at the small box and note from his cousin in confusion. Opening the letter first, he read its contents, then unwrapped the box to get at what it contained. Placing the pendant that he found on top of the book around his neck, Ichigo sat in the nearest chair and waited a moment before opening the book. Without finishing the first page, he closed it suddenly and called the only person he knew who could handle the knowledge the book contained.

When Ishida answered, the prince didn't bother with a greeting. "Do you still have the other ring to the royal realm?"

"Yes, why?"

"Meet me there in ten minutes," Ichigo ordered and hung up without explaining. Standing, he called out to Kon and had him take over his body, telling the mod soul to let Rukia know he had some urgent royal business that had to be taken care of immediately.

Ishida was waiting for him as ordered, the Quincy archer looking both annoyed and worried when Ichigo arrived. "Kurosaki, what is the meaning of this?" he questioned, following his friend down a long corridor. He was a little surprised and infinitely more worried when the daiko didn't answer.

Ichigo held off until they were in an all-white room that resembled the pendant now swinging from the orange haired man's neck. Ishida gazed around in confusion before turning tot face his friend. "Put this on," Ichigo said and waited until the other man did. Waiting a moment, he sighed and handed the book he'd been carrying to Ishida.

The other doctor opened it and read a few pages before looking up. "Kurosaki…"

"You know what this means, don't you?"

"Yes, but…"

"For some reason the last of the prophecy has been delayed. I think it's because he knows that there isn't a king whose powers he can steal. He'll wait until I have or am close to having what he wants."

"Ichigo, Grandfather told me this long ago. I was going to do it alone, but…"

"No one but you and I can discuss this, and nowhere but here. I don't have enough pendants to give everyone, so we'll have to leave them in the dark. If this bastard is really clairvoyant, it'll be impossible for them to hide their intentions. When he comes for you, and he will, I want you to go."

"But the others will think…"

"I know but it may be the only way to stop him. Stop the slaughter and save the universe itself. We can't let him do what he wants, Uryuu. Because of him, our mothers died, and I can't stand the thought of anyone else losing a parent, or a child. I know we won't all survive, but we have to do the best we can."

Ishida glanced back at the book and tightened his free hand into a fist. "Will it work?"

"We have no choice but to make it."

An ice castle rose out of the depths of the shadows and several spiritual beings wandered its halls, unafraid of the Hollows lurking just beyond the walls. A man with dark hair looked out over the great expanse of sand and frowned when someone entered without permission.

"I did not give you leave to enter," the older man said, rebuke clear in his voice.

"My apologies, my king. Your spiritual pressure was disturbed, and I wished to ensure that you were well."

"I despise this delay, but it will not harm me. I can wait until what I seek is ready for the taking."

"Yes, sire."

"Worry not, my loyal soldier. One day the Shinigami will know our wrath and we will reshape this universe into what it should be. On that you have my word."

"We await the day."

While one planned how to save the universe he'd come to love, another plotted how to destroy it and reshape it into what he thought it should be. No one knew what the outcome would be, but it was certain that another war loomed. It would be the war to end all wars and only a Soul King's power would be able to turn the tide. One questioned remained, though.

Would Ichigo Kurosaki be strong enough in time to be the victor?

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed The Kurosaki Affair and will join me for the last in the trilogy, which will be called Ascending the Throne. Be on the lookout for that after my other "In Progress" stories are finished.